Education has always been at the center of Derek Snyder’s life, both in and out of the formal classroom. A lifelong learner, he is a proud graduate of the University of Hawai’i, receiving his B.A. in Anthropology from UH-Hilo (with a focus on Hawaiian culture) and his M.A. in English as a Second Language (ESL) from UH-Manoa. Since 2002, Derek has been teaching in the University of Hawai’i system, employed for 3 years at UH-Manoa and Kapi’olani Community College before moving back to Maui in 2005 to teach at the University of Hawai’i Maui College.
At UH Maui College, Derek has served in various roles, including: as the International Short-Term Programs Coordinator, as an ESL instructor and curriculum coordinator at the Maui Language Institute, and as an instructor for VITEC in the Office of Continuing Education and Training (OCET). Currently, he is teaching full-time with the English Department at UHMC, both on-campus, off-campus (Kamehameha Schools Maui), and online. Additionally, Derek also teaches for UH-Manoa’s Second Language Studies department at the University Center, Maui.
Derek’s professional passions rest in a multitude of areas, including: international education, teacher training and development, curriculum design, online instruction, and educational technology. Currently, he is developing and/or teaching online courses for UHMC’s English department, the Maui Language Institute, and UH-Manoa’s Second Language Studies department.
In the Maui community, Derek is deeply invested in serving as a resource for the ESL student and teacher population in our educational institutions. He has been working with Department of Education ESL teachers since 2008 in an attempt to raise awareness about how second languages are learned and to encourage second language teaching best practices in the classroom.
When not in the classroom, or pursuing professional growth and development, Derek enjoys spending time with his family. His other passions include: traveling, playing golf, watching college basketball, and learning about other cultures and places. One of Derek’s more enriching personal endeavors in his life involved living and teaching in Japan.
Ultimately, Derek believes that education holds the seeds of all possibilities for positive change for Maui, and thus, his life mission is committed to making a positive impact on Maui through creating more and better educational opportunities for the people of Maui.