Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 22


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes warm wishes to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Nov. 22

Editorial Mission: As the Department's primary publication, we aim to live up to the meaning of ha‘aheo – to cherish with pride – by bolstering and sustaining pride in public education and touting the successes happening across our system.

Aloha, HIDOE Community –

 Welcome to this week’s edition of the Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter.

 During this season of gratitude, I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for all of our dedicated educators, staff and school leaders. Your commitment is the cornerstone of our educational success, and I am genuinely thankful for the tireless efforts you invest each day to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students and schools.

 My gratitude also extends to our students and their families, whose commitment to public education and active engagement with school communities contribute to the vibrant learning environments we strive to create. Additionally, I am thankful for the invaluable support provided by our elected officials and our government, community, philanthropic, business and industry partners, who play a crucial role in enhancing our schools in diverse ways.

On behalf of the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, warm wishes to all for a safe Thanksgiving holiday. Your collective efforts continue to shape a positive future for our public schools.


Social media highlights of the most engaging posts of the week.

Use the #HIPublicSchoolsProud hashtag for a chance to be featured!

W.R. Farrington High Academies

» Congratulations to W.R. Farrington High’s Academies for being recognized at this year’s National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) in Tucson, AZ! The NCAC advises, assists and advocates for the academy model in schools to prepare students for both college and careers.

Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary

» Surprise assembly to honor Hawai‘i’s Principal of the year, our very own, Principal Sharon Beck! Thank you all for helping keep it a surprise! #khpes

Maunawili Elementary

» Congratulations to Ka‘elepulu and Maunawili elementary schools on their National Blue Ribbon Awards! HIDOE representatives and school leaders received their award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

What’s for School Lunch?

Featuring recipes served in our school cafeterias from the Office of Facilities and Operations School Food Services Branch. Ingredient amounts have been scaled down.

Pastry dough ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted

  • 1 cup of flour, white whole wheat 60/40 blend

  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

  • 1 cup of ice-cold water

Pumpkin pie filling ingredients:

  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree, canned

  • 4 eggs

  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

  • ⅔ cup of sugar, granulated cane

  • ¼ cup of flour, white whole wheat 60/40 blend

  • 4 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon, ground

  • ¼ teaspoon of ginger, ground

  • ⅛ teaspoon of cloves, ground

  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, ground

  • 12 oz. milk, 1% low fat

Pumpkin Pie

  1. Combine flour and salt. Mix in cold butter until well combined to the size of the peas.

  2. Add 1 cup of ice-cold water and mix until dry ingredients are moistened.

  3. Chill dough overnight or at least 2-4 hours for best results.

  4. Coat a 13 x 9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  5. Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface just enough to line the bottom of the pan with dough.

  6. Use a dough docker or fork to poke holes in the dough for even cooking.

  7. Bake at 325ºF for 10 minutes and turn pan around in oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes until crust turns a light brown color.

  8. Let crust cool for at least 15 minutes before adding in the pie filling.

  9. Add pumpkin pie filling ingredients to a bowl except for the milk. Whisk or mix on low in a mixer until smooth.

  10. Slowly add milk to the filling mixture and mix until well combined.

  11. Let filling mixture rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

  12. Pour pie filling onto crust.

  13. Bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

  14. Once cooled, cut pan 3 x 8 to make 24 pieces.

West Maui Updates

We will be providing relevant information on Lāhainā schools in this space,
including updates on health and safety, construction and more.

Wipe tests

The Department has hired a contractor to conduct bi-weekly wipe sampling in Lāhainā classrooms to test for any particles settling on surfaces. The Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 samplings found no lead or arsenic. Stay tuned for results from the next round of samples.

 Superintendent’s Report to the Board of Education

In the November 2023 report to the Board of Education, Deputy Superintendent Tammi Oyadomari-Chun shared updates regarding the reopening of Lāhainā schools, and HIDOE schools and employees who have been recognized with statewide and national awards. Watch the video and read the highlights here.

 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers update

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors prepare for construction of the new temporary campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary, after receiving a Notice to Proceed on Nov. 20. The base contract for $53.7 million was awarded to Pono Aina Management of Wai‘anae. USACE anticipates the temporary school will be handed over to the Department for furnishing and installation of telecommunication equipment by the end of February 2024.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving
  • Nov. 24 - School Holiday

Community Query

We asked on Instagram

What is your preferred main course alternative to turkey?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Congratulations to Kalani High’s Science and Career and Technical Education teacher Bryan Silver as a 2023 Teacher Excellence Award recipient! The ITEEA Teacher Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to technology and engineering education classroom teachers and is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession and their students. 

» Approximately 90 fifth grade students from Liholiho Elementary School visited the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on Nov. 16 to learn about a variety of STEM fields, including life sciences, chemistry, engineering and computer science. Students were led through different hands-on activities, ranging from seeing the reactions of chemicals and elements, drone technologies and Formula 1 style race cars.

» Ayada Bonilla, School-Based Behavioral Health educational specialist in the Office of Student Support Services, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 School Mental Health Champion Award by the National Center for School Mental Health. This award acknowledges an individual for their leadership and vision related to the advancement of school mental health. Mahalo for all you do, Ayada!


Keith Hayashi


Heidi Armstrong

Deputy Superintendent

Curt Otaguro

Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun
Deputy Superintendent


Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Annie Kalama
Student Support Services

Michael Otsuji

Information Technology Services
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

Cara Tanimura

Strategy, Innovation and Performance

Teri Ushijima

Curriculum and Instructional Design



Nanea Kalani

Executive Editor

Chanel Honda

Managing Editor

Sara Miyazono
Creative Director

Derek Inoshita

Contributing Writer

Krislyn Yano

Contributing Writer

Kimberly Yuen

Contributing Writer



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Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us

Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


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