LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Steve Ross

Position: Assistant Head of School
School: Island Pacific Academy
School District: Island Pacific Academy
City, State: Kapolei, HI

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Steve Ross was nominated by Jenelyn Okumoto, the parent of two students.

"We first met Mr. Ross at Island Pacific Academy when my daughter was entering Kindergarten," said Okumoto. "He made us feel welcome from day one and demonstrates that this environment is 'where values matter.' His ability to remember each child's name, along with their parents, is such an incredible trait. It demonstrates his interest in getting to know each child and their families.  He is always welcoming students at carline in the morning and assisting in the afternoons.  Even with his new role as Assistant Head of School, Mr. Ross will always be found interacting with the IPA community. He displays the values that guide IPA: humble pride, love, respect, generosity, and gratitude."

"Both of my children now attend IPA, and Mr. Ross has definitely impacted them both," said Okumoto. "His genuine concern and desire to help each child achieve their maximum potential is amazing.  He is respected by the students, their parents, and his colleagues. It is with great honor that I nominate Mr. Steve Ross for LifeChanger of the Year."

Comments (51)

Seth and Whitney Posted over a year ago

How do you describe someone so very awesome? It simply cannot be communicated with words - that’s how awesome Mr. Ross is! From the day I met him, Mr. Ross greeted me with the warmest, gentlest, and most sincere hello and a “how can I help” attitude. I wasn’t his employee, but he sure made me want to work there! Mr. Ross is as genuinely nice (and real) as it gets. I knew he was someone I wanted in my son’s life. As a principal, I was blown away by his attention to each and every student and their family. I remember getting a phone call one day from my son’s school, and on the other end of the line was Mr. Ross calling to “check-in” to see how we were adjusting and to share some fun little tidbits about what he admired about my son. How did he remember all these specific things about my son? When did he even notice all this things? I asked, “Do you call all the families?” A simple “Yes,” was his reply, as if it were no big deal; I was impressed (to say the least). He would also take the time to read to the kindergarten class every single week - it was the highlight of my son’s week! My son would ask to go to the library to find the same books Mr. Ross read to the class and we would read them together at home. With his weekly readings, Mr. Ross fueled my son’s passion for books.  As I read other comments that were posted for Mr. Ross, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with every single one. There are only positive, wonderful things to be said about Mr. Ross and his incredibly big heart. His presence at IPA is strong, but in the gentlest and most kind way and it is truly heartbreaking to know that we will be losing him next year. Even though he’s an incredibly busy man doing so many tasks, he is present with you when you are with him. Your time with him is never rushed and he demonstrates interest in your concerns. Every interaction with him is meaningful and you’ll walk away with a smile, a feeling of calmness, and a “someone cares about me” feeling. His compassion and attention to each and every student, family member, faculty and staff member is so evident in his actions and words. He is humble in his own work, but is quick and so very proud to highlight the work and achievements of others. He is the type of person we can all look up to and aspire to be like, and he makes us all want to be better… because when we see by his example, we could all be a little more like Mr. Ross. IPA will be losing the heart and soul of our school and we can only hope that wherever his path leads him, he will be appreciated and respected as much as we appreciate and respect him. We can’t think of any one more deserving of this award!

The Steinberg Ohana Posted over a year ago

Mr. Steve Ross is very deserving of this great recognition. As a new family moving to Hawaii from Maryland and being new to IPA this year, it was great to have Mr. Ross with us through the transition process. Our son Brandon, who is in the 3rd grade, shares his love of model trains and it always put a smile on his face to have someone at the school that shares his passion. Mr. Ross always has a warm smile for the students at IPA and he is very genuine and authentic. He takes the time to listen and engage with students of all ages. We are lucky to have such a kind leader at IPA!

Jenna Guirguis Posted over a year ago

Dedicated Professional with Ginormous Heart! We won the lottery to have Mr. Ross as an advocate for our children. He demonstrates all of IPA's Core Values, and his commitment to grow and evolve the school academically and socially has made him an invaluable asset to our community. He is already a winner to us!

Kathy L. Callahah, Ph.D. Posted over a year ago

I've known Steve Ross for eight years, and in my opinion he is the most motivated and inspiring educator I have ever encountered. More than that, however, he is a truly amazing human being who has had a most positive impact not only on the students with which he has interacted, but also with their families, and the community as a whole. As the Elementary Principal at Island Pacific Academy for many years, he created a devoted and dynamic team of teachers and staff that made the elementary grades a unique experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. I believe my two grandchildren had an invaluable experience during the elementary grades as a direct result of Mr. Ross and the team he created. They will carry that with them into the future. No task was too small for him, be it greeting students at car line, interacting with students at recess, or playing the ukulele along with the Ukulele Club during assemblies. As the Assistant Head of School, he brings the same innovative thinking and devotion to students to the larger school body. Steve Ross truly embodies the IPA core values of human kindness, generosity of spirit, creativity, and respect for others. He is a living example of those positive values that are right in this world, and as such, has been a major "life-changer" for a whole generation of students.

Tricia Murata Posted over a year ago

Mr. Steve Ross is one of those educators that you remember forever. It is impossible to overstate what a positive presence he is at Island Pacific Academy for students, families, and teachers and staff. Mr. Ross embodies and lives the core values of the school every single day – the power of human kindness, a generosity of spirit, and a “Whenever you can, help!” attitude. He always finds ways for meaningful interactions with students and makes each student feel seen, valued, and appreciated, while modeling important lessons about empathy, compassion, and the power of human kindness. As a servant leader, Mr. Ross is extremely humble and modest, never seeking recognition for himself and always shining the spotlight on his students and their teachers. We have known Mr. Ross for the past 11 years, and he is beloved by both our children, who are now in Grades 9 and 12. My most personally meaningful memory of Mr. Ross is of the day he came to share with me a milestone accomplishment for my daughter, which came about through the dedication and loving care of her teacher with Mr. Ross’s support. The overwhelming joy and pride he expressed for her at that moment showed his true heart and his authentic desire for each student’s success. Mr. Ross has been a life changer for our family, and we are grateful that he will forever be a part of our family’s life story. Mr. Ross is well-deserving of the LifeChanger award.

Davinia Lau Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is genuinely kind. He is compassionate, caring, and comedic at all the right moments. Mr. Ross is a friend to all students - from grades K to 12 - and he remembers their names as much as they remember his. My daughter is in Kindergarten at IPA this year and she proudly states that one of her favorite things about school is "when Mr. Ross reads to us." You know how people say that you can tell a person's character by how they treat animals, children, and other helpless creatures? That's Mr. Ross. Just step onto our campus and see how he treats the children. His smile (and their smiles) tell it all. Mr. Ross changes lives, one smile at a time. He changes the lives of everyone he meets through his genuine interactions with them. And so it does not surprise me to know that our Assistant Head of School was nominated for an award such as this. Mr. Ross is the definition of a life changer because he changes all of our lives for the better. I'm proud to be a faculty member at IPA, as well as an IPA parent, and I'm proud to say that I know Mr. Ross aka Spiderman (seriously...this man is a super hero).

Heather Lofton Posted over a year ago

What a blessing it is to know Mr.Ross! He is a shining example of not only a kind human being but one of the best people I’ve had the privilege to work with!! He is highly deserving of this award!!

Beata Triplett Posted over a year ago

We first met Mr. Ross when my son entered kindergarten. My first impression of Mr. Ross for the first few years was that he was unlike any principal I had ever encountered during my years of education. He was so personable, approachable, engaged, and involved with the children, faculty and school community. Through the years, he demonstrated time and time again exactly how invested in our son's well-being he was. As my son's neurodivergent journey began, Mr. Ross was there every step of the way from initial diagnosis through all of the different challenges neurodiverse children and families encounter. At times, it was very overwhelming and isolating. Yet through it all, Mr. Ross was a steady support and made sure we were not alone through any of it. He was patient, empathetic, and always willing to listen. He always had a box of tissue handy for me when I needed it. Mr. Ross impacts every student on a daily basis with a warm personalized greeting everyday. However, he also makes significant administrative impacts as he is crucial in moving the school forward into the future of education. Mr. Ross sets the bar high for all other administrators I have encountered since meeting him, and all future administrators our family will interact with. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Thank you for all you do Steve!!

