Derek K. Minakami
Kailua High School
451 Ulumanu Drive
Kailua, HI 96734

Physics, Adolescent / Young Adolescent Science, 9–12

Click on the questions to hear Derek K. Minakami's interview at the State Teacher of the Year conference. You must have a Real Player to listen to the interview. If you do not have a Real Player, click on the Real Player graphic:

1) What is one thing that needs to change in order to keep quality teachers in the profession?

Did you (or do you now) have a mentor who was particularly effective and supportive in shaping you as a teacher?


Derek K. Minakami, 2001
State Teacher of the Year, Hawaii
Derek Minakami was born in Los Angeles and raised in Hawaii. He graduated from I'olani School in 1986 and later received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa during the spring of 1991. Derek later graduated with a Masters of Education in Secondary Teaching during the spring of 1993. The following fall, he began working full-time at Kailua High School, where he continues to serve. Derek continues to work with the MET as a mentor teacher. Presently, Derek teaches Conceptual Physics, Physics, and Advanced Placement Physics as well as leadership. Derek is Kailua High School's Science Fair chairperson. He also helps to coordinate the Windward Oahu District Science Fair. His students have competed and received honors at the district, state, and international science and engineering fairs. Derek also serves as a co-advisor for Kailua High School's engineering competition (TEAMS) team.  

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