National principal titles goes to Maori educator

[Reprinted from the September 2013 issue of IMUA Polenisia,
the Polynesian Cultural Center newsletter: Story and Maori photo by Mike Foley] 

Sheena-AlaiasaSome people at the Latter-day Saint Church-affiliated Polynesian Cultural Center only know her as Sheena, a part-time Maori musician, but to 600-plus students as well as the 52 faculty members she oversees every week-day, she’s Mrs. Alaiasa [pictured at right], Principal of Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School in Kaneohe, Oahu.

In fact, she’s so good at her full-time position that the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators recently named her State Middle School Principal of the Year, based on her excellence in professional growth, collaborative leadership, advancements in curriculum, instruction and assessment, and personalization of learning.

With that honor, she went on to become the first person from Hawaii to be nominated as a national middle school principal of the year finalist; and subsequently won the title in Washington, D.C.

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