Highest principles

WAIMEA — Mahina Anguay, principal of Waimea High School, won the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award Thursday Night.

The award, presented by the Island Insurance Foundation, is given to a public school principal who is “visionary, community-minded and has an entrepreneurial spirit – qualities of leadership.”

Anguay was been principal of WHS for three years. In those three years, she started the Science, Technology, Resources, Engineering, Arts/Humanities and Math, or STREAM program.

“It guides what we do at the school, as far as people, time, resources and professional development,” Anguay said in a previous interview with The Garden Island.

Each pathway within the STREAM program is tasked with creating a product or service that will benefit the community.

“It’s about understanding that the Westside and Waimea is a special place,” Anguay said. “It has deep roots; a lot of the students’ families have lived there for generations.”

Additionally, Waimea High School is recognized as one of 10 schools that has shown outstanding improvement in ACT composite scores and one of 10 schools with an outstanding graduation rate, according to the release.

“Because of her leadership, our students and our school have attained improved ratings as shown by the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests testing standards and other measures,” said Dan Abadilla, Waimea High School parent-teacher association president. “She continues to offer new programs for the students, as well as for the teachers to make teaching and learning more in line with future challenges. She listens to our concerns and supports our programs and ideas for the betterment of our students.”

As winner of the leadership award, Anguay received $25,000. $15,000 of which will go to a school project.

She plans to utilize the prize money to expand the school’s Summer Bridge Program for incoming ninth grade students, as well as fund on-campus Kauai Community College partnerships and programs for each of the school’s five Career Technology Education pathways. Additionally, she wants to expand the school’s Early College course offerings, which enable students to graduate with up to 12 college credits.

Currently, WHS offers four Early College Courses.

Twelve principals from Hawaii were nominated for the award, which was given out during the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner in Honolulu.

“Principal Anguay exemplifies the type of leadership that can transform our public schools into model learning institutions,” said Tyler Tokioka, Island Insurance Foundation president. “By recognizing outstanding principals such as Mahina, it is our hope that her accomplishments will inspire others in public education.”

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