Hawaii’s public schools superintendent is getting two new deputies after the Board of Education voted Thursday to approve the creation of the new roles despite public concerns about a lack of transparency in the hiring process.

Both positions, which come with salaries of $190,000, are temporary until Superintendent Keith Hayashi receives permanent funding from the Legislature.

Curt Otaguro, who has been the state comptroller and director of the Department of Accounting and General Services since 2019; and Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, a senior official with the University of Hawaii’s community college system, will join current interim deputy superintendent Heidi Armstrong on or after Monday.

In his presentation to the board, Superintendent Keith Hayashi emphasized Oyadomari-Chun’s experience working with educational policy and data in her current position with the University of Hawaii’s community college system. He then expressed confidence about Otaguro’s ability to modernize the Department of Education’s systems and operations.

David Sun-Miyashiro, executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN, said he believes Oyadomari-Chun and Otaguro will be able to help Hayashi manage public education in Hawaii, which is the only state with a single school district. While the decision to delegate responsibilities among three deputy superintendents is unconventional, it may help the department manage its work more efficiently, Sun-Miyashiro added.

“While every dollar does matter, I think, really, any investment in strategic thinking and roles that maybe perhaps help align those in leadership to be more effective and thoughtful about how we tackle big challenges … that seems like a pretty smart investment to me,” Sun-Miyashiro said.

Read the full article here.


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