Logan Okita is HSTA’s Stacy Award Winner
Congratulations to Logan Okita, the winner of HSTA’s Award for Teaching Excellence, known as the STACY, celebrating the work of the late Stacy Nishina, an outstanding teacher and beloved HSTA staff member.
Logan is a first grade teacher at Nimitz Elementary School. Celebrating her tenth year in the public schools, she is also an HSTA board member and served on the negotiations team last year. She reaches out to social and professional networks frequently for help with projects. Those have ranged from fully funding a Donors Choose project in less than a week to replace a classroom computer lab that was stolen just before winter break to collecting a class set of oatmeal containers to make drums for a music program.
The award is given annually to a teacher for exemplary actions in the following areas: Scholarship, Teaching, Advocacy, Community and Youth.
She is a National Board Certified Teacher who incorporates multi-sensory strategies into her teaching to make concepts and skills stick for her students. When introducing a concept or skill she uses a variety of experiences, including tasting food from other cultures, listening to songs about the concept, observing reality or taking a virtual field trip.
Her union activities began in 2012 when she attended the NEA’s Minority Leadership Training conference, where she finally realized the full meaning of being a union member and the importance of the union for teachers and students. She has since been the chairperson of the Youth, Human & Civil Rights Committee, the HSTA Negotiations Team, delegate to the HSTA Convention and NEA RA, and now sits on the HSTA Board of Directors.
A story that highlights her dedication to her students goes to when, as a student teacher, she had a student whose parents could not afford to purchase new shoes as the student outgrew them. So Logan created a lesson so she could measure the students’ feet. She then went to the store and bought the student a new pair of sneakers. During dismissal a few days later, she gave the student a box with a note explaining that someone saw her need and dropped off a pair they had at home.
Her mentor told her she would go broke if she continued doing that, but Logan has not stopped.