King Kamehameha III Elementary School educator pens book on teaching in Hawaii
KAHANA – Kahana resident and educator David Perry Brown recently released his second self-published book, “America’s Best Job: Teaching in Hawaii.”
The 120-pager is Brown’s testament to teaching on Maui at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina the past two years.
Born and raised in Southern California, the 60-year-old author graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
As a Special Education teacher, Brown taught for 30 years in the California public school system.
“Then I was retired for five years,” Brown said and continued, “My family came here on an extended vacation in 2005.”
It was during his lengthy post-retirement, on-island retreat that he fell in love with “the green jewel sitting next to the Banyan Tree” in historic Lahaina.
“I walked by the elementary school while we were here on vacation, probably in 2011. I said to my wife, ‘You know, it might be kind of fun to teach at this school someday.’ “
“Then a couple of years later, it worked out,” and Brown has been teaching at the elementary school since 2015 as a fifth grade Special Education teacher on the 800-student campus.
In an interview, Brown told the Lahaina News why he thinks teaching at Kamehameha III is the best job in the country.
His number one captivation, he said, is the students.
“For two years now, the nicest kids I’ve ever worked with are right here in Lahaina – much nicer than any kids I worked with in California as a group. Just all of them are delightful, delightful young people,” he said.
Working with the awesome staff of fellow teachers was the second on his list.
“It’s like a big green emerald down there; it’s a jewel for the whole West Side as far as great kids, great teachers, great administrators and all the great, great people who work at the school.”
Items three and four on the catalog of allures are, respectively: “the support of the school and also the school district for teachers” and finally “life on West Maui.”
In describing the benevolence of the community in support of its children, Brown is awe-struck, enthusiastic and sincere.
“There’s a tremendous amount of support for our school,” Brown observed.
“I am blown away by how much the Hula Grill does in recognition of our school,” Brown added. “They give awards; they bring in lunches – sometimes for the teachers. They give gift certificates – many, many times during the year, generous gift certificates. Plus all sorts of other restaurants and businesses donate to the school for the kids.
“It’s just really, really generous. I have been thanked more in one year for teaching over here by community members than I was thanked in 30 years of teaching in California.”
Brown’s advice to state Department of Education is spot on target.
“I think that the main thing that the state could do to improve education dramatically is to give all the teachers a $20,000 raise. It’s not easy, but it’s a very simple thing.
“Hawaii salaries are not very high compared to California and a lot of other states; $20,000 more per teacher – boom,” and things would get better, he advised.
“America’s Best Job: Teaching in Hawaii” is available through Amazon: $5 for Kindle and $9.99 paperback.
His first publication, entitled “Why Teachers Quit But Firefighters Don’t,” is also available on Amazon.
Brown described the potential readership of “America’s Best Job.”
“If they have any interest in teaching or students or schools or Hawaii, specifically Maui, then I think they would enjoy reading this book,” he said.
One reader on Amazon reviewed the experience: “Great book. Funny, insightful, and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m ready to move to the Islands.
I highly recommend this book.”