Derek Minakami, NBCT

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In 1999, Derek Minakami became the first public school National Board certified teacher in Hawaiʻi. In 2001, Derek was named Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year. This February 2019, Derek celebrates his seventh year as the principal of Kāneʻohe Elementary School. In his spare time, Derek serves as a commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and a board member for the Hawaii Government Employees Association Unit 6. If you are also exploring innovative approaches to education, place-based learning, community collaboration and deep family engagement, follow him @KaneoheEl.
To Renew or Not Renew: A Principal’s Dilemma
Derek Minakami, NBCTFebruary 5, 2019

The letter sat on the corner of my desk for nearly six weeks. I knew what it said before I opened it. My certification fell within two years of expiring and so it must be NBPTS notifying me that I could begin the renewal process. There it sat within my peripheral vision whenever I stared at my laptop, beckoning me to make a decision. While I valued being a National Board Certified Teacher, things were different. When I initially became certified, I was newly married and childless. I taught high school science while my students were Livinʻ La Vida Loca.…

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