C. Wilson Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Steve on your nomination for such a well-deserved honor! For those who are blessed to know you, also know that you are one who lives according to his purpose. You embody a true servants heart, yielding to support and lift up wherever you can. As a student parent, I have many dinstinguishing memories of how you positively impact countless lives. From the care/concern you demonstrate for every person who sets foot to the campus, your willingness to be vulnerable, curious and modeling of daily courage. In the world of K-12, the hallmark of a great educator/administrator is when your child finds it a privilege to spend time with the person. From day 1, that's been our story. You are one who is admired and appreciated for elevating our community and changing future generations through your leadership. Steve, by far, you are a winner in my book!

Charis Okumoto Posted over a year ago

a student who attends Island Pacific Academy. I’ve been attending ipa since kindergarten, now I’m in 6th grade. Ever since I joined ipa Mr. Ross has always been an amazing example of our 5 agreements at ipa which are, Aloha, Kuleana, Hoolohe, Malama, and Pono. He is so welcoming and it amazes me how he can remember the names of each and every student and parent who goes or sends their kid to ipa. Mr. Ross has always put his all into his job not only because he gets payed but because he truly cares for students and colleagues. Even when I had to do online learning because of Covid Mr. Ross still found ways to connect with students, I remember that Mr. Ross would still read to me and my class on Zoom and he would find ways to make it fun. Mr. Ross makes going to school so fun and I look forward to him opening my car door every morning and greeting me and my brother. I know for a fact that Mr. Ross has changed so many lives of students, teachers, parents, and more. I think that Mr. Ross deserves this award more than anyone else because he has positively impacted so many peoples lives. Last year, I was taught that mature people have a switch in their brain, you can turn that switch on and off, for example when you are in a professional place you turn the mature button on, and when you aren’t needed to be professional and when you are allowed to have fun you can turn that switch off. Only some people have this switch which demonstrates self control and Mr. Ross is one of those people who have a mature switch because he can be serious when he needs to and when he doesn’t need to be serious he knows how to make things fun like how he connects Spider-Man to himself because he loves Spider-Man, I also remember from last year that he had a joke box where he asked students to put in jokes and Mr. Ross would read 2 or 3 jokes every Monday morning assembly. Mr. Ross has always been an inspirational person to all. I remember he used to always tell us this quote which was “With great power comes great responsibility” and I think that Mr. Ross is the exact meaning of this quote because he has a high job position and even with all the work he has he is still so responsible and inspiring. Mr. Ross has truly changed my life for the better, he is a life changer. I see how hard he works everyday, how he takes time with students, how he stays after school some days, how he does all his work, he inspires me to be a better student. Mr. Ross is someone no one can ever forget because his kindness shines brighter than the sun. Mr. Ross is one of those people who lights up your world, one of those people who changes your life forever. In my opinion Mr. Ross deserves so much more than just an award because of everything he has done for us but I really hope Mr. Ross feels cared about because he is cared about. I hope that he knows how much he has changed everyone’s life’s. If I didn’t think Mr. Ross deserved this award I wouldn’t take the time to write all this, but I do know that he really deserves this award. Thank you so much for everything Mr. Ross, you truly are amazing.

