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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 6, 2006

Oklahoma lawmakers look to reward teachers

The Oklahoma Senate recently authorized legislation to strengthen the state's education system. If approved by House members, Oklahoma teachers will receive the largest pay increase in seven years with a $3,000 raise. In addition, teachers earning National Board Certification will see an annual salary increase from $5,000 to $10,000.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, The Achiever, March/April 2006 edition


The number of Americans taking a high school diploma equivalency test rose 1.3 percent in 2004, reflecting the growing value of education in the workplace, the American Council on Education said in a report.

A total of 665,927 people took the General Educational Development, or GED, test in 2004. Of those, 405,724 passed, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2003.

Source: Bloomberg News Service



Teacher: Natalie Hirata, physical education Mililani Middle School

"I am in Ms. Hirata's Body Conditioning class and she takes pride and joy in helping us kids learn. ... While we are lifting weights in class, she is walking around smiling, making sure everybody is doing the lifts right. I have learned so much just being around her. To tell you the truth, I actually would love to be a physical education teacher one day because she makes teaching look so much fun," wrote Peer.

Hirata said she tries to make a positive impact on her students' lives by emphasizing fitness, teamwork and leadership.

"I want them to be successful in anything they do," Hirata said. "If they learn one thing from me, I want them to learn to live a healthy lifestyle."