Maui News

King Kekaulike Principal Among Finalists for School Leadership Award

April 3, 2017, 2:16 PM HST
* Updated April 4, 6:47 AM
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(L to R): Island Insurance Foundation President Tyler Tokioka; Mark Elliott, King Kekaulike High School; Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Keith Hayashi.

Island Insurance Foundation recognized 14 outstanding Hawaiʻi public school principals nominated for its 13th Annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award during a ceremony on Saturday, April 1.

Among those nominated as a finalist was Maui’s King Kekaulike High School principal Mark Elliott.

Island Insurance Foundation President Tyler Tokioka presented each nominee with a $1,000 personal cash award.

 

The recipient of the annual award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

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The selected principal will receive $25,000: $15,000 designated for a school project of his or her choice and an additional $10,000 as a personal cash award. Two semifinalists will each receive a $2,000 personal cash award.

(L to R): Front row: Gay Kong, Keolu Elementary School, Oʻahu; Darlene Javar, Nāʻālehu Elementary School, Big Island; Debra Hatada, Kaʻimiloa Elementary School, Oʻahu; Marcy Kagami, Nimitz Elementary School, Oʻahu; Elynne Chung, Mililani Middle School, Oʻahu; Linell Dilwith, Stevenson Middle School, Oʻahu; Lisa Higa, Nānākuli Elementary School, Oʻahu. Back row: Derek Minakami, Kaneʻohe Elementary School, Oʻahu; Brendan Burns, ʻĀina Haina Elementary School, Oʻahu; Kelcy Koga, Waiakea High School, Big Island; Daniel Hamada, Kapaʻa High School, Kauaʻi; Troy Takazono, Waiau Elementary School, Oʻahu; Shawn Suzuki, Konawaena High School, Big Island; Mark Elliott, King Kekaulike High School, Maui.

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The 14 qualifying public school principals are:

· Brendan Burns, ʻĀina Haina Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Elynne Chung, Mililani Middle School, Oʻahu
· Linell Dilwith, Stevenson Middle School, Oʻahu
· Mark Elliott, King Kekaulike High School, Maui
· Daniel Hamada, Kapaʻa High School, Kauaʻi
· Debra Hatada, Kaʻimiloa Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Lisa Higa, Nānākuli Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Darlene Javar, Nāʻālehu Elementary School, Big Island
· Marcy Kagami, Nimitz Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Kelcy Koga, Waiākea High School, Big Island
· Gay Kong, Keolu Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Derek Minakami, Kaneʻohe Elementary School, Oʻahu
· Shawn Suzuki, Konawaena High School, Big Island
· Troy Takazono, Waiau Elementary School, Oʻahu

The award is named after Island Insurance founder, Masayuki Tokioka, an immigrant from Japan, who moved to Hawaiʻi at age 12 and graduated from McKinley High School in 1921. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a Master of Business Administration in international commerce from Harvard University in 1927.

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His business career spanned 70 years, during which he founded successful enterprises such as Island Insurance Company, Ltd., International Savings & Loan Association, Ltd. and National Mortgage & Finance Company, Ltd. Masayuki Tokioka was also a driving force in establishing many community-focused entities such as the Hawaiʻi Immigrant Preservation Center, Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation and the Japanese Cultural Centers in Hawaiʻi and San Francisco.

“My grandfather, Masayuki Tokioka, believed that education, integrity and hard work were the keys to success,” said Tyler Tokioka. “Everything that he achieved was only possible because the Hawaiʻi public school system provided him with the foundation to pursue unlimited opportunities. This is why we are so honored to be able to recognize these principals who give so much to their students and our community,” he added.

“In order to be a strong leader in today’s educational environment, public school principals must be dedicated, creative, community-minded and have an entrepreneurial spirit — all qualities my grandfather possessed. We hope that this award will showcase their leadership and inspire others to service in public education,” Tokioka added.

The award criteria is based on research done by the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the University of Washington regarding the impact of school leadership on learning environments. The study concluded that school and district leaders can advance powerful and equitable learning by establishing a focus on learning, building professional communities that value learning, engaging external environments that contribute to learning, acting strategically and sharing leadership, and managing improvement activities based on student performance data.

The 2016 award recipient was Mahina Anguay of Waimea High School on Kauaʻi. Anguay believes that a school has the responsibility to prepare each student to be college, career and community-ready after graduation.

She utilized the award monies to expand the school’s Summer Bridge Program for incoming ninth grade students, as well as fund on-campus Kauaʻi Community College partnerships and programs for each of the school’s five Career Technology Education pathways. In addition, Anguay plans to expand the school’s Early College course offerings, which enable students to graduate with up to 12 college course credits.

Special guests included Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Keith Hayashi and 12 complex area superintendents and their representatives, as well as Honolulu City Councilmembers Carol Fukunaga and Brandon Elefante, State Senators Breene Harimoto and Laura Thielen, and State Representatives Beth Fukumoto, Mark Hashem, Ken Ito and Nadine Nakamura.

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