HONOLULU - The Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA) today named Principal Linell Dilwith from Stevenson Middle School as the 2018 Hawaii National Distinguished Principal. Dilwith will join the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) awardees from the other 49 states in Washington D.C. in October.

Cecile LaMar from Makaha Elementary was honored as the 2018 Hawaii Outstanding Vice Principal. She will be traveling to Orlando for the NAESP conference in July where she will be honored with the other Outstanding Assistant Principals.

“It is important that we take the time to honor our school leaders for their role in cultivating environments where students and staff can collaborate and thrive,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Congratulations to Principal Dilwith, Vice Principal LaMar and all of the honorees. Mahalo for your dedication to the Department and Hawaii’s public school students.”

Complex Area Superintendent Ruth Silberstein praised Dilwith as a transformational leader, adding, “She could be described as a futuristic, 21st century principal who is able to move the past into the present and anticipate the needs of the future through a variety of successful initiatives at Stevenson Middle. The changes in the school’s culture, focus on student voice and redesign have yielded amazing results and would not have been possible without Principal Dilwith’s talented leadership.”  

Dilwith has been a principal with the Hawaii State Department of Education for nine years, six of which has been at Stevenson Middle. She has also served as principal at Lanakila Elementary, interim complex area superintendent for Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area, member of the Leadership Institute Design & Advisory committee, and a School Turnaround Specialist.

The other 2018 Hawaii National Distinguished Principal (NDP) honorees include:

Corrine Yogi, Kipapa Elementary, Central District

Noreen Kunitomo, Honaunau Elementary, Hawaii District

Sherry Gonsalves, Kilauea Elementary, Kauai District

Deb Hatada, Kaimiloa Elementary, Leeward District

Robyn Honda, Makawao Elementary, Maui District

Derek Minakami, Kaneohe Elementary, Windward District

The 2018 NDP awards took place at the Hale Koa Hotel and was sponsored by VALIC, Spectrum, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union and the Educational Institute of Hawaii.

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA) is the local chapter of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The purpose of HEMSAA is to facilitate positive educational leadership and serve as a voice for elementary, middle-level principals and other members. For more information, visit http://www.naesp.org/hawaii.