The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

Pauahi Legacy
Kamehameha Schools Strategic Plan 2015-2020

Language: English ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i


A generation on the rise


Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s original intentions, as stated in her will, have guided the strategic planning efforts of the trustees. To complement the strategic direction established by the trustees, Kamehameha Schools leaders engaged in a two-year effort to gather feedback about lāhui priorities and aspirations. The process involved more than three thousand Kamehameha Schools employees and community members providing manaʻo in person, online, and at forty-two forums. The result is a plan informed by many voices and perspectives.


In her will, Pauahi desired that the trustees “provide first and chiefly a good education in the common English branches, and also instruction in morals and in such useful knowledge as may tend to make good and industrious men and women; and I desire instruction in the higher branches to be subsidiary to the foregoing objects.”

Pauahi’s husband, Charles Reed Bishop, added, “these schools were provided for, in which Hawaiians have the preference, and which [Pauahi] hoped they would value and take the advantages of as fully as possible.”


Kamehameha Schools’ mission is to fulfill Pauahi’s desire to create educational opportunities in perpetuity to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.


Kamehameha Schools is grounded in the Christian and Hawaiian values embraced by Pauahi. These core values are aloha (to have compassion and empathy); ‘imi na‘auao (to seek wisdom); mālama (to care for and protect); ‘ike pono (to know and do what is right); kuleana (to take responsibility); ho‘omau (to preserve and perpetuate); and ha‘aha‘a (to be humble).

Guiding Attitudes and Practices

We will emphasize mission-critical attitudes and practices necessary to take Kamehameha Schools forward boldly and aggressively toward higher goals. From the lives of Pauahi and her great-grandfather Kamehameha, we find inspiration in the ways they met new challenges during times of change. The following attitudes and practice are essential for our learners and our organization to succeed in an increasingly competitive world:

  • Strive for greatness – Kūlia i ka nu‘u
  • Work with urgency and discipline – ‘Eleu ma ka hana me ke akahele pū
  • Develop strong, effective, and accountable leadership – Kahukahu alaka‘ina
  • Build strength – Ho‘oikaika mau
  • Be innovative – ‘Imi hakuhia
  • Be courageous – Kū i koa
  • Be focused – Kia mana‘o