By Jasmine Crawford
Homecoming is the most memorable event students look forward to every year. With skits, banners, floats, and shirts, it gives opportunity for classmates to create new bonds with one another. After careful selection, Waialua High and Intermediate School’s Student Body Government and Student Council came together and brought about this year’s homecoming theme: Movie Franchises. It was agreed on that a relay should be used to determine each class’s movie. Students were cheering for the classmates to get first pick on these topics: Marvel, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Fast and Furious, Transformers, and Harry Potter.
Freshman President, Jon Evangelista, is thrilled about homecoming this year. The Class of 2022 got Transformers as their topic. He states enthusiastically, “As the days went on, more and more ideas came.” Although it was not their first choice, the more the class planned, the more enjoyable it got. It is also an exceptional experience that the students get to finally participate in homecoming. “I’m looking forward to homecoming construction, building the omikoshi, and putting the skits together,” explains John. Coming from middle school, it will be the first time he experiences homecoming as class president. He says, “I’m looking forward to having a fun time with my class.”
Leila Domingo, the Sophomore President of Class of 2021 is inspired to create a phenomenal homecoming show this year. As for the theme, Fast and Furious, there was really no complaints from her classmates. Everyone was just as passionate about the topic as she was. She describes her peer’s emotions as, “Our class is very hyped and we have a wide range to choose from, so it’s exciting to see what our result will be like.” Since there is a wide range, there is many ideas that are about to be in line. The planning process is very exciting for the officers and the class. Leila is willing to go that extra step to impress the crowd. “I am very excited to see my classmates after school and bond over something that we worked hard to create together,” she says happily.
This year’s Junior Class president is Lovelyne Sistoso. After a lively relay, the Junior Class of 2020 came out with Marvel as their theme this year. She states, “Since Marvel is a familiar topic, hopefully it will invite a new audience.” She further elaborates, “I am excited on what our final product will be and to finally be able see our hard work as a class go into this one day.” Since Marvel is a broad idea, there can be many possibilities on what to do for each and every category of homecoming. However, she also states, “I am a little worried on the lack of participants as well as how to tie Marvel into the skit, but I am sure that our final product will be one of the greatest accomplishments as a group.” She encourages people to join and to contribute. It is a brand new experience that you may not be able to see anywhere else. Lovelyne mentions, “Being a president for the first year, I am eager to see what I can provide for my class and see what we can do as a whole.”
“I want people to see that Jurassic Park can be used in different ways and wow people,” states Class of 2019, Senior Class President, Alyssa Alejandro. After choosing Jurassic Park as the class theme, she is very inspired to create new propositions on how to make this the best homecoming yet. She continues, “Although this theme seems to be undermined in the eyes of my class, I am confident in making something unbelievable that nobody has ever thought of.” Alyssa is consulting with her officers in ways which they can think outside of the box to impress the audience and themselves. They already have many creative ideas for their float, shirt, and banner. Alyssa and her classmates are looking forward to finish strong as a class on their last homecoming.
Homecoming is a significant event this year to raise the bulldog spirit. Using collaboration, teamwork, and leadership skills, this year will become one memory not made of classes, but of a school. With all of the students, you can dream big, work hard, and make it happen.
by Jasmine Crawford
This year, Waialua High and Intermediate School changed the bell schedule from seven periods to eight. Instructional time is now seventy minutes and contains a constant rotation of even and odd period days, steering away from the traditional all period days. Mid
dle school has the same lineup, excluding lunch. Having this new change to the school, although can be confusing for students, will hopefully will allow students to reach their full potential. The new schedule has many benefits; however, there are also components of the new schedule that students do not necessarily agree to.
Jericho Posadas, a senior at Waialua has adjusted to the change of the new schedule. Being a student here at Waialua for five years, he has to accommodate to the new ways, however, Jericho is drawn in by this year’s layout. He states, “The schedule is easier to follow” and he is “aware of his classes.” Jericho also states that although we get out twenty-five minutes later, it is easier for the students to balance their classes. Having longer instructional time can also allow students and teachers extra time to get organized and prepared. He is excited for the new schedules and opportunities coming his way.
The new schedule now not only affects the students, but the administration as well. Vice Principal, Mrs. Carol Sanderson, is delighted by this new program. Looking at it from a student point of view, she explains, “It gives opportunities for students to complete their core classes, and take electives that couldn’t fit in a seven period schedule.” Students get a new branch of improving their academics with another class. Looking at it from a Vice Principal point of view she states, “It gives more time to walk around and see in person what is going on in each class.” It gives more time for the staff to be involved with the teacher and students. Mrs. Sanderson and the staff wanted something more manageable for the students, staff, and teachers at Waialua. “The agenda is very consistent, easy to follow, and good for everyone.” she states enthusiastically.
