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March 31, 2023

Seven Hawaii Department of Education teachers are finalists, while one state winner received the highest prize.

The Milken Educators of Hawaii (MEH) and HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union have awarded the state’s Teacher of Promise award to Ritela (Sheila) Sproule, a special education teacher at Red Hill Elementary. Sproule was awarded in a special recognition event on March 29 on her school’s campus. MEH recognized Sproule as Hawaii’s state award recipient for the Teacher of Promise award, which also recognizes other teacher finalists statewide. As the state winner, Sproule received $2,000 sponsored by HawaiiUSA, to continue her own professional development.

Sproule has been teaching at Red Hill for nearly four years in the Fully Self-Contained (FSC) classroom, which is known to be one of the most challenging environments on a school campus. “Mrs. Sproule exemplifies everything a ‘Teacher of Promise’ is,” says Mike Sana, president of MEH. “The Milken Educators of Hawaii is proud to award this year’s group of teacher finalists with this recognition, and we thank HawaiiUSA for sponsoring the monetary gifts for these deserving educators.”

“HawaiiUSA started as a credit union for teachers and we continue this legacy today by supporting organizations like the Milken Educators of Hawaii,” says Greg Young, president & CEO of HawaiiUSA. “We congratulate this year’s teacher finalists, along with Mrs. Sproule, and thank them for their hard work and dedication towards educating Hawaii’s keiki.”

In her nomination to the Milken Selection Committee, Red Hill Elementary Principal Komarey Moss shared that “Mrs. Sproule serves as a model for all teachers. She has the respect of her peers in the entire school. She exemplifies a leader who strives to do the right thing all the time and always for the children.”

The State Department of Education (DOE) is comprised of 15 Complexes statewide. Complex Areas submitted nominations representing Middle and Secondary educators with each complex area finalist receiving $500 sponsored by HawaiiUSA. Each of the seven Teacher of Promise finalists were awarded during a “surprise” announcement held on their respective school campuses on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island.

Since 2006, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union has been the corporate sponsor of the annual Teacher of Promise award to support excellence in education and to provide the best financial services for our educators. MEH recognizes Hawaii’s outstanding up-and-coming DOE teachers with one to three years’ experience in the department who demonstrate tremendous potential in areas such as: use of varied instructional strategies, curriculum development, promotion of collaborative relationships, and overall growth and promise.