Hanalei Elementary School principal under fire for management style

Hanalei Elementary School principal under fire

HANALEI, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Parents of students who attend Hanalei Elementary School will gather outside the campus Thursday to peacefully protest the school's principal.

Parents, teachers and other community members say the school is in "crisis" due to Lisa McDonald's management style, which they describe as abrasive.

An announcement letter inviting community members to a public meeting about the situation said teachers have been frustrated because of her "lack of leadership, illogical decisions, and inconsistencies in directives and agreements." It also said many cases of unethical behavior by McDonald include lying, manipulation and hostility toward teachers and parents.

"I just feel she's inept at her job, that she doesn't have the right skills to be a principal at a school, and it's negatively affecting the kids there, the teacher morale and just the feeling of aloha at Hanalei School," said Haleakala Anakalea, a former Hanalei Elementary School teacher.

Several educators have also left as a result of her leadership, the letter said.

Moreover, the Hanalei community is frustrated because of the lack of action by the state Department of Education, specifically citing Bill Arakaki, the district superintendent.

"With overwhelming evidence detailing Lisa McDonald's incompetence, Bill Arakaki did absolutely nothing," the letter said. "Not one person or group even received a response."

A DOE spokesperson said leaders are aware of the dispute and are meeting to work on a solution.

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