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News Release

August 31, 2020

Farmers Insurance® Hawaii and Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Announce Finalists in Education Innovation Teacher Challenge

Three Oahu and Three Neighbor Island Public School Teachers Announced as Finalists for Two $25,000 Grants

HONOLULU, Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmers Insurance® Hawaii and the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation announced today that six teachers have been named finalists in the 2020 Education Innovation Teacher Challenge. Launched earlier this year, the grant program will award two $25,000 grants to help Oahu and Neighbor Island public school teachers implement innovative and impactful learning experiences that benefit their schools, students and the greater community.

Hawaii public school teachers were invited to submit applications between March 2 and July 31, 2020. The six finalists were selected following a competitive application, evaluation and review process.

"During this challenging time for schools, teachers, students and their families, the Farmers Hawaii team has been inspired by the creativity, dedication and innovation showcased in proposals from teachers across the state," said Melanie Joseph, Marketing Manager for Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "The ideas proposed by our six visionary finalists run the gamut from problem-solving for the pandemic to entrepreneurial educational experiences, and are designed to empower students with the knowledge and skills to succeed-inside and out of the classroom."

A panel of local judges will review and evaluate the proposals using three key criteria -- innovation, community impact, and execution, including long-term sustainability. Two winners, one from Oahu and one from a Neighbor Island, will be announced in October:

Neighbor Island Finalists:

  • Tyler Gage, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, Kauai, Project Proposal: Pueo Business Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Megan Ogle, Kula Elementary, Maui, Project Proposal: A STEAM Approach to AG Growth
  • Michael Sado, Maui High School, Maui, Project Proposal: Combatting COVID-19 in the Community

Oahu Finalists:

  • Wesley Adkins, James Campbell High School, Ewa Beach, Project Proposal: The Ewa Beach Drive-In
  • Laurie Flores, Hau'ula Elementary School, Hau'ula, Project Proposal: Raising Awareness of Incredible Endemic Hawaiian Animals
  • Jackie Tichepco, Leilehua High School, Wahiawa, Project Proposal: Virtual Learning for All

"These six teachers embody what's possible when professionals in education continually challenge themselves to pursue educational excellence," said Kenneth T. Hiraki, President for the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation. "We look forward to working with Farmers to help the winning teachers transform their ideas into reality."

Farmers Insurance has a proud history of investing in education and supporting the communities it serves. The Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $4.8 million since 1990 to strengthen educational opportunities.

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