Hawai’i’s top teachers honored for their dedication

Posted on Nov 29, 2017 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Vanessa Ching State 2018 Teacher of the Year. Gov Ige, Dawn Ige, DOE superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto, BOE chair Lance Mizumoto

Honoring the best: Vanessa Ching (center) from the DOE’s Leeward District was named the state’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. Congratulating her and the other top teachers were the Iges, DOE superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto and Board of Education chair Lance Mizumoto (right)

Leading by example — that’s one of the reasons Vanessa Ching, the student activities coordinator at Ewa Makai Middle School, was named the state’s 2018 Teacher of the Year at a Washington Place ceremony Oct. 27. Whether it’s a “green” service project or an anti-bullying campaign, Ching’s work as the student activities coordinator at Ewa Makai Middle School is creating good citizens and future leaders for the community.

“What I remind my students is that whatever you do,” she said, “you do it with passion, with your heart.” Because of her students’ advocacy for a plastic-free Hawai‘i, Ewa Makai is the state’s only school to have won the National Green Ribbon School certification.

Governor Ige recognized the outstanding teachers representing districts statewide and thanked them for choosing “one of the most important and noblest professions in state government.” Other finalists for the statewide honor were Amanda Fretto, Kaua‘i District; Francine Hughes, Maui District; Gregg Iha, Central District; Erika Kaneo, Hawai‘i Island District; Del Onaga, Windward District; Cristin Priolo, Charter Schools; and Naomi Salaveria, Honolulu District.

Read more in our December issue