Editor’s Note: Emma Haas is a Waialua High and Intermediate School 7th grader whose father will be transferring to Fort Hood, Texas in December of this year. She aspires to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and major in Engineering. In this article, she reflects on her time spent in Hawaii and especially attending Waialua High and Intermediate School.
by Emma Haas
The experience that I was able to have at Waialua High and Intermediate was so much different from the other schools that I have been to. I had never lived anywhere other than on the mainland. That all changed three years ago when my dad got orders to be stationed in Hawaii. My father is in the military, so I am used to moving every two to three years. This time though, was different. I had grown up in Texas, where all of my family lives. Even though we have been stationed outside of Texas, we were still close enough to visit often. Now, I was moving all the way across the Pacific Ocean!
I loved my time in Hawaii – especially Waialua. Living in Hawaii was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. When I was living on the continent, we always had to drive for several hours to get to the beach. Now, I live across the street from the beach. Where I lived on the mainland, the summer it could get over 100 degrees, and in winter, it would sometimes snow! Hawaii never gets super cold or super hot. During the winter on the mainland, if you try to go outside in a tank top and shorts, you’ll definitely freeze to death!
Going to school at Waialua High and Intermediate has been a really fun and wonderful experience because I am involved in activities such as band and robotics. Band is really exciting! Mr. Cablay, the band director, is amazing! He makes class fun and I always look forward to band. Mr. Cablay also teaches us important life lessons. He always says to enjoy life, because tomorrow’s not promised. He is definitely one of my favorite teachers – and I’ve had a lot. He also helped me discover my love for playing the clarinet, and I am so happy I got the chance to be one of his students.
Also, I have really enjoyed being a part of the robotics program. I have made amazing friendships with my teammates, and they feel like family. I love having the chance to work hard and solve problems building our robot. My position is STEM researcher and builder. I really enjoy doing the STEM research project, and I have worked so hard on it. We recently won the Excellence Award at the State Championship, and we are on our way to the World Championships later in April!
I have enjoyed all of my classes and my teachers. Ms.Van Matre always has really fun experiments planned for us, and in Ms. Cazimero’s honors math class she always makes sure we understand the algebra before we move on. I am in Mr. Mergenthaler’s 6th period, which I am positive is his worst class, because of a few of my classmates. Even though he has trouble with a handful of kids, I enjoy his class for the most part. I have always loved history, and learning Hawaiian History has been really interesting. I have College Prep, and I enjoy having Mrs.Chow. She is super nice, and I have never had any trouble in her class. I am in Mrs. Kusumoto’s English class and I think she’s a wonderful teacher, even if she does give us a lot of work. At one point this school year, I was going through a tough time, so she took me out of class and talked with me. Later, she wanted to check up on me to make sure I was okay. I have never really been a fan of English, which might be surprising, but I have warmed up to it.
When I have to move back to Texas, I will miss all of my friends that I have made over the three years I have lived here. I have developed some really close friendships, and it’s always hard to leave your them behind. Unfortunately, I lost contact with some of my friends the last time I moved, and I don’t want that to happen again. Thankfully, now I have a phone, and I will be able to talk, text, or facetime my friends whenever I want. I have made some incredible friendships at Waialua that I don’t want to lose.
On my robotics team, there is only one other girl, Rhea. We have become really close, because we usually are the only people who come in after school to work on our robot. I also have another close friend, ‘Ailani, who is incredibly similar to me (she really could be my twin), and we have most of our classes together as well as Naia,who has the exact same schedule as me. When I had moved here in fifth grade, I made some friends that I still hang with today. One of those friends, Mehgan, was the first person I met when I moved here. I always hate leaving my friends, and this time is no exception.
I have enjoyed my time here in Hawaii – especially Waialua. It is so much different from the mainland, where I grew up. I have learned and experienced so many new things. I’ve enjoyed going to Waialua High and Intermediate, as well as all of my classes. I absolutely love being in the band and robotics programs, because both programs offer so many unique opportunities for students. I will especially miss all of my friends that I have made in Waialua over my three years here and my experiences with them will live in my mind and heart forever…
by Naia Driscoll
Last year I was a “senior” at Waialua Elementary school. I was at the highest level you can get before middle school – a sixth grader at the top of her game. Then it all ended, summer came, school was over, and next year I would start the whole cycle over again.
