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February 22, 2020
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35 years an educator

  • Nancy Aiona

By: Irene Hilsendager
April 12, 2019

Nancy Aiona was born in Long Beach, Ca., the youngest of five children. Three brothers and one sister made up this family of warm and friendly people.

In 1973, the family moved to Hilo, Hawaii. Having graduated early from high school, Nancy went to the University of Hawaii for a couple of years take and preparing her undergraduate work.

In 1976, one of her professors told her to go to the states and attend Sonoma State University. She graduated in 1981 with her teaching credentials.

Marguerite Hahn was the very first educational institute that Nancy started to share the meaning of imparting information and understanding to a roomful of students. Six months later, in 1984 a new school, Gold Ridge in the G section was built. Aiona transferred to Gold Ridge and with six teachers and 150 children a friendly and beautiful school was built. It took Nancy 24 years to depart from that school. 

Gold Ridge Elementary was one of the schools in the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District that was closed due to financial problems. When the Gold Ridge School was shuttered, most of the students went to Hahn and Evergreen.

While teaching at Gold Ridge, Nancy felt they were a family; teachers and students. The same comparison and closeness is also at Evergreen and the school has a very strong spirit as all of the teachers care about their students as kindness and trust flows through the school.

Nancy is the queen of the Walk-a-Thon dressed in her blue velvet cape, scepter in hand and three crowns. Everybody in the community knows Nancy is the queen. Even when shopping in grocery stores, she is approached by children that call her queen.

Nancy has had a magnificent time teaching and has discovered she is teaching students that belonged to former students and now are parents.

In Aiona’s 35 years as an educator, she has taught around 800 students and all 800 knew that Nancy was always accessible emotionally or just as a friend to anyone in need.

Nancy is an old soul and says life is so beautiful, especially how she loves and respects the community and the community loves her in return.

Aiona loves Dr. Seuss Day, getting dressed in her costume, reading to many classes and making green eggs and ham for 100 students. 

When asked what her future holds for her after 35 years, she says that she plans on purchasing a condo in Hawaii and spending time walking the warm sandy beach with her daughter. 

This coming summer, Nancy is taking a long trip along with family to Luxembourg, a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany where she has family roots.

Nancy says, “I cared, loved all of the students and community and I feel I did a great job.”