Stephen Ching

Mrs. Dorothy Ono

Kaimuki High School

Mrs. Dorothy Ono was quiet and serious, but her classroom was always open to us before and after school to just hang out. She gave me and others direction and focus, and most of all, confidence that we can compete with kids from the mainland.

The math program at Kaimuki HIgh School was called UICSM: University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics. Mrs. Ono was one of the first teachers trained at the University of Illinois to teach UICSM. The program featured workbooks, proofs and challenging concepts, like propositional logic, proving the derivation of the quadratic formula, and modus ponens and tollens.

Mrs. Ono actually contacted my former math teachers to get approval for me to take two math classes concurrently for a semester to catch up to the UICSM curriculum.

Our graduating class included a student with a perfect math SAT score and a scholarship to MIT, as well as a Merit Scholar and Presidential Scholar with a scholarship to Brown. I received engineering scholarships.

After transferring from UH to the University of Washington and graduating with a Ceramic Engineering degree and a successful career in Silicon Valley, I reconnected with Mrs. Ono in 2014 and got her approval to set up the Dorothy Ono Scholarship for the top senior graduate at Kaimuki High School.

Sadly, she passed away three months before the first scholarship was awarded in 2015. The Dorothy Ono Scholarship originally offered $5,000 and has now doubled to $10,000, with one-quarter to be paid each of four years in an accredited college. The past recipients are representing Kaimuki High School exceptionally well.

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