Principals nominated for award

Two Maui County principals are among a dozen principals state-wide who have been nominated for the ninth annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Chad Okamoto of the soon-to-open Puu Kukui Elementary in Wailuku and Richard Stevens of Kilohana Elementary School in Kaunakakai were each presented with a $1,000 personal check and a plaque at a ceremony at the Island Insurance Center on Oahu on Saturday.

“My grandfather, Masayuki Tokioka, believed that education, integrity and hard work were the keys to success,” said Tyler Tokioka, Island Insurance Foundation president. “All that he achieved would not have been possible without the public school system that provided him with the foundation to pursue unlimited opportunities.

“In order to be a strong leader in today’s educational environment, public school principals must be dedicated, creative, community-minded and have an entrepreneurial spirit – all qualities my grandfather possessed. We hope that this award will showcase their leadership and inspire others in public education.”

The 12 nominees are eligible for the top honor, which includes a $10,000 personal cash award and $15,000 for a school project of the winner’s choice. Two semifinalists will receive $2,000 personal cash awards.

The award recipient is being selected by a committee of selected Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Board members and professionals in the education field.

The winner will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner on April 11.

An immigrant from Japan, Masayuki Tokioka moved to Hawaii at age 12 and graduated from McKinley High School in 1921. He earned a bachelor of arts at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a master of business administration in international commerce from Harvard University in 1927. His business career spanned 70 years, during which he founded several enterprises, such as Island Insurance Co., International Savings & Loan Association and National Mortgage & Finance Co.