Senators agree that Kihei school should be named for Mink

An Oahu lawmaker is proposing to name the new Kihei high school in honor of the late Democratic Congresswoman Patsy Mink.

All 25 state senators, including Maui Sens. Roz Baker, Gil Keith-Agaran and J. Kalani English, have signed on as sponsors of Senate Bill 2446, according to Sen. Michelle Kidani of Central Oahu.

Introduced as part of a package of 10 bills from the Legislature’s Women’s Caucus, the bill would name the South Maui school the “Patsy Takemoto Mink High School.”

“The late Congresswoman Mink was a truly monumental figure in Hawaii’s modern history,” Kidani said. “She spent her professional life in public service totally devoted to assuring that every citizen of our country is afforded an equal opportunity to live a productive and fulfilling life.”

Kidani added that Mink would talk about being born and raised on the Valley Isle and that she “proudly recalled her Maui roots as a youngster growing up in Hamakuapoko plantation housing.”

“She prized her education at Maui High School that laid the foundation for her milestone achievements on behalf of all of us,” she said. “I can think of no better tribute to her and the value she placed on education as a key to future success than naming our newest high school for her.”

Last year, the Legislature approved spending $130 million for the new school in Kihei.

Baker, who represents South and West Maui, said Mink was “a Maui girl who represented the 2nd Congressional District with distinction for many years.”

“She is the author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that brought gender equity to women’s athletics and sports in our schools,” Baker said. “For all of the contributions that Congresswoman Mink made to education in our state and for all that she stood for, I think that naming our newest high school in her honor is a fitting tribute to her legacy. I hope she would be pleased with this initiative.”

Central Maui Sen. Keith-Agaran said he supports naming the new school after Mink.

“I would hope that the South Maui community, the Board of Education and the Department of Education will support honoring Congresswoman Mink as well.”