Two Hawai’i teachers honored with Milken awards

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 in Featured

MILKEN WINNERS: Kelly Sutcliffe stands with Gov. Ige and the first lady, superintendent Kathy Matayoshi, Lowell Milken and others from Jefferson Elementary School.

The national Milken Educator Awards have been called “the Oscars of education” and come with a $25,000 cash prize. But this year’s winners say the real reward happens every day in their classrooms.

This year’s winners, who were surprised at school ceremonies last month, impressed the Milken Family Foundation with their innovative lessons in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Masaru Uchino, a third-grade teacher at Momilani Elementary School in Pearl City and Kelly Sutcliffe, a fourth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary in Waikīkī were praised for making learning fun with hands-on science experiments to understand real-world issues such as climate change and sustainability.

Both philanthropist Lowell Milken and the governor praised the teachers for their ability to inspire students. “These students are on a path   to become the innovators and visionaries of the future,” said Milken.

MILKEN WINNERS: Masaru Uchino surrounded by his third graders at Momilani Elementary.

As for the teachers, they credited their students for keeping them motivated. Said Sutcliffe, “I can remember the teachers who had an impact on me. I’m just hoping I can have that kind of impact on my students.” Uchino shared what he tells his students: “The world is constantly  changing. The more educated you are, the bigger your world becomes.”


Read more in our March issue.