School Director



Ka‘ōhao Public Charter Elementary School in Kailua, Hawai’i is seeking a School Director to lead and support staff and students in this dynamic and close-knit community K-6 campus. The selected candidate will advance the school’s development and growth, and will contribute to the collaborative culture of continuous improvement of the school and the broader community.

Ka‘ōhao School, formerly known as Lanikai Elementary School, opened its doors as a traditional public school in 1964. In 2017, the school officially changed its name to reflect and respect the original name of the region. In 1996, Ka‘ōhao School was recognized by the Hawai’i State Board of Education as one of the first charter schools in Hawaii–a status it has sustained to date, along with its original location in the windward Oahu beachside community of Kailua. The local history and physical location of the campus continue to inform school activities, from curriculum content to enrichment opportunities.

Approximately one third of the roughly 340 student population hails from the surrounding geographical area, while the remaining two thirds sought enrollment via geographic exception from the greater Kailua area and beyond. Ka‘ōhao students have traditionally performed exceptionally well on standardized assessments, and our school has been a top performer in the State for 15 years. In 2017, the school earned a full seven year accreditation status from the Western Association for Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools, as well as a full five-year contract with the State Public Charter School Commission. Ka‘ōhao, like all public schools across the country, is accountable for meeting Federal and State guidelines through the Every Student Succeeds Act. Ka‘ōhao remains not only desirable for students, but also for staff, 40 percent of whom have taught at the school for over 15 years.

Our school approaches teaching with an emphasis on the whole child through intellectual, creative, social, and physical development. We engage in a project-based interdisciplinary learning model, relying on the enriching community of educators. Each student is challenged to pursue personal and academic excellence and to engage in the wider community. In addition to the core curriculum, every student participates in art, technology, music, library, Hawaiian studies (Papa ‘Ike Hawai’i), and physical education. Community involvement also sets Ka‘ōhao apart from many schools across the state and nation. Parents and guardians have a strong role in the life of the school, serving as classroom volunteers and steering numerous school-sponsored fundraising and community building events.

In accordance with state law, the school is governed by a representative local school board consisting of appointed parents, teachers, staff members, community members and one non-voting student member. The School Director is an ex-officio board member. This board is responsible for overall governance of the school, including financial stability and student achievement. Applicants can learn more about the school mission, charter, and governance by reviewing the current Ka‘ōhao School website.


Ka‘ōhao’s Director serves a unique multi-faceted role in leading the daily operations of the campus, as well as in guiding strategic planning for the long-term growth of the school. The Director position combines the traditional Principal and Vice Principal models common at schools. As such, candidates should be prepared to balance engagement with staff and student population, as well as external engagement with the Board and broader community. This approach requires the director to serve in several capacities.

The Director is responsible for the overall execution of the school mission, vision, and strategic direction. An engaged leader, the Director collaborates with educators to develop and maintain a core curriculum that exceeds state and national standards, is differentiated according to student abilities and interests, is aligned between grade levels and subject areas, and is inclusive of arts, technology, physical development, and Hawaiian studies.

The primary tone-setter of the campus and a key information hub, the Director is responsible for building and sustaining a mutually supportive community. The Director should maintain a visible and accessible presence for the school community, including daily contact with the student body and staff. Routine communication with the Board and the school community on school operations are key to sustain accountability and transparency. The Director is an advocate for the school in the broader community, at the Legislature, with public officials, and in the media and possesses strong conflict resolution skills.

The Director leads the recruitment, development, evaluation, and retainment of faculty and support staff. The Director fosters a student-centered approach to teaching by conducting routine observation of, and feedback to educators, ensuring instruction is responsive to student needs. As the lead for oversight in daily operations, the Director collaborates with the Hawai‘i State Charter Commission to ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies. The Director is responsible for the implementation of health and safety programs to support students and staff. The Director manages interactions with unions, including but not limited to negotiations, collective bargaining, mediation, and resolution of grievances. The Director develops disciplinary standards and applies them fairly, firmly, and consistently across the school community.

While the Board of Directors is responsible for overall fiscal management and health of the school, the Director is a key partner and advocate and will partner with the Board on long-range project planning. Applicants should exhibit financial literacy to aid the Board to develop and maintain records on budgets and expenses.

The Director will be expected to be well versed in and support staff understanding of the school contract and obligations therein. The selected candidate will be responsible for educating and reporting to the Board on issues impacting the school, including student achievement, human resources trends and challenges, charter school landscape and context, as well as legal and/or regulatory requirements.


The ideal candidate possesses:

–  Strong verbal, written, and non-verbal communication skills, and an ability to tailor communications to audience needs and skills.

–  An ability to foster and build productive relationships with peers, subordinates, and oversight boards or committees.

–  3-5 years in education administration.

–  Masters Degree in education.

–  3-5 years of classroom and curriculum development experience in an elementary school setting.

–  Managerial proficiency in recruitment, development, evaluation, and retainment of faculty and staff.

–  A willingness and commitment to learning about Hawaiian culture and the history of significant places in windward O’ahu, especially Kaʻōhao.

–  Leadership competency in decision-making, solution-driven collaboration, and staff empowerment.


First review of applications will be on August 31, 2022. Candidates should submit a resume and tailored cover letter addressing the desired qualifications to

Candidates should be prepared to conduct a series of interviews with the selection committee, school staff, community members,  and the Board of Directors. The school will fund any travel necessary to conduct in-person engagement.

While earlier onboarding is available, the projected start date for the position is May/June 2023. The Director will be recruited via a three-year contract, with the option to renew. Starting salary range is expected to be between $120,000 to $175,000, commensurate with experience and education.