Class of 1985
By Cary Oshiro
Sheri Kojima, Business education teacher at Waiakea High School since 1995, was honored as the 2006 State Teacher of the Year. Through innovative, hands-on programs, she has introduced hundreds of her students to the business world, beyond their textbooks or classrooms. In 2004, Sheri was successful in getting Credit Union of Hawaii to open a branch office within the school. This office comes complete with ATM machine. This is in addition to the very successful DECA Store, which partners with KTA Super Stores, Meadow Gold and Suisan to sells healthy snacks such as cereal cups, breakfast bars and lower-fat and lower-calorie frozen meals, and milk and juice. This program received national recognition from the federal government’s Making It Happen program. The State Winner received the use of a Volkswagen Jetta for the year, prize moneys, a SMART board and technology worth $17,000. Although Waiakea High has had several District Teachers of the Year (Audrey Hara, art teacher; and Helen Kobayashi, social studies teacher), Sheri is the first State teacher of the year from the school.
Sheri is a graduate of the Waiäkea High School class of 1985. When asked what she remembered most about her alma mater she said, “I mainly remember the many fun moments while participating in school activities and events. I also remember many of my teachers who played an important role in my decision to become a teacher.”
After attending college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa she taught at Laupahoehoe and Hilo High Schools and joined the staff at Waiäkea High School in 1995. As a Business Education teacher, she is responsible for curriculum development, instructional delivery and assessment of business and marketing standards. She is also responsible for advisorship duties for the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Organization.
As a freshman in high school Sheri was seriously thinking about becoming a secretary. Through much “coaching” and many positive, influential teachers, she knew she wanted to enter the field of secondary office education by the time she graduated. Before her current job at Waiäkea High, she held mostly part-time jobs earning extra funds while attending college (receptionist positions, part-time teacher, office clerk). Her position as a secondary teacher was not obtained until after earning her degree.
Sheri’s future career goal is to continue being the best teacher she can be for the rest of her teaching career and to remain enthusiastic about learning for life.