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Kishimoto named new DOE superintendent

HONOLULU — The state Board of Education has selected Christina Kishimoto as the incoming superintendent for the state Department of Education.

After a search process that spanned several months and 92 applicants, the BOE interviewed two final candidates on May 11 before making its decision.

“Because both finalists were so highly qualified, it was a difficult decision for the board,” said BOE Chairperson Lance Mizumoto. “In the end, however, we felt that Dr. Kishimoto has the right combination of experience, knowledge and focus to implement the strategic vision for educational change set forth in the Governor’s Blueprint for Education and the BOE and HIDOE’s newly revised joint strategic plan.”

Kishimoto signed a three-year contract and will start on Aug. 1. She will begin her transition out of her current role as superintendent of the Gilbert Public Schools District in Arizona.

“It is with great excitement and honor that I accept this critical education leadership position for the state of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Education,” said Kishimoto.

During the selection process, the BOE conducted a thorough background check, which included civil, criminal, financial and educational verifications.

“In addition, district officials, former superintendents and other individuals in the Gilbert district were contacted,” Mizumoto added. “Various negative statements made about Dr. Kishimoto were either inconsequential or simply invalid.”

Gov. David Ige applauded the decision.

“I commend the Board of Education for its hard work in making this selection,” he said in a written statement. “Board members conducted an unbiased search and considered many well-qualified candidates. The success of our students was at the heart of their decision.”

Next month, the BOE will hold a news conference to formally introduce Kishimoto as the new HIDOE superintendent.

Outgoing HIDOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi ends her term on June 30. The BOE plans to name an interim superintendent to serve during the transition month of July.

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