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UH Manoa's College of Education presents awards for excellence in education and celebrates "Education in a Democratic Society"

National High School Principal of the Year Gail Awakuni and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Director Valorie Johnson among the seven honorees

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Helen Au, (808) 956-4949
College of Education
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Apr 22, 2005

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s College of Education will recognize seven individuals who have made significant contributions to education at its 18th Annual Recognition Dinner, "Education in a Democracy," 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom.

Among the honorees are James Campbell High School Principal Gail Awakuni and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Director Valorie Johnson, who will each receive the Award of Distinction, which recognizes a College of Education alumnus who has achieved national or international distinction. The college‘s Alumni Association will also present its 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award to Janet Ishikawa-Fullmer for her long and distinguished association with the College of Education. Various awards of excellence will also be presented.

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka will deliver the evening‘s keynote address and Dr. Larry Price will serve as master of ceremonies.

The awards to be presented include:

Gail Awakuni, principal, James Campbell High School — Award of Distinction

Currently the principal of James Campbell High School, Gail Awakuni was recently honored as the 2005 National High School Principal of the Year by MetLife and the National Association
of Secondary School Principals. She is the first Hawaiʻi principal to receive the national honor. Awakuni has served as principal at Campbell High since July 2000 and is credited for improving student learning through programs such as the Small Learning Model, and encouraging involvement of the school and community in a number of campus enhancement efforts.

Valorie Johnson, program director, W.K. Kellogg Foundation — Award of Distinction

As program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, the largest foundation in the nation that works to advance education, Johnson plays a key role in increasing the learning of youth, especially those most vulnerable to poor achievement. She spent much of her professional life assisting young children to improve their access to education and their learning experiences. Johnson also serves as an advocate for Hawaiʻi by assisting local organizations to obtain funding from the foundation for projects associated with early childhood education.

Janet Ishikawa-Fullmer, UH Mānoa College of Education, retired

College of Education Alumni Association‘s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus

Ishikawa-Fullmer will be awarded with the College of Education Alumni Association‘s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award for her lifetime contribution to education in Hawaiʻi. Over the years, she put her educational achievements to work in the service of others, as a teacher, a counselor, a community college dean, and as a clinical psychologist. In 2004, she received the Distinguished Benefactor Award from the College of Education for establishing an endowment fund and creating a program for future leaders. She is currently serving her second term on the COEAA Board of Directors and is also the chairperson of their scholarship committee.

Jerry Burris, Honolulu Advertiser - Award of Excellence in Media

Burris will be presented with an Award of Excellence in Media for his work in promoting debate and discussion about one of the most important, and often one of the most contentious issues in a democratic society: education. He has worked at the Honolulu Advertiser in various reporting and editing positions for 36 years, and now as editor of the editorial page, continuously represents the voice of Hawaiʻi‘s educators.

Alfred Castle, Castle Foundation - Award of Excellence

Castle will be presented with an Award of Excellence for his sustained commitment to early childhood education and care. He is executive director of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, the oldest family foundation in the nation that has funded kindergartens, social welfare, building projects and international relief efforts. Among his goals with the foundation is to create a universal pre-kindergarten in Hawaiʻi for families who cannot afford to send their children to preschool on their own.

Norman Sakamoto, State Senator - Award of Excellence

Sakamoto, who represents the 15th Senatorial District, will be presented with an Award of Excellence for his leadership in advocating for educational reform in Hawaiʻi. As one of the authors of the original concept for the P-20 initiative and Act 51, he believes that public policy must work, first, foremost, and always, for students. Sakamoto is the chairperson of the Senate Education and Military Committee and a member of the Higher Education Committee.

Roy Takumi, State Representative - Award of Excellence

Takumi, who represents the 36th Representative District, will be presented with an Award of Excellence for his outstanding commitment to making education his first priority as a legislator. He, along with Sakamoto, is one of the main originators of the P-20 initiative and Act 51, what has come to be called the "Reinventing Education Act." Takumi is chairperson of the House Education Committee and a member of the Higher Education Committee.

Tickets to the dinner are $65 for single seats; $100 for benefactor seats; Bronze Table Sponsor $1,000; Silver Table Sponsor $2,000; Gold Table Sponsor $3,000. For more information, call 956-6219. Proceeds from the event will benefit the College of Education Enrichment fund.