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Waiʻanae Elementary Principal:
Ms. Ray Pikelny,
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!