Retired school principal Darrel Galera
DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi

Despite 88 percent of Hawaii’s public school principals reporting in a recent survey that they are dissatisfied with the leadership of Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, the state Board of Education reappointed her to another three-year contract on Tuesday that goes into effect July 1.

Several school principals – both retired and active – asked the board to remove Matayoshi and her Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. They also took their grievances public in opeds in the newspapers and through a press conference Monday.

Survey results released by Retired school principal Darrel Galera show the majority of principals believe the DOE administration has a negative attitude, has hurt morale, is ineffective, doesn’t provide support or training for DOE personnel and will retaliate against principals for speaking up.

Yesterday, Galera testified on behalf of school principals asking for the board to review the principals’ concerns before making a decision on Matayoshi’s reappointment.

University of Hawaii law professor Randy Roth and Senator Laura Thielen also testified at the meeting and asked the board to look into principals’ concerns before reappointing Matayoshi.

Board Chair Don Horner said about her reappointment: “Our Strategic Plan establishes very clear goals that require collaboration, thoughtful decision-making and accountability. The department has made significant changes and continues to make positive progress under Superintendent Matayoshi’s leadership.

“During her term, the DOE has faced significant challenges, including budget reductions, union issues, federal mandates, and implementation of a new comprehensive strategic plan. She has reorganized the entire department to be in alignment with our strategic objectives, which are focused on student success.”

Under legislation passed during the 2014 legislative session and now pending the governor’s approval, Matayoshi could receive a $100,000 raise bringing her current salary from $150,000 to $250,000 a year. She was first appointed in 2010.

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