The assistant superintendent in charge of facilities and support services for the Hawaii Department of Education is stepping down from his role to join the Hawaii Air National Guard, according to an internal memo school superintendent Christina Kishimoto sent to her staff this week.

Dann Carlson, who assumed the role in November 2014, is leaving “for a prestigious position as the 154th Wing Commander with the Hawaii Air National Guard,” Kishimoto’s memo states.

Carlson’s departure comes shortly after the release of a statewide facilities master plan laying out 1,300 desired capital improvement projects across all 261 DOE school campuses.

As assistant superintendent, Carlson led a major initiative to install air conditioning and other cooling devices at DOE schools through a $100 million “heat abatement” initiative to address overheated classrooms.

Dann Carlson, Assistant Superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services during joint senate/house hearing.
Dann Carlson testifies before a committee at the Hawaii Legislature. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

His term at the DOE also intersected with major events impacting facilities, including the eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island that cut off access to some schools; the threat of Hurricane Lane last year that converted some Oahu schools into emergency shelters; and a temporary school bus driver shortage on Maui in 2017.

Kishimoto’s memo commends Carlson for launching a new repair and maintenance database meant to expedite projects called Future Schools Now and a new job order contracting system to shorten the time to execute projects like school roof repairs.

The DOE handles school facilities projects through a $281 million capital improvement budget that is separate from its $2 billion operating budget.

Carlson, who is leaving the DOE on July 15, was the former deputy commander at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

An interim assistant replacement for school facilities will be named July 8.

There are six assistant superintendent positions within the core DOE leadership team. In addition to school facilities, they also lead areas like student support, information technology, recruitment, finances and curriculum.

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