Koko Head, Liholiho Climb To Top
Two out of three ain’t bad. In its annual salute to outstanding public schools, FritoLay Hawaii and the state Department of Education selected three elementary schools for the national 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools competition — and two of them are in East Oahu.
Koko Head and Liholiho elementary schools were honored among 15 nominees to represent the state in the No Child Left Behind– Blue Ribbon Schools Program next year in Washington, D.C. They also received $3,000 each from the company for showing “dramatic improve- ment in test scores or are achieving in the top 10 percent of schools in the state in both reading and mathematics.”
• Koko Head is the oldest school in the Kaiser Complex, and its current enrollment of 269 has put it under scrutiny for consolidation. Replacing its longtime principal Cecilia Lum, Loretta Yee is now leading plans to develop an environmental service learning center to develop students’ critical thinking through an environmental curriculum.
• Liholiho, part of the Kalani Complex in Kaimuki, has 371 students and has met annual test standards since 2003. It’s earned national recognition for leadership (principal Christina Small), technology, school adjustment and teacher excellence.
Other 2011 area nominees were Kahala Elementary and Kalani High schools.
Koko Head Elementary’s Blue Ribbon ohana (above, from left): John Erickson (Frito-Lay), Jackie Asato, Mary Jane Taniguchi, Mary Jean Bresnan, Margie Davis, Rita Hanohano, Leimomi Chun, principal Loretta Yee, Celise Nakakura, Garrett Toguchi (BOE), Sophie Yamamura, Cobe Yoshino, schools chief Kathryn Matayoshi and complex superintendent Calvin Nomiyama. Photos from Sandra Goya, DOE.