Maui News

Two Maui teachers among 21 honored for earning professional teaching certification

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21 public school teachers in Hawaiʻi honored for earning professional teaching certification. PC: (2.10.24) Office of Gov. Josh Green

A total of 21 public school teachers with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education have earned their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification – a recognition for meeting the highest standards for teaching.

The list includes two public school teachers on Maui: Tai Baird, Wailuku Elementary; and Abigale Prock, Office of Curriculum & Instructional Design, Extended Learning Branch.

“Our National Board Certified Teachers are not just educators; they are mentors, leaders, and champions of excellence,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “They possess a deep understanding of their subject matter and a keen insight into the individual needs and strengths of each of their students. … Their commitment to continuous improvement and their willingness to push the boundaries of their own professional practice sets an inspiring example for all of us.”


The new National Board Certified Teachers were honored by Gov. Josh Green, Superintendent Hayashi, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Hope Poʻo Kumu (Vice Principal) Keola Silva, Joan Lewis, president of the Hawaiʻi Education Association and the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board at a ceremony Saturday, along with legislators and representatives of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association.

To earn or retain this certification, educators must be up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices in education. It is a rigorous process that can take anywhere from one to three years and involves applicants submitting a comprehensive portfolio.

Gov. Green thanked the newly certified cohort for their dedication and remarked on the importance of highly-qualified teachers to the entire state, saying their commitment to students lays the foundation for the future of the entire state.


In addition to the 21 newly certified teachers, 83 educators renewed their NBCT certifications. Hawai‘i ranks 12th in the nation for the percentage of NBCTs, and boasts one of the fastest growing populations of NBCT educators. Hawaiʻi now has 789 teachers holding this designation.

Congratulations to the following Hawai‘i teachers who received their certification:


  • Tai Baird, Wailuku Elementary
  • Abigale Prock, Office of Curriculum & Instructional Design, Extended Learning Branch

Hawai‘i Island

  • Kristal Blacksmith, Waikoloa Elementary & Middle
  • Nekia Mahzad-Nolan, Hilo High


  • Sarah Kern, Kamakahelei Middle


  • Janice Avellana, Hahaʻione Elementary
  • Shely Chang, Kaʻimiloa Elementary
  • Lauren Collier, Kāneʻohe Elementary
  • James Inamasu, ʻEwa Makai Middle
  • Riley Jaeger, Niu Valley Middle
  • Melissa Lee, Kāneʻohe Elementary
  • Kiani McBean, ʻAikahi Elementary
  • Abigail McClellan, Kamiloiki Elementary
  • Kai Morrell, Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama Campus
  • Shelby Oshiro, Waiʻanae Intermediate
  • Kathryn Parsons, Jarrett Middle
  • Jade Pham, Kawananakoa Middle
  • Kehaulani Piiohia, Malama Honua Public Charter School
  • Vanessa Race, Dole Middle
  • Bryan Silver, Kalani High
  • Ernescia Torricer, Red Hill Elementary

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