Hamamoto to step down as principle of Saint Louis School

Pat Hamamoto
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Pat Hamamoto

HONOLULU – Saint Louis School Principal Pat Hamamoto announced December 18 she will retire by the end of this semester.

Her disclosure comes just two weeks after the school had to take out a $7 million loan with the backing of its alumni.


The financial bailout was necessary because enrollment is low.

The all-boys Catholic school needs 580 students to break even financially and was at 540 students.

Hamamoto, who will turn 70 next year, has spent nearly 50 years in education.

She was the superintendent of Hawaii State Department of Education before taking over as principal of St. Louis School.

Vice Principal for Academics Martha Evans will assume the duties and responsibilities of Principal at the beginning in January.

Here is the full news release from the school:

DECEMBER 18, 2013 – Honolulu, HI – Saint Louis School announced today that Patricia “Pat” Hamamoto will be retiring as Principal of Saint Louis School at the end of this calendar year.  The timing of her retirement is based on two things – what is best for the School and what is best for her.   According to Hamamoto, “The Principal of a School must begin looking forward and planning for the upcoming school year, which necessitates the transfer of power so that in January the Principal has full control. “


President Walter Kirimitsu said, “We are sorry to see Pat leave and thank her for dedicated service to Saint Louis School and our students.  We wish her our best.  Rest assured that we have a transition plan in place and expect minimal disruption.”


Hamamoto, who will turn 70 next year, has spent nearly 50 years in education.  Her accomplishments extend from classroom teacher to various administrative roles as principal and superintendent of the Hawaii Department of Education.  She has been with Saint Louis School for the past four years.  Hamamoto, a Maryknoll graduate, said, “It’s been a great learning experience that has validated my own personal commitment and understanding of how important the education process truly is and how it changes lives for the better.  President Walter Kirimitsu asked me to help set the academic course for the future.  I was happy to be a part of the process to renew and revitalize the School through the continuation of ongoing programs and the implementation of new initiatives.  My goal was to train and mentor the next generation of educators who would then take the reins of the only all male school in the State,” said Hamamoto.  The School has received high recognition during Hamamoto’s tenure with praise for their recent Accreditation process along with other academic and extra-curricular accolades.  “Being at Saint Louis has been one of the highlights of my lengthy career in education,” said Hamamoto.


Vice Principal for Academics Martha Haia Evans will assume the duties and responsibilities of Principal at the beginning of the second semester.  Evans, a Sacred Hearts Academy (Saint Louis’s sister school) graduate also has a lengthy history in education.  She holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Education and worked for the DOE as a teacher and school administrator for over 35 years before joining Saint Louis.  “For many years while I was in the DOE I had hoped for the opportunity to be mentored by Pat Hamamoto and ironically the best case scenario happened when she asked me to join the team at Saint Louis.  Saint Louis is in my blood with my son and brothers, and a long line of family members going back decades being Saint Louis alumni. I am honored to be able to carry on the legacy of educating Saint Louis men and getting them college, career and life ready,” said Evans.


Hamamoto said, “I am 100 percent confident that Martha and the team can take Saint Louis successfully into the future.  The team we have in place is outstanding and I can leave knowing that I did what Walter Kirimitsu asked me to do.”


Long time faculty member and alumnus Richard Gonsalves said, “We are really going to miss Pat and all that she has done to move Saint Louis forward.  We know we are in good hands with Martha.  She is committed to keep us on course, CrusaderStrong, as we work to fulfill the educational vision and mission of the School.”


Hamamoto wants to thank the parents, faculty, students, alumni and the entire Saint Louis `Ohana for all the support she has received the past 4 years.   She will continue to support and work with Saint Louis School to fulfill its educational mission.  For the time being she plans to spend more time with family and friends and do things she has put off for many years.   “I have set the course and now I pass the torch to Martha Evans and the team as they continue forward.  I’m proud of our accomplishment and look forward to a bright future for Saint Louis School.”