Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, October 29, 2001


Alberta Lui, teacher-in-training Aimee Sze, Elisha Auala
and Shantel Balanga get ready for the first incision
on their fetal pig.

Teen surgeons
for a day

Students dissect fetal pigs to learn
more about the human body

Aspiring teachers learn on the job
Young leaders 'Taste the Rainbow'


By Tiare Kruse
The Surfrider

To have the honor of picking up a scalpel and dissecting a fetal pig was an exhilarating experience. Cutting into a dead animal brought expressions of amazement and curiosity from the students.

Dissecting fetal pigs was the focus in the Human Anatomy and Physiology class at Kailua High School this month. Students in this course have come to expect college level experiments and assignments.

Instructor J.J. Feurer said, "Local professors tell me the biggest problem students face in their classes is that they are not ready for the rigorous demands of college level studies. This course is designed to ease that transition."

Feurer first demonstrated how to dissect using a cat and explained the functions of the organs.

"He was very specific and mature about handling the cat," said Mitchell Kulolia, grade 12. "His demonstration helped me understand how to dissect the pig."

After Feurer's lecture, students tackled their own pig, working in groups of three to five. They had to identify the 11 organ systems and write down all their observations.

"Some things just shouldn't be taught from books," said Feurer. "Students need to utilize all their senses if they are to make meaningful connections."

The students first reacted to the awful smell. "At first it seemed gross and smelled really bad," said Pikake Choy Foo, grade 11. "But afterwards it became interesting because you get to see everything in it."

Most students thought the experience would be disgusting, but they gradually became more curious.

"At first I thought I wouldn't be able to handle seeing all the guts, but I ended up being the main surgeon," said Charlemagne Guzman, grade 12.

A few students refused to even touch the pig, but they still got to see its organs. "Even though it was educational, I couldn't handle the smell and the visual part of the dissection," said Jun Zhang, grade 12.

Students will also learn about the human body, microscopy and physiological dysfunctions.

"It's a really exciting class," said Ku'u Kapahu, grade 11. "It gives you hands on experience and opens more opportunities to explore."

Russ Fitzgerald, a social studies teacher, admitted that he led a boycott against dissection in high school. "I didn't think it was necessary," he said, "but if you're going into the medical field, then hands-on experience seems much better."

This is a college preparation course and students are expected to do more than some science classes. Many colleges on Oahu use the same text.

"The reason I took this class is because it would prepare me for college when I go to nursing school," said Tania Brown.

Some students who have taken these classes over the years have gone into all fields of health care. "I had a student once who wanted to be a nurse, but since she did so great in the class, I convinced her that she would do better in a bigger field of study," said Feurer. "She is now in college studying to be a doctor."

"This experience has inspired me to continue my goal in the medical field," Senior Ruth Pedro said. "I'll remember Mr. Feurer when I'm the next surgeon general of the U.S.!"

Aspiring teachers
learn on the job

By Sharrese Castillo, Jennifer Sur and Zane Lacaden
The Surfrider

Kailua teachers and students are getting extra help from a group of 13 University of Hawaii graduate students participating in a program designed to give them real-life classroom experience. The UH students, who belong to the Master of Education in Teaching (MET) program, can be found working in small groups with students or tutoring in certain subjects.

"MET students are invaluable to teachers," said math teacher Nona Oato. "They assist students and create more time for classroom teachers to interact individually with students. Teachers who work with the MET students also find they become more reflective teachers."

MET is a two-year program for students who have a bachelor's degree and want to be teachers. It started seven years ago to give UH students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Kailua and Castle High Schools are the only two high schools that participate.

The first year of the program students observe a wide range of classes in the school and teach mini units in and out of their subject area. They also shadow administrators, counselors, and janitors. "The program will help them to have a clear perception of different teaching styles," said Cy Ohta, Social Studies Department chairperson and a former MET student.

At first semester's end they present a portrait of the school to the staff. The second semester they continue observing and mini teaching. By the second year of the program they begin student teaching for three periods during first semester. The second semester they become intern teachers and receive a stipend.

MET student Aimee Sze, who tutors in Oato's math classes, won high praise from students. "Miss Sze helped me answer some of the questions I had on my homework when Mrs. Oato was busy with another student," said Christy Gilman. Sze also helps students participating in the Math League.

Anne Wong teaches Japanese I classes with Ohta, providing another resource for the students and helps them individually when they have questions. Sophomore Mike Garcia said, "She's interested in the language and helps me out a lot."

Seven former MET students are on the KHS staff. Science teacher Derek Minakami was one of the first. Last year, he was named the Hawaii State Teacher of the Year and named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.

Young leaders ‘Taste
the Rainbow’

5 elementary schools take part
in Kailua's annual training camp

By Rhandi Uehara and Amy Young
The Surfrider

Wildly waving their hands, 47 blindfolded children scattered across an empty field at Camp Mokuleia. They clapped their hands, snapped their fingers and stomped their feet, working their way toward each other like blind mice sniffing out a path to find cheese at the end of a maze.

