Keith Hayashi filled interim spot before

The Board of Education approved Thursday the Transition Committee‘s recommendation of Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi as the interim superintendent with an annual salary rate of $210,000.

The BOE also tapped Hayashi to be interim before current Superintendent Christina Kishimoto was hired in August 2017. Kishimoto is not seeking another term.

“One of the things that would be very important for me to do is to seek out input from the field across the tri-level … at school-level, complex area, and state-level personnel,” Hayashi told the board. “I’ve been very fortunate to work alongside and learn from very experienced and committed educators throughout my career, and I know that reaching out and getting feedback is very important.”

Hayashi said another important focus will be “to reconnect our students with learning, and returning our students to campus to provide the kinds of support that we need to ensure that our students are successful.”

The board also directed outgoing Superintendent Christina Kishimoto to work with Hayashi on a leadership transition, including ensuring he has access to leadership personnel, getting his input on decisions affecting the school system, and keeping him apprised of any statewide issues affecting the department.

The board has said that as interim, Hayashi will be able to apply for the long-term superintendent position.

Hayashi said he is familiar with the department’s diverse strengths, demands and needs from his experience leading elementary, middle, and high schools, and as a complex area superintendent, resource teacher, interim deputy superintendent, and interim superintendent during the last transition.

In his cover letter applying for the interim post, Hayashi wrote, “The 6–8 months of the Interim Superintendent’s anticipated appointment are critical to set to the tone, relationships, and momentum for post-pandemic public education and our state’s future.”

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee, whose final term leading HSTA expires in early July, was one of five finalists for the interim superintendent’s post and was interviewed by the BOE committee, Rosenlee said.

In a memo, the Transition Committee said it received 14 applications for the interim spot and “opted to interview the five candidates who showed the most promise of possessing the identified characteristics they wanted in the department’s temporary leader.” Those included the ability to:

  • Lead HIDOE through challenges,
  • Identify, collaborate, coordinate, communicate, and develop strong relationships,
  • and create, build, and embody an empathetic organizational culture.