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Monday, March 24, 2003


HAWAII'S SCHOOLS



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COURTESY OF KEALAKEHE HIGH SCHOOL
Kealakehe High School student Sarah Perry volunteered at last year's Ironman Triathlon in Kailua-Kona. Student organizations at the school have helped others in the local community and abroad.




Activities help
Kealakehe grow

Classes, clubs and sports have
created an identity for the school
in its six-year existence

Head start for girls
You asked
About this page


By Morgan Cabrera
Kealakehe High School

Kealakehe High School opened in 1997 with only a freshman class, a small campus and a limited number of courses. There was no gym, no football field and only 16 faculty members to serve the excited student body. However, in recent years the campus has expanded and the student population has quadrupled.

In addition to seven advanced placement courses, eight service clubs and 19 new Big Island Interscholastic Federation sports, the new football stadium and a practice field will be completed by this May. Slowly but surely, Kealakehe has grown into a premier secondary school, dedicated to serving Kona's youth.

This year there are 1,313 students, with Waveriders of many different races and ages attending. KHS is also home to several foreign exchange students from Japan, Spain and Armenia.

Junior Sarah Starr says the student body is "very diverse, but everyone gets along well and it's pretty peaceful. It is amazing how peaceful it is considering the variety of people on campus."

Kealakehe High School itself is a beautiful place, and the sun-filled days and breezy afternoons allow for comfortable learning conditions. Situated on the slopes of Mount Hualalai, the open atmosphere provides the students with fresh air and a wonderful view of the Kona coast.

Over the past few years, many of Kealakehe High's Waveriders have signed up for the more rigorous AP classes. There are several disciplines available in areas including history, English, science and math.

Also important to faculty and students are the school clubs. Kealakehe's student organizations have benefited the school as well as the Kona community.

The Kealakehe Interact/Rotary club, run by David Huitt and Yanaba Lewis, has won several awards and gained praise for its community service. Locally, the club feeds the homeless at a monthly Meet 'n' Eat gathering and creates get-well cards for patients at local hospitals. Interactors also help people internationally by sending money and food from fund-raisers to an orphanage in India. With all it does, the Interact club makes Kealakehe a great place to go to school.

Another popular organization is the KHS Travel Club, run by Jeffrey Hartman. The Travel Club has broadened the horizons of several young students through its travels all over Europe. The club has visited cities like Rome, Venice, Munich and Heidelberg. Many Waveriders have come back with newly found visions of the world, and their travels have opened them to global opportunities.

Besides the Interact and Travel clubs, there are several organizations geared toward student involvement. Events such as the yearly Blood Drive and Wacky Olympics are examples of classroom studies extending into and benefiting the community. The clubs of Kealakehe High provide a wealth of service opportunities for the student body and truly round out the curriculum.

One of the most significant areas of Kealakehe is its sports program. The school provides its students with sports ranging from football and basketball to more uncommon sports like judo and paddling.

At least one of Kealakehe's teams makes it to the various Big Island Interscholastic Federation tournaments every year. This year, Kealakehe's wrestling team came in first at the BIIF tournament, and female wrestler Jasmine Norman won the state championship in the 130-pound weight class.

Kealakehe has also produced some excellent athletes, like senior James Kamoku, who earned a football scholarship with the University of Wisconsin in the fall.

The sports provided by the school have kept many students off the streets and out of trouble while also providing its student body with a great way to exercise and have fun.


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You asked

Do you think the education provided by the state of Hawaii is good enough to compete with mainland students?

Compiled by Jayson Transfiguration, Nicole Medeiros and Jeremiah Kalua'u

Aysha O'Brien

Freshman
"No, because when students move to the mainland, they have a hard time with the work."

Tyson Tsuda

Sophomore
"Yes, but a lot of the students just don't want to learn and are uncooperative."

Ferren Alapai

Sophomore
"No, because they have better equipment. Their technologies and software are more advanced, and they get to use them."

Roxanne Fox

Junior
"No. I don't feel we are provided with the same education as mainland students because this state doesn't hold the same standards as they do on the mainland. We get away with doing little, so why try our best?"

Hayato Fukumitsu

Junior
"Yes, but it may be only the honors students who have the same opportunities as the mainland students."

Kamie Kajikawa

Junior
"No, because some of the teachers in the DOE are not qualified in the subject that they teach."

Alisha Sapanara

Junior
"Yes. We are presented with the same opportunities, but the students here seem like they are not as interested or as motivated to learn as the mainland students."

Marla Garcia

Senior
"Yes, because we are offered the same types of courses, and it is up to the students to get the most out of it."

Ashlee Moncier

Senior
"No, because they have different choices and different AP classes. We're close but not there."

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About this page

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

Newspaper: The Wave
Editor: Devin Thompson
Faculty adviser: Kira Cadang-Kristan

Waverider facts

Address: 74-5000 Puohulihuli St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Phone: 808-327-4300
Founded: 1997
Mascot: The Waverider
School colors: Blue and silver
Vision statement: "Harmony and unity through dynamic education and community for everyone, every time."




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