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HIDOE News Release: Board of Education approves new state and complex area leadership appointments

Posted on Jul 23, 2018 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Board of Education today approved appointments to several Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) leadership positions as recommended by Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto.

“These leaders have shown tremendous dedication to Hawaii’s students and a commitment to equity and excellence throughout their careers with the Department,” said Kishimoto. “I want to thank them for their service and look forward to collaborating with the entire leadership team as we engage in targeted work around HIDOE’s three high-impact strategies – School Design, Student Voice and Teacher Collaboration.”

The following appointments are effective July 20, 2018:

Heidi Armstrong: Interim Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Student Support Services. Armstrong has been with the Department for 30 years, most recently as Complex Area Superintendent for the Campbell-Kapolei Complex. She previously held leadership and teaching positions at Iroquois Point Elementary, Pohakea Elementary and Waipahu High schools.

Armstrong will lead the newly created office, the result of splitting the former Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support into two: the Office of Student Support Services and the Office of Curriculum. The reorganization took effect July 1 following approval by the Board in May.

Keith Hui: Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area Superintendent. A former special education and resource teacher, Hui has been with the Department for more than 20 years, most recently as principal of Waipahu Elementary. He also held leadership positions at Waimalu, Maili, Barber’s Point and Makaha elementary schools. Hui completed the Aspirant Complex Area Superintendent Program in June 2018, as part of the first cohort selected for this training program.

Hui succeeds Clayton Kaninau, who retired after a more than 30-year career with HIDOE.

Rochelle Mahoe: Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area Superintendent. A former mathematics teacher, Mahoe has led Noelani Elementary as principal since 2006. She previously served as vice principal at Pearl City High School and Likelike Elementary School.

Mahoe replaces retired educator Catherine Payne, who had been appointed to the position on an interim basis before beginning her term as Chairwoman of the Board of Education this month.

Sean Tajima: Interim Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area Superintendent. A former special education teacher, Tajima has been principal of Niu Valley Middle School since 2014. He previously served as principal at Pauoa and Makakilo elementary schools and as vice principal at Kapolei Middle School.

He replaces newly appointed Interim Assistant Superintendent Armstrong.


About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the 10th largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 256 schools and 36 charter schools, and serves about 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. To learn more, visit

Lindsay Chambers
Communications Specialist
Hawaii State Department of Education
Ph: (808) 586-3232
Email: [email protected]