Nanakuli Resident among More Than 50 New Teachers Joining Effort to Expand Educational Opportunity in Hawai‘i

More Than 50 New Teachers Join Classrooms Across O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island


Honolulu, August 10, 2016—Teach For America–Hawai‘i announced today that it has welcomed more than 50 new first-year teachers to local public schools this fall in Hawai‘i, with 17 teachers on Hawai‘i Island and 38 on O‘ahu. These new teachers are joining nearly 200 current Teach For America-trained teachers in Hawai‘i classrooms, teaching primarily at schools in West Hawai‘i and O‘ahu’s Leeward Coast and Ewa Beach.

As the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE) works to fill a number of teacher vacancies, Teach For America–Hawai‘i is proud to partner with the DOE in these efforts by recruiting a diverse group of our nation’s most promising leaders to make an enduring commitment to educational equity, beginning with teaching for at least two years in high-need urban and rural schools. Teach For America values individuals who bring diverse outside experiences and perspectives, while it also makes a commitment to recruiting corps members who share the backgrounds of the students they teach. This year, teachers represent hometowns including Nanakuli, Waipahu, and Kalihi, as well as the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Kaua‘i. Additionally, 83 percent of incoming kama‘āina teachers are public school graduates, more closely reflecting the communities and students with which we work.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to lead my students to academic, social, and emotional growth,” said Cuyler Otsuka, a resident of Nanakuli and graduate of Island Pacific Academy and Oberlin College. Otsuka will be working with students with high needs in a fully-self-contained special education classroom at Wai‘anae Elementary School. “Having grown up on the Leeward Coast, I am grateful to be working at Wai‘anae Elementary, teaching in the classroom where my mother went to kindergarten. Teach For America has provided me with so much support already, from resources to connecting me with a network of Teach For America teachers on the Leeward Coast who have remained at their schools.”

“We are thrilled to welcome more than 50 new teachers to Hawai‘i public schools,” said Jill Baldemor, executive director of Teach For America–Hawai‘i. “This inspiring group joins a diverse network of teachers, school and district leaders, community advocates, and private sector professionals in Hawai‘i that is collectively contributing to a robust ecosystem of opportunities for our keiki. We are proud to contribute innovative learners and leaders who work in partnership with students, families, and communities to empower students to achieve academically, grow personally, and activate their own leadership.”

The incoming corps members will join a larger Teach For America ‘ohana in Hawai‘i of more than 300 individuals, including teachers, school leaders, elected officials, and professionals in law, business, and medicine.

About Teach For America–Hawai‘i

Teach For America–Hawai‘i works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 2006 on O‘ahu and 2009 on Hawai‘i Island, Teach For America–Hawai‘i recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Our broader mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. The organization has had a profound impact in the islands by recruiting and developing more than 650 teachers over the last decade, many of whom are working across career sectors—including education, law, business, medicine, and government—to improve the opportunities of young people and fight for educational equity.

For more information, visit our home page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, 8,600 corps members are teaching in 53 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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