Monday, May 3, 2021

Congratulations TLA 20-21 Cohort!!!


Na Kumu Alaka 'i - Teacher Leader Academy 
TLA 20-21 Cohort

Mahalo to the 20-21 TLA Cohort for their commitment and dedication to the students, staff and stakeholders in Hawai'i public schools! These thirty-nine teacher leaders completed action research projects in the midst of a pandemic, and having never met one another in-person, developed one of the strongest networking communities possible!

Vanne Akagi-Bustin
Leilehua High School

Mark Atta
Fern Elementary

Michael Balangitao
Baldwin High School

Eri Blanco
Pa'auilo Elementary and Intermediate School

JJ Cabralda
Leilehua High School

Mapuana Dudoit
Kaunakakai Elementary School

Josette Germano
Nānāikapono Elementary School

Tarah Green
Waiakeawaena Elementary School

Kathy Grondin
Kalihi Elementary School

Joyce Haase
Kaunakakai Elementary School

Haunani Haasenritter
Hilo Intermediate School

Derrek Halmas
Kahakai Elementary School

Nicole Heinlein
'Iao Intermediate School

Tavis Kagawa
Wilcox Elementary School

Barbra Kaimuloa Bates
Kahakai Elementary

Jenna Kala
Leihoku Elementary

Charisse Kapapa
Ka'iulani Elementary School

Julie Kurisu
Alvah Scott Elementary

William Larger
Waikele Elementary School

Blake Lau
Fern Elementary

Joanne Mateo
James Campbell High School

Julia Mew
Moanalua Middle School

Kristin Mullin
Central Middle School

Brittany Neizman
Kula Elementary

Trisha Nishimoto
Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area

Reid Nomura
Manana Elementary School

Jackie Nuha-Tabernero
Waikele Elementary School

Marlene Ohira-Tayama
Mililani Uka Elementary

Cedric Ranchez
Kaimuki High School

Keiko Sagawa-Pananganan
Waimea High School

Tami Saito
Wailuku Elementary

Norman Sales
Farrington High School

Chad Schimmelfennig
'Ele'ele Elementary School

Noelani Takayesu
Central Middle School

Lee Teraoka
Palisades Elementary School

Amy Ueunten
Waimea High School

Pola Umemoto
Hilo Intermediate School

Christine Valledor
Leihoku Elementary School

Todd Yanagi
Waiakeawaena Elementary School

"What Leadership looks like" (graphs)

Cluster Coaching by Complex Areas via Zoom

Home Groups 20-21

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Flip Your Funnel - How Leaders Expand their Lens 

while Honoring “Peer-spectives”

Sandy Cameli, Ed.D.

Leaders are often tasked with guiding followers toward a prescribed direction. And, with a goal of moving an initiative or organization forward, said leaders often work under the assumption that common perspectives are shared. Yet, perspectives can also be divisive - take current day politics for example - and cause irreparable damage to systems, structures or relationships when not acknowledged or honored. Thus, it can be a challenge for any leader to be truly effective when one’s own point of view does not align with colleagues’ “peer-spectives”.

A perspective can be defined as a visible scene, a specific technique or a viewpoint expressing one’s ideas, it can also be limited by an individual’s angle or attitude. Additionally, perspectives are often sought after, even celebrated, when they enhance decision making or provide support to those seeking guidance. So how does a growth-minded leader expand his or her perspective in order to serve as well as enhance agency in others? Grab a funnel and let’s get to work!

