Heritage News

HHAA Presents 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award to Katsumi Hagiwara

The Heritage Hall Alumni Association (HHAA) has honored Lower School Music teacher Katsumi Hagiwara as the recipient of its 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award. 

Presented annually during the School’s Faculty Recognition Luncheon, the award recognizes a current faculty or staff member who has exhibited dedication and commitment to inspiring and educating lifelong learners. Hagiwara joins an impressive list of past recipients: Kelly Allen, Craig Brown ’78,  Jenny Campbell, RN, Keith Cassell, Chris Gfeller, Betsy Horn, Cathie Perry, and Dr. John Powell.

In presenting the award on behalf of the Association, HHAA President Ashley Stark Ford (Heritage Hall Class of 2002) highlighted the enthusiasm and passion Hagiwara brings to the school community.

Quoting former Heritage Hall President Guy Bramble, Ford stated, “He has brought a level of cheer every day that is sometimes hard to summon and very hard to sustain. He goes all day every day and rarely takes a break. In addition to his involvement with his students, he is one of the leaders among faculty in supporting the Annual Fund, which speaks volumes about his devotion to the students and the School’s mission.”

Heritage Hall Head of Lower School Betsy Horn observed, “To watch Katsumi is to watch excellence in action. He directs every musical for the ECC and Lower School and exuberantly leads our weekly Charger Shine assemblies with his beautiful voice and sensational dance moves. Over the past 16 years, Katsumi’s students have benefitted from his passion for music and developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching. He is beloved by students, parents, and colleagues and is truly a gift to Heritage Hall.”

“You can always tell it’s performance day by Mr. H’s shoes; his sneaker game is on point,” noted Heritage Hall patron and Director of Development Jenifer Standish.

In expressing his gratitude to the association, Hagiwara commented, “I want to thank the Heritage Hall Alumni Association for honoring me for doing what I love. I also want to thank all the faculty, students, and patrons for encouraging, inspiring, and motivating me every day. This show of appreciation by the people of this outstanding community brings me such joy.”
Heritage Hall is a co-educational college preparatory school in Oklahoma City. As one of the few secular private schools in the state, we offer a challenging academic curriculum for students from preschool through grade 12, as well as unique leadership opportunities, a wide spectrum of athletics, and a well developed fine arts program.