President-elect Obama brings out one teacher's pride

Published: Nov. 5, 2008 at 4:43 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2008 at 5:18 PM HST
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Eric Kusunoki
Eric Kusunoki
Aisha Price
Aisha Price
Barack Obama
Barack Obama

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - One of president-elect Obama's former teachers says he always tells his students that one day they could become president.

Tuesday night, he watched as his words and dream came true.

"To everyone who loves teaching and loves working with students, I wish they could feel what I feel now," said the president-elect's homeroom teacher Eric Kusunoki.

Every morning, for four years, Barack Obama sat in Eric Kusunoki's homeroom class.

"I said 'is Barrack Obama here' and he smiled and said 'oh just call me Barry' and it's been Barry ever since," he said.

He watched Tuesday night as his former student made history.

"It's almost unreal to think that someone who came to this school sat in these chairs and walked on this campus is now on that stage," he said.

He says in high school, the president-elect was always smiling and had a lot of charisma, traits he'll take to the White House.

"It goes to show you never know, what a country what a country," he said.

When Senator Obama returned to the buff and blue campus last summer, Kusunoki saw him again.

"He said 'how come you have less white hair than I do' and I said 'well you have a lot more responsibility now.'

He says he's an example to keiki here in Hawaii and around the world.

"The students here are really excited about the election yesterday people were talking about where they could vote when they could vote," Punahou senior Aisha Price said.

She says he will bring the aloha spirit to Washington.

"If Obama can bring that to the White House, if he can bring that to the United States of America we can grow as a country and as a world."

At the school that nurtured and helped him grow, students and former teachers of the president-elect are excited to be a part of this new chapter in our nation's history.