adieu & a hui hou by della au Belatti ‘92, MHS teacher 1996-2001 photography by Kyle roche
eaCh neW sChooL year brings new faces, new hopes, and new challenges to school campuses across Hawai‘i. Yet despite the “new-ness” of any given school year, generations of Maryknoll students could rely on the constant and reassuring presence of special teachers who – year after year – made the Maryknoll experience truly memorable. With more than ninety-five years of collective teaching experience combined at Maryknoll High School, teachers Elliott Chamizo, ‘61, Joseph Miller, and Natalie Morey are a trio of such special teachers who roamed the halls of Maryknoll, inspiring with their commitment to their students and their passion for classroom learning. In May 2016, a major chapter in Maryknoll’s history closed with the retirements of these extraordinary teachers, who had devoted the vast majority of their teaching careers to the students and families of Maryknoll School. teachers. Colleagues. mentors. Friends. In my journey as a Maryknoll Spartan, I have had the true honor of knowing Elliott, Joe, and Natalie as all of these things – teachers, colleagues, mentors and friends. Perhaps only second to his loyalty to Maryknoll, former students will remember Elliott Chamizo, ‘61, for his equally
enthusiastic devotion to his “other” alma mater, Seattle University. Recognized for his many years as Maryknoll’s Yearbook and Senior Class Advisors, students who have traversed through Mr. Chamizo’s English and Yearbook classes will remember him for his colorful stories and his encouragement to spread their wings once they left Maryknoll. As a colleague, however, I truly came to appreciate how Elliott was the overall keeper of knowledge of all things related to Maryknoll, demonstrating that he is truly a lifelong Spartan. Joseph “Joe” Miller has long been Maryknoll’s “Renaissance Man.” From my perspective as a student, Mr. Miller’s talents as a musician, storyteller, and philosopher brought to life the religion courses he taught. As a colleague, it was Joe’s commitment to social justice and the ways in which he infused that commitment into both his classrooms and in his interactions in faculty meetings and professional development settings that inspired students and teachers alike to experience God’s presence in all of our communities. natalie Morey and her belief in the worth of all students was something that I was lucky to experience as a student, but even more blessed to emulate as a young teacher. Many will probably remember Mrs. Morey for her particularities: her
For decades, lively educator elliot Chamizo brought creativity, perspective, and encouragement to go beyond the norm.
Joe miller brought any classroom to life and inspired engagement with ease. obsessively neat classrooms, her journal prompts, and her constant quest to get students to read and write. As a young teacher who developed and taught a joint English-World History curriculum with Natalie, I saw up close the amazing professionalism of a true teacher-leader who was committed to her craft of teaching. She understood what it meant to be a lifelong learner even as a veteran teacher with many years of experience. She was someone who wanted to share that craft and passion with younger teachers so that they could excel in their own careers. Lessons learned. So as the 2016-2017 school year opens, I am a little saddened that future generations of Maryknoll students will not be able to experience the gifts of Elliott, Joe, and Natalie as I, and so many others, have experienced. But I am also reminded about a lesson learned from the curriculum Natalie and I developed. One of the themes we focused our students on was the theme of change and the notion that the only constant in life was change. As we bid adieu and a hui hou to these three amazing teachers, members of the Maryknoll ‘ohana are excited for Elliott, Joe, and Natalie as they move into the next chapters of their lives and are eternally grateful for all that they have done to teach, challenge, inspire, and encourage the students and colleagues who they have encountered in their decades of service to Maryknoll.