Raelayn Borges Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is what every person should strive to be! He is the true definition of IPA's own 5 agreements....Aloha (Love) for all the kids, Kuleana (Responsibility) for taking great care of everyone, Ho'olohe (Listens) to both parents and kids, Pono (Do what's Right) in all matters of the school, and Malama (Take Care and Help) the school in every possible way he can. You can feel the love he has for the school, the families, and especially the kids. He is there every morning opening doors, saying "Good Morning", and actually takes the time to talk and wish you a great day. My boys who are toddlers that don't even go to IPA, yell out the car window "Hi, Mr. Ross"! He makes an impact in all that he does and puts his everything in it. Lastly, I just want to say for the 3 years of our family being apart of IPA, Mr. Ross has never missed a beat in sending home a "Thank you" note for anything we have gifted him. Even if it was something very small, his gratitude is what makes you appreciate him! Let's just say even if it was a small gift at the end of the year, a note was sent to our home!:) Thank you Mr. Ross for being a true definition and example of what it is to be a great leader and even more of a lifechanger!:)

Starr K. Posted over a year ago

Steve Ross is an amazing educator and I had the privilege of having him as my administrator. He always wants what’s best for the STUDENTS and his FACULTY. He made sure to always visits each class once a week, sometimes more and he knows every students name. You deserve this Boss Ross!

Roselle Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross definitely deserves this recognition. When I first came to IPA for kindergarten, he made me feel so welcomed. My first thought of him was someone who's funny,kind hearted, and nice. Since i've been in this school for so long I can say that I described him perfectly. He's kind,smart,funny,helpful,respectful, and more. Thank you for being the best elementary principal! ( good job for remembering every students name :) )

Dr. Camonia Graham-Tutt Posted over a year ago

Wow what can be said about Mr. Ross, he is a true jewel to the IPA community. Mr. Ross is someone who hears, sees and embodies what it means to be a caring educator in Hawai'i. We have also ways appreciated seeing him take such great care of our keiki while they are at school. It truly means a great deal to us to know that there are people like Mr. Ross at school with our keiki. From story time, to high-fives before school, and encouraging words there is no reason not to select Mr. Ross for this award.

Samira E. Posted over a year ago

Mr.Ross definitely deserved this recognition! He is very caring, kind and welcoming. My oldest attends IPA and she can’t stop saying positive things about school. She loves the story time when Mr.Ross comes in and read a story in the classroom. We appreciate his hard work and dedication. Even my 3 year old also loves Mr.Ross!!!

Tina Flores Posted over a year ago

My daughter started at IPA last year and we met Mr.Ross at the Welcome Orientation. Ever since, he has stood out! He welcomed us, answered all our questions and showed genuine concern for the students and the school. He is someone we will always think of when we think of IPA. Each day seems to start great as he welcomes all the students at the drop off line. Thank you and great job Mr. Ross!

Joseph Villaluz Posted over a year ago

Steve Ross has touched so many lives at Island Pacific Academy and is truly deserving of this award. He is a tireless advocate of children and puts student needs at the forefront of all of his decision making. Steve is humble and kind, embodying the school values and ethos at his core. Since coming to the school, he has mentored me into being a more caring and kind educator. He is a role model to all and knows each and every student by name. Steve is always open to new ideas and has always supported initiatives that put kids first. The school environment is a kinder place where values truly do matter because of this inspirational leader.

Jim McMann Posted over a year ago

I have three grandsons who have attended IPA and they all have had a very positive experience. A major reason the boys had that experience is Mr. Ross. He always welcome everyone with a very warm welcome as they.arrived at school. He has made a major effort to know every student.

Ruth Ann Babas Posted over a year ago

I am grateful to Mr. Steve Ross for encouraging me to start an ukulele club when he became the Elementary Principal. He challenges us to think outside the box and to look for new and creative ways to encourage our students to learn. Our music program has blossomed because of his leadership and helped our students to become leaders at our assemblies. He helped build a strong foundation and an amazing community that bonded us together. Mr. Ross deserves to be recognized as he has personally changed my life for the better and I am thankful for his dedication to Island Pacific Academy.

Ka’iulani K. Posted over a year ago

No one deserved this award more than you! Thank you for creating an amazing learning environment for our children!!

Fei Rao Posted over a year ago

Mr. Steve Ross is very kind, generous, genuine and caring. For every single day in the part six years I have worked at IPA, I feel I have been truly cared for and supported by him. Steve, I appreciate all you do. Even if one day I might no longer work at IPA, I’ll always remember and respect you as a great educator and an amazing colleague!

