“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor” Jackson Brown, Jr.

February 16, 2021

Dedicated to Stacy Nishina, HSTA Deputy Executive Director

By: Tracey Idica, NBCT

In the summer of 2013, I received a phone call from an NBCT on a neighbor island who had created a small network of NBCTs. She had received an invitation to attend the National Board Leaders Convening in Raleigh, North Carolina and was unable to attend. I couldn’t believe that she was asking me. I immediately agreed. Then, she continued, “Oh good. I’ve asked all the NBCTs I know and none of them could attend.” My heart dropped. I suddenly felt like the girl who is asked to dance only after all the others refused. I quickly pushed that thought aside and told her I would be honored to represent Hawaii.

While there I was surrounded by NBCT leaders from across the country. They shared the work they were doing and I saw how their networks provided opportunities for communication, organization and support. I knew we needed to create a statewide network. I wondered who would do it.

As the convening came to an end, National Board announced they were accepting applications for an NBCT System Leadership Innovation Grant. That was the moment I was motivated to stop hoping and start working to create a statewide network for NBCTs.

Upon my return home, I contacted Stacy Nishina, HSTA’s IPD Specialist who soon after became the Deputy Executive Director at HSTA. I told her about the grant and the inspiration from the NB Convening. She enthusiastically supported my dream; it became our dream. Her support and encouragement motivated me to complete the grant application. She provided insight into state initiatives that connected to National Board and identified ways a network could help us meet strategic goals. Her belief in National Board Certification and in me are directly responsible for who we are today.

We became an official local network affiliate of the National Board of Professional Teacher Standards on October 31, 2013. Stacy died two months later, January 5, 2014. We didn’t know that she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2013. She worked diligently for all of us while quietly undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.

We held our network gala the night before the 2014 convention and unveiled t-shirts with an S and N highlighted in gold to honor Stacy Nishina. Our network logo continues to evolve, but the role of HSTA and Stacy Nishina will always be our foundation.

We can all continue to honor her memory by getting on the dance floor to be ready for the opportunities that will come our way as NBCTs. We need to take action and not wait for someone else. As NBCTs, we’re on the dance floor.

Take the risk, dance and change the world

Tracey Idica, NBCT

Tracey Idica is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) with over three decades of classroom experience in California and Hawaii schools. An alumna of the University of Southern California, she began her education career as an English teacher at Carson High School in 1982. As one of the HTSB Licensing Specialist at HTSB, she is grateful for the opportunity to continue to impact the teaching profession and serve Hawaii’s teachers. Tracey is the network coordinator of Hawaii NBCTs, a local affiliate of the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS). She is proud to be a teacher and believes in the power and responsibility of educators to lead. Tracey still has a coffee cup given to her by a student over three decades ago that has a simple message: “Those who can, teach. Those who can’t, go into some less significant line of work.” Her goal is to continue the work that recognizes teaching as a true profession with accomplished teachers in every classroom.