Commencement to be held in gym

This May 1, 2017, photo shows Toshi Nakasone Field will be nowhere near completion in time for graduation.

by Hoku Sabanal

The school year is coming to an end which means graduation time. The Waialua High School Senior Class of 2017 will be graduating on May 20th, but the ceremony will start at 5:30pm in the school gymnasium and NOT on Toshi Nakasone Field.

Graduating seniors will on the gym stage during the commencement ceremony.  Seating on the floor will be only for reserve ticket holders. 

For those attending the graduation ceremony, the people who received senior reserved seating tickets will be on the court, while the bleachers will be open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, there will be standing room for those who aren’t able to get a seat on the bleachers. After the ceremony, you will be able to give lei to the graduates on the football practice field, behind the bleacher area in front of the boy’s locker rooms.

This year’s graduation will not be held on the field because it is still under renovation and will not be done by graduation. Vice-Principal Ryan Ishimoto explained that the process is taking longer than expected is because of the weather. He said that the field was in the process of getting done in time for graduation, but the weather in Waialua did not cooperate and hit a major rainstorm during the ending of last year.

“What happened was they were taking our soil, ripping it out, and throwing it in a ‘feeder’. It sifts the soil so there were big chunks which is turned it into fine dirt. They brought in sand, top soil, and mixed them together, but they just weren’t able to do it because the soil was too soaked,” Ishimoto said. This stopped the working period for a couple weeks then a couple weeks would pass and rain again stopped the process.

Bleacher seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. “Big Ass Fans” (actual name of the manufacturer) are being installed for heat abatement.

“Weather was the main reason why the process is taking longer than expected, there weren’t any certain setbacks, it was just ‘Mother Nature’ not cooperating and all the downpours where they were trying to sift out the dirt,” Ishimoto explained. They are hoping the field will be done by June and there won’t be any more setbacks.

Cody Miyataki, a senior this year and president of the Class of 2017 stated, “I was pretty mad and upset because we were told time and time again that the field would be ready. I feel that the tradition for the other classes was to have it outside and I didn’t want to have it in the gym, but we were able to compromise.” The seniors didn’t take the news all too well, but they have learned to accept it and are trying to make their graduation as memorable as it can be. The process was strained and difficult.

Class of 2017 President Cody Miyatake

“I created a plan for both the baseball field and the gym – that way we had an alternative because we really wanted it outside. From there, we created a graduation committee with the administration, our class officers, and everyone else directly involved with graduation. We sat down in a meeting and discussed the pros and cons of the gym and the baseball field which led us to a decision of having the graduation held inside of the gym,” Cody explained.

No matter the setting, the seniors are going to make the best of the situation and ensure that their graduation something they will always remember as something different and special.

In the Parent’s Eye

Eighth graders doing classwork in Ms. Kim Lauzon’s Social Studies class. Middle schoolers will have no classes in V-Building next year and will be located on the other side of campus near Q-Building.

by ‘Ailani Grach

With all the discussion about the separation of the middle and high school, we reached out to some of the parents and alumni from Waialua High and Intermediate who have children attending WHIS. We asked them their feelings about the middle – high school split and how they think that it will affect their child’s experiences here at Waialua.

Seventh graders will not have Mrs. Denise Kusumoto for English or come to S-Building for classes next year.

One of the alumni that was reached was Ms. Kauluoa Binz who will have a daughter attending WHIS as a 7th grader next school year. Ms. Binz says, “Although her cousins are upper classmen, I think the split will give them less time to worry about getting bullied, impressing, or judging.” She stated that she enjoyed going to school with upper classmen when she was in middle school. When she made it to high school, she befriended intermediate aged students. Some of those middle school students are still friends with her today. Being a high school mentor to these students was a benefit that today’s middle school will lose.

Another parent that told me how they feel about the school split is Mrs. Raquel Hill-Achiu. She feels that the middle school students are not cut off completely from the high school routine. She also feels that the split is fine because it gives the kids that are coming from sixth grade a little breathing room to get used to a new school without worrying about what older kids think. She also states that the students aren’t completely alienated from the high school routine.

