Early education advocate Jan Dill honored with Order of Ke Ali'i Pauahi Award

Oct. 13, 2016

Contributed by Elizabeth Ahana

The Pauahi Foundation and Kamehameha Schools honored early education advocate Jan Edward Hanohano Dill with the 2016 Order of Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Award. The award was presented last night at a gala held at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

The Order of Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Award has been bestowed upon those who have been unselfish in their gift of time, dedication and service to their community and who exemplify the qualities of character and leadership that are consistent with the spirit of KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Dill, a 1961 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and a Fulbright scholar, is co-founder of Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF), a non-profit committed to assisting Native Hawaiian children and families using Hawaiian values and perspectives.

PIDF has programs throughout the state that provide early education, foster care training, support for the homeless, youth mentoring, family education and science and technology enrichment programs for thousands of clients.

“I was fascinated with the idea of taking preschool to the rural communities, the poor communities that couldn’t access or afford preschool,” says Dill. “We put together an amazing; complete, comprehensive preschool and we’d go to churches, community centers and other public areas to teach children.”

One such program is PIDF’s Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool. An innovative program done in cooperation with churches and community organizations throughout the state, this program meets the developmental needs of young Hawaiian children and supports the grandparents, parents and caregivers who are raising them.

“Jan’s achievements epitomize a life built on cultural values of service and mentorship while demonstrating both global and local leadership,” says KS Chief Executive Officer, Jack Wong.

Pauahi Foundation Board Chair Caroline Belsom echoed his sentiment saying, “Jan’s generous spirit and dedication to people, exemplify the qualities on which Kamehameha Schools is built and those of our beloved Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.”

Through its support of multiple early education organizations like PIDF and its own 30 preschools statewide, Kamehameha looks forward to its continuing relationship with the organization and others like it to create the strongest of foundations for Hawaiʻi’s youngest learners.

“Partnership is something we know is critically important to our strategic plan,” said Lauren Nahme, vice president of Strategy and Innovation for Kamehameha Schools.

“What’s particularly unique about Partners in Development as a partner to us is their leader and their staff that have the right values, aligned vision and very deep care for our keiki. That kind of relationship is extremely difficult to find, but once you find it, it can be quite magical.”

The Order of Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Award was first given in 1956. With such notable recipients as Mary Kawena Pukui, Duke Kahanamoku, the Reverend Abraham Akaka, Sen. Daniel Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka, a strong sense of giving and serving is embodied in this prestigious award.

Jan’s achievements epitomize a life built on cultural values of service and mentorship while demonstrating both global and local leadership.
Jack Wong, KS Chief Executive Officer

KS trustees Micah Kāne and Lance Wilhelm, KS CEO Jack Wong and Sen. Daniel Akaka - a previous Order of Ke Aliʻi Pauahi Award recipient - honor Dill at the awards gala at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

KS CEO Jack Wong presents Dill with the Order of Ke Aliʻi Pauahi medal.

KS Board of Trustees Vice Chair Lance Wilhelm presents Dill with a kahili paʻa lima in honor of his distinction.

KS trustees Micah Kāne, Robert Nobriga and Lance Wilhelm; honoree Jan Dill, KS CEO Jack Wong and Dill's daughter Rev. Dr. Amy Butler.