Radford High School is proud to announce that this year's Central District Teacher of the Year and candidate for the 2019 Hawaii Teacher of the Year is our very own Mrs. Mary Ann Kurose. This recognition is awarded to an outstanding teacher in each of the seven districts of the Hawaii Department of Education and one charter school.
Mrs. Kurose came to Radford in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Education with an emphasis in English Language Arts. She has since taught English to grades 9 through 12 and has served as the English Department Head for multiple years, leading her department through many initiatives including the adoption of Common Core State Standards and a new curriculum. Mrs. Kurose’s leadership extends beyond her department. She serves as a facilitator of a cross-departmental focus group and is an active member of the school's AVID site team. In addition, she is a seasoned school-level mentor for new teachers. With her positive, yet humble attitude, she is always willing to support her colleagues whether it be through providing teacher-led professional development trainings, opening her doors for informal classroom observations, or just engaging in collegial discussions centered on students. Mrs. Kurose is well-respected and admired by both students and staff.
Besides teaching English Language Arts, Mrs. Kurose also teaches Newswriting, AVID, and Strategic Reading, a response to intervention class for struggling readers. Her commitment to teaching excellence drives her to continually participate in professional development to better her knowledge base and instructional practices for these courses.
Under Mrs. Kurose’s direction, Radford’s school newspaper, the RamPage, has earned numerous Newspapers in Education awards, sponsored by the Hawaii Publishers Association and Star Advertiser. The dedication of her student editors and staff is a reflection of Mrs. Kurose’s commitment to them. The impact she has had on these newswriting students is evident when you see them return to her room long after they graduate to continue to help with their high school newspaper while pursuing their own journalism careers.
Advancement via Individual Determination, AVID, has been at Radford for many years. Working with students who may be the first in their family to attend college or come from demographic groups that are typically underrepresented in higher education requires a very committed and caring teacher. Mrs. Kurose has been an AVID teacher since its inception at Radford. She has graduated three classes of AVID students who stayed with her through all their years at Radford. The life-long skills and relationships these students build in her AVID class stems from the culture of caring established by Mrs. Kurose.
Mrs. Kurose’s professionalism, effective pedagogical practices, and sincere care for students made her the right choice to teach a new course focused on helping struggling readers. She works closely with her students and finds effective ways to help them develop the skills and gain confidence as readers and as people.
As a highly military-impacted school, it is essential that our students find stability in their transient lives. At Radford we strive to build positive relationships with and between students while doing our best to prepare them for college and career readiness. Mrs. Kurose exemplifies the teacher who does both. She prepares them academically and helps them develop personally so they find success.
We are privileged to have Mrs. Kurose on our staff.