Hello HSTA members,

On Jan. 8, I started my amazing new role as the Instruction and Professional Development Specialist for HSTA. I have been able to interact with some of you, but wanted to find a way to reach all of you until we can meet in person.

Prior to coming to HSTA, I wore several hats in the field of education. I started my career as a fourth-grade teacher and, after four years, transitioned to teaching middle school literature and writing. I stayed at the middle school level (7th and 8th grade) for 14 of my 18 years in the classroom. During this time, I was privileged to work with the National Science Foundation helping teachers integrate literacy into science and math classes. That work later expanded to include social studies programs. I also worked with the National Honor Society and Student Council on my campuses.

In addition to my middle school duties, I coached a high school competitive cheer squad. I took over the squad when issues arose about how the squad was represented by their captains. In the time I worked with them, they became leaders on their school campus as well as community leaders, helping elementary and middle schools that could not afford cheer camps.  

I left the classroom and worked for Western Governors University for almost 10 years as a course instructor and staff trainer in the Teachers College. I worked with all subject content areas in elementary, secondary, and special education, as well as supported students during the student teaching requirements. 

I was hired by HSTA to rebuild our Professional Development program. Unfortunately, the lofty goals that we had in January had to be revised because no one expected the changes that happened in March, when the pandemic changed everything. We currently have three PD courses that are starting in the month of June. Information for these can be found on HSTA's PD website. These three courses are approved for reclassification credit.

Visit pd.hsta.org for more information

In addition to the three approved courses, NEA has created a series of micro-credentials that can be completed without interaction with students. These stacks were created to meet our members’ virtual learning needs. There are other micro-credentials that you can sign up for, but they will require work with your students, so completion would not be until school starts back up in the fall.

Over the summer, we will be posting information on free and low-cost opportunities for our members. These resources will focus on the needs of our educators based on the direction HIDOE plans for next school year. 

We will also be posting videos that are being developed in partnership with the Hawaii Distance Learning Forum. The first video will focus on the forum, and how to create an account to access all the resources and support developed by Hawaii teachers.

Please keep checking our website and social media for updates, as we continue to work to support you during this difficult and uncertain time.

Diane Gibson
HSTA IPD Specialist