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Hamamoto to retire from Saint Louis School principal post

    2010 February 22 CTY Pat Hamamoto, new principal of Saint Louis School, talks about her challenges. Hamamoto and Walter Kirimitsu, president of Saint Louis School, held a press conference explaining the future of the school. SB photo by Craig T. Kojima

Patricia Hamamoto will retire from her post as principal of Saint Louis School at the end of the month, school officials announced Wednesday.

Before taking on the post about four years ago, Hamamoto had served more than three decades in Hawaii’s public school system — the last eight years as superintendent of schools. 

Martha Haia Evans, vice principal for academics at Saint Louis, will begin serving as principal next month, at the beginning of the second semester. 

In a news release issued this afternoon, Hamamoto said, “I am 100 percent confident that Martha and the team can take Saint Louis successfully into the future.”  

Walter Kirimitsu, who serves as president of the 167-year-old all-boys academy, said in the release: “We are sorry to see Pat leave and thank her for dedicated service to Saint Louis School and our students.  We wish her our best.  Rest assured that we have a transition plan in place and expect minimal disruption.” 

Hamamoto was named as the school’s principal six weeks after leaving her post as chief of Hawaii’s public school system on New Year’s Eve 2009, citing personal reasons. Her resignation and retirement came as the public school system was contending with daunting budget cuts that led to furloughs of school teachers and the shortest instructional calendar in the country.

In addition to her tenure as head of the Hawaii Department of Education, Hamamoto, who will turn 70 next year, has held positions ranging from classroom teacher to various administrative roles. 

“President Walter Kirimitsu asked me to help set the academic course for the future. I was happy to be a part of the process to renew and revitalize the school through the continuation of ongoing programs and the implementation of new initiatives. My goal was to train and mentor the next generation of educators who would then take the reins of the only all male school in the state,” Hamamoto said in the release. 

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