Speak hawaii

educator edition

Enjoy educator stories from Hawaii schools & join a speaker of your choice for an interactive conversation!

Let's Share Our Gifts

Celeste Endo

Welcome to the World of a New Teacher

Matthew Tom

Going All In

Dagan Bernstein

How an Emergent Bilingual Changed the Way I Teach

Nicole Heinlein

An Imperfect Curriculum

Hayley Pereira

Where is the Love?

Daphne Okunaga

Gamify Your Classroom

Charles Souza

The Value of Writing Well

Stacey Coloma

Curriculum Design

Juliana Neves

& Kim Dempsey


Dagan Bernstein is an educator and musician with a passion for designing innovative educational experiences for students. He is currently teaching at an independent international boarding school in Hawai’i as a mathematics instructor and capstone coach, with additional music and digital media instruction experience. Dagan also serves as a team member of the National Capstone Consortium, an open collaborative of educators supporting peer-to-peer collaboration at K-12 schools. He is a firm believer in developing student agency and supporting skills for a “future curriculum”, Dagan is dedicated to growing his professional learning through networked collaboration. In between reading books and listening to podcasts on education, you can find Dagan playing his original songs at farmer’s markets and coffee shops in his hometown of Waimea on Hawai’i Island.

Stacey Coloma is from Maui, Hawaii and a current teacher candidate in the Elementary Education Program at UH Manoa. She is passionate about math, reading, and multimedia design. She enjoys working with kids and strives to pave the way for student success.

Kim Dempsey is in her third year of teaching Introduction to Computer Science, a course offered on the elective wheel for 6th graders, at Kealakehe Intermediate School. She also teaches HSE (High School Equivalency) at the Kona campus of Waipahu Community School for Adults and has previously taught ESY at Konawaena High and Kealakehe Intermediate. Originally from Ohio, Kim has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, masters coursework in Human Resources Counseling at University of Dayton and most recently completed the CTE program at Windward Community College in May 2020. Kim entered the education field as a substitute teacher for 15 years in Ohio and Hawaii. Prior to education, Kim worked in Human Resources for a nationwide hospitality company and served as an event planning & fundraising consultant for a non-profit agency. The switch from substitute teaching to wanting to teach full-time came when she felt that she had found a "home" at KIS. Kim is passionate about providing her middle school and adult learners with a supportive space for learning and providing students with skills to help them succeed at school and beyond.

Celeste Endo graduated from the University of Hawai‘i where she earned a Bachelors in Elementary Education in 1996 and a Masters in Educational Technology in 2000. She currently serves Queen Ka‘ahumanu School learners who are on a unified quest as Technology Wizards in Training. After-school, she gets to be a part of the Tink Think Tank Tech Team (T5). She is a slow learner who needs lots of visual and kinesthetic clues... which is a huge plus when it comes to teaching! She tries to understand when students and teachers struggle with new technologies. Giving haumana time, repetition, song, movement, & overtly goofy videos to support fun, meaningful learning.

Nicole Heinlein is a 15-year elementary classroom teacher and has spent the past two years as a middle school EL coordinator and teacher at ‘Īao Intermediate on the island of Maui. She is National Board Certified, an OCDE Project GLAD® trainer, a recent graduate of HIDOE's Teacher Leader Academy, and a current Hawaii State Teacher Fellow. Nicole is passionate about helping all students achieve their potential.

Juliana Neves is a second-year teacher at Kealakehe Intermediate School. She has taught English and spent the past year teaching Social Emotional Learning as an elective course for all incoming 6th graders. She is originally from New York and has an undergraduate degree in Global Studies, focusing on Justice and Human Rights. At the end of May, she will be completing her Master's in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She hopes to continue teaching and serving her community in Kona, Hawaii.

Daphne "Kaji" Okunaga is a mathematics teacher at Pearl City High School and the most recent secondary Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching for Hawai’i. She is a Hawai’i State Teacher Fellow and the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals because she believes that students can benefit from academic and industry expertise.

Haylie Pereira is an 8th Grade English/Language Arts Teacher at Kealakehe Intermediate School in Kailua-Kona and a 2019 graduate of the MEdT Program at UH Manoa. In her spare time, Hayley enjoys making art and music.

Charles Souza is the current administrator for the Digital Design Team at the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design with the Hawaii Department of Education. He previously served as the Digital Classroom Specialist and as a State STEM resource teacher. Before joining the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, Charles taught mathematics for 18 years at Stevenson Middle School. In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Matthew Tom is an English Language Arts Teacher at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School. He is the advisor and creator of two after-school organizations: Stevenson Media Hawaii and the "Tusitala" student publication. He is an optimist who enjoys finding the beauty in everything. In his free time (what free time?), he enjoys playing his French horn a little too loudly and drinking an unhealthy amount of milk tea from Mr. Tea. Red Bull® gives him wings, his family gives him love, but his students give him hope.

Matt Tom Speak Hawaii 2021.mp4

Welcome to the world of a new teacher

Matt Tom

Daphne Okunaga Speak Hawaii 2021.mp4

Where is the Love?

Daphne Okunaga

(featured speakers *audio only)

Dagan Bernstein Speak Hawaii 2021.mp4

Going all in

Dagan Bernstein

Speak Hawaii 2021 educators joined in from the islands of

Maui, Oahu, & Hawai'i !

April 28, 2021• 6:30-8:00PM

Our First Statewide Online Storytelling Event

Speak Hawaii Festivities

6:30 • Welcome

6:40 • Keynote Speakers (3 teachers)

7:10 • Choose Your Own Edventure

7:20 • Meet the Speakers (3 conversations)

7:50 • Closing

Live speaker stories are followed by an interactive community session with all Speak Hawaii speakers.

Speak Hawaii Hosts

Dr. Stephanie Buelow

College of Education, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Kristi Oda

Leadership Institute, Hawaii State Department of Education

To be notified of future Speak Hawaii 2022-2023 events, please email your contact info.