When I graduated from McKinley, I had no idea what I was going to do. Becoming a math teacher was never on the radar.
Teaching is our family business
I am a dual licensed secondary math teacher at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School. My husband, Nate, is a dual licensed secondary social studies teacher at ʻEwa Makai Middle School.
My Teaching Experience
In 2007, I started teaching social studies, then math at James Campbell High School in ʻEwa Beach. In 2012, I left to become a math instructor at Leeward Community College. In 2014, I came back to HIDOE to teach at Hale Hoʻomalu Detention Center at the Kapolei Judiciary Complex, which is attached to Olomana School. Since 2015, I have been a math teacher and department head at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School on the Waiʻanae Coast. All of my teaching experience has been in the Leeward District.
My Hawaiʻi teaching license has two fields: mathematics 6-12 & special education 6-12.
I only got to meet one of my grandparents and I don't have any pictures of us. Here is a picture of my paternal grandpa, Doroteo Reyes (back row center). He came from the Philippines to work on the sugar plantation in Honokaʻa. My paternal grandma was Agnes (Luthero) Reyes.
My maternal grandparents, Sadaji and Mildred (Oyama) Kuraoka, also worked on the sugar plantation in Waialua. Their parents were also plantation workers who came from Japan to work in Hawaiʻi.
I am the granddaughter of four sugar plantation workers. I have come to realize that I would not have any of the opportunities today had it not been for the back breaking work of those who had preceded me. I am so very lucky.
Louise (Kuraoka) Nomura is a graduate of Waialua High School. She was one of nine kids and grew up on the sugar plantation in Waialua. She went on to become a budget analyst at Hickam Air Force Base, which became Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam shortly before she retired.
Jimmy Reyes was raised in Honokaʻa. He served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he was a truck driver and diesel mechanic. He later retired from B&C Trucking. Occasionally, I drive to work in Nānākuli behind a B&C Trucking vehicle. Everytime I see one of those trucks, it remains nostalgic for me and reminds me of my dad.
My dad did not spend one day in high school. He dropped out of school in the 8th grade. That was common for kids who grew up on the sugar plantations in those days. The need was greater to earn money to support their families.
I moved my dad to ʻEwa after I we bought our place. We all lived in town previously. Like many parents, he still wanted his independence and didn't want to live with me. He moved into West Loch Elderly Village where he spent the remaining years of his life.
My Step Dad
Edwin Nomura is a graduate of McKinley High School. He also has an engineering degree from UH Mānoa. He went on to become a structural engineer at Hickam Air Force Base, which became Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam shortly before he retired. This is the guy who helped me with my math work when I was in school.
Roy Oda is from Hilo and a graduate of Hilo High School. He has an agriculture degree from UH Mānoa. He was a plant quarantine inspector for 38 years at the Honolulu Airport before retiring from state service to take care of my little one, Jonathan. Gail (Hiramoto) Oda is from Pālolo Valley and is a graduate of Kaimukī High School. She worked at the same school her kids attended, Pearlridge Elementary, as a lunch monitor and in an afterschool program. She later worked at the Navy Exchange where she retired.
Here I am...
Where did I grow up?
I grew up in ʻAiea, specifically, Newtown. As I got older, I lived half/half in ʻAiea and town, then it was just in town.
Next stop, Zippy's!
I still like spaghetti with meat sauce, saimin (no onions), and chili with rice. What do you like at Zippyʻs?
Adventures with my dad. Actually, this was me going to work with him.