Hamada up for award for school excellence

KAPAA — Kapaa High School Principal Daniel Hamada is one of 14 Hawaii principals nominated for the 13th annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Tyler Tokioka, president of the Island Insurance Foundation, said Hamada’s work in creating programs and supporting his students over the past six years was the reason he was selected as a nominee.

“These programs have shown remarkable tangible results, including attendance that has increased to 93 percent, while behavioral issues have dropped to an average of less than 2.4 percent,” Tokioka said Saturday. “At the same time, the passing rate for science rose to 99 percent, and 98 percent for math and social studies.”

The nomination was humbling for Hamada.

“I’m very appreciative that there are people out there in the community to go beyond the call of duty and consistently recognize people whether it’s a teacher, custodian or administrator for the work that they do,” Hamada said.

Tokioka praised Hamada for encouraging students to aim for college and set goals outside of the classroom.

“‘The Kapaa Way’ has contributed significantly to the success of Kapaa High School,” Tokioka said. “We are also very impressed by the early college courses that are offered now to Kapaa students, as well as the financial literacy program that every single student will participate in this year.”

The award, Tokioka said, is named after his grandfather and Island Insurance founder, Masayuki Tokioka. The award itself, as described by the Island Insurance Foundation, represents leadership and a will to give back to the community, which Complex-Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki said are things that Hamada represents.

“He’s been through the system of learning and came back to share what he’s learned,” Arakaki said. “And you can see that there’s a lot of students there enrolling in the UH system and earning college credits.”

The recipient of the award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner on April 20. Hamada said that being nominated is enough of an honor as it is, but hopes that people realize that he is not alone in making Kapaa High a higher place of learning.

“Often times, you’re just caught up in the day-to-day operations and focused on the over 1,000 students on campus, but this really is a team effort here at Kapaa,” Hamada said.

Tokioka presented each nominee with a $1,000 personal cash award. The recipient of the award will receive receive $25,000: $15,000 designated for a school project of his or her choice and an additional $10,000 as a personal cash award.

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