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Scott De Sa has been named KSH hope poʻo kula (associate head of school), moving on from his role as middle school principal.

De Sa named KS Hawai'i hope po'o kula

July 14, 2016

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi has selected Scott De Sa to serve as the new KSH hope poʻo kula (associate head of school).

De Sa has served as KS Hawaiʻi Kula Waena poʻo kumu (middle school principal) since 2008.

“Those who know him have witnessed his commitment to growing haumāna with both the educational and cultural knowledge so important to nurture, sustain and ensure success in all their many endeavors,” shared KSH Poʻo Kula Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong.  

“He has been an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for the Kula Waena ʻohana and the keiki they serve.”

De Sa earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a master’s degree in education from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Born and raised in the East Hawaiʻi community, he began his educational career teaching kindergarten at Keoneopoko Elementary in Pāhoa, where he taught for seven years.

De Sa joined Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i in 2001 as a sixth grade English and social studies teacher before moving into the role of the K-8 curriculum coordinator and summer school director. With the K-8 reorganization, he moved to serve just the middle school grade levels.  

In 2008, the opportunity to pursue a more impactful administrative role presented itself and he was selected to be the poʻo kumu for kula waena. It was a very natural progression as he brought a wide range of knowledge to that role in instructional leadership, curriculum design, formative and summative assessments and the importance of infusing and elevating the Hawaiian perspective. Two of his many achievements have been being nominated for District Teacher of the Year in 1999 and honored as the HSTA Teacher of the Year in 2000.

In addition to his love and passion for serving our Hawaiian keiki, De Sa has had a lifelong and keen interest in horses and riding and has numerous affiliations with local equestrian associations. His equestrian skills were recently on display at the 2016 Merrie Monarch Parade, where he and his ʻohana wrapped up their 11th and final year as one of the pāʻū units.

“They represented Hawaiʻi island in their last year and looked very regal in red,” shared Naeʻole-Wong.

When asked what he would miss most about his current position, De Sa stated, “I’ve been in the middle school for 15 years. I love everything about this place. More than anything, I will miss the close relationships I’ve built with the faculty and staff and the opportunity to engage with students and families on a daily basis.” 

Looking forward he is excited to extend his work to the K-12 ʻohana to continue the school’s collective efforts to move forward in innovative and creative ways to prepare ‘ōiwi leaders for their future.

With De Sa shifting to hope poʻo kula, KS Hawaiʻi announced that former KS Kapālama Hope Poʻo Kumu Renee Martin will serve as interim middle school principal.

In 2014, Martin retired from KSK and moved to Hawaiʻi island with her husband and currently resides in Keaʻau. 

“Though retiring from Kamehameha was a huge milestone for her professionally, the desire to continue her service to our Hawaiian students did not diminish,” shared De Sa. 

“Once settled here, Renee sought out ways to stay involved with Kamehameha and our local community and became a substitute here on campus.  Currently, she is the high school division director for Hālau Kupukupu Innovations Academy and describes her experience as rewarding.  She is clearly excited about her work with our students, families, faculty and staff.”

Martin started in this new role on July 11.

"I don't think there are words adequate enough to express how grateful and excited I am to have this opportunity to return to Kamehameha,” shared Martin. 

“I am looking forward to working again with our haumana and those who help to guide them and make a difference in their lives.  

“As interim po'o kumu, it is my hope that my passion, dedication, commitment, and experience will provide the leadership needed to maintain established relationships, support on-going programs, and assist in facilitating innovation.”

De Sa has been with KSH Kula Waena since 2001, s

In addition to being an innovative educator, De Sa is an avid horseman. He and his ‘ohana have represented Hawaʻi island in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade for the past 11 years.

Former KS Kapālama Vice Principal Renee Martin will serve as KSH interim kula waena poʻo kumu this school year.

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