Leeward Oahu Administrator Named Hawaii’s 2017 National Distinguished Principal

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association today named Principal Nelson Shigeta from Makaha Elementary School as the 2017 National Distinguished Principal. Shigeta will join the National Association of Elementary School Principals awardees from the other 49 states in Washington D.C. in October.

2017 National Distinguished Principal Nelson Shigeta thanks his staff and praises other nominees and administrators. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“These school leaders possess strong collaborative values, working with their teachers and staff to create effective school communities to support students,” said Deputy Superintendent Keith Hayashi. “Congratulations to all of the nominees, Principal Nelson Shigeta and the Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year Greg Nakasone.”

Shigeta is a veteran educator who has spent many years on the Leeward Coast. He values technology and has identified ways to incorporate 21st Century Learning strategies to improve reading proficiency, and increased the number of 1:1 devices available to students in order to enhance access to leveled texts in each classroom. As a result, students have spent more than 5,000 hours reading a total of 19,000 books, and reading proficiency has improved in numerous areas.

“I’m humbled to be recognized, especially after hearing the stories of the other nominees,” shared Shigeta. “Leadership is a team effort and one of the things I’m most proud of at Makaha Elementary School is my staff who work hard everyday to meet the needs of our students. This award means so much to me because it recognizes their commitment too.”

The other 2017 National Distinguished Principal (NDP) nominees who were honored include:

  • Alison Higa, Shafter Elementary School
  • Darlene Javar, Naalehu Elementary School
  • Gay Kong, Keolu Elementary School
  • Jason Yoshida, King Kaumualii Elementary School
  • Kim Mukai-Ontai, Kamalii Elementary School
  • Laura Vines, Kalihi Kai Elementary School

Front Row (L to R): Nelson Shigeta, Laura Vines, Darlene Javar; Second Row (L to R): Gay Kong, Kim Mukai-Ontai, Alison Higa, Jason Yoshida, Greg Nakasone. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The 2017 NDP awards took place at the Hale Koa Hotel and were sponsored by Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union and VALIC.

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association (HEMSAA) is the local chapter of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The purpose of HEMSAA is to facilitate positive educational leadership and serve as a voice for elementary, middle-level principals and other members. For more information, click here.

13th Annual Celebration of Life at Wailoa State Park

Hospice of Hilo will host its 13th Annual Celebration of Life at Wailoa State Park on Sunday, April 30, 2017.  “Celebration of Life is a beautiful and profound ceremony.  Walking together is uplifting, and watching the twinkling lights from the lanterns as they float down the river is a moving sight,” said Community Bereavement Counselor, Cathy Hough.

Attendees can purchase a commemorative lantern in memory of a cherished loved one. “We use lanterns as a symbol to help people remember loved ones are always in their hearts.  Watching the lanterns glide on the water also helps those in grief express emotion, and provides a shared experience with others, reminding participants that they are not alone on their healing journey,” said Bereavement Counselor, Anjali Kala. In addition, participants can dedicate a 2-mile walk around Wailoa State Park while raising funds to support compassionate care in East Hawai‘i.

“The cost of delivering the care our community needs often exceeds the reimbursements received from insurance companies,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda Ho.  “Donor support of our programs through events like Celebration of Life helps provide the wheelchair and the oxygen, reduces a family’s anxiety in the face of illness, brings comfort to patients in pain, and helps children in grief smile again.”

Those interested in registering for the walk, or purchasing a lantern, can do so online at www.hospiceofhilo.org, by calling Lisa Kwee at (808) 969-1733, or at the event.  Luminaries are $20 before event day, and $25 if purchased at the celebration. Live Entertainment will be provided by Darlene Ahuna, Doug Espejo and Boni Narito, and Keaukaha’s – The Kipapas. ‘Ono food will be available for purchase.  Prizes will be awarded to walking teams and individuals who raise the most funds. Registration opens at 3:30 pm on event day, with the walk beginning at 5 pm, and the luminaries will make their way down the river at 7 pm.