State schools

Hayashi named superintendent of public schools

Keith Hayashi, Acting Superintendent, Hawaii Department of Education. PC: Office of Governor David Ige. (12.20.21)

Former Public Schools Principal of the Year Keith Hayashi has been chosen to become the permanent superintendent of the Hawaii Department of Education.

Hayashi, who once served as the principal of Waipahu High School, was also a former area superintendent of the Pearl City – Waipahu complex.

In 2014 he was Hawaiʻi High School Principal of the Year and in 2013 he received the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Hayashi graduated from Kaimuki High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees in education (educational administration, curriculum, and instruction) from the University of Hawaii.

The Hawaii State Board of Education voted 8-1 Thursday to hire Hayashi to lead Hawaii Public Schools as superintendent for a term beginning July 1, 2022.


Hayashi, who was removed from his role as principal of Waipahu High School to serve as acting superintendent on August 1, 2021, was one of three finalists for the permanent position.


The others were Darrel Galera, former longtime principal of Moanalua High School, and Caprice Young, former chairman of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education.

“It means a lot. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our public schools in Hawaii. I know that all of us, working together, will make a difference in the lives of every one of our students,” Hayashi told council members after the vote.

Hayashi has served as Principal of Waipahu High since 2009 and previously served as Acting Deputy State Superintendent from March to June 2017 and Acting State Superintendent from July 2017.


As principal, Hayashi was most credited with transforming Waipahu High into the state’s leading middle and vocational high school as the first wall-to-wall national model academy high school.

Under Hayashi’s leadership, the school also implemented the state’s first Early College program, which to date has earned college credit for over 3,000 Waipahu High students and nearly 50 to earn associate degrees while still in high school.