2019 Hawai'i ACTE Award Winner - Teacher Educator of the Year
This award recognizes teacher educators who have demonstrated innovation in teacher education, leadership in improving CTE, and commitment to preparing teachers to deliver high quality CTE programs.
Leeward Community College
Ms. Roberta “Bobbie” Martel has forever changed the face of Teacher Education in the state of Hawai‘i through her innovative approaches to increasing access to higher education for aspiring teachers, her pursuit of partnerships with educational and community partners to enhance the CTE student experience, and her unrelenting, authentic passion to “change the world, one student at a time.”
Bobbie has over 40 years serving as an educator in K-20 environments. She came to Hawai‘i in Spring 2006 and was hired as the only instructor for Leeward Community College’s emerging Teacher Education Program. Bobbie worked to build the foundation for a Teacher Education program grounded in principles of accessibility, diversity, innovation, and standards-based, industry-validated curriculum. She developed all five of the core Education courses, that are still taught today, as well as worked with the program’s coordinator and counselor to create Hawai‘i’s first and only Associate in Science in Teaching degree. By 2008, Bobbie had assumed the role of Coordinator while she continued teaching. Within a decade, Bobbie was promoted three times to full professor and spearheaded countless initiatives and proposals with a “Yes, we can!” vigor.
● AST grew from 24 students to nearly 450 students each semester and has produced over 900 graduates.
● The Teacher Education staff tripled in size and now employs approximately 10 full time faculty and staff and 10 lecturers.
● The facilities for Teacher Education students grew from two classroom spaces and a utility closet to a three-story Ka ‘Imi ‘Ike Education Building that is equipped with smart classrooms, faculty office spaces, a conference room, and a “home away from home” student resource room and study area. This was the first building the college built since its opening in 1968 and the legislative funding support was largely due to the need for teachers in Hawai‘i and the success of the TEP under Bobbie’s leadership.
● After years of continuous negotiations, the TEP was able to secure articulation agreements with Hawai‘i’s top producing Bachelor degree teacher licensure programs (i.e., University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of Hawai‘i at West ‘Oahu, Chaminade University, University of Phoenix, and Western Governor’s University) for seamless transfer of students from the AST to B.Ed programs.
● The TEP offerings expanded from the initial AST degree to offering three additional Certificates of Competence (i.e., two Special Education certificates, one Indigenous Methodology certificate) and two fully- accredited teacher licensure credentialing programs (i.e. Alternative Certification for CTE Teacher Licensure and Advanced Professional Certificate in Special Education). These two licensure programs are the first alternative licensure pathway programs to be offered by a community college in the state of Hawai‘i.
It is virtually impossible to articulate the magnitude of positive change originated from one passionate educator. Conservative estimates indicate that Bobbie has impacted at least 1000 student teachers who will then go on to influence the lives of thousands more throughout the world.