ISTE/HSTE Making IT Happen Award

The Making IT Happen award honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students. Since its inception in 1995 more than 600 educators from around the world have received the award.

The spirit of the Making IT Happen award supports our vision of a world in which all learners thrive, achieve and contribute.

The Hawai’i Society of Technology in Education, an affiliate of ISTE, will award two winners this year. The winners will be honored at the SOTF Conference. Learn more about the Making IT Happen Award

Award Recipients are Educators Who:

  • Apply available technology now
  • Move forward and don't look back
  • See students as real people
  • Teach through relationships and are inspiring, encouraging and nurturing
  • Recognize that further change is necessary but understand that it is a process
  • Realize that teacher empowerment is the key element in technology integration
  • Expect success
  • Motivate through awareness and access to information

Award Package Includes:

  • An embroidered Making IT Happen jacket
  • A certificate of recognition
  • A one-year individual ISTE membership
  • A 2018 Schools of the Future Conference Registration


Submit nominations by October 7, 2018

Learn more about the Making IT Happen Award or send an email to

List of Previous ISTE/HSTE Making IT Happen Award Winners:

  • 2018 - Melissa Mano and Trisha Morgan

  • 2017 - Laurel Oshiro and Karen Harris

  • 2016 - Shane Asselstine and Michael Fricano II

  • 2015 - Michelle Carlson Colte and Linda Lindsay

  • 2014 - Jordan Higa and Mike Travis

The 2018 ISTE Making IT Happen Award Winners

Melissa Mano
Career and Technical Education (CTE) District Educational Specialist

As a teacher, the reward was always working with the students. When I decided to work at the school district, I was unsure if I was going to like it. I did not know if the job would be motivating if I was not working with students. The first time I set foot on another school's campus, I quickly realized how motivating and rewarding it is to support teachers and schools. I then learned that in order to support students, we must support our teachers. This is what keeps me motivated each and every day and this is what keeps me enjoying my job.

Trish Morgan
STEM and Math Teacher at Stevenson Middle School

"Today, we are undergoing one of the most significant technological revolutions in education. The need to prepare students for today’s world demands that education develop an array of 21st century skills, which includes critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and innovation. I am passionate about creating a learning environment to help students develop these skills so they can function, learn, and adapt to the changing workforce.

My main objective as a teacher is to open the door for students and give them the opportunity to explore their own curiosities while developing new skills with the latest technology so they can become creative and innovative out-of-the box thinkers and problem solvers."

The 2017 ISTE Making IT Happen Award Winners

Laurel Oshiro
Sacred Hearts Academy

Since 2012, I have had the pleasure of developing and coordinating iTeach808: Empowering Hawaii’s Teachers In Technology conferences sponsored by Sacred Hearts Academy and the Augustine Educational Foundation. iTeach808 is a series of free professional development workshops in technology for Hawaii’s teachers. iTeach808 has helped to strengthen our school communities and align teachers’ curriculum with 21st Century learning standards. My passion is to give Hawaii’s teachers the tools to help their students contribute to a thriving global society through technology. Every year, we have about 200 participants from more than 40 different schools. 95% of participants have said that they could apply what they’ve learned directly to their classroom. Many people shared with me that they are happy that this type of grassroots conference came about and want more so we are looking forward to continuing to promote collaboration & a growing sense of community among Hawaii’s educators.

Karen Harris
Holualoa Elementary

Learning should be fun, as it inspires motivation to engage in life. The dynamic team I work with at Holualoa has helped me to achieve my goals as an educator. I have seen kids thrive in the programs we participate and coach including: First Lego League, Junior First Lego League, Vex IQ, and CoderDojo Holualoa. As a GAFE school administrator since 2011, HSTE board member since 2013, THINKfund recipient (2015-2016), and CoderDojo Holualoa co-founder I continue to think about how to create meaningful experiences and inspiring spaces. As an Educational Technology coach I hope to scale computer literacy and to encourage creativity and critical thinking to keep education meaningful, relevant, and … fun!

The 2016 ISTE Making IT Happen Award Winners

Shane Asselstine
Technology Integration Specialist at Momilani Elementary

Shane Asselstine is a Technology Integration Specialist at Momilani Elementary School. With a degree in architecture and work experience in information technology, Shane Asselstine comes with rare perspectives on technology integration in education. He says the most important part of his job is helping to integrate technology, encourage, and inspire. He is a pioneer with game-based learning in the classroom using Minecraft, KerbalEdu and Contraption Maker to ignite learning. Recently, he integrates coding and computer science. He was named the Affiliate for Hawaii and provides training to integrate computer science by bringing awareness to coding as a new literacy.

