Press Releases

Maui Principals named as finalists in $25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award

Principals Steve Franz of King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina and Bruce Anderson of Maui High School in Kahului were named finalists in the Island Insurance Foundation 2015 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Awards. One Hawaii public school principal will receive $25,000 (a $10,000 personal cash award and $15,000 towards a school project of his or her choice). The recipient of this year’s award will be announced at the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation dinner on April 30, 2015 in Honolulu.

The award, which is named after Island Insurance founder Masayuki Tokioka, is underwritten by the Island Insurance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Island Insurance Companies. Thirteen public school principals from across the state are finalists for the award, which recognizes outstanding school principals across the state and their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students.

Steve Franz has been an educator at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina for 19 years, six years as principal of the school. Franz believes it is important to share in the ownership of a student’s success with his or her teachers. Upon becoming principal, Franz hired a Curriculum Coordinator to focus on curriculum improvements and instructional practices, and expanded the school’s teaching staff to include art, music, physical education and drama teachers. He then developed an Instructional Leadership team (ILT), comprised of a teacher representative from each grade level and department. These practices have greatly impacted students’ success and given Franz and his teachers the time to collaborate, share in the responsibility of creating academic plans and discuss new initiatives.

Bruce Anderson has been an educator for nearly 35 years. As principal of Maui High School in Kahului for the past three years, Principal Anderson’s focus has been to give students the support and opportunities to attain their college and career readiness goals. This was accomplished through the development of various support systems that include after school tutoring, extensive credit recovery programs (both during and after school) and a summer bridge program for freshmen students to address the transition to high school.

The other 11 nominees are:

Dean Cevallos, Keaau High School (Keaau, Hawaii)

Frank Fernandes, Kaimuki Middle School (Honolulu, Oahu)

Shelley Ferrara, Mauka Lani Elementary School (Kapolei, Oahu)

Debra Knight, Nanaikapono Elementary School (Waianae, Oahu)

Stacie Kunihisa, Kanoelani Elementary School (Waipahu, Oahu)

Corey Nakamura, Wilcox Elementary School (Lihue, Kauai)

Deborah Nekomoto, Kapunahala Elementary School (Kaneohe, Oahu)

Dennis O’Brien, E.B. DeSilva Elementary School (Hilo, Hawaii)

James Sunday, Radford High School (Honolulu, Oahu)

Malaea Wetzel, Haleiwa Elementary School (Haleiwa, Oahu)

Sean Wong, Ala Wai Elementary School (Honolulu, Oahu)

The Island Insurance Foundation was established as the charitable arm of Island Insurance, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and managed property & casualty insurance carrier.

The Island Insurance Foundation was established as the charitable arm of Island Insurance, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and managed property & casualty insurance carrier.

Island Insurance has been serving Hawaii’s families and businesses for 75 years and is the only Hawaii-based company to be recognized as one of the Top 50 property & casualty insurance companies in the nation by the Ward Group for seven consecutive years. Island Insurance holds a financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, visit its website at

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