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Gifted teacher Rebecca Wimmer retires after 46 years of helping children

By Staff | Jun 11, 2020

Students celebrate King Kamehameha III Elementary School teacher Rebecca Wimmer’s birthday on Feb. 14. The well-respected educator of 46 years retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

LAHAINA – After 46 years, King Kamehameha III (KKIII) Elementary School teacher Rebecca Wimmer has retired at the top of her game.

Well-respected and recognized by her peers, she is a glittering role model.

“In her classroom,” Principal Steve Franz said, “no child was left behind.”

The native of Texas moved to Maui in 1995, and she spent her teaching years here in the classroom at KKIII, “mostly first and second grade,” she said.

“I wanted to live in a small community where many know who you are and care about what you’re involved in,” Wimmer confided to Lahaina News.

Well-educated, she attended the University of Texas in Arlington, earning a degree in Education; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Bachelor of Education, Elementary; University of Victoria, post grad; and University of Hawaii, Masters of Education, Elementary.

“Ms. Wimmer has always been committed to her craft,” Franz observed, “and continues to learn and grow.

“Even during the fourth quarter (2020) distance learning environment, Ms. Wimmer continued to learn and apply new skills to better serve her students. Her work ethic and commitment to excellence are traits every teacher can aspire to possess.”

Ms. Wimmer agreed: “Sometimes you are in the business of persuasion, because the scholars you work with don’t always grasp the full extent of their potential.

“That is why educators never stop learning,” Wimmer continued. “Teachers are always looking for a route that will capture the curiosity in their scholars. Our goal is to encourage the pursuit of life-long learning.”

Wimmer described the reasons for her career choice.

“In this profession, you get to glimpse the future. You get to see the budding potential of those that can make a difference as adults. It requires much nurturing and care.”

Special Education teacher Justin Hughey has high respect for his fellow teacher.

“Miss Wimmer dedicated 100 percent of her life to the children of West Maui. Her car was always one of the last to leave campus five days a week.

“She did everything she could to ensure all of her students succeeded and developed a joy of learning,” Hughey added.

“Ms. Wimmer has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students and families in our Lahaina community,” Franz advised. “She has truly been a blessing to many over her long career at King Kamehameha III School.”

Vice Principal Brandon Ueki described her commitment: “Ms. Wimmer devotes her entirety to ALL of her students. She is a selfless educator in always putting the students first. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. She refers to her endless passion of teaching as a labor of love.”

“Not only did she consistently make the time for her students,” Ueki explained, “she also made time to help her colleagues and staff. She is as dedicated and devoted as they come.

“While she will be greatly missed, her King Kamehameha III family congratulates her on helping many students achieve academic and lifelong success.”

What Wimmer will miss most is that “aha moment” – “when I witness a reluctant learner understand the power they have to control their own learning.”

Otherwise, she’ll be fostering her creative side – writing, painting, crocheting, embroidery, crafts and travel.

On her bucket list is New Zealand.