Maui and Molokai Principals are Finalists for $25,000 Leadership Award
By Wendy Osher
Two Maui County principals were selected as finalists for the $25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Awards. Susan Alivado of Paia Elementary in Pukalani and Joe Yamamoto of Maunaloa Elementary on Molokai are among 11 public school principals across Hawai’i that are still in the running. They were selected for their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students.
The award is named after Island Insurance founder Masayuki Tokioka and is underwritten by the Island Insurance Foundation. The $25,000 award includes $15,000 for a school project, and $10,000 as a personal cash prize.
Alivado, from Paia Elementary School, served as principal for six years. She developed a number of new initiatives designed to help facilitate the academic, cultural and organizational growth of the school.
“As a principal for a dual language elementary school, Principal Alivado has established a positive working relationship with members of the PTA, community and Na Leo Kako’o (NLK), the parent organization for the Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiian Immersion education on Maui,” said Sheri-Ann Daniels, NLK Pelekikena and co-PTA President. “She is open to creating an environment for learning and developing activities that improve the student’s abilities to engage, experience and communicate,” said Daniels.
Yamamoto has been principal of Maunaloa Elementary School in Kaunakakai, Molokai for more than 12 years. During that time, he set goals to improve student achievement, attendance, behavior and parent and community involvement.
“Principal Yamamoto has a wonderful rapport with the children,” said Wendy Espaniola, Teacher at Maunaloa School. “He strives to support their needs by making sure we have the proper resources and services, professional development, and time, to continuously build a learning environment that not only meets student needs but also challenges learning,” she said.
The winner will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner on April 29th in Honolulu.