HONOLULU(KHON2) — The Board of Education released its short list of three candidates for Superintendent of Hawaii’s Department of Education. They are Darrel Galera, Keith Hayashi and Caprice Young.

Both Galera and Hayashi are from Hawaii, Young is not. The candidates will face a rigorous interview process and the new superintendent should be decided by mid June.

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Galera has more than 40 years in public education in Hawaii including time as a district superintendent and leadership consultant.

Hayashi has more than 30 years experience. He’s been a complex area superintendent and is the current interim superintendent.

As for Young, she’s the only candidate who has a doctorate in education. She’s worked in education for 20-plus years, but she’s the only candidate that has not worked locally.

While many said the new superintendent should have experience working in the islands, David Miyashiro, Executive Director of Hawaii Kids Can, said he’d be open to other options depending on the candidates experience.

“It’s important to be able to bring in fresh perspectives,” Miyashiro said. “Again, we’ve gone through this shared pandemic. And I know there are great districts out there that have really weathered the storm well. I think if there’s somebody who, has been in a big district in California, and has managed the crisis and has been able to keep and maintain that public trust, I think that’s somebody who I’m certainly interested in at least hearing their ideas.”

Whoever is hired, faces an uphill battle dealing with teacher shortages and lagging test scores.
Miyashiro said the new leader needs to be able to get Hawaii’s keiki back on track and bring everyone together

“The Hawaii DOE has been operating without a strategic plan. The last strategic plan ran from 2017 to 2020. And so we need somebody who’s willing to step in and say, ‘Hey, everybody, we’ve all got to be rowing in the same direction.'”

The BOE superintendent advisory committee provided feedback on the candidates.

For Galera they said: “While Mr. Galera spoke of the need for transformation, innovation, and a culture of excellence…he could have provided more details on the implementation of these concepts.”

The feedback on Hayashi said: “While he spoke of the use of data and multiple measures, Mr. Hayashi did not provide specific details of what those measures would be or how they would be incorporated into planning or decision-making…Overall, there was a lack of specific details and concisely articulated plans.”

The most favorable reviews were given to Young.

They said: “Dr. Young clearly articulated how she would build a team representing a “diagonal slice” of stakeholders with strong accountability measures and critical status checks. She referenced the use of a stakeholder map to guide communication and engagement and a clearly defined educational philosophy.

The candidates will formally be announced May 5 during the BOE’s general meeting. Two weeks later, they’ll be interviewed live during a special meeting. The board will discuss their responses and may even vote to recommend someone at that time.

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HDOE is one of the largest in the country and the only statewide public school systems in the U.S with almost 300 schools, more than 170,000, over 42,000 employees and a mammoth budget of $2 billion.