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New leader of Hawaiʻi teachers union has over 40 years of experience in education

Ann Mahi, incoming executive director, Hawaii State Teachers Association
Ann Mahi, incoming executive director, Hawaii State Teachers Association

The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association board of directors has chosen Ann Mahi as its new executive director. She starts Aug. 1.

She replaces Wilbert Holck, who has led the union for more than 31 years.

Mahi was a Hawaiʻi teacher and administrator from 1976 until her retirement in 2020 — including years as a complex area superintendent.

"I've had the pleasure of knowing Ann Mahi for many years and she's always been a passionate and tireless advocate for the keiki of Hawaii and will serve HSTA well with her extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education," HSTA President Osa Tui Jr. said in a statement.

Mahi started her career as a ninth-grade guidance teacher at Waianae High in 1976, and also taught social studies and other subjects at Aiea High, Radford High, and Kahuku High. After 15 years as a classroom teacher, Mahi moved into school administration in 1991 by stepping into the role of vice-principal at Heeia Elementary School.

She next spent three years as principal at Kailua Elementary, seven years as state educational director at the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support, and four years as principal at Roosevelt High.

She then spent a year as the complex area superintendent for the Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area. She retired from the HIDOE in 2020 after eight years as the complex area superintendent for the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area and 42 years in the public school system.

She also has been an elected leader of the Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association's Unit 6, which represents principals and other school administrators.

HSTA has a staff of 44 employees on four islands and has a $12 million annual operating budget.

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