Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Mathematics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University Hawaii Hilo
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Not yet applicable
Aloha. My name is Ashlee Keolalaulani Kalauli. I was born in San Diego, CA, but raised on the Big Island of Hawaii in the small town of Honoka’a. I attended the small schools of Honoka’a Elementary and Pa’auilo Intermediate. Striving for all that I could, I was accepted to the prestigious Kamehameha Schools Hawaii where I finished my high school career. Being a Native Hawaiian, any bit of knowledge, any ounce of thought, and any subject or experienced learned through my education will lead to benefit the Native Hawaiian Community. All knowledge that I hope to gain with the continuation of my education will feed the desire of Native Hawaiians to be recognized as a race, as a culture, and as a people. I would be honored to be a part of this recognition. Many people see college as a means to an end, but I’ve seen my path through college as a map into my future. Upon entering college, I felt like a small fish in a big sea. Going to college wasn’t a dramatic move across the states, instead it was an emotional and psychological leap into all that was to come. From being a face in the crowd as an undeclared freshman, in two years, after strong performances in the classroom and out, I was presented with opportunities of a lifetime. After just a year of college, I was able to decide on a course of study while being pulled towards an honorable profession. As if I put my life into my college’s hands, it has begun to shape and mold the person I will become in the near future, and I can only hope that it will continue to have an everlasting effect on the person I will make of myself.
Why do you want to teach:
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the educators of our society as they had a hand in creating and shaping the bold and industrious men and women of our country. On the other hand, I find that being the educator—being trusted with the opportunity to teach a willing individual—is nothing short of an unseen fortune. The most rewarding experiences of my life have come from seeing the students who I’ve helped do well. To live a life fueled by these experiences is more than anyone could ever ask for. I’d be honored and humbled with the opportunity to teach secondary mathematics.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I’ve discovered that nothing is more solidifying than when students are given the opportunity to learn concepts themselves. Students who can take what they are taught by a teacher and develop their own unique processes and generalizations, usually find success. I was able to bear witness to this myself when working with Hawaii’s diverse local students by giving them the opportunity to find ways to make content work for them instead of fighting to grasp hold of it themselves. I now bring it upon myself to recognize the different routes students may stray towards, and in turn, provide for these students a shining light or a bump in the right direction, ultimately allowing them to draw conclusions on their own. I have welcomed the suggestion of a career in education after seeing students who once struggled beam with accomplishment after aiding them through a unique self-learning process. A career dedicated to such experiences, where I would continually be rewarded with not just the gift of knowledge, but the personal benefit that goes along with it would be a dream come true.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Being a HiNTS (Hawaii Noyce Teacher Scholarship) scholar has been nothing short of a dream come true. Our cohort has just recently been oriented on the expectations and the opportunities that lie ahead. I am truly excited to work closely with my fellow HiNTS scholars and faculty advisors to one day become an effective and promising educator.