Dr. Taran Chun has been named the new poʻo kula (head of school) for Kamehameha Schools Kapālama (KSK). Chun joins his alma mater from his most recent position as principal of Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, where he has served since 2013. He will take on his KS Kapālama poʻo kula duties effective June 1, 2017.
“After a year-long search, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Taran Chun will join the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana as our new po’o kula (head of school) for the Kapālama campus,” said executive vice president of Education, Dr. Holoua Stender. “I also want to recognize and thank our Interim Poʻo Kula Debra Lindsey for her support and leadership throughout the search process. We would not have gotten to this positive outcome without a strong, stable leader guiding this campus through an entire school year.”
“Dr. Chun is well-qualified for this position and understands the opportunities that a world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education can provide for Kamehameha students,” Stender added. “He has held various education positions throughout his career, including classroom teacher, coach, school administrator, adjunct professor and university trustee. In his current role as principal of Mountain View High School, he is mission-oriented, possesses clear vision, and is a role-model for his haumāna (students) and kumu (teachers) and the entire school community. During his tenure as a student at Kamehameha, he was a strong academician, a recognized student athlete and a talented performing artist.”
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to return to the school that I love to serve the students, teachers and families of Kamehameha,” Chun said. “I chose education as a career because I find great joy in inspiring students to reach their goals. Kamehameha’s educational mission and strategic vision speaks to my heart, and I plan to work with my colleagues at Kamehameha and in the community to meet the school’s goal of providing a world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education experience so that our haumāna can thrive, achieve their personal and professional aspirations and become leaders in their `ohana, local and global communities. For me, being the next po’okula of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus is a dream come true.”
Over the course of his educational career, Chun was also lead consultant for Mana Academy Charter School in West Valley City, Utah, and served as principal at Granite Park Junior High and Mountain View High School.
A 1995 graduate of KSK and native of Wahiawā, Chun attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where in 2001 he earned a BS in physical education pedagogy, K-12 and an M.Ed. in educational leadership in 2004. In 2011, he earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah.
Chun is currently a trustee for Utah Valley University and adjunct professor of the University of Utah and Argosy University.
“Taran’s success as an educator is rooted in his upbringing in Hawaiian culture,” Stender said. He understands world-class, Hawaiian culture-based education (HCBE) from the viewpoint of a practitioner. His work with under-served communities in Utah speaks to his commitment to raising student outcomes to high levels of achievement no matter where students may start on their educational journeys. He is a team player and will work with tri-campus faculty, the Native Hawaiian Network of Schools and KS leaders to implement our Vision 2040. I know that Taran will become a great poʻo kula for Kamehameha Kapālama.”
“Good leadership begins with having aloha (love) for those that you serve.” Chun added. “Good leadership is enhanced through lōkahi (unity) and bringing people together. Good leadership is rooted in haʻahaʻa (humility), understanding that there is always room to learn and grow as a leader. I learned these things growing up in Hawai’i and through my education at Kamehameha. My greatest satisfaction as an educational leader is seeing the communities that I have served come closer together and experience success as a result of our collective efforts.”
He and his wife, Nizhoni, have five children.
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