Being a Hawaiian immersion teacher is "more than just a job, it is a mission," say those devoted to the field, which requires huge amounts of extra work creating and implementing curricula in the Hawaiian language that's not readily available.
The Complex Area Teachers of the Year represent the best of the profession. Read more about them and hear from them in a brief video.
The inaugural event took place Oct. 26 at Kulana Oiwi, and featured community organizations, student presentations, interactive keiki activities, and keynote speaker Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a cultural practitioner and community leader.
Cecilia Chung, a sixth-grade teacher at Kaimiloa Elementary in Ewa Beach, was honored Friday as the 2020 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year.
The National Council on Teacher Quality reports at least 35 of the major school districts across the country already offer SpEd teachers a financial bonus of some kind, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 a year. Hawaii offers no pay differential for SpEd teachers.