Roosevelt High School is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Rough Riders turn 75
A renovated auditorium will be named for a ‘50s football coach
Teachers as well as students from Roosevelt High are experiencing campus renovations and flashbacks from years past. These changes are being brought on by the arrival of their 75th anniversary.
Roosevelt High School
Janniese Mulch and Jessie Park
1120 Nehoa St., Honolulu 96822
The old Roosevelt auditorium is undergoing renovations this school year. Along with a new auditorium, the school has plans to rebuild its football stadium. The new stadium will be named after Edmund "Ticky" Vasconcellos, who coached football at Roosevelt from 1955 through 1957.
Coach "Ticky" will be honored not only through the new stadium, but also at a banquet hosted by the Roosevelt Alumni Association. This event is being held tomorrow at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom. The money raised is going toward a goal of $350,000 to help with $4 million renovation projects on the stadium and auditorium.
Roosevelt High is also celebrating 75 years of memories. Cynthia Teramoto, a Spanish teacher and a 15-year faculty veteran, shared her favorite memory: "A senior assembly with the Black and Blues Brothers and teachers dressed up in '50s attire."
English teacher Peter Coleman also shared one of his favorite memories: "I remember the times we won the games but lost the scores. I remember the noble defeats and surprising victories."
Roosevelt High School can stand tall in celebrating its 75 years of history while looking forward to its next 75 years.
The class of 1960 plans its 10th reunion picnic in 1970.
Students in 1988 discuss ideas for a solar-powered race car for a school project.
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Debate team hopes for return trip to nationals
In April 2005, Roosevelt's speech and debate team beat out all other competing high school debate teams in Hawaii, winning the state championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate and advancing to the national tournament.
The tournament took place the week of June 13 in Philadelphia, with 100 other schools from across the United States competing for national titles.
Schools on the Mainland compete on a district level with winners progressing to the state level, but Hawaii competes at only one district and state level; thus, district winners are considered state champions. At the state tournament, there are five preliminary rounds with additional quarter-, semi-, and final rounds.
Neal Akatsua, Andrew Abordonado and Kelli Koga, seniors last year, took first, second and third place, respectively, sweeping the category.
Speech and debate coach Daniel Addis said, "We have drastically improved the past couple years from having only a couple students qualify for states to having students actually qualify for nationals!"
All three seniors went to the national tournament, with Akatsuka and Abordonado as national qualifiers and Koga as debate captain.
Topics in Lincoln-Douglas debate are philosophically based, and students must uphold and defend a value to win rounds. At the national level, there are six preliminary rounds and 12 ballots. Eight of the 12 ballots are needed to qualify.
Both Akatsuka and Abordonado won six out of the 12 ballots, "just missing the cut-off," Addis said.
The team usually meets twice a week after school.
Addis has been coaching for about five years and notices the team's improvement: "The old coach was very experienced, but didn't have enough time to practice with the team. The students who were really dedicated to speech and debate were able to put their own time into it and succeed, but some of the others needed the extra help. I've tried to spend more time with the students, and the progress is evident."
Addis says the debate team became more organized, "with the actual positions of captains and such, the more experienced students were able to help the novice ones." He encourages students to join speech and debate, citing the group as an excellent way of building public speech skills.
"It'll help you in the long run," he says.
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"What’s the wildest thing you have ever done?"
"One of the wildest things I've ever done would have to be when I rode all-terrain vehicles through Indonesia."
"Joining wrestling and actually sticking through it. That sport is nuts; you're in for a wild ride."
"Every day I enjoy life as it is; there may never be tomorrow!"
"When I was 4, I rode my tricycle down two flights of stairs and landed in a snow bank."
Photography and former yearbook adviser
"Back in 1989 I spent the summer in Costa Rica and went white water rafting -- it was wild!"