Two Maui school principals were named finalists in the $25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award. Principals Chris Bachaus of Kula Elementary in Kula and Steve Franz of King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina are both finalists in the Island Insurance Foundation 2016 School Leadership Award. Twelve public school principals from across the state are finalists for the award, which recognizes outstanding school principals and their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students.
One Hawaii public school principal will receive $25,000, which is broken up into two payments: a $10,000 personal cash award and $15,000 toward a school project of their choice. The recipient of this year’s award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner on April 21, 2016 in Honolulu; the award, which is named after Island Insurance founder Masayuki Tokioka, is underwritten by the Island Insurance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Island Insurance Companies.
Bachaus has been principal of Kula Elementary for three years. When Bachaus became principal, the school adopted its mission of “The Kula Way–Working Together to Build a Culture of Mutual Respect and Shared Responsibility” in student learning. By putting the needs of the children first and refocusing the school to that of an environment conducive to learning and not of social status, student behavior as well as attendance has noticeably changed. The school has seen a dramatic reduction in student absenteeism from 36 percent to 13 percent.
Franz has been an educator at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina for 20 years, and has served seven years as principal of the school. Upon becoming principal, Franz hired a Curriculum Coordinator to focus on curriculum improvements and instructional practices, and expanded the school’s teaching staff to include art, music, physical education and drama teachers. He then developed an Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), comprised of a teacher representative from each grade level and department. These practices have greatly impacted students’ success and given Franz and his teachers the time to collaborate, share in the responsibility of creating academic plans and discuss new initiatives.
Front (left to right): Mahina Anguay, Waimea High; Michelle Payne-Arakaki, Pahoa Elementary; Christine Gardner, Kahala Elementary; Jan Iwase, Hale Kula Elementary; Alma Souki, Heeia Elementary.
Back row (left to right): Tyler Tokioka – Island Insurance Foundation President; Heidi Tsuneyoshi, office of Councilmember Ernie Martin; Representative Takashi Ohno; Chris Bachaus, Kula Elementary; Jamie Dela Cruz, Kaelepulu Elementary; Steve Franz, King Kamehameha III Elementary; Representative Angus McKelvey; Lenn Uyeda, Maemae Elementary; Michael Nakasato, Pearl City Highlands Elementary; Bruce Naguwa, Kapolei Middle School; DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi; Councilmember Trevor Ozawa; Senator Susan Chun Oakland; Representative Bertrand Kobayashi.
Photo courtesy Island Insurance Foundation