Mokulele principal's honor well-deserved
It was a big day for the kids and teachers at Mokulele Elementary School. And an even bigger one for school Principal Teri Ushijima.
A visit from Gov. Linda Lingle and Superintendent of Schools Pat Hamamoto Wednesday let Ushijima in on the good news: She had been selected as this year's recipient of the national Milken award, known as the "Oscar of teaching."
Ushijima underscores some of the great things happening in our public school system. She was selected as Hawai'i's sole winner of the honor, which recognizes educators who show exemplary instructional practices and who serve as an inspiration for motivating students, colleagues and the community.
Ushijima, 42, earns high marks for her passion for her profession and for her ability to inspire not just students but teachers and other administrators in the district.
She's the president of Hawai'i Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, a trainer for Cognitive Coaching, and a co-author of a book on creating positive learning communities. And she has earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Hawai'i and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.
Ushijima, a Pearl City High School graduate, is the kind of success story deserving of a national award. She's earned our respect and the $25,000 prize that comes with the national honor.
So kudos to Principal Ushijima for serving our students, teachers and community well.
She's a good reminder of the hundreds of other teachers and administrators out there who do their very best for our children each day.
That's a fact worth remembering all year around.