Our Islands, Our Future

jenny_suzukiThe Women in Technology (WIT) Project of Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) is proud to announce that one of their STEMworks™ AFTERschool teachers, Jennifer Suzuki, from Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului, was named the Maui District Teacher of the Year. Suzuki was one of eight teachers across the state that was considered for the 2017 Teacher of the Year honor by the Department of Education. As a District teacher honoree she received a $500.00 award from the corporate sponsor, The Polynesian Cultural Center.

“The Maui District Teacher of the Year award is a great tribute to Suzuki and our school,” said Maui Waena Intermediate School principal, Jamie Yap. “Suzuki has been recognized for all her hard work and time that she puts in with her students, whom she always puts first.”

“I was so happy to support Suzuki for Teacher of the Year,” said Isla Young, WIT Program Director. “Her classroom is an amazing example of an engaged and inspiring teacher who is truly having an incredible impact on her students, their families, and the community. Suzuki’s ability to bring people together for the betterment of her students and school is remarkable. She is raising the bar as to what middle school students are capable of. Additionally, she empowers her students with self-efficacy to impact their island community.”

Suzuki, a teacher for 17 years, emphasizes the importance of relating to her students, which enables her to guide the development of their talents in constructive ways. “I seek performance-based, real-work opportunities for my students,” she said. “My partnership with MEDB has enabled expansion of Maui Waena’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs such as video, media, robotics, coding, and gardening. It’s a great honor that I was selected as Maui District Teacher of the Year. I want to continue growing my STEMworks™ AFTERschool program with MEDB so that my students will be qualified for high-paying jobs right here on Maui.”

My goal is to create a space of creativity and innovation for my students.

Jennifer Suzuki, Waena Intermediate School, Maui District Teacher of the Year