WASC Words Hawaii

Fall 2021

Chairperson's Update

R. David Gaudi Jr., Ed.D. | Chairperson, Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC

Aloha fellow Hawaii Educators!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is David Gaudi and it is my distinct honor to follow in the footsteps of the late great Dr. Moss Ikeda (1992–94 ACS WASC Chairperson) as the second Hawaii educator to serve as the chair of the ACS WASC Commission. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly especially given the myriad challenges currently facing our schools.

In the nearly 60 years of its existence, WASC has accomplished some truly amazing work, but perhaps none more important than the work presently being done to help schools navigate the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools are not only contending with on-going government mandates and high stakes safety concerns, they are also faced with funding shortfalls, teacher recruitment/retention challenges as well as student learning loss, increased anxiety, and poor attendance.

As difficult as this situation may be for educators, I remain optimistic and supremely confident that our schools are up to this mighty challenge and will see these latest struggles as opportunities. And I assure you that President Dr. Barry Groves and Executive Vice President Dr. Marilyn George, along with the entire WASC team are committed to the success of Hawaii schools. Please look to WASC to continue their creative, collaborative, flexible, and supportive ways while adhering to their hallmark standard of excellence in education.

Wishing you a wonderful 2021–22 school year!

Aloha and Mahalo,
R. David Gaudi Jr.

President's Update

Barry R. Groves, Ed.D. | President, Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the first edition of our WASC Hawaii newsletter. As the field of education continues to evolve and challenge us all, we will continue to recognize these challenges as opportunities and as a chance to make a profound impact on our young leaders. As always, we look forward to collaborating, supporting, and navigating these times together. On behalf of the amazing staff and members associated with WASC, I wish you all a wonderful school year!


Barry R. Groves

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Ongoing Refinements in the WASC Focus on Learning Process

The ACS WASC Commission, composed of thirty-five members representing the various constituencies of WASC, adopted an Equity Statement in Spring 2021. The WASC protocols, materials and process already include a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). There will be additional review and refinements of the protocols, materials, and trainings guided by the Equity Statement. WASC recognizes that as we work collaboratively with educators and various associations and task forces, strengthening DEI work is indeed unending.

WASC Hawaii Visit

Dr. Barry Groves and Dr. Marilyn George spent a week in Hawaii recently to meet and hold discussions about school accreditation. They met with WASC commissioners Dr. David Gaudi, Andrea Fukumoto, and Esther Kanehailua. In addition, they met with people from the charter schools and independent schools, as well as the Hawaii State Department of Education. Dr. Groves and Dr. George met with Interim Superintendent of Hawaii State Schools, Keith T. Hayashi.

Virtual Visit Guidelines

As the COVID pandemic continues to have a global impact, our accreditation visits will remain virtual. We are proud of the positive feedback and success of these virtual visits.

In response to the virtual visits, WASC has put together new procedures that may be viewed in your portal or by clicking here.

As always, remember WASC is here to provide guidance as you prepare for your upcoming virtual visit. Thank you for supporting the WASC process during these unprecedented times.

WASC Portals

The School, Member, and District/Association portals have now been released. School accreditation and visiting committee materials have been moved from the WASC website and are now found in the portals. Staff and visiting committees members will only see the materials appropriate to them. We hope you have had a chance to log in and familiarize yourself with the new experience.

Meet our 2021-2022 Commissioners

Welcome back to school! As a new school year begins, we would like to introduce you to the 2021-2022 WASC Commission.

Get to know our Commissioners here:


The Commission is comprised of thirty-five persons, representing various constituencies of WASC, selected by the Commission’s Nomination Review Committee from candidates nominated by member organizations or the Commission.

ACS WASC Accredited Logo and Communication Toolkit

”Accredited” logos, accreditation announcement resources, and merchandise order forms are now available in the Communication Toolkit located on the Home page of the School Portal.

Strengthening and Building our Community. Connect with Us!

One of the areas our WASC Communications Team is focused on is strengthening connectivity between WASC schools and developing opportunities for sharing best practices in school improvement.

Stay connected with WASC on social media by following, liking, or connecting to our accounts by clicking on the links below. If you're already on social media, don't forget to tag WASC in your posts!




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Accreditation Support


Marilyn S. George, Ed.D.

Executive Vice President

650 696-1060 | mgeorge@acswasc.org

Training Information

Sylvia Taylor

Training Coordinator

650 235-8621 | staylor@acswasc.org

WASC Mission

ACS WASC advances and validates quality ongoing school improvement by supporting its private and public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary member institutions to engage in a rigorous and relevant self-evaluation and peer review process that focuses on student learning.