Ms. Kenwyn Shacklefurd. the mother of a 7th grade student, is opposed to how the school is splitting the middle school from the high school. Ms. Shacklefurd said, “I have seen how the transition has affected his academics while he got used to the new schedule, routines, and teachers.”

Seventh grade English students participate in a class discussion. They will have Ms. Alves in Q-Building next year.

However, she also says parents have to teach accountability for their child’s actions – making adult choices based on peer pressure it would lead to adult consequences. She was also concerned about “how this was another round of transitioning into high school and the same kids that were not nice to them are now the juniors and seniors and are still behaving the same.” She also added that “the middle school concept has been around for years, so why start now – especially with the resources being stretched so thin with the DOE.”

Ms. Dayna Sanchez, who also had a child in 7th grade, is also unsure about the separation. She states, “As a parent, an educator, and an alumnus of Waialua, I am not so sure about the split. Why can’t changes be made for the middle school students without separating them from the high school?” Her 7th grade daughter enjoys being part of what the high school does. She likes the events and was comfortable with the transition from elementary school because her older brother is in the high school so she felt that she was not alone. In addition she says, “Having experience working with middle school students, I think with Waialua being a small country school, staying as one would have been a better choice. Our children are more respectful, more kind, and better behaved for it.”

While some parents are alright about the school split, others are not. Whether they are on one side or the other, the change will happen and as the teachers begin to move classrooms to accommodate the split. We just have to wait and see how this change works best for Waialua.

Splitting Up

Mrs. Denise Kusumoto’s 7th grade English class in S-Building. Next year, middle school students will not be allowed on this part of campus.

by ‘Ailani Grach

The separation of the middle and high school at WHIS is happening next year. Waialua will be two separate campuses with the middle and high school students never crossing paths (with very few exceptions). After learning about the upcoming split, the 7th graders (who will be 8th graders next year) have mixed feelings about it. Many of the 7th grade students were against separating the middle and the high school. Finding 7th graders that support the school split was difficult.

However, there were a few students who were in favor of it – like Shaley Yoshizu. She said, “I’m fine with it. It’s not a major issue with me.” Shaley feels it won’t impact her school life so to her it is all right. Two students who were also speaking in support of

Maria Serpa

the split are Lilly Schaeben and Maria Serpa. They both are happy it’s happening and feel it’s a good thing because it will keep middle schoolers safe from the high schoolers. Maria said, “There were high school students that were trying to make the middle school students fight each other.” They both said if we are separated, the middle school students will feel and be safer.

Emma Haas

On the other side, there were many 7th grade students that do not want the school split to happen and are against the school’s decision. Emma Haas states, “I feel bad for all the teachers that have to move their classroom and their stuff just because the school is separating the middle and the high schools.” She continued, “What if all the teacher’s labs, activities, and equipment won’t fit in their new class? What if they do not get enough space for everything?” A second person that was against the split is Spencer Rich. “I can’t believe we only get a small part of the school while the high school gets the rest,” he said.

Naia Driscoll

Naia Driscoll was another person that stated her opinion against the split. “We get only a fraction of the school while the high schoolers get everything else,” Naia said, “I am mostly upset about how we don’t get a lot of places to hang out during school.” The final person sharing her opinion was Molly Bryant. She was extremely upset about the split and stated, “Are they trying to teach us to be afraid of the high school? Are they (the high schoolers) so mean that the school is forced to split us up? I won’t be able to see my sister (Mana, senior next year) during the school day next year. I know many people who have siblings that are or going to be at this school. Waialua claims to be a family. Splitting us up is not family.”

Molly Bryant

Clearly, there are very strong opinions on both sides of the issue. However, the Waialua separation of middle and high school is happening no matter what. Regardless of how we feel, giving the separation a chance is the only option we have.


