Despite criticism, DOE Superintendent says she’s focused on the challenges ahead

Dr. Christina Kishimoto was a part of Wednesday's Star-Advertiser Spotlight Hawaii.
Dr. Christina Kishimoto was a part of Wednesday's Star-Advertiser Spotlight Hawaii.(Star-Advertiser Spotlight Hawaii.)
Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto says there are more pressing issues to focus on in light of the teachers’ union voting against renewing her contract.

She told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Wednesday that focus needs to be on student needs as campuses rush to welcome back them before the end of the month.

“This is about all hands on deck right now. This is about keeping our eyes on the prize. We’ve been meeting for the last two weeks about what it’ll take to reopen the 4th quarter. Everyone’s focused on that. Everyone’s eyes is on that. This is about kids and what they need,” Dr. Kishimoto said.

Earlier this week, both the HSTA and union reps for school principals called for a change of leadership within the DOE by not recommending a renewal of contract for Kishimoto, who has been in the role since 2017.

[Read a related report: A year into pandemic, unions for teachers, principals want DOE superintendent gone]

The Board of Education will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss her contract. They’ll also be discussing plans to reopen elementary schools to full time, in person learning by the target date of March 22.

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