As for a new schedule at Waialua High and Intermediate School, staff and students are excited for the movement. Bringing something to students that will be straightforward, and easy to follow, with confidence, campus life will be easier.
by Anna Peters
The end of each school year doesn’t only means summer is coming, but marks an ending of student mandatory education, and with it, the official entrance into adulthood. With graduation comes plenty of mixed emotions: happiness, triumph, and melancholy. We asked two recent Waialua High graduates, Nami Dougherty and Wyatt Mchale from the class of 2018, to reflect on their years at Waialua High and Intermediate School.
As Nami looks back upon the past four years of high school, her most memorable times consist of when she participated in homecoming, watched football games, and of course, prom. Nami expresses, “These are the types of memories that I will remember forever.” Along with having a good time in high school, she has also had many honorable accomplishments. She was a recipient for multiple scholarships and was able to handle multiple AP classes while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and participating in extracurriculars, such as tennis and horseback riding. However, Nami does wish that she could have tried different sports since Waialua lets mostly everyone who comes out, play. “Also, I wish I turned in my community service hours, so I could have gotten the cord,” she lightheartedly expresses. She thanks her family, Lex, Emma, and Mrs. Kayleen Akana in the CCRC for helping her make all this happen. Nami plans to further her education at Leeward Community College for two years and then transferring over to UH West Oahu.
Wyatt Mchale, a two-time national champion surfer, has had many accomplishments in his three years at Waialua High and Intermediate School. His accomplishments range from a 3.9 GPA in school while balancing his homework and surfing, and placing well in national surfing competitions, like placing second at the Pro Junior Event in Tahiti. Wyatt says, “Some of my best memories were definitely just being with my friends, making new friends, and just being able to grow up with everyone since we’ve all known each other since middle school. Those were really good times.” He has undeniably made the most out of his three years (he graduated early in order to pursue his surfing career) in high school as he expresses that he has no regrets. For the future, Wyatt plans on continuing his surfing career. “My goal is to make it to the World Championship Tour, which is the highest level of surfing,” he enthusiastically expresses. He further amplifies that being able to make a living from surfing would be really ideal. Wyatt would like to thank Waialua High and Intermediate school
for allowing him to constantly travel and graduate a year early and teachers like Greg Kamisato and Duane Shikiya for continually reassuring him that he should take this opportunity to pursue surfing.
A new school year has begun and the seniors’ days are now numbered and the countdown has begun. Every senior has their story yet to be written. What will this year’s Class of 2019 create?
by Erin Hardin
Miss Hawaii Junior High America 2018 is Waialua’s own Pawehimaikaleikaumakailihiaokalani Kaira Sanoe Binz – but just call her “Pawehi.” Pawehi is an 8th grader at WHIS and has been doing pageants since the age of six. Her dance director, Mrs. Kristi Kashimoto-Rowbottom who runs the pageants, encouraged her to try it out. She loved it and plans to continue doing pageants as often as she can. Pawehi loves singing, dancing, and acting, and previously won the title of Miss Hawai’i Elementary 2015.
Pawehi has been at WHIS for a year and has enjoyed it so far, “It’s been good. I like it here. My favorite subject is science and the hardest class for me has been English.” Pawehi is a part of the first class to experience the middle school-high school split, and she says, “I really don’t mind it, although there are some middle school students who still interact with high schoolers.”
“I love doing pageants because it has helped me build my confidence from a young age and made community service a priority for me,” she said. And the best thing about participating in pageants? Pawehi answered, “The excitement of being able to create a platform to help our state and community. Being able to help the community has opened my eyes to issues happening in the world, enabling me to act locally and lend a hand to those in need.”
One downside of winning were people reacting to her negatively because of her titles. Some people have treated me differently,” she admits, “People have teased me for doing pageants, and have even stopped talking to me, but I still have my real friends who know who I am, and support me in what I do.” Pawehi brushes it off and handles it maturely by not letting anybody bring her down or stand in the way of achieving her goals. An anti-bullying campaign is included in her platform as a way to help her friends and school.
