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Tech essay earns school $60,000 in equipment


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POSTED: Monday, January 05, 2009

HILO » Pahoa High and Intermediate School south of Hilo is the winner of more than $60,000 in electronic equipment thanks to an essay on technology by food service and nutrition teacher Suzanne Nozaki.

Nozaki was one of just 30 first-prize winners nationwide in the Samsung Hope for Education contest, each winning $60,000 in technology devices. The top prize of $200,000 went to Oak Ridge Elementary School in Tennessee.

Besides Samsung Electronic America, the contest is sponsored by Microsoft and DIRECTV.

The contest was open to any student, parent, teacher or principal who wrote a 100-word essay on the contest topic.

The essay question was, “;How has technology educated you on helping the environment, and how or why has it changed your behavior to be more environmentally friendly?”;

Nozaki said part of her answer was to warn readers to think twice before tossing out old devices. “;Everything can have a second life,”; she said.

Pahoa Principal Dean Cevallos said Nozaki's winnings for the school include 12 laptop computers, a television and several DVD players.

The school was allowed to submit a list of the items it considered most useful, he said.

At the Tennessee school, the prizes included a “;classroom assistance dog”; for the school's special-education program, Samsung said.

Cevallos said Nozaki is great at grant-writing.

Nozaki said she has won more than 100 national prizes.

“;I've been lucky,”; she said.