Lauren Higa was nominated by an anonymous former student.
"I am now a high school senior, but Mrs. Higa still impacts my life and attitude," her nominator said. "She is an incredible teacher with a great work ethic, but that is not the only thing about her that inspired me. In fifth grade, she made us think for ourselves, hold ourselves accountable, and treat each other with kindness. She let us know that mistakes were OK as long as we learned from them. She never tried to be someone she wasn't. Mrs. Higa...is always herself, no matter what."
"Mrs. Higa is one of the people who inspired me to go into teaching," said the student. "I volunteered in her classroom for about three months this year as my senior project. I learned so much about the realities of teaching, and she did not sugarcoat a single thing. It may sound crazy to say, but she continued to teach me more about life than about teaching. I was nervous going into her classroom because I still wasn't sure that teaching was the right fit for me. Despite my nervousness, I knew Mrs. Higa was someone I could trust with how I feel because she always knows what to say. Everyone has their days, even Mrs. Higa, but she always has incredible advice and life lessons. She has advised me on dealing with my anxieties, friendships, relationships, and my future."
"Mrs. Higa is a one of a kind teacher, and I hope to be a teacher like her some day," said the student. "She helped me gain confidence when I was in her class seven years ago, and she has helped me solidify that confidence seven years later. She has lit my path and guided me, and I hope to make her proud."