HONOLULU (KHON2) — A veteran math and science teacher’s dedication to improving student learning earned him a prestigious honor today — being named the Hawaii State Teacher of the Year.

One special teacher was selected by the Hawaii State Department of Education out of more than 12,500 educators to represent Hawaii.

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“The 2023 Hawaii state teacher of the year is, Michael Ida.”

Keith Hayashi, Schools Superintendent.


“I’ll be honest it’s a surprise, complete surprise you know. As I shared before it’s really not about me, it’s about the student that I had before who challenged me and pushed me, so it’s really their honor not mine,” Michael Ida, the 2023 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year.

Michael is a math and computer science teacher who has been teaching at Kalani High School for 26 years. He said it’s the little moments with the students that often go unnoticed that are most important.

“I’d like them to remember the relationships and the fun that we had in class more so than the quadratic formula or any specific lesson that we had,” said Ida. “It’s really the relationships in the fun.”

“His goal was to create learning experiences grounded in real world applications and move beyond sterile textbook lessons,” said Whitney Aragaki, 2022 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year.

As Hawaii teacher of the year, Ida has the opportunity to represent the state of Hawaii in Washington D.C. this spring at the National Teacher of the Year program.

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“It’s an honor and it’s a responsibility. I feel excited and I feel the weight of the responsibility as well,”said Ida.