Wes Lo of Maui Among 9 BOE Appointees
By Wendy Osher
Governor Neil Abercrombie today named Wes Lo as the Maui Representative on the newly appointed Board of Education (BOE).
Lo is the CEO at the Maui Memorial Medical Center, and previously worked as the Finance Director for the County of Maui. His appointment is for a three year term, and like the other appointed members, is still subject to Senate confirmation.
In announcing his BOE selections today, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said, “I was encouraged by the number of quality people who applied to serve on the BOE, all who were ready to commit themselves to a new day in education.”
The newly announced board is the first to be appointed since voters approved of a Constitutional Amendment in November 2010 which does away with the previous process of electing board members.
Calling education one of his highest priorities, the Governor said, “ Hawai’i depends on the success of our public schools and these individuals have stepped up to take responsibility for increasing public confidence in our schools and fundamental change to improve outcomes for children and our community.”
The nine member board consists of three members from O’ahu, three at-large members, and one member each from Hawai’i Island, Maui and Kaua’i.
The Hawaii Island member is Brian DeLima, an attorney in private practice and former Hawaii County Council Member. His history with the BOE dates back to 1972 when he served as the Board’s first student member. DeLima has a daughter with special needs who currently attends Hilo Intermediate School. His appointment is for a two-year term.
From Kauai, Gov. Abercrombie selected Nancy Budd to represent the Garden Isle. Budd is an attorney in private practice and a member of the Kauai Planning and Action Alliance Public Education Action Team. Budd also serves as Director and President of the Kauai District Parent Teacher Student Association and is a reading tutor at Wilcox Elementary School. Her appointment is for a one-year term.
Gov. Abercrombie named Jim Williams, Charlene Cuaresma and Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui as O’ahu Board members with staggered terms.
Williams, a retired administrator and CEO of the Hawaii Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF), was appointed to a three-year term. He currently serves as the vice-chair of Voyager Public Charter School, and previously served interim director and President of the Hawai’i State Teachers Association.
Cuaresma is the Associate Director of the Graduate Professional Access Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her term is for two years.
Lupenui is the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Oahu and has served on a variety of boards including the Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s Hawaiian Resource Advisory Board, the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, and Aloha United Way.
The three at-large appointments include Keith Amemiya, Kim Gennaula, and Don Horner.
Amemiya currently serves as the Executive Administrator and Secretary of the Board of Regents at the University of Hawai’i. He is the former Executive Director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. His appointment is for one-year.
Gennaula is a Philanthropy Director at Kapiolani Health Foundation and former news anchor. Her appointment is for two years.
Horner is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of First Hawaiian Bank. Horner was named to the BOE in February to fill a vacancy. Today, he was appointed as the new Chairman of the board.
BOE members will be tasked with overseeing the Department of Education (DOE) and its $1.7 billion operational budget.
The Governor received more than 150 applications for the BOE. All appointments are subject to confirmation by both the state Senate’s Education Committee and the full Senate.
*** Supporting information courtesy, Office of the Governor.