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Spring 2012 Issue

Retirement Beckons - The Legacy of Dr. Val T. Iwashita ’67
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Spring 2012 - Department | Headmaster’s Column

Headmaster’s Column

I would like to think that he found a measure of peace that many of us want but few of us ever find.
The Last Samurai
In a few short months I will retire as Headmaster of ‘Iolani School. I have experienced a mixture of feelings and thoughts as that time approaches, the most prevalent of which is fulfillment. With the help, leadership and good work of many, many others, I leave behind a beautiful campus and a school on solid financial footing, one that is highly regarded in Hawai‘i and beyond. Our future also looks bright, with the Sullivan Center and the Date-La‘au property providing the potential for even better things to come.

Most important, we are in good hands. My first Headmaster’s Column 17 years ago was a prayer and reads in part:

We are especially thankful for the people who bring ‘Iolani to life:

Children who are eager and bright and people of good character, and who, by their nature, help to create a pleasant and productive community for learning.

Parents who participate and give generously of their time and energy in support of their children’s aspirations.

Expert faculty who bring knowledge, dedication and a love for children to the classroom each day.

Caring and attentive faculty and staff who serve as a sturdy safety net of advocacy when children falter.

Alumni and friends who form a large network and spread the ‘Iolani spirit far and wide.

Loyal supporters who believe strongly in an ‘Iolani education and who remain by our side in our quest to provide the best possible education.

Individuals, like myself, will come and go, but the group that remains will carry on the good work of people before them.
These words are as true today as they were when I began my tenure here—maybe more so.

People are the life blood of our organization. Their love for ‘Iolani, their passion for education and their commitment to students is the base upon which all else is built. I feel good about the team we have put together and the strength of our organizational culture which emphasizes excellence, community and character. Individuals, like myself, will come and go, but the group that remains will carry on the good work of people before them.

If there is any lesson from my experience here, it is that one’s efforts can make a positive difference, and that accomplishment is the source of much peace.