Jennifer Rikert

  • Island: Maui
  • Class: Full Release Special Education Mentor and Autism Team RT
  • Years of Teaching: 17
  • Field/Office: Maui District Office
  • Complex Area: Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui
  • Home Town: Darien, CT
  • District: Maui
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What do you think is the Hawaii Department of Education’s greatest strength?

The amount professional development that connects teachers across the islands is an added support to ones’ job as a teacher.

What do you think is the greatest strength about the complex area that you work in? What is your complex area known for?

The autonomy that each school has is empowering and it brings an individual culture to each school. The level of communication between district and the schools and the intercommunication between schools to support students is inspiring and as a mentor, I have witnessed how this helps new and veteran teachers to stay current on their teaching practices. that sense of complex community also raises the morale in difficult times.

What are some fun activities that individuals enjoy doing outside school hours within the COMPLEX AREA that you represent?

Many people in the complex arrange hikes on the weekends. It’s a great chance to extend your professional and social circle while seeing a little bit of Hawaii.

What are some fun activities that individuals enjoy doing outside school hours within the COMPLEX AREA that you represent?

The hikes that are teacher-led with other teachers is a great way to get to know other teachers you wouldn’t normally run across at your school or within your zoom meetings/trainings.

What do you enjoy most about the students you teach in Hawaii?

I’ve enjoyed the most that students with disabilities have taught me more than I believe I have ever taught them. They have become my guides to patience, love, and a sense of Aloha.

What do YOU enjoy doing in your free time while in Hawaii?

I work collaboratively with film makers in the Hawaiian Islands as an actress. I also run a cat boarding business out of my home to offer alternative cage-free boarding for cats on Maui.

What’s YOUR favorite local food on your island? How would you describe the food?

Spam musubi is addicting! It’s Hawaii’s version of Chicken Waffles” in it’s “soul-food” category! I can’t refuse Spam Musubi if someone offers! Food in Hawaii is a historical blend of cultural dishes from Asian countries, dating back to the agricultural immigrants when they shared their food at lunch time. “Plate Lunch” is a blend of rice, meat, soy sauce or shoyu.

What’s your favorite place to eat on your island? What kind of food is it?

Sensei- Award winning sushi!