Ala Wai educator selected for one of profession’s highest honors

Ala Wai educator selected for one of profession’s highest honors

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ala Wai Elementary School educator has been selected for the Milken Educator Award, considered the “Oscars of teaching.”

Sara King, 32, was announced as a recipient in an assembly at the school Monday. In attendance for the surprise announcement: The governor, Congressman Ed Case and schools Superintendent Christine Kishimoto.

“I was shocked and overwhelmed,” said King. “There are so many great teachers here at Ala Wai that deserve this award so it’s crazy to think that I’m part of the Milken family now. I’m very grateful.”

King was a first-grade teacher for 7 years and now serves as the school’s Title I coordinator, assisting low-income children. She also mentors new teachers and designs support systems for students.

“She helps us to look at how we might develop curriculum to support our children so she’s a leader all around. She has helped to initiate new programs at our school, like the Unified Sports program,” said Michelle DeBusca, Ala Wai Elementary School’s principal.

King is the only Hawaii Milken Educator in 2019, and is among 33 teachers nationwide selected for the honor this season.

“I think as young as I can remember, my mom was always saying that I always said I wanted to be a teacher and I just loved being with children and teaching them simple little things. That’s kind of always been my passion,” said King.

As part of the award, she will get $25,000 to use however she wants. King plans to spend part of the cash prize on a bigger car since her family now includes her 7-month-old daughter as well as her 2-year-old son.

King will head to New Orleans next month to attend a national education forum with other Milken Award recipients from across the country.

“I think it will inspire me even more and I’m glad that I have this network of people, a new Milken ohana that I can reach out to to kind of better my practice and become a better teacher and help others,” she said.

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