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Stories About Hawaii Educators

Watch and read stories about the life-changing impact of local teachers and professors.

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

Here, HEA showcases testimonials about amazing teachers to highlight the importance of our local educators. These stories were collected and featured throughout our website, newsletter, and social media in 2021 as part of our 100th anniversary celebration.

Community Testimonials

We are honored to share these memories from our community about the impact of Hawaii educators on their students’ lives.

"Mrs. Laura Tavares went above and beyond for her students at Kamehameha Schools, hosting Edgar Allen Poe-themed Halloween parties and Hawaiian cultural events and making malasadas for us. She brightened our lives."

Gina McGuire

In honor of Laura Tavares

Kamehameha Schools

"Nancy Varner, my 2nd grade teacher at St. Andrew's Priory, always found ways to shake up our learning, like having us do everything backwards for a day, and made our assignments more fun with stickers."

Gerilin Chun Zwicky

In honor of Nancy Varner

St. Andrew's Priory

"I wasn’t a confident kid, but Mr. Fred Trupiano recognized my potential in writing and inspired me to develop it at Liholiho Elementary School. I later worked as a journalist, then an assistant English professor."

Michael Tsai

In honor of Fred Trupiano

Liholiho Elementary School

"Without Peter Wagner at UH Hilo, I wouldn’t have been as prepared to be a teacher. He always knew how to bring out my best, pushing me just hard enough to not tire me out while allowing me to grow on my own."

Kaipo Wahinepio

In honor of Peter Wagner

University of Hawaii at Hilo