Educator Profile    Educators

Yuuko Arikawa (HI '10)

Director of the Executive Office on Early Learning

Hawaii Department of Education
Honolulu, HI

At the time of the Award, Yuuko Arikawa was:

Literacy Coach
Ka'ala Elementary School
Wahiawa, HI

Subject(s) taught: Reading

Biographical Information

Native Hawaiian Yuuko Arikawa is adept at showing her students why reading is fundamental to their long-term success. At Ka'ala Elementary School in Wahiawā, HI, she instills in them a love of books and a strong grasp of the written word. From researching up-and-coming best practices and field-testing new strategies, to sharing her findings with fellow teachers and helping to integrate effective tactics into their lessons, Arikawa is an integral part of her school's achievement growth. If she's not coaching faculty members on imaginative ways to structure their lessons, there's a good chance Arikawa will be busy tutoring students during school and after using standards-based instructional materials. She also helped pilot Reading Street, the program the school adopted that allows for unit lessons and pacing guides at every grade level. As such, test scores have improved across the board over the past few years. Third-grade reading scores for 2009 have improved 12 percent over last year; fourth-grade scores improved 4 percent over last year; and the school went from being ranked as underperforming to achieving AYP the last three years in a row. Arikawa was appointed to the state Language Arts Content Panel, is an Edison Achievement Team member, and serves on several data and reading committees. She worked to make sure major areas in reading were covered despite furlough days, and helped set up reading and math web-based intervention programs at the school level to help parents get involved with students learning at home. 

Prior to the award, Yuuko taught 1st and 2nd Grades, was the Success for All facilitator, and reading coach.  Since the award, Yuuko expanded her role to becoming the school's curriculum coordinator, served as the School Renewal Specialist for the Leilehua Complex in O`ahu's Central District from 2012-2015 and completed the Certification Institute for School Leaders (CISL) program.  Her Educational Officer internships included placement at Hale Kula Elementary School, now known as Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, with a cross training experience at Leilehua High School.

On July 2, 2018, Yuuko became the Principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School where she served as Vice Principal since 2015.  Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School is on Schofield Barracks, an Army base, in Wahiawā, O'ahu.  Yuuko currently works as the  Director of the Executive Office on Early Learning for the Hawaii Department of Education.  

Yuuko graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 1995. She received her Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education with an academic emphasis in Family Resources from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2000. She received her Master of Education in Educational Foundations: Educational Leadership in the Asia / Pacific Region from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2005.

View Yuukoʻs Curriculum Vitae here:

Personal Message

Education is the progressive discovery of our ignorance.

Yuuko Arikawa In The News

Wahiawa Teacher Earns Prestigious Milken Award  |  ABC  |  Oct 26, 2010  |  Wahiawa, HI