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Stories About Hawaii Educators

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

Wilbur Luna

Wilbur Luna

He helped me gain an appreciation for going to college.

Richard Keakahiwa

Mayor Joseph J. Fern Elementary School

Candy Suiso

Candy Suiso

We have to, as educators, continue to give them hope, make them believe in themselves

Julia Malapit Smith

Makaha Elementary School

Hina Wong

Hina Wong

They both inspired me to be a better and stronger person than I imagined myself to be.

Blaine Gaison & Wallace Wong

Kamehameha Schools

Jonathon Medeiros

Jonathon Medeiros

I think it's because I have a passion for learning, I think that is why I like being a teacher.

Language Arts Teacher

Kauai High School

Janice Bond

Janice Bond

To be able to reach the kids, sometimes we need to share our own heart.

HEA Board Member

Retired Teacher

Janice Bond

Janice Bond

To be able to reach the kids, sometimes we need to share our own heart.

HEA Board Member

Retired Teacher

Jonathon Medeiros

Jonathon Medeiros

I think it's because I have a passion for learning, I think that is why I like being a teacher.

Language Arts Teacher

Kauai High School

Hina Wong

Hina Wong

They both inspired me to be a better and stronger person than I imagined myself to be.

Blaine Gaison & Wallace Wong

Kamehameha Schools

Candy Suiso

Candy Suiso

We have to, as educators, continue to give them hope, make them believe in themselves

Julia Malapit Smith

Makaha Elementary School

Wilbur Luna

Wilbur Luna

He helped me gain an appreciation for going to college.

Richard Keakahiwa

Mayor Joseph J. Fern Elementary School

#MyAwesomeTeacher

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.

"Dr. Michele Ebersole, an education professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, is one of my longtime mentors. I continue to lean on her for guidance, clarity, and a steadfast commitment to education."

Whitney Aragaki

In honor of Dr. Michele Ebersole

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

"Patrick Yim is one of my many former orchestra students who accomplished what he strived for. As a professional violinist, he has toured around the world, from New York to Hong Kong to Milan, performing in orchestras and solo. But he still remembers his roots. Whenever he’s in town, he returns to Kawananakoa Middle School to talk to our students and treat them to his virtuoso violin playing. He also teaches as the Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University. Mahalo, Patrick, for sharing your interest in the performing arts with our public schools and keiki. "

Dan Mew

In honor of Patrick Yim

Kawananakoa Middle School

"Mrs. Jan Zane-Chin was my 3rd grade teacher at Maʻemaʻe Elementary School. I always admired her kindness and patience. She showed us she cared and made us all feel important, and I wanted to be just like her."

Emi Ching-Loo

In honor of Mrs. Jan Zane-Chin

Maʻemaʻe Elementary School

"Dr. Derek Taira was the best professor I had in the Master of Education program at UH Manoa. He taught the history of education in Hawaii in a culturally responsive and impactful way that informs my teaching today."

Tara Wengronowitz

In honor of Dr. Derek Taira

University of Hawaii at Manoa