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Michael Shildmyer

Hawaiʻi News Now launched an Extraordinary Educators campaign that will shine the spotlight on a teacher each Monday during their 4 p.m. newscast. One of the first teachers to be nominated is Michael Shildmyer, a graduate student in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Education (COE), who is working on his post baccalaureate certificate in special education (PBSPED).

COE Assistant Specialist Aileen Soma said, “As Michael’s MUSE mentor since he started our PBSPED program, I can attest wholeheartedly to this deserving recognition! His passion for his students is immeasurable, and his innate ability to make all his students love learning and strive to do their best is incredible! Despite the challenges of distance learning, his students have continued to thrive under his guidance.”

Shildmyer, who works at Pōhākea Elementary School, was nominated by a parent of one of his students. Having submitted a proposal to his school to teach face-to-face, Shildmyer currently teaches “vulnerable” learners, including those with a 504 plan, English language learners, visually impaired and students with behavior issues in his multi-grade classroom (3rd and 4th grades).

“Because of room capacity limitations, I have been teaching face-to-face, hybrid A/B rotation and distance learners all at the same time in real time each school day,” Shildmyer said. “The students and their families have been so happy and supportive! They feel that their COVID-19 hardships, stress and concerns over providing a continuum of learning has finally been understood.”

SPED faculty members, Heather Rogers-Rodrigues and Rachelle Reed, also expressed their shared congratulations to Shildmyer who they said is highly deserving, hardworking and dedicated.

Shildmyer concluded, “I am truly grateful to everyone within the Department of Special Education for their expertise, guidance, and support during this unprecedented shift in the instructional model due to the pandemic. I’m proud to be a part of such a well-defined, caring, professional and supportive department. Thank you!”

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