Less than two months later on April 28, Principal Alaiasa was named the most outstanding middle-school principal by Hawaii’s National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). And this past summer, the NASSP selected Alaiasa as one of three finalists for the national award, 2014 Middle Level Principal of the Year. And on August 29, she took the top prize. In a surprise student assembly event, Alaiasa was awarded the prestigious recognition by NASSP and MetLife representatives, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and area lawmakers.
“Principal Alaiasa is a role model for her staff and students,” noted Superintendent Matayoshi. “She demonstrates what can be done when you believe in your school community, set high goals and put in the work to accomplish them.”
Since Principal Alaiasa’s arrival to the school in 2008, she has been credited with meaningfully engaging parents and creating personalized learning environments for students, which have led to King Intermediate shedding its reputation for poor academics and disorder. The Department of Education’s Strive HI Award in March recognized the school for its extraordinary academic turnaround as one of only seven schools in Hawaii to close the achievement gap.
“It was a joint effort and it’s an incredible honor,” Alaiasa said. “With the support of (Complex Area Superintendent Lea) Mrs. Albert, who mentored me and encouraged me to take risks, we make decisions here based on the needs of students, teachers and the community.”