Top Teachers

Saturday, November 22, 1997

Name: Calvin Matsumura
Position: Teacher, Momilani Elementary
Age: 50
Education: University of Wisconsin, University of Hawaii
Pastimes: Reading and walking

Tapping into the drive to learn

"Mr. Mats" is the nickname for 4th-grade teacher Calvin Matsumura, described as a valued faculty member by Momilani Principal Doreen Higa.

"He has received many letters of appreciation and commendations from parents," she said. Students, parents and peers find him a warm, caring individual.

"Cal believes in instilling a love of learning in his students," she said. "He is very self-motivated in the pursuit of educational excellence for himself and his student, spending much personal time to attend workshops, seminars and courses. Calvin is a catalyst for change in a very nonthreatening way."

Matsumura, whose degrees are in education, sees teaching as tapping his students' potential strengths and their "innate drive to learn."

"I just try to build on their natural curiosity and youth," he said.

Field trips help foster that. Matsumura, along with Momilani's other 4th-grade teacher, has taken students on a Big Island study tour, and plans to participate in an overnight program at Bishop Museum.

Aside from the educational value, the trips also help students bond with each other, he said.

Matsumura has been at the Pearl City school for a quarter-century, but has been teaching for 29 years. According to Higa, the years have been well spent.

"Cal is an excellent teacher and a credit to his profession," she said.

Harold Morse, Star-Bulletin

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