Prior to all interviews for this podcast series I ask guests to provide me with a bushel of biographic material, their resumes, stuff they have published in print or online, etc. I use these “artifacts of a life” to build my interview questions. Of all the artifacts Mathieu Williams provided for me this 7th episode interview, a short YouTube video titled “Better | Mamba Forever | Nike” really stood out. I wondered, Why did Mathieu put this item in his portfolio when it is not about him? It’s only 70 seconds but boy oh boy, does it explain our 2019 State Teacher of the Year. At first you think it’s a Nike commercial, and then you think it’s a Nike tribute to Kobe Bryant, but in fact it’s a tribute to those who strive to be better, and better and better. Mathieu Williams was our State Teacher of the Year because he constantly strives to be…better. It’s why I love the man, why I admire him so much, why everyone in Hawaiʻi, public, private, charter and community admires him so much and why his students love working with him. He is the ultimate guide, coach, sponsor and mentor of our Hawaiʻi youth, and for that, we are all grateful. Mathieu has a degree in business administration and web design from Walla Walla University, and a masters in educational leadership from Chaminade University, here in Hawaiʻi. He is a Hope Street Group Hawaiʻi teacher fellow, and a global teacher fellow with Teachers for Global Education. On Hawaiʻi Island in Kona, Mathieu co-designed the Alumni Mentors Program for Teach for America Hawaiʻi to promote increased community engagement and build models of sustainable leadership within schools. He also taught special education, which means he collaborated with co-teachers and paraprofessionals to differentiate instruction for 40 students. Perhaps most importantly, Mathieu is a digital education teacher and mentor/coach for the Hawk Media Productions, a program at Kealakehe Intermediate School on Hawaiʻi Island. His impact on kids over the past decade is simply…staggering. This is a particularly wonderful interview for me because last season Mathieu’s Hawk Media students, Mei Kanada and Marlon Utrera chief among them, did all the post production editing and voice overs for this series. In fact, towards the end of this episode you will hear Mei Kanada talk about what it meant to be our project manager and chief editor. Mei and Uncle Josh, we became a team and I am a better person for it. As always, this season’s post production is by Daniel Gilad at DG Sound Creations. To learn more about Daniel visit his Facebook page. Stay safe, wear your masks and please, give us a rating at your favorite podcast store.