Mililani High School Teacher Named One Of Na­tion’s Best

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander -

It’s of­fi­cial. Cyn­thia Tong is now one of the coun­try’s best teach­ers. The Mililani High School ed­u­ca­tor was re­cently named the 2012 Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year, Se­nior Division. The award was an­nounced at the Na­tional His­tory Day awards cer­e­mony at the Univer­sity of Mary­land. This is the sec­ond year in a row that a Hawaii teacher has won the award.

“We were sur­prised and de­lighted that a teacher from Hawaii His­tory Day was again hon­ored with a Na­tional His­tory Day Teacher of the Year award,” said Robert Buss, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hawaii Coun­cil for the Hu­man­i­ties. “Mrs. Tong is a long­time His­tory Day teacher de­voted to its ideas of teach­ing his­tory as a way of think­ing more clearly and care­fully about the past. Her in­no­va­tion and cre­ative class­room teach­ing, lead­er­ship and com­mit­ment to her students make her most de­serv­ing of this honor.”

Tong has taught at the school since 2002 and has been in­volved with the Hawaii His­tory Day pro­gram for 17 years. Be­cause of her ef­forts, Mililani High School students have qual­i­fied for dis­trict, state and na­tional lev­els in ev­ery year she has been in­volved. Hawaii His­tory Day is a pro­gram of the Hawaii Coun­cil for the Hu­man­i­ties and an af­fil­i­ate of Na­tional His­tory Day.

“Mrs. Tong, by force of vi­sion, per­son­al­ity and char­ac­ter, has been able to sub­stan­tively re­shape the ed­u­ca­tional land­scape at Mililani High School for the ben­e­fit of students in part through her tire­less ef­forts with his­tory day,” said Mililani High School’s so­cial stud­ies depart­ment head Amy Per­ruso.

In ad­di­tion to Tong’s $10,000 cash prize, five Hawaii pub­lic school students were hon­ored for their aca­demic ef­forts. Kahuku High & In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dent Chenoa Yor­ga­son won the Women’s His­tory Spe­cial Award and $1,000 for Se­nior In­di­vid­ual Web­site project, “The Pill: Rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing Right, Re­form­ing Roles.” Kailua In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dent Ta­tiana Zamora won third place and $250 for her Ju­nior In­di­vid­ual Ex­hibit, “Bay of Pigs In­va­sion: The United States Re­ac­tion to Cas­tro’s Rev­o­lu­tion.” Po­mai Tollef­sen, a Kahuku El­e­men­tary School stu­dent, earned the Out­stand­ing State En­try, Ju­nior Division for her Ju­nior Web­site project, “Rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing the Role of the First Lady,” and Alo­hi­lani Nonies and Me­gan Madeira of Mililani High School earned the Out­stand­ing State En­try, Se­nior Division for their doc­u­men­tary “The 1954 Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion in Hawaii.”

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