Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 1


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes an inaugural workforce development hero award and a gift from Keonepoko Elementary to the Lāhainā community.

Nov. 1

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.

I was humbled and honored to receive the first-ever Workforce Development Lifetime Hero Award earlier this week and participate in a panel discussion about how our public schools can better partner with businesses and industries to support Hawai‘i’s current and future workforce needs. Industry representatives from technology, health, tourism, construction, government and energy gathered to share insights on the latest trends and the outlook for the future. With the Department’s commitment that all graduates be globally competitive and locally committed, I look forward to future partnerships in the spirit of ne‘epapa to help our communities grow a skilled workforce in the most critical industries.

Ne‘epapa, or working together in unison, is a call to action I’ve highlighted as critical to the Department’s mission. I love hearing stories and examples of ne‘epapa as I continue school visits across the state. In this example, Keonepoko Elementary sends a gift to the Lāhainā community. Nearly 10 years ago, Keonepoko Elementary was impacted by the rapidly advancing Puna lava flow in 2014 and had to relocate to a temporary school in the parking lot of Kea‘au High. While the scenarios are not exactly the same, Keonepoko Elementary wanted to reach out to the displaced teachers and students of King Kamehameha III Elementary, as well as the greater Lāhainā community, with a message of love and kindness. Mahalo to Keonepoko Elementary and music teacher Jenifer Tsuji for sharing this special story and positivity with all of us.


Social media highlights of the most engaging posts of the week. Use the #HIPublicSchoolsProud hashtag for a chance to be featured!

James Campbell High

» This past weekend, our Drama Club students had a fun time participating and helping in the annual Spookapalooza event at the Hawaiian Railway Society! #SaberNation

Ho‘okele Elementary

» Thank you to everyone who came out this evening to make our second annual Trunk-or-Treat a success! #HookeleCARES #HIPublicSchoolsProud

Hale‘iwa Elementary

» Happy Halloween! Mahalo to all the students, staff, and families who participated in today's march! Have fun and be safe!

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. Wipe samples will be collected in each of three rooms at Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary and Lāhainā Intermediate, on window sills and floors. For the King Kamehameha III interim tent structures, wipe samples will be collected from the floors. The most recent sampling was conducted on Oct. 23, and no lead, arsenic or asbestos was detected.

King Kamehameha III temporary site
King Kamehameha III Elementary will be sharing campus facilities with Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena until a temporary campus being built at Pulelehua near Kapalua Airport opens. U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for all site work, including roads, utilities, connection to water and wastewater, and construction of all structures.

As of this week, USACE has received and is reviewing all interested bids for the construction of the project and will announce when a contractor has been selected. The project is still targeting a completion date in early 2024. Follow USACE Honolulu District on social media for the latest updates.

Air quality monitors
The Department continues to monitor air quality sensors installed by the state Department of Health and the U.S. EPA outside all of the Lāhainā schools to detect fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. Hourly updates for each air quality monitor can be viewed at https://fire.airnow.gov/.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

Community Query

We asked on Instagram

What is your favorite flavor of fall?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts will host an Inaugural Visual Arts Teacher Art Exhibition from Nov. 1-24 at the Capitol Modern.

» The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services hosted a ride on Skyline for Honouliuli Middle sixth graders as part of a school project to imagine how O‘ahu could become energy independent by 2045.

» Waipahu and Farrington High will be the first in the nation to offer a student-created Filipino Studies class in a public school curriculum. Five students came up with the idea two years ago and started the Filipino Curriculum Project.


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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