Three Hawai‘i Island Principals Nominated for Leadership Award

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Stacey Bello of Keaukaha Elementary, Danny Garcia of Kohala Elementary and Sharon Beck of Ka‘ū High and Pahala Elementary. PC: Island Insurance Foundation 

The Island Insurance Foundation has nominated three principals from the Big Island for its leadership excellence award: Sharon Beck of Ka‘ū High and Pahala Elementary, Stacey Bello of Keaukaha Elementary and Danny Garcia of Kohala Elementary.

The Island Insurance Foundation recognized 14 outstanding Hawai‘i public school principals across the state, who were all nominated for its 14th Annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Island Insurance Foundation President Tyler Tokioka presented each nominee with a $1,000 personal
cash award.


Special guests included Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami and 14 Complex Area superintendents and their representatives, as well as state Sens. Laura Thielen, Michelle Kidani and Donna Mercado Kim, and State Rep. Richard Onishi.

The recipient of the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

The selected principal will receive $25,000: $15,000 designated for a school project of his or her choice and an additional $10,000 as a personal cash award.


Two semifinalists will each receive a $2,000 personal cash award.

The other 11 qualifying public school principals are:
• Dale Arakaki, Pauoa Elementary, O‘ahu
• Erik Burkman, Kalaheo Elementary, Kaua‘i
• Alfredo Carganilla, Farrington High, O‘ahu
• Disa Hauge, Waianae High, O‘ahu
• Catherine Kilborn, Baldwin High, Maui
• Robin Martin, Moanalua High, O‘ahu
• Cindy Otsu, Kapolei Elementary, O‘ahu
• James Rippard, Kailua Elementary, O‘ahu
• Aaron Tominaga, Lehua Elementary, O‘ahu
• Bernadette Tyrell, Castle High, O‘ahu
• Corinne Yogi, Kipapa Elementary, O‘ahu

The 2017 award recipient was Darlene Javar of Na‘alehu Elementary on the Big Island. Javar used the monies to expanding the school’s He Keiki Aloha Na Mea Kanu garden project. Built in 1928, the school is located in the southern-most community on the island of Hawai‘i.


Sixty-three miles from Hilo on the east and the same distance from Kona on the west, students’ homes are located anywhere from small, rural communities in Na‘alehu Town to Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. This cultural diversity is also intertwined with a large percentage of students who face the challenges of poverty, geographic isolation and limited resources.

Many Na‘alehu students do not live in areas with productive soil and a consistent supply of water. This project teaches students the gardening practices that are applicable to the area’s rugged and diverse landscape and align with HMSA’s Blue Zone Project, which promotes smart choices and healthy living.

About Island Insurance Foundation
The Island Insurance Foundation was established as the charitable arm of Island Insurance, Hawai‘i’s largest locally owned and managed P&C insurance carrier. Founded in downtown Honolulu, Island Insurance has been serving Hawai‘i’s families and businesses for over 75 years and is the only Hawai‘i-based company to be recognized as a Top 50 property and casualty insurer in the nation by the Ward Group for 10 consecutive years. Island Insurance holds a financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company.

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