Congratulations to Mathieu Williams ‘14 for being named the 2019 Hawaii Teacher of the Year. Williams is a visual media and technology teacher at Kealakehe Intermediate School in Kona who challenges his students to look inward and discover the individual they want to become.
“Media is such a great platform, but it’s all about building a brand,” says Williams. “I help my students understand that they all have their own brand and I ask them, ‘what are you going to be known for? Do you want to be known for kindness? Respect? Being dependable?’”
Williams started his teaching journey as a member of Teach for America right out of university. He didn’t know he wanted to be a teacher right away, but he fell in love with all that his students had to offer. He learns from them every day and loves helping his students see the world in a different light. “The moment we stop learning it’s a scary thing because we get complacent,” says Williams. “It’s not about teaching kids facts or subject matter, it’s about teaching kids how to learn and how to empathize and understand people and places.”
“Knowing that the future sits in front of you each and every day and that you have the ability to shape that future is a large responsibility,” says Williams. “I feel completely humbled by it.”
Mathieu graduated from the Chaminade Master of Education program with a specialization in educational leadership in 2014. “We are incredibly proud of Mathieu for achieving such a high honor,” says Dale Fryxell, dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Chaminade. “This is a fantastic accomplishment and a well-deserved award.”