Next year, Ms. Kayla Van Matre’s 7th grade science classes will be held in Q-Building.

Replanting the Seeds

Ms. Kawehealani Kanae and sophomores Alyssa Alejandro and Hoku Sabanal tour the greenhouse where WHIS will restart its agriculture program.

By Hannah Bartlett

Kira Orian, Environmental Educational Leader for the KUPU program, discusses her organization and grant with Hoku and Alyssa.

On February 10th, Waialua re-started its award winning agriculture program.  For decades, the Future Farmers of America Waialua Chapter won district and state awards and FFA was the hottest club on campus. However, when the sugar mill shut down, the agriculture program enrollment began to drop. Soon thereafter, Waialua did not offer agriculture as a course, and, for 20 years, has been just a memory of days past.

Through the guidance and mentorship of  Mrs. Kawehealani Kanae, the ag program has been reborn and is open to any students attending Waialua High and Intermediate School.  Said sophomore Hoku Sabanal, “I wanted to get more involved in the community. I wanted to know about the different native plants and learn how to preserve the environment as well as give myself a new experience.”  Students and mentors meet every Monday and Friday after school from 2:15pm – 3:15pm in P4.

Those who attend will do hands on activities such as restore and maintain the school’s greenhouse, and further develop their critical thinking skills. “The agriculture program provides opportunities for students to be able to have a positive effect on the community and gives them experience needed to be successful,” says Ms. Kanae. Students will learn how to raise and nurture Native Hawaiian seedlings, and hopefully expand out of the greenhouse by replanting these plants and seedlings on Mount Ka’ala. Not only do the students benefit from this experience, but so can the school and community.

Ms. Kanae, Alyssa Alejandro, and Hoku Sabanal discuss ideas to renovate the greenhouse located behind the Counseling Center.

Students can grow herbs and vegetables for Ms. Marsha Taylor’s culinary program as well as for the school cafeteria breakfast and lunches. The vision for the agriculture program is to perpetuate self-sustaining skills that brings awareness to the positive impacts that gardening/farming will provide through contributions to the community, strengthen effective communication, and further develop critical thinking skills. The aim is to expose the next generation to interactive experiences gaining sustainable skills that promote positive stewardship of the land while strengthening community pride. If you are interested, please see Ms. Kanae in P4 for more information.

Middle School Gala

7th and 8th grade banquet committee members and class officers meet in Ms. Lorri Sonan’s room to plan the Middle School Gala.

by ‘Ailani Grach

Waialua High and Intermediate School 7th and 8th graders are excited for the upcoming Middle School Gala taking place at Tanaka Square, on Saturday, March 25, from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. The cost is $15 per person. If you would like to pick up or drop off a form, please go to your class adviser. Please give the money to your class advisers – your class officers will not be able to take any form of payment and/or forms. Remember to clear all your obligations to the school and get it signed by the office, library, and counselor. If you have obligations, you will NOT be able to attend. You must turn in your forms by March 17th, or you will pay $20 in order to go. Marian’s Catering will be providing food for the event and there will be elections for cutest couple, best dressed, Mr. and Ms. Aloha, and social butterfly. There will also be a bouncy house (Girls, you must have shorts under your dress in order to bounce), dance competitions, and a photo booth for you and your friends to take pictures. If you have any questions, please see your class adviser or class officer. Save the date and let’s have fun!

Bulldog Pride Giving Project



By: Judy Tanabe

The Waialua High & Intermediate School Library Learning Center wants to improve literacy and student achievement by providing our students the very best education.  We want to work together with you to support the future of our community and what better way to start than to provide the best for our children.

With limited funding from the State, students have to share resources and many books are outdated.  Teachers need more laptop computers, books, PE equipment, basic supplies,  and curriculum resources for Math, Health, English, Social Studies, and Science.  Many students would also like to check out a computer from the Library because they do not have computer access to complete assignments at home.  We are striving towards moving into the 21st Century to better prepare students for college and careers.  We want our students to have PRIDE and be Prepared, Respectful, Involved, Dedicated, and Excellent!

