UH Charter School Resource Center announces recipients of the First Educator of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards

University of Hawaiʻi
Robert Fox, (808) 974-7731
UH Charter School Resource Center
Posted: Sep 12, 2006

HILO, Hawaiʻi — The two outstanding members of the Hawaiʻi Charter School Community were selected for two distinguished awards: The 2006 Charter School Educator of the Year and the 2006 Charter School Volunteer of the Year. Carol Ioane of the Ka Umeke Kaeo Public School Charter is the 2006 School Educator of the Year and Bill Woerner of the Innovations Public Charter School is the 2006 School Volunteer of the Year. These first annual awards are made possible by the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Hilo and are issued by the University of Hawaiʻi Charter School Resource Center. The awards will be made at the October 5th meeting of the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education and at the October 6th meeting of the Rotary Club of Hilo.

Carol Ioane, a long time tenured teacher, had been Ka Umeke‘s English instructor for the past three years. Thanks to her leadership and instruction, Ka Umeke students have improved their reading scores and outperformed the DOE and the District averages for four years running. Ioane has served on the Ka Umeke local school board since its inception. From the beginning, she has fought through the obstacles in order to deliver a quality education to Ka Umeke‘s students and parents. When the local school board president resigned, Ioane took the reins and kept things going. When the school administrator left, she filled those shoes and kept the school afloat. Ioane did all this while continuing to be an excellent classroom teacher and mentoring and guiding staff for other teachers.

Ioane has acted as Ka Umeke‘s instructional leader for the last three years. In this capacity, she has taken the lead in teacher training, curriculum evaluation and implementation, assessment, and teacher facilitation. Her years of experience as a teacher have been an incredible asset to the instructional team.

Bill Woerner was the founder of West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy. Since his retirement, he has served as Project Manager for the construction of a campus for Innovations Public Charter School. Generations of students and families will have access to high quality public education because of Bill's generous gift of his personal time to the community.

Woerner participated in all phases of planning, designing, permitting, and budgeting for the 15,000 square foot educational center. After all permits were approved, he rolled up his sleeves and physically helped to build the school. Phase I of the campus is near completion and Woerner is still volunteering almost daily. The virtuous example he has set has inspired hundreds of people to reach to their highest potential and join together in this community effort.

Woerner's dedication to this immense project of building a new charter school campus from the ground up on a shoestring budget has been described as nothing short of phenomenal. He is not just out there directing other people on what to do. One is just as likely find him digging a trench, building the forms for a cement pour, helping with the framing of a new building, as you would find him sketching out drawings and notes, conceptualizing solutions to a technical problem at hand. The recipients were selected from dozens of nominees by a panel consisting of Dr. Stan Fortuna, Headmaster of Kamehameha Schools, Keaau (and a member of the Rotary Club of Hilo), Dr. Mary Ann Raywid, Professor Emerita of Education at Hofstra University, and Ms. Helen Hemmes, President of the Rotary Club of Hilo.

The University of Hawaiʻi Charter School Resource Center has been operating since 2001. It conducts worldwide research on educational choice, acts as an advocate for charter schools, and works with Hawaiʻi charter schools to improve services to their students. Questions about the awards and other communications may be sent to the Resource Center at hawcsrc@hawaii.edu.