Disney American Teacher Awards


Kelvin YS Chun

Internationally recognized

"The Magi-Chun"


August 25, 1999 202-739-0270

Neel Lattimore - BSMG




Teacher to be Honored at Gala Ceremony Cablecast on Disney Channel

Burbank, Calif - Nuuanu Elementary School Technology teacher Kelvin Y.S. Chun, one of Honolulu's brightest stars in education, has been selected a 1999 Honoree for Disney's American Teacher Awards.

Chun, nominated by one of his students, is one of only 39 teachers selected from the more than 75,000 nominations The Walt Disney Company received. He will be flown to Los Angeles with other outstanding teachers from across the country to be honored for their talents, skills and commitment to their profession.

"We're thrilled to showcase some of America's most innovative teachers who are using creative teaching approaches in the classroom to help kids learn," said Laurie Lang, Senior Vice President, The Walt Disney Company.

The gala celebration and awards show will be cablecast on Disney Channel on November 15.

Since 1989, Disney's American Teacher Awards have saluted exemplary teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade for innovative teaching methods that actively engage students in learning. The focus of Disney's American Teacher Awards is to recognize the teaching profession, showcase creativity in the classroom, and honor those who can assist in developing creative teaching strategies in their school districts.

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This year, Disney received over 11,000 teacher applications from the more than 75,000 nominations submitted by telephone and e-mail. "The real impact of this year's nominees is that over 84% were nominated by students and parents," Lang said. The 39 Honorees, chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of distinguished educators, are nominated in one of 12 teaching categories. One Finalist will be selected in each category, and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year will be chosen by the Honorees from among the 12 Finalists.

The Walt Disney Company will award $25,000 to the Outstanding Teacher of the Year, $25,000 to their school and $10,000 to their school district. The 12 category finalists will each receive $2,500. Each Honoree will receive $2,500, as will their schools. (Editor's note: Team teaching Honorees will share all prize honoraria evenly.)

The 12 teaching categories the Honorees are nominated in are:

Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten - Kindergarten; General Elementary; Elementary Specialist

Middle School/Junior High: The Sciences; The Humanities; The Arts

High School: The Sciences; The Humanities; The Arts Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade: Team Teaching; Special Education; Wellness/Sports

The Selection Committee is comprised of representatives of the following organizations: American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Council for American Private Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, Council of Great City Schools, The Galef Institute, Harvard University's Project Zero, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, National Middle School Association, and National Parent Teacher Association.

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In addition, past American Teacher Award Honorees serve on the Selection Committee. The Walt Disney Company does not participate in the selection process.

A new feature of the American Teacher Awards this year is a professional development program, which will build upon the 39 Honorees' strengths and experiences in the classroom. They will attend a summer institute in 2000 where they will share and explore innovative teaching approaches, and then design a professional development action plan that they will implement in their school districts during the 2000-2001 school year.

"Disney's American Teacher Awards is an honor," Lang said. "But to The Walt Disney Company, they're also an investment&emdash;an investment in teachers who have that special gift of digging deep inside and unlocking the imagination we all know lies within every child. Kelvin Y.S. Chun is one of those teachers."

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To arrange media interviews, contact Kelvin Y.S. Chun directly at 808-595-3371 (days) or 808-839-1480 (evenings).

