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Locations Foundation Rewards Teachers

Locations Foundation honors Aina Haina Elementary School Teacher with Top Teacher Award

The goal of the Locations Foundation is to give back to our island community, and that is what our local schoolteachers do every day in Hawaii. So, in recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Week, the Locations Foundation, the charitable foundation of Hawaii’s leading independent real estate firm, honored 15 Oahu teachers for their exceptional service to their institutions and their students in its annual Teacher Award Program.

Since 2003, the Locations Foundation has recognized more than 200 Oahu teachers and donated more than $60,000 for school supplies, classroom projects and activities.

“With last month’s sudden transition from classroom to online education, Oahu’s teachers are facing new challenges to keep students engaged and connected,” said Locations Foundation President and Realtor® Kristin Mukai.

“The Locations Foundation established the Teacher Award Program 17 years ago to recognize outstanding educators for their extraordinary service and to provide them with much-needed financial assistance for school supplies and classroom projects to further student engagement and development,” Mukai added.

Nominated by Locations Foundation donors, award winners are selected by a committee, based on the following criteria:

  • Reinforces learning inside and outside of the classroom. 
  • Engages students to participate in classroom activities. 
  • Demonstrates care for his/her students, their well-being and overall development. 
  • Communicates effectively with parents. 
  • Participates in co-curricular activities and/or community service.

The Locations Foundation’s 2020 Top Teacher Award Winner is Alexis Ishihara of Aina Haina Elementary School (go Jaguars!). Formerly a third-grade teacher at the same school, Alexis is currently the proud First Grade teacher at Aina Haina, where she uses technology and a unique mentoring program to teach science and active community engagement.

Her commitment to her students and school does not end when the school bell rings at the end of the day. She also volunteers at many STEM/science nights on campus and volunteers at the annual Aina Haina School Fall Festival. She also serves on the school's Parent Teacher Association as a teacher representative, and volunteers for the Honolulu City and County parks and recreation program. She was proudly nominated for the award by Locations Realtor® Jeff Iwashita.

Congratulations to Alexis Ishihara and all the finalists and awardees who make learning fun and shape the leaders of our tomorrow!

Top Teacher Award ($1,000)

Alexis Ishihara, Aina Haina Elementary 

School Finalists ($500)

Elaine Matsuo, Waipahu High School

Lori Okamura, Hongwanji Mission School

Mari-Jo Schull, Punahou School

Marybeth Baldwin, Hawaii Technology Academy

Other Awardees ($200)

Bernadette Baraquio, UH Manoa

Darleen Bumanglag, Fort Shafter Elementary School

Derek Chow, Campbell High School

Kelcie Namba, Ma'ema'e Elementary School

Kelli Kajiwara, Nanakuli High and Intermediate School

Jenelle Kagawa, Makakilo Elementary School

Jenifer Evans, Hahaione Elementary School

Laurie Seu, Kalani High School

Luanne Matsuzaki, Mililani Ike Elementary School

Tracy Aki, Ewa Elementary School