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HIDOE Superintendent Will Not Seek Renewal of Her Contract

March 9, 2021, 2:42 PM HST
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After much consideration and reflection, Hawai‘i Department of Education’s superintendent announced this afternoon she would not seek a renewal of her contract.

Christina Kishimoto has been scrutinized for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, the Board of Education, parents and teachers. On March 2, HSTA president Corey Ronsenlee called on the BOE’s Human Resources committee to vote against a positive recommendation to renew the superintendent’s contract at their March 3 meeting.

Ronsenlee said the union’s board of directors in August unanimously passed a no-confidence vote in Kishimoto’s leadership in safely reopening schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve just seen time and time again the lack of willingness to work with teachers in the union,” Rosenlee said of Kishimoto. “Time after time, she’s failed to communicate adequate and timely information to DOE employees.”

While her last day of employment with the DOE is July 30, 2021, Kishimoto said she is committed to serving out the remainder of her term.

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“It has been my great privilege to serve the students of Hawai‘i the past four years,” she wrote in a statement to the media. “This is a generation of students who will lead as global change-makers with great aloha.”

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During her time leading Hawai‘i’s public school system, Kishimoto said she’s enjoyed celebrating successes and milestones around amplifying student voice, elevating teacher leadership and vision, and setting bold strategic goals around student promises focused on innovative ideas and solutions toward a thriving and sustainable state.

“Together, we have accomplished a lot, but the path forward points to much work that still needs to be done,” she said. “There is so much for Hawaii to be proud of and I am humbled to have been a part of this work. I know that the positive momentum underway will continue under the HIDOE’s talented team focused on nothing less than excellence, and fiercely committed to equity of access for all students.”

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