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Introducing Council Treasurer, Myrna Watanabe

February 2, 2010

HSTA-R Big Island Teasurer, Myrna Watanabe

Myrna Watanabe’s teaching career began in California when she graduated from San Jose State University in 1965. 

   “I taught 4th grade in San Martin and San Jose for 5 years.  Enjoyed it very much.  My husband accepted a transfer to Oahu in 1972 so we left California,” she said.

   Watanabe was not able to get a full time job in Hawaii at that time since there was an oversupply of teachers.

   “Plus I was pregnant so I stayed at home for a few years.  Went to work as a part time Title 1 tutor at Kailua Elem. School for 5 years, then because my husband was transferred to Hilo in 1982, we returned home,” Watanabe said.

    Watanabe was able to get temporary positions without credit for probation but she took what she could get.  Watanabe did a semester in SPED at Waiakea Elem., a year as kindergarten support doing the testing of the children and working with the immature ones at Keaukaha and continued at Keaukaha for an additional year as a Remedial Language Arts teacher.  From Keaukaha Watanabe went to Mt. View Elem. as a remedial math teacher for several years. 

  “During the time I was at Mt. View HSTA was able to get the state to give us probationary status.  Thank God for the union’s efforts,” she said.

   After teaching math for a few years Watanabe switched over to the Title 1 reading teacher position that changed its title and job description a few times.  When she retired in Dec., 2005 the position was called School wide Coordinator.  Watanabe was also a substitute Vice Principal at Mt. View Sch. for one year.

 Watanabe sits on the board for Trinity Community Church and for Big Island Federal Credit Union and she serves as our Treasurer for HSTA-R Big Island.

 “I enjoy serving on the HSTA-R council because we are supporting our active colleagues in the political arena, getting updated information on what’s happening and what we need to do to support them, and enjoying socializing with our colleagues,” she said.

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