The HCS Scoop

Spring - Summer 2019

However, we must do more

Dear Hawaii Catholic Schools (HCS) Ohana:

The diocese’s five-year plan, ‘Stewards of the Gospel,’ in part, states - “Our Catholic schools are an effective infrastructure for formation in the faith. To assure that this valuable infrastructure is available to us Catholics and others for generations to come, we must do all we can to make them available, accessible, and affordable.” I agree with the Plan – there is no greater investment for forming our youth's future than in investing in our Hawaii Catholic Schools. Where else can a student learn about the beliefs, practices and traditions of our Catholic faith, and live out their faith in a safe environment that promotes academic excellence?

In the past, the Hawaii Catholic Schools have payed tremendous dividends for our young people, their families, our Church and society. Recently, we have increased tuition support, improved our pedagogy and curriculum standards, and increased and improved our marketing. However, we must do more. With the collaboration and input from all constituencies, and with the insight and power provided by the Holy Spirit, we will continue to provide high quality Catholic schools and “do all we can to make them available, accessible, and affordable.”

In Christ,

Michael Rockers, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


Big picture

Saint Francis School graduates its final class with commencement ceremony at Blaisdell acknowledging school’s closure while celebrating seniors read more HERE.


On Wednesday, May 22, at 11:30am the annual Hawaii Catholic Schools Recognition Luncheon took place at the Ko’olau Ballrooms. Attendants included Bishop Larry Silva, Monsignor Gary Secor, priests, Heads of Catholic Schools, board members, exceptional teachers and staff, partners who support our schools, and church/school staff. Formally known at the Administrators End of the Year Social, this annual event has grown into a larger celebration than years past as we were delighted to welcome keynote speaker Dr. Helen Turner, Vice President of Innovation at Chaminade University and one of the foremost experts in the country related to innovation in Catholic schools. At the luncheon Dr. Turner introduced and launched the upcoming Chaminade University and Hawaii Catholic Schools Innovation Award, Ka Ho’oulu.

KA HO’OULU: Hawai‘i Catholic Educator Innovation Award

Overview: The National Catholic Education Association has an Innovation in Catholic Education annual awards program to foster creativity and growth in Catholic schools nationwide. In 2020 Hawaii Catholic Schools will initiate a new award to recognize innovation by our educators. We will use the NCEA ICE awards as a model so our Hawai‘i innovators can aspire to the national competition in future years.

The Ka Ho’oulu Hawai‘i Catholic Education Innovation Awards will include one annual recognition for “innovation that has advanced Catholic education in Hawaii” and up to two annual “Incubating Innovation” grants to fund ground-breaking school projects, focusing on ‘Innovation for Mission’ with several themes:

  • Innovation as a call to remain relevant and attractive to our stakeholders, to continue to thrive in a competitive landscape, to best serve our students and to glorify God through our work;
  • An emphasis on capturing and celebrating the current creativity of our educators, as well as fostering new directions and initiatives;
  • A broad focus on innovations inside and outside the classroom;
  • The development of a culture of innovation with constant attention to measurable outcomes and impact;
  • Acknowledging the inspirational role of the Holy Spirit in the work of innovation

Notably, the luncheon included the presentation award for the first-ever recipient of the teacher of the year award, The Golden Pine”apple” to St. Anthony School Maui Ernest Mendoza. Read the kind words from former students and his peers HERE. We also recognized outstanding teachers who have won National and/or State Awards and acknowledged the service of departing administrators:

Exceptional Teachers

  • Maryknoll School: Kit-U Wong (Hawaii Council of Economics Education's (HCEE) Teacher of the Year)
  • Sacred Hearts Academy: Deborah Kula (State of Hawaii’s 2019 Educator Award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Hawaii Affiliate)
  • Sacred Hearts Academy: Laurel Oshiro “Golden Key Award” from the Hawaii Association of School Librarians
  • St. Louis School: Adria Fung (Middle School VEX IQ Hawaii State Championships Volunteer of the Year)
  • St. Louis School: Ethann Oki (The Hawaii Council for the Humanities-For outstanding service to its Hawaii History Day Program and teaching of history's habits of the mind)

Departing Administrators

  • Sacred Hearts Academy’s Betty White
  • St. Catherine School’s Britt Cocumelli
  • St. Francis School’s Dr. Casey Asato
  • Hawaii Catholic Schools Associate Superintendent Betsey Gunderson

See more pictures of our departing administrators HERE.



In the latest issue of the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Superintendent of Hawaii Catholic Schools Dr. Mike Rockers participates in a Q & A section sharing how he acted to change a bill that threatened the religious identity of our schools. Read the full article HERE.


Hawaii Catholic Schools Week ended with the Annual Conference of Catholic Educators (ACCE) for Oahu teachers, administrators and staff at St. Ann Church in Kaneohe on Feb. 1. This year’s national Catholic Schools Week theme was “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

ACCE begins with a morning Mass that includes recognition and awards given for those celebrating milestone years of service with Hawaii Catholic Schools. After Mass and refreshments, Jodee Blanco, a national anti-bullying expert and advocate, led the educators in her three-part training entitled “It’s Not Just Joking Around!” about how to recognize and stop school bullying. For our educators, these trainings allowed preschools to meet their DSSH licensure requirements and all of our schools have her permission to use her anti-bullying curriculum, INJJA (It’s Not Just Joking Around”). Primarily a series of activities that can be used altogether or individually based upon age level and themes, her material and her suggestions to manage bullies and to assist the bullied child, has been vetted by mental health professionals. Blanco also presented at St. Catherine School on Kauai, St. Ann School in Kaneohe, Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Pearl City, St. John the Baptist School in Kalihi, Holy Family Catholic Academy in Honolulu, and Sacred Hearts School on Maui. Blanco’s talks were supported by the Hawaii Catholic Schools office and a grant from the Augustine Educational Foundation.

Congratulations to those celebrating 20, 30, & 40-year work anniversaries with Hawaii Catholic Schools! Get to know more about these inspirational educators. Read more HERE...


In case you and/or your students (and their families) are feeling reminiscent, this year’s Choral Festival is posted online HERE.

School summer programs and Professional Development opportunities are listed HERE.

View our update 2019-2020 calendar HERE.

Coming soon to our website: tuition assistance information!



  • Diocesan New Personnel Orientation | 8/10 | Location: TBA | 9:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Mass for the Opening of the School Year/Feast of the Assumption and presentation | 8/15 | St. Ann Church | Mass begins at 8:30 am
  • Pastor/Principal Summit | no summit this year
  • Admissions Day Holiday | 8/16 | Observed at Diocesan Offices
  • Mandatory Administrators’ Meeting | 8/22 | Location: TBA | 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


  • Principal - St. Catherine Catholic School in Kapaa, Kauai

More information on these positions will be posted on