Ho`ala Welcomes New Head of School Phyllis Norton

On June 30, 2017, after a widespread nationwide search, the Ho`ala School Board of Directors announced the selection of Phyllis Norton as the new Head of School, effective August 1, 2017.   Linda Perry retired at the close of the 2016-17 school year after serving 8 years as Head of School and a total of 27 years at Ho`ala as an elementary teacher and the Director of Education before being named the Head of School in 2009.  Under Linda’s direction, our annual service learning trips to the neighbor islands also expanded to New Zealand in 2015 and this year an ecological Adventure Tour of the Galapagos Islands. Additionally, Linda introduced the teaching method of “inquiry based learning” which teachers are now incorporating into the academic curriculum.

Below is a letter from Board Chair Dr. Leo Pascua introducing Phyllis Norton:   

It is my honor to announce that the Ho`ala School Board of Directors has selected Phyllis Norton to become our next Head of School, effective August 1, 2017.  After an extensive search, Phyllis was chosen from a national pool of applicants.  We believe Phyllis to be an enthusiastic, passionate,and dynamic leader that will lead Ho`ala in the next generation of learners.

Phyllis currently resides in Alabama and is the owner of a Mathnasium Learning Center which offers customized math tutoring services helping kids in grades K-12.  Phyllis has a Masters of Education, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Phyllis taught at Ho`ala School during the school years 2004 - 2007 and again in 2009 - 2011.  Frequent moves because of Phyllis’ military husband David, now retired, allowed her the privilege and experience to teach in a number of different settings and countries.  Her former Ho`ala experience is an excellent match for our school since she continues to align her educational philosophy with our school’s mission and values.

A note from Phyllis: “My goal is to make sure that our students are in a happy, healthy and safe environment so they can flourish and learn. This has been my philosophy since I became a teacher. I have taught in schools all over the world, from Germany to Hawaii and in between and I have never found a school that has the heart of Ho’ala.

I taught at Ho’ala while my own children were students.  Those were the most amazing years of my career and the most formative years of my three sons’ personal growth.

I will spend a lot of time with our students, getting to know them, their personality, their learning style, and their interests. I will encourage and celebrate their successes, and be there for them if they struggle. I will ensure that they feel valued as a person and student, and let them know that they are an important part of our school community.”

Phyllis is thrilled to be returning to a school that creates environments where children flourish as successful, healthy, and contributing human beings. We look forward to welcoming her and her husband David back to the Ho`ala `ohana. 

I want to sincerely thank the Search Committee members who put in long hours over many months in this important effort, and for the continued support of our dedicated Board of Directors.

I look forward to welcoming Phyllis and I am confident that Ho`ala School will continue to thrive under her leadership. 

Dr. Leo Pascua


Ho`ala School Board Chair



Phyllis Photo jpeg

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