Godwin Higa was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. He is from a family of hard-working farmers who immigrated to the United States from Okinawa, Japan to build a life in a new country. Godwin grew up in a single mother-led household with 1 brother and 4 sisters. While mom had to work several jobs to make ends meet, the family stuck together was supported by extended family, friends, teachers, and community members. Having this support growing up inspired him to want to give back and help others. To pursue his dreams of becoming a teacher, he moved to the “mainland” and settled in San Diego 36 years ago. Since then, he has taught children from all backgrounds, worked in diverse communities, and connected with families from all walks of life. Under his leadership as principal together with teachers and parents, he set up the first trauma-Informed school at Cherokee Point.
Career in Education
1990: Teacher at Donovan Correctional Facility State Prison in San
1993-1995: Mentor Teacher, ASDEG (Association of San Diego Educator
of the Gifted)
1990-1993: Teacher, Pacific Beach Elementary School
1993-1995: Teacher, Bird Rock Elementary School, La Jolla
1995-1999: Teacher, Dingeman Elementary School
1998-2000: Mentor Teacher, ASDEG
1999-2000: Vice Principal, Boone Elementary School
2000-2004: Principal, Penn Elementary School
2004-2008: Principal, Standley Middle School
2008-2017: Principal, Cherokee Point Elementary School
Because Experience Matters
Godwin Higa has dedicated his life as an educator and leader to promoting equity and equal access to education for all
students. Godwin was actively involved in creating schools with a true sense of community and has been successful in promoting education reform throughout California, Oregon, and Hawaii.
With his 27 years in education and administration for SDUSD, he has proven to be a dedicated, compassionate, and
an overwhelmingly qualified candidate for District B.
Proven Track Record
30 years of experience in education as a teacher and principal
Created the First Trauma-Informed School in San Diego, Cherokee Point Elementary School in the Mid-City area of San Diego
Named SDUSD District Teacher of the Year from Dingeman Elementary School, Scripps Ranch
Board Member on the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices for 8 years.
Worked with San Diego Juvenile Hall Judge to implement a county plan.
Named Principal of the Year by the Mid-City and City Council for promoting school and community involvement by the San Diego City Council.
Secured and implemented a $1,397,000 grant from the California Endowment for Cherokee Point and the SDSU Restorative Justice Program.
Was actively involved with the Mid-City Police Department, working closely with the Captain to ensure open communication for a safe community.
Teacher at Donovan Correctional Facility State Prison in San Diego.
Worked as hospice patient volunteer for AIDS patients for five years in Hemet and San Diego.
Helped a challenging Hawaiian school district win promising results and academic gains by lowering the suspension rate in most schools and eliminating suspensions altogether in others, by increasing graduation rates, and by increasing teacher retention by over 50%.