[ HAWAII'S SCHOOLS ]
COURTESY OF HAWAII PREPARATORY ACADEMY
Hawaii Preparatory Academy's International Day celebrates the cultural diversity of the school's student body every January.
Spanning the globe
Hawaii Preparatory Academy students represent the far reaches of the planet
AS A HIGH SCHOOL, Hawaii Preparatory Academy could be considered the most ethnically diverse place on the Big Island, with international students from South Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Saipan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, South Africa and Canada. HPA also has many students from the mainland and neighbor islands.
[ HAWAII'S SCHOOLS ]
Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers tell us about their high school. Today's school:
Hawaii Preparatory Academy
65-1692 Kohala Mountain Road, Kamuela, HI 96743
Ka Makani (the mountain wind)
This blend of cultures and ethnicities makes HPA a truly dynamic and unique place. For example, HPA celebrates International Day annually in January, when students from different countries come together to create fabulous displays of food and activities that represent their unique cultures. From Bul-ko-ki, a dish of seasoned beef from Korea, to Nama, a goat stew from South Africa, the varied cultures and ethnic backgrounds of HPA manifest in their variety.
However, the ethnic and cultural diversity present in the International Day celebration extends much further into the community of HPA. From the playing fields to the classrooms, HPA has a broad range of interests and perspectives that come from this international variety.
Students from South Africa, Korea, Japan and Germany contributed to the soccer team, which recently held sixth place in state rankings. Working together and combining their skills, they achieved a unique and powerful team dynamic. Through the mix of soccer styles, abilities and strategies influenced by different playing styles in their respective countries, the HPA soccer team rose to glory.
The same dynamic that helps the Ka Makani soccer and other teams succeed on the fields applies in the classrooms. Discussions that would contain limited opinions or viewpoints at other high schools are supplemented at HPA by a variety of perspectives. Topics that would be presented through one viewpoint at other schools are approached from a variety of cultures and upbringings at HPA.
HPA also takes a unique approach to helping international students ease into the English language and culture. HPA's IES classes focus on practical research and learning, and build English skills through experience.
Branching away from the traditional grammar and memorization approach, this method gives students practical skills that allow them to investigate not only a different language but also a unique culture and perspective on the world.
The variety of students and cultures at HPA is a defining feature of the campus that yields an exciting and unique educational, social and athletic environment. It is certainly one of the campus' best features, if not the greatest.
[ YOU ASKED ]
Several HPA exchange students discussed their views on cultural diversity at the school.
"It creates a sense of a harmonious community."
"(I think it's) awesome."
Min Seon Kim
"I think it's wonderful! Since it's so diverse, I can learn about other cultures from friends. Other than English, I can learn other languages such as Japanese, German and Chinese."