Getting to Know Principal Matsumura


Gabriella Souza, Gr. 9

DP: Did you ever imagine that you’d be principal of the school you went to?
Principal Matsumura: “No, I never thought about that. I always wanted to be a teacher at the school I went to, and I was a teacher for about 15 years, and then I became a vice principal, and then a principal. So it kind of just happened to me. But I always just wanted to be a teacher from the third grade.
DP: What did you teach?
Principal Matsumura: English! Yes, I love English, senior English, actually, I taught every grade. 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th, and 12th. I don’t think I ever did 11th grade.
DP: What was the hardest grade you taught?
Principal Matsumura: 7th and 8th, they were the hardest.
DP: What was going through your mind when Covid broke out?
Principal Matsumura: A lot of things were going through my mind when Covid broke out, safety I would say is number 1, we’ve been very focused on the safety of the school, the safety of the students, the safety of the people who are here, and how we can just get kids on campus.
DP: Did you guys have a plan for Covid?
Principal Matsumura: Yes, we had plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D, because every time we tried to plan something new would come up. So we started off with having our protocols in place and then they said nope, school is not gonna be bringing back kids, it’s gonna be all online so we had to come up with a new plan. So every time there was something, we changed the plan. But the bottom line was that safety was always first.
DP: Have you ever doubted yourself as a principal – as in, is what you’re doing or choosing good for the students?
Principal Matsumura: Absolutely, everyday. Everyday I think , “Is this decision going to be good enough for my students? Is this decision going to be good enough for my faculty?  I try to weigh the facts before I make a decision, and make sure that whatever the decision is, is really filtered by the needs of the people here.”
DP: What do you wish you were able to do for the school that you are unable to do right now?
Principal Matsumura: If I could do anything… my wish would be… hmm, that’s a good question, I don’t know if I ever thought about that… to magically have the bank fronting the school, fronting Mamane street, either become cement or being able to clean, or fix itself, or put some flora or fauna there.
DP: Lastly, what’s the best thing about being principal for HHIS?
Principal Matsumura: The best thing is my students, and my faculty and staff. I think we have a great school, I love being the leader, and I’m so proud of everyone here.