Award Year: 2020

King Liholiho Elementary School

3430 Maunaloa Avenue
Honolulu, HI, 96816-2138

(808) 733-4850

Mrs. Christina Small, Principal at time of Nomination


School Website


Our mission is to make Liholiho School an inspirational place, where our students feel nurtured in a safe, accepting, and challenging learning environment.

Student Demographics
  • White: 4%
  • Hispanic: 11%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 7%
  • Asian: 42%
  • Two or more races: 36%
Grade 2 students perform an environmental play annually.

Grade 2 students perform an environmental play annually.

King Liholiho Elementary is a quaint school located in the heart of Kaimuki town on the island of Oahu. The school is described by the PTA and the School Community Council representatives as "The Little School That Could." The school consists of 455 PreK-Grade 5 students and is located in a quiet residential area in urban Honolulu, Hawaii. Nestled in an older section of town, the school has undergone significant student demographic changes over the past years. Once servicing a stable residential population, the school currently consists of 34 percent economically disadvantaged students, 50 percent Geographic Exception students, and a steady increase in the number of English Language Learners. The collaborative role groups actively work together to problem solve challenges, mainly involving funding issues and the current pandemic.

King Liholiho received National Blue Ribbon School recognition twice. The honors are attributed to the caring school culture, focusing on the social and emotional needs of the students and the collaborative teamwork established in each grade level, in the school "Ohana" (family) and community. Consistency in the school's curricular direction focusing on higher level thinking strategies, and the integration of research-based literacy strategies in the core content areas, are variables which support academic achievement. Positive relationships and the school-wide establishment of the 16 Habits of Mind attributes, support the students social/emotional needs. Critical to the school is the stability of the teachers and staff, which enables the school to provide professional development that scaffolds teacher knowledge and skills. Technology is utilized to support STEM and NGSS projects. Projects focus on environmental issues affecting Hawaii, with emphasis on sustaining the island's resources and are supported by the Aina in the Schools and the Kokua Community Foundation. King Liholiho embraces the culture of "Aloha" by focusing on the needs of the school community.