|Principal Joyce Iwashita of Kalanianaole School in Papaikou with Mark and Reps Chang and Tsuji|
In her recommendation, Hilo/Laupahoehoe/Waiakea complex area superintendent Valerie Takata wrote, “When Joyce first became principal of the school, she needed to assess and reevaluate the school’s efforts. She did this with the support of the complex area team who conducted a comprehensive needs assessment with the school. This also meant she needed to make difficult decisions and work collaboratively with the staff to move to another providers who could better meet the needs of the school. Her leadership skills and courage enabled her to make this decision and to transition the staff with minimal disruption.
Under Principal Iwashita’s leadership, Kalanianaole School has shown dramatic student performance gains as measured by the Hawaii State Assessment. From 2004 to 2010, the percentage of students testing proficient in reading rose from 38 percent to 62 percent. In math, it rose from 9 percent to 47 percent.