UH Manoa College of Education students named Teachers of Promise

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 20, 2009

Two UH Mānoa College of Education (COE) students, Tristan Shigematsu and Alisha DeGuair, were named Milken Family Foundation Teachers of Promise. The National Milken Educators of Hawaiʻi, established in 1996, promotes and enhances the quality of teachers and the education profession in the state. The award recognizes outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers who are beginning their teaching careers as licensed teachers.

Shigematsu, who received her BEd in the statewide online/hybrid program for elementary education in 2006, is currently a master‘s student in the COE‘s Department of Curriculum Studies. She has been teaching at Koloa Elementary School on Kauai for three years. "The COE helped me by giving me the experience and knowledge in the teaching field as well as the opportunity to learn while staying on Kauai," she said. "I am honored to have been nominated and to represent Kauai for the National Milken Educators Award."

Nominated by Koloa Elementary Principal Debbie Lindsey, Shigematsu is described as enthusiastic and creative in her work with children. "Tristan was an outstanding student academically and very focused on her desire to become a successful teacher from the beginning," added Kani Blackwell, COE Elementary Cohort Coordinator for Teacher Education on Kauai. "The award she has received is well earned and a credit to her skillful and caring approach to teaching."

DeGuair, who also received her BEd in the statewide online/hybrid program for elementary education in 2008, is enrolled in the COE‘s Department of Educational Technology online MEd program. She is completing her first year of teaching at Kahakai Elementary School in Kailua-Kona. "I was extremely excited to get into the statewide program. And, while being in college online is a challenge, I made it with the support and aloha from faculty and fellow students," DeGuair said. "This award is an absolute honor to receive as a first year teacher."

DeGuair established herself as a leader early on by initiating numerous innovative projects in her classroom, school, and district. COE Statewide Program Coordinator in Elementary Education Jennifer Herring said, "Alisha is a highly effective teacher who takes advantage of opportunities to continue to grow as a professional educator and is willing to share her knowledge and skills with others. We are so proud of both Alisha and Tristan, and celebrate their success and recognition."