To say 2015 – 2016 has been a historic school year for Damien Memorial School is definitely uttering an understatement. Not only will 2016 be the year of the first co-educational graduating class ever, it is also the 50th anniversary of Damien’s very first graduating class, but will be the end of the accomplished tenure of the school’s first lay President, Bernard Ho, and the start of Wes Reber Porter’s administration. Add to this the successful completion of the first phase of the school’s campus expansion renovations at the end of 2015, then one can clearly see that this past school year has been one to remember, and of course there are many other reasons for this as well including a banner year in sports. But the change in leadership at Damien will definitely be the major story sustained at the end of the year.
Mr. Ho, Damien’s President and CEO for the last nine years, announced last October he will retire at the end of this school year. Mr. Ho is responsible for guiding Damien in its transition to a co-educational institution after enrollment dropped to under 400; enrollment today has nearly doubled. Mr. Ho is also credited with the campus renovation and capital initiative called Campaign E Ho’opa’a, in conjunction with the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation which has helped to fund the state-of-the-art athletic building already completed, and will include the future music education building, library, administration building, refurbished track and football field and additional parking.
Mr. Porter, will assume the position of Damien’s President and CEO on June 1st. Mr. Porter, a tenured university professor and formerly a senior trial lawyer with the Justice Department, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and JAG attorney, will bring an abundance of academic, legal, and administrative experience to his office. While Mr. Porter will also be a lay President, he had his
educational roots enriched at a Christian Brothers high school in Rhode Island where he graduated, so in a way it would be like coming home when he arrives at Damien. In fact, Mr. Porter has taught law courses at the University of Hawaii and is married to a Honolulu native so E Komo Mai, Mr. Porter, and good luck!
For a more comprehensive profile on Damien’s new president please go to the Damien Memorial website at http://www.damien.edu/news/2016/4/6/damien-memorial-school-announces-new-president-and-ceo.
Also, see below for a “first look” at the new President on a short YouTube video: