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Additional Statements

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka

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Mr. President, I wish to recognize the math coaches and teachers of the Oahu Math League, OML, for their outstanding service for the students of Hawaii. The Hawaii Council of Teachers of Mathematics created the OML more than 40 years ago to supplement the traditional math curriculum in Hawaii's schools and to provide students with an outlet to represent their schools in academic competition. The league is comprised two senior varsity divisions as well as one junior varsity division. The various teams represent 28 of Oahu's schools, both public and private, and over 35 coaches, each dedicated to the promotion of mathematics education in the State of Hawaii.

I wish to acknowledge the students who spend their free time after school and on weekends to prepare and compete in the OML's seven grueling meets each academic year. These students devote their extracurricular time to mastering difficult mathematic techniques and theories in order to challenge themselves in the pursuit of academic excellence. Their commitment to their education is exemplary and should be commended.

However, these young men and women would not be able to participate in the OML competitions were it not for the support and knowledge of the fundamentals of math given to them by their coaches and teachers. These devoted men and women work many hours a week outside the school day in preparation for these competitions.

I would like to recognize both the foresight of OML's founders, as well as the enduring passion and tireless diligence of the many outstanding teachers who volunteer their time and efforts each school year to make the league a success. In particular, I would like to note the extraordinary commitment of several of OML's most active supporters: Thomas Yamachika, Carl Wheeler, Hank Koszewski, Phil Abe, Clarence Kanja, Lance Suzuki, Clayton Akatsuka, Kathleen Goto, and Amy Yonashiro.

I also want to thank the nine dedicated math teachers and OML coaches, who spend a combined total of 68 hours a week preparing for meets outside of the regular school day and represent more than 180 years of math instruction and service. They are Calvin Fukuhara of Kamehameha School, Michael Park of Iolani School, Tim Cantley and Deborah Kula of Sacred Hearts Academy, Michael Ida of Kalani High School, Carolyn Okunaga of Mililani High School, Chenfu Chiang of Hanalani High School, Hal Parker of Punahou School, and Joyce Kanja of Mid-Pacific Institute.

As an educator and former principal, I know firsthand about the countless hours that go into student extracurricular activities when the school day ends. It makes me proud to see these outstanding educators embody the spirit of service. Their dedication to their field and to the students of Hawaii is undeniable. I send my best wishes to the students, their families, teachers, and coaches and to the Oahu Math League for continued success in the future.