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Survey Results and Position Specification

The following message was sent by the Presidential Search Committee ...

We are pleased to share with you the Position and Candidate Specification for the next President of Punahou School. The Specification will be used to recruit qualified candidates, to describe the opportunity and to define the leadership skills we seek to guide Punahou into the future.

The Spencer Stuart Team along with the Presidential Search Committee heard the perspectives of more than 500 members of the Punahou ‘ohana who attended the nearly 50 listening sessions which took place in Hawai‘i and in thirteen other cities around the world. We also synthesized over 3,300 responses to the online survey which ran from October 20 – November 3. The thoughtful participation of so many members of our community was both informative and gratifying.

The Punahou ‘ohana is remarkable in its breadth and depth, but some themes were repeated in the listening sessions across venues and stakeholder groups:

  • Punahou should strive for a balanced approach to excellence which values the unique, whole child, including academics, social and emotional learning, athletics, and the arts.
  • Punahou should maintain its unique culture, including its sense of place, its feeling of intimacy within a large community and its ability to innovate while upholding its core values.
  • While it would be helpful to have an alumnus/a or someone from Hawai‘i, that need not be a prerequisite. What is important is an understanding and appreciation of Punahou and Hawai‘i.
  • Punahou’s next leader should have multiple strengths: strategic skills to navigate changes to traditional models of education, administrative skill and financial acumen to run a large organization, empathy and collaborative skills to connect with various constituencies, and presence and confidence to be an effective listener, communicator and fundraiser.

We have also posted the results of our online survey for your perusal. Though not the whole picture, the responses provide some context for the Position Specification.

Over the coming months the Search Committee will be working closely with the Spencer Stuart Team to generate a strong candidate pool and conduct initial interviews. We will write to you again as we move through subsequent stages of this process. As you read the document we urge you to consider and suggest people you believe could serve effectively as Punahou’s next president, and please forward any names to