Press Releases

$25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award Presented to Kipapa Elementary School Principal Corinne Yogi

The Island Insurance Foundation presented Corinne Yogi, principal of Kipapa Elementary School in Mililani, with its 14th annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award earlier this evening at the annual Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

The $25,000 award is named in honor of the late Masayuki Tokioka, founder of Island Insurance Company, Ltd. It is presented annually by the Island Insurance Foundation to a local public school principal who is visionary, community-minded and has an entrepreneurial spirit – qualities of leadership that Tokioka exemplified in his own company and in the larger business community.

“Principal Yogi is a leader who is transforming Kipapa Elementary into a model learning institution,” said Tyler Tokioka, President of the Island Insurance Foundation. “By recognizing outstanding principals such as Corinne, it is our hope that her accomplishments will inspire others in public education.”

At tonight’s event, Yogi received $15,000 for a school project of her choice and an additional $10,000 cash award. The Island Insurance Foundation also presented a $2,000 cash award to the two semi-finalists: Principal Alfredo Carganilla of Farrington High School in Honolulu and Principal Stacey Bello of Keaukaha Elementary in Hilo.

Fourteen local public-school principals were nominated for the award. They each received $1,000 and a commemorative plaque, which were presented to them at a recognition ceremony on April 7th. The other 11 principals nominated this year include:

• Dale Arakaki, Pauoa Elementary School, Oahu

• Sharon Beck, Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School, Big Island

• Erik Burkman, Kalaheo Elementary School, Kauai

• Danny Garcia, Kohala Elementary School, Big Island

• Disa Hauge, Waianae High School, Oahu

• Catherine Kilborn, Baldwin High School, Maui

• Robin Martin, Moanalua High School, Oahu

• Cindy Otsu, Kapolei Elementary School, Oahu

• James Rippard, Kailua Elementary School, Oahu

• Aaron Tominaga, Lehua Elementary School, Oahu

• Bernadette Tyrell, Castle High School, Oahu

Yogi has been an educator at Kipapa Elementary for over 24 years, including eight years as principal. Established in 1932 to serve the pineapple plantation community, Kipapa Elementary serves a diverse population of students, where some 52% of students receive free or reduced-priced lunches. Through the years, Yogi has fostered an “ohana culture” where students, families and community members feel welcomed. It is this strong relationship with the community that has provided the most support to the school. Prior to the start of each school year, the school’s community partners donate school supplies and clothing for the approximately one-third of students who are unable to afford new supplies. It was this community support that also helped to achieve the school’s goal of providing technological devices to each student.

As the award recipient, Yogi plans to use the monies to redesign the school library for the use of the extended Kipapa ohana. This would give the entire Kipapa community access to adult education classes, after-school and evening access to technology, and supplies for projects for students from kindergarten through seniors in high school and even college. This would help to alleviate the many barriers Kipapa area students and families encounter and offer support and options to further their education, become college- and career-ready and prepare them for a positive future.

An immigrant from Japan, Masayuki Tokioka moved to Hawaii at age 12 and graduated from McKinley High School in 1921. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Master of Business Administration in international commerce from Harvard University. His business career spanned 70 years, during which time he founded several successful enterprises including the Island Insurance Companies, International Savings & Loan Association, Ltd. and National Mortgage & Finance Company, Ltd. He was also a driving force in establishing many community-focused entities including the Hawaii Immigrant Preservation Center, Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation and the Japanese Cultural Centers in Hawaii and San Francisco.

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

Island Insurance has been serving Hawaii’s families and businesses for over 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 10 consecutive years. Island Insurance holds a financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, visit its website at: www.islandinsurance.com.

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