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UH alumna appointed to Hawaiʻi Board of Education

by Tunae

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Mary Hattori was appointed to the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education by Gov. Josh Green. Hattori earned a BEd and professional diploma in secondary education, an MEd in educational technology (LTEC), and EdD in professional education practice from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education.

As part of the board, Hattori will formulate policy and exercise control over the public school system and public library system through its executive officers, the superintendent of education, and the state librarian.

“This appointment is important to me because my professional journey has given me the qualities required for board service, it aligns with a family tradition of public service, and I possess a strong belief in the importance of education for the good of society,” Hattori said. “I am humbled and honored by the Governor’s appointment; the many expressions of support from family, friends, and colleagues; and the support of the Hawaiʻi State Senate. I appreciate this opportunity to practice servant leadership for the sake of our keiki, our future.”

Director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center, Hattori teaches EdD and LTEC courses at the College of Education, and serves on doctoral committees. Her subject areas include Indigenous research methodologies, online course design and digital leadership/digital wisdom.

Hattori, who said education has been a passion of hers since she was young, has also worked for the UH Mānoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies and Chaminade University.

“These organizations support professional development of educators and prioritize the needs of Pacific Islander communities,” Hattori said. “I have been greatly influenced by public servants from Micronesia like my friend and mentor, the late Dr. Joachim Jojo Peter, the first COFA citizen to serve on a state board or commission. I have also been inspired by community leader Ms. Shanty Asher, Pacific Islander Liaison Officer at the Office of Economic Revitalization for the City and County of Honolulu and outgoing Board of Education member.”

Known for her work with equity and social inclusion for Micronesians in Hawaiʻi, Hattori has been teaching professional development courses to teachers and other school personnel for more than a decade.

“I am impressed by the dedication of our teachers and their interest in better understanding and better supporting Pacific islander families in their schools,” Hattori said. “I have met many parents, pastors, and youth leaders who all care deeply about our schools and know that educational attainment will enable positive contributions to the state of Hawaiʻi.”

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