3 Big Island Educators Named as Finalists for Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year

August 5, 2022, 12:57 PM HST
* Updated August 5, 4:30 PM
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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education today named 15 complex area teachers of the year and one charter school teacher of the year as finalists for the 2023 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year recognition.

“We are proud to recognize these outstanding teachers who have demonstrated some of the highest levels of dedication and passion for their students,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “As our Hawai‘i public school system continues to focus on prioritizing and accelerating student learning, we are grateful to have outstanding teachers in the classroom to help lead the way.”

Teachers nominated on the Big Island are:

Chayanee Brooks from Ka‘ū High and Pāhala Elementary. She teaches English.

Joel Matsunaga from the Honoka‘a-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Area. He teaches health and physical education resource.


Kristy Taise from the Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area. She is a resource teacher.


In October, one teacher will be announced as the 2023 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year and will go on to represent Hawaiʻi in the National Teacher of the Year program. The honor is presented annually to a teacher selected from more than 13,000 HIDOE educators.

Click here for the full list of state finalists.

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