2020 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award Recipient
The Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award was created to make a difference in public education by recognizing outstanding public school principals in Hawaii for their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students.
Pikelny has been principal of Waianae Elementary for nearly three years. Under her leadership, the school and community have undergone a positive shift in operation and attitude. She often tells her staff their jobs involve more than just teaching; they can potentially have a life-altering impact on students and their families. With that mindset in place and several innovative programs in practice, the school has made tremendous strides in creating positive and nurturing relationships among teachers, students and the community. SWIM (self-respect, worth it, involved and mindset) is one such program for students that rewards and supports positive behavior. Students earn SWIM points for attendance, academics, behavior and acts of kindness. Those points can then be redeemed for SWIM dollars to be used at the school’s online storefront or to shop on Amazon.
Pikelny plans use her award monies to start a school-led credit union using the school’s SWIM dollar system. Students and their parents would be able to learn about finance by attending financial literacy workshops, incorporating opportunities to make money while participating in literacy activities. They would also be able to apply their learnings about financial management through the credit union’s various accounts and programs like long-term financial planning.
Congratulations Ms.Pikelny! We are so proud of you!
As our first quarter of the school year comes to a close, I want to thank you for your continued patience and support as COVID-19 continues to impact our community. Your school leaders and I, in consultation with the Department of Health, have seriously considered the return of students to our schools. We have also heard your voices as concerned parents, family and community members, and we share your worries about the health and safety of both students and school staff. These health concerns are balanced with our responsibility to provide quality learning experiences for your children. In consistency with all Leeward District schools, our Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area will continue distance learning during Quarter 2 through December 18, 2020. Your schools will be communicating expectations and supports for at- home-learning during the second quarter.
While we work to ensure our schools are places where students and staff are safe, we also want to minimize disruption of learning routines and educational programs that have been established in Quarter 1. Throughout the second quarter, we will continue to provide quality educational experiences. We will reflect on the data from Quarter 1 to expand our reach to students needing continued supports. We will also use this time to develop more ways to support all students to be successful. We are committed to reflecting on our present practices and developing plans for the safe return of students to our school campuses, so more students can continue to return to campus in January.
The Department is continuing to collect feedback on the distance learning experience through the Online Content Feedback Form at http://bit.ly/3BX8WxR. We would also like to offer resources to support you and your children as you learn at home. Each of our Nānākuli- Wai‘anae schools have websites that offer support through online resources and on-campus staff support. The Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Distance Learning website also contains information and resources for both parents and students at Nanakuli-Wai‘anae Distance Learning (https://sites.google.com/k12.hi.us/nnkuli-waianaedistancelearning/home).
Mahalo for your support of learning in your homes, for keeping our keiki safe, and for your faith in our schools to educate your children now and in the future.
Sione Thompson Complex Area Superintendent Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area