Think Tank Travel Delegation at Edmonton's Michael Strembitsky School.jpg

The People and Organization of The Education Institute

Education Institute of Hawaii -- an independent catalyst for improving public education in Hawaii

Our overarching goal is that of improving the quality of public education in Hawaii so that more children thrive and more professionals reach their full potential as educators. EIH is led by award-winning, lifelong educators, current and retired.

The Institute conducts studies that are independent, objective and nonpartisan, focusing on principles and practices of effectiveness. We also gather the perspectives and insights of principals and other administrators, teachers, parent groups and community leaders through surveys and focus groups; organize and promote public forums; and work directly with media to help ensure news coverage of public education issues that is predictably accurate, comprehensive and timely.

More about Who We Are

Foundational Beliefs

We believe that there should be only two job categories for educators:

Those that work directly with students, and those that support those who work directly with students.

The Institute is founded on the following beliefs regarding public education in Hawaii:

- The overwhelming majority of public school teachers, principals and other administrators are competent professionals, fully committed to facilitating an outstanding education for every child.

- Too many children and educators are not thriving in the current system.

- While most of Hawaii's public school teachers, principals and other administrators are capable of work at the highest level -- fully committed to facilitating an outstanding education for every child -- they are trapped by "one size fits all" policies that prevent principals as well as teachers from addressing the unique needs of students in their respective schools and classrooms.

- Change must include and engage a wide range of stakeholders: including parents, students, and our communities.

- Any improvement in the education system will be lasting only if school personnel participate fully and feel ownership of the changes that are made—as well as the responsibility that goes with ownership.

- The pursuit of any changes to the existing system should be research-based and reflect best practices.

Contact Information


Ray L'Heureux, Chairman & President     (808) 295-2733



John P. Sosa, Executive Director     (808) 397-8817


Board of Directors

  • Ray L’Heureux, EIH Chairman & President. Former Assistant Superintendent of Hawaii DOE
  • Stephen Terstegge, EIH Vice President. Member of Governor’s ESSA team; Hawaii Technology Academy Governing Board; Former Chair Castle High School Community Council; Former member of Castle Complex Community Council; Parent of two public school children.
  • John Sosa, Executive Director. Retired principal, Hawaii 2014 NASSP Principal of the Year, former superintendent of Windward and Honolulu Districts; former superintendent of a school system in the state of Washington
  • Marsha Alegre, retired Washington Middle School principal
  • Kaitlyn Cleveland, Teacher
  • Harry Davis, University of Hawaii Natural Science & Chemistry professor; past UH Faculty Senate chair; 2001 Recipient of UH Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching; parent of two public school graduates
  • Darrel Galera, Retired teacher and public school principal
  • Tom Gerrish, Former Director of Enterprise Services Branch of Hawaii DOE
  • Joan Husted, retired Executive Director for the Hawaii State Teachers Association
  • Joan Lewis, Kapolei High School teacher; Hawaii State Teachers Association vice president; 2013 NEA Foundation's Excellence in Teaching Award and 2014 NEA Foundation Global Fellow; foster parent for eight years whose children attended public schools
  • Naomi Matsuzaki, Retired principal of Kahaluu Elementary, 2013 Hawaii National Distinguished Principal and Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership award nominee, currently NAESP Hawaii Executive Director
  • Roberta Mayor, EIH Immediate Past-President. Retired teacher and public school principal who served 24 years in the Hawaii DOE and 17 years in California including as a Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District
  • RandiAnn Porras-Tang, President of Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators; retired principal of Waialua Middle and High Schools
  • Roger Takabayashi, retired teacher from Niu Valley Middle, Dole Middle, and Farrington High, HSTA President from 2003 to 2009,  present member of Charter School Commission
  • Penelope Tom, Executive Director of the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators; retired Kaimuki High School principal

