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Stories About Hawaii Educators

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

U.S. Representative Ed Case

U.S. Representative Ed Case

He taught me to think critically, the ability to step back and to see what the world is really all about.

Former student of Paul Knauff

Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Sarah Kern

Sarah Kern

Getting to know your students and being able to relate to them –I think that's probably one of the most important things.

7th Grade Teacher

Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

Alexandra Obra

Alexandra Obra

Dr. Mokuau’s work advocating for Native Hawaiians motivates me to be an advocate as well. I try to incorporate the culture into the things we do here.

Former student of Dr. Noreen Mokuau

UH Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work

Kurt Dela Cruz

Kurt Dela Cruz

She challenged her students to reach a higher standard, and she did so by showing us the care and love she had for us. I needed that kind of challenge to push me.

Former student of Carolyn Irvine

Ka‘ū High School

Brooke Gascon-Vea

Brooke Gascon-Vea

He was always willing to give advice and always there when I needed it. He’s a great role model for the teacher I wanted to become.

Former student of Mr. Marc Kawahara

Farrington High School

Coleby Kim

Coleby Kim

I wish Mr. Doike could teach me every day! He made a difference in my life because he was so nice and taught me so many things.

Joseph Doike-Foreman

Pearl Ridge Elementary School

Stephen Ching

Stephen Ching

Mrs. Dorothy Ono was quiet and serious, but her classroom was always open to us before and after school to just hang out.

Mrs. Dorothy Ono

Kaimuki High School

Jeff Stallman

Jeff Stallman

I only took one class from Jonathan (JP) Price at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, but it sticks with me to this day.

Jonathan (JP) Price

University of Hawaii at Hilo

Denise K. Karratti

Denise K. Karratti

The Japanese term kaizen means ‘continuous improvement’ and that discipline was ingrained in me from a young age.

2021-22 In-Service Public School Educator Scholarship Recipient

Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

Pascal “Kawehi” Cabuzel

Pascal “Kawehi” Cabuzel

I'm very grateful for this scholarship knowing that others are very deserving too. I hope to fulfill that role to give back to Hawaii in some way.

2021-22 Graduating High School Seniors Scholarship Recipient

Hawaii Preparatory Academy

#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.

"Mr. Chadwick Kamei encouraged us to do our best at Pearl City High School without being overly strict or pushy. He focused on intrinsic motivation, cultivating a passion for music and teamwork among his students."

Meaghan Tomas

In honor of Chadwick Kamei

Pearl City High School

"I’m grateful to Mr. Ernest Muh for seeing potential in me and encouraging me to strive for greatness at Mililani Mauka Elementary School. He helped me find my voice and rise up to become a leader."

Colby Takeda

In honor of Ernest Muh

Mililani Mauka Elementary School

"Mrs. Tracey Idica was one of my favorite teachers at Aiea High School because I felt how much she loved teaching and cared about us. I could hang out with her and feel comfortable enough to talk about my life."

Kelsie Sasabe

In honor of Tracey Idica

Aiea High School

"I have no doubts that given his burgeoning research agenda, Stephen is poised to make both prolonged and persistent contributions to the field."

Stephen O. Aisabokhae

2021-22 Continuing College Students Scholarships Recipient

Prairie View A&M University