Alohilani Okamura, of the UH Mānoa College of Education Institute for Teacher Education (ITE) Secondary Program, received the Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK) Excellence in Teaching award for the Northwest/Southwest Regions. These regions are comprised of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaiʻi, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. She was recognized on June 3, 2022 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
“This award is important to me as it recognizes Hawaiian education and efforts to revitalize and perpetuate the Hawaiian language and culture,” said Okamura. “It is a privilege to represent Hawaiʻi and the amazing women educators of Alpha Delta Kappa that uplift our community.”
Okamura, who has more than 30 years of experience teaching Hawaiian language and developing programs in schools throughout Hawai‘i, is an assistant professor of language, culture, and practice. She was also the 2021 Southwest Conference on Language Teaching Excellence in Teaching Post-Secondary Award recipient.
“Dr. Okamura has made a commitment to develop multilingual-multicultural education courses for the Kahalewaihoʻonaʻauao program that are culturally sustaining and revitalizing with an eye toward social justice,” said ITE Secondary Director Kirsten Mawyer. “These learning experiences, partnered with her exceptional teaching, nurture our secondary teacher candidates as they develop an enduring pilina and kuleana for Hawaiʻi.”
A member of ADK for six years, Okamura is Immediate Past President of the Hawaiʻi ADK Nu Chapter. She was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching award by Susan Okano, current ADK State President.
Alpha Delta Kappa was founded in 1947 by a group of visionary women who saw a need to support the professional efforts of outstanding women educators through personal and professional growth opportunities and recognition of their commitment to schools, communities, and the teaching profession. Since then, membership has grown to more than 125,000 women educators from around the world.