Their mission: to find other members of their predesignated group and line up in numerical order. The catch: they couldn't utter a word or any other type of verbal cue.

The field exercise was just one part of Kailua High School's annual Elementary Leadership Training Conference (ELTC). Students from Keolu, Kaelepulu, Enchanted Lake, Maunawili and Blanche Pope Elementary Schools gathered at Camp Mokuleia for the annual conference.

Every year, members of each elementary school's Student Council attend the conference to gain valuable leadership skills.

Sixteen facilitators from Kailua High School planned this year's conference, which took place Sept. 26-28.

The purpose of having ELTC is to help the younger students form a base of leadership skills.

"I think it helped them to develop a sense of community and bond together," said former Enchanted Lake adviser Gail Yoneshige. "It helped them to see other officers from other schools so that they could build friendships."

The camp also provides the opportunity for advisers of each elementary school to share activities and teaching methods.

Facilitators created different workshops that would help the campers grow as people, as well as leaders. Each workshop focused on a valuable characteristic student council members should possess.

One activity was a card game called Mao.

The facilitators began the game without explaining any rules.

As the game progressed, the kids caught on and learned a valuable leadership skill at the same time.

"Mao was hard and challenging," said camper Gavin Kido. "I learned that if you tell someone to do something, you need to be specific and add details."

This year's theme, "Taste the Rainbow," symbolized different aspects of leadership (teamwork, unity, respect). "Each student represented a different color and when these colors were combined, they created a rainbow," said facilitator Nathan Martin. "The rainbow was a reflection of the students putting their qualities together to create a path of everlasting success."

At the end of the camp, awards, goodie bags and challenges were distributed to the students. Challenges are little mementos given by each facilitator to remind the students of the lessons they have learned and encourage them to use it in their everyday lives.

ELTC helps the high school students become better leaders, as well as introduces the facilitative method to the younger children.

"I think knowing that they (the facilitators) are students, but older, gave them (the campers) something to look up to and work for. They know that when they go to high school, they will get to do something like that. It inspires them to do well," said Yoneshige.

Shaun Ritter / The surfrider
Alberta Lui, teacher-in-training Aimee Sze, Elisha Auala and Shantel Balanga get ready for the first incision on their fetal pig.


Considering that there is a teacher shortage, would you like to become a teacher?

Kristin Patterson
"No, I hate kids."

Jonathan Tabar
"Yes, I would because I'd like to better the educational system in Hawaii."

Jonathan Heu
"No, I wouldn't be a teacher because they don't make enough money. I don't want to worry about how I'm going to pay the bills and support my family."

Tyffany O'Connell
"No, because kids are mean and they don't listen to teachers."

Patrick Teves
"No, because it is a low paying job, and you never get the recognition you deserve."

Ashlynn Fisher
"No, because I wouldn't get paid that much, and I couldn't control my big class."

Jason Kayo
"No, because I don't want to come back to school again."

Stephanie Andrus
"No, because teachers don't get any respect. Why would you want to go into a job where you wouldn't get the respect you deserve?"

Mitchell Franks
"Yes, I would be proud to know that I could be a big part of future generations!"

Ruth Pedro
"No, because I don't have the patience that's required to be a teacher. Being a teacher isn't for everyone. Especially for me!"

Nashwa Bolling
"No, because they don't get paid enough for all that they have to put up with."

Shamara Brown
"Yes, I would become a teacher because as an American, I would be glad to help by being a leader for the youth."



Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers will tell us about their high school. This week's school is Kailua High.

Newspaper: The Surfrider Editor: Shaun Ritter and Jennifer Sur

Faculty adviser: June Williams

Next week: Waipahu High


Address: 451 Ulumanu Drive, Kailua, HI 96744

Phone: 266-7900

Principal: Mary Murakami

Vice Principals: Wade Araki and Pamela Bond

History: Established in 1954, as a three-year high school at the present site of Kailua Intermediate School. In 1955, it moved to its present location.

Motto: Ho'omakamaka a ho'okumu (Creating Friendships and Futures

Colors: Blue and white

Fund-raisers: The 5 K Fun Run will be held Nov. 4. A Breakfast with Santa Claus is in December. For information and registration call Anne Higashi at 266-7900, or Ed Kemper at 524-0330 or 262-6228. Register on-line at

Upcoming events:

Winter Ball: Dec. 19

Senior Luau: Jan. 26 at Paradise Cove

Freshman Sophomore Banquet: Feb. l6 at Kaneohe Marine Corps Officers Club

AFJROTC Spring Camp: Schofield Barracks, March 23-28

Junior Prom: March 30 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel

Senior Prom: April 27 at the Waikiki Beach Marriot

Graduation: June 1 at the Kailua High School field

Students: 1,080

Teachers: 67

Service: 5 Clubs on campus performing community service

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