April 4th, 2005

Invocation by Eight Year Old Ms. Teighler Gella

Invocation by Eight Year Old Ms. Teighler Gella on the evening of Thursday, March 24, 2005:

Aloha Speaker Say, honorable representatives and guests. I am happy to be invited back again to give today's invocation. Will you bow your heads and join me in prayer.

God, thank you for allowing us to gather today and for all the hard work that the ladies and gentlemen of the House of Representatives do on behalf of all of us. COntinue to grant them the wisdom to make the best choices possible for our state and for funding programs that helps those wh truly need our help.

Last year for my birthday, I asked the House of Representatives if they can get my parents to buy me a pony. Well, I got a little plastic pony but I really wanted a real one. I know that the representatives have more important decisions to make but if they give my parents a tax credit con the purchase of a real pony, they just might buy it for me for Christmas. I don't know what a tax credit is but my mom asked me to ask you guys and I know it wil probably make her and other moms very happy.

God, thank you for all the blesing you've given in our beautiful state and continue to bless the people of Hawaii and the House of Representatives who are doing their best to make it a better place for me, my family, my friends and future generations to come.


Representative Karamatsu's introduction of Teighler Gella:

Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.Colleagues and guests, I am proud and privileged to introduce Ms Teighler Gella who just did tonight's invocation. Teighler, will you please stand and be recognized? This is her second year presenting the Invocation on my behalf. Teighler is eight years old, going on twenty, and in the Second Grade at Saint Joseph Catholic School in Waipahu. She is bright, charming, and has a great future ahead of her. Will Ms. Rabago please stand and be recognized?

Also joining them is Teighler's aunt and Rep. Blake Oshiro's Office Manager, Reena Rabago. Reena, will you please stand?

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu's Floor Remarks for Waipahu High School Principal Patricia Pederson

Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu's Floor Remarks for Waipahu High School Principal Patricia Pedersen – Monday, March 28, 2005

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, I am honored to recognize an outstanding educator, Ms. Patricia Pedersen, the Principal of Waipahu High School who was named the first recipient of the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award by the Island Insurance Foundation in 2004.

Before I tell you more about Ms. Pedersen, I want to provide you with a perspective of Waipahu High School. With about 2400 students and 250 staff, the home of the Marauders has the largest student population in the Leeward District. The school is very ethnically and culturally diverse.

At Waipahu High School, in addition to the primary focus on educating students in basic skills needed for graduation, there are vocational and college preparation opportunities, athletic programs, leadership programs, and a host of academic and special interest programs to provide for the well-rounded development of each student.

And there, managing it all with her staff is Principal Patricia Pedersen. Such a task could easily overwhelm a person, but Ms. Pedersen excels because she has a vision, is a great communicator, and has the entrepreneurial spirit to creatively and collaboratively overcome obstacles before her. With my mother being a public school teacher, I understand the challenges and sacrifices educators go through.
Ms. Pedersen is a graduate of Star of the Sea High School in Honolulu, the recipient of a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master of Educational Administration degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and became the first female Principal at Waipahu High School in 1997.

She has encouraged students and staff to become involved in the community of Waipahu, making Waipahu High School a major partner in the town's economic and social revitalization. She is accessible and generous in sharing her time and resources, and supporting efforts of her faculty, students, parents and community. She serves as a great role model to her students and our community. As for results, I am proud to say that in the two Waipahu High School graduation ceremonies I attended, one out of every four students graduated with honors, and each class had multiple co-valedictorians.

In 2004, the Island Insurance Foundation established the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award that offered a generous monetary grant to honor a public school principal who embodied the visionary, community-minded and entrepreneurial spirit of Mr. Tokioka.

It is leaders like Ms. Pedersen that will influence a new generation of productive citizens. I am grateful that the Island Insurance Foundation has become a major statewide supporter of educational leadership through programs such as this award.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, at this time it is my honor and privilege to introduce to you, the first recipient of Island Insurance Foundation's Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award, Waipahu High School Principal Patricia Pedersen.

Ms. Pedersen can you please rise?

Joining Ms. Pedersen is her husband, Mr. Ramsey Pedersen. Will Mr. Pedersen please rise?

I am also honored to introduce the Assistant Vice President of the Island Insurance Companies, Mr. Tyler Tokioka. Will Mr. Tokioka please rise?

Also joining us is Waipahu Complex Superintendent, Ms. Karen Moriyama. Will Ms. Moriyama please rise and be recognized?

Also joining us in the gallery is the President of Island Insurance Companies, Mr. John Schapperle. Will Mr. Schapperle please rise and be recognized?

In closing, Ms. Pedersen, thank you for all you have done to educate, motivate and empower your students and staff to become active and involved members of our Waipahu community and our state of Hawaii.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.