Maui News

Lihikai’s Cabanilla Named 2015 Outstanding Vice Principal

April 27, 2015, 1:59 PM HST
* Updated April 27, 2:48 PM
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The 2015 Outstanding Assistant Principal, Shannon Cabanilla of Lihikai El, center, with Complex Area Supt. Alvin Shima of Maui and HEMSAA's Naomi Matsuzaki.  Photo Credit: Oceanic Time Warner via state Department of Education.

The 2015 Outstanding Assistant Principal, Shannon Cabanilla of Lihikai El, center, with Complex Area Supt. Alvin Shima of Maui and HEMSAA’s Naomi Matsuzaki. Photo Credit: Oceanic Time Warner via state Department of Education.

By Maui Now Staff

Maui’s Shannon Cabanilla of Lihikai Elementary School on Maui was honored with the state Department of Education’s 2015 Outstanding Vice Principal Award during a recognition event held over the weekend.

Lihikai’s principal, Michael Pollock was among the elite list of seven district finalists for Hawaiʻi’s 2015 National Distinguished Principal award, which went to Haleiwa Elementary Principal Malaea Wetzel, who represents the Central Oʻahu District.

The award, which was issued as part of the National Distinguished Principals program, honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who “ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.”

District honorees (front row, from left): Deborah Nekomoto, Michael Pollock, Shelley Ferrara, Erik Burkman, Lorelei Aiwohi and state winner Malaea Wetzel. In back, district leaders, HEMSAA representatives and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi.  Photo Credit: Oceanic Time Warner via state Department of Education.

District honorees (front row, from left): Deborah Nekomoto, Michael Pollock, Shelley Ferrara, Erik Burkman, Lorelei Aiwohi and state winner Malaea Wetzel. In back, district leaders, HEMSAA representatives and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi. Photo Credit: Oceanic Time Warner via state Department of Education.

Other finalists for the award included: Lorelei Aiwohi, Kalakaua Middle (Honolulu District); Erik Burkman, Kalaheo Elementary (Kauaʻi District); Shelley Ferrara, Mauka Lani Elementary (Leeward District); and Deborah Nekomoto, Kapunahala Elementary (Windward District).

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Dr. John Brummel, Complex Area Superintendent for Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua, noted Haleiwa’s impressive student achievement gains under Wetzel’s leadership.  In a Department of Education press release he said, “In the four of the five years that she was principal, Haleiwa Elementary had the highest math scores in the state at an elementary school.  Malaea takes a team approach in making decisions based upon data. She is very effective in using data and knowing when to give kids extra support. It’s a mark of a great leader when you know how to use the resources that you have effectively.”

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The 2015 national event is scheduled to take place on Oct. 15 and 16 in Washington, DC.   The two-day event includes a reception at the US Department of State, opportunities to discuss issues facing education today, and an awards dinner.

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