State Schools Superintendent Kathryn S. Matayoshi delivers the keynote address at the University of Hawaii at Hilo fall commencement, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 in the UH-Hilo New Gym.
A total of 270 students are candidates for a variety of degrees and/or certificates. The undergraduates and their respective colleges include: College of Arts and Sciences (216); Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (9); Business and Economics (28) and Ka Haka Ula O Keelikolani College of Hawaiian Language (3). Another 14 students are candidates for various post-graduate honors.
Matayoshi, the daughter of former Big Island Mayor Herbert Matayoshi and noted community leader Mary Matayoshi, graduated from Hilo High School. She earned a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Carleton College.
She joined the Department of Education as Deputy Superintendent in 2009 and became Acting and Interim Superintendent in January 2010 following the retirement of Patricia Hamamoto.
In September, Matayoshi was appointed to a four-year term as Superintendent by the State Board of Education. As the head of public schools, she has pledged to implement the necessary changes to ensure students receive a world-class education and graduate college- and career-ready.
Prior to joining the DOE, Matayoshi had a long, distinguished career in the private, government and non-profit sectors. Her most recent positions include Executive Director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Links Hawaii, Chief of Staff, City and County of Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and Director of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
She also held positions at Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, and served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Samuel P. King. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Aloha United Way and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and is a charter member of the Hawaii P-20 Council.
Kelli Makino, an accounting and business administration major, delivers the student address. Makino, who carries a 3.97 GPA, was born in Hilo and is a 2006 graduate of Hilo High School. She came to UH-Hilo on a Chancellor’s Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding graduates from Hawaii high schools.