BEd in Secondary Alumnus

Troy Okamoto

“When I teach, I have the feeling that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.”


‘Aiea, HI


School of Teacher Education - Secondary

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Secondary Education

COEAA Spotlight on Troy Okamoto by Kayla Ueshiro

Where did you go to high school?
I went to Pearl City High School.

Where do you work?
I currently teach at Radford High School as an AVID, English 9, English 12, and AP Language teacher. I started my early teaching career there when I was a student teacher.

What have you been doing post-graduation?
Upon graduation, I was offered a position to teach at Radford and accepted immediately, so I also have experience teaching World History and Modern Hawaiian History. Aside from teaching at Radford, I also taught at a Twilight school which is also known as night school at Kalāheo High School. I had the opportunity to teach adults and help them achieve their goal of attaining a GED. Lastly, I am in the process of obtaining my National Board Certification!

How did you become interested in education?
Prior to starting high school, I was interested in becoming a lawyer. However, I was always intrigued by education. When contemplating the work life of a lawyer and teacher, I knew that I wanted a job that would keep me awake and passionate. Therefore, in 9th grade, I developed a deeper passion for education, more specifically for secondary education because I noticed I gravitated toward and was compatible with high school students.

Is there anyone who inspired you to become a teacher?
It is amazing how one amazing teacher can instantly inspire you to become a teacher! I credit my inspiration to Mrs. Ching, my 11th grade AP English teacher. I felt inspired by her because she pushed everyone to reach their greatest potential. At the end of junior year, she advised me to continue to challenge myself by enrolling in additional AP courses. Ultimately, she inspired me to believe that I could accomplish anything. In turn, I channeled this confidence to help me achieve my goals of graduating college in three years!

What are your future vision and goals?
When I teach, I have the feeling that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I know that I do not want to leave the Department of Education, but I am also interested in fulfilling my childhood dream of attending Law School. I hope that there is an avenue where I could teach and practice law. I also hope to buy a house!

What are three fun facts?
1. I really like spaghetti, especially my mom’s spaghetti. It is the best!
2. Every Saturday and Sunday, I volunteer for a National Suicide Crisis Text Line. People text me about their suicidal thoughts or crisis, and I help to diminish or subside their negative feelings. It’s challenging yet extremely rewarding to help people in a different capacity alongside being a teacher.
3. I LOVE jewelry! I like “blinging out.” For me, attire is very important. The way a person dresses signifies who you are and your confidence. First impressions also matter, and I feel that jewelry has the ability to tie my outfit together. I also noticed my students are always intrigued by my jewelry choices, and it is definitely a conversation starter on the first day of school.




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