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Dr. Holoua Stender, a former KS Kapālama principal and award-winning kumu hula, has served as the KS Hawaiʻi po‘o kula (head of school) since 2012.

KS Hawai‘i Po‘o Kula named to new Executive VP of Education post

May 12, 2015

Contributed by Communication Group Staff

CEO Jack Wong has named Dr. Robert Holoua Stender as the new Executive Vice President of Education, a position responsible for leading Kamehameha Schools’ educational programs, including preschools, K-12 campuses, community education, and Hoʻokahua.

“I am very excited that Dr. Holoua Stender will lead our efforts to transform the educational profile and achievements of Native Hawaiians,” said Wong. “He has been a model of the character and values that are embodied in a strong and compassionate Native Hawaiian leader, and he has 30 years of experience and a deep understanding of Kamehameha’s educational philosophy, our system, curriculum, faculty, students and families, all gathered from a variety of perspectives.”

Stender’s credentials include:  Ed.D. degree in education from University of Southern California, 2010; M.A. in education from University of Colorado at Boulder, 1986; B.S. in agricultural economics from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 1979; and Kumu Hula, ʻŪniki, 1979.

“E kau mai ana ka ha'aha'a a me ka ha'aheo ma ku'u houpo e 'auamo ai i kēia kuleana no ka pono o nā keiki a me nā 'ohana Hawai'i. I look forward to serving together with Kamehameha and community leaders, kumu, 'ohana and haumāna to propel the mission of Ke Ali'i Pauahi i mua,” Stender said. “We all understand the power of education to transform the world, and I am thankful to Ke Akua for the opportunity to contribute to this effort.”

Stender’s educational career has been marked by steady, significant and progressively increasing educational experience and responsibility. His resume includes both hands-on classroom experience and administrative leadership. His content expertise spans ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, music, chant and dance to education systems design and professional development for educators. And his personal and professional dedication to and engagement with students, families, colleagues and the community are unsurpassed among his peers.

For the past three years, Stender has led the Hawaiʻi campus as Poʻo Kula. The position was a move away from Kamehameha’s Kapālama campus, where he began his career in 1979 as a teacher in the High School Performing Arts Department. Over the past 22 years, Stender has served in several other high school instructional and leadership positions. From 2004-12 he was the KS Elementary School Poʻo Kumu (Principal), overseeing 90 staff and more than 750 students.

In addition to his academic career, Holoua is also an accomplished Kumu Hula, having founded Ka Pā Hula o Hiʻiaka i Mololani at Windward Community College, and Ka Pā Hula o Kamehameha at KS’ Performing Arts Center. As kumu hula, Holoua has influenced the lives of many students, staff and others in classes, competitions and community performances throughout and beyond Hawaiʻi nei.  

Stender will name an interim Poʻokula for KS Hawaiʻi, before he, his wife Allennette and daughter Ehulani relocate to Honolulu to assume his new role on June 7, 2015.

CEO Wong expects to name the Executive Vice President of Finance shortly.

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