Board appoints Oahu director as interim superintendent | News, sports, jobs

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The Maui News

Waipahu High School headmaster Keith Hayashi has been appointed interim superintendent of the state education department and will begin his term no later than August 1, the department said.

The state education committee voted in favor of Hayashi’s appointment Thursday, with outgoing superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract expiring in late July.

“I feel humble and honored to have been chosen to lead our public school system during this transition.” Hayashi said Thursday afternoon. “This is such a critical time for the department and I am committed to liaising with our schools, complex departments, and state office heads to ensure we are well prepared for the coming school year.”

Hayashi added that “Out of respect for Superintendent Kishimoto and the transition process, I will not be discussing future action in detail at this point.”

With COVID-19 cases stabilizing and vaccines available to children 12 and older, the DOE announced in May that it plans to reopen public schools for daily, face-to-face learning next school year. On Thursday, Hayashi said he was focused on making sure that “smooth transition” for students.

“I think it’s important for me to reach out to the schools and get in touch with them and see where everyone is,” said he said. “When I talk to my colleagues, I know that everyone wants to open up personally when I talk to other school principals. So at this point we try to put our best effort into making a smooth transition to personal learning for our students. “

He also said he wanted to tackle Neighbor Island’s school challenges, pointing out that Waipahu is part of the Hawaii Academies, a group of school officials from across the state who work closely on local issues.

“What is really wonderful is that when we all come together, leaders from every island, you know that we can share some of our challenges as well as our successes.” said Hayashi. “As a collaboration, we learn from each other and advance our school concepts and our school efforts.”

Hayashi, a 56-year-old alum from Kaimuki High School, confirmed that he would like to apply for the permanent position.

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