The Chaminade ‘ohana was saddened at the news that Katherine Kawaguchi had passed away. She died on November 7, 2016, at the age of 69.
Earlier this fall, the Education Division had held a farewell retirement celebration for its director of Leadership and Education Projects who had served at Chaminade for nearly a decade. Kawaguchi had spearheaded two major project programs at Chaminade including the Castle K-16 Engineering Pipeline Project, as well as the Office of Naval Research Project and Educational Leadership Program.
Prior to Chaminade, Kawaguchi’s experience as an educator was extensive. During the course of her 33 years of educational experiences in different K-12 school systems, she taught as a high school science teacher in Indianapolis, Long Beach and on the island of Oahu (at Leilehua and Radford High Schools). She served for 20 years with the Hawaii Department of Education as an educational officer, a vice-principal, a State Environmental Education specialist, a Central District educational specialist, and as a state and district resource teacher. She also served Hawaii’s Department of Education as the assistant superintendent of the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support.
At Chaminade’s farewell celebration, Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM and interim dean of Education, Dale Fryxell, honored Kawaguchi with a special plaque. Deemed “The Kathy Kawaguchi Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership,” the plaque read: “The recipient of this award has demonstrated the highest level of professionalism in education. The Standards that Kathy Kawaguchi set forth for Educational Leaders are to serve as stellar role models, exemplary leaders, and dedicated mentors who guide with intelligence and integrity. The charge to those receiving this award is to instill these attributes in others.”
Everyone there expressed gratitude and aloha as she bid them a fond farewell.
Katherine Kawaguchi is survived by husband, Ray Kawaguchi; son, Lance (Lily) Kawaguchi; brother, Raymond (Gladys) Tamaribuchi; sister, Sandra (Elliot) Lee; five grandchildren and one hanai grandson.