Media Teacher of the Year

ʻŌlelo Community Media presented our first annual YXC Media Teacher Award, powered by Alaska Airlines. The honor was introduced this year as a “people’s choice” award determined by a combination of votes from students, family, teachers, and school administrators; along with impact statements provided in support of teachers.

Alaska Airlines, a company dedicated to lifting people up, proudly sponsored the Media Teacher Award in recognition of the importance of media literacy in the education of today’s keiki. The teacher with the most votes and the most impactful stories wins a round trip for 2 to any destination served by Alaska Airlines and was be recognized on this year’s live broadcast of the Youth Xchange Awards Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

The winner of ʻŌlelo’s YXC Media Teacher Award as voted by her students and the community at large was Norma Gonzalez, Moanalua Elementary School.

Pictured: Norma Gonzalez with Daniel Chun, Alaska Airlines Sales, Community & Public Relations Director – Hawai‘i.

Here are some of the community’s comments submitted with their votes:

No one is more deserving of this honor Than Mrs. G (as she is known to her students). For as long as I have known her, she has always been passionate about teaching and technology. When the opportunity came to be the tech teacher at Moanalua Elementary, she jumped right in. She found ways to excite the students about technology in school, and beyond the computer games. Her passion for technology was shared with her students. You will often see students after school or with her during recess working on assignments that are beyond the books and paper, but with equipment such as a camera, computer, and microphone. Their final products are then shared with the school. And let me tell you, we always look forward to watching the MES news. She has committed several hours of personal time to help her students excel in their technology assignments, and what better way to show her our appreciation than to award her with this prestigious honor.


Norma doesn’t just teach kids at school. She leads them on a lifelong path by giving them skills and common sense along with their education. She seeks out strengths in each student and builds in the weaknesses. Norma allows students to grow together helping each other and bring creative. She is a mindful guardian of all those young souls and helps them exceed their own expectations while working with parents, colleagues, and the community.


Dedicated ~ Knowledgeable ~ Inspiring ~ Innovative Norma is an exceptional and motivational instructor. Every day she encourages students, and meets them where they are, by assessing their needs and strengths. Ms. Gonzalez is loved and appreciated by students, parents, and other staff. She is supportive of staff and freely lends her knowledge and expertise to help colleagues as they learn how to navigate the new media tools.


Mrs. G consistently goes out of her way to create meaningful, educational, engaging, and fun learning opportunities and projects for her students. She gives of her own time above and beyond the scheduled after school class sessions. The encouragement and active participation she gives throughout each project creates a wonderful space for her students to explore their ideas and learn through their experiences.


Mrs. G is an inspiration to my daughter and all her students regarding media. She has instilled a love for broadcast media, animation, and video editing with my daughter so much that she wants to be a video editor as her professional career goal. She motivates and encourages her media students and always supports them for all their troubles and needs and successes. Moanalua Elementary has the best elementary media teacher in Hawaii!


I think that Ms. Gonzalez will win YXC Media Teacher award because she is our best tech teacher that helped us with our videos and other tech stuff that we do and coding also.

Ms. Gonzalez was recently featured on Hawaiʻi Public Radio to discuss her award. Listen to the feature HERE.

Relive Ms. Gonzalez’s win at the 19th annual Youth Xchange awards banquet held on April 20, 2022:

We would also like to recognize two second and third place finalists from Middle and High School divisions.  These finalists received Sony HD video camcorders to take back to their classrooms. 

  • Lori Ann Koyama, Lahaina Intermediate School 
  • Tanya Misi, Henry J. Kaiser High School 


Pictured: Norma Gonzalez and the students of Moanalua Elementary School.