MILILANI TEACHER EARNS
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mililani Ike kindergarten and first-grade teacher Phyllis Nakama-Kawamoto, left, received a hug from first-grade teacher Roberta Kim at Mililani Ike Elementary School yesterday afternoon during a surprise ceremony delegating Nakama-Kawamoto as Hawaii's American Star of Teaching.
Head of the class
Colleagues credit Phyllis Nakama-Kawamoto with improving them as well
It isn't just the students who learn from Mililani Ike Elementary school teacher Phyllis Nakama-Kawamoto. Her constant search for newer and better teaching strategies, which she invariably shares with colleagues, makes her fellow kindergarten and first-grade teachers better, too, colleagues say.
That is part of the reason why she was honored yesterday as Hawaii's 2006 American Star of Teaching.
"This is such a wonderful honor, but there are many, many other teachers who deserve this, too," she said, her face wet from a mixture of tears and raindrops from a sudden downpour.
Nakama-Kawamoto was surprised with the award during an outdoor ceremony at the school. Colleagues describe her as a source of positive energy who spends her free time researching ways to improve as a teacher and to better meet the individual instructional needs of each student.
"She's always sharing these great ideas with everyone else. I'm always learning from her," said first-grade teacher Kristina Doyle.
The federal American Stars of Teaching award program was begun three years ago and honors one outstanding teacher from each state annually.