Elementary Education Alumna and Miss Hawai‛i USA 2018

Julianne Chu

"After my first year in college, I decided to switch my major from biology to elementary education. It was the best decision I ever made because I found my passion."


Honolulu, HI


School of Teacher Education - Elementary

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Elementary Education

Where do you teach?   
I am currently teaching second grade at Kahala Elementary. Before this, I was teaching special education mathematics at Niu Valley Middle School

When did you realize you wanted to become a teacher?
I realized I wanted to become a teacher after being a biology major for a year. I took an elective class, Teaching Music for Children, taught by Rucci Amodt. I sang in the Hawai‛i Youth Opera Chorus for seven years, and Aunty Rucci was one of my instructors. I heard this class was great and when I took it, almost all of the other students were elementary education majors. They had such wonderful personalities and were so driven. I decided to change my major because I was not passionate with continuing my degree in Biology.

What was the best part of your COE experience?
I have had many amazing experiences within the COE program. I loved the art and drama classes that were offered. I also enjoyed student teaching. I started at Hickam Elementary with kindergarten and was offered a part-time position to teach Hawaiiana the following semester. I then went on to work with fifth grade at Kalihi Uka Elementary and finished my last year with second grade at Hickam Elementary. It was so great to work with different teachers, schools, and students. I was very grateful for everything I learned and experienced within the program.

Did education play a role along your road to competing in pageants?
Actually, I was very shy and had a hard time speaking in front of people. It wasn’t until I entered my first pageant, Miss Hawai‛i Teen USA, that I started to come out of my shell. After winning the title of Miss Hawai‛i Teen USA 2010, I learned that I love to work with others and communicate. After my first year in college, I decided to switch my major from biology to elementary education. It was the best decision I ever made because I found my passion.

How did it feel being crowned Miss Hawai’i 2018?
It felt amazing, and I was so overwhelmed! It was my fifth time competing, and I have always been a runner up. When they called my name, I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out because I knew all my hard work finally paid off. I am so glad that I persevered and did not give up on my dream of being Miss Hawai‛i USA 2018.

What experiences have you brought into your own classroom?
I have brought many of my own personal learning experiences into my teaching. I am a visual learner and was a performing arts student while growing up. I love to create my lessons by including music and dance movements. I have taken classes, like teaching dance for children, that opened my eyes and showed me how I could teach the same lessons and make them engaging in different ways.

I'm interested in learning more about a degree or certificate in Elementary Education.

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