Tommy Cox wins the 2024 Masayuki Tokioka Award.

The Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award was created to make a difference in public education by recognizing outstanding public school principals in Hawaii for their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students. Underwritten by the Island Insurance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Island Insurance, the award is named in honor of Masayuki Tokioka, noted businessman, community leader, founder of Island Insurance and a public school graduate in Hawaii.

Cox won a $25,000 prize – a $10,000 personal cash award and $15,000 toward a school project of his choice. Cox said he plans to use the school award for Kapa‘a's building and construction CTE class to turn a 20-foot container into a fully furnished, sustainable tiny home.

He and 14 other HIDOE principals were honored at the Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation annual dinner at the Sheraton Waikiki last Thursday. Judges said they were impressed with Mr. Cox’s commitment to ensuring Kapa‘a High students have a set plan after graduation and expanding opportunities for students to earn college credit while satisfying high school diploma requirements. Two semi-finalists were also recognized — Wai‘anae Intermediate Principal John Wataoka and Waikele Elementary Principal Sheldon Oshio, each taking home a $2,000 cash award.