• Hawai'i House Democrats

Excellence in Education Recognized by Legislature During Education Week March 15-19


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Every year, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature celebrates Education Week by honoring public school students, educators, and staff who have been recognized for their contributions to excellence in education.


Normally, awardees would be presented with certificates of recognition during House and Senate floor sessions. However, due to coronavirus health and safety guidelines, no floor presentations will be held at the State Capitol this year.


Instead, awardees will be sent congratulatory joint certificates to convey the thanks of all Hawaiʻi Senators and Representatives for their contributions.


Education Week (March 15-18) honorees have also received state or national recognition for their exemplary achievements and commitment to their schools and broader community.


"As chair of the House Committee on Education, it is an honor to dedicate this week to celebrating outstanding educators, students, and support staff for their numerous and invaluable contributions to our schools and to our community. A large part of creating a better community starts with encouraging our schools to foster brilliant minds and to extend learning beyond the classroom," said Representative Justin Woodson (Dist. 9 - Kahului, Pu‘unene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani), Chair of the House Committee on Education.


“We are proud to recognize the wonderful achievements of our honored students, teachers and staff. While we are unable to gather at our State Capitol to celebrate Education Week due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these honorees affirm the invaluable efforts of our educators who continue to ensure the success of Hawai’i’s students," said Senator Michelle Kidani (Dist. 18 - Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), Chair of the Committee on Education. "We are tremendously grateful for their continued commitment to education and celebrate the well-deserved honors of our 2021 awardees!”


The awardees are:


Sascha Pakravan - National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)- Prudential Spirit of the Community Award Honoree


Brennan Yamaguchi - NASSP- Prudential Spirit of the Community Award Honoree


Karli Rain Barbeiro-Thornsbury - NASSP- Prudential Spirit of the Community Award Distinguished Finalist


Olivia Rose Kennedy - NASSP- Prudential Spirit of the Community Award Distinguished Finalist


Ernest Bowen (E.B.) DeSilva Elementary School - US Department of Education (DOE)- 2020 National Blue Ribbon School


King Liholiho Elementary School - US DOE- 2020 National Blue Ribbon School


Waikiki Elementary School - US DOE- 2020 National Blue Ribbon School


Lori Kwee - HI DOE- Honolulu District's Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Teacher of the Year


Elaine Higa - HI DOE- Hawai‘i District's Ka‘u-Kea‘au-Pahoa Complex Teacher of the Year


Annette McComber - Hawaii Districts Hilo-Waiakea Complex Teacher of the Year


Ashley Oyama - HI DOE- West Hawai‘i District's Honoka‘a-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Teacher of the Year


Shannon Kealoha - HI DOE- Maui District's Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex Teacher of the Year


Heidi Jenkins - HI DOE- Maui District's Hana-Lahainaluna-Lana‘i-Molokai Complex Teacher of the Year


Serena Cox - HI DOE-Kapaʻa-Kauaʻi-Waimea Complex Teacher of the Year


Mahina Anguay - Hawai‘i Association of Secondary School Administrators (HASSA)- Hawai‘i State Principal of the Year


Kelly Elms - HI DOE- Honolulu District's Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Teacher of the Year


Lori Kwee - HI DOE- Honolulu District's Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Teacher of the Year


Christina Small - Terrel H. Bell Award 2020- Special Lifetime Leadership Awardee


Shannon Kam - HI DOE- Leeward District's Campbell-Kapolei Complex Teacher of the Year


Jacqueline N. Nuha-Tabernero - HI DOE- Leeward District's Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Teacher of the Year


Kealaonaonahookipamalahini J. Nunuha - HI DOE- Leeward District's Nanakuli-Wai‘anae Complex Teacher of the Year


Kristen Ann Eastvedt - HI DOE- Windward District's Castle-Kahuku Complex Teacher of the Year


Kimberly Koopman - HI DOE- Windward District's Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Teacher of the Year


Joanna Kobayashi - HI DOE- Central District's ‘Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Teacher of the Year


Danielle Tokuda - HI DOE- Central District's Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Teacher of the Year


Andrew Stever - HI DOE- Charter Schools Teacher of the Year


Jon Morikawa - American School Counselor Association's Hawai‘i Counselor of the Year 2021


Team 2 (Harvey Picar, Ashley Valois, Destiny Shishido, Marvin Arevalo, and Vianne Acdal) - 2020 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts Online Competition, 1st Place


Team 1 (Reyan Lee, Elizabeth Talioaga, Grace Chinen, Jan Apolto, and Sagan Kurose) - 2020 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts Online Competition, 2nd Place


Team 17 (Jane Pascual, Chantelle Nartatez, Naomi Fu, and Neriz Galacgac) - 2020 Hawai‘i LifeSmarts Online Competition, 3rd Place


Ray Pikelny - 2020 Tokioka Award Winner

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