Disneys American Teacher Awards

1999 Honorees

Pre-K - Kindergarten

Susan Haas Riverside,CA Kindergarten

Kathy Lifton Chicago, IL Kindergarten

Richelle Selleck Billings, MT Kindergarten

General Elementary

Geanora Bonner Los Angeles, CA 3rd

William Coate Madera, CA 6th

Donald Tedesco Larchmont, NY 5th/6th

Elementary Specialist

Becky Cassell China Spring, TX Science

Kelvin Chun Honolulu, HI Technology

Catherine Knoop Circleville, OH Science

MS Science

Charles Bottinelli Littleton, CO Science

Paul Crips Cheyenne, WY Science

Jody Hodges Aledo, TX Science

MS Humanities

Jessica Barlow Daniels Carson City, NV English 8th Grade

Dorothy Kohrherr Monmouth, NJ Social Studies 8th grade

Dan Miekstyn Ann Arbor, MI History

MS Arts

Adam Schultheis Henderson, NV Orchestra

Marilyn Umphrey The Woodlands, TX Orchestra

Russ Weaver Kissimmee, FL Instrumental Music

HS Sciences

Sandra Breuesch Cerritos, CA Math

Carmen Gumina Webster, NY Biology

Gordon Hahn Glascow, MT Chemistry, Physics, Physiology

HS Humanities

Eric Constantineau Plaistow, NH AP Literature

Leslie Revis Beaufort, SC Spanish

Terrie Saunders Omaha, NE AP Literature

HS Arts

Larry Barnfield Summerville, SC Visual Arts

Gilberto Zepeda San Juan, TX Theater

Keri Wormald Richmond, VA Theater

Team Teaching

Vonneke Miller Sunnyvale, CA Middle School Science

Brenda Goldstein

Andrew Lucia

Richard Anderson Santa Maria, CA Exploring Technology -Jr. High

Tony Ponce

Eva Brunken Columbus, OH 3rd grade

Mary Butts

Special Education

Terri Linder State College, PA HS Transitional Mentally


Maggie Keyser San Diego, CA Preschool - Deaf, Hard of Hearing

Carla Woyak Phoenix, AZ Phoenix State Children's Hospital

Wellness & Sports

Janelle Schumaker Fargo, ND Elem. PE

Nancy Pudas Eden Prairie, MN HS PE, Coach - VB, BB, Track


Evening News

August 25, 1999

1st Day of School


August 28, 1999

Evening News

(Taped on August 27, 1999)

American Teacher Award


A Nuuanu Elementary school teacher is being honored NATIONALLY for his work in the classroom.


Kelvin Chun

is a nominee for Disney's "American teacher award."

A former student nominated Chun for his innovative aproach to teaching "multi-media skills"

Youngsters in Chun's class get a chance to create an "electronic portfolio" beginning in kindergarten.

His students create web pages and also DABBLE with non-linear editing.

They also take part in producing a "live" interactive newscast once a week.


-<15:50>-It's a neat opportunity because we do all kinds of technology

to prepare our students for the 21st century.-



Chun wins 25 hundred dollars for himself and 25 hundred for his school.

In November he will compete for the top prize of 60-thousand dollars.

Among Chun's many talents--making Disney characters out of ballons.

Chun by the way is the year's Honolulu district teacher of the year.)))

For Immediate Release

August 12, 2000


Disney's American Teacher Awards Honoree and Principal Participate in Professional Development at Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida

(Honolulu, Hawaii) &endash; In the Florida summer heat that even alligators try to avoid, Kelvin Chun, technology teacher, and Eleanor Fujioka,principal, from Nuuanu Elementary School participated in July in a six-day professional development institute hosted by Disney Learning Partnership. The Disney's American Teacher Awards Summer Institute Program brought together again the outstanding teachers who were recognized at Disney's American Teacher Awards ceremony last November. The institute was created this year in an effort to allow Honorees' to share their strengths and experiences in the classroom and to provide teachers with skills and strategies for professional collaboration and leadership.

As a Disney's American Teacher Awards Honoree, Kelvin Chun, and the other 38 talented teachers are recognized as teachers who turn ordinary classrooms into magical places and inspire the joy of learning in their students. At the institute, the Honorees and their principals participated in their own unique learning experiences. Participants spent time with leaders from Bank Street College in New York City and the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston sharing and exploring innovative teaching practices while also learning about teacher leadership and collaboration. In addition, each Honoree and principal developed a professional development action plan for use at their school to engage other teachers in using innovative teaching approaches and building professional collaborative cultures.

According to Kelvin Chun, "It was an incredible experience and a fantastic way to learn because we spent time talking with and learning from our peers around the country. I'm excited about sharing some of these ideas with the other incredible teachers at Nuuanu School with whom I work every day."

"We've brought these outstanding educators together for a unique learning experience to enable them to do what they do best in their own classrooms, but also to leverage their talents and share their knowledge with thousands of other teachers in their schools and districts. In so doing we seek to support and foster innovative approaches to learning in classrooms across the country," said Laurie Lang, senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Learning Partnership.

Disney's American Teacher Award Honorees for 2000 will be announced in September. Those teachers and their principals will participate in a similar experience next summer. The tape recognition ceremony will be held in Hollywood in November and broadcast on Lifetime Television.

Established last year, Disney Learning Partnership, a philanthropic initiative, draws on the resources of The Walt Disney Company to support teachers, schools and parents in their efforts to effectively engage kids in learning. In addition to Disney's American Teacher Awards Summer Institute Program and other teacher professional development programs, Disney Learning Partnership funds school-wide reform efforts through its Creative Learning Communities grant program and provides resources to support family involvement in education programs. Disney Learning Partnership seeks to support creative approaches to learning that will enable all children to succeed in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.disneylearning.org.

If there are any questions, please contact Eleanor Fujioka (Eleanor_Fujioka@notes.k12.hi.us) or Kelvin Chun (kyschun@hawaii.edu) at 595-3371.

For an accompanying photo, please contact Cheryl Jones, Disney Learning Partnership, at 818-526-1063 or email, www.cheryl.jones@disney.com.