Daniel Hamada is the first UH Mānoa College of Education Alumni Association (COEAA) Kauaʽi Distinguished Alumnus. He was recognized on June 7, 2022 at Kapaʽa High School during a ceremony, which included COE Dean Nathan Murata, COEAA President Steve Shiraki, Wade Tanaka of Kaua‘i Community College, and Kapaʽa High School faculty and staff.
Hamada, who earned his MEd in Educational Administration, was set to receive this designation two years ago, but the celebration was delayed until an in-person gathering could safely take place during the ongoing pandemic.
“I’m extremely honored and grateful to receive this recognition,” Hamada said. “My sincere appreciation to the many individuals and organizations that I’ve worked with over the years as they have my deepest respect. It truly takes a village.”
With a career in the Hawaiʽi Department of Education (HIDOE) that spans nearly four decades, Hamada has been an elementary and special education teacher, a vice principal, a principal for 16 years, the Kauaʽi Complex Area Superintendent, and the HIDOE Assistant Superintendent in the Office of Curriculum & Student Support.
“Among his many attributes, Daniel was selected for his continued efforts to support future and current educators and leaders, particularly those who reside on the island of Kauaʽi,” Shiraki said. “He values the voices and contributions of others and is, in turn, highly respected among his peers. With such a deep commitment as an educator and leader, he is certainly most deserving to be recognized as the 2022 College of Education Kauaʽi Distinguished Alumni.”
Throughout his career, Hamada worked closely with the university in growing our own teachers who stay and serve in our Hawaiʽi schools. He says this effort is extremely important to provide stability and success for our students, schools, and community. Today, Hamada continues to give back by mentoring and coaching new school principals and serving on community foundations.