Position: Vice Principal, Grade 10
School: Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School
School District: Honolulu
City, State: Honolulu, Hawaii
About the Nominee: Being a Vice Principal in a large high school is a very difficult job. Despite his many job responsibilities ranging from academics to discipline, Ronald Oyama has a passion for working with student athletes. Mr. Oyama has changed the lives of many high school athletes by giving them an opportunity to extend their student-athlete lives through attending a post high school institution. He tracks student athletes and counsels them on college aspirations. Most of them want to go to college to play sports, but they struggle when trying to get into the colleges of their choice. Sometime, the student-athletes feel their family commitments in Hawaii are too strong for them to go away to college. Through his contacts in junior colleges, Mr. Oyama gives student-athletes a chance by seeking opportunities on the mainland. He talks to coaches to find out their needs, and if there is a student-athlete that fits their needs, he begins the process of talking to them and getting their parents involved in the planning.
There is so much evidence of Mr. Oyama enriching the lives of these student athletes by extending their educational progress through enrolling them in different Junior Colleges. For example, an at-risk volleyball student attended Taft Junior College, then transferred to Missouri Baptist to play volleyball and, more importantly, graduate with their Bachelor's degree. Another example is a different volleyball player who attended Blinn College in Texas, then transferring to Tulsa University. A girls' basketball player is also at Blinn College. Mr. Oyama sent football players all over California and one to Nebraska. These students continue to play football. One big success story is about a struggling football player who went to Arizona Western. He was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to the University of Utah, where he now is on his way to his Bachelor's degree and starting defense on the football team.
If it wasn't for Mr. Oyama, these students would have stayed home. They get to live their dream of possibly getting their Bachelor's degree and extending their playing careers in their respective sports. Mr. Oyama is also in charge of his school's Sports Academy, where he collaborates with classroom teachers to give students experiences in sports marketing and different sports fields. He recently partnered with the World Surfing League, where students will benefit from their experience of running a huge sports company that focuses on surfing. The students recently put on an assembly in front of 2400 students and faculty celebrating two surfers, Ben Aipa and Carissa Moore.
Kudos to Mr. Oyama for his passion and dedication to students at Farrington High School, he is a LifeChanger!