Hualalai Academy Appoints John Colson as Head of School

The Board of Directors of Hualalai Academy has selected Hawaii veteran educator and school administrator John Colson as its Head of School effective July 2013.

John Colson

John Colson

“We were seeking a dynamic, compassionate, forward-thinking and resourceful educational leader and we struck gold with John Colson,” stated Dr. Matt James, Hualalai Academy Search Committee Chair and incoming 2013-2014 Board Chair. “John Colson’s vision and innovative leadership will position Hualalai Academy for long-term sustainability and will continue to improve the Hualalai Academy experience.”

John Colson is currently Director of Advancement and Special Projects at Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA). His storied educational career in public, private and independent charter schools on Hawaii Island began in 1979 and includes previous stints as counselor, coach, teacher and Headmaster (1991-2003) at HPA, Middle School Principal at Kamehameha Schools Hawaii and Principal at Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School.  Colson received his bachelor’s degree from Chaminade University and holds a master’s degree from Radford University.

One of Colson’s projects while Headmaster was to transition the HPA K-5 Kona Campus to an independent Hualalai Academy in 1996. As one of the early founders of Hualalai Academy, Colson’s return is a homecoming.

“Hualalai Academy has an excellent educational reputation throughout Hawaii and I am very much looking forward to working together with the students, parents, faculty and staff and Board of Directors,” said John Colson.  “With the educational mission focusing on critical thinking, problem solving and lifelong learning solidly in place, my objectives will be financial sustainability and institutional advancement in the beginning stages of my tenure at Hualalai Academy.”

Hualalai Academy, an independent and co-educational college preparatory school, serves140 students in grades K-12 with 16 faculty members on a 14-acre campus in North Kona, Hawaii. Core values are based on the Hawaiian principle of kinaole, or doing the right thing.

Hualalai Academy was one of only 16 “Schools of the Future” selected by the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools thus benefitting from a five-year $500,000 investment.  The designation recognizes and supports Hualalai Academy’s innovative programs and statewide leadership in 21st Century Learning pedagogy and curriculum.  Hualalai Academy will celebrate its 20th anniversary during the 2015-16 school year.


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