New superintendent focuses on smooth transition, implementing key goals

Hawaii’s new superintendent is in town and getting ready to start her new job.

Christina Kishimoto is meeting briefly this week with the Board of Education and department staff.

“It’s important for us not to miss a step. There’s a lot of work in progress already,” Kishimoto said. “The challenge for us is to put an implementation plan together. The strategic plan is well-written, and it certainly is focused on what members in the field, our teachers, and our leaders have indicated are priorities. The implementation plan needs to be developed now in terms of what do the strategies look like specifically.”

Kishimoto comes from Arizona and says inclusive curriculum for special education and English language learners are just a few of her priorities as she takes on this new role.

Kishimoto also says her goal is to make Hawaii the top state for a quality education.

“We want to make sure that every student that’s a part of this school system, regardless of neighborhood, community, where they live in the state, that they have the equal opportunity to have access to great resources and to be performing at a very high level,” she said.

Current superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will end her term at the end of the month, and Kishimoto will start on Aug. 1.

The BOE appointed Keith Hayashi, the current deputy superintendent, to serve as interim superintendent during the transition.

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