Brooke Gascon-Vea

Former student of Mr. Marc Kawahara

Farrington High School

Brooke Gascon-Vea credits her Farrington High School Teaching As a Career advisor Marc Kawahara for inspiring her to pursue an education career.

“His class and the hands-on teaching experience of the TAAC program is what inspired me to become a teacher,” Brooke said. “Mr. Kawahara was a great teacher and mentor who cares a lot about his students and their success.”

Even after she left Farrington, Mr. Kawahara continued to encourage her. “He was always willing to give advice and always there when I needed it. He’s a great role model for the teacher I wanted to become.”

Brooke confesses that as an 11th grader, her initial motivation for joining the teaching academy was the idea that she could spend more time off-campus.

But she soon realized she actually enjoyed teaching and that she could make a difference as a teacher in blue-collar Kalihi where she grew up. “I came from that community,” Brooke said.

Today, after 10 years as a second- and third-grade teacher at Kapalama Elementary School, Brooke is the campus curriculum coordinator.

“All the teachers I work with have so many great ideas and when we get to collaborate, we produce lessons that are so much more fun,” Brooke said about her current role. “And most importantly we create a learning experience that has a lasting impact on our students.”

]Mr. Kawahara has also chosen to remain part of the education network in the Kalihi region as principal at Kalihi Kai Elementary School.

He recalled fondly, however, the time he spent as advisor and teacher for Farrington’s teaching academy.

“We’re trying to home-grow our teachers because it is the people who are from Hawaii who can really service the students of Hawaii, and Brooke is a prime example of that,” Mr. Kawahara said.

Brooke offered this advice to high school students who may be considering a career in education. “Find a teacher-mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask them what it’s like to be a teacher.”

#MyAwesomeTeacher

SUBMIT YOUR STORY

Share your story with us! Our teachers are a great source of encouragement, inspiration and positive life transformations. Many of us have had a teacher who has made a major impact on our lives or helped us to simply do better.

HEA wants to showcase testimonials about amazing teachers to highlight the importance of our local educators. These stories will be featured throughout our website, newsletter and social media in 2021 as part of HEA’s 100th anniversary celebration.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY

More Teacher Stories

Jeff Stallman

Jeff Stallman

I only took one class from Jonathan (JP) Price at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, but it sticks with me to this day.

Jonathan (JP) Price

University of Hawaii at Hilo

Stephen Ching

Stephen Ching

Mrs. Dorothy Ono was quiet and serious, but her classroom was always open to us before and after school to just hang out.

Mrs. Dorothy Ono

Kaimuki High School

Coleby Kim

Coleby Kim

I wish Mr. Doike could teach me every day! He made a difference in my life because he was so nice and taught me so many things.

Joseph Doike-Foreman

Pearl Ridge Elementary School