KEA’AU, Hawaii – M. Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong has been appointed as po‘o kula for Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i. The new head of school is the third po‘o kula in the school’s two decades of operation.
Nae‘ole-Wong has served as the campus’ assistant head of school over the last two years, and has been serving as the interim head of school over the past two months. She takes over from Dr. Holoua Stender, who was promoted to helm a new executive vice president of education post with Kamehameha Schools.
In a media release, Kamehameha Schools’ vice president of campus education Dr. Rod Chamberlain praised Nae‘ole-Wong.
“I’ve seen firsthand, Kāhealani’s steadfast dedication to the faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community. She is an accomplished professional with a track record of improving educational and operational performance through vision, leadership and team building. She has a proven ability to affect change and drive continuous improvement. The results of these efforts are a wonderful reflection of her genuine commitment to fulfill the mission and vision of our founder.” – Dr. Rod Chamberlain
The Kamehameha Schools media release continued:
In her role as hope po‘o kumu (assistant head of school), Nae‘ole-Wong has led K-12 campus curricular efforts associated with the Working Exit Outcomes (WEO) framework, Standards Based Kula Hawai‘i and the Danielson Framework. She has worked with KSH and tri-campus administrators and kumu to create a curriculum development infrastructure which results in the integration of Kula Hawai‘i (Hawaiian School) and 21st century skills.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the po‘o kula for KS Hawai‘i and look forward to fostering a thriving culture of growth and learning for all who call KS Hawai‘i home,” said Nae‘ole-Wong. “It has been a privilege to work alongside a dedicated and talented team of students, families, faculty, staff, and leaders who exemplify Ke Ali‘i Pauahi’s vision of academic, social, spiritual and cultural excellence.”
Nae‘ole-Wong has served the KS Hawai‘i ‘ohana since 2003, first as a high school career academy coordinator and serving for eight years as po‘o kumu o ke kula ha‘aha‘a(elementary school principal) before stepping into the assistant head of school role in 2013. Prior to joining KSH, she served as the vice principal for Waiākea Elementary, Mountain View Elementary and Waiākea High School and in various capacities with Ke Kula Kaiapuni Hawai‘i.
A graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Nae‘ole-Wong went on to receive her B.A. in Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and two master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and education administration (K-12) from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
When asked about the work she’s accomplished thus far and what she looks to build upon, Nae‘ole-Wong said, “I hope to build on a strong foundation and collaboratively lead our school to continue to grow as a Kula Hawai’i – where all leaders, faculty, staff and students are committed to teaching and learning that supports the renewed vibrancy of Hawai`i’s indigenous people, and our life-long success in the 21st century. It aligns with my core belief that applying our tradition of ancestral excellence and innovation in globally connected, Hawaiian culture-based environments is a critical means to attain cultural vibrancy and ultimately achieve the mission of Kamehameha Schools.”
Nae‘ole-Wong’s appointment to the head of school position is effective immediately. An interim assistant head of school will be appointed shortly and recruitment for this position will begin in the early spring for the ‘16-‘17 school year.
Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.