Courtney Bailey Posted over a year ago

From the first minute I walked into IPA and met Mr. Ross, I knew I wanted to be around him everyday. He has a heart of gold that people gravitate to. He always has a smile on his face and warmth in his heart. He is always looking for ways to provide support for all teachers, staff and students. He welcomes all students to campus each morning and send them home after school with the same aloha. Mr. Ross helped change the perception of education and experience at school for all students and teachers who have had the opportunity to work along side him. He ensures that every student knows they can reach for the stars and he will be there to support them on the journey. IPA is the amazing school that it is because of the dedication and support that Mr. Ross has established for teachers, students and their families.

Darci Garcia Posted over a year ago

If there is any person that is deserving of this recognition, it is Steve Ross. I have had the honor and privilege of working with Steve for the past 11 years. As an administrator, Steve never loses sight of what it means to be an educator in the classroom, and every decision he makes is always based on what is best for the students. He transformed the elementary division into a place where coming to school did not feel like work for many of us. I am always amazed by the way he greets every student, parent, and faculty member by name, which is where relationships start. I am most in awe of the way he led his faculty through the difficult years of COVID. He was a leader that kept everyone strong and made us feel supported. He jumped right in with us and learned how to teach classes through Zoom. We knew we could get through anything because he always led by example. In addition to his role as a school administrator, Steve is always present. It is rare for him to miss a day of school and you can always find him out at recess, helping with lunch, working and being present for school events, helping with admissions, volunteering countless hours outside of the school day, and simply taking the time to check in on teachers. Most of all, Steve is a role-model for me. He showed me how “service” and building relationships are key to becoming a person that people will trust. Steve doesn’t just say that IPA is a place “where values matter”... he truly lives it.

Jorge Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is an educator that students and families will recall for a lifetime because he cares for his students and demonstrates every day from the support he gives faculty in the classroom to his daily interactions with students.

Livvy Tarvers Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is one of the kindest and most welcoming people I've met. He makes the kids (and parents) feel special and like we belong. He takes the time to get to know every child and finds time to read with the kids every week, even in his new role. He's been a source of support in times of victory and challenge for our family, and I'm forever grateful that Mr. Steve Ross changed my family's lives.

Lisa Uesugi Posted over a year ago

Steve Ross has been a shining example of a great educator and leader, but more than that, he is one of the most exemplary human beings I know. I have seen Steve in action through the years, leaving a lasting impact on the students in his care. He is kind and enthusiastic and can always find the unique spark in every child. His genuine interest in his students and colleagues, and his ability to live Island Pacific Academy?s core values of "whenever you can, help", make him worthy of this honor. He has truly changed the lives of so many young people throughout his long career. My daughter came to IPA in middle school, and while Steve was in the elementary division, she had so many opportunities to interact with Mr. Ross. Throughout the years he has provided mentorship and friendship to her, and even now as she graduates from college in May, he checks in to see how she's doing. These small kindnesses have meant the world to her. Thank you Steve for all you do, positively changing lives here at Island Pacific Academy.

K J Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is an integral part of our lives in so many ways. From greeting my kids daily at carline with a hug or a high-five to get their day off to a good start, to leading Monday morning assemblies, and just generally being present and available for kids and families, Mr. Ross is the heart of Island Pacific Academy. We decided early on to keep our second child out of IPA due to academics, but Mr. Ross volunteered to review his academic progress regularly and provided us with guidance and resources to get our him support. Mr. Ross suggested appropriate private testing clinics for us when we were unable to get adequate support in the public school system and gave us supplemental academic materials to help with his challenges in language arts. I think it is important to emphasize that there was no reason for Mr. Ross to do any of this for our second child since he was not an IPA student at the time and would not become one for three more years. Mr. Ross simply did it because he cares about kids and families. Being in education is his calling. There was more than one occasion that I felt so hopeless or without direction to help my child because as his parents, we did not feel well supported by his public school, and Mr. Ross was our lifeline. I also think it is important to state that ours is not a unique situation in that Mr. Ross has provided this type of support for many kids and their families. He is the type of person that makes sure we are all okay–parents, siblings, extended families. Mr. Ross builds relationships with us because he understands the value of a strong community. My family is a part of the IPA community and Mr. Ross has been the leader dedicated to serving our community’s educational needs, as well as providing empathy, support, and resources whenever he can.

