Hoʻokele: Developing Leaders in Public School Education

Hoʻokele: Developing Leaders in Public School Education

Kamehameha Schools’ Hoʻokele Leadership Program intends to help DOE schools in the Maui County to navigate their way through education with a sense of place. This process includes building relationships among themselves, their students and Hawaiʻi’s past.

Hoʻokele: Developing Leaders in Public School Education

The windy roads on Maui’s East coast pave a way to the beautiful little town of Hāna.

As the sun’s rays shined upon this warm and welcoming land, Hāna School became a perfect gathering place for Maui County DOE administrators to collaborate on improving leadership in their public schools.

“Where they may be similar, Hana is not the same place as Lanaʻi, and it’s not the same place as Lahaina nor Molokaʻi, so they’re all very unique and so those administrators understand the uniqueness of their ʻāina, of their location, which is the community and their students,” says Lindsay Ball, who is the DOE Superintendent for the Hāna, Lahainaluna, Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi Complex Area.

A focus on place-based education is a commitment shared by the Kamehameha Schools, who implemented the Hoʻokele Leadership Program to address these needs for DOE administrators.

The core of this program is for these administrators to recognize that a part of their leadership roles involve looking to our past for guidance and implementing cultural values relevant to today’s 21st century education.

“Hoʻokele in Hawaiian it’s about the navigator being able to chart a course for the future or in the case of navigation, chart a course from one place to another and a destination to another, and in our case, it’s trying to train school leaders in the DOE to be able to chart that course so they best service the needs of Hawaiian children,” says Dr. Walter Kahumoku III, Director of Kauhale Kīpaipai.

“I’m grateful, we’re all grateful to Kamehameha Schools and the partnership with the DOE who are providing the opportunity for us to build a system together as we move along and move forward,” says Schools Renewal Specialist of Hāna and Lahaina, Melanie Coates.

And Aaron Mersberg, who is the Educational Program Manager for Kauhale Kīpaipai, couldn’t be more excited. “I think the exciting part of the evolution of Kamehameha Schools in its mission in serving those whom Pauahi wanted us to serve is recognizing the fact that while she started off wanting to create an organization that could do that by itself we recognize that today in and of ourselves we are not able to do that.”

“There’s that really sense that we’re all in this together, we’re all in this canoe together 032543 and we’re doing the common work because we all came in to education with similar vision, values and things that drove us to kind of improving the system,” says Melanie.

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