In surprise announcement, Hawaii academic coach awarded ‘Oscars of teaching’

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Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 3:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An academic coach at Kalihi Kai Elementary has received the prestigious Milken Educator Award, also known as the “Oscars of teaching.”

As part of the award, Michelle Le Iwasaki will receive $25,000.

Iwasaki is a former classroom teacher and now develops plans to support students in kindergarten, first and fifth grades. She also mentors and trains other teachers.

After the surprise announcement at her school on Monday, Iwasaki was left speechless.

“This is crazy!” she said. “I might have worn more makeup if I’d known.”

Iwasaki is among 60 educators nationwide who are receiving the award this school year.

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