Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 8


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes school visits and Pearl City High’s Teaching as a Profession program students' inaugural Dive into Education conference.

Nov. 8

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.

In recent weeks I've enjoyed resuming school visits to meet with principals, teachers, students and school teams across the state. I'm always so inspired when I get to see the incredible work happening in our schools and the impact it's having on students who are engaged and invested in their learning and future. It's also been great to see how schools are embracing Ne‘epapa to further our strategic goals.

Dive into Education Conference

Pearl City High’s Teaching as a Profession program students hosted the inaugural “Dive into Education” conference where more than 100 high school students considering a career in teaching gathered at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu. Not only was this an event for students organized by students, but an opportunity for like-minded peers to mingle, consider local higher education options and learn more about what it takes to be a teacher. Like Pearl City High Principal Joseph Halfmann stated, these students are “going to be the problem solvers and part of the solutions for the future.” It’s motivating to hear from our students who want to be teachers and give back to their school communities.


A big mahalo to the students from Pearl City High’s Teaching as a Profession program for organizing this event with support from the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, Hawai‘i Education Association and Educators Rising!


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

Kanoelani Elementary

» Thank you to our Student Council for volunteering their time before school to collect coins to help our schools in Maui that have been affected by the recent wildfires. Also a big THANK YOU to all of the students and families that donated all of their extra coins, it all added up to make a difference.

Hawai‘i State Student Council

» Yesterday, students from all over the state came together at Moanalua High for a driver education and traffic safety workshop. 🚗💡 An inspiring day filled with ideas to pave the way for safer roads in our communities. 🛣️👫 #SafetyFirst #CommunityUnity

Nānākuli Elementary

» Students from Nānākuli Elementary’s Kaiapuni Hawaiian Language Immersion Program nurtured and distributed 200 ulu tree saplings to their community: Our Ulu Tree Giveaway event was a success! Mahalo to our Ohanas who came out to support our efforts!

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 sampling found no lead or arsenic. Stay tuned for results from the next round of samples.

Red Flag Warning
Lāhainā public schools were closed to students and staff on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, out of an abundance of caution. The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for all islands through 6 p.m. Monday. A high wind advisory was also in effect for the eastern part of the state. Schools have emergency preparedness plans in place and the Department continues to work closely with state and county emergency officials to monitor situations like this.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Awards $53.7 million contract
The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers announced that it has awarded a $53.7 million base contract to Pono Aina Management, LLC, an 8(a) Native Hawaiian Organization, to construct the temporary replacement campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary. The temporary school will accommodate students and staff displaced from their campus by the Aug. 8 wildfires. Read their full release here.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • Military Family Appreciation Month
  • Nov. 10 - Veterans Day

Community Query

We asked on Instagram

When using a safe deposit box at the local bank, what is true?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Congratulations to the Maui High School Marching Band for capturing first place in the 4A Division at the Western Bands Association Conquistador Classic marching band competition in Chino, California on Saturday, Nov. 4.

» Students at Waikīkī Elementary School on O‘ahu share some tips on how to improve safety at recess – particularly measures you can take to avoid those pesky dodge balls – in this HIKI NŌ on PBS Hawai‘i story. What was your favorite way to enjoy recess?

» More than 1,300 high school freshmen explored career opportunities at the Oct. 27 West O‘ahu Student Career Expo, presented by the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Kamehameha Schools, HIDOE, and UH West O‘ahu.


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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The Department's primary publication featuring successes across our public schools.

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