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Hawaiʻi State Legislature honoring 33 during Education Week

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The Hawaiʻi State Legislature is honoring 33 people, including these teachers of the year, during Education Week that runs March 14-18. Photo Courtesy: Hawaiʻi State Department of Education

Each spring, the Hawai‘i State Legislature celebrates Education Week by honoring the outstanding work of Hawai‘i’s students, educators, faculty and school leaders for their commitment to educational excellence. This year, 33 honorees will be recognized for receiving state or national awards.

Maui District honorees:

  • Lisa Yamada of Wailuku Elementary was named Hawaii State Department of Education’s teacher of the year in December for the Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex.
  • William Tatro IV of Lahainaluna High School was named Hawaii State Department of Education’s teacher of the year in December for the Hāna-Lahainaluna-Lāna‘i-Molokai Complex.

Though past events have traditionally included inviting honorees to the Capitol to be recognized during House and Senate floor sessions, program modifications made in 2021 will continue to be upheld this year.


During Education Week, which runs March 14-18, the honorees will be sent congratulatory joint certificates to convey the thanks of all Hawai‘i Representatives and Senators for their contributions to their schools, students and broader community.

“I am deeply proud and honored to recognize the remarkable achievements of our 2022 Education Week awardees and to celebrate educators throughout the State for their invaluable contributions to the community.,” said Sen. Michelle N. Kidani, Vice President and Chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

The other honorees:

  • Prudential Emerging Visionaries – Societal Solutions  for a Changing World Award: Esther Chan
  • US Department of Education – 2021 National Blue  Ribbon School: Wheeler Middle Manoa Elementary Ma‘ema‘e Elementary
  • HI DOE – Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year/Hawaii  Districts Hilo -Waiakea Complex Teacher of the Year: Whitney Aragaki 
  • HI DOE – Hawai‘i District’s Ka‘ū-Kea‘au-Pāhoa  Complex Teacher of the Year: ʻĀina Akamu
  • HI DOE – West Hawai‘i District’s Honoka‘a Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Teacher of  the Year: John Capdepon
  • HI DOE – Kapaʻa-Kauaʻi-Waimea Complex Teacher  of the Year: Theresa Malone
  • HI DOE – Honolulu District’s Farrington-Kaiser Kalani Complex Teacher of the Year: Wendy Shigeta
  • HI DOE – Honolulu District’s Kaimukī-McKinley Roosevelt Complex Teacher of the Year: Corrie Izumoto
  • HI DOE – Leeward District’s Campbell-Kapolei  Complex Teacher of the Year: Jim Kunimitsu
  • HI DOE – Leeward District’s Pearl City-Waipahu  Complex Teacher of the Year: Ashley Ito-Macion
  • HI DOE – Leeward District’s Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Teacher of the Year: Wendy Gumm
  • HI DOE – Windward District’s Castle-Kahuku  Complex Teacher of the Year: Miyuki Sekimitsu
  • HI DOE – Windward District’s Kailua-Kalāheo  Complex Teacher of the Year: Richard Lau
  • HI DOE – Central District’s ‘Aiea-Moanalua-Radford  Complex Teacher of the Year: Trisha Gibson
  • HI DOE – Central District’s Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua  Complex Teacher of the Year: Jeni Miyahira
  • HI DOE – Charter Schools Teacher of the Year: Cara Chaudron
  • Hawaiʻi Association of Secondary School  Administrators – Hawaiʻi State Principal of  the Year: Dr. Reid Kuba
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals National Distinguished Principal: Lisa Ann Higa
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals State Assistant Principal: Jacob Kardash
  • American School Counselor Association Counselor of the Year: Nicole Blomberg
  • Hawaiʻi School Counselor Association Counselor of the Year: Brittnie Caraulia
  • Life Smarts: 1st Place: Waipahu 3 (Ross Cadelina, Estefany Bayudan, Isabella Delos Santor, Keziah Ancheta. Coach Cindy Takara); 2nd Place: Waipahu 1 (Vianne Jazmine Acdal, Serenity Kalai, Colby Macapagal, Hunter Von Tungeln. Coach Cindy Takara); and 3rd Place: Kalani (Caity Achay, Elena Terebenkov, Allison  Vuong, Brandon Tran, Phuong Huynh. Coach Mike Zane)
  • 2021 School Librarian of the Year: Diane Mokuau
  • 2021 Teacher of Promise Milken Educator  Award: Jenna Oskey
  • 2022 Milken Educator Award: Michelle Le Iwasaki
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and  Science Teaching: Wrayna Fairchild (Science) and Crystal Doi (Science)


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