Maui News

St. Anthony School Announces David Kenney as New Head of School

June 15, 2021, 8:18 AM HST
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St. Anthony School. Courtesy photo.

The St. Anthony School Board of Directors today announced their selection of David Kenny as new Head of School. The selection was made after a nationwide search, which was narrowed to four semifinalist candidates who advanced through an interview and vetting process.

New St. Anthony School Head of School, David Kenney. Courtesy photo.

Two finalists were identified from those activities and recently completed individual day-long on-campus visits with constituents and stakeholders representing the school and parish communities.

“We are delighted to share that the search committee, school board, current pastor, Fr. Roland Bunda, incoming pastor, and Vicar Forane, Rev. Msgr. Terrence A.M. Watanabe have all approved David Kenney as our next Head of School,” according to a school announcement.

Jeanne Unemori Skog, Chairperson of the St. Anthony School Board and the search committee, said, “We look forward to the leadership and value David will bring as our new Head of School. His demonstrated success in education will ensure that SAS will continue its current momentum and growth mindset in providing a quality experience to Maui’s families.”

Fr. Bunda also commented, “We are blessed to have David Kenney as our new Head of School. He brings a wealth of experiences within our Catholic tradition and mission. Let us pray for him as he continues to uphold the Marianist legacy of St. Anthony School and Parish.”

St. Anthony School. Courtesy photo.
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The search committee pointed toward Kenny’s “strong, humble, Christ-centered” leadership, saying he has extensive education and executive experience. The committee said they are hopeful that Kenney will “passionately and strategically advance the mission and vision of St. Anthony School.”

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Kenney is currently concluding his fifth year as a District Educational Specialist with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education-Maui District. Throughout his nearly 30 years in education, Kenney has served in various administrative roles, including school psychologist, early childhood coordinator, and district-wide executive leadership roles. “As a data-driven, student-centered leader,” school administrators say Kenney is “known for building curricular programs of excellence and strengthening academic outcomes.”

Kenney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In addition, he has completed coursework related to School Finance and Business Administration, Selection and Development of Educational Personnel, Legal Aspects of School Administration, and Human Concerns in Schools.

Upon being appointed, Kenney said, “I am truly honored and humbled for the opportunity to lead St. Anthony School. St. Anthony has a rich deep history of providing excellent academic experiences rooted in Catholic values emphasizing ‘ohana, friendship, integrity, faith, and generosity. As demonstrated by the teachers, parents, alumni, and greater St. Anthony’s community I have met so far, the level of passion for the school has been most remarkable and impressive. I look forward to meeting the entire school ‘ohana in the coming weeks and school year. It’s an exciting time to be joining the school. As we begin the school’s 138th year of service, long-planned capital projects are coming to fruition. I am also looking forward to fostering a greater connection between the school and the parish, alumni, and the Maui community. I am excited to be working in partnership with the entire school and parish constituencies to that end.”

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In this role as Head of School, Kenney will serve as the school leader. He will be responsible for implementing the school mission, Catholic identity, academic excellence, and all other aspects of the school’s business operations. He will be directly responsible for partnering with the Board to continue and build upon the Strategic Plan to support the vision of SAS, ensuring for sufficient resources, sound fiscal management, and financial stability of the school through direct oversight of the business operations, development, alumni, and community relations and enrollment management activities.

In partnership with Msgr. Watanabe, they will both serve as the visible and engaged public faces of the St. Anthony School community in attending to the external affairs of the school.

Msgr. Watanabe said, “as the incoming Pastor of St. Anthony Church and School, I am pleased to welcome David Kenney as the new Head of School. I believe that the School Board and Search Committee has done a great job selecting the right person for this job at this time. David is already participating in the life of the parish through his ministry of music in playing the organ for the 7 a.m. Mass every Sunday, and I look forward to his presence on our team that will bring greater unity and strength to St. Anthony Church and School. He is a man of faith, care, and concern and has the educational background to direct and support the growth of faith and knowledge of the youth who come through our doors. We are very blessed to be St. Anthony from preschool to 12th Grade. I look forward to being with all of you in July.”

Kenney begins serving as Head of School on July 12, 2021.

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