My Turn: A teacher who shows anything is possible

With a lot of negative and anxiety-provoking news, I would like to share a positive and encouraging story.

These unprecedented times are very challenging to say the least. Most people will meet the challenge and adjust, but than their are those that excel and exceed everyone’s expectation.


Teachers are in the toughest position of their carreer. Some teachers are struggling to adjust to the new way of teaching, while others are reluctant to return to work out of fear of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has impacted everyone’s life in many ways.

Teachers are in a position to act as a powerful and effective means. Successful teachers are those that have the ability to maximize the learning potential of their students under any circumstance.

Mrs. Courtney Matsuo, my son’s second grade teacher at Waimea Elementary School, has risen to the occasion, adjusted, prepared and worked tirelessly to put our kids first. Through her diligent preparation, she has put students and parents at ease, setting them up for a successful start into this most unusual and challenging school year. Even throughout this time of distance-learning, it is possible for students to be taught from a far by highly trained, highly motivated teachers. Mrs. Matsuo is working on positive relationships with her students and parents, which in turn will promote good social and academic outcomes. She has been available at all times, which, of course, is not expected of any teacher, but she is anyways. Mrs. Matsuo also created her own website with a student and parent portal, and provided blended learning folder with organized website signings and passwords individualized for each student, a detailed outline of the upcoming weeks and a suggested daily schedule. She set boundaries by relaying her expectations.

There’s no doubt that Mrs. Matsuo worked tirelessly and for long hours to be prepared the way she has been. My son’s teacher teaches with enthusiasm and passion. She is so sweet and humble; I don’t know if she’s ever aware of the impact she has. I am so appreciative of what she has done. Mrs. Matsuo in my book wins the teacher of the year award.


Thank you, Mrs. Matsuo for doing what you’re doing no matter what and for being the most wonderful teacher to our young ones. You are setting an example for other teachers to look up to. You have set the bar very high and shown that anything is possible.

Franziska Bass is a resident of Waimea.