In addition, as part of her platform, she recently worked at a formal ball supporting Ho’ola Na Pua, to raise funds for females who were used in sex trafficking and help them get better physically, emotionally, as well as reintegrate them back into society. Pawehi is also involved in the GEMS STEM sorority whose goal is to empower girls and teach them to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Pawehi plans on continuing her pageant career and hopes to win more titles in the future. It is great to see younger students interested in making a difference, and her platform continues to spread throughout the island and inspire others to be a helping hand within the community. Her mom, O’a Binz said, “I’m so very proud of the goals Pāwehi has set for herself. Watching her pursue her goals, climbing mountains and falling at times all makes for a wonderful journey. Despite reaching her goals it never stopped her from giving back to the community. Her character, her determination, her strength, all make me so very proud to be her mom.”
by Anna Peters
A new start of the school year typically means two things: new classes and new teachers. Each year, most schools generally welcome aboard a few new teachers. This year at Waialua High and Intermediate School, one of those new teachers include a new College and Career Counselor, Ms. Kaiewa Muranaka. She was previously a grade level counselor at Mililani High School for six years. Prior to that, she was an elementary school counselor at Kipapa Elementary School for three years.
Ms. Muranaka decided that she wanted to become a College and Career Counselor at Waialua because she wanted to try something new. She explains, “Grade leveling counseling and college and career counseling are very different. I feel that I am ready for a change.” Ms. Muranaka also wanted to experience working in a different community she wasn’t as familiar with. Moreover, she knew that she was going to enjoy Waialua. “I have always enjoyed coming out to the North Shore with my family and sons” Ms. Muranaka states ecstatically.
So far, Ms. Muranaka loves it here at Waialua. “I really loved how everyone was very welcoming,” she elaborates. In addition, she also includes how her background accentuates her love for nature. “Being part Hawaiian, I have always admired what mother nature has to offer, from the beautiful hibiscus flowers to the strong and sturdy trees,” Ms. Muranaka says. Furthermore, she also really enjoyed the strong community feel that is unique to Waialua. she states, “Waialua contains this community connection, which is not evident in many other schools.”
As a new College and Career Counselor, Mrs. Muranaka would like to express her gratitude and thanks towards welcoming her. She ensures that she will do her best in order to help every student achieve their goals. “I know that the college and career process is overwhelming towards both students and parents, so I just want everyone to know that I am always here to help.”
by Kezia Burgoyne
In the previous article, “Why Not Read,” the reasons why some students decide not to read were explained. Many students acknowledged the inconvenience of obtaining and carrying around a paper book, and phones were noted as a potential distraction that shortens student’s attention span and willingness to read books. In part two of this article, the technological and academic side will be examined, as well as potential solutions will be presented to encourage reading in and outside of school, before books go extinct.
Sure, some students read for fun, and some don’t. Regardless of the reasons, it’s an individuals’ choice. But from an academic standpoint, reading outside of school might just be in a student’s best interest. “[Reading has] helped to read assignments and such faster, and helped me understand grammar usage more,” says freshman Bradley Dewey. Another pupil, 9th grader Kelsen Owens said, “[You learn] new words, [and] what’s going on around the world.” Many other students recognized improvements in vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills well in school as a result of outside reading. However, one student, freshman Eve Hart, expressed different point of view, and said that although she reads, it hasn’t improved her performance in academic studies “at all,” simply because “teachers don’t require it.”
Although this may be true in some cases, English teachers did notice improvements in grades when it came to students who read outside of school. “[kids who read] ideas are organized; They articulate more clearly,” says Ms. Anne Alves, an 8th grade English teacher, “The kids who read a lot outside of school can infer and ask level three questions.” Ms. Alves went on to say that students who don’t read are challenged with these skills. The question scale she refers to is a teaching method that Ms. Alves utilizes to help her students ask questions that promote discussion and consists of three levels, with the first being simple and easy and the third being complicated and rigorous.
Mr. Shah Bento, an AP Literature teacher, expressed, “[Reading] helps in academic studies, certainly in English.” When referring to a student’s point of view, Mr. Greg Kamisato, another high school English instructor, stated, “Generally, when you read, you are a good writer, because you have seen [examples of] good writing.” Many students and teachers agree that no matter one’s interest in reading, experiencing literature significantly assists students when it comes to academics. With the long run in sight, it’s truly puzzling why more students prefer not to simply read the library.
