KS Hawai‘i faculty, staff members and students recently welcomed accomplished educator Dr. Kathleen Werner as the campus’ new kula haʻahaʻa po‘o kumu (elementary school principal).
Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i held a special welcome event recently for its new elementary school Principal Dr. Kathleen Werner.
Werner was selected in April to take on the role of kula ha‘aha‘a po‘o kumu, and on July 1, took over for KSH High School Vice Principal Phil Aganus, who diligently served as interim po‘o kumu last school year.
Werner joins the Hawai‘i campus from Washington State where she has spent the past 10 years as an elementary school principal.
A prime example of a lifelong learner, she holds a bachelor’s in education from Washington State University, a master’s in reading and literacy from Walden University, an educational leadership and principal certification from City University and her Ed.D. in organizational leadership with an emphasis in effective schools from Grand Canyon University.
“I believe developing the knowledge, wisdom and imagination of all students to create leaders is the heart of education,” says Werner regarding the role of education. “I am the servant and steward of making this happen.”
In addition to her experience as a principal she has taught first grade, served as an elementary math teacher and teaches online classes to peers pursuing their master’s and principal certifications.
In the selection process, her colleagues acknowledged some of the valuable strengths she’ll bring to the position: integrity, a strong work ethic, child-centered leadership, relationship building, an ability to integrate STEM, collaboration, compassion and inclusiveness.
Among her distinguished accomplishments are being named Principal of the Year in Washington State for 2011, receiving a community leadership award in 2012 and being recognized in 2013 and 2014 for leading a high-achieving school.
During her tenure as principal she helped develop the first STEM elementary school in Washington and received the first elementary school STEM Lighthouse Grant.
“She will bring a rich and deep wealth of knowledge to the role of poʻo kumu, and I know she will be eagerly embraced,” shared KSH Po‘o Kula Kāhealani Nae‘ole-Wong.
Mahalo to KSH Middle School Technology Kumu Kerry Kamisato for the photos.