Mililani High teacher wins Milken award for top educator


POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

Lisa-Anne Tsuruda, a 12th-grade English teacher at Mililani High School, is Hawaii's winner of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award this year.

The award, with a $25,000 cash prize, was presented to her this morning by Gov. Linda Lingle at a school assembly.

Tsuruda, a 16-year veteran with the state Department of Education screamed, “;Oh my God! I absolutely love this school!”; when the award was announced.

Tsuruda, who prefers that students call her “;Aunty Lisa,”; told the 2,500 cheering students, “;I tried to be the best because you guys tried to be the best.”;

In reference to controversy over 17 furlough teaching days due to state budget cuts, she said, “;I'm a teacher 365 days a year. My kids know I'm very reachable. Even if they call me at 1 in the morning, I'll be there for them.”;