Categorized | Education

BOE welcomes student member Honda


Danicia Honda, an accomplished Pearl City High School senior, is the Hawaii State Board of Education’s incoming student representative for school year 2012-13.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald presided over Honda’s special swearing-in ceremony at Tuesday’s BOE meeting.

“On behalf of the Board, I’m pleased to welcome Danicia,” said BOE Chairman Don Horner. “We are excited to have her on the Board, and confident that her insights will help all of us make the best decisions to increase student achievement.”

“The Board also extends its fond mahalo to outgoing student member Angelica Wai Sam Lao for her valuable contributions in the past year. We sincerely appreciate her commitment to public service as the student member and wish her continued success ahead.”

Since 1988, the Hawaii State Student Council has been responsible for the selection process of a non-voting BOE student representative. In 2011, Act 5 was signed into law, establishing a governor-appointed BOE that continues to include a student member.

HSSC developed a new, three-tiered selection process – school, district, state – that drew candidates from all 44 high schools.

In April, a State Level Selection Committee comprised of HSSC Chairperson Keagan Sakai-Kawada, HSSC Vice Chairperson Natalie Strauss, BOE Chairman Horner, 2011-12 BOE student representative Lao, and DOE Student Activities Coordinator Susan Sato, who also serves as the HSSC advisor, convened to review and interview all district candidates.

The State Level Selection Committee interviewed the semifinalist sent by the districts and selected Honda.

“The BOE student member is vital in keeping student representation alive and functioning throughout the state,” Lao said. “This multi-tiered selection process is designed to be both democratic and rigorous, giving students the chance to have a say in the selection of their representative at the school level, while ensuring the ultimate selection of the most competent candidate.

“Representing some 180,000 individuals is a great responsibility, but from what I have witnessed, I am confident Danicia will bear it well,” Lao added. “She will be overseeing an unprecedented level of collaboration between the students of the HSSC and the BOE, thanks to a new and expanded system of student representation Chair Horner and the previous Council helped to create that includes representatives from all 44 high schools/school complexes and student committees that align with those of the BOE. I have faith that Danicia will represent the students admirably.”

Honda looks forward to her new role. By participating in a variety of activities, she has been able to connect with students from various backgrounds.

She enjoys listening to the “voices of students,” students who are “fully capable of understanding the issues that concern them.”

“It is my desire to work in collaboration with the Board of Education and the Department of Education to serve the students of Hawaii–the future of Hawaii,” she said.

Honda added, “I would like to also personally thank Angelica for her advice and guidance over the past couple of months. And, wish her all the best as she heads off to the university.”

As secretary for the HSSC last year, Honda saw the power of students in action and how students can make a difference. She is a member of the PCHS marching band (section leader, grade 11), math team (co-captain, grades 10 and 11), and Leo Club (vice president, grade 11).

Honda’s impressive resume also includes a black belt in karate and varsity and junior varsity letters in track and field.

The BOE student member participates in general board and committee meetings held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Honda’s term is for one year.

Looking forward, the BOE and DOE seek to increase students’ voice in policy and the strategic plan process, to use new technology to engage more students, and to actualize the benefits of the newly aligned HSSC – BOE committee structures in expanding stakeholder input.

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