I am deeply humbled to be a recipient of this prestigious Presidential Award for doing something I love doing: working with students. This award emphasizes the need for all students to benefit from a quality education in mathematics that teaches our students how to question, wonder, think critically, and consider multiple perspectives and solutions. I am grateful for the love and lessons I have received over my lifetime from all of my teachers, including family, friends, and hundreds of students.

Alicia Nakamitsu Aiea, HI | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Alicia Nakamitsu has been teaching at Aiea High School for the past 14 years. She has taught grades 9-12, ranging from Algebra I through statistics and trigonometry. She currently teaches Algebra I to freshmen and sophomores. Alicia creates safe and engaging learning environments to support student dialogue and mathematical reasoning.  Through her positive relationships with her students, she strives to make mathematics meaningful and fun for her students. She uses her students' strengths to empower them to make their own connections and communicate using mathematical reasoning.  As the Mathematics Department Chair and Math Team Coach, Alicia advocates for increasing student engagement, rigor, enrichment opportunities, and access to technology. She encouraged her department to expand their Advanced Placement offerings to include Calculus BC and AP Statistics this past year.  She also sponsored a Mu Alpha Theta charter at Aiea High School to increase recognition of excellence in mathematics.  Alicia has also served as a New Teacher Mentor at the school, state, and national level through the New Teacher Center. Alicia has a B.A., with distinction, in mathematics and history and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in secondary education from the University of Hawai‘i.  She is dual-certified in 6-12 mathematics and 6-12 social studies.  Alicia is also a National Board Certified Teacher in mathematics.