Waipio teacher gets a huge surprise after being awarded a prestigious teaching honor

Waipio teacher gets a huge surprise after being awarded a prestigious teaching honor

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A teacher at a Waipio elementary school was honored Wednesday after receiving a prestigious award for teaching.

Jenna Oskey, a special education teacher at Kanoelani Elementary School, received the Teacher of Promise Award from the Milken Educators of Hawaii.

The annual award is given to an educator who demonstrates excellence and strong potential during their first six semesters in the classroom.

Kanoelani’s principal said Oskey stepped up for the school when the pandemic hit.

“What she did I think is to really look at systems and not just her own group of students,” said Stacie Kunihisa, Kanoelani Elementary School principal. “She put into place data collection systems, how we push out information electronically, and how we keep track of all of these students in their different modes.”

Oskey has been credited with establishing health screening strategies for the school, developing virtual student binders to keep track of online learning and data collection, and initiating weekly virtual parent surveys for collaboration throughout the pandemic.

She has also been commended for her passion and dedication to her students and colleagues, along with her ability to effectively adapt and thrive in new or challenging situations.

To celebrate this huge accomplishment, students, teachers and faculty gathered on campus with balloons, confetti, lei and signs to congratulate Oskey.

“The fact that I was even nominated for this was an honor. I honestly didn’t even think I’d win. I had no idea. I’m completely surprised!” Oskey said.

Along with receiving a certificate of recognition for her exceptional work, Oskey also received a $1,500 check from sponsors at the HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union for professional development purposes.

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