Categorized | Education

Abercrombie appoints Horner to fill BOE vacancy


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has made his first appointment to the Board of Education (BOE) announcing Don Horner will fill the vacant O‘ahu-at-Large seat.

“Don Horner has the skills and experience to oversee an organization as complex and large as Hawaii’s public schools system,” Abercrombie said. “We are looking for people to serve on the Board of Education who are committed to Hawaii’s students and who can help bring fundamental change. Mr. Horner and future BOE appointees will work together with Superintendent Kathy Matayoshi and the Department of Education to bring about a New Day in public education in Hawaii.”

Horner, who has been recognized for his vast community service, is the board chairman and chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank.

In 2009, he chaired the State Legislature’s Reinventing Government Task Force that examined various government agencies, including the Department of Education (DOE). He was vice chairman of the DOE’s Interagency Working Group that implemented Act 51’s legislation and served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

“I am honored and humbled by the Governor’s confidence, support, and our shared commitment to education,” Horner said. “Gov. Abercrombie and I have high expectations for our schools. My priority will be to provide strategic support and a clear vision for our dedicated DOE employees, our students, and their parents.”

Horner serves on the board of trustees of Iolani School, and is a trustee-emeritus of Mid-Pacific Institute. He has served on the Advisory Council for both the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Shidler College of Business and the School of Nursing. Horner has also taught courses in finance at UH.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Horner fills the vacancy left by Lei Ahu Isa, Ph.D., an Oahu at-large member, who resigned Jan. 25. According to state law, the Governor appoints a replacement when there is a vacancy on the BOE. Horner’s appointment is effective immediately.

In November 2010, Hawaii voters approved a Constitutional Amendment that gives the governor the authority to appoint members of the BOE. Abercrombie is encouraged that the State Legislature has been moving expeditiously to establish the appointment process for BOE members. When that legislative process is complete, Abercrombie intends to name Horner among his first appointments.

BOE members oversee the Department of Education, which has a $1.7 billion operational budget. The DOE is one of the state’s largest organizations with more employees than the state’s five largest private sector employers combined.

Abercrombie is looking for talented and dedicated leaders who care about our children’s education and the future of Hawaii. He will appoint individuals with skills, talent and experience amenable to leading an organization as large, complex, and diverse as the DOE.

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