Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Seventeen Ka`u students received Ken Wicks Ka`u Chamber of Commerce Scholarships yesterday.
See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
LEAOKALANI HASHIMOTO won the 2016 Ka`u Chamber of Commerce Essay contest, announced last night, and earned a Ken Wicks Scholarship. Seventeen Ka`u residents received scholarships for higher education at the annual dinner at Pahala Plantation House. Scholarships are provided through community support of The Directory, the Ka`u business and resource guide, published each year by the Ka`u Chamber and Local Productions, publisher of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper.
      The winning essay is entitled Great Teachers Make Great Leaders and presents Hashimoto's personal quest as a mother of two and native Hawaiian of Wai`ohinu, to help her community by becoming qualified to teach at Na`alehu Elementary School. Hashimoto has worked her way through college with jobs at ACE Hardware and the Punalu`u condos, followed by six years with Tutu & Me, the early childhood education program. She is currently a student and mom seeking a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Leaokalani Hashimoto's winning
essay is entitled Great Teachers
Make Great Leaders
Photo by Julia Neal
      Here is her essay:
      Great teachers are the unsung heroes of the world. They play an important and difficult role in our society. Many of us can recall a teacher who has influenced the course of our life. However, quality teachers are becoming harder to find and keep here in Hawai`i. I want to become an elementary school teacher so I can help fill the need for qualified teachers and inspire the youth of Ka`u.
      The ancient African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but what has happened to our “village?” According to
Hawai`i News Now, Department of Education officials expect as many as 1,600 vacancies throughout the state next school year. Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawai`i State Teachers Association, shared that “Hawai`i has the highest turnover rates in the nation, and this is more so for people that come from the mainland.” Corey added that recruiting teachers from the mainland is an ongoing cycle.
      Teachers who are recruited from the mainland are often placed in rural schools, like Na`alehu Elementary and Ka`u High School. New teachers are often surprised by Ka`u’s unique, rural lifestyle as well as the state’s high cost of living. I was raised in Ka`u and attended Na`alehu Elementary School and graduated from Ka`u High. As a native, I can relate to and understand the racial and cultural background of our youth. I live in Wai`ohinu and hope to teach at Na`alehu Elementary, one of Hawai`i’s public schools that need qualified teachers. I want to use the knowledge I have acquired to inspire students of Na`alehu Elementary and Intermediate School and help them identify their strengths and reach their full potential. I want to create a great classroom for students to learn, feel successful, and achieve.
      I am grateful to say that I am the product of great teachers, including my parents who successfully fulfilled their role as my first teachers. I am passionate about education because of the time and energy these wonderful teachers invested in me. They helped me acquire the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed for success in college, career, and life. Great teachers do not receive a high salary or get praised daily for their contribution. However, they enjoy what they do and are passionate about education. Great teachers are sustained daily by the outstanding opportunity to change a student’s life. I hope to be as great as the teachers who have inspired me.

      Hashimoto said that the Ken Wicks Ka`u Chamber of Commerce Scholarship will help her to achieve her "educational goals with minimal impact on my family. My academic studies are a major part of my professional development, but like many things, it comes with a price,” she said. “I am a mother, and my family is my number one priority. Balancing academic with family life is always a challenge. This scholarship will alleviate some of the financial burden that my ongoing studies have placed on my family, allowing me to concentrate on my education.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Scholarship funds are provided through
community support of The Directory.
 See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.
SEVENTEEN HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS were awarded last night by Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at a dinner at Pahala Plantation House.
      Scholarship Chair Lee McIntosh, Chamber President Donna Masaniai and scholarship committee members Alan and Nancy Stafford commended many of the students for their determination to bring their new skills back to the Ka`u community. Following are the winners, their majors and their campuses, some of them continuing college and others graduating this year from Ka`u High School:
      Jay-R Abalos, a Pahala resident and University of Hawai`i-Manoa marketing student;
      Tyler Amaral, a Na`alehu resident and UH-Hilo computer engineering student;
      Lexis L. Andrade, a Wai`ohinu resident and architecture student at Walla Walla College in Washington, transferring to California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo.
      Tiani L. Castaneda-Naboa, of Na`alehu, a UH-Hilo marine biology major;
      Monica Lynn Pascual Cavarrubio, of Pahala, a UH-Hilo nursing student;
      Ty Alfred De Sa, of Pahala, a Hawai`i Community College nursing student;
      Charlotte Faye Esquida, of Na`alehu, a UH-Hilo nursing student;
      Sheilla Mae Felipe, of Na`alehu, a UH-Hilo nursing student;
      Annie Mae Flores, of Na`alehu, a University of Nevada political science major;
      Leaokalani Hashimoto, of Wai`ohinu, a UH-Hilo education major;
      Kaweni Christopher Ibarra, of Pahala, a University of California-Sacramento electronic engineering major;
      Kamrie Koi, of Pahala, a UH-Hilo political science and administration of justice and pre-law major;
      Rochelle Koi, of Na`alehu, a UH-Hilo English and history major;
      Crystal McIntosh, of Discovery Harbour, an HCC culinary arts and Spanish major;
      April Joy D. Miguel, of Pahala, an HCC Administration of Justice major;
      Tiare-Lee Shibuya, of Na`alehu, an HCC and UH-Hilo student in nursing and nursing administration; and
      Jennifer Flores Tabios, of Na`alehu, a St. Johns University-New York City major in biology.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

All students at Na`alehu Elementary and Ka`u High & Pahala
Elementary Schools will receive free meals.
Photo from Hawai`i DOE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S free meal program is coming to Na`alehu Elementary School and Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School. The Community Eligibility Provision program will expand from seven public schools to 30 across the state this upcoming school year. 
      The program allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to all students even if they do not qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch reimbursements.
      To qualify for CEP, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced meal through the National School Lunch Program.
Richard "Likeke" Teanio
Photo from NPS
      “We are pleased to be able to expand this program to more schools and include nearly every island with free meals,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “We’ve heard from parents in this year’s pilot project who say the program was a tremendous help for their families.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

RICHARD “LIKEKE” TEANIO performs tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Teanio has been featured on multiple recording projects for Kekuhi Kanahele, Diana Aki, Russell Mauga and Walter Aipolani. 
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

THERE IS A WAITING LIST TO EXPLORE THE KA`U FOREST & WATER System from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday. The fee for the Ka`u Coffee Festival event is $40 per person, including lunch.
      Sold out but taking names for waiting list. Email lisa@kaucoffeemill.com, or call 928-0550.
      See more upcoming Ka`u Coffee Festival events below and at kaucoffeefest.com.

NIGHT SKY VIEWING FROM MAKANAU MOUNTAIN, a Ka`u Coffee Festival event on Friday, still has room at $45 a person. Visit the mountain with the heiau and see the moonlit sky from the traditional lookout point over Ka`u. Email lisa@kaucoffeemill.com, or call 9280550


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2016.pdf.

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