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May 23, 2022

Ten Hawaii Department of Education teachers are finalists, while one state winner was previously honored.

The Milken Educators of Hawaii (MEH) and HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union has awarded ten teacher finalists statewide for the annual Teacher of Promise award. Each educator received $500 sponsored by HawaiiUSA, to continue their own professional development. These Teacher of Promise finalists were recently awarded during a “surprise” announcement held on their respective school campuses. The state winner, Tristan Nguyen, a teacher at Kalani High School, was previously awarded last month.

The Teacher of Promise finalists are:

  • Hippolyte Assi of Hilo High School
  • Jessica Lobo Atnip of Aiea Intermediate School
  • Brianna Craig of Hana High School
  • Kayla “Kay” Emocling of Kapolei High School
  • Annie Henbest of Pahoa High and Intermediate
  • William Kjontvedt of Baldwin High School
  • Mikayla Kloeppel of Kalaheo High School
  • Alohalani Lisgay of Wahiawa Middle School
  • Keonaona Mahi of Kawananakoa Middle School
  • Kisa Matlin of Waipahu High School

“These outstanding teachers have proven to be exceptional at what they do to teach the next generation,” 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 and thank them for their hard work and dedication towards educating Hawaii’s keiki.”

The State Department of Education (DOE) is comprised of 19 Complexes. This year, 11 Complex Areas submitted nominations representing Middle and Secondary educators with each complex area selecting a finalist. 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.

About Milken Educators of Hawaii’s Teacher of Promise Award

The Milken Educators of Hawaii (MEH) established the annual Teacher of Promise award program to emulate the spirit of the Milken Family Foundation. MEH recognizes HawaiĘ»i’s outstanding up-and-coming classroom teachers (1-3 years with the Hawaii Department of Education) who demonstrate tremendous potential and growth. Learn more at https://www.hawaiimilkeneducators.org/.