Congratulations to Our 2022-23 Scholarship Recipients!

August 15, 2022

Congratulations to Our 2022-23 Scholarship Recipients!

The Hawaii Education Association is proud to announce 9 scholarship recipients for the 2022-23 year. These outstanding educators and students impressed us with their commitment to excellence and drive to succeed. We are pleased to support their professional development and college studies.  

In-Service Public School Educator Scholarships Amount: $2,000 each

Denise K. Karratti
Waimea High School

Denise Karratti is a vice principal intern, and member of the Hawaii National Board Collective & Foundations of Aloha cohort, and Hawaii Innovative Leader Network. She holds a Master of Education in Teaching degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is currently attending Chaminade University to receive her masters degree in Educational Leadership. Her commitment to public education comes from a strong belief in providing equitable opportunities for Hawaii’s youth. She believes every child has the right to access high quality education.

Evelyn S. C. Utai
Farrington High School

Evelyn Utai has served as an Educational Assistant for the past 11 years. She plans to attend Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa to receive a dual certification in Secondary and Special Education. Her goal is to give back to Farrington High School (her alma mater and current employer) by starting a plant nursery program that instills Polynesian values, traditions and culture for students with special needs.

Ronald K. Toma Professional Development Scholarship Amount: Up to $3,000

Chayanee J. Brooks
Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School

Chayanee Brooks currently teaches AP English, 11th and 12th grade English and is the department head. She also is a school-based district mentor and the head instructor for the statewide professional development PD3 course, “Grading for Equity.” She will be enrolling at Mahidol University in their online Master of Science Program in Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology. The courses on adolescent development will help her gain a greater understanding of her students as they develop from early teens to early adulthood. The Toma scholarship granted her $354 to help cover part of her tuition expenses.

Denise K. Karratti
Waimea High School

Denise Karratti in addition to pursuing her masters degree in Educational Leadership, is also completing the National Board Certified Teacher Maintenance of Certification (MOC). This Maintenance of Certification will help build systemwide capacity by sharing, inspiring and supporting her colleagues at her school and throughout the state. The Toma scholarship granted her $570 to help cover her certification fee.

David G. Brooks
Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School

David Brooks is a Fulbright Distinguished Teacher award recipient and currently an AP Social Studies teacher, Honor Society advisor, and district mentor for beginning teachers. He plans to enroll in Mahidol University’s online Master of Art Asean Sustainable Development program in order to develop curriculum for the Hawaii social studies elective course, Asian Studies, which does not currently have set curriculum available for Hawaii’s teachers. The Toma scholarship granted him $354 to help cover part of his tuition expenses.

Erin A. Noel
Kanuikapono Public Charter School

Erin Noel is currently the Elementary Division Leader, Academic Specialist, Testing Coordinator, and teacher of Response to Intervention in grades K-5. The PD courses she plans to take will provide her the ability to use the most effective and up-to-date instructional practices for reading comprehension with her students and other teachers. The Toma scholarship granted her $977 to help cover her professional development course.

HEA/HSTA-Retired Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Erin J. Baldauf
Lokelani Intermediate

Erin Baldauf holds master degrees in Secondary Education and English, and a PhD in Literacy Education. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in School Leadership from Northcentral University. Through these courses she has gained powerful insights into some of the challenges facing Hawaii’s school system and knows that with this knowledge she will be in a stronger position to help improve public education for our state.

Hiroshi & Barbara Kim Yamashita Undergraduate College Students Scholarship Amount: $2,000

Pilila’i K. F. Kaai
Grand Canyon University

Pilila’i Kaai is pursuing a degree in Secondary Education. She wants to become a teacher because it will allow her to interact with, learn about, and help shape her community’s youth. Giving back through community service and sports related volunteer activities in her hometown of Kohala or at school in Arizona has contributed significantly to her learning and personal development.

Continuing College Students Scholarships Amount: $1,000

Stephen O. Aisabokhae
Prairie View A&M University

Stephen Aisabokhae is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. He is a researcher in the School of Graduate Studies, College of Education, and the PVAMU’s Minority Achievement, Creativity, and High-Ability Center which is aimed at producing cutting-edge best practices that speak to the contemporary issues impacting critical populations in the United States and world at large. One of his goals is to host dialogue spaces for policy reforms and educational development.

Graduating High School Seniors Scholarships Amount: $2,000

Kiele R. Casillas
Daughter of HEA member Wendy Casillas
Kauai High School

Kiele Casillas plans to attend Grand Canyon University to pursue a degree in Biology with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy and a minor in dance. Her ultimate goal is to eventually open a physical therapy office that specializes in treating dance related injuries and providing preventative education/exercises. It would be her way of giving back to the Kauai dance community which has given her so much.

Visit our Scholarships section to learn more about our scholarships for current and aspiring educators.



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.


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