Ho’oha’aheo Newsletter, Nov. 23 – Hawaii DOE | Team Cansler

Editorial assignment: As the principal publication of the Ministry, we seek to honor the importance of ha’aheo—to cherish with pride—by nurturing and maintaining pride in public education and celebrating achievements throughout our system.

While we all take time to reflect and appreciate what we are grateful for, I would like to express my appreciation for the unwavering commitment of our principals, teachers and staff throughout the department. I genuinely appreciate everything you do every day to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students and schools.

I am also grateful to our students and their families for valuing public education and engaging with their respective school communities. And I’m grateful for our business, government, community and philanthropic partners who actively support our schools in so many ways. They all really exemplify ne’epapa, our theme of working together in unity with a common goal. On behalf of the Hawai’i State Department of Education, I offer you all my warmest wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

This holiday weekend, we’re also cheering on our student athletes! Public schools in all four counties are represented in the upcoming 2022 Hawai’i High School Athletic Association First Hawaiian Bank Football State Championships. On Friday, Kahuku High and Punahou will vie for the Open Division Championship. On Saturday, King Kekaulike and Waimea High will compete for the Division II Championship, along with Waipahu and Konawaena High’s Division I Championship duel.

The National Career Academy Coalition’s announcement last week inadvertently omitted three of James Campbell High’s academies. The school received national model status for both its Academy of Public and Human Services and its Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Campbell’s Freshman Success Academy has been awarded Distinction Status by the National Model Academy. Congratulations to Campbell High and Principal Jon Henry Lee on your well-deserved national recognition.

We asked some special guests from the Hilo-Waiākea Complex area to complete the following sentence.

“The best way I can express my gratitude is to __________.”

… show and demonstrate appreciation for those I meet every day. Whether it’s thanking a school administrator for creating a welcoming school environment or joining the administration in opening car doors and greeting students, an appreciation is never too small to express gratitude.”

Esther Kanehailua is a product of the schools she attends today in the Hilo Waiākea Complex, having attended EB deSilva Elementary, Hilo Intermediate and Hilo High School. She was appointed superintendent of the complex in July 2019. Esther began her educational journey 31 years ago, first as a teacher before serving as an assistant principal and principal in various schools on the island of Hawaii. In July 2021, she was named ASC WASC Commissioner representing the Hawaii Department of Education.

…to pause and appreciate the wonderful opportunities and experiences that life has given me. I am so grateful for a career path that has given me so many opportunities to grow as an individual and to work with inspiring educators who genuinely believe that we are doing a good job and that our students are consistently at the center of all decisions.”

Corinne Kalani has worked in the Hilo-Waiākea Complex area for over 30 years, most recently as the induction program coordinator supporting new educators and their school-level mentors. She continues to be fueled by the enthusiasm of new educators and is grateful for mentors who share their knowledge to encourage our teachers’ growth.

… taking time to notice and pay attention to the many achievements, no matter how large or small, that our students, teachers and parents demonstrate and share. Happy Holidays!”

Bert Bibilone has been at the Hilo Waiākea Complex for 30 years. He enjoys learning with students with autism spectrum disorders and has been a special education teacher, autism counselor, and is currently a District Autism Education Specialist.

In celebration of Thanksgiving tomorrow, we’re ending our gratitude series by focusing on expressing gratitude.

Expressing gratitude is about more than courtesy, manners, or politeness, it’s about showing your sincere appreciation. When thanking someone, also practice the first two steps of gratitude: you noticed something good and really appreciated it.

You can show appreciation for someone who has done something good by saying thank you, writing a letter, or expressing gratitude by making a kind gesture. True gratitude is about feeling good and passing it on.

Important dates etc
Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 24 – Holiday: Thanksgiving
  • November 25 – school holidays

Q: What are you most grateful for this year?

CDC COVID-19 Community Stages

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels are a tool to help make mitigation strategy decisions based on community classification levels of low, medium, or high. At medium or high levels, additional multi-layered strategies such as masking are recommended.
Weekly CDC COVID Community Levels from Hawaii DOH

A summary of Announcements, Resources, and Reputations.


Keith Hayashi


Heidi Armstrong

Deputy Superintendent

Curt Otaguro

Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari Chun

Deputy Superintendent


sean bacon


talent management

Brian Hallett

Tax Services

Annie Kalama


Student Support Services

Randall Tanaka

facilities and operations

Christine Shaw


Information Technology Services

Cara Tanimura


Strategy, Innovation and Performance

Teri Ushijima


Curriculum and lesson design

Nanea Kalani


Chanel Honda


Sara Miyazono
creative director

Derek Inoshita

Contributing Author

Krislyn Yano

Contributing Author

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