We are Growing Our Own Teachers on Kauai, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting Kauai’s aspiring student teachers to complete their education.

Our goal is to provide grants to teacher candidates entering their final student teaching semester who are in need of financial assistance. We have expanded our reach recently to include aspiring secondary educators. We have also reached past the University of Hawaii and included students from other teacher credentials programs. As always, recipients must have strong ties to Kauai and be willing to teach for at least three years on Kauai after they graduate. 

*Please note that we are NOT affiliated with UH Manoa and HIDOE’s Grow Our Own Teachers Initiative program. 

Our Spring 2024 recipients are an exceptional pair: Kaylee Langtad and Mary Theresa Cabanatan. Like all of our recipients, they are dedicated to their teaching careers and come highly recommended by their program teachers and mentors. Kaylee and Mary are pursuing their Bachelor of Education degrees in Early Childhood and Early Childhood with a Special Education Component.  Truly hard work and a great addition to our school educators because we need more special education teachers. 

Kaylee says that she never thought of being a teacher while growing up, but while working on her Liberal Arts degree at Kauai Community College, she took some classes in Early Childhood Education and “it seemed like a perfect fit.” Later, when she started working in the classrooms, “it all started to feel like my calling.” 

Mary, who is also a certified substitute teacher, expressed her teaching experiences with excitement. Becoming a teacher “…has been a dream of mine ever since I was in elementary school!” She worked as a long-term substititute teacher at Koloa Elementary which solidified her resolve to become a full time teacher on Kauai. 

Both recipients have taken different roads to get to the same place — their final semester in their Baccalaureate programs. Neither road has been easy, but they have found a way to get here and it is our hope to help them get to the finish line! Congratulations to these two for all they have accomplished thus far and for all they will achieve in the future. 


For those who are entering their final student teaching semester in the Fall of 2024, the deadline to apply will be upon us before we know it! Get started now because your advisors must supply you with  their recommendations! We must receive your application and supporting documents by June 30, 2024. Visit our Student Teaching Grant Application page for details and forms.

With the lack of teachers on Kauai at a critical point, Growing Our Own Teachers on Kauai is dedicated to identifying the ways in which we can help alleviate this issue. We welcome your thoughts, your time, and your donations to further our cause. 

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2024 HLTA Charity Walk

We are participating in the 45th annual HLTA Charity Walk Kauai on May 4, 2024! Our goal is to reach $3,000 and we are on our way, but we need more support! When you register to join our walking team ($50) or make a donation, you help us help the HLTA. Then the HLTA disperses the funds to the participating Kauai charities — every dollar they raise on Kauai stays on Kauai! What a great way to support us and all the Kauai charities involved in the event! Consider growing our team by registering to walk with us! Or make a donation. Every little bit helps! All you have to do is go to https://bit.ly/gootok, and click on the “Register or Donate” button or text KAUAI2060 to 71777. 


Kauai Teacher Appreciation Week

While we appreciate our teachers every day, May 6th through 10th is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  This year, we will have special “Thank You” cards at our booth at the HLTA Charity Walk. students can fill out a special card expressing their thanks to a special teacher (no donation required). During the week, we will deliver those cards to the teachers so they know their students appreciate them.  

In addition, on May 7th, we will present a proclamation to our Mayor, the Honorable Derek S.K. Kawakami for his signature. The proclamation declares May 6th through 10th KAUAI Teacher Appreciation Week and urges that all citizens observe the week with activities promoting the appreciation of our Kauai teachers.

If you cannot attend the Charity Walk, but you want to recognize a special teacher, please email us at contactus@growingkauaiteachers.org. We can work something out for you.