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A Decade of Vision and Impact at Mid-Pacific

As President Dr. Paul Turnbull marks his 10-year milestone at Mid-Pacific, we reflect on the transformative journey he has led. From rebranding to fostering deeper learning, President Turnbull’s tenure has been marked by visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence. 

In the early years of his presidency, Mid-Pacific underwent a bold rebranding initiative. The iconic M logo emerged, symbolizing Mid-Pacific’s commitment to excellence. Accompanying this visual transformation was the powerful tagline: Innovators. Artists. Individuals. These words encapsulate the spirit of Mid-Pacific—a place where creativity, innovation, and individuality thrive.

In Fall 2014, the inaugural issue of Mid-Pacific Today magazine hit the stands. President Turnbull’s advocacy for a comprehensive publication that celebrates achievements, shares stories, and connects the Mid-Pacific community came to life. The magazine continues to be a testament to the vibrant spirit of the school. Throughout his tenure, his dedication to Mid-Pacific’s core values has been unwavering. In 2018, he championed a renewed focus on these principles, ensuring that they permeate every aspect of the school’s culture. These values—’ohana, caring, creativity, innovation and diversity—continue to guide students, employees and families.

In response to the educational disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mid-Pacific established the Center for Advancing Education under President Turnbull’s leadership. This initiative addresses the need for adaptable learning strategies, focusing on Deeper Learning principles to foster critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving. The Center has been instrumental in pioneering resilient educational solutions, ensuring robust and accessible learning in both virtual and in-person settings. President Turnbull also championed the adoption of Deeper Learning—an approach that instills a lifelong love of learning, fosters critical thinking skills to solve complex problems, and creates meaningful connections to the real world. Mid-Pacific graduates are not just knowledgeable; they are empowered thinkers ready to make their statement in the world.

President Turnbull has been a strong advocate for artificial intelligence (AI) and has collaborated with school leaders to integrate this cutting-edge technology, ensuring that Mid-Pacific is well-equipped to leverage AI advancements. In 2022, he formed the AI Advisory Council with the mission to give educators and students the tools and knowledge to apply Deeper Learning principles in classrooms, careers, and communities. With a focus on research, governance, curriculum development, and community outreach, the AI Advisory Council will explore the multifaceted implications of generative AI (GAI) on K-12 campuses and beyond. Members of the council include leaders in the tech industry as well as educators on the cutting edge of AI research. 

Beyond the Mid-Pacific campus, President Turnbull’s personal journey is equally inspiring. Born and raised in Canada, he embraced the U.S. as his home, becoming a citizen in 2015. His commitment to civic duty was evident when fifth graders helped him study for the citizenship test—a heartwarming moment that exemplifies the Mid-Pacific spirit. Furthermore, another significant aspect of President Turnbull’s tenure at Mid-Pacific is the personal support he and his wife, Leslie, have provided to their daughter Gabi ’22. From her early days as a student at the Elementary School to her current endeavors as an entrepreneur, Gabi’s journey has been nurtured by her parents’ encouragement and involvement. This familial support underscores the values of community and personal growth that are central to the Mid-Pacific philosophy.

Later this year, Mid-Pacific is set to launch a new mission statement and vision statement. These foundational principles are designed to guide and elevate the school to new levels of excellence and enhance strategic alignment. 

“As we continue following our 20-year Aspirations framework, I am excited to see our continued evolution as a school that embodies the core values of Caring, Diversity, ‘Ohana, Creativity, and Innovation,” says President Turnbull. “With an unrelenting promise to place children first, I am confident that Mid-Pacific will continue empowering students to thrive with confidence, adaptability, and integrity in communities in Hawai’i and beyond.

As we celebrate President Turnbull’s 10-year anniversary, the Mid-Pacific community stands united in gratitude. His leadership has shaped not only the school but also countless lives. Here’s to a visionary president, an advocate for deeper learning, and a true Mid-Pacific innovator.