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Baldwin High School teacher honored with hospitality educator award

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Baldwin High School teacher Joyce Miyamoto (left) and Kauaʻi High School teacher Crystal Ozaki were honored with the hospitality educator award for 2022. Photos Courtesy: ClimbHI

Joyce Miyamoto, a career and technical education teacher at Baldwin High School on Maui, was one of two teachers in Hawai’i honored with the second-annual hospitality educator award by the ClimbHI nonprofit and Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association.

The immersive award provides an array of learning opportunities within the hospitality industry. Miyamoto and the other winner, Kaua’i High School teacher Crystal Ozaki, also earn $1,000 stipends to fund experiences that will provide an enhanced understanding of the industry. 

“Hawaii’s educators are such an important part of each student’s understanding of the hospitality industry,” said Julie Morikawa, President of ClimbHI, a Hawaiʻi workforce development nonprofit. “We are pleased to offer this annual award, which opens up engaging learning opportunities, industry connections and support for new experiences.” 

Each teacher will receive overview briefings from tourism management and marketing leaders; job shadowing and on-site learning at a hotel or resort in Hawaiʻi; and other immersive experiences that showcase various aspects of the industry. The teachers also will be paired with mentors from HLTA’s Women in Lodging & Tourism committee.

Miyamoto has 25 years of experience as a secondary teacher. She has served as a Family Career & Community Leaders of America advisor for eight years and as an advisory board member for the Maui Food Innovation Center for the past two years. 

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Miyamoto was raised on a farm in Kula, which she credits for teaching her the aloha spirit that drives her teaching career. She said she would like to develop a curriculum for sustainable tourism, where students are the catalyst for solving the problem of how to balance the number of visitors to Maui with the existing infrastructure.

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“Being able to collaborate with various government and community organizations helps to build a stronger school community,” Miyamoto said. “Helping students to become leaders is important as they will be the ones leading our community one day.  Students must learn how to communicate and have a positive mindset to be in a competitive workplace. Education never ends after graduation, it is only the start of a new chapter.”  

Kauaʻi native Ozaki has taught at Kauaʻi High School for the past seven years. She also has more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry. She teaches travel industry management and hospitality tourism to help prepare students in the career and technical education (CTE) program.

Ozaki volunteers her time helping with soccer, participating in the district’s mentoring program, and advising the Hospitality Hui Hookipa Club. She also co-advises the Travel Club and graduation and is part of the STEM Cadre at Kauaʻi High School.

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“My goal is to continue to educate and expose students to the hospitality industry, as well as building partnerships within the hospitality community and engaging the travel advisory board with co-curricular activities,” she said. “I have a passion to mentor and guide my students with real-world experiences that will help them realize the many opportunities that are available to them.”

Ozaki and Miyamoto were recognized during a June ceremony with Morikawa and Mufi Hannemann, President and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism & Lodging Association.

 

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