2022-23 Milken EducatorsPhoto 7 of 36
ESTHER KWON (HI '22)
Assistant principal, Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School | Wahiawa, HI
By the end of the festive assembly at Inouye Elementary on January 31, 2023, Assistant Principal Esther Kwon wore so many leis that her neck was nowhere to be found! Students, colleagues, and visiting dignitaries placed dozens of celebratory flower garlands over Esther's head as they congratulated the recipient of Hawaii's $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke and Superintendent of Education Keith Hayashi joined us for Esther's life-changing surprise.
What did Esther think when we called her name? "Time froze for a moment," she told us. "Then I heard the kids screaming....I was just following directions, trying to take it all in." She hopes her Milken Award inspires young people who want to make a difference in their communities to consider careers in education: "You can really improve someone's life trajectory as a teacher."
All photos should be credited to "Milken Family Foundation" unless otherwise noted.