Photo via Hawaii Department of Education
Assistant Principal Meryl Matsumura was named the 2019 Hawaii Assistant Principal of the Year. She received the award at a luncheon at the Hale Koa Hotel on October 20, 2019. The award was presented by the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administration (HASSA) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
These organizations annually recognize assistant principals at the middle school and high school level. They look for nominees who have displayed admirable characteristics of an ideal assistant principal, such as creating quality school opportunities for their students.
Once she was nominated for the award, Matsumura was required to fill out an extensive questionnaire about her contributions to Waipahu High School (WHS), and submit three letters of recommendation (one of them being from a student), to be considered for the title.
Matsumura has been an assistant principal for 15 years; 10 of those years were spent at WHS. However, she wasn’t always an assistant principal. After graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Matsumura became an elementary school teacher at ʻIliahi Elementary School for grades kindergarten to third grade. Matsumura also worked as a student services coordinator at Waipahu Elementary School. When the vice principal at that time went on leave, Matsumura was asked to step in. After two years of working as an assistant principal, Matsumura transferred to Waikele Elementary School, and then to WHS.
Matsumura was assigned to support the Academy of Natural Resources (ANR). In 2015, ANR was given the first academy in the state to be awarded model status by the National Career Academy Coalition. Just this past school year, ANR was recertified along with the Academy of Health and Sciences.
Matsumura continues to make an impactful addition to the WHS administration each day.
“Every day is a new day, and every day brings you new and different things to work on.”