Glen K. Miyasato
Fern Elementary School
For principal Glen Miyasato, the foundation of student success is a learning environment based in trust and community care. As the leader of Fern Elementary, a linguistically and culturally diverse neighborhood school that primarily services Pacific Islanders in diaspora, Miyasato is driven to better understand the community’s unique needs and assets, taking a proactive approach to fostering school-community trust and the cultural competencies needed to deliver responsive strategies for student support. These efforts are especially vital in an urban community where poverty, systemic violence, and other historical disadvantages have magnified the negative impacts of the pandemic. To ensure this foundation is strong, Miyasato has baked relationship-building into everyday teaching and management practices, implemented SEL programs, cultivated mental health partnerships, and taken his leadership beyond the school as a member of a coalition that develops broad community social, health, and education resources. Miyasato actively seeks feedback from community leaders and personally leads the Walking School Bus program, accompanying up to 40 students daily to ensure safe passage to school on high-traffic streets. His efforts to build safety, trust, and belonging for the school’s high-poverty, high-ELL population has paid off academically. Following years of stagnation, the school has sustained gains over the past three years, including an impressive one-year jump of 20 percent in reading proficiency. Miyasato holds M.Ed. and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.