Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 9


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue highlights the recent elections and the upcoming Veterans Day holiday.


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.

Yesterday was a significant day for our communities and state as we elected new and incumbent leaders to political offices entrusted with representing the people of Hawai‘i in running our city, county, state and federal governments — including a new governor, a new mayor of Maui County, a new U.S. House member and more. Regardless of who you cast your ballot for, your active participation is what makes democracy work.

Many of Hawai‘i's newest voters and up-and-coming voters are students of our public school system and I'm proud of our educators and student government organizations that work hard to instill in all students their civic responsibility and the role each of us play in a democratic society.

Hawai‘i News Now recently visited an AP Government and Politics class at Mililani High and a Participation in Democracy class at Farrington High to speak with students and their teachers about the election and the importance of civic engagement.

“We are very much affected by the policies that our representatives enact and we can be very educated, there’s a lot of different ways — you can do self research, but just from what we learn at school,” Mililani senior Josslyn Rose, who is a first-time voter in this election, told HNN. “It’s very important and every vote matters.”

It's inspiring to hear from future leaders and decision-makers like Josslyn and I want to acknowledge teachers like Jason Duncan at Mililani and Jeff Martinson at Farrington for providing relevant and real-world learning experiences.

“Government can’t hear what you wanted to do if you just stay silent,” Martinson told HNN. “Not just the youth, everyone should be encouraged to vote, and this is one way to get that started at an early age.”



With the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, we asked some special guests to complete the sentence below.

“I am grateful for ______ because ______.”

" …serving in a military-impacted school community because it is an opportunity to learn from students and families from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our staff learn so much from supporting our military children; their strength and resilience shine bright and are a constant source of joy and inspiration for our school community. From the Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School ‘ohana to all veterans, we salute you and thank you for your service to our country!”
Dr. Kristin Walje has served in military-impacted schools her entire career. For the last 14 years, she has worked in the Schofield and Wheeler communities as a counselor, teacher, academic coach, and assistant principal. This school year, she was appointed the principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School. She is passionate about designing systems of support to mitigate the effects of transiency for her students to ensure their academic, social, and emotional growth.

" …my cafeteria coworkers because they are a team and have trust in each other to accomplish the mission, just like all the soldiers and Airmen I worked with in the military.”
Lance Kamisugi is a school food service manager at Mililani Middle School in his 32nd year of service. He served as a journalist with the 117th Public Affairs Detachment for the Hawai‘i Army National Guard from 1983 to 2001. He continued his military career working in food service with the 154th Wing of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard from 2001 and retired in 2005.

Family Focus

Everyone can benefit from making an effort to practice gratitude every day. Research has shown that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Over the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, we’ll be sharing steps to help you (and your loved ones) feel healthier and happier.

The first step is to notice the good things in your life! Start to notice and identify things you are grateful for. Tune in to the small everyday details of your life. It’s amazing what you notice when you focus on feeling grateful.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 9 - BOE Community Meeting (Honoka‘a-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena)
  • Nov. 10 - BOE Community Meeting (Pearl City-Waipahu)
  • Nov. 11 - Holiday: Veterans Day

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

Q: What is the most important Thanksgiving side?

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels is a tool to help guide decision making on mitigation strategies based on community classification levels of low, medium or high. When the level is at medium or high, additional layered strategies such as masking are recommended.
Weekly CDC COVID Community Levels by Hawaii DOH

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Congratulations to our Hawai‘i delegation and our three 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools at the award ceremony in Washington, D.C.! The U.S. DOE recognizes their academic excellence and positive outcomes, affirming the hard work of students, educators, families and communities to create safe, welcoming and engaging learning environments.


» Hilo High’s Charlene’s Masuhara received the National Student Safety Program (NSSP)’s National Advisor of the Year Award! Congratulations and mahalo for your 52 years of service.


» Register for the Hawai‘i 2023 SHOOTS Summit taking place in Jan. 2023 for students, teachers and industry professionals to share in their passion for digital media, creativity and storytelling. The three-day summit is filled with workshops and competitions that focus on photography, graphic design, film and broadcast media.


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
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

Christine Shaw

Information Technology Services

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



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Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us


Contact Information

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Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us

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