Hale Kula librarian named Central District Teacher of the Year

| October 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Jan Iwase
Hale Kula Elementary School 

Michelle Colte, wearing lei, poses with other Hale Kula teachers after being named Central District Teacher of the Year. (Courtesy Photo)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Hale Kula Elementary School librarian, here, has been named the Central District Teacher of the Year. 

At its meeting Oct. 7, the Hawaii Board of Education selected Michelle Colte as one of seven teachers for the statewide honor.

Like many others who have chosen to be educators, Colte was inspired to become a teacher at a young age. She loved going to school, and her teachers nurtured her love of learning through hands-on, creative instruction, which led to her becoming a high school English teacher. 

Eventually, she returned to school and received a degree in library science.

Since she arrived at the school, here, five years ago, Colte has made it her mission to share her love for literacy with families, staff and members of the community. She works with all Hale Kula’s 950 students and their teachers to plan lessons that extend learning beyond the classroom.  

Lt. Col. John Henderson, deputy commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Pacific Ocean Division, Fort Shafter, is a parent representative for the school board and has two students at Hale Kula. 

“Her initiative was key to developing library programs that teach students and involve parents,” he said, sharing the positive impact that Colte has had on his family. “I am eternally thankful for her efforts, as both of my kids absolutely love to read and do it because of their first experiences with books at school provided by Michelle Colte.”

Since most of Hale Kula’s students are military family members, Colte is committed to making the library a welcoming place with a feeling of ohana. She has received grants to purchase a range of resources for families to borrow, plans numerous family events every year and invites the community to participate in the activities. 

“To look out into the sea of families at these events gives me a real sense of my contribution,” Colte said. “I have connected these families with unique opportunities and, most importantly, provided them time to build relationships with their school and (with) each other, something that is often difficult in military communities.” 

Category: Community, Community Relations

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