Hugh-isms — On Kathy Matayoshi

(Editor’s Note: Following is Hugh Clark’s take on Kathy Matayoshi, the deputy state superintendent of Hawaii Department of Education who is taking over as acting superintendent with the departure of Patricia Hamamoto.)

By Hugh Clark

Kathryn Matayoshi (Photo courtesy of the Department of Education)

Kathryn Matayoshi (Photo courtesy of the Department of Education)

Acting state schools superintendent Kathy Matayoshi is a Big Island woman with roots to the noted family of legal and physician fame for decades.

The daughter of former mayor Herbert T. Matayoshi was born and raised here, graduating from Hilo High before her college days at Carleton College (Minnesota) and UC Hastings Law School (San Francisco).

Many think she favors her mother, Mary, who made her mark as an early-day woman leader in the Peace Corps when Hilo was host to largest training center in the country and later at UH-Hilo where she ran continuing education for years.

Both Mary and Kathy are noted for successful ventures in public life and both once served the same cabinet of  former governor Ben Cayetano.

Her parents still retain the family home near Hilo Muncipal Golf Course and divide their time between here and Oahu. Kathy was best known until this week as a state director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs that Cayetano said she turned “upside down” while making it self sufficent.

She had numerous private sector jobs but the media here remembers her as the shy daughter of the mayor who played in Dr. George Durham’s Imu band when he provided music for the satirical show the Big Island Press Club used to stage.

She sat through many rehearsals watching her dad spoofed and speared on stage. Read more