Shiloh Francis - Teacher Feature

Shiloh Francis

High School Social Studies Teacher 

National Board Certified Teacher 

Hawaii Technology Academy 


Shiloh Francis founded Hawaii Technology Academy’s Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) Club (learn more about PAAC’s Club program here) in 2017 with a focus on exploring Hawaii’s valuable role in global matters and building student leaders. She currently serves as the club’s advisor. Hawai‘i Technology Academy (HTA) is a tuition-free public charter school with seven campuses on four islands. 


Shiloh was born in Kona and was raised on Oahu from the age of 5. She attended public schools throughout grades K-12 and graduated from Kalani High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in American history and her master’s degree in teaching, both from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.   


Shiloh has taught social studies in Hawaii schools for nearly 17 years and earned her National Board Certification in 2011. The 2022-2023 academic year marks her sixth year at Hawaii Technology Academy teaching U.S. and world history and psychology. She is a mom to three children and loves traveling, photography and crafting.  



Describe your teaching philosophy. 

As a teacher I believe that all students can showcase their talents in many ways. Students should take an active role and have a voice in their own learning. I try to create a classroom environment where students feel empowered to share their ideas and resources. I provide opportunities for students to engage in a collaborative community of critical thinkers and historians. As such, I offer a variety of choices for my students to share their voices as they learn the content and invite them to also come up with creative ideas to be actively involved in the learning process.  


Students can benefit from learning 21st-century skills in technology, media literacy, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. I work with students to develop awareness and empathy for cultural diversity, perspective, and global issues, and then use those skills to take action in our globally connected world.  

Listen to a 2022 education podcast featuring an interview with Shiloh.  


Why did you decide to start a PAAC Club at Hawai‘i Technology Academy? 

Part of my student teaching with my mentor teacher was to teach a global studies class with PAAC, so I had foundations with PAAC early on. When I came to my current school, the relationship opened again. I love the idea of getting students to talk about global issues and put their minds together to solve them 


For example, we did a climate change simulation. Over 100 students came, and we put on this conference with the PAAC team. PAAC’s Global Vision Summits connect students from all over the islands. They feel the energy together. They are learning together.  


I mentor students in global studies and leadership through service. I’m passionate about it myself, and if I can help develop that passion or give opportunities for students to do that themselves, and share their own voice and ideas, our world is better for it.  


What do you enjoy the most about the club? What do you think students enjoy the most? 

I get to see such growth with the students and how they develop their global awareness and connections. They look at what they can do on their individual or local level so it’s not as daunting to tackle some of these big issues. 


PAAC is a fun opportunity to meet and connect with friends who are passionate about the same things. We have two students who will be traveling with PAAC during its 2023 Study Tour to South Korea, and when they come back, they can share what they learned. We also had two students who participated in PAAC’s Global Leadership Program this year, and they both have an interest in furthering their global education. One would like to go into media and broadcasting, and PAAC experiences helped her understand concepts like media bias and influence. 


Some students join our PAAC Club because their friends join. They have a passion for learning and becoming more aware of global issues, as well as having fun, being creative and making a difference within our communities. PAAC participation also looks great on a college application.  


Tell us a little about club activities and events. How often does the club meet? 

We started out with four members, and this is our biggest year yet with 28 students. We meet twice a month after school for one hour.  


We start the school year looking at the 17 U.N. Sustainable Goals, and students vote on the topics that they want to focus on. This year we looked at good health and well-being (Goal No. 3), and created a PSA video for our school around World Toilet Day in November. This also dovetails with Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal No. 6). We organized a lesson about toilets and led an informational talk about it.  


Our student-led presentation on Quality Education (Goal No. 4) inspired our Honu Free Library Project at the school. We don’t have a library at our school, so our community and parents donated 1,500 books, which we put in an area where students can go when they need a break. 


We also completed our third-annual drive to donate school, cleaning, children and baby supplies to families in need. Students helped design flyers, got the word out, and sorted the donations.  


Our bottlecap art project, which is now in our school hallway, helps bring awareness to the club. Students created a slideshow for the art, which was inspired by PAAC’s 2022 Global Vision Summit theme “Water is Life.” 


Finally, we recently painted kindness rocks featuring positive messages, which we used to create a kindness garden at our HTA Elementary in Ewa 



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