LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

« Return to Nominee List

Terry Urata

Position: Head Custodian
School: Ali'iolani Elementary School
School District: Hawaii Public Schools
City, State: Honolulu, HI

Support Terry Leave a comment for Terry

Terry Urata was nominated by his colleague, Maraget Miura.

Ali'iolani Elementary School is not just a place where students go to learn and adults go to work. This special place is full of LifeChangers. Everyone on campus takes on many roles regardless of the title on their name tag: student, teacher, administrator, custodian, cafeteria manager/worker, and staff. One such person is Mr. Urata.

Most custodians go un-noticed and un-recognized for their contribution to their schools. We sometimes take for granted the amount of work it takes on a regular basis just to keep up with the normal maintenance. Ali'iolani Elementary School is clean, safe, and beautiful because of Mr. Urata's efforts. As Head Custodian, he proactively anticipates needs throughout the campus, whether it be in the classroom/office, out on the field, or at school events. The job he does impacts everyone on campus.

Mr. Urata changes lives, but what makes him a LifeChanger is that in addition to doing what the job description states, he goes beyond by being a volunteer to support after-school programs like pine-derby, robotics, and the STEM Club. He built the pine-derby race track and teaches students to build their own race-cars. He transformed an old used golf cart into an awesome example of school pride and excellence. Currently, he is finishing up the school LED Marquee he made from scratch.

It's not just the big things he does like those mentioned above that make a difference. Without a big to-do, he will drop off a home lunch or package left in the office to its destination, bring in flowers blooming on campus for the office and teachers, or offer simple reminders to help life go smoother. Mr. Urata is a leader in his school because of his quality workmanship and planning, but he is a LifeChanger because he does these things for everyone who steps on campus.



Comments (1)


Darcie Kawamura Posted over a year ago

As an Ali'iolani Elementary School parent for the last 5 years, my children and I always see Mr. Terry Urata around campus during morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up. He welcomes everyone with a friendly smile and a wave. He definitely works hard to keep the school campus beautiful. Recently, Mr. Urata along with their school principal, Mr. Joseph Passantino, and other staff members, helped to beautify the school by painting "Stairs to Sucess". On these stairs, students see multiplication math facts every day around campus. Mr. Urata also assisted in the campaign to paint another set of stairs which has the school's vision and mission statements visible for all to see. What amazes me is that Mr. Urata definitely goes beyond his day to day responsibilities and helps out in so many ways by working with the STEM Club students or being involved with the Friends of Aliiolani's Parent-Student Teacher Association! He truly helps to create and is an example of building a positive school learning environment through his interactions with students, parents, teachers and staff and through his amazing work ethic. Thank you for being a #LifeChanger for the Ali'iolani community!