HAIS Teacher Recognition Awards

Application Forms:
HAIS Educator of the Future Award Application Form

The purposes of this award is to:

Educator of the Future Award:

The HAIS Educator of the Future award supports and echoes the National Association of Independent Schools principles for teachers, which are to:

Winners must meet the following criteria:

Must be a full or part time staff member from an HAIS member school.

Leadership: successfully led a school or community to engage with, design and implement a solution for a significant need, problem or challenge.

Creativity: questioned the status-quo and seized an opportunity to develop a new program, system, etc. that creatively furthered the strategic mission of the organization.

Culture: promotes a culture of questioning, positivity & optimism, risk taking and discovery focused on constant improvement within the organization.

Delivery: exhibits excellence in communicating by engaging stakeholders with the innovative initiative in both clear and compelling ways.

Impact: able to share an engaging explanation of the immediate and longer-term impact the innovation had on the organization to support and inspire innovative practice within the independent school community.

Award Information:

When: Each award can be presented annually to one staff member.

Application Process:

Cost: An initial charge of $75 (per award), which includes: engraved plaque with blank name plates for the school; certificate for the winners; personal letter; winners published in HAIS communications.

Please contact Robert Landau for more information.

2016 HAIS Educator of the Future Award Winners

We would like to congratulate the following teachers on receiving the 1st Annual HAIS Educator of the Future Award: 

Matt Piercy (Hawai'i Preparatory Academy) 
Matt is an exceptional educator and person. Passionate about teaching, his classes foster and challenge students to think globally and act on their sense of social responsibility. Matt is an individual who is never complacent about teaching and learning. He adapts easily and enthusiastically to project-based learning and maximizing technology, not only for learning, but for communicating effectively with others. Matt is not afraid to bring difficult conversations and appropriate advocacy approaches to his students' experiences.
Branden Hazlet (Maui Preparatory Academy)
Branden Hazlet is the technology teacher for grades kindergarten through 12 and is the primary force behind the development of our school's "maker space," where he has had students building such things as a hovercraft (4th grade) and trikes in the upper school. He launched the middle school robotics team that, in its very first year, qualified to participate in the Worlds competition in Kentucky. In the Upper School, Branden is also taking the lead on Maui Prep's "concentrations program," where students have an opportunity to drill deeper in STEM disciplines, in business and economics, and in the arts and humanities. It is in his teaching and coaching of students where his impact as an educator is felt most profoundly. 
Van Nicholas Velasco (Pacific Buddhist Academy) 
Van Nicholas Velasco has worked with juniors in the PBA Peace Core class "Radical Movements" through a student-directed pedagogical inquiry to analyze and modify the school's carbon footprint. The student inquiry has led to student initiatives in vegan diets, community waste collection and analysis, "zero waste" days, water preservation and aquaponics systems, recycling systems and infrastructure, and ongoing experiments in composting. The energy from the student work is palpable.
Dr. Mark Hines (Mid-Pacific Institute)  
Dr. Mark is serving as the first director of educational technology at Mid-Pacific, designing and teaching in the ground-breaking "MPx" program, leading public and private school professionals in our summer workshop on PBL called "Kupu Hou Academy," helping to found the "Deeper Learning Network of Hawaii," helping to create HISTE, serving as one of the original framers and visionaries behind the "Schools of the Future" grant process at HAIS, serving on the inaugural board of SEEQs School and coaching our competitive paddling club for over two decades. Dr. Mark is a bright light for us all to follow in the Hawaii Independent School Community.

All of these educators have extraordinary leadership, creativity, positivity, optimism, and innovative initiatives. Matt, Branden, Van Nicholas, and Mark are truly educational leaders, not only in their schools but across the State of Hawai'i. Mahalo nui loa to the four of you for all of your hard work! 


(Pictured Left to Right: Paul Turnbull, Dr. Mark Hines, & Deanna D'Olier)