By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii
PEARL HARBOR –Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander Navy Region Hawaii, hosted an educators’ reception to honor local high school students and emphasize the military community partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education, Apr. 23.
The reception was held at Williams’ home and included approximately 65 local public school educators, including students from military families who are graduating as valedictorians this year.
The goals of the event were to recognize military children’s success in the Hawaii school system, spotlight the military community’s strategic engagement, and to communication a plan to help attract the best and brightest of personnel to seek assignments in Hawaii.
“Our public schools here in Hawaii do a fabulous job educating all children, to include our transitioning military kids,” said Williams. “We’re so proud of what our students have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish. I’ve directed my staff to continue developing a strategic communications plan to get the good news about the schools here in Hawaii out to the rest of the Navy, and we will be working closely with the Department of Education’s communications team in this endeavor.”
The reception provided a chance for state educational professionals and prominent military leaders to come together to share their thoughts and experiences working together toward the common goal of promoting Hawaii’s educational program to a broader spectrum.
“This reception is a great way to see the solid relationship the Hawaiian public school system has with our military families and friends here,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii Department of Education superintendent. “Our educators here in attendance tonight have been so committed to improving public education in Hawaii over the last four or five years, and receptions like this really emphasize that partnership and helps us recognize the true value of the shared involvement we have to better our state’s educational system.”
Daniel Pagaduan, an honor student who immigrated from the Philippines with his parents in 2009, said his positive experiences in Hawaii’s public school system and its partnership with the local military community helped foster his dream of one day becoming a member of the United States Navy.
“It’s an honor to be invited here tonight. I know my parents are so proud and excited for me to have this opportunity,” said Pagaduan. “I’ve always wanted to be a Navy Sailor, and hopefully one day, a naval aviator. Living here in Hawaii, with such an involved military community, has really helped me focus on my dreams of achieving that and committing myself to a life of naval service.”
Pagaduan’s immediate plans are to attend a year of school at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M., with hopes of being accepted to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. in 2016.
For my information on Navy Region Hawaii and its continued commitment to the betterment of the Hawaii public school system, visit: www.cnic.navy.mil/educationinhawaii.