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Nimitz Elementary principal wins national honors

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:31 a.m. HST, Apr 23, 2012

Nimitz Elementary School Principal Kenneth Lee was named Hawaii’s 2012 National Distinguished Principal on Sunday and the Department of Education announced that Waiau Elementary School Vice Principal Stacey Makanoe Kawasaki has been selected as Hawaii’s first recipient of the National Association of Elementary School Principals Outstanding Assistant Principal Award. 

Lee will travel to Washington, D.C., in October to be honored along with other principals from across the country.

He has served as principal for two decades at Nimitz Elementary, which consistently exceeds state benchmarks in reading and math despite a high student transiency rate, according to the DOE.

Lee represents the Central Oahu District. The other district nominees for Hawaii’s 2012 National Distinguished Principal were: Timothy Lino, Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino (Hawaii); Evelyn Hao, Kuhio Elementary (Honolulu); Disa Hauge, Maili Elementary (Leeward Oahu); Glenda Miyazaki, Waimea Canyon Middle (Kauai); Chad Okamoto, Pukalani Elementary (Maui); and Lanelle Hibbs, Kailua Elementary (Windward Oahu). 

Kawasaki, of Waiau Elementary, is one of 52 vice principals nationwide being honored with the first National Association of Elementary School Principals’ Outstanding Assistant Principal Award.

Waiau Elementary Principal Troy Takazono on Sunday praised Lee’s “knowledge of elementary curriculum, facilitative leadership skills, and strong moral and ethical values,” and “positive influence” on staff members. 

Takazono described his professional relationship with Kawasaki by saying, “Iron sharpens iron.” By working together, Takazono and Kawasaki “sharpen each other,” he said. 

The Outstanding Assistant Principals Award Program is designed to promote educational excellence for pre-K-8 schooling and will call attention to the importance of assistant principals, the DOE said.   


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