In the kitchen, the purpose of a funnel is to narrow contents from a bigger container into a smaller one. A cook may also use it to measure or channel ingredients through the apex in order to produce a desired dish or meal. The ultimate goal of the wide end of a funnel is to whittle down a large quantity to a precise outcome. In other words, narrowing the scope of what is visibly plated. Let’s see how an innovative chef took this simple item and repurposed it to expand others’ perspectives: 

On a recent celebrity food show, the host was preparing cakes and pies for children’s birthday parties. A variety of decorating tools were used to create eye-catching displays for the desserts presented. And, in an unconventional use of a common tool the chef flipped a funnel to allow sprinkles and candies to siphon through the narrow end, and spray randomly over the cream cheese toppings below. It was messy and chaotic, but it yielded such unique designs for each cupcake creation! The unicorn-inspired treats were not uniform in appearance, nor could a recipient be guaranteed the same pattern as another, but what the technique lacked in professional craft it made up for in the wow-factor! This culinary artist had flipped a funnel on a routine practice and changed the perspective of an ordinary kitchen utensil for the audience who became enthralled by the confetti creations. This innovative display posed a thought-provoking inquiry for out-of-the-box thinkers: How then might flipping-a-funnel impact a leader’s lens, practice or effectiveness?

Think about a recent decision or choice made. Perhaps trusted colleagues were consulted, necessary information was researched, and a problem-solving protocol was employed before a recommendation was made. All sound practices. However, are these always the same steps taken when deliberating? Does the wide-ended viewpoint method narrow one's perspective to generate similar outcomes each time? Instead, how might the decision-making process change if a different timeline was used, or unfamiliar resources explored? What considerations may influence the end result if voices - not previously included - were invited to weigh in? Consider this wondering about expanding perspective: Before flipping a funnel to view from the narrow end out, consider what may or may not have been missed from prior (wide-ended) observations?

The following acronym for FLIP applies simple steps for expanding perspectives:

F = Focus on intentionally seeing situations from various angles. It's common knowledge that 3+3=6, but so does 2+4, how else can problems or issues be analyzed without reverting to the same techniques? Similar to goal-setting, one must build in rituals and routines to seek out alternatives for action items. Habitual practices produce muscle memory, which continually expands one’s lens for communication, decision-making and problem solving, often eliciting effective results.

L = Limit guidance from the same resources. Leaders certainly appreciate and draw comfort from a tried & true library of knowledge, but what other resources may be overlooked that could stretch and impact a leader's thinking? What of value has been possibly missed or not considered in the past? How can published works from counter-opinions inform one's practice?

I = Invite other voices to the table. Who has not been visible or on a leader's radar in recent months? Who appears to contradict or oppose ideas on a regular basis, but could help a leader see things differently if asked? Who represents various stakeholders and should be at the table? How can “peer-spectives” enhance current practices and leadership traits?

P = Promote and publicize others’ ideas in order to build capacity for collective leading. Shared leadership is only effective when equity in responsibility and recognition exists in tandem. Which contributions from peers might appeal to a wider audience or targeted stakeholders? What blindspots do leaders possess that may prevent them from highlighting the work of others? How can incorporating invitational language into “asks” build confidence, and grow leadership in colleagues? 

The funnel analogy is not a fix-it solution, nor will it instantly alter an individual’s practice; however, readers are invited to look through both ends of a funnel and to compare what is seen, and what is missed. How much more can be observed when we flip our funnels to the narrow side and view outward? What might be missing from our current vantage points? And finally, how can an expanded perspective honor and appreciate “peer-spectives” in order to strengthen the culture and climate of our working and learning environments?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Celebrating the TLA 2019-2020 Cohort!

Each year, Na Kumu Alaka'i - Teacher Leader Academy (TLA) celebrates and acknowledges the outstanding value-added contributions made by teacher leaders for HIDOE schools and complex areas in the State of Hawai'i. This year was no exception ..... except that it was, as far as a normal end-of-year celebration when it came to honoring these remarkable educators.

In previous years, each cohort of TLA graduates would participate in a face-to-face event to share their action research projects, and leadership growth journeys with 100+ guests. This year, however, COVID-19 curtailed our ability to showcase the 2019-2020 TLA Cohort in the traditional manner. And, while an online ceremony was held and congratulations extended to all, this blog post will allow others to appreciate the individual and collective contributions made to the field of education by these outstanding teacher leaders!

