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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. Kono at Aina Haina Elementary was always encouraging and challenged me to think deeper—she expected a lot from me, even when no one else did."

Stephanie (Sweitzer) Kendrick

In honor of Mrs. Kono

Aina Haina Elementary

"Many students had never heard jazz or had the opportunity to play an instrument, but Mr. Billie Brooks brought music and music appreciation to Kohala High & Elementary School."

Sharon Sakai

In honor of Billie Brooks

Kohala High & Elementary School

"Mr. Matsumoto was not only a great band teacher at Kaimuki Middle School, he instilled in me values around leadership, being part of a team and striving to be your best."

Janis Kushimi

In honor of Clarence Matsumoto

Kaimuki Middle School

"I have never lost my interest in the natural world and scientific inquiry. That is possibly the most important lesson that my biology teacher Mrs. Watanabe taught us – never lose your interest in the world."

Scott W. Starratt, Ph.D., research geologist

In honor of Amy Watanabe

Kailua High School