Washington Middle School teacher named Hawaii State Teacher of the Year


A Washington Middle School teacher received a top honor from the state Friday.

Sung Man Park was named Hawaii’s 2017 State Teacher of the Year at a ceremony at Washington Place.

The honor is presented annually to a classroom teacher selected from more than 11,000 educators within the Hawaii Department of Education.

“Sung has done a magnificent job with his students as a mathematics teacher in public schools over 12 years,” said superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “He began coaching Washington Middle School’s Math Team in 2010 and they have won the MathCounts state championship every year since. That is a truly remarkable accomplishment.”

Park says he believes teaching is the greatest and most honorable job because you can change other people’s lives.

“These kids, these middle-level kids are growing so fast. So is their brain cells. Here as a teacher and their parents, if we guide them well, they are going to accelerate, and I think our Washington Middle School has proven that,” he said.

Park will represent Hawaii in the National Teacher of the Year Program. Each April, the President of the United States announces the national winner.

In addition to Park, Hawaii’s District Teachers of the Year were also honored Friday:

  • Kay Beach, Public Charter Schools, School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS)
  • Luane Higuchi, Leeward District, Waianae Intermediate School
  • Tracey Idica, Central District, Aiea High School
  • Kristi Kusunoki, Windward District, Kailua Intermediate School
  • David Mireles, Kauai District, Kapaa High School
  • Laurie Ann O’Brien, Hawaii District, Keaau High School
  • Jennifer Suzuki, Maui District, Maui Waena Intermediate School

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