The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association’s Board of Directors on Saturday, May 14 approved hiring veteran Hawaii teacher, administrator, union and student advocate Ann Mahi as the HSTA’s next executive director.
Mahi plans to begin the job on Aug. 1, replacing Wilbert Holck who is retiring after more than 31 years at HSTA.
Mahi will oversee HSTA’s staff of 44 employees on four islands and the union’s annual $12 million operating budget.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ann Mahi for many years and she’s always been a passionate and tireless advocate for the keiki of Hawaii and will serve HSTA well with her extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Hawaii State Department of Education,” said HSTA President Osa Tui Jr.
Mahi’s extensive HIDOE career includes teaching and administration.
Mahi started her career as a 9th-grade guidance teacher at Waianae High in 1976, and also taught social studies and other subjects and moved into school administration in 1991 by stepping into the role of vice principal at Heeia Elementary School.
She next spent three years as principal at Kailua Elementary, seven years as state educational director at the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support, and four years as principal at Roosevelt High. She then spent a year as complex area superintendent for the Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area. She retired from the HIDOE in 2020 after eight years as complex area superintendent for the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area and 42 years in the public school system.
“I understand how to navigate through a lot of those different issues that come up from personnel to facilities to budget and academic issues that impact our teachers and their ability to provide excellent learning opportunities for our haumana,”A veteran of many leadership positions in the HIDOE, Mahi said,
From 1991 to 2009, Mahi was an elected leader of the Hawaii Government Employees Association’s Unit 6, which represents principals, vice principals, athletic directors and other HIDOE administrators. She served as a board director before becoming the first woman to be elected president of Unit 6 Board of Directors since its inception in 1971 and also served as the vice president of the state HGEA Board of Directors.
In recent years, Mahi worked at the Legislature, served on various community boards.