Skip to main content

Teacher Lives Values

November 1, 2015
  • Henry Renteria

Henry Renteria has participated in the Great Aloha Run since 1986.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from California State College in Los Angeles with a BA in English and an MA in Spanish, I was debating doing a PhD. One day, while still making that decision, I walked past the job placement office at the university and saw a listing for a teaching post in Hawai'i. It sounded interesting so I applied and my long adventure in Hawai‘i began.

"As a former English teacher this is the best investment I could make. Creating a legacy at the University of Hawai‘i is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

I taught for two years in Honokaa on the Big Island. Then I transferred to Oahu where I developed English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency in Secondary Education at Kailua High School. I ended up enjoying a very rewarding 30 year teaching career at Kailua HS.

After my retirement I continued to teach ESL in Hawai'i to adults pursuing a GED and to Asian immigrants desirous to improve their English fluency.

I broadened my ESL experience by teaching at the International University of the Americas, the oldest, private university in San Jose, Costa Rica, for 10 years. I also have been teaching and assisting in cultural activities for the Center for Asian Pacific Exchange (CAPE) program at the East-West Center for some years, an ESL experience I still enjoy.

I am passionate about teaching for many reasons. I greatly enjoy the meaningful interactions I share with my students, and seeing how developing proficiency in English, a global language, makes such a big impact on people's lives and future careers. It opens up so many doors.

Perseverance and the utmost confidence to succeed were the core values in my life decisions and professional goals, which I imparted to my students.

Because of my dedication to teaching English, I established a charitable remainder trust and a legacy endowment fund, to provide scholarships for students who are majoring in the field of English. I also make annual contributions to the fund so my fund is already making a difference and I have the honor of knowing the scholarship recipients during my lifetime.

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.