REPORT FROM THE DOE – Top school leaders were celebrated by the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators at a special awards banquet held at the Hale Koa Hotel on May 6.
Randiann Porras-Tang, principal of Waialua High and Intermediate School, has been named the 2012 MetLife /National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Hawaii High School Principal of the Year and Kaimuki Middle School Principal Frank Fernandes has been selected as the 2012 MetLife /National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Hawaii Middle School Principal of the Year.
Finalists for the National High School Principal of the Year and Middle School Principal of the Year will be interviewed in Washington, D.C., in July. Porras-Tang and Fernandes will join their fellow state principals of the year at the Principal’s Institute and Awards Gala. September 19-22, 2012, in the nation’s capital.
The MetLife/NASSP Principal of the Year program began in 1993 as a means to recognize outstanding secondary school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students, as well as exemplary contributions to their profession.
2012 MetLife/NASSP Hawaii High School Principal of the Year
Waialua High and Intermediate School (WHIS) welcomed Principal Randiann Porras-Tang as their leader in 2007. The Central Oahu District school provides a comprehensive academic program for approximately 650 students in grades 7-12. Prior to that, Porras-Tang served as a DOE state personnel officer (2006-07), and principal (1990-2006) and vice principal (1987-1990) of Kalani High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Seattle University.
Principal Porras-Tang is a catalyst for change asserts Patricia Ann Park, Leilehua/Mililani/Waialua complex area superintendent. She has created a new learning environment in which all adults and students have high expectations for ALL students.
As a result of her personal commitment and passion, WHIS is the first Hawaii high school to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). By achieving AYP for two years (2010 and 2011) in a row, the school has exited “restructuring” and moved into “good standing” under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In 2010, WHIS led Hawaii public schools in adopting the SpringBoard curriculum developed by the College Board. The curriculum raises the level of rigor for every student and is aligned to the new Common Core State Standards, PSAT, and SAT.
Glenn Lee, 2011 Hawaii Milken Award Winner and WHIS lead teacher/coordinator for the school’s national award-winning robotics team, praises Porras-Tang’s demand for excellence, collaboration between all complex schools to provide a seamless K-12 educational curriculum, and grassroots approach in working with colleagues.
She is “a true model of collaborative leadership who recognizes, appreciates, and serves the needs of a diverse and proud community,” says WHIS Vice Principal Virgilio Basilio. Principal Porras-Tang lives by her mantra, “No task is too big when done together by all.”
2012 MetLife/NASSP Hawaii Middle School Principal of the Year
Principal Frank Fernandes has positively influenced the lives of many students during his 26-year tenure at Kaimuki Middle School (KMS), located in the Honolulu District. Prior to his principalship, he served as vice principal at Kaiser High (1985-86), Kalani High (1983-85), and Kaimuki High (1982-83). Fernandes earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa
A model of an outrigger canoe and paddle is prominently displayed in the principal’s office. Farrington/Kalani/Kaiser Complex Area Superintendent Calvin Nomiyama notes the metaphor of a canoe reflects a school culture that embodies and is grounded in collaborative work, leadership, and personalization.
KMS’s standardized test scores ranked fifth out of the nine middle schools in Honolulu District in 1987 and skyrocketed to first in the State a decade later. From 2004 to 2009, and again in 2011, the school achieved Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Forty-one percent, or 408 youngsters, made the school’s Honor Roll during school year 2010-11. Making the cut is not easy. Students must achieve a 3.5 grade point average.
Roger Izuka, vice president of the Koko Head Lions Club, credits Fernandes for creating a “School of the Heart” where “students, faculty, staff, and administrators have a significant respect for each other and their campus.“
Saint Louis School Principal Patricia Hamamoto applauds Fernandes’s steadfast vision to see student succeed. “Quiet and effective best describe this outstanding school administrator who acts on his beliefs” and “has the courage to step up and speak out on issues that impact student learning.”
With Fernandes at the helm, Kaimuki Middle School will continue to realize its vision: a place with heart that challenges and strengthens the mind, body, and spirit.