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Education Institute’s Blog: A Site to Discuss Empowerment for Hawaii’s Public Schools

HIBOE Testimony [5/11/2017]: Superintendent Search -- Building trust

TESTIMONY ON MAY 11, 2017
TO THE HAWAII STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
By John P. Sosa

John P. Sosa, EIH Executive Director Hawaii 2014 NASSP Principal of the Year, former District Superintendent of Windward & Honolulu Districts, former superintendent of a Washington state school district

John P. Sosa, EIH Executive Director
Hawaii 2014 NASSP Principal of the Year, former District Superintendent of Windward & Honolulu Districts, former superintendent of a Washington state school district

Good Morning Chair Mizumoto members of the Board

My name is John Sosa, Executive Director of EIH.

Since May 2nd 2017 Principals and teachers have approached our Board members seeking information on the Superintendent Finalists.  Unfortunately we have been unable to provide meaningful information due to the limited dialogue that has been made public.  The brief Q & A with the media is the only reference we could refer inquires to.  We understand there were selected sessions with role groups but no information regarding the candidates’ positions was forthcoming. 

At the heart of any educational system lies the relationships between the teachers and student’s…positive student/teachers relationships lead to positive learning. At the heart of successful schools you find positive relationships between the teachers, support staff and the Principal.  

Relationships between the schools and the system that serves them, complex and state support staff, determine the effectiveness of the system.  

The building of trust is based on the actions taken at every level. 

We had the opportunity to start building trust through the development and execution of this selection process.  Certainly what has occurred has been better than past selections, however if we were asked to evaluate this process on a project based assessment model, the conclusion would be, at the minimum, please make some adjustments so those that the system serves feel comfortable in the decisions made.

We are fully aware you serve as voluntary members with limited support resources. But teachers, principals and the public look to you to lead this system, to guide significant improvements. 

Your on the verge of making a final decision on who will be the face of this system for the next 3 to 5 years we hope at the minimum you will ask the in-depth critical questions.  Questions that will give you confidence that teachers and principals will truly be supported through positive actions and seen as the center of our system.

Thank you

John Sosa

Denise MuraiComment