I would be a seventh grader at my next school, the smallest fish in a huge pond that is Waialua High and Intermediate. We had gone from being eagles waiting to spread our wings and flying high to the 7th grade and little specks of dust floating through the breeze with no direction and purpose. The transition was just like any other school switch you have to go through. You arrive on your first day scared and nervous, you slowly, but calmly, wiggle your way through all the people, you occasionally will get lost, and then find your way back into the crowd, and you will make new friends who you never expected to meet.
After a while, you find you’re not wandering anymore and the middle school teachers really are trying to help you – even if it doesn’t seem like it. You and your friends will have made an even stronger bond and school will be wonderful. The kind of wonderful great where you don’t have a care in the world, like sitting on a sandy beach listening to the waves. The kind of awesome great that makes you feel safe and protected and nothing bad could ever happen. The kind of glorious great that makes you think of kittens and rainbows!
Then, right in the middle of the fine feels, life will come around and smack you around to let you know exams are starting and you have been so caught up your phenomenal emotions that you forgot to study. Now you have to cram in all the work you can
to get ready for the upcoming tests.
Suddenly, school’s almost over and summer is right around the corner. “Next year I’ll do better” you tell yourself, but you know you’ll do the same – just as good as the year before, but always striving to do better. So here’s a bit of advice, next year will be easy, but only if you make it easy. All you have to do is make an effort to keep up with your classes and you will. On the other hand, you can make it hard on yourself. Choosing to have no care in the world and then falling flat on your face will make your life stressful. Making an effort to improve yourself every day will be better for everyone – especially you.
by Gregory Kamisato – Special to The Waialuan
Christmas came early for the Waialua and Haleiwa communities in the form of a varsity football team playing with the heart and soul of a warrior. The Waialua football team’s first participation in the OIA DII Championship game since 1992 has brought the school and community together in the
form of pride and recognition that hasn’t been seen since the last ROIA title in 1955. The unexpected gift has people talking on social media, purchasing football t-shirts, and creating a positive buzz in the community. Alumni have flooded Facebook and Instagram with pictures of the games as well as using the Facebook live feature to stream the games all over the island. The Waialua football team’s achievement is the cherry on top of a sundae of success.
For years, the image of Waialua had been a negative one. When students and alumni said or did something stupid, the next thing line would always be, “Oh my god! You MUST be from Waialua!” The expectation of athletic and academic performance was low. However, over the past few years, there seemed to be a gradual shift of attitude.
People weren’t saying the “you must be from Waialua” line anymore. Test scores were going up and although not wildly successful, athletics were competitive and making the playoffs. The band program grew from 22 students to over 300 this school year. Robotics won numerous regional, national, and world titles. US News and World Report rated Waialua in the Bronze and Silver categories for best high schools in the US. Instead of students transferring TO other schools, parents wanted to SEND their students here. They talked about the accepting, safe, and peaceful atmosphere at Waialua – an environment perfect for those students with special needs. The pride that once infected the Waialua of the 1950’s when the football team won four straight ROIA titles has spread to the new century. Waialua is not the same school it was ten years ago.
The football team playing for a championship made the community of Waialua/Haleiwa display the pride and attitude that had been dormant for so long. Red flags line the chain link fence in front of the school. Homes and businesses put up signs supporting the team for a win on Friday. Students wear red – even when there is no red out. The first batch of t-shirts sold out as a steady stream of people went to the office to purchase some for the game. A second batch will be screened on Thursday and reservations are being taken. Waialua fans were to sit on the side of the stadium opposite of Kahuku, but a parent and supporter called the stadium authority and requested Waialua and Kahuku sit on the same side to create a “sea of red” to show that the best football on this island is played on the North Shore of Oahu.
Please don’t get me wrong, there is so much Waialua High and Intermediate School can and needs to improve on. Everyone involved at the school is determined to get better and not sit on laurels. But that’s for another time. For this week, let’s enjoy the early Christmas present the Bulldog football team has given us. And as we unwrap that gift on Friday night with
all the spirit and happiness of a Christmas morning, let’s hope 61 years without a football championship will finally end under the bright lights of Aloha Stadium.