By Alberta Morita De Jetley
As you may know, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Education (DOE) uses a weighted student formula to determine how much funding each school receives. Small schools, especially K-12 schools in Hana and Lanai are always short of funding based on our student count to provide the teachers/custodians/administration the monetary help needed which results in the principals always scrambling to figure out how to manage what little money it receives.
We have been fortunate that Pulama Lanai, the company that runs Lanai for landowner Larry Ellison has given the school $340,000 this school year. However, it is really the State’s responsibility to provide our school with the money needed for our students and teachers.
For example of how Pulama Lanai’s funding has helped this school year. The Lanai High & Elementary School (LES) hired a teacher, Matt Glickstein, whose salary is totally funded by Pulama Lanai. Matt teaches music to our students in all grade levels, working with about 300 students. Also, he is the director of the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA), an organization he started more than two years ago to produce performances by the LHES students.
To date, his performing students have done three plays, with the last being Annie, Jr. One of the LHES classes in the past three years, also performed for the Dali Lama’s visit last year. All in all, Matt is an exceptionally gifted teacher who has been able to draw out the very best in each child as witnessed in their outstanding performances. When he first started working at the school, Matt was an Educational Assistant to our Special Education students.
We have been told that Matt’s position will no longer be funded for the next school year. LHES Principal Elton Kinoshita informed a group of concerned community residents that he can offer Matt Glickstein a part-time teacher’s position for the next year and continue his musical studies and activities with the students.
Thus, we are organizing a larger group to include other Lanaians to kokua and to raise the rest of the funds to keep Matt at a full-time salary. We worked with Principal Kinoshita on that salary range. Our target goal is $26,000 to augment Matt’s part-tme salary for a total of $40,000 for the next school year.
Presently, Matt’s wife, Kerri, is the school’s band teacher. They are expecting their first child in June. At this time, Kerri would like to be able to take a year’s family leave to stay home with their baby. Both Kerri and Matt are an integral part of LHES and our community in their dedication to offer music opportunities to all of the students. Without a full-time salary for Matt, we may lose both of them which would be a terrible loss to the school and community.
The board of directors for Tri-Isle Resource, Conservation, and Development Council is the receiving fiscal sponsor to help keep Matt Glickstein at LHES. Please donate any amount to this effort to help LHES keep Matt Glickstein at a full-time salary for the next year. The Tri-Isle Resource, Conservation, and Development Council, is a fully staffed non-profit organization which manages more than $10 million in grant monies from federal, state and county sources and private donors, for small organizations in Maui County with a few clients from Kauai and the Big Island.
As a director on the Tri-Isle council, I am personally pledging $100 to kokua and I hope other LACA members will match my donation. Please make your check payable to: Tri-Isle RC&D and in the memo section of your checks, write it is for the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts or to the LAPA. Please mail to P. O. Box 630601, Lanai City, HI 96763.
With aloha from Lanai, an alumni and concerned resident, Alberta Morita De Jetley
Disclaimer: This is a private request and LACA in no way obligates itself or its members.