Governor Names New BOE Members

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BY JIM DOOLEY – Governor Neil Abercrombie announced his appointees for the new state Board of Education, tapping a diverse group of busy business executives, attorneys and even a former news anchor.

A new state law changed the board from elected membership to one appointed by the governor.


Abercrombie did not select any members of the outgoing elected board to serve on the new panel.

His nominations must still be approved by the state Senate.

They are:

Don Horner, chairman. The chief executive of First Hawaiian Bank, Horner was earlier named by Abercrombie to fill a vacancy in the elected board but today was nominated by the governor to serve as board chairman.

Wesley Lo, Maui member. Lo is chief executive of the Maui Memorial Medical Center. He will serve a three-year term.

Brian De Lima, Big Island. An attorney in private practice, De Lima will serve a two-year term.

Nancy Budd, Kauai. Also a private attorney, Budd is appointed for a one-year term.

Jim Williams, Oahu. Williams is the retired head of the state Employer-Union Benefits Trust. He will serve a three-year term.

Charlene Cuaresma, Oahu. Cuaresma, appointed to a two-year term, is associate director of the University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate professional access program.

Cheryl Lupenui, Oahu. Chief executive of the YWCA of Oahu, Lupenui is a one-year board appoinee.

Keith Amemiya, At-large. Amemiya is executive administrator of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. The appointment is for one year of board service.

Kim Gennaula, At-large. Former news anchor Gennaula is now philanthropy director at Kapiolani Health Foundation. Two-year term.

Abercrombie said Horner’s appointment as board chairman will stand until the board organizes itself and adopts rules regarding the selection of a chairman.

The board oversees the $1.7 billion state Department of Education. Abercrombie said he does not foresee any attempt by the new board to replace current DOE Superintendant Kathryn Matayoshi.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out,” said Abercrombie, but added that he feels Matayoshi is “doing a great job.”



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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at