The Bulldog PRIDE Giving Project has a prioritized list of needs from the teachers.  Thank you to top Bulldogs Dupont Pioneer, Hawaii Public Schools Foundation, and the Turtle Bay Foundation for their generous grants for the Library.  Please join us in helping our school, community, and our future by supporting the Bulldog PRIDE Giving Project.

How You Can Help?  Contact the WHIS Library.  We are looking for donations and volunteers.  Monetary donations of any denomination are gratefully accepted & will go towards purchasing laptop computers, textbooks, ebooks, library books, & PE equipment.

BE A TOP BULLDOG!  For a donation of $300 or more, a plaque will be inscribed with your name on the Mt. Ka’ala Bulldog PRIDE Top Dog wall in the Library where we are Striving for the Best to the Highest Peak!

Thank you and Mahalo to the following people who have already contributed to the Bulldog Pride Giving Project:

Emilyn Ramones (Class of 1966)

Kathryn Molle (Class of 1964)

Madeleine Mayher

Marianne Abrigo (WHIS Teacher 1968-1978)

Once again, thank you so much for your generous donations.  All monies will going to the students of WHIS and help them reach their dreams!


Switching Fields

The work of grading and renovating Toshi Nakasone Field has finally begun.

img_1084by Erin Hardin

With Mount Ka’ala as a backdrop, Waialua High School’s Toshi Nakasone Field is the most picturesque on the island. However, these are some of the words that described the field in the past decade: Dirt. Dusty. Hard. Muddy. Rock Solid.  Waialua football and soccer fans were wondering for years when the renovation of the field was going to happen. Well, with some unexpected delays, the process of grading, crowning, and putting in a new irrigation system has begun.

Construction was originally planned to start on October 21, 2016, and to be finished in time for graduation; but due to the football team making it to the HHSAA Football Championship and needing the field to practice, construction was postponed and began on November 23rd. However, some winter athletic teams had to make adjustments for practice field time.

The Waialua Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer teams had to relocate practices and will have no home games. Many of the soccer players do like it, but understand it has to be done.  Said Sophomore Alyssa Alejandro, “We practice between the bleachers and the weight room and I feel like we are at a disadvantage because we don’t have a full field like the other schools do.”  Senior Cody Miyataki added, “It’s huge inconvienence for friends, family, and faculty to watch the games and sometimes we have to get out of school early so we miss class time.”  However, next year’s football players offer a different perspective. Said junior defensive tackle Matthan Hatchie, “It’ll be really good because it has been 60 years since the last renovation, and it will help the health of the players as there will be less injuries, cuts and scrapes.”img_7156

The reason behind this renovation is the field has not been re-crowned since it’s installation more than 60 years ago. In addition, the sprinkler system has gone bad, due to age and corrosion. To fix that issue, they will be installing a brand-new sprinkler system.  Then they will begin to do the re-crowning of the field so it will have a slope so the water will run-off towards the sides of the field instead of pooling in the dirt areas in the middle of the field and causing muddy puddles. Other issues that will be taken care of is the drainage issues around the track. The plan is to create a barrier so the water will drain to the sides of the track, instead of on the track, which created dips and valleys on the running surface. Finally, the track will be re-done, leveled, and the cinder will be replaced.

Another change that will be taking place on the field is the long jump/triple jump runway. The pit will be moved from img_0684the visitor’s side, to the mauka end zone.  In addition, another possible change that’s still being discussed is changing the light fixtures to LED lights. The cost for the entire construction is still uncertain, but because of the new changes that might be added, the final cost is yet to be determined.

If all goes well, the field should be ready for graduation and the football team’s summer practice. Toshi Nakasone Field will once again be the most beautiful place to watch a football game or commencement on O’ahu.

