When I first started blogging, this was one of my first posts. That was back in 2012, and since then, I have continued to blog and share my thoughts with our school community. I think this "old" post is still reflective of how I feel about our school so I am re-posting and updating it since so many of our families are new to our school. Happy Thanksgiving to our DKIES `ohana!
This Thanksgiving day in 2016 is a perfect opportunity to reflect on my principalship at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School and all that I am thankful for. What makes a school special and unique is its people, and DKIES is no exception.
All of my schooling has been here in Hawaii, and I can't imagine being uprooted in the middle of the year and having to go to a new school, make new friends, learn new rules, procedures, and curriculum, and adjust to these new surroundings. Yet our DKIES students are asked to do this not once but multiple times in their school careers. More often than not, this is occurring while a parent is attending training or is deployed. Our students make the best of their situation even while they are missing a parent who may be off-island for training exercises or who may be deployed and in harm's way. I marvel at their resilience, and my hope is that they will take what they've learned at DKIES about aloha (love and compassion), lokahi (harmony and balance), kokua (extending a helping hand to others), `ohana (family), kuleana (responsibility), and malama (to take care of) and share it with others when they leave Hawaii.
I am grateful to the DKIES parents who support our school and trust us with their children. Military parents' lives are so different from what I experienced as a young mom when I had family and friends to support me. Being uprooted from their system of support is a challenge, and their confidence in our school to take care of their children is a responsibility we take seriously. To the soldier parents who have committed to serving and protecting our nation, I send my heartfelt thanks. And to the spouse who is left behind to take care of the home and the family while the soldier is absent, you deserve kudos for all you do. It takes a strong person to accept and adapt to military life and often, you turn every new change of duty station as an adventure and a learning opportunity for your family. Mahalo for all you do.
I am so honored to be at a school with such a great staff. I love going to work every day because I work with people who care about our school as much as I do. Others may not realize the challenges of working with a highly transient military population, but your commitment and pride in your work is what makes our school so special. I hope you realize the positive impact you have, long after the students and families have left DKIES and Hawaii. I am truly proud to be part of our DKIES `ohana.
3 1/2 years ago, we were one of the original schools on military bases in the United States to receive funding to upgrade and renovate our facilities. This year, all of the construction was completed, and our school was recently renamed after a great American hero from Hawaii, Daniel K. Inouye. When I first became principal of Hale Kula Elementary School in February 2003, I would never have imagined how the school would transform during my tenure. I am so appreciative to Congress and the State of Hawaii Legislature for funding our $33.2 million project, to everyone who made this project possible, and to our school community for their patience and support throughout the challenging construction phases. It is humbling to realize all that went into this project to benefit our students now and in the future.
I am truly blessed with a wonderful and loving family, supportive friends, a job that I love, good health, living in a place that many consider paradise. I couldn't ask for more.
May all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!