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Sing named NIEA Educator of Year

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Date: Thursday, October 2, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Photo of Dr. David Sing

Dr. David Sing, director of Na Pua No‘eau, the center for gifted and talented Native Hawaiian children at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, has been named Educator of the Year by the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). Sing will receive the prestigious award at the NIEA’s 39th Annual Convention, October 25th in Seattle, Washington.

Sing is being honored for his statewide accomplishments instilling culturally-based higher education programs for Native Hawaiian students in grades K-12, during a period when such programs were limited. His vision for a center where Native Hawaiian children could explore their Hawaiian identity while connecting with professionals on a pathway towards higher education was realized in 1989 in Hilo.

More outreach centers were established on the islands of Kaua‘i, O`ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and the west side of the island of Hawai`i, ultimately increasing the centers to reach more Native Hawaiian children and their families.

Sing’s commitment to Hawaiian education extends to various agencies and community organizations through partnerships and collaborations. He continues his commitment to extending nationwide support by assisting his Native Indian colleagues.

His success can be measured by the thousands of students over the past two decades who have benefited by the programs he created and who are some of the most influential Native Hawaiian leaders today. The educational model of Na Pua No‘eau has been replicated in charter schools statewide and continues to be followed by many more culturally-based education programs.

Sing’s commitment to culture-based education is reflected in his membership and involvement in the National Indian Education Association. He was nominated as the first Native Hawaiian NIEA Board member and Vice President. He created the Native Hawaiian Education Association to bring together all Native Hawaiian educators, administrators, teachers, government officials and non-natives who work with native students in order to collaborate and learn from each others work.

Sing chaired the local planning committee and organized island-wide agencies to bring last year’s 38th annual NIEA Convention to Hawai‘i, giving Hawaiian educators and students the opportunity to gain knowledge of Native American cultures at home, while sharing our Hawaiian culture.

Through his dedication, passion and hard work, Dr. David Sing has made a positive impact on every Native Hawaiian child who has participated in these programs and on Hawaiian education in general.

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