Maui District Teacher of the Year From Pāʻia Elementary
By Maui Now Staff
A Hawaiian language immersion teacher from Pāʻia Elementary School was honored by the Hawaiʻi State Senate on Monday with the Maui District Teacher of the Year award.
Anthony Kamakaʻeu Williams, who is a fourth grade teacher for the Pāʻia immersion program, was honored during a special presentation on the chamber floor.
Williams is one of seven district teacher of the year recipients from across the state.
In addition to the chamber presentation, Williams receives a monetary award from the Polynesian Cultural Center and gifts of instructional software from SMART Technologies.
The award comes on the heels of a 2012 award when he was voted Maui Hawaiian Immersion Teacher of the Year.
“I commend Kumu Kamakaʻeu for this great honor. His passion for the Hawaiian language and teaching students is inspirational to all educators,” said Senator J. Kalani English in a joint press release statement.
“Just 30 years ago, the Hawaiian language was close to becoming extinct. The Hawaiian language lives on thanks to committed teachers such as Kumu Kamakaʻeu who have dedicated their lives to the Hawaiian Immersion Program,” he said.
Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran of Maui also offered congratulatory remarks saying, “In addition to classroom education in Hawaiʻi, Kumu Kamakaʻeu leads extracurricular activities in order to provide a Hawaiian language environment to students outside of the school day. It is truly encouraging to see educators so invested in our keiki.”
Senator Roz Baker also commented calling the award a “well-deserved accolade.”
“Kumu Kamakaʻeu plays an important role in keeping the Hawaiian language alive as well as maintaining the rigors of the Common Core standards. I admire his dedication to students and the community,” she said.