The Native Hawaiian Education Association has announced the winners of its prestigious Educator of the Year award—Noreen Mokuau, dean and professor at the University of Hawaiʻi’s Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work; Maenette Benham, dean of UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge; and Nawaʻa Napoleon, associate professor and chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Literature at Kapiʻolani Community College.
NHEA’s annual award recognizes three individuals for their exemplary work and who have “served to enlighten and uplift” the Hawaiian community through education.
“Congratulations to Dean Benham and Dean Mokuau for exemplifying the spirit of our Hawaiian place of learning,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman. “The university’s mission includes taking as its historic trust the Native Hawaiian values embedded in the concepts of kuleana, ’ohana, and ahupuaʻa, which remind us of our responsibilities to family, community and the environment. Dean Benham and Dean Mokuau are on the front lines of that commitment, bringing these positive values forward with their work with students and the community.”
Kapiʻolani Chancellor Leon Richards said, “Nawaʻa’s extraordinary skills and creativity make him a stand out in everything he does. He is passionate about student success and he considers it a privilege to teach. This award validates his achievements for the College and his genuine desire to promote student success through education.” (Read the Kapiʻolani CC news release for more.)
The three recipients were recognized at an awards ceremony during the 2015 NHEA Convention, March 23–24 at Windward Community College. Go to the NHEA website for more information on each honoree.