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Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Abercrombie appoints Don Horner to BoE, plans to appoint Horner to New BoE
By News Release @ 4:32 PM :: 5594 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

Governor Abercrombie Selects Community Leader for the Board of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 9, 2011

Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie this morning made his first appointment to the Board of Education (BOE) announcing that Don Horner will fill the vacant O‘ahu-at-Large seat.

“Don Horner has the skills and experience to oversee an organization as complex and large as Hawai‘i’s public schools system,” Governor Abercrombie said. “We are looking for people to serve on the Board of Education who are committed to Hawai‘i’s students and who can help bring fundamental change. Mr. Horner and future BOE appointees will work together with Superintendent Kathy Matayoshi and the Department of Education to bring about a New Day in public education in Hawai‘i.”

Horner, who has been recognized for his vast community service, is the board chairman and chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank.  In 2009, he chaired the State Legislature’s Reinventing Government Task Force that examined various government agencies, including the Department of Education (DOE).  He was vice chairman of the DOE’s Interagency Working Group that implemented Act 51’s legislation and served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

“I am honored and humbled by the Governor’s confidence, support, and our shared commitment to education,” Horner said. “Governor Abercrombie and I have high expectations for our schools. My priority will be to provide strategic support and a clear vision for our dedicated DOE employees, our students, and their parents.”

Horner serves on the board of trustees of ‘Iolani School, and is a trustee-emeritus of Mid-Pacific Institute.  He has served on the Advisory Council for both the University of Hawai‘i at Mânoa’s Shidler College of Business and the School of Nursing.  Horner has also taught courses in finance at UH.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Horner fills the vacancy left by Lei Ahu Isa, Ph.D., an O‘ahu at-large member, who resigned on January 25, 2011. According to state law, the Governor appoints a replacement when there is a vacancy on the BOE. Horner’s appointment is effective immediately.

In November 2010, Hawai‘i voters approved a Constitutional Amendment that gives the Governor the authority to appoint members of the BOE. Governor Abercrombie is encouraged that the State Legislature has been moving expeditiously to establish the appointment process for BOE members. When that legislative process is complete, Governor Abercrombie intends to name Horner among his first appointments.

BOE members oversee the Department of Education, which has a $1.7 billion operational budget.  The DOE is one of the state’s largest organizations with more employees than the state’s five largest private sector employers combined.

Governor Abercrombie is looking for talented and dedicated leaders who care about our children’s education and the future of Hawai‘i. He will appoint individuals with skills, talent and experience amenable to leading an organization as large, complex, and diverse as the DOE.

Those interested in being considered for a BOE member position are encouraged to apply through the Governor’s website,  BOE members will be selected based on the process established in implementing legislation. 

Governor Abercrombie is also tasked with appointing members for 150 boards and commissions.  For more information about those boards and commissions and to apply, please visit




HONOLULU -- Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi issued the following statement today regarding Governor Neil Abercrombie's appointment of Don Horner to fill a vacant Oahu at-large Board seat:

"On behalf of the Board, I welcome Mr. Horner and look forward to working with him to continue improving educational opportunities for Hawaii’s public school students. Mr. Horner joins the Board during a critical period of severe budget challenges, including potential school closures, labor contract negotiations, extending the school year and school days, and challenging the department to raise the achievement level of all of our students.

"Mr. Horner has been actively involved in supporting education through the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation and various other initiatives. His value of education along with his strong financial and managerial expertise will undoubtedly be invaluable assets to the Board and our schools."



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