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Teachers to be Recognized During Education Week

March 13, 2019, 11:16 AM HST (Updated March 13, 2019, 11:16 AM)
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House and Senate leaders will recognize the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s leaders, teachers and students for their contributions to educational excellence in the State Capitol’s annual Education Week beginning Monday, March 18, 2019. Formal ceremonies by lawmakers in the Senate and House chambers will honor individuals whose efforts in and out of the classroom have enhanced the educational experience towards student success as well as throughout the local community.

Senate sessions will begin at 11:30 a.m. with guests and honorees proceeding to the House chamber at noon. Awardees will be recognized in the categories of: Department of Education’s Teachers of the Year, Principals, Vice Principal, Counselor and Librarian of the Year, Excellence in Service, and Prudential Financial Company’s recognition of student community service projects. The Senate and House will also recognize this year’s Milken Educator Award and Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence honorees along with the Hawai‘i LifeSmarts Competition State Champion and Finalist schools. A series of open house activities and education advocacy organizations will offer presentations throughout the week to support further improvement in various areas of education. All events are open to the public.

Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani (S Dist. 18 – Mililani Town, portion of Waipiʻo Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), Chair of Committee on Education and Vice Chair on Committee on Higher Education offered her insights: “It’s very important for the Legislature to recognize outstanding classroom teachers, students and campus leadership. During the week, we will showcase the diversity of our schools including our public charter schools.”

“We are excited to once again honor educators and students,” shares Representative Justin Woodson (H Dist. 9 – Kahului, Puʻunene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani), Chair of the House Committee on Lower & Higher Education. “Our educators’ dedication to students and their communities deserve the utmost recognition, while the ambition and success of our students brings tremendous pride to our state.”

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The following includes presentations and honorees included during Education Week (bold = Big Island school):

Monday, March 18:

Catherine Chow, Kea‘au High School
2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Distinguished Finalist

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Chelsea Masaki, Mililani Middle School
2019 Prudential Spirit of Community State Honoree

Ryan Park, Punahou School
2019 Prudential Spirit of Community State Honoree

Stefani Sakamoto, Punahou School
2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Distinguished Finalist

‘Iolani School
2019 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts State Champions

Waipahu High School
2019 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts Preliminary Competition Finalists

Tuesday, March 19:

Mathieu Williams, Kealakehe Intermediate School
Hawai‘i’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

Shane Albritton, School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS)
2019 Hawai‘i Public Charter Schools Teacher of the Year

Brandon Arakawa, Kahului Elementary School
2019 Maui District Teacher of the Year

Sean Doi, Kauai Complex Area Office
2019 Kaua‘i District Teacher of the Year

Sam Hankins, Prince David Kawananakoa Middle School
2019 Honolulu District Teacher of the Year

Gail Izumigawa, Waipahu High School
2019 Leeward District Teacher of the Year

Mary Ann Kurose, Admiral Arthur W. Radford High School
2019 Central District Teacher of the Year

Debbie Morrow, Kailua Elementary School
2019 Windward District Teacher of the Year

Cynthia Tong, Ewa Makai Middle School
2019 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence

Wednesday, March 20:

Noreen Kunitomo, Honaunau Elementary School
2018 Hawai‘i District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Corrine Yogi, Kipapa Elementary School
2018 Central District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Deb Hatada, Kaimiloa Elementary School
2018 Leeward District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Derek Minakami, Kaneohe Elementary School
2018 Windward District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Linell Dilwith, Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School
2018 Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal

Robyn Honda, Makawao Elementary School
2018 Maui District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Sherry Gonsalves, Kilauea Elementary School
2018 Kauai District Hawai‘i National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Meryl Matsumura, Waipahu High School
2019 State Assistant Principal of the Year

Cecile LaMar, Makaha Elementary School
2018 Hawai‘i Outstanding Vice Principal

Thursday, March 21:

Sara Kamibayashi, Na’alehu Public Library
2018 Librarian of the Year

Mona Tavares, Hilo Public Library
2018 Excellence in Service Award

Desire DeSoto, Wai’anae High School
2018 Counselor of the Year, 2019 National Counselor of the Year Finalist

Friday, March 22:

MNK Own/Senate only awards

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