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More Hawaii Teachers Obtain Certification

The Hawai‘i Department of Education announces that 56 teachers were honored Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, for earning or renewing their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Educators who earn this certification have demonstrated that they meet the highest standards for teaching, and must be up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices in education.

Hawaii is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto addressed the teachers at the 2018 Hawai‘i National Board Certified Teacher Ceremony hosted by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Auditorium.

“We are proud of these teachers for their efforts to elevate their profession and provide enhanced learning opportunities for Hawai‘i’s students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Earning this certification is no easy task and I commend them for taking on this additional workload and responsibility. Congratulations to these teachers, their families and schools on this remarkable accomplishment.”

Hawai‘i is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), and boasts one of the fastest growing populations of NBCTs. There are currently 625 teachers who earned their certification.

“In 2017, The Aloha state added 56 new NBCTs reflecting a 10 percent jump in their total,”added NBCT president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Peggy Brookins. This means more students across your state being taught by teachers who prove they teach to the highest standards. Every student deserves to be taught by an accomplished teacher.”

The NBCT certification is a rigorous process that can take anywhere between one to three years and involves applicants submitting comprehensive portfolio. The renewal process is just as demanding and requires teachers to show professional growth.

Tracey Idica, teacher at Aiea High School and HSTA NBCT network affiliate, shared, “This is how teachers are taking back their profession. Doctors can become Board Certified, accountants can become CPAs, and now teachers can become NBCTs. It’s a voluntary process but its the way we can show the community that we are accomplished teachers.”

The following teachers earned their certification in 2017:

  • Jennifer Ainoa, Molokai Middle
  • Lori Cabalar, Keaau Elementary
  • Jane Cariaga, Pahoa Elementary
  • Tanya Cobbin, Waipahu High
  • Patricia Contee, Salt Lake Elementary
  • Chris Cordell, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Alexander Cyran, Keaau Middle
  • Jill Harai, Iliahi Elementary
  • Danielle Hartwick, Makawao Elementary
  • Liane Ibara, Palolo Elementary
  • Michael Ibara, Puuhale Elementary
  • Cheryl Iwasaki, Helemano Elementary
  • Qurratulay Joy, Makawao Elementary
  • Mara Kaizawa-Miyata, McKinley High
  • Naomi Kamauoha, Palolo Elementary
  • Dawn Kanoho, Momilani Elementary
  • Kellee Kelly, Keaau Elementary
  • Samantha Kodama, Kaimuki Middle
  • Laurel Latimer, Makawao Elementary
  • Christine Layton, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Jamie Letreta, Holomua Elementary
  • Erin Medeiros, Kauai High
  • Elaine Medina, Makaha Elementary
  • Nikki Morishige, Waiahole Elementary
  • Cheryl Motoyama, Red Hill Elementary
  • Lisa Nakama, Kaneohe Elementary
  • Shanna Nakamura, Aliiolani Elementary
  • Laura Obuhanych, Holomua Elementary
  • Lisa Oka, Wahiawa Elementary
  • Elizabeth Okamoto, Webling Elementary
  • Sonia Orlando, Waianae Elementary
  • Sandra Oshiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Robyn Panem, Keaau Elementary
  • Suzanne Reed, Ahuimanu Elementary
  • Tamie Richardson, Kaimiloa Elementary
  • Catherine Ritti, Farrington High
  • Jennifer Sarpi, Campbell High
  • Mari Sato, Enchanted Lake Elementary
  • Sheena Shimose, Leihoku Elementary
  • Jessica Sleeper, Kamaile Academy
  • Aysha Spencer, Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary
  • Hannibal Starbuck, Baldwin High
  • Stefanie Sweeney, Waikiki Elementary
  • Jamie Takamura, Red Hill Elementary
  • Jennifer Valenzuela, Lahainaluna High
  • Maile Viela, Waihee Elementary
  • Lynn Wakahiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Amanda Watson, Kailua Intermediate
  • Elizabeth Williams, Campbell High
  • Jill Yamasawa, Kapolei Middle

For more information about the certification and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, click here.

New School Lunch Online Payment System

PC: Department of Education

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) is in the process of transitioning to Harris School Solutions (eTrition) – a new school lunch online payment system – after the current contract with PrimeroEdge (SchoolCafé) ended on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017.

In a letter to parents and guardians, families were instructed to make all meal deposits directly to the school beginning Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. During this time, student eligibility and balance data will be transferred to eTrition from the PrimeroEdge system.

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to see when the new system will be rolled out to each school. Online payments for each school will resume and be implemented at a later date.

Student Meals Feature Another Local Food Source

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to try and use local agriculture in student meals through its ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off last year with locally grown beef. This month, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have partnered up with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.

Fresh bananas will be served in a Banana Pie or a Banana Crumble (pictured above) at every public school cafeteria in January.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“We’re highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria,” said administrator for School Food Services Branch Albert Scales. “By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawai‘i to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home.”

Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students. “Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”

While HIDOE is changing the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered, the ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is also a great opportunity for Hawaii’s agriculture community.

“This new program that was developed under the Farm to School Initiative continues to cultivate the partnership with our schools, farmers and ranchers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It also connects students with the farming community, allowing them to experience the taste and freshness of what Hawai‘i has to offer.”

Approximately 34,000 lbs. of bananas are being provided by several local farms, including Sugarland Growers Inc. and ‘Ohana Banana Farms, to name a few.

“We’re excited to be working with the Department of Education on incorporating more fresh, local produce for Hawaii’s public school students,” said owner of Sugarland Growers Larry Jefts.

Jefts said purchasing local foods from our food safety certified farms on each island also helps to support and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.

“Buying local creates important economic opportunities and supports our community’s growth and sustainability,” said Jefts. “The money that is spent on locally grown foods is reinvested with other local businesses and services across the state. There are numerous benefits as a result of this coming full circle.”

The Farm to School Initiative started in 2015, and was led by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. The program was created to increase locally grown food in student meals through a partnership with Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which also incorporates school gardens, nutrition, health and food education, test kitchens, meal programs and menu planning at Hawai‘i’s public schools.