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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Jan. 24, 2024

The Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences will have new leadership in the Hawai'i Public Charter Schools
Commission with Dr. Ed Noh as new Executive Director. Photo from Volcano School

THE VOLCANO SCHOOL OF THE ARTS & SCIENCES WILL LOOK TO DR. ED NOH AS THE STATE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL COMMISSION'S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Volcano is one of 37 charter schools across the state. A statement Tuesday from the commission, also called ʻAha Kula Hoʻāmana, and its executive search team said: "With an extensive background in education leadership, including an Ed.D., Noh brings a wealth of experience in Hawaiʻi’s educational system. Bringing 30-plus years of professional experience and more than 16 years of executive leadership experience in the education sector, Noh has a proven track record of driving educational excellence in both public and charter school systems. His vision aligns seamlessly with the commission’s goals of fostering innovation and ensuring the highest education standards for students across the state."
    Noh has been serving the in Hawai'i state public school system as a Complex Area Superintendent, providing executive leadership to 16 schools that educate more than 7,400 students and oversees a $73.8M budget. "Focused on high expectations, equity, and cultural understanding, Noh has cultivated a shared vision of instructional excellence through the Academic and Financial Planning process, fostering professional development among principals and complex area leaders."
    Responsible for tracking school performance indicators, Noh collaborates with principals to set professional goals. In his prior position as executive director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Education Leadership Institute, Noh spearheaded initiatives such as a leadership pipeline, teacher innovation grants, and innovative teaching strategies during the pandemic. Additionally, as School Director of Kaʻōhao Public Charter School, "Noh achieved top-tier elementary school rankings, annual enrollment growth, and a balanced budget while introducing new classroom technologies." 
    Noh holds a doctorate degree in Professional Educational Practice from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from University of Washington.
    Noh said, “I have always believed that charter schools fill an important need in the educational landscape of Hawaiʻi, and across the world, as the innovative arm of public education. ʻAha Kula Hoʻāmana resonates with me because charter schools in Hawaiʻi are taking education to a ʻhigher level' and rather than approaching the commission solely as an ʻauthorizer,' I lean on Dr. Peter Hanohano’s translation of Hoʻāmana as ʻto empower.' Charter schools exist ʻto empower our communities to create schools of excellence.' The commission can, and will fulfill its legal and fiduciary responsibility as the authorizer, by empowering school leaders and their respective governing boards, supporting them in their pursuit to serve their students, staff, families, and communities as they live out their mission and vision. I am honored, humbled, and excited to be part of this next phase of growth.”
    This announcement follows a nationwide search, for which the commission selected KEES, an executive search firm. The comprehensive search was launched in Fall of 2023. Noh was ultimately selected "from a passionate, motivated, diverse, and talented pool of nearly 30 national finalists," said the statement from the commission and KEES. The commission’s search efforts were led by Commission
Dr. Ed Noh moves into the position of Executive Director
of the Hawai'i Public Charter Schools Commission
Chair Cathy Ikeda, Commissioners Makalapua Alencastre, Alex Harris, Matthew Kodama, Roger McKeague, and Carl Takamura. 
    Noh is the first permanent executive director since 2020. He succeeds two interim leaders, Yvonne Lau, now executive administrator of University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents, and PJ Foehr who has been leading the commission since April 2023.
    “Having served in the public and charter educational systems at the school, district, and state levels, Noh understands the charter system in Hawaiʻi from a truly unique perspective. Ed is a bridge builder and a catalyst,” said KEES President and CEO Heather Eddy. “Starting as a classroom teacher, his dedication to public education has been a consistent thread in his career, and it will undoubtedly be a valuable asset for the commission."
    Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission, ʻAha Kula Hoʻāmana, is State of Hawaiʻi’s statewide charter school authorizer. The mission is to authorize high-quality public charter schools throughout the state. The commission’s strategic vision is that the schools provide excellent and diverse educational options for Hawaiʻi’s families, prepare students for future academic or career success, and contribute meaningfully to the continued improvement of Hawaiʻi’s public education system as a whole. The commission has responsibility for oversight of all 37 Hawaiʻi charter schools. For more information, visit www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov.
    KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams
with dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. A woman-owned-and-operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services, including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and human resources support. For more information, visit www.kees2success.com.

HPD ARRESTED 20 FOR DUI during the week of Jan. 15 through Jan. 21. Hawai'i Police Department arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Five of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. Two of the drivers were under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 55 DUI arrests compared with 73 during the same period last year, a decrease of 24.7 percent.
 To date, there have been three fatal crashes this year, resulting in three fatalities, compared with two fatal crashes, resulting in two fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 50% for fatal crashes and 50% for fatalities.
    In 2024, the non-traffic fatality count (not on a public roadway) is zero compared to zero non-traffic fatalities for the same time last year.
    HPD promises t hat DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper, 5,000 in the mail.
2,500 on the streets.