Presenter at HITC, GAFE Summit, SOFT, ISTE, Minecon, and ICEM. Interviewed by Scholastic MATH Mag, HPR and The Journal. Authored a chapter in “Minecraft in the Classroom.” Supports schools like Punahou, Kamehameha, and Sacred Hearts to name a few.

Takes part in online meetups like EdChatHi, Google Rocks! HI and EdTech Mixed Plate. He is on the EdCamp Honolulu team, the UoP College of Ed, Community Advisory Board, and a guest lecturer at UH College of Ed. He has dreamt, built, shared, taught, laughed, and walked with learners of all ages and skills.

Michael Fricano II
Technology Integration Specialist at ‘Iolani Schools

Michael Fricano II bleeds Information Technology!

He is:

  • Technology Integration Specialist at 'Iolani School
  • Google for Education Certified Trainer
  • Co-Founder of EdCamp Honolulu
  • Co-Host of "EdTech Mixed Plate" Google+ Hangout
  • Frequent conference presenter
  • President Elect on the Executive Board of HSTE
  • Director of Social Media & Teacher Architect for The Janus Group
  • An award- winning blogger ( - 2015 Must-Read K-12 I.T. Blog)

University Lab School's Marybeth Baldwin reports: "Mike is the backbone of the GEG Hawaii. ... Mike is also an extremely active Google Education Trainer who makes some of the latest in educational technology understandable and accessible to teachers. He is an engaging and patient trainer who provides high-quality resources via his awesome website."

'Iolani School's Karen Neitzel notes: "Michael has done so much to support 'Iolani's faculty and students in their use of technology. He has run live and virtual workshops on a variety of topics from ibook author to Google glass. He jumped into our maker space and will be teaching a Make it 101 class to our students this coming year, helping us host our first "playground" conference. He will continue to support our faculty in their successful integration of technology into the classroom."

Michael Fricano II is a dedicated, generous, and forward-thinking educator, and he is definitely Making IT Happen.

The 2015 ISTE Making IT Happen Award Winners

Michelle Carlson Colte
Librarian at Hale Kula Elementary

Michelle never sleeps. Her persistent wondering, “What if…?” has led her team of Hale Kula teachers and students to connect with experts via Google Hangouts, synthesize learning through Minecraft, employ design thinking with school wide participation in the Cardboard Challenge and most recently, delve into Augmented Reality with 2nd graders. As the librarian at Hale Kula Elementary School, she helps teachers integrate digital and information literacy into their instruction and provides many opportunities for students to develop information and media literacy. Michelle helped her school implement one of the first Blended Learning programs at the elementary level and introduced her teachers to Google Apps for Education. Michelle received the inaugural School Librarian of the Year award from School Library Journal and Scholastic Library Publishing. In 2013, she attended the Google Certified Teacher Academy in Sydney and the Teaching With Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute at the Library of Congress. She realized "anyone can code" when she received a $10,000 grant from for her entire school's participation in the Hour of Code. Michelle participates on two local Google Hangouts for educators: Linda Lindsay’s “Google Rocks” and “EdTech Mixed Plate.” She is a co-founder & co-moderator of #edchathi and the co-chair of Hawaii’s Nene Committee.

Linda Lindsay
Librarian at Seabury Hall

Linda Lindsay is the librarian at Seabury Hall, a college-preparatory Gr. 6-12 independent school, on the island of Maui. She is a Google Certified Teacher and an authorized Google Education Trainer. Linda is keenly interested in integration of technology in the classroom, social media best practices, digital literacy for students, and books and reading for everyone. She moderates Google Rocks! Hawaii, a weekly hangout-on-air by and for Hawaii educators, and maintains two professional blogs: mauilibrarian2 in Olinda, and SEABURY READS. When not connecting online, Linda enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with family.

The 2014 ISTE Making IT Happen Award Winners

In 2013, HSTE presented the ISTE Making IT Happen Award for the first time. This award is presented by HSTE as an affiliate of ISTE and recognizes our local educational technology leaders who are doing fantastic things and deserve to be honored at the national level.

Mike Travis and Jordan Higa

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