Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Oct. 4


Our weekly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes the announcement of the 2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year and recognizing National Principals Month.

Oct. 4

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: The newsletter will be taking a publication recess over fall break and resume weekly editions on Oct. 18.

Aloha, HIDOE Community – 

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

2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year
Yesterday I was honored to name our 2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year, Leilehua High's Jackie Freitas, from among our complex area and public charter school teachers of the year finalists! Jackie is a prime example of a teacher leader in our state. It’s clear that her passion, dedication and innovative teaching methods have made a difference for our students, fellow educators and her school community. I wish her all the best as she proudly represents Hawai‘i in the National Teacher of the Year program.

National Principals Month
The National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the American Federation of School Administrators recognizes October as National Principals Month. Please join me in thanking principals for their hard work in leading our schools and recognizing the significant impact they make on the success and well-being of our students!


Social media highlights of schools and staff in their efforts to help, support and bolster the West Maui school community. Use the #HIPublicSchoolsProud hashtag for a chance to be featured!

Parents for Public Schools Hawai‘i

» Thank you to all the kids who've come out to make cards for Lāhainā!

Kailua Intermediate

» Please help Kailua Intermediate collect new and gently used costumes in all sizes for the keiki (all ages) of Maui who were displaced.

Hawai‘i State Teachers of the Year

» Our 2023 and 2022 Hawai‘i State Teachers of the Year celebrated the announcement of the 2024 winner! We love to see teachers uplifting teachers! #HIPublicSchoolsProud

2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year

“I just love what I do… but everything I do is for my students,” said Freitas, who was surprised by the recognition. “The students give me the passion, my family is there to back up everything I do. This is a very rewarding experience... This is not what I was expecting at all.”

– Jackie Freitas, 2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year

Rewatch the 2024 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year ceremony, and our special video highlighting all of the finalists.

West Maui Updates

In a report before the Board of Education's Oct. 4, 2023 special meeting, Superintendent Keith Hayashi and Deputy Superintendent Tammi Oyadomari-Chun provided an update on the reopening of Lāhainā schools.

Highlights include:
  • Lāhainā staff and students are still set to return to their respective campuses after Fall Break.
  • A health and safety guidance will be released before staff go back to the campuses.
  • Air, water and soil testing has been completed and cleared safe by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health.
  • Mental health support for employees and students will be available in-person and virtually.
  • 99.9% of contact has been achieved with students who are “pre-registered” for Lāhainā schools.
  • Maui ‘Ohana Resource Fair to be held on Oct. 12 at The Westin in Ka‘anapali for Maui families.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • National Principals Month
  • Bullying Prevention Month
  • National Arts & Humanities Month
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • Oct. 6 - End of First Quarter
  • Oct. 9-13 - Fall Break

Community Query

Did you know the answer to this grade 4 Smarter Balanced mathematics question? 70% of participants on Instagram answered correctly.

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Highlands Intermediate teachers are holding up links created by students for Mr. William Ching’s Aloha Links for Lāhainā project that empowers students to take action through a simple act of kindness. Learn more about the project and how other students can get involved.

» Students from Pearl City High’s Fashion and Artisan Design program collaborated with island sportswear company Tori Richard on a unique, custom aloha shirt which incorporates Hawaiian culture and the history of their beloved campus.

» The Lāhaināluna High football team returned to the field for the first time since the wildfires in an emotional 42-0 win over Baldwin High at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.


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

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Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


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