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Wayne Tanaka, Educator and Community Leader
Wayne Tanaka, Educator and Community Leader

AIR DATE: January 24, 2012

Wayne Tanaka was a Las Vegas principal when he remembers finding out a recent graduate decided not to go to college.  Wayne tracked the young man down and said, “You lied to me.”  The young man explained that he had problems at home, but Wayne wouldn’t hear it.  He helped the man find a job in the school district and “kicked his butt every time he turned around,” Wayne said.  The man eventually became a business teacher and athletic director.  Wayne Tanaka joins us to talk about being a community leader in Las Vegas, his work with Asian Americans, and what 40 years as an educator teaches you about life and raising school kids.
Wayne Tanaka, retired teacher and principal

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I attended AACPA where he was principal about ten years ago. I still remember and think of him and actually just had a dream about him which prompted me to look his name up and find this gem. He was certainly an influential person to my life even though he was principal for only ~2 years. It feels really great as a kid to have teachers and administrators tell you that they believe in you. It's small things like this that we have to make sure our kids are going to the best schools with the best people. Their minds are so malleable and they are spending half of their waking life in school. I hope the best for Mr. Tanaka.
AaronOct 7, 2012 16:14:35 PM
An excellent inspiring segment!
aunty palinJan 24, 2012 13:23:02 PM
Listening to Mr. Tanaka, I hear him expressing some of the very same goals we have here at the Adult English Language Acquisition Services department of Education Services Division of the Clark County School District. We very recently emailed the Asian Chamber of Commerce requesting their partnership with us to publicize our English language classes and other services to the Asian community. Although we have not received a response from them, we are very hopeful that we will, since our Asian community is underrepresented in our class rolls. I would love to forward our request to Mr. Tanaka, if he would share an email address.

On another note, my grandchildren attend Tanaka Elementary, and my granddaughter, Soleil, is very excited that she recently met Mr. Tanaka at an award ceremony at the school. She had her picture taken with him and speaks of the honor she received with great pride. Thanks for passing my message on to Mr. Tanaka.

Patti HanksJan 24, 2012 10:43:30 AM
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