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State DOT IDs likely replacements for principals

Replacements for two Maui principals, who are retiring at the end of the month, have been tentatively identified, a state Department of Education official said Wednesday.

King Kekaulike High Vice Principal Mark Elliot is in line to replace Susan Scofield at King Kekaulike and Keoni Wilhelm, principal of Mokapu Elementary School on Oahu, is tentatively set to take over for Fern Markgraf at Kahului Elementary School.

Maureen Suzuki, state Education Department director of teacher personnel for Maui, reported that the candidates have been offered the positions and have tentatively accepted. The appointments have not been administratively confirmed, she added.

Elliot started teaching at Kalama Intermediate in Makawao in 1997, becoming vice principal at King Kekaulike in 2002 and serving until 2005. He relocated to the Mainland for four years and returned in 2009 to teach at Kalama.

He moved on to again become King Kekaulike vice principal, serving from 2010 to 2013, and then temporary principal at Lokelani Intermediate from 2013 to June. Since then, he served briefly at Lahaina Intermediate as temporary principal, then returned to King Kekaulike as vice principal.

“If there’s one thing about him, it’s that he loves the school, and he will do whatever it takes to make the school better,” Scofield said of her replacement.

“He’s been with us for a number of years so he knows the school and many of the people in the community, which is advantageous for him,” said Scofield on Wednesday. “He’s in the know and can jump off very quickly into all the things the school does.”

Elliot will be the school’s second principal. Scofield opened King Kekaulike in 1995.

After teaching in both public and private schools, Wilhelm served as vice principal at Kailua High and Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate schools. He became temporary principal at Mokapu Elementary in June 2012 and later, its permanent principal.

Markgraf, a former state Teacher of the Year while at Baldwin High, has been at Kahului Elementary for 10 years, notably implementing LUMI KELA, or Kahului English Learners Achieving, where English Language Learners (ELL) receive tutoring before and after school. In 2012, 52 percent of ELL students, who comprise nearly 30 percent of the student body, were meeting proficiency standards in reading and math, compared to 25 percent in 2003 before she established the program, Markgraf said.

* Hoku Krueger can be reached at hkrueger@mauinews.com.

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