Of the eight Hawai‘i Department of Education District Teachers of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year, two are HIKI NŌ teachers: Luane Higuchi from Wai‘anae Intermediate School (Leeward District), and Jennifer Suzuki from Maui Waena Intermediate School (Maui District).
Kevin Matsunaga of Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i, never imagined he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher. He found his calling as the digital media teacher at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Lihu‘e. His students have won many national video competitions. In 2007, the Hawai‘i Department of Education recognized Matsunaga with a District Teacher of the Year award.