Hilo-Waiakea superintendent under investigation

  • Bennett

Brad Bennett, superintendent of the Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area, is under investigation by the state Department of Education and is on leave until further notice.

DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said in an email Tuesday that the DOE is investigating a complaint made against Bennett but did not provide specifics. She also did not say whether he is on paid or unpaid leave.


She said Bennett has been on leave since Dec. 22, 2017.

Chad “Keone” Farias, superintendent of the Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area, is performing Bennett’s duties — in addition to his own — until further notice.

Farias told the Tribune-Herald last week he lives in the Waiakea area and he’s a Hilo High School graduate. He said he volunteered to cover Hilo-Waiakea’s superintendent duties for as long as needed.

Farias said he wants families and students to “know that we have leadership in place and to know we’ll do our best for all kids.”

Bennett was appointed superintendent in 2015. According to information posted on the DOE website, he has more than 14 years of experience with the department and most recently was principal for two years at Waiakeawaena Elementary School.

He also previously was principal of Haaheo Elementary School and vice principal of Ewa Elementary School on Oahu.


Dela Cruz said notification was provided to Hawaii District office staff and Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area school administrators. She said no further details were provided because personnel investigations are confidential.

Email Kirsten Johnson at kjohnson@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

  1. Zeb Kunst January 31, 2018 12:15 pm

    The superintendent who is now covering the biggest population area of the island is only a highschool graduate himself?

    1. Ah Cmon! February 1, 2018 8:14 am

      People from Hilo are humble, and take great pride to claim their connection to the community: he’s saying he graduated from “beneath the tropic skies of Hilo.” Not that high school is his highest level of education.

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