Jennifer Anklesaria Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, Mr. Ross! You make such a great impact at IPA. Thank you for doing what you do every day! We appreciate all your hard work and dedication! All our best, The Anklesaria Family! Jen, Neville, and Ness

Wendy Pregana Posted over a year ago

My daughter has been going to IPA since kindergarten, every morning Mr. Ross greets her by name a well as all the students in school. He is very caring and shows much enthusiasm to learning, we love Mr. Ross! #TeamSpiderman

Kitty Tackett Posted over a year ago

Who do you call in the middle of a tropical storm to run last minute errands for your class the day before a fundraiser event? Mr. Ross…and he will do it without hesitation with a smile on his face! I am a teacher and parent at IPA and I can not say enough wonderful praises about Mr. Ross! He has a heart for education, building relationships, and community more than any administrator I’ve ever worked under. He wears a smile at all times, knows every student by name, greets every family and child in the morning in the carline (rain or shine), and always puts students first. He makes a point to visit every classroom weekly to read a story, check in, or stop and say hello. He is present at every Monday morning assembly to play ukulele, sing, dance, and tell jokes with the students. When we looked into joining the IPA ‘Ohana, everyone told us, “Mr. Ross is just the best! You’re going to love him!” They were right! He really is the best! He made my children and I feel so welcome and right at home at IPA. He knew all of our names the first time we ever stepped onto the campus. He truly is the walking, talking definition of ALOHA! My children adore him and look forward to seeing him every morning. As a parent, I know my kids are in good hands under his administration. As a teacher, I know he will support me and my students no matter the need, and we always look forward to his visits to my class. My kids and I are so lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to work and learn with Mr. Ross. I am forever grateful for our time at IPA! Spidey-Ross, you’re the best! You are so deserving of this award and so much more!

Daniel Barretto Posted over a year ago

We researched all of the best Schools on Oahu. We also interviewed at each one. As we entered the admission process We decided that it would come down to where my son Ikena would feel the most comfortable and also had a high standard of attention from the staff. We went in for the student interview and off went Ikena into the interview with the principal. This was during COVID so parents stayed outside. All of the children were coming in and out and I noticed that Ikena was taking a little bit longer than anticipated. After about 25 minutes Mr. Ross and Ikena come out laughing and talking the whole way. As they got closer Ikena yells out, “Daddy guess what, he likes Spider-Man and he’s all over his office”! As fate would have it my son is a huge fan of Spider-Man and marvel comics Superheroes in general. As is, we found out is Mr. Ross! He listened to Ikena about his likes and dislikes, found some common ground and showed him his marvel superhero decorations! An Instant hit! Mr. Ross took some extra time to discuss our sons needs and how Ikena‘s personality really fit the moment and IPA. If I remember correctly, he said, “your son is an old soul and belongs at IPA”. We said our goodbyes and in the car my son said, “Mommy, Daddy, I want to come to this school,’that principal was so nice and he LISTENED to me”. That is what did it for us, the fact that Mr. Ross spoke with him, understood what his needs were and LISTENED to him, as opposed to talking at him. Yes, to our son, this is paramount, he HAS to be heard, as all children do. If anything changed my sons life it’s Mr. Ross listening to him. This is why award or not, he already won it with us.

Samantha N Hodesder Posted over a year ago

As both a parent of 2 children at the school, as well as a colleague of Steve I can say that he changes the lives of EVERY person he comes in contact with! I have never met an educator with so much love and dedication towards the school and each and every child, parent, and staff member of the community. He makes people feel that they are the most important person in the room, when he talks with them. It is with such genuine care and attention that he gives all day, everyday, that changes the spirit of those around him, inspiring others to spread similar positivity. His vision and strong character has transformed a school to be one of the most caring, understanding, safe places for not only the students who attend, but also the faculty and staff who work there.