TLA 2019-2020 Cohort
Teacher Leaders, Schools & Value-added Action Research Projects

Mahea Barbieto, Waiau Elementary
Pupukahi I Holomua

Kanoa Beatty, Kea'au High
Integrating Achieve 3000 into 10th grade courses

Angela Boswell, Wheeler Elementary
Getting Everyone on the Same Page with GLOs

Laurie Chang, Ali'iolani Elementary
Creating a Multi-Tiered System of Support

Rudy Domingo, Leilehua High
Wahiawa Middle School College and Career Exploration

'Awapuhi Duldulao, Hilo High
Hilo High Aloha Ambassadors (HHAA) Committee

Shelby Erdmann, Waimea High
New Teacher On-Boarding

Krissy Esposito, Jefferson Elementary
Increasing Enrollment Through Social Networking

Arlisse FitzGerald, Mauka Lani Elementary
Growing Educational Facilitators Through Student Voice

Brandy Fujisaka, West Hawaii District Office
Renewing and Strengthening Instructional Leadership Teams

Jessica Galvan, Maui High
Developing a Curriculum/Pacing Guide for Proposed 9th Grade Transition Class

Garrett Hatakenaka, Kaiser High
Kaiser Complex Computer Science

Katie Hillstead, Waianae Elementary
Continuous School Improvement through Reflection

Paul Holwegner, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle
Gearing Up for Success with S.T.E.M.

Shanell Kagamida, Pearl City Highlands Elementary
Clarity Climb: PCHES' journey to make learning visible

Denise Karratti, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle

Tracie Kochi, Kanoelani Elementary
Choose Love at School and Home

Kimberly Koopman, Kalaheo High
Differentiated Support

Joann Kubota-Phung, Mokapu Elementary
Utilizing the Problem Solving Process to Help Create the Achieving Student

Clint Labrador, Kaunakakai Elementary
Math Collaboration for Support Staff

Samarra Lehman, Mauka Lani Elementary
Closing the Gap!

Linda Marrs, Haiku Elementary
Place Based Learning at Haiku Elementary School: Phase 1

Amy Masaoka, Pahoa Elementary
Keeping Teachers Happy and Healthy Through Wellness Wednesdays

Amanda McCauley, Kahuku High & Intermediate
Choose Aloha

Megan Minotti, Waimea Elementary
Creating Sustainable Data Team Processes for Greater Student Achievement

Bridget Moniz, Waianae High
Teacher Collaboration that fosters conversations to affect student achievement

Shareen Murayama, Kaiser High
Degree of Doneness (Rare, Medium, Well Done)

Melissa Neuvel, Waimea High
Freshman Belonging

Tino Palacio, Kapolei Middle
Ho ‘ola Series: Parent and Community Engagement

Sarah Polloi, Waiakea High
Improving Internal Professional Development and Teacher Collaboration

Tara Punzal, Kapa'a High
Organization of Systems Through Teacher Collaboration

May Richard, Kea'au High
Establishing a STEM culture at Keaau High School

Sara Romfo, Kailua Intermediate
Creating a Student-Led Morning News Broadcast Program

Anthony Rypka, Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary
Introduction of Restorative Justice Practices for Middle/High School

Summer Sakai, Puohala Elementary
Community Partnerships and Increasing Community Awareness

Jennifer Sato, Kuhio Elementary
Data Teams Revamped

Krystal Sato, Kalaheo High
Differentiated Support

Jeri Schaefer, Daniel K. Inouye Elementary
Empowering Students and Teachers Through Project Based Learning

Tracy Takazono, Kanoelani Elementary
Choose Love at School and Home

Rachel Talasko, Kealakehe Elementary
Restorative Practices as Equity Work

VJ Viernes, Iao Intermediate
Saved by the Bell: Addressing Learning and Culture through a New Bell Schedule

Julia Wagner, Princess Nahienaena Elementary
Learning Opportunities for Paraprofessionals

Heather Wickersham, Konawaena High
Schoolwide Professional Development

Candice Yamamoto, Kalihi Uka Elementary
Reading Mastery for All

Walter Young, Waianae High
Teacher Collaboration that fosters conversations to affect student achievement

Below are photos & shout-outs to the TLA 2019-2020 Cohort