Final Cut – like a Pro

Freshman Justyce Lacar edits his video on Final Cut Pro in Mr. Brandon Kon’s Media class.

img_9991by Hannah Bartlett

Zane Balmoja and Justyce Lacar edit their videos in the media lab while other students do work in the renovated media classroom.

Many things are changing here at Waialua, and one of those things is the Media Center. Brandon Kon is in charge of this high school elective and intermediate wheel class. He teaches his students the basic media necessities, and continues to help them learn more improved skills through-out the year. Some of the renovations that have been made this year is that the classroom has been extended so they now have a classroom and a computer room. “This helps the students be more focused in class when we’re not doing work on the computer, and I can give them directions knowing I have their full attention,” says Mr. Kon. They also have new Apple desktops so more kids are able to have a hands on experience of editing and working on projects like public service announcements, holiday theme videos, and commercials.

Sophomore Zane Balmoja edits his pumpkin carving video using Final Cut Pro.

Media student Zane Balmoja is editing a video he along with other students filmed, on how to carve a pumpkin. “This class helps me learn how to edit using different software and will benefit me in the future when I take my photography class,” says Zane. What you get out of this class is the chance to learn how to edit using Final Cut Pro X and how to use a camera/ video camera correctly and upload footage to a computer. In media, you’ll be creating film and telling a story with it. In many classes, time management and problem solving skills are needed. In this elective, you won’t only learn these things but you will also learn how to apply them to everyday things. Justyce Lacar added, “If you’re going to have a job in graphic design or advertising, this class will prepare you because you’ll have skills the company wants.”

CSI: Waialua



Kamaki Lacar analyzes his own fingerprints in Mrs. O’Neil’s Forensics class.

img_1078by Hoku Sabanal

Georgia-Ann Chun-Albeso and Tiala Nicely join  the class in discussing how to identify one fingreprint from another and specific details that categorize each fingerprint.

Registration is approaching at Waialua High and Intermediate School and there are many classes that you can consider taking.  One class that should be put into consideration is Mrs. Sabina O’Neil’s Introduction to Forensics aka CSI class.  This class is an elective for juniors and seniors and counts as a science credit.  “You will be learning all the different techniques that a CSI Investigator would look at: like fingerprints, bullets, blood stains, etc,” explains Ms. O’Neil.

It would be like you’re in the shoes of the investigator at a crime scene and you can experience the different practices they do while out on the field.  It’s not all work in the class though. In this CSI class, you will be taking field trips like this year where they will be going to the Honolulu Police Department’s Crime Lab and heading out to West Oahu to dig up skeleton bones.  While taking this class, “you’ll pick up investigative skills, awareness, observation, looking at something closely, understand the different processes you have to go through to do the investigation and how detailed all the different information has to be,” Mrs. O’Neil stated.

img_2644The CSI class would would be exciting and interesting because of the different practices and techniques you’ll be doing in that class.  The CSI class is open to anyone, you don’t have to have an interest in being an investigator or wanting to work in that field.  You can learn a variety of skills and be able to share your experiences with other people.  If you’re interested and have watched shows like CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, NCIS, etc. then this class will further inform you on the steps taken to solve a case. “When entering this class, you’ll be looking forward to building upon your different sciences, learning about density and such, even though you may not remember your chemistry,physics, biology, physiology, you’ll be bringing those principles back into play.  You’ll be bringing all your basic sciences into forensics class,” Ms. O’Neil mentioned.

Mrs. Sabina O’Neil helps her students with fingerprint analysis.

Taking this class will further open up your mind to many different sights, scenes, and experiences.  Even though you may not want to work or see yourself working in this career, you will still learn a considerable amount of knowledge and skills.  The experience itself would be fun and captivating.  “The only thing that matters is the evidence,” said one of the actors in CSI: Miami.  The work that’s behind an unsolved case goes beyond what you may think, but without the evidence, you can’t move forward in your case.  So being able to learn about the diverse practices as a CSI investigator will help you find the evidence needed to start and finish a case.  Keep your minds open.