Weekly Updates, April 27


Our monthly Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter will temporarily transition to a weekly edition. With COVID conditions continuing to improve, we have shifted away from the weekly COVID updates and will provide a wider range of HIDOE stories and announcements in this space as we adapt to the broader needs of our school communities.

April 27

Editorial Mission: Our monthly Hoʻohaʻaheo newsletter will temporarily transition to a weekly edition. With COVID conditions continuing to improve, we have shifted away from the weekly COVID updates and will provide a wider range of HIDOE stories and announcements in this space as we adapt to the broader needs of our school communities.

Updates from Interim Superintendent Hayashi

Aloha, HIDOE Community!

  • Kalani High Teacher Named 2022 Teacher of Promise
  • » Congratulations to Kalani High math teacher Tristan Nguyen for being named the 2022 Hawai‘i State Teacher of Promise!
  • » The title is awarded annually by the Milken Educators of Hawai‘i to a HIDOE educator who demonstrates outstanding commitment and potential within their first three years of being in the classroom.
  • » Nguyen was selected for his extraordinary efforts to form connections with his students and their families– regularly tutoring school-wide study halls, conducting assessments for the math department, and even sending home bi-weekly newsletters. We are proud to have educators with these values teaching in Hawai‘i’s public schools.
  • Five Schools Compete in Local-Style Shark Tank Competition
  • » Please join me in cheering on student teams from Kapolei, Maui, McKinley, Roosevelt and Waipahu High Schools as they compete in the Shark Tank-inspired pitch competition organized by the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders (CTL).
  • » Tune in to the Hawai‘i News Now television special and support the six finalists who surpassed the primary round – where I had the honor of sitting on the judging panel. Student finalists competed against a total of 117 student teams that were advised by CTL members in HIDOE classrooms across the state.
  • » This special will be airing on April 29 from 8 - 9 p.m. on K5, April 30 from 6 - 7 p.m. on KGMB, and May 1 from 3 - 4 p.m. on KHNL.
  • Pursuit of Service Excellence
  • » I was joined last week by about 170 HIDOE administrative employees from state and district offices at the first-ever Celebrate Your Pursuit of Service Excellence training event.
  • » Experts were invited to spend the day sharing best practices, examples and stories of service excellence, leaving with us new skills to analyze and apply to our positions as public service employees. Stay tuned for future training opportunities as we further our pursuit of service excellence in the Department.
  • 2022 CTE Summer Internship Program
  • » We are excited to invite 2022 HIDOE graduates and upcoming seniors to apply for the 2022 CTE Summer Internship Program, which offers a variety of positions in our state and complex area offices.
  • » The deadline to apply for this program is Friday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m.

#PublicSchoolProud  |  By Mitchell Otani

Fifty years ago, I received my diploma as a proud graduate of Kalani High School's Class of 1972. I am a product of the Hawai‘i public school system and was blessed with many wonderful teachers who were inspirational and who made a difference in my life. I am honored to return and serve as principal of my alma mater. I am lucky to work with a staff that truly cares about our students. Together with our parents and our many community partnerships, we have worked hard to craft a positive, nurturing environment, second to none. Kalani Nō Ka ‘Oi – we are #PublicSchoolProud.
» Mitchell Otani has been a principal since 1991 – 19 years at Kāneʻohe Elementary and the last 12 at Kalani High. In 2007, he was selected as Hawai‘i’s National Distinguished Principal and honored in Washington, D.C. by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. His wife is a retired HIDOE teacher and his daughters attended public schools.

Question of the Week

Q: I heard that the Department will be providing free meals for students over the summer. Where can I find more information about this?

A: The Department’s School Food Services Branch is working again this year to provide free summer meals for youth ages 18 and younger as part of the Seamless Summer Option, a federally funded child nutrition program under the USDA. Details and locations are still being finalized and will be announced in May.

HIDOE Case Counts

A total of 396 confirmed or probable cases were reported across Hawai‘i’s 257 public schools from April 18-22 for a daily average of 79 cases (as of April 25). This marks the fifth-straight week of increased case counts since spring break. For the latest case count information, visit bit.ly/HIDOECOVID-19Updates.

April 18-22

News Feed  |  #HI4PublicEd

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Read NASSP’s 2021 Hawai‘i Principal of Year Reid Kuba’s Be EXTRA-Ordinary student-centered article. Kuba is serving as principal in residence for the Leadership Institute.

» ‘Ewa Makai Middle hosted its first-ever Burstin’ to Run event where special education students ran a mile alongside their peer buddies as hundreds of classmates lined the sides of the course and cheered them on.

» Congratulations to the eighth-grade students of Hilo Intermediate School for winning a total of six first and second place prizes at the latest Spartan Science Fair! Learn more about the winning projects.


Keith Hayashi

Interim Superintendent

Phyllis Unebasami
Deputy Superintendent


Heidi Armstrong
Student Support Services
Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal 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

Cara Phillips
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

What makes you #PublicSchoolProud?



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