He Au Hou – A New Time, a New Tide

September 28, 2016

This text is excerpted from President Jim Scott’s ’70 address to faculty and staff on their opening meeting of the 2016 – 2017 school year.

As we look at this year and to the years ahead, I hope we can build upon the momentum of our 175th anniversary celebration to continue to reach out, connect and engage our alumni across the world. This not only helps to formalize a valuable Punahou network for our future graduates, but it also helps us to imagine the next 25 years. Our anniversary was not just looking back at 175 years, but also looking forward at what we might become at our bicentennial, when the Class of 2016 comes back for their 25th Reunion.

If we are able to think boldly, if we can see long distances, it’s because of Punahou’s robust financial health, strong student enrollment, the leadership of our faculty and our mature fundraising capacity. Last fiscal year we raised approximately $28 million in gifts and new pledges – a new record for Punahou and among the top independent schools in the country – for financial access to a Punahou education, for our faculty’s professional growth and instructional thought leadership, and for new learning environments like the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Neighborhood.

The work we did last year helped affirm the Aims of a Punahou Education: deeper personalized learning; social and emotional learning; educating for a global perspective and sustainable future; educating for entrepreneurship and social responsibility; integrating Hawaiian values; creating learning environments that extend teaching and learning; and providing robust faculty professional development that supports the ongoing learning, renewal, instructional innovation and leadership of our teachers.

Our greatest public purpose initiative is our commitment to financial aid and making this community more representative of our broader community of talented children who can take full advantage of a Punahou education. Our public purpose programs are also expressed through the lives of our alumni, our faculty and staff, Luke Center for Public Service, and the PUEO program which started years ago with rising sixth-graders from public schools whose aspirations to attend college we hoped to support. That first group just graduated from college this past year. And more than acknowledging Punahou’s leadership in this, I’d like to recognize the importance of replicating programs like PUEO within other private and public schools.

In recent years, I’ve talked about Punahou becoming a nexus between educational research and practice: teacher as author, researcher, teacher to other teachers. I believe there’s a readiness for Punahou to engage in and, in some cases, to help lead the discussion about the improvement of education, and I invite your engagement and guidance as we do so in the months ahead.

James K. Scott ’70