Former BOE member withdraws superintendent application amid controversy

Darrel Galera

A former Board of Education member is withdrawing his application for superintendent.

Darrel Galera issued the following statement Monday, March 13:

“Regarding my announcement last week to resign from the Board of Education and apply for superintendent, I have decided (to) withdraw my application so the search can continue without the distraction caused by my application. My overarching goal is to transform our education system to provide our students with educational opportunities that are second to none. My sincere apology to our Governor, the members of the Board of Education, and to everyone else affected by the timing of my actions.”

Last week, Always Investigating looked into some lawmakers’ concerns over ethics guidelines, and the timing of Galera’s resignation to apply for the job.

Galera had been involved for months in various phases of the process to replace Kathryn Matayoshi when her contract expires this June.

Gov. David Ige appointed Galera to the Board of Education last October, and by November, Galera was heading an investigative committee to replace Matayoshi.

Critics called foul while supporters said it did not dampen his qualifications nor the hiring process.

However, the questions prompted the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation to suspend a $50,500 grant that was intended to pay for a search firm to find a new school leader. The foundation said it would not pay the money unless the integrity of the process was assured.

That suspension led the Board of Education to announce it was delaying the search process. It did not post the position for applicants as was expected on Friday, March 10.

Following Galera’s withdrawal Monday, the BOE said the foundation resumed its financial support, which put the search process back on track.

The check was officially delivered to the board, and the position was posted online Tuesday, March 14.

“I appreciate that Darrel has reconsidered his decision to apply for superintendent,” said Lance Mizumoto, chair of the committee conducting the superintendent search. “The search committee continues to encourage all qualified candidates to apply and reiterates that everyone will go through the same screening process and every applicant will be considered on an equal playing field. All applications are confidential and no decision will be made until all applications are reviewed and appropriate interviews conducted.”

“The search committee appreciates the forthright statements of a public that is unafraid to speak up and who is passionate about the education of our students. As public servants, we have the same desire for a system that is transparent and have worked to develop a process that intends to provide this transparency and provides the public with the ability to provide feedback,” said search committee member Patricia Bergin. “We look forward to moving ahead in this process and completing one of the most important powers bestowed upon the Board of Education — appointing the superintendent of our public school system.”

According to the posting, the salary will be in the range of $240,000 plus a comprehensive benefits package.

Applications must be submitted by April 6. Click here for more information on the superintendent search.

Meanwhile, the governor’s office tells us Ige has not asked Galera to rejoin the board, and is seeking new board candidates.

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