COURTESY LIFETOUCH PHOTOGRAPHY
Kahuku High's senior class president, Marie-Jeanne "Nana" Napaa, enjoys Cheer-fest.
Red Raider for life
Kahuku's High's lively school spirit springs forth in full bloom at homecoming events
"Go Big Red!" Tucked away on the North Shore of Oahu, Kahuku High and Intermediate School is home of the Red Raiders. With a prestigious background in sports, academics and overall performance, Kahuku High is home to some of the finest, most spirited students.
Kahuku High School
56-490 Kamehameha Highway
Kahuku, HI 96731
Red and White
One of the biggest events and strong sources of pride at Kahuku is homecoming. A number of activities are jampacked into one crazy week that leads up to the big game. At the game the court was showcased, consisting of a king and queen as well as a prince and princess for each grade level.
A pep rally was held at the school's gym to kick off the week. This was no ordinary pep rally for the community, because a lost tradition was brought back to life. The burning of the "K" was scheduled along with other activities for the night. Student Body Government (SBG) President Marie Matangi first brought the idea to life in 1999. Constructed by Dwayne Fely, he with the help of others took care of preparations and safety precautions for the night's events. Symbolizing our spirit and passion for our school and its legacy, the flames represented strength and unity as not only a school, but also as a family. Meanwhile the football team worked their way to the front of the gym to perform the traditional haka. Cheering and screaming, the tone was set for the night.
On Friday students came dressed to school in funky clothes to follow the theme "funky-facation," which consisted of bright colors, tights and peace signs. Monday was "Colorific" day, and each grade level was assigned a different color to wear. Seniors dressed in yellow, juniors in green, sophomores in brown and freshmen in orange. Students were flourishing in colors around campus, and preparations for Cheer-fest continued. Tuesday's Theme was "Pajama Day," and students walked around campus in sleepwear.
Later that evening Cheer-fest was held at Brigham Young University's Canon Activity Center. Cheer-fest is held once a year during homecoming week and gives each class a chance to show who has the most spirit. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all create separate cheers with their class officers. In order they each perform their cheer to the community and a panel of judges. Chelsy Eugenio, a Kahuku High School senior as well as cheerleading captain, said, "Being the only school that holds an annual Cheer-fest, it was a good experience to see the whole community come out and watch us perform."
Wednesday's theme was "Military appreciation," and students came dressed in army print, camouflage material and green and brown colors. Thursday's final theme was the traditional "Red and White." In addition to Cheer-fest, each class constructed its own float, which was displayed between the intermission of the junior varsity and varsity games. Everyone was welcomed to help contribute to the decoration of their class float. "I think that everyone has a lot of pride in our school, and it's fun. As cheerleading captain it's important to display school spirit and encourage others to participate," said Eugenio.
With all the activities that homecoming week had to offer, the greatest achievement was the overwhelming participation by the students as well as the community. "The spirit comes with pride of the school. We live in a community full of spirit; the quote 'Red Raider for Life' is embedded in the kids since they are in elementary. Everything is for life here," says SBG adviser Sunday Mariteragi. Getting involved with those around you and participating in events that are fun and positive have a greater impact than imaginable.
High school can be a complicated roller coaster of ups and downs: trying to fit in, preparing for college, choosing the right friends, on top of maintaining good grades. Staying active and having spirit are easy to do at a high school such as Kahuku with a variety of activities to choose from such as speech and debate, History Day, We the People and a variety of clubs to help students lead a positive lifestyle. With help from those around the community, faculty, class officers and students, homecoming week was a success and an example of the thriving spirit that Kahuku has to offer.
Young orators thrive in Speech and Debate
"To be prepared and worthy to compete with the best" -- this is the mission that the Kahuku Speech and Debate Team lives by. Despite being out in the country, this team is determined to not let other schools, no matter what resources they have, intimidate it.
Thus far the Speech and Debate Team has fulfilled its mission. At the States Competition in April, Kahuku sent 20 students in 10 different speech and debate categories! At the competition Kahuku took first, second and third place in Varsity Policy Debate, third place in Championship Lincoln Douglas, and had two quarter-finalists in Novice Lincoln Douglas.
Because of this outstanding accomplishment the team was able to send Ariana Forgerson, Alix Roberts and Caitie Karraker to Wichita, Kan., to compete at the National Competition in June.
With all this success there is a lot of pressure for the 2007-2008 Speech and Debate Team to win again. "We were so lucky to have had great mentors on our team who took the time to work with us. We have really big shoes to fill, but with a lot of hard work, I know that we can take States!" says senior Jacob Cabrinha.
So what makes a winning team? It has become a tradition on the Kahuku Speech and Debate team to have varsity members teach the new members on the team. Winifred Graham, the Speech and Debate coach, feels that this is the winning formula to create a successful team. The varsity members relate best to the newbies and can give them real advice on the feelings they might be experiencing.
KAHUKU JOURNAL STAFF
Speech and debate members Michael Tyau and Chelsea Kamauoha do research before an upcoming competition.
Another tradition that makes the team strong is they take at least one trip a year to the mainland and attend tournaments there. This year they are going to Chicago to debate eight rounds over the course of three days, and have been vigorously preparing. "Traveling opens students' eyes and puts their lives into perspective. They realize that if they are going to be successful in life, they will have to compete with many great minds. It motivates them to work hard to be the best not only in Hawaii, but in the nation," says Graham.
When asked what makes the students in the program so successful, she replied, "Speech and Debate enables students to find their voice and become passionate about life. If you put your heart into this program, you will come out a much more successful person. The rigor of the program demands it. You need critical thinking, research, writing and speaking skills. It is the rigor of the activity itself that increases your confidence to take risks and motivation to excel in everything you do."
Graham is so passionate about what Speech and Debate can do for students that she calls it "Miracle Grow." She preaches to students and parents that like the fertilizer accelerates the growth of beautiful flowers, debate strengthens the skills of students to make them great leaders. It has become the team slogan and team joke. The team loves to compare their team to fertilizer.
"The greatest thing about being a member of the Speech and Debate Team is it nurtures skills that I can use not only in the debate round, but that I can use in all my other classes as well as skills I need for college and for the rest of my life. It is comforting to know that I am prepared," says junior Sarah Ungureit, the Policy captain.
The graduates of the Speech and Debate Team have gone on to do great things. The have gone and attended colleges like Tufts, Dartmouth, Georgetown and the University of Washington. They have used their skills to do work all around the world as far off as Egypt, China and Russia. Krystle Corpuz, who was the team president in 2005, is now attending Georgetown and has just returned from working on child labor laws in the Philippines. Josh Cameron is now a professor at Harvard and has his Ph.D. in science.
It is no wonder that Graham calls Speech and Debate one of the best extracurricular activities to participate in during your high school career. The Kahuku Speech and Debate program is just one of the many great activities for students to excel in. As the years continue we will expect to see great leaders sprout from Kahuku High School.
"If you could make one rule the world would have to live by, what would it be and why?"
"To take a nap during the day because then people won't be as cranky."
"Don't do drugs because it will mess up your life."
"Smile at least once a day because smiles make not only you feel better, but also the person you smile at."
"Make the best of everything because if you look at everything in a negative way, it will be harder, so look on the bright side."