Top Teachers

Saturday, January 10, 1998

Name: Cynthia Hagino
Age: 45
Position: Computer technology teacher, Waialua Elementary
Education: UH
Pastimes: Family, tennis, hiking, reading

She found her teaching niche

Cindy Hagino fondly remembers the camps, luaus and other elementary school activities that made her want to be a teacher.

Teaching positions were slim when she graduated from the University of Hawaii in the mid-70s, but Hagino found a way to work with children as a city park director.

She spent 11 years heading recreation centers from Wahiawa to Palolo.

"I felt although I was not in so-called education, I still felt I was," said the 1998 Central District Teacher of the Year for the state Department of Education. "I still had the opportunity to work with children."

In 1986, Hagino was hired as a sixth-grade teacher at Waimalu Elementary, moving to Waialua after two years. In 1992, she accepted a challenge to serve as Waialua's computer technology supervisor even though she didn't know much about computers.

Dedication and persistence paid off. Today, Hagino shows teachers how to integrate computers in their curriculum and children how to use them. She got Waialua hooked-up so teachers can send each other e-mail, and helped it become a National Networked Model School. At least six computers are in every classroom for every grade, she said.

"She's really been the heart of the technology development at the school," said former Principal Sharon Nakagawa. "She's helped it to really move, and developed it to a point where all the children have an opportunity."

Pat Omandam, Star-Bulletin

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