Press Releases

Waianae Elementary School Principal Ray Pikelny Receives $25,000 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award

The Island Insurance Foundation has awarded Ray Pikelny, Principal of Waianae Elementary, with its 16th Annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award. Principals Scott Moore of Waialua Elementary and Jennifer Luke-Payne of Kaaawa Elementary were named as semi-finalists and will each receive a $2,000 cash award.

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

Fifteen 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 March 7, 2020. Traditionally, the award recipient is announced during the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Banquet, which was scheduled for Friday, April 9, 2020, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) stay-at-home order.

The other 12 principals nominated this year include:

• Marilyn Asahi, Kekaha Elementary, Kauai

• Stacy Bookland, Lahaina Intermediate, Maui

• Kasie Kaleohano, Waiakeawaena Elementary, Big Island

• Jacquelyn McCandless, Maui Waena Intermediate, Maui

• Sheldon Oshio, Waikele Elementary, Oahu

• James Rippard, Kalaheo High, Oahu

• Wilma Roddy, Mountain View Elementary, Big Island

• Jeffrey Shitaoka, Koko Head Elementary, Oahu

• Rory Souza, Honokaa Elementary, Big Island

• Stanley Tamashiro, Ewa Elementary, Oahu

• David Tanuvasa, Aiea High, Oahu

• Sean Wong, Roosevelt High, Oahu

Pikelny has been principal of Waianae Elementary for nearly three years. Under her leadership, the school and community have undergone a positive shift in operation and attitude. She often tells her staff their jobs involve more than just teaching; they can potentially have a life-altering impact on students and their families. With that mindset in place and several innovative programs in practice, the school has made tremendous strides in creating positive and nurturing relationships among teachers, students and the community.

SWIM (self-respect, worth it, involved and mindset) is one such program for students that rewards and supports positive behavior. Students earn SWIM points for attendance, academics, behavior and acts of kindness. Those points can then be redeemed for SWIM dollars to be used at the school’s online storefront or to shop on Amazon. Pikelny plans use her award monies to start a school-led credit union using the school’s SWIM dollar system. Students and their parents would be able to learn about finance by attending financial literacy workshops, incorporating opportunities to make money while participating in literacy activities. They would also be able to apply their learnings about financial management through the credit union’s various accounts and programs like long-term financial planning.

About Masayuki Tokioka

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, the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation and the Japanese Cultural Centers in Hawaii and San Francisco.

About the Island Insurance Foundation

The Island Insurance Foundation is the charitable arm of Island Insurance, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and managed property & casualty (P&C) insurance carrier.

Founded in downtown Honolulu, Island Insurance celebrates 80 years of serving Hawaii’s families and businesses in 2020. Island Insurance is the only Hawaii-based company to be recognized as a Top 50 P&C insurer in the nation by the Ward Group for 12 consecutive years and 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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