HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Many parents and students at Kamehameha Schools say they're surprised and saddened by the news that their long-time leader is retiring.
Dr. Michael Chun -- the president and headmaster at the Kapalama campus -- announced Monday his decision to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year after 24 years in that position.
"What began with a simple dream to help our students and our people realize their own goals and aspirations became a remarkable journey through one of the most interesting periods in the history of Kamehameha Schools -- one marked by exciting opportunities, sobering events, significant growth and timely changes," he said in an e-mail to parents.
"He's there at every event, school activities, all the sports events. He supports the kids 110-percent," Rhonda Golden, Kamehameha Schools parent, said. "We do wish him well, but it's going to take some time to get used to it."
"It's pretty hard to believe that Dr. Chun is leaving," Kiha Sai, Kamehameha Schools 11th grader, said. "I've only been here for, what, three years and he's probably one of the biggest guys that I've seen and experienced with. He's a pretty cool guy. I'm going to miss him a lot."
"On behalf of Kamehameha Schools, I thank him for his dedication to fulfilling Pauahi's vision and for 23 years of leadership marked by professionalism and integrity and founded on Christian values and deep aloha," Dee Jay Mailer, Kamehameha Schools CEO, said.
Chun says he's staying on for the next 15 months to give the school leadership time to conduct a thorough search for his replacement.