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Horner to step down as Board of Education chairman

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Don Horner, who has led the state Board of Education since 2011, announced Tuesday he is stepping down as its chairman later this month.

The retired banker was one of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s initial appointments to the volunteer board, after a 2010 constitutional amendment did away with an elected school board.

By law, the governor appoints the chairman of the nine-member board, which is charged with forming statewide educational policy, adopting student performance standards and assessment models, monitoring school success and appointing the superintendent.

Horner told his fellow BOE members he is resigning from the chairman post, effective July 21. He said he believed it was a good time to "pass the gavel," with the board expected to elect committee leadership posts at its July 21 meeting.

"This is an opportune time for the introduction of a chair leadership change," Horner said in a letter announcing his decision this week to Gov. David Ige. "It has truly been an honor and a privilege to have been nominated to chair the first appointed volunteer board."

The state Senate last year unanimously approved Horner for a second multiyear term on the Board of Education, crediting his leadership as chairman for recent strides in student achievement and more accountability within the Department of Education.

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