EIH Honorary Members

  • Benjamin Cayetano, former Hawaii governor
  • Michael W. Perry, KSSK radio show personality; Board Chair of Takitani Foundation

EIH Senior Advisory Council

  • Duwayne Abe, Principal of Salt Lake Elementary School, 2014 State Principal of the Year
  • Amy Asselbaye, State Board of Education member; former Chief of Staff toGov. Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; parent representative on school community council for Aina Haina Elementary where her three children attend school
  • Brendan Burns, Aina Haina Elementary School principal; 2008 National Blue Ribbon School and International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program World School
  • John Carroll, retired DOE Education Specialist, Office of Strategic Reform, former Education Specialist for DOE Evaluation Office
  • Evangeline Casinas, Salt Lake Elementary School vice principal; 2009 National Board certified teacher; parent of three children in public school
  • Dale Castro, Mililani Waena Elementary School principal; former State Director of Curriculum and Instruction (Special Education, School Renewal & Redesign, and Focus Schools); Nationally Certified NAESP Principal Mentor; parent of child who attends public school
  • Bebi Davis, STEM Resource Teacher; 2005 National Milken Education Award Winner; 2009 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year; 2009 Yale University Educator Award
  • Aloha Dayton, Personnel Specialist in DOE Office of Human Resources; formerly principal of Leilehua High School and Waialua Intermediate and High School, High School Principal of the Year in 2011
  • Lynda Galera, Moanalua Elementary School principal; parent of a child in public school
  • Melissa Goo, Nimitz Elementary School vice principal, 2010 National Board certified teacher
  • Michael Harano, Washington Middle School principal; 2017 State Secondary School Principal of the Year, Middle School Principals Forum chairperson; 2010 Hawaii State National Distinguished Principal; Washington Middle School 1st AVID National Demonstration School in Hawaii; parent of three public school graduates
  • Debi Hartmann, former Chairperson of Hawaii State Board of Education, former assistant professor for BYU Hawaii
  • Jan Iwase, Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School principal; 2013 Central District Principal of the Year
  • Charles Kagawa, former Director of Auxiliary Services with the Office of Facilities; former School Business specialist; former acting administrative assistant to the superintendent
  • Kitty Lagareta, Communications Pacific CEO; former Chair of the UH Board of Regents
  • Donna Lum Kagawa, Complex Area superintendent for Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani area; former Jarrett Middle School and Hokulani Elementary School principal and head of DOE’s professional development and educational research institute
  • Derek Minakami, Kaneohe Elementary School principal; 2001 State Teacher of the Year, 2001 National Teacher of the Year finalist; parent of two children in public schools
  • Denise Murai, parent advocate; former Parent Community Networking Center Facilitator; nationally certified facilitator of Parent Project & Loving Solutions parenting program; parent of three public school graduates
  • Fred Murphy, Mililani High School principal; Hawaii High School Principals Forum chairperson
  • Pierce Myers, retired Lanai High and Elementary School principal
  • Bruce Naguwa, current Principal of Kapolei Middle School, former Deputy Superintendent for Leeward District, and recent President of the Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association
  • Steve Nakasato, Pearl Ridge Elementary School principal; former Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support state director; 2007 Central Oahu District Principal of the Year; Ed.D. Professional Educational Practice; parent of three children in public schools
  • Rick Paul, principal of Hana High and Elementary School; former DOE Committee on Weights member
  • Catherine Payne, Retired principal of Farrington High School; 1991 NASSP Principal of the Year and national Milken Educator; former Chair of State Public Charter School Commission
  • Art Souza, Complex Area superintendent for Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Area; former Honokaa High and Waikoloa Elementary Schools principal
  • Candy Suiso, Waianae High School teacher; Milken National Educator award winner; founder of Searider Productions
  • Lisa-Anne Tsuruda, I'olani School teacher, former Mililani High School teacher; 2009 National Milken Education Award Winner; 2010 Central District Outstanding Educator; National Milken Educators of Hawaii president