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Obama greets teacher from his old school, Noelani in Manoa


Hawaii’s Teacher of the Year, Kristen Brummel, was honored yesterday along with top educators from around the nation at the White House Rose Garden.

Brummel, a teacher at Noelani Elementary in Manoa, also got a special nod from President Barack Obama, who attended Noelani.

“I think it is important to note — this is off script, but the teacher of the year from Hawaii — where is she?” Obama said, during his remarks.

Obama then waved to Brummel and said she “teaches at the first school I ever went to, Noelani School up in Manoa in Hawaii. So I thought that was pretty cool. I went there in first grade. It’s a wonderful school.”

During his remarks, Obama also remembered one of the special teachers who touched his life, Mabel Hefty, who taught at Punahou School. Hefty was Obama’s fifth-grade teacher.

Brummel teaches fourth grade at Noelani, and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaii.

When she is not in the classroom, Brummel is a mentor teacher, a guest lecturer, educational consultant, blog writer, after-school Lego robotics instructor and volunteer.

She was among teachers from around the country honored at the White House ceremony. Obama also introduced the National Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in Maryland.

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