A joint collaboration between the College of Education Department of Special Education (COE SPED) and the Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE), the SPEDucator Project aims to recognize and empower high-quality special education teachers across the state of Hawai‘i. Together, the SPEDucator group will support recruitment and retention initiatives while building community, belonging, and support.
Over 50 applications were received for this inaugural project, representing special education teachers from across the state. Using a blind review process, teachers were selected based on the quality of their application essay responses and recommendation forms submitted by applicants’ administrators, parents, and other colleagues/friends. The review team consisted of 27 individuals representing: (a) HIDOE state leadership; (b) UH COE leadership and COE SPED faculty; and (c) DOE school leadership and Hawaii State Teacher Fellows.
Congratulations to the 21 special education teachers, “SPEDucators”, who have been selected for this project! Collectively, they represent all districts and 13/15 complex areas in the state. They had their first meeting on Friday, November 13th, and will be convening twice per month until the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The primary outcomes for this project will be to elevate, uplift, and build a community to support special education in Hawaii.