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The celebration of National Catholic Schools Week culminates with professional development workshops hosted by the Hawaii Catholic Schools Office. The Annual Conference for Catholic School Educators begins with a morning Mass that includes recognition and awards given for those celebrating milestone years of service with Hawaii Catholic Schools. This year’s honorees were:


30 Years of Service:

Kathleen Botelho, St. Louis School

“I love children, so 30 years ago when I became teacher, it felt natural.  I continue to educate myself to make me a better person and to be able to share that knowledge with my students  I started my career in a self-contained classroom, then moved to what I do best- middle school at St. Louis school. I am very grateful to all the people who have played a part in my career.  I especially want to thank my Mom who has helped me in my journey of life. She is supportive and most importantly, my best friend.   I am very happy to be a teacher and appreciate all of my Saint Louis Ohana.”


Janis Davis, St. Joseph Parish School

“In the past 30 years, as a Junior High Language Arts teacher and previous administrator, Janis Davis has made a difference in the lives of so many students, their parents, and her colleagues.  Academically, Janis challenges her students to be critical thinkers with a firm foundation to clearly express their ideas orally and in writing.  Personally, she has inspired students to be resilient, morally responsible individuals who strive to accomplish their goals.  Spiritually, Janis has journeyed with her students, to deepen their faith in knowing God in their lives.  Parents continually compliment Janis for attributing to their child’s success in high school and beyond.  As a colleague, Janis has been a grade level and department chairperson, supporting, mentoring, and unselfishly sharing her gifts as an educator and willingly volunteers to be the leader for many school projects and events.  When asked what she would like shared about her years of dedicated service in the Hawaii Catholic Schools, she said “Been there, done that, and more to come!”  Congratulations Janis for being a significant contributor to St. Joseph Parish School.”


Rie Mizumura, Maryknoll School

“Affectionately known as “Mizumura Sensei”, Maryknoll has been blessed to have her as their Japanese Language teacher.  She has been the World Language Department Head, Japan Exchange Coordinator, and started the Spain Exchange, China Exchange, and served as the  French Exchange Coordinator.  Rie loves her colleagues, students and administrators and appreciates everyone being supportive and loving.”



Grace Tokuda, St. Joseph Parish School

“For 30 years, Grace Tokuda has generously given her time and shared her many talents as an educator and presently as a Cafeteria Manager of St. Joseph Parish School.  Whatever the parish or school needs for any event or project, Grace is always present to help in whatever way she can.  Everyone is blessed by the compassionate, loving, enthusiastic spirit and heart that Grace models every day.  Her dedication and commitment to Catholic education is visible in the many hours she spends preparing school meals and special dinners for parish, school, and community events.  Grace actively participates and humbly serves God and the community joyfully.  She may not say a lot, but speaks in her actions as a Do-er.  Congratulations Grace for the many faculty, staff, students, parents, parishioners, and community members you have inspired in your 30 years of service in our Honolulu Diocese!”


20 Years of Service:

Annie Agbayani, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

“Annicelia was born and raised in the Philippines. Her experience with education began forty years ago. She spent her early years in Hawaii as a teacher’s assistant at Our Lady of Good Counsel School and became a lead preschool teacher for the 3 year olds shortly after. She is a loving, nurturing, and patient teacher.”




Cat Awong, St. John’s Catholic Preschool

“Cat Awong is a proud SHA class of 1973 graduate and 13-year student. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Chaminade University of Honolulu.  She began her teaching career at St. John’s Catholic Preschool in 1997.  She also taught at Our Lady of Good Counsel School. In 2009, she returned to SJCP as director.  She truly believes in the value of a Catholic education!”





Erlinda Ceria, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

“Erlinda Ceria has a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Manila. Her 20 years in the Hawaii Catholic Schools opened a lot of opportunities for her spiritually, intellectually, socially and culturally.  She taught at Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Pearl City and is teaching Kindergarten at Our Lady of Perpetual School since 2007 and prayerfully for many more years to come!”



Leo Delgado, Maryknoll School

“Leo has served 30 years in Catholic Education:  20 years in the Diocese of Honolulu, (10 years in the Diocese of Laoag, Philippines).  In his 11 years at Sacred Hearts Academy, he served as a religion teacher and at Maryknoll, he is the director of Campus Ministry.   Leo feels that Catholic Schools keep him connected to his Christian Faith and allows him to share the core of Catholic Education that is Jesus.”




Sandra Franks, St. Michael School

“Ms. Sandra Franks has been one of the “backbones” of St. Michael School over the last two decades.  Over the years, she has proven to be an influential, exemplary and outstanding educator and administrator.  It is very fitting to honor her today for her selfless dedication to Catholic education and the utmost respect she possesses among our families, colleagues and administration.”




