Keith T. Hayashi
COEAA Distinguished Alumnus
"During both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was fortunate to learn from knowledgeable and passionate educators who made learning engaging and relevant."
- BEd, Elementary Education
- MEd, Educational Administration: K-12
What is your current position?
I have been serving as the principal of Waipahu High School for the past seven years.
How did you become interested in the field of education?
As a junior at the University of Hawai‘i, I received a letter informing me that I needed to declare a major. I was totally undecided at that point. A good friend of mine who was already in the College of Education knew that I was active in judo and working with youngsters. She shared that because I enjoyed working with children in judo, I might want to consider majoring in education. Prior to that, I had not considered education as a career, but thought it was a great idea and worth a try. Best decision I ever made! I thoroughly enjoyed my classes, my professors, and the learning.
How did the COE impact or influence your career path?
The College of Education has been instrumental in my career path. During both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was fortunate to learn from knowledgeable and passionate educators who made learning engaging and relevant. These valuable experiences helped to form my basic beliefs and core values about the importance of supporting our students within a quality public educational system.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve been able to reconnect with College of Education faculty. As an example, Dean Donald Young was one of my professors for my undergraduate science methods class. I remember learning about Bernice McCarthy’s 4-MAT system and its importance in supporting all types of learners. I still use the strategies when working with students and adults. I’m fortunate to continue to learn from Dr. Young and the rest of the College of Education faculty as Waipahu High School collaborates with the college as a professional development school.
What does the COE Alumni Association (COEAA)* award mean to you?
Being the recipient of the COEAA award is truly an honor. It’s a validation and recognition of the efforts of many people who are committed to innovative and student-focused improvement. All of us at Waipahu High School, together with our industry and post-secondary partners, community leaders, and our Waipahu Complex Schools ensures engaging and dynamic learning.
*Read more about Mr. Hayashi in the April 2016 COEAA Newsletter.