Congratulations Gregory Wong 2015 Teacher of the Year!
Teacher of the Year
ECONOMICS TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
For Excellence in Economic Education
King David Kalakaua Middle School has a distinguished economic literacy advocate in Gregory Wong, this year’s 2015 Economics Teacher of the Year award recipient. Gregory has taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies at Kalakaua Middle School for twenty-five years, and is retiring in December 2015.
Twenty-five years ago, Mr. Wong accepted a teaching position with Kalakaua. He looked forward to helping students who he characterized as, “charismatic and intelligent – but had difficulty expressing concepts themselves through writing or verbally.
Kalakaua’s Mission Statement accentuates preparedness for the future of students, so Mr. Wong emphasized a correlation of economic concepts to daily life. Since many students had difficulty in the written word, Mr. Wong sought a different venue through art –first by grasping the meaning of economic concepts and then drawing their understanding of them. The goal was to see if students truly captured the concept and presented it in picture form.
This avant-garde method required each of the 180 students to draw all six economic themes for HCEE’s 2016 Economics through the Eyes of the Children coloring calendar program, amounting to 1,200 entries. Two of his student’s artwork was selected to be illustrated in the 2016 calendar that each of you will go home with today. Mr. Wong also selected seventy-five art works and accompanying Power-Point presentations to be posted onto the schools website.
In addition to the annual Economic Calendar contest, Mr. Wong is mandated to integrate economics into Hawaiian and U.S. History, Geography, Cultural Anthropology, and Political Science.
Initially, Gregory had earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Armstrong University in Berkeley, California. He held accounting positions in the Bay Area and returned to Honolulu to teach accounting for Adult Education.
Mr. Wong took a sabbatical leave to complete his Masters of Social Sciences degree from Syracuse University's Maxwell Graduate School of Public Affairs & Citizenship. His first Master’s Degree was from Central Michigan University, where he studied economics and statistics.
“It is gratifying to reach the levels of self-actualization, and by achieving this, we come to the realization that students can apply economic concepts to augment their future.” – Gregory Wong