Denise Sumida Wins National Buzz Award


Denise Sumida, a 1997 LIS alumnus, has been awarded the School Library Journal’s Buzz Award, sponsored by @BrainHive. The school librarian from Pearl Harbor Elementary was recognized for her exemplary use of digital content to engage students in a range of reading and literacy projects. This award is given to a librarian who is developing innovative ways to increase reading and spark social interaction. Denise was presented with the award at the 2014 SLJ Leadership Summit held in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a guest of Brain Hive. She received a $1,000 cash award, plus $1,500 in Brain Hive Bucks for use during the current school year.

Denise commented, “I feel very fortunate that my library program was selected for this honor. It’s only been possible through the support from my faculty, administration, and fellow librarians who are willing to share and collaborate on lessons and programs.”

Her winning program is profiled in the December 2014 issue of SLJ. Congratulations, Denise!

Linda Lindsay and Michelle Colte “Make IT Happen”!

Linda Lindsay and Michelle Colte

Linda Lindsay and Michelle Colte

Linda Lindsay (1991 LIS alumnus) and Michelle Colte (2004 LIS alumnus) were selected for the “Make IT (Instructional Technology) Happen” award at the Schools of the Future Conference held on November 7, 2014, at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Hawaii Society for Technology in Education sponsored the award that recognizes outstanding K-12 educators, who have proactively engaged their schools in innovative technology practices. Linda is the librarian at Seabury Hall on Maui and Michelle is librarian at Hale Kula Elementary on Oahu.

Linda was acknowledged for her impressive efforts to make resources accessible to her students and faculty using LibGuides, her “Seabury Reads” blog, and her leadership in cofounding and moderating #edchathi and a weekly Google Rocks Hawaii for educators. Last spring, Linda mentored Jasmine Doan, a junior at Seabury, in creating TEDxYouth, a version of TEDxMaui talks by teens.

Michelle was lauded for her innovative work in introducing a range of new technologies to students, teachers, and families at her school. In 2013, she was one of 50 educators selected worldwide for the Google Teacher Academy held in Australia, and she was recently named the 2014 School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal. She also participated in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute.

As part of their IT awards, Linda and Michelle received certificates, a year’s membership in the International Society for Technology in Education, and free registration for the 2015 ISTE conference being convened in Philadelphia.

Michelle Colte: A NextGen School Librarian!


If your image of an elementary school librarian is someone who just reads stories to children, you haven’t met Michelle Colte, School Library Journal’s 2014 School Librarian of the Year. Michelle, a 2006 alumnus, spoke to LIS students and faculty on Saturday, September 27, and shared her excitement and achievements as a next generation librarian at Hale Kula Elementary in the DOE Central District. From assisting kindergarten students with Flipgrid to capture their impressions of school to helping older students connect with Parkour experts via Google hangouts, Michelle has created a new kind of library environment.

Creative play is a critical feature in her work. Michelle emphasizes the importance of learning and critical thinking that builds on exploration and questioning. She encourages everyone to just “jump in” and to be creative. She insists that students need to know that it’s okay to fail and that it’s a critical part of learning. In her hour-long talk, Michelle shared an inspiring array of experiences that combined technology with experimentation and problem solving. Whether it’s third graders using Minecraft to create their own communities or getting all grades involved in the Cardboard Challenge, Michelle is continuously introducing new tools and strategies that benefit her teachers and students. She credits her forward-thinking principal, Jan Iwase, for challenging everyone to embrace new ideas and emerging technologies. For example, Hale Kula was one of the first DOE schools to adopt Google Apps for Education.

See two clips (“Creating” and “Community“) of her presentation that highlight her philosophy about learning as creative exploration and collaborative activity. If you wish to access her entire presentation, contact Dr. Michael Brian Ogawa, ICS faculty specialist at He videotaped the session for LIS.