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Director of Middle School Student Activities

Beyond the Classroom: Hōkū Chong ’94’s Approach to Middle School Student Services

Hōkū Chong ’94 is more than just the Director of Middle School Student Services; she’s a mentor, a guide, and a source of inspiration for the students at Mid-Pacific. Her passion for education and character development, brings a fresh perspective to her role, focusing on building a positive and supportive school culture.

While the core responsibilities of the Director of Middle School Student Services include overseeing extracurricular activities, class projects, student government, community service, and advisory sessions, Chong believes her work goes far beyond that. She aims to instill the idea that education is not just about knowledge, but about character and actions.

“Middle school students are at a very exploratory stage of their educational journey, discovering their interests, building friendships, and creating shared experiences,” Chong shares. “If we create a safe space where they can build confidence, they can achieve anything!’

With the rise of generative AI, Chong recognizes the need to continue developing well-rounded students. She works closely with the Educational Technology team to integrate character education, ensuring students become responsible digital citizens.

“Our Educational Technology team knows that character education is crucial when introducing AI tools like ChatGPT to students,” Chong explains. “AI makes information easily accessible, but it doesn’t teach character development. It’s up to us to guide students in making ethical and moral decisions about how this information is used.”

Chong graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science degree in Human Development and Family Studies and went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Chaminade University.

After working abroad as a preschool teacher, Chong returned to Hawai‘i when her husband, Robert Chong ’91, received a job offer. Back in Hawai‘i, she continued her career in education, initially as a preschool teacher, before transitioning to administrative roles in development, the business office, and admissions. When one of the schools where she worked, which her three kids also attended, closed, Chong had to find a new job and a new school for her family.

Chong and her two daughters returned to Mid-Pacific in 2014; her son joined them the following year. She began as Associate Director of Admissions and part-time preschool teacher, but her role later consolidated to focus solely on admissions.

Through her work in admissions, Chong discovered her passion for working with middle and high school students, establishing a student ambassador program to support the Admissions team. When the Director of Middle School Student Services position became available, Chong knew she wanted to explore the opportunity.

With her first year as Director of Middle School Student Services behind her, Chong is excited to continue building a culture of compassion, learning, and innovation at Mid-Pacific. She is determined to maintain a student-centered approach, one that embraces both traditional education and emerging technologies like generative AI, to cultivate well-rounded individuals.

Chong’s journey from preschool teacher to administrative roles, along with her own family’s experiences, have shaped her holistic perspective. Her commitment to character education, student well-being, and building a supportive community reflects a bright future for the Mid-Pacific middle school program.

“We’re just getting started,” Chong says. “I’m thrilled to be part of a team that genuinely cares about our students, and I look forward to what we can achieve together.”