Waha Nui – 11/19/14

Palolo Valley’s Jason Pavia has won a $2,000 Voya Unsung Heroes award, given to teachers who excel at using new learning strategies. Jason will use his grant to expand a “Worms at Work” vermicast system at Kai’ulani Elementary, where he teaches third grade. He wants to reach all three third-grade classrooms, plus recycle all vegetable waste from the cafeteria …

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Shirley Sypert

Kahala actor Joji Yoshida was selected to participate in Hawaii International Film Festival Creative Lab’s “The Actors Workshop.” Joji’s most recent film credit was playing opposite Matthew McConaughey in the 2013 award-winning Dallas Buyers Club

Kaimuki Middle School principal Frank Fernandes was named to the National Assessment Governing Board by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The winner of many educator awards, Frank is the longest-serving principal at a single school in the state DOE …

Aina Haina’s Tammi Chun has joined Hawaii Community Foundation as vice president of programs, bringing extensive experience in early learning and education policy. Tammi also was a recipient of a HCF scholarship for her first (of three) college degrees … Jarrett Middle School student Brycen Go, 11, is a certified CPR instructor who has taught thousands of residents how to save a life. He was one of 12 students honored Oct. 11 as Children and Youth Day (CYD) Heroes for being simply amazing in striving to “change the world for the better” …

Shirley Sypert, who teaches Vocal and Dance Expressions at Star of the Sea School, is beginning to share her miracle of recovery from childhood polio, along with her advocacy for the disabled. You can catch a glimpse of her story on her Post Polio and Me show, airing at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 on ‘Olelo Channel 54. Expression seems to run in the family: Son Jonathan Sypert currently teaches dance at Kaiser High School cchang@midweek.com