HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I was encouraged by the number of quality people who applied to serve on the BOGov. Neil Abercrombie Wednesday named his appointments to the new Board of Education.
The board consists of nine members - three from Oahu, three at-large, and one each from Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai.
E, all who were ready to commit themselves to a new day in education," said Gov. Abercrombie. "It was important for me to find the right balance of individuals who could bring their diverse experiences to the table. Education is one of my highest priorities. Hawaii depends on the success of our public schools and these individuals have stepped up to take responsibility for increasing public confidence in our schools and fundamental change to improve outcomes for children and our community."
Act 5, which was signed into law earlier this month, established legislation for the Governor to appoint BOE members. His appointments require confirmation by the state Senate.
The Governor's appointees to the BOE are:
Maui: Wesley Lo is the Chief Executive Officer at Maui Memorial Medical Center. He previously worked as the Maui County Finance Director and the Chief Financial Officer of Maui Memorial Medical Center. His children attend Baldwin High School and Pomaikai Elementary. Lo's wife is a counselor at Maui High School. His appointment is for a three-year term.
Hawaii: Brian DeLima is an Attorney in Private Practice. He is a former Hawaii County council member. DeLima is a graduate of Hilo High School and in 1972 he served as the first student BOE member. His daughter, who has special needs, attends Hilo Intermediate School. DeLima's appointment is for a two-year term.
Kauai: Nancy Budd is an Attorney in Private Practice. She has been involved in public education as a past director and president of the Kauai District Parent Teacher Student Association and the King Kaumualii Elementary School PTA. She is a reading tutor at Wilcox Elementary School. Budd's daughter graduated from Kauai High School. Her appointment is for a one-year term.
Oahu: Jim Williams is retired Administrator and CEO of the Hawaii Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF). Currently, he is the Vice-chair of Voyager Public Charter School, and previously served as President and CEO of Royal State Learning Foundation; Interim Director and President of the Hawaii State Teachers Association; and teacher at Kauanakakai Elementary School and Molokai High School. Williams' appointment is for a three-year term.
Oahu: Charlene Cuaresma is the Associate Director of the Graduate Professional Access Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also the Community Director of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training. Cuaresma, a Waipahu High School graduate, is active in many Filipino community initiatives. Cuaresma's appointment is for a two-year term.
Oahu: Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui is the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Oahu. She has served on the boards of Hawaii Tourism Authority's Hawaiian Resource Advisory Board; the Center for Asian Pacific American Women; and Aloha United Way. Lupenui's appointment is for a one-year term.
At-large: Keith Amemiya is the Executive Administrator and Secretary of the Board of Regents at the University of Hawaii. He is the former Executive Director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. Amemiya served on a number of boards including the Honolulu Firefighters Foundation, Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Susannah Wesley Community Center, and The Learning Coalition. His appointment is for a one-year term.
At-large: Kim Gennaula is a Philanthropy Director at Kapiolani Health Foundation. She is a former news anchor and previously worked as Communications Director for Liberty House and Sharper Image. Her two children attend Hokulani Elementary School, and she has been a member of an advisor board to the Superintendent. Gennaula's appointment is for a two-year term.
At-large: Don Horner is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of First Hawaiian Bank. In February, the Governor appointed him to fill the vacancy of the at-large position on the board.
The governor has also appointed Horner as the new BOE Chairman.
BOE members oversee the Department of Education, which has a $1.7 billion operational budget. The DOE is one of the state's largest organizations with more employees than the state's five largest private sector employers combined.
Since signing Act 5 into law, the Governor's office received more than 150 applications to the BOE. Abercrombie's nine appointments must be confirmed by state Senate's Education Committee as well as the confirmation of the full Senate.