Washington Middle School principal receives distinguished honor


The principal of Washington Middle School in Honolulu received an honor Sunday that singles him out as an outstanding leader in the state.

The Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators honored Michael Harano at a luncheon at the Hale Koa Hotel, naming him as the 2017 National Distinguished Principal.

Last month, he joined awardees of the other 49 states for recognition in Washington, D.C.

He said “I was really considered for this award because of what my students and my staff do, right? They work really hard, they get our kids to perform amazingly, and I’m the beneficiary of that work.”

“It’s a tough time to be a kid,” said Dept. of Education superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As a principal, he really understands that and really addresses the needs of each student.”

Harano says now that the “No Child Left Behind” campaign has ended, he sees the new “Every Student Succeeds Act” as an opportunity to return to the practices of whole-child education, something he says he will advocate for with middle schools across the state.

Harano has been the principal at Washington Middle for 15 years and has been a school administrator for 29 years. He also received the Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA) National Distinguished Principal award in 2010 and was a nominee in 2009 for the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership award.

National Distinguished Principal awardees are selected based on a wide variety of criteria including leadership skills, student learning, school demographics, professional preparation and education, and recommendations from students, teachers, staff and DOE leaders.

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