Categorized | Education

Nationally recognized principal to be honored (Oct. 17)


Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School students, school officials and dignitaries will gather at an assembly 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17 to honor School Principal.

The assembly will take place in the school’s auditorium.

Joyce Iwashita

The assembly is being held days before Iwashita travels to Washington, D.C. where she will be honored Oct. 21 by the National Distinguished Principals Program.

Iwashita is among other principals from across the nation who will be honored.

“I congratulate Ms. Iwashita for this wonderful accomplishment and accolade. She has played a critical role in shaping Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School’s curriculum,” said Sen. Malama Solomon, who represents Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, Rural South Hilo and Hilo. “Ms. Iwashita has demonstrated her commitment to excellence in education and is very deserving of this recognition.”

In April, Iwashita was awarded Hawaii’s 2011 National Distinguished Principal. She was selected by committee through a process conducted by the Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA). Iwashita was one of seven nominees for the award.

Under Iwashita’s leadership, Kalanianaole School showed dramatic improvements in its student performance as measured by the Hawaii State Assessment.

From 2004 to 2010, the percentage of students testing proficient in reading rose from 38 percent to 62 percent. In math, it rose from 9 percent to 47 percent.

Iwashita is noted for her having the tenacity to make difficult decisions and for having the leadership skills to work collaboratively with her staff.

Established in 1984, the National Distinguished Principals Program honors exemplary elementary and middle school principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive in their early school years.

The National Distinguished Principals program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education.

Principal Joyce Iwashita and Gerald DeMello, director of university relations at University of Hawaii Hilo. (Photo courtesy of Kalanianaole School)

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