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The search is on for the next superintendent of Hawaiʻi public schools

lanai elementary classroom students education
Lānaʻi Elementary School
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Hawaiʻi Department of Education
Lānaʻi Elementary School

The search for the next Hawaiʻi Department of Education superintendent has officially begun.

The Board of Education approved the position description Thursday and has retained the National Association of State Boards of Education to assist in the search.

Former Waipahu High School principal Keith Hayashi took over as interim superintendent in August 2021 after Christina Kishimoto stepped down amid controversy over pandemic school policies.

At the time Hayashi was appointed, he indicated he was interested in applying for the permanent position.

“We have been eager to get this search underway, and with the Board’s approval of the job description today, we can begin fulfilling one of the most important roles of the Board,” said BOE chairperson Catherine Payne in a statement.

The complete job description and application materials will be posted Monday.

The superintendent oversees the statewide public school system of 257 schools, and 37 charter schools, in 15 complex areas with over 171,000 students — and about 22,600 permanent employees and 20,000 casual hires. The position is also responsible for an annual operating budget in excess of $2 billion, according to the job description.

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