In the previous article, it was suggested that with the onslaught of technology that threatens to overtake this generation, comes a shortened attention span that may cause many teenagaers to consider reading boring. However, although technology seems to be blamed for many students’ disregard for literature, for some, there is a clever solution: ebooks. Digital literature that is lightweight, and cost less than paper books, as well as is especially designed to suit a student’s appreciation for technology. Kelsen Owens said, “Even though books are not as popular anymore, [ebooks] are great because they will never die out.” Kelsen also observed how the attaining of an ebook is instantaneous and can be listened to while multitasking. Mr. Bento, an English teacher, also suspects that the younger generation would be more motivated to read from a digital source because they grew up with technology. However, many students disagreed, saying that the experience of reading a paper book is much more enjoyable than staring at an electronic screen. “You need to turn [paper books, and] flip through the pages,” said one student. Another student, 9th grader Taumana Caicedo-Rapu, protests against digital literature, saying, “[Digital books] hurt your eyes after staring at a screen for such a long time . . . I think they should continue printing paper books, because paper books are the best kind of book.”
Even though reading may improve student’s academic skills, there are millenials who choose to either partake of literature (electronic or not) and those who don’t. Those who don’t read may be distracted with technology, school work, family, or other limiting factor. Based on these facts, students and teachers were questioned on what actions, if any, should be put in place concerning student’s interest in books for the future. Overall, many students expressed that campaigning for preserving paper books, as well as setting a specific time aside for reading during the school week would be an ideal change that would help promote teenager’s interest in literature. One freshman said that she wants to read during class, while another stated, “I really think we should work to preserve paper books and get kids to read more.” To add to this, one English teacher stated, “A designated time for reading in school would be beneficial.”
The past state of reading in schools is something we can’t change. But the future is a brown-eyed bluebird trapped in the palms of our own limitations, just waiting for us to open our fingers and release her into a black-and white sky of imagination and words.
by Hannah Bartlett
In contrast to the lush greenery of Mount Ka’ala and the Waianae Mountain Range on the North Shore of O’ahu, the Lakota Sioux Reservation is a vast expanse of beautiful, yet mostly unusable grassland in Black Hills, South Dakota. It is here that AP English teacher Shah Bento spent November 3rd through November 5th attending the 4th annual Native Alliance Leadership Summit. During this Teach for America sponsored event, educators from all over the country celebrated, built coalitions, and supported teacher and professional learning for the Native identity based community. It was his chance to become aware of how difficult it has been for the Sioux and how they have successfully, as Bento says, “survived despite tremendous hardships.”
To help this underprivileged community, the Native Alliance Initiative came together with Teach for America to ensure that all Native American and Hawaiian children are receiving an excellent education and prepare them to be future leaders. A major obstacle that Mr. Bento noticed on the reservation was the lack of economic opportunity. “Hawaii has a thriving economy that students have access to,” he states, “on the reservation, there are no chances for children to get jobs – the unemployment rate is roughly 80% compared to Hawaii’s 2.2%.” The Pine Ridge Reservation, with over 40,000 people (92% Sioux), has the highest poverty and unemployment rate. The Community Development Corporation (CDC) brought in people and materials to build homes, and by doing so, brought down the cost and made it affordable for the Sioux community.
Each day opened with a spiritual meditation where they were speaking the Sioux native language, Lakota, which was then translated to English. Much like the Native Hawaiians, the Sioux nation is very family oriented, and is a culture that, in the past, has really been hurt by the United States government. However, with the support within their families and community, they manage to get by. The Hawaiian cultural renaissance that happened in the early 1970s brought back the language, customs, music, crafts, and hula. The Lakota Sioux cultural renaissance started to happen in 2012.
Pride in the Lakota language and customs of the Sioux is beginning to flourish. The students are all so proud and driven by their culture that they thrive off of it even due to the lack of opportunity. In the 1800s, a Lakota holy man, Black Elk, predicted that the Sioux seventh generation would find new hope in this special native American culture. The seventh generation are the Sioux children of 2012. “It’s always the youth that have the most hope,” says Mr. Bento. And like the Native Hawaiians, this is a time for the rebirth of a nation, a revolutionary renaissance of the Lakota Sioux.
by Taumana Caicedo Rapu
This year, the cafeteria staff out did themselves with a new lunch menu. Now, you can find plates like the tuna dip and chips with curly fries, as well as Baja fish tacos with garlic aioli sauce, and Asian pan roasted vegetables. The new menu also includes vegetarian choices like the vegetarian pizza and the egglette with whole grain toast for breakfast – a great way to start the day. Many students have commented how much they like the change in the lunch. Nova Rivera, a senior, was happy to share her thoughts and she said that she really enjoyed the new lunch and loved the addition of seasonal fruit. “The chicken nuggets are my favorite,” she said. However, she would like to see some slightly bigger portions, especially for those hungry high schoolers.
