Our Centennial Events

HEA Celebrates Centennial Year Supporting Hawaii Educators

The Hawaii Education Association, founded in 1921 to support all educators, expected to celebrate its 100th anniversary in grand style in 2021.  But the best laid plans were no match for the COVID pandemic.  As Hawaii waited out the pandemic, the HEA stepped back and took a long look at what was happening to educators in schools and higher education communities in Hawaii, the country, and around the world.  What HEA realized was that educators were suffering from the isolation and stress of constantly changing modes of teaching.  Support was needed, and HEA stepped up immediately, turning its thoughts of gala celebrations into celebrations of support for Hawaii educators.

The first event in HEA’s centennial year was a statewide convening of educators to celebrate connections for sharing creative ideas, which we called HEA Hallway Chats.  Presenters included Dr. Nathan Murata, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, stressing the importance of movement; Kecia McDonald, Department of Education  resource teacher in the West Hawaii complex, who shared how she stayed connected with other educators around the world during the pandemic; and Jodie Cheff, Interim Head of School at Waialae Elementary Public Charter School, who shared how her school supported learning for students and families during COVID, in particular by creating moveable study desks that could be used outside on campus for social distanced groupings or at home.

The second centennial event was sponsorship of Fred Lane, internationally known speaker and subject matter expert in cyberethics for educators.  Mr. Lane’s presentation was especially useful for educators at this time when much of their work is still based online.  His main focus was on sharing ways to support student safety and pitfalls for educators when using technology in their practice.

The Bishop Museum Atherton Halau and Bowman Halau Wa’a were the perfect setting for HEA’s culminating Centennial Celebration on Saturday, April 30, 2022.  Even the weather cooperated, sending gentle winds through the open-air venue.

HEA members and guests were greeted by officers and directors at the registration table, which featured a display of door prizes from sponsors Farmers Insurance, Zippy’s, Honolulu Cookie Company, Big Island Candies, and Jamba Juice.

After a welcome by HEA President June Motokawa, three learning sessions focused on educator well-being.  Jonathon Medeiros, Kauai High School English teacher and HEA Director, inspired us to use daily, personal writing as, “our meditation, our way to process, to care for ourselves.”  An interactive writing activity led participants through the process of journaling, and before anyone knew it, the group had all written for ten minutes straight.

Nutritionist Rita Madden conducts workshops on the importance of nutrition in supporting wellness around the country. Her focus on finding balance in nutritious eating and its influence on mood, activity, and health was appreciated by attendees.

Hawaii National Board Certification lead Tracey Idica focused on the “why” of the work of educators.  She reminded attendees that as leaders, they are often the first to be asked to take on increased responsibility because others know they will get the job done and done well. Her presentation helped attendees define their non-negotiables to identify the rules for maintaining a healthy schedule to make leadership fulfilling and joyful.

Following the presentation of awards, Dr. Medeiros led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to HEA.  As members and guests enjoyed a Highway Inn bento lunch and talk-story time, it was clear that HEA is headed into its second one hundred years on firm footing.



HEA Special Centennial Awards Recipients


Bishop Museum’s Bowman Halau Wa’a stage was the setting as Hawaii’s First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige presented HEA’s Centennial Awards, along with Master of Ceremonies Dr. Glenn Medeiros, President of Saint Louis School, and HEA President Motokawa.  Recognized for their award-winning project proposals were:

Photos:  Courtesy Office of the Governor

Dr. Amber Makaiau and Dr. Veronica Kimi for winning a $10,000 HEA Centennial Award for a team from a DOE, Charter, or HAIS school! Drs. Makaiau and Kimi will use their award to provide quality professional development offerings to educators through community workshops tailored to the specific needs of the attendees.

Dr. Ronnie Tiffany-Kinder and Dr. Rayna Fujii on winning the $10,000 HEA Centennial Award for a Hawaii Educator Preparation Program! They are faculty with the Statewide Elementary Education Licensure Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education. Drs. Tiffany-Kinder and Fujii will use their award to support recruitment efforts for the statewide elementary education program which prepares individuals for state licensure.

Dr. Shawna Ortogero, faculty with the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education Special Education Department, for winning a $5,000 HEA Centennial Award for an individual faculty member from a Hawaii institution of higher education. Dr. Ortogero will use her award to support her work with the Model Code of Ethics for Educators.

Daphne Okunaga from Pearl City High School for winning a $5,000 HEA Centennial Award for an individual from a DOE, Charter, or HAIS school. Ms. Okunaga will use her award to support the entrepreneurship class at Pearl City High as it provides business experiences and local workforce contacts for students.

Denise Karratti from Waimea High School on Kauai for winning a $5,000 HEA Centennial Award for an individual administrator from a DOE, Charter, or HAIS school. Ms. Karratti will use her award to support the creation of a “Foundation of Aloha” cohort at her school to support school staff as they interact with the community to build the Aloha Spirit.


A Century of Supporting Teachers: HEA Sponsored Fred Lane at the HSTA Virtual Institute Days


Resource page for HSTA members:

Cybertraps for education resource page