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Kauai News

Keith Hayashi Officially Named DOE Superintendent

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Keith Hayashi, the interim Department of Education superintendent, was selected by the Board of Education to officially serve in the top post.

Hayashi’s appointment will go into effect on July 1. He was selected by the board late Thursday evening 8 votes to 1.

“Keith has proven himself to be a capable leader and someone who possesses the skillsets needed to effectively lead the DOE moving forward, Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani, Disrict 18 and chair of the Senate Committee on Education, said in a statement Saturday. “As a former teacher, principal, complex area superintendent and interim deputy state superintendent, Keith intimately knows the needs of our students and teachers.”

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Hawai‘i News Now reported that the meeting where the new leader was selected lasted several hours.

“I look forward to working together with the board and creating a robust strategic plan to help move schools forward working with everyone and pledge commitment to education dialogue in support of students,” Hayashi told the media outlet. “This means a great deal I’m honored to have opportunity to lead schools public schools in Hawaii. I know all of us together will make a difference in the lives of our students.”

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, according to the DOE. 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.

Kidani said she has a great working relationship with Hayashi.

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“During his most recent tenure as the interim-superintendent, I worked closely with him on DOE-related matters that came before the Legislature and found him to be highly qualified and extremely passionate about providing our keiki with the best educational opportunities,” she said. “His transparency and willingness to collaborate with stakeholders will be a key asset during his tenure.”

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