Destin Young, a seventh grader, was also very helpful in sharing his views of the new school lunch. Destyn says that the lunch is really good and that his favorite is the pizza. When asked if he would change anything he replied with, “No, the lunch is already perfect.” Finally, freshman Aurora Capes stated that her favorite lunch is nachos and says that she really likes the fact that they now have vegetarian choices. “I really like the fruits and I hope that they incorporate them into the lunch more often,” she said. Be sure to support the cafeteria as well as the school by enjoying these new lunch choices yourself.
by Kezia Burgoyne
Over the years, Waialua High and Intermediate School has experienced many librarians come and go, each having served valiantly when helping students find the perfect book to read. However, as the school is evolving, one solid fact stands: Student’s interest in reading is wavering. Now, when one enters the school’s library, rows of students can be viewed on computers whilst completing various assignments and not paying the literature that surrounds them a single glance. Meanwhile, the librarian faithfully sits at an empty desk, waiting for anyone who requires her services. Upperclassmen state that they haven’t so much as opened a book since their middle school years and
back. Part of the library has also been relocated to make room for the new College Career and Resource Center. By no means are the recent developments in technology bad, but there is no denying that books are becoming more and more scarce as time continues its journey. Throughout it all, one question lingers: Why?
When readers were asked why they find reading so desirable, many relayed the feeling of being, “Lost in a book,” as well as experiencing new adventures and learning life lessons. “I read for the language, the way the author writes, and the adventure behind it,” said Taumana Caicedo-Rapu, a freshman at Waialua High School. Another freshman, Savannah Jansen, began an enthusiastic rant of her enjoyment of the “knowledge, fictional fantasies, and growth of imagination,” that she gains from poring over novels. On the other the hand, students who don’t read books outside of school justified their relationship with literature with words like, “heavy,” “expensive,” and “time-consuming.” Even though public libraries compensate for the financial downside of reading, many students still find reading unappealing. The rise of academic pressure is also a contributing factor of the decrease of literature in today’s society.
“Reading is time-consuming, and it’s hard to find a book you actually want to read,” said senior Densen Vidad-Albeso. Junior Hannah Bartlett declared, “I find reading very boring – it puts me to sleep.” Eighth grade English teacher, Ms. Anne Alves, suggested that because reading is generally an individual activity, and many students are used to group activities, students find it difficult to focus on a piece of writing independent of a classroom full of clashing ideas. After all these opinions are clearly displayed, curiosity nags for an answer: Why are some high-schoolers captivated by crisp, ink-covered pages, while others drift off to sleep under the influence of emotionless, cold words on paper?
Ms. Alves gave her reasoning, saying, “A lot of students don’t expect anything from reading – there are no consequences of not reading, so students don’t read.” Ms. Alves also observed how a lot of the English curriculum is focused mainly on informational text, and only one book is read per school year, per grade. She said that with this constant leaping from informational article to informational article of action-filled fact, as well as with phones occupying many student’s spare time, students are losing the necessary attention span required to read a novel. She states, “When you ask a kid who is used to this lifestyle, to sit and read for one hour, they find it hard.”
Mr. Shah Bento, the Expository Writing teacher, added to this idea, recognizing that books aren’t as present in school, as well as crediting this to the, “advent of television and visual forms of entertainment.” Hannah Bartlett, who admitted to having a short attention span that directly limits her enjoyment of reading, said, “Everyone has phones now, and they would rather go on social media then read books.” Hannah also illustrated this by comparing both herself and her brother, who doesn’t own a phone and reads, whereas Hannah carries a phone with her everywhere she goes, and doesn’t enjoy books as much. Many other students attribute the shrinking interest in reading to technology, and said phrases like, “Books have been replaced by a cell phone,” and, “Millennials like technology more [than reading].” The shrinking of high-schoolers interest in literature could very well be attributed to the scattered lifestyle many millennials struggle to balance daily, as well as the oncoming breakthroughs in technology. Although technology is not inherently bad, it is important to maintain a balance between the cell phone and other forms of entertainment.
Reading is loved by many high schoolers as well as disliked by a host of teenagers. Regardless, it is entirely one’s choice whether they want to read or not. Even so, readers are encouraged to pick up a book and flip through the pages. Who knows, you might just become entranced with the luscious literature yourself.