Ku’ulei Halemano, St. Ann School

“Kuulei Halemano has been a part of the St. Ann Community from birth.  Her family has been an integral part of the rich history of St. Ann Church & School. Kuulei began working as an employee at St. Ann School over 20 years ago. She began as the Extended Day Care Supervisor.  Over the past 20 years Kuulei progressively demonstrated the desired skills that led her to becoming the school clerk, school secretary, Administrative Assistant to the Parish Director of Education and today as the Administrative Assistant to the Education Offices.  Kuulei has assumed major responsibility in leadership and is a trusted member of the Education Team at St. Ann’s.  She is dedicated to her job, loyal to her colleagues, diligent in her work, and generously shares her many gifts and talents with the St. Ann community.  The entire school depends on her knowledge and assistance daily.  Kuulei is a faith-filled, dedicated member of the St. Ann family and has volunteered as a catechist for the parish religious education program for over 11 years.  She has been instrumental in fostering a friendly, interactive and collaborative work environment. Kuulei is greatly respected by her peers for her wealth of knowledge and experience.  Ku’ulei is married to Keith and has two adult children, Kaylen and Micah.  The administration faculty and staff blesses Ku’ulei Halemano as she celebrates 20 years of service in Catholic Education.  We love you!”


Yvonne Morris, Maryknoll School

“Yvonne Morris is a 1963 graduate of Maryknoll School, the first of three generations of Spartans.  She has worked at Maryknoll from 1989-1992 with a break to move to Taiwan, but faithfully returned to Maryknoll in 1997.  Yvonne is currently the Director of Alumni and Development and has served as Director of Development and Director of Institutional Advancement.  She is always enthusiastic about finding the resources to help Maryknoll and other Catholic Schools afford to provide the best programs, facilities and opportunities for their students.  She staffed the 22 million capital campaign for the Maryknoll Community Center and is looking forward to the next campaign, The Children’s Performing Arts Center.”


Dominic Olaso, Maryknoll School

“Dominic has been at Maryknoll since July, 2017.  Prior to that he served at Our Lady of Good Counsel School since 1997.  He is currently the Campus Minister at Maryknoll and Youth Minister at Sacred Heart Church.  He has taught Religion and has been the curriculum chair at OLGC, coordinating Liturgy, Retreats and Catholic Identity.  Dominic appreciates being a witness of, and to lead others to Jesus; being a beacon that our school is Catholic first.  He loves watching students, faculty and staff encounter Jesus moments.”


Michael Pa’ekukui, St. Louis School

“Michael began his Hawaii Catholic School journey at Cathedral School from 1997-1998 then St. Ann’s Church & Model Schools as Principal of Religious Education until 2004 where he returned to newly named Cathedral Catholic Academy where he served as Vice Principal, then Principal at the first Project Based Catholic School in the State of Hawai’i.  Michael has served as a local and national Keynote Speaker and Presenter for the NCEA Convention, School Improvement Network Innovation Summit, ACCE Conference in Honolulu and in Maui and for the Diocese of Honolulu Faith Formation Conferences. He currently serves as Dean of Academics at Saint Louis School where he is a proud alumnus of the Class of 1984.”


Michele Zarko, St. Patrick School

“Michele began her career in education working at Cathedral Catholic Academy for 17 years before coming to St. Patrick School in 2014.  She had three children attend Cathedral Catholic Academy and her youngest is currently a sixth grader at St. Patrick School.  She writes: ”My husband and I are fortunate to have given our three children a unique opportunity to learn in an environment that nurtures moral and values while providing excellent academic experiences.  Teaching in a Catholic school allows me to help our students grow into the people they are called to be each and every day.  We are all working together to give our students the very best academic, faith-filled education possible.  Every day I get to spend time with amazing students, dedicated staff, and wonderful parents.  I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity.”



The following 20 Years of Service awardees from the neighbor islands will be honored in May and July:

Kelly Chung, St, Joseph School Hilo

Tanya Pataray, St. Joseph School Hilo

Renette Koa, St. Joseph Preschool

“Renette Koa celebrates 20 years of service starting out as a teacher for the St. Joseph Preschool back in Fall of 1997. She currently is the head teacher for the Butterfly classroom working along side her co-teacher for nearly 18 years Alicia Cordeiro. Renette is a wonderful teacher and enjoys spending her off time with her friends and family, especially her 5 grandchildren. Some of who were blessed to attended St. Joseph Early Learning Center and got to call her their teacher. We are so grateful for her dedication, hard work, and service to the families and parish here at St. Joseph, Makawao, Maui.”



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