HONOLULU – Veteran Kalani High School math and computer science teacher Michael Ida was named the 2023 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year in recognition of his dedication to improving student learning and uplifting the teaching profession through advocacy and collaboration.
Ida received the state’s top teaching award from Gov. David Ige and Superintendent Keith Hayashi in a ceremony held at Washington Place. The honor is presented annually to a teacher selected from more than 12,500 educators within the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. Ida was selected from among the 16 Teachers of the Year representing 15 complex areas and public charter schools.
“Mike has been a pillar of Kalani High’s math department for nearly three decades and his passion for teaching has not only guided thousands of students toward success, but he continually strives to lift his fellow teachers in their important work and support them as future leaders,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “His service and his dedication to helping everyone around him achieve higher levels of excellence is truly inspiring and we salute his outstanding leadership and achievements.”
Ida is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds a master’s degree and doctorate in applied mathematics from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in secondary education from Boston College, and an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology.
He is described by peers as a lifelong learner who is committed to serving the needs and interests of students. For example, after observing robotics team students struggling with writing the code to power their machines, Ida helped launch the computer science program at Kalani to provide project-based learning with real-world applications for students. The program started with two introductory sections and has since expanded to include two Advanced Placement offerings and an affiliated computer science club, and has maintained strong interest and enrollment each year.
“Mike exhibits so many qualities of a leader: he is an effective communicator and problem-solver who is knowledgeable and takes initiative to help others,” one colleague said of Ida, adding that he’s held in such high regard by his school community “not only because of his expertise in his content area and in teaching, but also because everyone knows he puts the good of all first, and he works humbly and tirelessly on behalf of our students, teachers, and the education community statewide.”
As part of his commitment to uplifting the teaching profession, Ida works to support fellow teachers as leaders and agents of change. He is in the HIDOE's Hawaiʻi Teacher Leader Academy, a leadership program designed to support highly qualified and effective teachers who are actively engaged in school/system-wide improvement efforts that enhance professional practice and organizational change.
He is also an alumnus of the Hawaiʻi State Teacher Fellows program, which values advocacy, collaboration and sharing expertise to improve teacher practice to benefit all students.
Ida provides tech-related professional development sessions for his school faculty and serves as advisor for Computer Science Club and coach for student math competitions. He also serves on the leadership teams of the Hawaiʻi Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association.
Ida will represent Hawaiʻi in the National Teacher of the Year program. A national winner will be named in the spring. Today's Teacher of the Year ceremony included:
- Monetary awards to each Complex Area and Public Charter School Teacher of the Year by The Polynesian Cultural Center, the Teacher of the Year program's corporate sponsor for over 30 years, and an additional $1,000 award to the State Teacher of the Year.
- A one-year lease of a 2022 Ford Escape Titanium Hybrid SUV courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Automobile Dealers Association and Cutter Ford to the State Teacher of the Year.
In addition to Ida, Hawaiʻi’s Complex Area and Public Charter School Teachers of the Year honored today are:
- Makena Ale, Castle-Kahuku Complex Area, Kahuku Elementary School
- Cornelio (CJ) Ancheta, Hāna-Lahainaluna-Lānaʻi-Molokaʻi Complex Area, Lahainaluna High School
- Chayanee Brooks, Kaʻū-Keaʻau-Pāhoa Complex Area, Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School
- Malia Draper, Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex Area, Waiheʻe Elementary School
- Shelby-Ann Erdmann, Kapaʻa-Kauaʻi-Waimea Complex Area, Waimea High School
- Jared Haiola, Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area, Haleʻiwa Elementary School
- Nuikalā Koerte, Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Area, Waiʻanae Elementary School
- Cerina Livaudais, Public Charter Schools, Dreamhouse ʻEwa Beach
- Leeann Manuel, Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area, ʻEwa Makai Middle School
- Keevan Matsumoto, Kaimukī-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area, Kaimukī High School
- Joel Matsunaga, Honokaʻa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Area, West Hawaii Complex Area
- Daphne Okunaga, Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area, Pearl City High School
- Kristy Taise, Hilo-Waiākea Complex Area, Hilo-Waiākea Complex Area
- Deanne Takeno, Kailua-Kalāheo Complex Area, Maunawili Elementary School
- Cherie Teraoka, ʻAiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area, Āliamanu Middle School