LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lisa Tada

Position: Social Studies Teacher
School: Waiakea High School
School District: Hawaii Public Schools
City, State: Hilo, HI

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Lisa Tada was nominated by an anonymous student.

"I have known Mrs. Tada since I was in middle school, when she was training to be a teacher," her nominator said. "I could see the large amount of passion she had, not only for teaching, but for making a difference in young people’s minds. She always had a smile on her face and a positive outlook on all things in life. From the moment I met her, I knew she would be an amazing teacher and a great influence on my life."

"I met Mrs. Tada in eighth grade," said the nominator. "I walked into class and scanned the room looking for my friends. There was a young woman who was sitting at my teacher's desk with a bright look on her face. I got excited to see a new face because I love to meet new people. The bell rang, and then, both Mrs. Tada and our normal teacher made their way to the front of the class. She introduced herself, and I was paying full attention. She was so confident and ready for whatever challenges would come her way."

"Throughout that year, I would regularly make conversation with her and talk about my interests," said the nominator. "She listened to me and made me feel special, even though I might have been a weird middle schooler. I noticed she didn’t only do this with me, but with other students."

"Fast forward to my freshman year in high school. She began working there as a tenth grade social studies teacher," said the nominator. "I didn’t get the chance to have class with her, but I would often go to her class to talk about many things. I went to her for counseling with future careers and different opportunities that would help me in my future. We'd talk about high school life, and she was quite comforting with the stresses of it all."

"Again, move even more forward into the future to when I was a sophomore. I had her for my World History class," said the nominator. "I could still see the same passion she had when she was starting off. Everything she did in class, she did it with meaning, not only for a grade. During this year, I applied for a foreign exchange program. I worked so hard on the application, filling out essays and different questions. I also asked her to provide a teacher recommendation. With her help, I was able to pass the application phase and move onto the interview phase. I did my interview to the best of my ability, but my efforts came out to an unwanted outcome."

"I didn’t get that opportunity and I was crushed," said the nominator. "Her words, along with the words of my friends and family, were something that kept me going. She kept telling me she knew how hard I worked, that she thought I deserved it, and that there was a reason why I didn’t get accepted."

"'One door closes, another door opens.' This was a phrase that stuck with me for the rest of that year moving onto my junior year," said the nominator. "One thing that always amazes me is how passionate she still is. I learned that before she decided to become a teacher, she worked in a government position in South Korea. She was like a bodyguard. Hearing that made me surprised, but also made me realize many things. She is now a teacher after going through a lot of thinking about her future."

Mrs. Tada not only teaches, but is also active in the school community. She teaches an extra class called Global Studies so students can learn more about international problems going on in the present day. She is involved with advising for student councils, meaning she helps plan and organize events. Mrs. Tada has helped start clubs at school so students can find more interests and gain more experiences. She is very well trained as a teacher, as well. She is efficient and honest, and she shows perseverance in her work. Mrs. Tada is able to solve all kinds of situations because of her many experiences in different working fields and with living in different countries."

"I don’t remember a single student ever saying they disliked Mrs. Tada," her nominator said. "She will never do something to hinder someone’s growth in knowledge and life. She has never picked on students, discriminated, or made a classroom feel negative. I think that I must have saved the world in a past life to have the luck of getting her as a teacher, not only for one year, but for all of my high school years. She has influenced me to become a hardworking student and be passionate about the career I want to pursue."