COURTESY OF MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL
Members of Fred Ito's business law class prepare their arguments for the Hawaii Mock Trial competition.
Mock court lets students try serious business
15 from Moanalua hold their own against more experienced competing teams
Few students can boast that they have ever been sworn into a role; however, Fred Ito's third-period business law class can tell you about its day in court.
Moanalua High School
Joshua Fujino and Aric Bender
2825 Ala Ilima St.
Honolulu, HI 96818
Blue and silver
Everyone in the class played a role, from junior Jackie Nguyen, who served as prosecutor, to Frida Lacuata, who played defendant Drew Diamond. The team of 15 students represented Moanalua in the Hawaii Mock Trial competition.
To prepare, the class worked from October through February researching the fictional second-degree homicide case against Drew Diamond. In the case, Diamond has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Ty Christie.
They were also helped along the way by their two legal advisers, attorneys Brian Kang* and David Suzuki, who are alumni of Moanalua's mock trial program. King and Suzuki came and mentored them throughout the process of researching, building and polishing a case.
The trial took place in an actual court of law. A judge listened to both sides and presented points to each side independently, then decided whether to convict Drew Diamond.
It's not really about competition, though, but about putting together a thoroughly researched, persuasive and authentic case that will provide students with firsthand experience in the judicial system.
Former social studies teacher and current Principal Darrel Galera and history teacher Wray Jose were past advisers of the team, but the program was discontinued several years ago. Fred Ito revived the program this year for his business law students, who, he said, "held their own quite well" against other schools that had been participating regularly over the years.
Members of the class are Brennan Atwood, Jocelyn Canianes, Kathleen DeGuzman, Linda Duong, Michael Soon Fah, Kerry Guilleromo Hannah Jun, Frida Lacuata, Michelle Lacuata, Andre Liang, Sean Nicholson, Jaclyn Nguyen, Jordan Paulachak, Donna Mae Rizando, Ergel Valenzuela and Jay Yoshizawa.
The trial took place every day for four days at 4 p.m.; the Moanalua team faced two teams each from Hawaii Baptist Academy and Mililani High School, alternating between prosecution and defense positions.
Some of the schools had veterans that, combined with the long waiting periods, made everything feel "freaky and scary," according to Frida Lacuata. Despite being all brand-new to the program, though, they did win one round against Mililani.*
Next year, with some team members returning, they will probably do even better. Unfortunately, there are not enough students currently signed up for Ito's business law class, so unless more students change their schedule, the mock trial program will have to be run after school.
The extent of material that would need to be covered and researched would make that difficult, however, without dedicated individuals. In fact, lack of interest was the reason the program stopped at Moanalua many years ago.
The worst part, Lacuata said, was "studying my part," which consisted primarily of an affidavit statement -- a formal statement of fact given in front of a court witness. Another thing they had to learn was court etiquette, including saying "your honor" and wearing proper attire, such as business suits.
"If you just study it, of course you're not going to get any hands-on experiences," Jaclyn Nguyen said.
For high-schoolers interested in going into anything related to law or law enforcement, the business law class is an excellent course to take, because they study and learn about all the pertinent laws as they build their case and learn about civil and criminal cases at the same time.
BACK TO TOP
5 students learn makeup artistry through theater program
For students across the state, attending Wednesday night dress rehearsals of the Hawaii Opera Theatre's upcoming performances for only $6 is a steal. For Moanalua students, the opportunity to work as makeup interns for the theater is worth more than any discount.
Five students of Moanalua's Opera Club, advised by English teacher Dr. Cristina Rathyen, have participated in a unique program offered by the Hawaii Opera Theatre in which each had the opportunity to learn the skills and trade of makeup artistry. The students got involved through the club's president, junior Michelle Chibana, after her role in the opera "Don Giovanni." Student interns had to attend three workshops, where they learned the intricate skills of makeup artistry that are critical to the aesthetic and mood of the overall show.
"It's not just slapping it on (the actors') faces," junior Kristen Kohashi explained. "You have to know where to put it and how much."
Skills such as wig-handling, costume treatment and makeup applications prepared the student interns for working backstage during the shows, prepping and retouching numerous actors for their roles and costume changes.
"We had to learn how to wrap their hair," Kohashi added. "There's a different way for short hair and a different way for long hair."
COURTESY OF MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL
Moanalua juniors Kristen Kohashi, Alex DeVaux and Felice Wong participate in Hawaii Opera Theatre's wigs and makeup workshop.
For the students, the opportunity was golden -- no experience was necessary, just the desire and dedication to participate.
Aside from participation in the Makeup Intern program, members of Moanalua's Opera Club are treated to other activities. The club is responsible for the endorsement of the discounted opera tickets and sells them through the English classes each season. Though only five students worked as makeup interns, the number of students who attend the Wednesday night rehearsals are easily triple that amount. After the opera, students gather at meetings to discuss and review the show they have just seen, as well as anticipate the next.
Unfortunately for the interns, shows can rarely be seen, though they do work at the actual shows, as well. While students show up only for the dress rehearsal, the student interns are working with the wigs and makeup "almost every other day," Kohashi said.
Though the students have yet to achieve the status of celebrity makeup artists -- "We put it on everyone except the leads, because they have their own people," Kohashi said -- they are well on their way.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
» The Moanalua High School team was advised by attorney Brian Kang during a recent mock trial competition. His name was misspelled in an article on Page D2 yesterday. Also, the team won one round against Mililani High School, not Hawaii Baptist Academy. In addition, the school's phone number was not listed where it was indicated to be -- it is 837-8455.