BEd in Elementary Education Student (Ka Malu O Kaiona Cohort) and CESA President
“I want to serve my community and the school that provided me with many opportunities by going back and working there. I would love to make a difference in the field of education for the entire State of Hawaiʻi, similar to our Interim Superintendent, Keith Hayashi.”
Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary
- BEd, Elementary Education
How did you become interested in the field of education?
I was very fortunate to have been exposed to highly inspirational and compassionate teachers, staff, and administration throughout my schooling. These teachers doubled as role models, second parental figures, therapists, and many more. Not only was it their love and passion for teaching that inspired me but their genuine care for my wellbeing. I was also surrounded by many aspiring music educators (good friends of mine) throughout my time in the band here at UH. Seeing and experiencing the passion for teaching of others heavily inspired me to do the same because I guess deep down, I always had a knack for teaching but it just took others to bring it out of me.
Where are you student teaching?
I am currently student teaching at the best school on the West Side, Nānākuli Elementary School. GO GOLDEN SUNSHINES!! 🙂
Do you participate in any clubs or organizations in or outside of school?
I take great pride in being a part of the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warrior marching band. I have the honor of representing our school and the state at football, basketball, and volleyball games during the fall semester, and in the spring, I participate in one of three concert bands. Aside from the band, I have been with the College of Education Student Association (CESA) for three years. In my first two years, I was a regular member, and this year, I am president. It has been tough balancing the many activities in my life, but it is a privilege to serve the college and provide guidance to young students whose position I was once in.
How has the COE program impacted or benefited your career path?
The COE program has impacted my career path by placing me on the Waiʻanae Coast to complete my field experience and ultimately, my student teaching. I have grown so much over these last two years in my field experience classes alone. I am so grateful to be part of this cohort and to have been under my three mentor teachers and three different field schools (Mākaha, Kamaile, and Nānākuli). This placing has definitely been a blessing in disguise, and I would not want a different placement! WEST SIDE, BEST SIDE!!!
Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to pursue teaching as a career?
Henry Fu, my band director from high school, has been highly influential in inspiring me to pursue a career in education. During my 4 years in the band, I worked closely with Mr. Fu and was lucky enough to experience his passion for teaching before music. Another person who has been highly influential in my education has been Keith Hayashi. I was extremely lucky to be under his administration during my time at Waipahu High School. His desire to continuously improve our learning environment and provide us with various opportunities to become college and career ready inspired me to one day follow in his footsteps. Honorable mention to Senator Michelle Kidani for also being a role model to me during my high school and college years. She has welcomed me into her office and allowed me to see a side of education that many aspiring and young teachers may overlook. These three people have heavily shaped my decision in pursuing a degree in education.
What is your most memorable experience from being a part of the Ka Malu O Kaiona* cohort?
My most memorable experience from being a part of the Ka Malu O Kaiona cohort has surprisingly been online school. My cohort has grown close despite the distance. We did a lot of fun group projects that boosted our collaboration and camaraderie. There’s truly nothing like stressing out together while also having fun. One of our most memorable group projects has been Stacy George’s “Musical Rulers” (if you know, you know). I’ll just leave it at that… haha! All jokes aside, we definitely made some great memories in Dr. Padua’s, Professor Elliot’s, and Professor George’s classes that I will cherish forever.
What are your future visions and goals?
My biggest goal in the field of education is to become principal at my alma mater, Waipahu High School. Keith Hayashi has done an outstanding job at building Waipahu to the award-winning school it is now, and I thank him for that. I want to serve my community and the school that provided me with many opportunities by going back and working there. Ultimately, my goals go beyond just a classroom. I would love to make a difference in the field of education for the entire State of Hawaiʻi, similar to our Interim Superintendent, Keith Hayashi.
Anything else you would like to include about your student teaching placement on the Wai‘anae Coast?
One last shoutout to my wonderful cohort coordinator, Rosela Balinbin Santos, for all her tireless efforts in ensuring our cohort succeeds. I am so so SO lucky to be under her guidance and want everyone who reads this to know how much I appreciate her! Lastly, GO ʻBOWS!!!
*Ka Malu O Kaiona is a K-6 elementary cohort in the Institute for Teacher Education Elementary Program coordinated by Dr. Rosela Balinbin Santos. Based in Wai‘anae Coast partner schools with the goal of recruiting future teachers for and from Wai‘anae Coast communities, the program focuses on place-based learning, culturally relevant pedagogy, and community advocacy. Spring 2022 marks the second cohort of graduates from the Ka Malu O Kaiona.