Kalani Welcomes Mr. Sumida!

Jasmine Rossiter and Lauren Vierra

A Kalani alumni, lover of dogs, the outdoors, and the Texas Rangers — thereʻs much more to new Kalani High science teacher Chase Sumida then you might assume. 

Photo courtesy of Chase Sumida 2020.

Sumidaʻs a Mānoa dweller and he says he’s a huge fan of sleeping. When heʻs not in the classroom inspiring teens, he spends his free time hanging out with friends and family, playing softball, hiking, and going to the beach. 

“I think what inspires me is one, seeing others achieve their goals and working hard to get there and two, my family and friends,” he says. “All the hard work and dedication that they have to their careers and families are inspiring.”

He came back to his Alma Mater, to his roots, to “make a difference in studentsʻ lives as my teachers have done for me.” And so he has. 

“He’s very nice and hardworking and it’s fun to learn,” Kirra Hartney (11) states. “Heʻs really intriguing.” 

With COVID-19 taking a toll on schools everywhere, his students say that he helps them learn from home with great enthusiasm.

“He sets up the classes well online so I feel like I’m still learning even if I’m not in school,” Mina Kohara (10) expresses. “For some classes, having it online can make it incredibly confusing but for the most part in chemistry I understand what’s going on.”

Mr. Sumida is a self-described “lover of dogs” including his four-legged friend, Chipper. Photo courtesy of Chase Sumida 2020.

Knowing he wanted to inspire kids, teaching wasnʻt Sumidaʻs first choice. He was initially set on working in the health field; however, that did not work out as he found flaws along the way and needed to think if medical school was truly right for him.

To Sumida, his interests have always been centered around the sciences; he did major in chemistry, after all. He loves, in particular, how with science “we get to understand how the world works!”

After his idea of the future changed, he shifted his focus towards teaching. 

“Throughout college, I held many student teaching assistant roles as well as tutoring positions that got me interested in teaching others,” Sumida says. “From there, I thought of ways I could connect science and teaching together… and bam science high school teacher.”