About Us » Meet Your Admin Team

Meet Your Admin Team

Picture of Mrs. Arikawa
A Letter of Introduction


Aloha and Welcome to Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School.


I am Yuuko Arikawa and I was appointed principal of this dynamic school on July 2, 2018.


I am a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools and attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where I earned a BEd. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Family Resources and an MEd. in Educational Foundations: Educational Leadership in the Asia-Pacific Region.  To become an administrator, I completed the Hawaiʻi Certification Institute for School Leaders through the Department of Education.

Prior to becoming the principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, I was a teacher and academic coach at Ka
ʻala Elementary for 12 years, a School Renewal Specialist for the Central District for 3 years, and a Vice Principal for 3 years.  If you are interested in learning more about my work in education, feel free to view my Curriculum Vitae.


I've lived in Hawaiʻi my whole life and I enjoy traveling for leisure, to learn, and to support people and communities.  I've visited Hawaiʻi Island, Kahoʻolawe, Kauaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokai, 26 states and Japan, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, England, France, Italy, and Germany.  I have a lot more on my bucket list, to which I look forward.


My father emigrated from Japan to Hawaiʻi and is the only member of his family to leave his country.  Neither of my parents graduated from college, however, like many parents who have great hopes and dreams for their children, they always emphasized education and hard work for me and my four siblings.

I live in Wahiaw
ā with my husband Sean.  While I consider all of my students my kids, personally, I have four children and three bonus children from my husband.  My oldest received her BS in Environmental Studies, BA in French, and International STEM Certificate from Northern Arizona University and her Master's in Botany from UH Mānoa in 2021.  She currently resides on Schofield Barracks with her husband.  My second child lives in Arizona and works in a vet clinic.  My third child graduated from Leeward Community College in 2021 with his Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology and is currently employed at Pearl Harbor.  My youngest graduated from Leilehua High School in 2021 and attends UH West Oʻahu.

During your brief time in Hawaiʻi or for your elementary school years, I ask you to consider our art piece, which fronts the office. "Kaulele" is the work of artist Kim Duffett and it means to take flight.


The waves represent the ocean which surrounds us. The ʻio is a native Hawaiian hawk and a symbol of royalty. Although the ʻio primarily lives on Hawaiʻi Island, they have been spotted on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. Placing the ʻio by the water is symbolic of our transient students who need to adapt to their new surroundings. At the same time, there is much to learn, experience, appreciate, and contribute. Like the ʻio, we want our students to soar.

In Hawai
ʻi we have ʻōlelo noʻeau, words of wisdom, and here is one which relates to our students and sense of place.


Hoʻolaʻi nā manu i ke aheahe. [HO-oh-LUH-ee nah MUH-new ee kay AH-heh-AH-heh]

The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze.
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.

Welcome to Hawai
ʻi and to Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School!  I look forward to our time together.

 ~ Yuuko Arikawa, Principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School



Thank you for choosing Daniel K. Inouye Elementary!  I am Rachel Armstrong and Complex Area Superintendent Davis appointed me Vice Principal in 2018. 


Prior to becoming the vice principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, I experienced many roles at our school.  I was a technology coordinator for 4 years, co-designed and implemented a fifth grade pilot blended learning program for 2 years, served as a teacher mentor, response to intervention and gifted and talented coach for 2 years, and a fifth grade teacher for 3 years.  I completed my BEd. in Elementary Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 


Military students are close to my heart, as my family is a military family that has chosen to make Hawaiʻi home!  We originally moved to Hawaiʻi in 2001, my husband served active duty Army for ten years, and currently serves active duty for the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard.  I have two amazing children.  My daughter is a freshman at Arizona State University, and my son is entering middle school in Mililani.


I look forward to growing with your child and family!  As Principal Arikawa stated above, welcome to Hawaiʻi and to Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School!


~ Rachel Armstrong, Vice Principal of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School



BarbaAloha and welcome to Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School!


My name is Elson Barba and I am humbled to be a part of the DKIES community. I was appointed to this school in June of 2020.


I am a proud public school graduate of Waipahu High School. I continued my education at Hawai’i Pacific University where I double majored to receive my Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Speech Communication. I later attended the University of Phoenix, Hawaiʻi Campus to earn my Masters in Education, with a specialty in English.


Beyond my educational journey, I have had an array of work experiences that contribute to my skills and knowledge. I have worked for the American Cancer Society as Marketing Coordinator in addition to overseeing various Relay for Life Events statewide. I spent 6 years at Starbucks Coffee Company from a barista and working hard to become a General Store Manager. After this experience, I left Starbucks and joined the Hawaiʻi DOE as an English Teacher at Waiʻanae High School.


As a teacher, I held various leadership positions from Academy Chairperson to English Department Head. I left my school level position to join the Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Area Team where I served as a resource teacher. My responsibilities at this level allowed me to develop my skills, knowledge, specialized training in data teams, instructional leadership teams, coaching, continuous school improvement and systems development.


I completed coursework and training to receive my School Administration Certificate from the Hawaiʻi Certification Institute for School Leaders and became a Vice Principal at Waiʻanae Elementary, followed by Mākaha Elementary.


I am a foodie, but also enjoy cooking and baking in my free time. Other times, you can find me wrapped up in a good book or binging on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ shows. In other moments, I can be exploring a hiking trail, visiting one of our beautiful beaches, or playing tourist. There's always so much to explore and do (and do again)!


I grew up on the leeward coast of Oʻahu all my life. Hawaiʻi is home to me. While DKIES may be one stop of many in your lives, I invite you to embrace what we and Hawaiʻi has to offer. I truly believe that the quality of our experiences rests upon how open we are to it. We all have stories that make up the intricacies of who we are. I would love to be able to share mine and hear about yours.


With aloha,

Elson Barba

Vice Principal

Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School