Outgoing BOE member offers advice to new board

Pamela Young
Pamela Young

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pamela Young based her run for the state Board of Education on her love for children and a desire to see them succeed in school.

She won her seat handily. But before April ends she'll be out of office.

"Actually, I don't regret going through this even though it's been just four months and even though I spent funds campaigning and it was really hard work," she said.

Young and the rest of the present board are on the verge of being replaced by the appointed board Gov. Neil Abercrombie hand picked to oversee Hawaii's public education system and the Department of Education that operates with a $1.7 billion budget.

"You can't just close your eyes and just only look at dollars and cents," she said. "There's programs that really have to be evaluated. It's really difficult."

Young said an especially difficult decision was voting to close Queen Liliuokalani school in Kaimuki.

"That school had so much history. They won't be able to reach their 100th anniversary. But that is something that we did do. I think, unfortunately, the new board will have to consider similar closures," she said.

Young believes the elected board hands over an education system that's improving despite budget cuts and deteriorating campuses.

"I can see where the students that are coming through now, they seem to be so much more knowledgeable. I'm just really impressed with our public education system," she said.

Young confesses she still would prefer an elected board of education.  She applied but was not chosen for the governor's appointed board.

"My calling was four and a half months on the BOE. So be it," she said.

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