Maui News

Maui Custodian Named 2018 HIDOE Employee of the Year

September 8, 2018, 1:28 PM HST
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HIDOE 2018 Employe of the Year, Francine Flores

Maui’s Francine Flores, a custodian at Maui’s King Kamehameha III Elementary School, was named HIDOE’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

For the past 32 years, education administrators say Flores has worked tirelessly to keep the grounds of King Kamehameha III Elementary School beautiful, safe and meticulously groomed. “Her ability to anticipate issues, combined with her self-starting nature, has produced solutions to potential problems before they develop. These traits have made her a consistent favorite among students, parents and staff. Her hard work and dedication have played a major role in making the King Kamehameha III Elementary campus stand out as an example for all schools,” administrators said.

The cafeteria staff at Kula Elementary School was honored with a Team Excellence Award of Merit.  The team includes: Kelsey Kahaleauki-Nobriga, Laura McLean and Lynne Yonamine.

The cafeteria staff at Kula Elementary School was also recognized.  They were honored with a Team Excellence Award of Merit.  The team includes: Kelsey Kahaleauki-Nobriga, Laura McLean and Lynne Yonamine.

“The success of our students is founded on the hard work and dedication of our employees and we want to take every opportunity to spotlight the great work that’s happening at our schools,” said Dr. Christina Kishimoto, HIDOE Superintendent. “From daily operations like school lunch preparation to our professional development trainings and multi-year plans, the work of our employees guide the progress of education in Hawaiʻi and these awards recognize only a small fraction of our collective efforts.”

The Windward District Academic Integration Team was named HIDOE’s 2018 Team of the Year.

The Windward District Academic Integration Team was named HIDOE’s 2018 Team of the Year. Over the last two school years, the Academic Integration Team facilitated several large Makerspace workshops to foster dynamic learning environments where students can innovate and engage in critical thinking lessons.


The team is comprised of six members: Jamie Kagami, Ryan Kagami, Trisha Kim, Melissa Mano, Janel Marr and Ryan Saito.


More than 100 teachers across the Windward District participated in these popular workshops. To help them bring this work back to their own classrooms, the team provided engineering and design-thinking posters, lesson ideas, and grant funding, so that each school was empowered to select and purchase supplies related to the activities that resonated with them. To reach a broader audience with their work, the team created a website,, which allows teachers to request items from a lending library and access videos of professional development highlights. The team also increased its social media presence with an Instagram account to document and share progress and to build awareness.

Flores and the Windward District Academic Integration Team will represent HIDOE in the upcoming annual Governor’s Awards ceremony for Distinguished State Service among distinguished awardees from other state departments.

Today’s event also recognized the outstanding efforts of the following HIDOE employees and teams:


Sustained Superior Performance Award

· Justin Carmichael, School Administrative Services Assistant, Ewa Makai Middle School

Team Excellence Award of Merit

· Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Resource Teacher Team
Liane Auyong-Imamura, Kristen Brummel, Jancie Dela Cruz, Jo Ann Eckert, Cindee Izuo, Cheryl Koito-Casison, Pamela Kohara, Lorriann Kondo, Joyce Luka, John Mulroy, Holly Polk, Cheryl Sato, Jamie Shioji, Hope Suzuki, Cam Tu Thi Trinh, Namie Wong

· Kapunahala Elem. Student Support Team
Alison Adams, Ayada Bonilla, Laurie Fujikawa, Reid Hasegawa, Ramona Kahawaii, Joli Kenney, Iris Kimura, Robyn McIntosh, Konnie McKeague, Cynthia Tamashiro

· Kula Elementary Cafeteria Staff
Kelsey Kahaleauki-Nobriga, Laura McLean, Lynne Yonamine

· Training & Development Section, Office of Talent Management
Michelle Lawson, James Lynch-Urbaniak, Kevin Okazaki, Joy Okimoto, Brian Sims, Soo Boo Tan, Shelly Ueda

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