Executive Vice President of Education at Kamehameha Schools Stepping Down

January 30, 2018, 2:49 PM HST
* Updated January 30, 2:56 PM
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KS Hawaiʻi senior Lily Ayau (center) receives a letter of commendation from KS Hawaiʻi and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. On hand to congratulate her are Po‘o Kula (Head of School) Dr. Holoua Stender, her mother Judi, Counselor Malcom Helm, and Po‘o Kumu (Principal) Lehua Veincent. Courtesy photo.

Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong announced today that Dr. Holoua Stender, Executive Vice President of Education, is stepping down from his position.

In a letter sent out today, Wong stated that Dr. Stender announced his decision to retire on Monday, Jan. 29. “I want to mahalo Holoua for his years of service to our organization,” the letter stated.

Wong also announced that M. Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong, po‘o kula of Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i, has agreed to serve as interim EVP of Education, beginning today, Jan. 30. “In addition, she will continue to serve as po‘o kula of KSH with the support of her strong leadership team there. Mahalo to Kāhealani for stepping up to this important kuleana,” the letter stated.

“I look forward to working with other educational and organizational leaders to continue the good work of Kamehameha Schools,” said Kāhealani.

According to the schools website, Dr. Stender was named the executive vice president of Education in May 2015 and was responsible for leading all Kamehameha Schools’ educational programs, including preschools, K-12 campuses, community education and the Hoʻokahua Cultural Vibrancy Group.


Stender previously served, beginning in January of 2012, as the po‘o kula at Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i, becoming just the second head of school in the campus’ history.


Prior to moving to KS Hawai‘i, Stender spent 32 years at KS Kapālama, beginning his stay in 1979 as a teacher in the high school Social Studies department. He would go on to serve in a variety of leadership positions such as Explorations program director, Performing Arts department head and elementary school vice principal and then principal.

Stender grew up on Kewalo Hawaiian Homestead and learned Hawaiian culture and ‘ōlelo at an early age. In 1979 he achieved the level of kumu hula. He is credited with founding Ka Pā Hula o Hiʻiaka i Mololani while serving as a lecturer in Hawaiian language, religion and history at Windward Community College as well as Ka Pā Hula o Kamehameha at KS Kapālama.

Stender received his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California where he formerly served as an adjunct assistant professor. He also holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a bachelor’s in agricultural economics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

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