City Council Honors Leilehua’s Aloha Coleman

6 06 2011

Last week, I had the privelege of presenting Ms. Aloha Coleman, principal of Leilehua High School with an Honorary Certificate in Full Council June 3, 2011. Aloha was selected by the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators as the State National Distinguished 2012 Principal of the Year. 

Complex Area Superintendent Patricia Park nominated Ms. Coleman based on her excellence in the areas of collaborative leadership and her effectiveness as an outstanding instructional leader at Leilehua High School.  Principal Coleman is totally committed to providing a quality education for all students.  This commitment to her students has been a model for other educators as they make informed decisions on curriculum, instruction and assessments to create a learning environment that enhances the growth of each individual student. 

Aloha began her career as a teacher at Laie Elementary School where the principal repeatedly suggested she go into administration.  She chose to stay with teaching and after years at Laie, she went on to teach at Haleiwa Elementary School in the early 1990’s.  During this time, the Haleiwa community experienced great change as the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Village for the homeless came in behind the old Haleiwa gym. Homeless individuals and families were placed in the village from all over the island.  This influx affected the small school of Haleiwa as the administration, teachers and faculty braced themselves to support the children that resided in the village. Haleiwa Elementary had no Vice Principal so the Principal asked Aloha if she would be willing to be the Administrative Assistant to support the teachers and assist the principal in meeting the needs of the students.  She found she enjoyed working with the children and faculty throughout the school to create a positive environment for learning and growth.

After a year as the Administrative Assistant she decided to go through the D.O.E. Administration Training Program and was placed at Aiea High School.  With only rural elementary school experience, the idea of working in a high school in the city was a bit terrifying.  But after her first contact with the students, she knew that she would love working with students of all ages and any demographic.  She was offered a position at Leilehua High School as a Vice Principal where she served from 1996 to 1999.  In 1999 she was offered the position of Principal of Waialua Intermediate and High School where she remained until 2005 when she accepted a position in the District Office.  In 2007 she was offered her current position of Principal of Leilehua High School. 

Above all else there is a strong sense of ohana in the halls of Leilehua.  Administration, teachers and faculty work closely together and rely on each other for the support, encouragement and guidance needed to be successful in meeting the needs of the diverse student body of Leilehua High School.

Congratulations, Aloha! This is a well-deserved award to a very hardworking principal. Mahalo and we wish you the best in the future.


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