Mitchell Miles Posted over a year ago

This year is my first year at IPA and from day one when I stepped foot into the building, Steve has been nothing short of hospitable in welcoming me on board the team. His is always positive and always seeks solutions to any challenges that he faces. He's the first and last best impression on campus when you see him and when you leave. Mahalo, Steve, for all you do for IPA's student body and staff.

Mary Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross put a smile on every students face with his friendly, positive and kind attitude. His ability to communicate with students and parents is extremely commendable . Such a great model and inspiration to all.

Lisa Steele Posted over a year ago

I am amazed at how Mr. Ross knows each child and family who attends IPA - he is at the car line every day, greeting my daughter by name, and really makes IPA feel like a community. His commitment and dedication to the students is evident in the way he engages with them - despite now being the Assistant Head of School, he comes to my daughter's second grade class to read to them every week. My daughter loves the book they're reading together, and loves this time with Mr. Ross. IPA's high standards are well and truly upheld by Mr. Ross and the example he leads by - we are so grateful for everything he does!

David and Yulia Stallings Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is a truly special educator. His positivity and encouragement radiate throughout the campus. My son remained excited as a kindergartener for the opportunity to hang out with Mr. Ross and his staff. Mr. Ross built a team of educators that students appreciate and respect. It’s rare to have leaders meet the kids when they arrive and leave school for the day. This commitment is noticed by the students and parents. We fully support Mr. Ross’s opportunity for recognition of his commitment and genuine kindness for others.

Cheryl Blann Posted over a year ago

I just love Mr Ross when he knew my grandson’s name at a welcoming event before he even started Kindergarten! He has continued to impress me over the past six years with his devotion and attention to his students and their families as well as his staff. If leading by example is the key, then our children and grandchildren are destined for greatness!!! I hope Mr Ross will one day run for office as this is the kind of leadership we need in our government!!! God Bless you Mr Ross from a grateful heart.

Ashley Renea Posted over a year ago

I cannot support Mr. Ross enough for this award. My son came to IPA in 1st grade and we are now on our 5th year there with no plans of leaving. From day one, Mr. Ross made us feel welcomed and supported. He is present, supportive in all ways that matter, kind, humble, fun, and everything plus when it comes to a school administrator. Whenever Mr. Ross’ name is brought up in social situations I always find myself saying, “I love Mr. Ross!” I fully support this nomination!

Leena Halushka Posted over a year ago

I briefly met Mr. Ross during orientation for our daughter and he immediately made us feel comfortable and drove excitement in our daughter. This was well needed as she transitioned to a new school - thank you for all you do Mr Ross!

Katrina Kaahaaina Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is such an amazing person. He engages with all the kids and knows every single child’s name! He makes them smile and laugh, he’s full of fun and excitement, which the kids thrive off of! He genuinely makes the environment welcoming to all that step onto the campus!! He’s amazing!

Brandi Dul Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross is the type of educator that kids and families will remember for a lifetime. He truly cares for his students and it it shows every day. He knows their names, he attends their celebrations, and is truly their champion. As an educator myself, I know I’m better from knowing him.

Malia Meacham Posted over a year ago

What an amazing way to honor a true servant leader! Mr. Ross exemplifies all of the qualities of a servant leader. He aims to serve others through his leadership. He listens ATTENTIVELY to others needs and is receptive and non judgmental. He shows GENUINE appreciation for others around him. He shows HUMILITY through his actions in how he puts others first. He is someone that MANY TRUST. He is CARING and shows kindness and concern for others. He has this innate ability to sense what people need and he takes action. I’ll never forget the day that I met Mr. Ross. His warm welcoming smile made it an easy decision to send my oldest to IPA. Now all 3 of my children continue to thrive at IPA and Mr. Ross is one of the reasons why this was made possible. He is a true LIFE CHANGER! Malia Meacham

