Stevenson Middle School faculty, staff earn several educator awards

( Image: Hawaii News Now )
( Image: Hawaii News Now )

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - High expectations at Stevenson Middle School paid off  with five big awards this year, starting at the top.

Principal Linell Dilwith was just named Hawaii's National Distinguished Principal for 2018.

"I think because there was so many great leaders out there, I really wasn't expecting it to be me," she said.

Having one teacher recognized for education excellence is an accomplishment.

Stevenson has three.

Science teacher Ken Kakesako is the Milken Teacher of Promise. He credits his success to help from his fellow teachers.

"Everyone is supportive of each other. They just need to ask for help from anybody and they're willing to come in and help you out," he said.

STEM teacher Patricia Morgan got a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance. She's the first teacher from Hawaii to ever receive that honor.

"We have a lot of dedicated teachers that stay here well beyond the school day. And we have a strong mentorship, too," she said.

Back in the administrative office, Vice Principal Sonja Samsonas won the state assistant principal of the year award.

"We want to make an impact in every student's life no matter how we do it, if it's in STEM or math, social studies or science," she said.

Teacher Rose Yonamine rounds out the recognition. She's nominated for the nationwide Harris History Teacher award.

"I think the culture is you just do what you're supposed to do and do the best you can for the kids. That's the culture," she said.

There are 650 students at Stevenson this year.

"I love the kids. They're respectful," Kakesako said. "They come with a lot of energy."

Dilwith said the same can be said for her school support staff and all of her teachers.

"If I could, I would give every teacher an award because they work so hard," she said.

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