‘A Day Made Better’ Gets Real In Kahaluu

Kahaluu principal Naomi Matsuzaki, OfficeMax's Kelsie Imai and winner Lisa Nagatoshi. Photo by Leah Friel, lfriel@midweek.com.

The average teacher in a Title I school spends $1,000 of his or her own money to buy classroom supplies. But Oct. 1, during a surprise ceremony at Kahaluu Elementary School, it was Lisa Nagatoshi’s turn to be rewarded.

Nagatoshi won $1,000 worth of supplies from OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” program, including a swivel-desk chair, a Canon camera, a rotary paper trimmer and other notebooks and writing tools.

“I feel very honored and privileged,” the fourth-grade teacher said. “I can’t find the words to express how I feel.” In addition to her work in the classroom, Nagatoshi also heads the school’s Lego League robotics program and organizes its ukulele band performances. Coworkers and students praise Nagatoshi for her commitment and generosity towards her students.

“Lisa gives so much of herself to her students,” said principal Naomi Matsuzaki, who nominated her. She noted Nagatoshi’s behind-the-scenes approach, the sacrifice of her time, and the fact that her supportive husband and children often attend school events.

OfficeMax works with AdoptAClassroom.org to select more than 1,000 teachers across the country to receive the reward and bring awareness to the issue of teacher-funded classrooms.