By Julie Funasaki Yuen
Mid-Pacific Preschool and Elementary School Principal Dr. Edna Hussey was recently recognized as a Pacific BusinessNews ‘Women Who Mean Business’ honoree. The award recognizes outstanding women from public and private companies, and nonprofits who have made a difference in their industries and communities. Dr. Edna Hussey is a passionate and dedicated educator committed to the advancement of an educated citizenry, children’s rights to quality learning and the professionalism of teachers. At Mid-Pacific she is responsible for oversight of curriculum, instruction and assessments of students, and professional learning for faculty and staff. A progressive educator, Hussey brought the Reggio Emilia learning approach to Mid-Pacific, an inquiry-based form of learning set in relationship-driven environments.
From 1997 through 2003, she served as Head of School at Epiphany School in Honolulu. She was instrumental in the merger of Epiphany School with Mid-Pacific Institute, which gave birth to Mid-Pacific’s preschool and elementary school beginning in 2004.
“Dr. Hussey is a pillar of the education community; a person who has dedicated her professional life to children and to improving the quality of environments in which they learn and play,” says President Paul Turnbull. “She is simultaneously humble and fiercely determined, and she finds the greatest joy in seeing children flourish. Standing at the front of Mid-Pacific’s preschool and elementary campus with a smile every morning, she greets each of her nearly 300 students by name, giving them a warm start to their day. It’s no wonder why our students can’t wait to come to school.”
For Hussey, shaping institutions and educating administrators and teachers has long been her passion, a means to ensure quality education is being provided to all children in all areas of the state. Since 1997, Hussey has given her time to the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, where she has served as a chair person or member of school visiting teams to accredit independent schools. And since 1978, she has voluntarily served as a board member for the Hawaii Council of Private Schools, taking the role as board chair from 2013 through 2019. In this role, she was responsible for the licensing of K-12 private schools in Hawai‘i.
Writing has long been Hussey’s educational focus. She was the co-director of the Hawai‘i Writing Project Summer Institute from 1987 through 2000, where she planned the curriculum for teacher-participants, teaching the principles of learning to write and writing to learn, and consulted for public and private schools on the teaching of writing.
“Mid-Pacific students, faculty and staff are truly blessed to have such an accomplished and dedicated professional leading the preschool and elementary school program,” says Turnbull.