Malia Meacham Posted over a year ago

What an amazing way to honor a true servant leader! Mr. Ross exemplifies all of the qualities of a servant leader. He aims to serve others through his leadership. He listens ATTENTIVELY to others needs and is receptive and non judgmental. He shows GENUINE appreciation for others around him. He shows HUMILITY through his actions in how he puts others first. He is someone that MANY TRUST. He is CARING and shows kindness and concern for others. He has this innate ability to sense what people need and he takes action. I’ll never forget the day that I met Mr. Ross. His warm welcoming smile made it an easy decision to send my oldest to IPA. Now all 3 of my children continue to thrive at IPA and Mr. Ross is one of the reasons why this was made possible. He is a true LIFE CHANGER! Malia Meacham

J Kelley Posted over a year ago

We are so grateful to have Mr Ross at IPA. His ability to listen and comfort the students is amazing. He never seems to have a bad day, always consistent and always warm with the biggest heart. Mr Ross is one of the main reasons we are so comfortable sending our children to IPA. Just a wonderful educator and human being!

K U Posted over a year ago

Steve Ross is an exceptional leader, compelling speaker, and most of all, an irreplaceable friend. He makes sure that all students, families, and friends of our community feel welcomed and feel seen. We love you, Steve!

Sayuri Kelley Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross was simply the best teacher and principal we have ever had !!!!??

Nicole Ogimi Posted over a year ago

There are no words to express my gratitude, honor and appreciation my family and I have for Mr. Ross. Finding a school that my two kiddos feel safe and confident in, is a challenging feat. Calling IPA home with Mr. Ross leading the way, made this decision one of the easiest I have made as a parent. Mr. Ross is a genuine example of values, kindness, humility, generosity and appreciation. He takes the time to get to know his students, families and colleagues. Mr. Ross helps to build the foundation and instill core values in his words and actions. Thank you, Mr. Ross, for changing our lives not only for this year but forever.

Kristina Hanakeawe Posted over a year ago

Mr. Ross was one of the first people we met when our daughter started at IPA for 2nd grade. During orientation he was so kind and enthusiastic, sharing about why my child would love it there. Coming into a school where groups of friends are already established by second grade, our daughter struggled a bit to fit in; however Mr. Ross made her feel right at home. He learned her name right away which she loved. Mr. Ross made calls to families to check in on them; when we received that call my husband was shocked. Mr. Ross knew our daughter, it wasn't just a random call from a school administrator, Mr. Ross actually knew our daughter and shared with us why she was such a great addition to IPA. From that moment, we knew we were at the right place. Mr. Ross is usually the first person you see in the drop-off and pick-up line for school. He greets everyone with a huge smile and good morning. He's present, you always see him at the school, but not just in passing, he is in the grind! He demonstrates all the values that IPA holds so highly. We are so grateful for Mr. Ross. We highly recommend this nomination, there's no one who deserves it more.

Briana Posted over a year ago

Mr. Steve Ross' exceptionally genuine heart is the reason we became a part of the Island Pacific Academy family. Thank you Mr. Ross!

Steph Schaardt Posted over a year ago

Mr. Steve Ross is truly a "Lifechanger" at Island Pacific Academy. With the kindest smile and a heart of absolute gold, he strives to set such a positive example for all of the students, faculty and staff. Even while navigating through difficult times during the COVID pandemic, Mr. Ross made our children and our family feel that safety was of utmost importance. He truly cares about the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of each and every child. We have known Mr. Ross for the past five years, and have always felt that we can rely on him for guidance. He has always been there for us and he is definitely a favorite faculty member of our children. He leads with his heart, and the pure dedication and positive impact he has on those around him is easy to see! We are truly grateful for him, and whole-heartedly believe he is well-deserving of this award. Aloha ~

Keaolani Aina Posted over a year ago

Mr Ross is very deserving of this recognition! He is genuinely invested in all of the IPA students academics and well being. He knows everyone’s name and even made my son (who doesn’t go to IPA) feel at home there. He carries such a friendly and encouraging spirit that makes everyone around him feel happier. Thank you to Mr Ross for everything you have done and continue to do for our IPA family!!