New Head of Ho`ala School Announced

Dear Ho`ala `Ohana,

I hope this email finds you well as we all continue to navigate these times. As you know, Phyllis will be stepping down as Head of School effective May 31st. We have been fortunate to have her leadership over the past couple years - especially this past one. We will miss her dearly, but are excited for her new chapter and the quality time she and David get to spend with their wonderful boys.

Over the past couple months, the Board of Directors as well as a search committee composed of former Ho`ala heads of school, teachers and industry leaders entered into an extensive nationwide Head of School search. It is my honor to announce that the Board of Directors has selected Dr. Christopher (Chris) Campisano to be Ho`ala's next Head of School, effective June 1, 2021.

Chris rose to the top out of a national pool of impressive candidates. His deep experience in the education space both as an administrator and teacher, love for the community and eagerness to embrace the Ho`ala philosophy are just a few of the reasons why we know that he is the right person to usher Ho`ala into the next chapter of our school's history. In Chris we have found a passionate, enthusiastic, and experienced leader to build upon the thirty-four years of inspiring headship. You will probably see him around campus soon as he will be working closely with Phyllis to ensure a smooth transition.

We are looking forward to working with Chris to move us forward, while preserving the philosophy and culture that makes Ho`ala such a special place. There is a lot of exciting work ahead as we anticipate the needs of our students today, while also ensuring they have the tools to flourish and lead once they leave the walls of our campus.

With that, please join me in welcoming Chris to the Ho`ala `Ohana. Please read his attached introductory letter to get to know him better.

With aloha,

Tiffany Huynh

Ho`ala School Board Chair


Dear Ho`ala Families,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Chris Campisano and I am honored to be chosen as the next head of the Ho`ala School. I am both humbled and excited to follow in the footsteps of past leaders who have made the Ho`ala School a unique and thriving educational community and consider it a rare privilege to be working with such dedicated and talented teachers and supportive and caring families. I want to thank the members of the Ho`ala community for the warm welcome I have received and stress my deep commitment to work hard to support the model of the school and act responsibly, respectfully, responsively, and resourcefully.

In this ever changing world, in order to meet the challenge of the future, we must continually address how education can best serve the individual for the greater good. Therefore, I plan to invest a considerable amount of time, early on and throughout the school year, meeting with and listening to teachers, parents, and community members in search of new ideas and ways to meet the needs of all our students. Underlying this challenge is the promise that all students, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, or learning style, have a right to a quality education and the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. It has been proven, time and time again, students flourish when we work together, in school and at home, to instill and inspire a love of learning resulting in greater student efficacy and self-confidence. Ultimately, all education is transformative and leads to a more enriching and rewarding life.

Allow me to share some highlights from my life that I believe have prepared me to effectively and efficiently carry out the duties and responsibilities of leading this wonderful school. I began my career as a high school history teacher before completing my doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. Here in Hawai`i, I have served as a program specialist for ALU LIKE and director of education aboard the Tole Mour. I had the privilege of serving diverse groups of students from across the educational spectrum, from a tier-one research university to one of the most economically depressed school districts in the country. I have taught at seven colleges and universities and worked to craft educational policy at both the national and state level. This experience has enabled me to work effectively with a variety of individuals and groups. In my most recent position, I served as Dean of the School of Education at Georgian Court University; prior to serving as dean, I was the Director of the Princeton University Program in Teacher Preparation. On a more personal note, Pat, my wife, was born in the Philippines and grew up on Oahu. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and earned her master’s degree at Stevens Institute of Technology. We are both proud, first generation college graduates. I contribute my success to the love and support of Pat, my parents, and my teachers who gave me the academic tools to succeed.

To our Ho`ala students, I cannot wait to welcome you back to school and learn more about you and your aspirations for the future. I hope you are excited about the upcoming year; a year that promises to be filled with the joy that comes from accomplishing your goals. At Ho`ala, we strive to create a safe and stimulating environment that provides you with a sense of belonging and instills a passion for learning. I look forward to learning along with you to achieve this goal and celebrating our accomplishments.

In closing, I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to apply what I have learned to serve as the head of the Ho`ala School. I am excited about the future and look forward to working with you and the entire faculty, staff, and students to achieve our mission. Information about the upcoming year will be forthcoming over the next several weeks. If you are in the area, please stop by the office and say hello. Until we meet, I wish you and your family continued good health and happiness.

Sincerely, Christopher J. Campisano

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