Senate Confirms De Lima to Second Board of Education Term
The state Senate today voted unanimously to confirm the nomination of Hilo attorney Brian De Lima to another term on the state Board of Education.
De Lima currently serves as vice chairman of the board.
The nomination by Gov. Neil Abercrombie received a favorable recommendation by the Senate Education Committee on April 12.
The committee received written testimony praising De Lima’s qualifications and past efforts on the board from a variety of government officials, unions, educational groups and individuals.
Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi noted that De Lima had served as the Board of Education’s first student representative in 1972, and was instrumental in developing the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities adopted by the board two years later.
“During his past two years of service with the state Board of Education, Brian has again clearly demonstrated his commitment to public education,” Kenoi said.
Those testifying included Don Horner, who currently serves as the board’s chairman.
“Brian has been a major contributor to the board’s strategic direction,” Horner said. “Through his leadership role, Brian has been instrumental in supporting the effective governance of the board and the development of our strategic plan. Additionally, he has worked tirelessly on the board’s policy audit.”
De Lima also submitted a letter to the committee stating his goals for a new term that also described his service on the board as “the most significant community service contribution I have undertaken in my life.”
De Lima has two children, including one with special needs, which some of those testifying said provides him with key insight into that realm of education.
Ivalee Sinclair, chair of the Special Education Advisory Council, said she believed De Lima “will continue to keep the needs of students with disabilities in the foreground when deliberating policy or other board actions.”
De Lima was first appointed as the board’s Big Island’s representative in 2009, when voters changed the board’s makeup from elected to appointed positions. Since the terms are to be staggered, De Lima was nominated for a three-year term to expire June 30, 2016.