Final superintendent candidate interviews held, but no decision made

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It’ll be a couple of weeks before we learn who will be the next leader of Hawaii’s public schools.

The Board of Education held Thursday its final interviews with the two finalists, Linda Chen and Christina Kishimoto.

Chen is an educational consultant with experience as both a teacher and principal. Kishimoto is currently the superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona.

Neither candidate is from Hawaii, which the teachers union expressed concern over.

“We feel knowledge about our unique cultures and our statewide school system is important for our next superintendent to be effective,” said HSTA president Corey Rosenlee.

“From the leeward side in the Waianae community, to the windward side in Kahuku and then back down through the North Shore, central district, we must really differentiate our support and approach to account for the diverse needs in every community,” Chen said.

“This is going to take tremendous work. This requires a hyper attention and focus on student-centered-ness, community-driven actions, culturally rich and engaging activities, and standard space design,” said Kishimoto.

The Board of Education deferred decision-making for at least two weeks.

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