Educator and cultural practitioner Lono ‘Ikuwā has been named to the new position of Hawaiian Culture-Based Education director for Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. His primary kuleana is to ensure that the campus’ haumāna are grounded in Hawaiian values by working closely with campus leaders, kumu and support divisions.
‘Ikuwā serves as a member of the campus’ Leadership Team and its Instructional Leadership Team both of which report to Poʻo Kula (Head of School) Dr. Taran Chun.
“Lono brings to Kamehameha Schools a wealth of knowledge of the Hawaiian culture and fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi that began in his childhood growing up in Kona on the Big Island,” said Chun. “There, he learned firsthand from a multitude of kūpuna including master lauhala weaver Maluʻihi Lee, community leader Eleanor Makida and many others.
“Lono also has 25 years of Hawaiian culture-based program curriculum experience working on various projects with entities such as ʻAha Pūnana Leo, Kula Kaiapuni, and our very own Kamehameha Publishing.
“His life experiences, understanding of Hawaiian immersion programs, as well as teaching at the university level, and as a kumu hula have provided Lono with the background knowledge and experience needed to direct Hawaiian culture-based learning here at Kapālama.”
Prior to joining the KS, ‘Ikuwā was a Hawaiian language instructor at Brigham Young University – Provo where he co-developed curriculum alongside his students, tailoring it to their needs.
‘Ikuwā sees his primary kuleana at KS Kapālama as creating a supportive environment for both kumu and haumāna to thrive in the Hawaiian culture.
“My favorite part of this job is seeing students light up! The sparkle in their eyes! The ‘kani’ in their leo! The connection we feel as Native Hawaiians to each other, our ‘āina, our mākua and kūpuna, and most importantly, with Ke Akua!
“Leadership can be lonely at times. But just as our namesake, Kamehameha did, we can be servant leaders despite our inadequacies and loneliness. Kamehameha was also known as ‘Ali‘i kua lepo.’ And that has been my motto, serve our people: our kumu, our students, our mākua.”
After graduating from KS Kapālama in 1995, ‘Ikuwā went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in International cultural studies from BYU – Hawai‘i and a master’s degree in public administration from BYU – Provo.
In his spare time he enjoys helping his family, friends and community.
“Wherever the need and call, I’ll go to serve,” said ‘Ikuwā. “This is how I was educated by our kūpuna, mentored and loved by them, taken into their homes to learn their trade, and most importantly, to receive that which text books could not impart – their aloha, ‘ike kupuna, and waiwai.”