Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 29


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes recognition of the quality of our college and career academies in our public schools by the National Career Academy Coalition.

Nov. 29

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.

Editor's Note: Our email platform for distributing the newsletter will be changing. No action is needed for current subscribers, but please note that in the near future the newsletter will be sent from hawaiipublicschools@eblasts.k12.hi.us.

Aloha, HIDOE Community –

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

National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) conference

I’m incredibly proud of the strength and quality of our college and career academies in our public schools as evidenced earlier this month at the NCAC conference in Tucson, Arizona. At this year’s conference, 10 academies across three HIDOE high schools earned model recognition and two academies at a fourth high school received model academy with distinction honors — the highest level of recognition.

Seven high schools and one complex area team also gave presentations at the conference, sharing best practices and initiatives to improve the educational experiences for students. Lastly, congratulations to Waipahu High’s Rebecca Sanborn who was recognized as the NCAC Exemplar Educator at the conference!

Teacher-driven DonorsChoose projects

This fall we again partnered again with DonorsChoose, an education crowdfunding nonprofit, to support teacher-led efforts aimed at accelerating student learning and supporting social-emotional health. I'm happy to announce that the Department along with a generous anonymous donor funded $2 million worth of projects from 2,273 teachers.

We're also excited that all donations made yesterday on GivingTuesday were matched by at least 50%!

See all of the projects and overall impact here.


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

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

Castle Performing Arts Center (CPAC)

» Congratulations to Ezekiel Kekuna! Kapunahala sixth grader and second generation CPAC kid! He was just tap dancing in Bugsy Malone a few months ago! And now Broadway!

Hilo Intermediate

» Our Spartan Band and the Hilo High School Band both got to be a part of the 2023 Downtown Hilo Christmas Lights Parade. Thank you to our Band Booster member, Mrs. Abe for the awesome pictures!!!

Kalākaua Middle

» This past Saturday, our KMS Math Club participated in the Honolulu Baptist Academy annual Math Challenge and placed 4th overall. Special congratulations to Arabella Cruz, Ethan Isidro, and Jaiden Aquino for getting perfect scores for their individual event categories. Great job, KMS Math Club! We are so proud of all you 💜 KMS REPRESENT!

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 last wipe test on Nov. 20 found no lead or arsenic, similar to the previous two samplings. The next test will be on Dec. 4.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers update

Pono ‘Aina Management and their subcontractors are in the process of cutting and grading the temporary site for King Kamehameha III Elementary. Modular units are being sent over from O‘ahu, Washington state and California and the first shipment is anticipated to arrive next week.

A USACE Enterprise Emergency Response Team was at the site installing the necessary information technology equipment to allow on-site work trailers to be fully functional for personnel on Nov. 26, 2023.

Generous donation for Lāhaināluna marching band

Among the possessions lost during the Lāhainā wildfire were more than a dozen instruments played by students in the Lāhaināluna marching band. The band received 17 brand new instruments from a generous donation from KHS America, a company that makes music instruments. Mahalo to KHS America!

Community Query

Did you know the answer to this LifeSmarts question?
69% of participants on Instagram answered correctly.

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Ka‘ū High junior Nyori Noelle Soriano tells the story of how she became more confident in her own skin in this premiere of HIKI NŌ on PBS Hawai‘i Student Reflection. 

» Lāhaināluna High, Baldwin High and Maui Waena Middle schools received a visit from five members of the University of Hawai‘i Bands Reed Quintet to help inspire and uplift the community devastated by the wildfires in August.

» Marching bands from across the island participated in the 47th annual O‘ahu Marching Band Festival where students demonstrated their skills during field shows on Nov. 6 at Pearl City High.


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



CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

1390 Miller St. Honolulu, HI 96813 | Phone: (808) 784-6200 | Fax: (808) 586-3234
Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us

Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us

How do I...?


View all FAQ's