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Head of School announcement

Dear St. Anthony School ‘Ohana and Parish Community,

Aloha, on behalf of the St. Anthony School Board of Directors, we have exciting news to share! Our rigorous nationwide search for a new Head of School has reached a successful conclusion. With counsel provided by nationally respected Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions, four well qualified semifinalist candidates advanced through our extensive interview and vetting process. Two finalists were identified from those activities and recently completed individual day-long on-campus visits with constituents and stakeholders representing our school and parish communities. We are delighted to share that the search committee, school board, current pastor, Fr. Roland Bunda, incoming pastor, and Vicar Forane, Rev. Msgr. Terrence A.M. Watanabe have all approved Mr. David Kenney as our next Head of School.

As Chairperson of the St. Anthony School Board of Directors and the search committee, I am excited and look forward to the leadership and value David will bring as our new Head of School. His demonstrated success in education will ensure that SAS will continue its current momentum and growth mindset in providing a quality experience to Maui’s families.

Fr. Bunda comments, “We are blessed to have David Kenney as our new Head of School. He brings a wealth of experiences within our Catholic tradition and mission. Let us pray for him as he continues to uphold the Marianist legacy of St. Anthony School and Parish.”

The search committee agreed that David is a strong, humble, Christ-centered leader with extensive education and executive experience who will passionately and strategically advance the mission and vision of St. Anthony School. Mr. Kenney is currently concluding his 5th year as a District Educational Specialist with the Hawaii Department of Education-Maui District. Throughout his nearly 30 years in education, David has served in various administrative roles, including school psychologist, early childhood coordinator, and district-wide executive leadership roles. As a data-driven, student-centered leader, David is known for building curricular programs of excellence and strengthening academic

Mr. Kenney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In addition, he has completed coursework related to School Finance and Business Administration, Selection and Development of Educational Personnel, Legal Aspects of School Administration, and Human Concerns in Schools. Upon being appointed, David shared, “I am truly honored and humbled for the opportunity to lead St. Anthony School. St. Anthony has a rich deep history of providing excellent academic experiences rooted in Catholic values emphasizing ‘ohana, friendship, integrity, faith, and generosity. As demonstrated by the teachers, parents, alumni, and greater St. Anthony’s community I have met so far, the level of passion for the school has been most remarkable and impressive. I look forward to meeting the entire school ‘ohana in the coming weeks and school year. It is an exciting time to be joining the school. As we begin the school’s 138th year of service, long-planned capital projects are coming to fruition. I am also looking forward to fostering a greater connection between the school and the parish, alumni, and the Maui community. I am excited to be working in partnership with the entire school and parish constituencies to that end.”

In this role as Head of School, Mr. Kenney will serve as the school leader. He will hold full responsibility for implementing the school mission, Catholic identity, academic excellence, and all other aspects of the school’s business operations. He will be directly responsible for partnering with the Board to continue and build upon the Strategic Plan to support the vision of SAS, ensuring for sufficient resources, sound
fiscal management, and financial stability of the school through direct oversight of the business operations, development, alumni, and community relations and enrollment management activities. In partnership with Msgr. Watanabe, they will both serve as the visible and engaged public faces of our school community in attending to the external affairs of the school. Our highly skilled and passionate faculty, staff, and central office teams will continue to serve in their respective mission-critical supporting roles.

Msgr. Watanabe shared, “as the incoming Pastor of St. Anthony Church and School, I am pleased to welcome David Kenney as the new Head of School. I believe that the School Board and Search Committee has done a great job selecting the right person for this job at this time. David is already participating in the life of the parish through his ministry of music in playing the organ for the 7 a.m.

Mass every Sunday, and I look forward to his presence on our team that will bring greater unity and strength to St. Anthony Church and School. He is a man of faith, care, and concern and has the educational background to direct and support the growth of faith and knowledge of the youth who come through our doors. We are very blessed to be St. Anthony from Pre-School to 12th Grade. I look forward to being with all of you in July.” Mr. Kenney will begin serving as our Head of School on July 12, 2021. In the meantime, he will be meeting with our central office team to plan for a smooth leadership transition. We are also in the process of scheduling opportunities for our community to welcome David and his wife Kathleen to our SAS ‘ohana. Additional details will be shared as they become available.

On behalf of the St. Anthony School Board of Directors, I wish to express my gratitude to the SAS community for offering their candid input during the process, as well as to the dedicated members of the search committee who thoughtfully engaged in the search process.

Please join me in celebrating and supporting Mr. Kenney as he takes on this critical role of Head of School of St. Anthony School. Please know of my prayers for the continued growth and success of the school and parish communities.

Gratefully and with much mahalo,
Jeanne Unemori Skog, Chairwoman
Board of Directors