Cooperating Teacher Academy Member

Female of mixed race with braided hair and a flower behind her ear

"Since becoming a teacher, I realized just how much I truly love working with students with special needs."


Special Education

Related Degrees

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Special Education (PBSPED)

Dari Matsuura is a Special Education teacher at Ali`iolani Elementary School. She has worked with students with disabilities for the past 16 years, beginning as a skills trainer in school settings and in Hawai’i’s 0-to-3 program, working with preschoolers with extensive support needs (i.e. diagnosed Rett Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder). ​​She has worked at Ali`iolani Elementary since 2014 as an Educational Assistant (2014-2018), their permanent substitute Pre-K Inclusion teacher (2018), emergency hire Special Education teacher,(2018-19) and as a licensed Special Education teacher since 2019. She has served on her school’s Ci3T and HMTSS committees, chaired Ali`iolani’s Special Education department and Technology committee. She coordinated and continues to lead the school’s Aloha Response cohort. Dari received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and received her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and Licensure from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Message to Teacher Candidate

Aloha and Welcome,

I am so excited and honored to be on this journey with you to becoming a special education teacher.

Though I have only been teaching for 6 years, I have been in different special education classroom settings over the past 16 years. I have very strong classroom management skills that support a wide range of student behaviors. We work hard, but I also remember to have fun. As a resource classroom teacher for Grades K-2, you will have many opportunities to observe a wide range of student strengths and needs academically, cognitively, behaviorally, and social-emotionally.

I look forward to our time together.

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