This prestigious award validates my efforts and recognizes the achievements of my students, colleagues, and administrators at Kanoelani Elementary School. I firmly believe in the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” and know that, collectively, we have a deep responsibility to equip the next generation. This award represents my school community’s efforts and energy and I am humbled to be a part of shaping Hawaii’s future.

Richard Brian Ogawa Waipahu, HI | K-6, Science, 2018

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Richard Brian "RB" Ogawa has been an educator at Kanoelani Elementary School for over a decade. He started his career teaching upper elementary and transitioned to be the school's STEM Coordinator for the last four years, where he teaches a STEM enrichment class for grades four through six. In addition, RB is responsible for developing project-based curriculum, providing teacher training and support, developing school-community partnerships, and co-teaching and modeling classroom sessions. He also is the advisor of the math club and the robotics team. He firmly believes that communicating a love of STEM subjects is vital to student and school development. RB initiated a science night program for multiple grade levels to involve community partners and families. This further engaged families to be a stronger part of the school community and strengthened partnerships with collaborating businesses. Over the years, RB helped design and develop innovative learning spaces to include a STEM Lab, a 600-gallon sustainable aquaponics system, a game design studio, and an engineering makerspace area which is utilized throughout the day. RB earned a B.S. in tropical horticulture from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and a M.Ed. in elementary education from Chaminade University in Hawaii. He is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade elementary education.