Elementary education major Matthew Lawrence ’00 is Hawaii’s 2014 State Teacher of the Year, and an automatic contender for the National Teacher of the Year honor this spring.

He was selected from more than 11,000 educators for the honor, which comes after 13 years of teaching math and science at Waikiki Elementary. A National Board Certified Teacher, he keeps students intrigued and engaged with projects that include building climbing walls, solar powered go-carts, model homes, and a tennis-ball launcher.

Lawrence’s students also created a bicycle generator that powered six bulbs and kept the class lights on during a power outage.