[Click on the image to the right for a video message from Gov. Abercrombie.]
The future of Hawaii depends on the success of our public schools.
This week, I appointed nine people to the Board of Education. The Board oversees our Department of Education and holds responsibility for the education of more than one hundred and seventy five thousand children in over 250 schools around our state.
Once confirmed by the state senate, this group of individuals becomes your school board—unified by enthusiastic optimism, a passion for public education, and a commitment to the children and families of Hawaii. The task before them is to make fundamental changes that will improve outcomes for our children and our community, and most importantly increase public confidence in our schools.
The new board represents the diversity of Hawaii in the most important ways: they are leaders in a range of professions, they have served on multiple boards, they are public school parents and alumni, and they have made contributions to many educational improvement initiatives.
My administration will work collaboratively with the board and the Superintendent to put children first. They will partner with Superintendent’s based on their diverse experiences and serve the public interest and our students statewide.
They will promote innovation and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in life — whatever their calling.
The voters of Hawaii called for a new direction in public education, and we will do everything we can to uphold their faith and trust. I am confident the board I have selected is ready to meet the challenges of public education — the most important obligation we have — preparing our children for their future and the future of Hawaii.
Meet your new Board of Education:
Maui: Wesley Lo is the Chief Executive Officer at Maui Memorial Medical Center. He previously worked as the Maui County Finance Director and the Chief Financial Officer of Maui Memorial Medical Center. His children attend Baldwin High School and Pomaikai Elementary. Lo’s wife is a counselor at Maui High School. His appointment is for a three-year term.
Hawaii: Brian DeLima is an Attorney in Private Practice. He is a former Hawai’i County council member. DeLima is a graduate of Hilo High School and in 1972 he served as the first student BOE member. His daughter, who has special needs, attends Hilo Intermediate School. DeLima’s appointment is for a two-year term.
Kauai: Nancy Budd is an Attorney in Private Practice. She has been involved in public education as a past director and president of the Kauai District Parent Teacher Student Association and the King Kaumualii Elementary School PTA. She is a reading tutor at Wilcox Elementary School. Budd’s daughter graduated from Kaua’i High School. Her appointment is for a one-year term.
O’ahu: Jim Williams is retired Administrator and CEO of the Hawaii Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF). Currently, he is the Vice-chair of Voyager Public Charter School, and previously served as President and CEO of Royal State Learning Foundation; Interim Director and President of the Hawai’i State Teachers Association; and teacher at Kauanakakai Elementary School and Moloka’i High School. Williams’ appointment is for a three-year term.
O’ahu: Charlene Cuaresma is the Associate Director of the Graduate Professional Access Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She is also the Community Director of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training. Cuaresma, a Waipahu High School graduate, is active in many Filipino community initiatives. Cuaresma’s appointment is for a two-year term.
O’ahu: Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui is the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Oahu. She has served on the boards of Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s Hawaiian Resource Advisory Board; the Center for Asian Pacific American Women; and Aloha United Way. Lupenui’s appointment is for a one-year term.
At-large: Keith Amemiya is 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. Amemiya served on a number of boards including the Honolulu Firefighters Foundation, Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Susannah Wesley Community Center, and The Learning Coalition. His appointment is for a one-year term.
At-large: Kim Gennaula is a Philanthropy Director at Kapiolani Health Foundation. She is a former news anchor and previously worked as Communications Director for Liberty House and Sharper Image. Her two children attend Hokulani Elementary School, and she has been a member of an advisor board to the Superintendent. Gennaula’s appointment is for a two-year term.
At-large and Chairman: Don Horner is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of First Hawaiian Bank. Horner’s appointment is for a three-year term.