Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i Appoints Head of School
Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i has appointed M. Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong as the school’s permanent po‘o kula, or head of school.
During the past two years, Nae‘ole-Wong has served as the school’s assistant head of school. Over the past two months, however, she worked as the interim head of school.
Nae’ole-Wong takes over for Dr. Holoua Stender, who was promoted to the title of executive vice president of education with Kamehameha Schools.
“I’ve seen firsthand Kāhealani’s steadfast dedication to the faculty, staff, students, and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Rod Chamberlain, Kamehameha Schools’ vice president of campus education. “She is an accomplished professional with a track record of improving educational and operational performance through vision, leadership, and team building. She has a proven ability to affect change and drive continuous improvement.
“The results of these efforts are a wonderful reflection of her genuine commitment to fulfill the mission and vision of our founder.”
Nae‘ole-Wong led the K-12 campus curricular efforts that are associated with the Working Exit Outcomes framework, Standards Based Kula Hawai’i and the Danielson Framework in her role as assistant head of school.
In addition, Nae‘ole-Wong worked with KSH tri-campus administrators and kumu to create a curriculum development infrastructure that results in the integration of Hawaiian School and 21st century skills.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the po‘o kula for KS Hawai‘i and look forward to fostering a thriving culture of growth and learning for all who call KS Hawai‘i home,” said Nae‘ole-Wong. “It has been a privilege to work alongside a dedicated and talented team of students, families, faculty, staff, and leaders who exemplify Ke Ali‘i Pauahi’s vision of academic, social, spiritual, and cultural excellence.”
A member of the KS Hawai’i staff since 2003, Nae‘ole-Wong was first a high school career academy coordinator and then served as the elementary school’s principal for eight years.
Before her time with KSH, Nae‘ole-Wong was a vice principal at Waiakea Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, and Waiakea High School. She also served in a variety of roles at Ke Kula Kaiapuni Hawai’i.
Nae‘ole-Wong graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and went on to get her B.A. in Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She also earned two master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and education administration from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
“I hope to build on a strong foundation and collaboratively lead our school to continue to grow as a Kula Hawai’i – where all leaders, faculty, staff, and students are committed to teaching and learning that supports the renewed vibrancy of Hawai`i’s indigenous people, and our life-long success in the 21st century,” Nae‘ole-Wong said in discussing what she hopes to accomplish. “It aligns with my core belief that applying our tradition of ancestral excellence and innovation in globally connected, Hawaiian culture-based environments is a critical means to attain cultural vibrancy and ultimately achieve the mission of Kamehameha Schools.”
The position is effective immediately. An interim assistant head of school will be appointed in the near future, according to school officials. The recruitment for a permanent assistant head of school will begin in the spring.