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Hayashi named state schools superintendent

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Keith Hayashi, Interim Superintendent, Hawaiʻi Department of Education. PC: Office of Gov. David Ige. (12.20.21)

Keith Hayashi, a former state public schools principal of the year, has been chosen to become the permanent state superintendent of the Hawaii Department of Education.

Hayashi, who once served as principal at Waipahu High School, was also a former complex area superintendent for the Pearl City – Waipahu Complex Area.

In 2014, he was Hawaiʻi High School Principal of the Year and in 2013, he was recognized with the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Hayashi is a graduate of Kaimuki High School. He earned a bachelor and two masters of education degrees (educational administration, and curriculum and instruction) from the University of Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaiʻi State Board of Education on Thursday voted 8-1 to hire Hayashi to lead Hawaiʻi’s public schools as superintendent for a term to begin July 1, 2022.

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Hayashi, who was tapped from his position as principal of Waipahu High School to serve as interim superintendent on Aug, 1, 2021, was one of three finalists for the permanent position.

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The others were Darrel Galera, former long-time principal of Moanalua High School, and Caprice Young, former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education.

“This means a great deal. I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead our public schools in Hawaiʻi. I know that all of us, working together, will make a difference in the lives of each and every one of our students,” Hayashi told Board members following the vote.

Hayashi served as principal of Waipahu High since 2009 and previously served as interim deputy state superintendent from March–June 2017 and as interim state superintendent in July 2017.

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As a principal Hayashi was most recognized for transforming Waipahu High into the state’s leading college and career high school as the first wall-to-wall national model academy high school.

Under Hayashi’s leadership, the school also implemented the state’s first Early College program, resulting to date in over 3,000 Waipahu High students earning college credits and nearly 50 students earning associate’s degrees while still in high school.

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