Leilehua Teacher Nominee for ‘Excellence’ Award

Wednesday - April 26, 2006
By MidWeek Staff
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Leilehua High School principal Norman Minehira is one of eight public high school principals in the running for the third annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Minehira’s 17-year tenure at Leilehua has seen the school shift from apathy and poor performance to become one of the strongest schools in the state, on a campus that now embodies the “Leilehua way” of leadership, humility and service.

Leadership is not “something he does,” said vice principal Malaea Powell, “it is who he is. He’s the embodiment of a great leader.”

Minehira is also regarded as a role model to colleagues in the complex. “He is more than willing to share his knowledge and experiences with (the other principals) so they can gain the confidence to effectively lead their schools,” said Hale Kula Elementary principal Jan Iwase.

The award (a $10,000 personal grant and $15,000 for a school project) is named after Island Insurance Company’s founder and will be awarded to the top principal by Island Insurance Foundation at the May 17 Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner.

If he wins, Minehira said he would use the award money to send a team of faculty leaders to conferences and schools with model leaders outside the state. The investment, he said, should further strengthen instructional programs and support services.

Each nominee receives $500 and a commemorative plaque, and two semifinalists will receive $2,000 each.

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