COURTESY CAITLIN HUERTER
Students from the Construction Academy at Lahainaluna High School on Maui build playhouses to refine the skills needed to be successful in the work force. Freshman Salenas Awai proves that the Construction Academy appeals to male and female students.
LHS students use a hard work ethic to gain valuable construction skills
For seven years, Jeremy Delos Reyes has been teaching at Lahainaluna High School. With this being his third year involved with the Construction Academy, Delos Reyes has never been prouder of the accomplishments his students have made. "What I love about teaching this academy is that it gets the kids out of the classroom. They do hands-on activities that teach them life skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."
Lahainaluna High School
Ka Leo Luna
980 Lahainaluna Road
Lahaina, HI 96761
Red and White
LHS is one of seven high schools on Maui with a Construction Academy. This program can be found on other islands: Oahu has 56 schools, Kauai has four and the Big Island has one. Delos Reyes encourages students, both boys and girls of all grade levels, who possess a willingness to learn, a good worth ethic and a positive attitude to join the academy.
Thirty students are enrolled in this year's Construction Academy; 19 of them are finishing up their first year. "The students learn basic construction skills. Not only that, they learn real-life skills like time management, teamwork and communication skills," Delos Reyes said.
What many people are unaware of is that Lahainaluna is the only academy in the South Pacific that includes canoe-building in the program. At this year's Hawaii Technology Education Association fair on Oahu, LHS took home the "Best in Show" award for its 45-foot canoe.
If awards are not the main incentive for joining, scholarships are the next best thing. With community support, the academy obtains four $500 scholarships for students who want to pursue careers in construction. By completing this course, a student automatically receives three credits in any community college in Hawaii and is also awarded hours toward the apprenticeship program.
The academy students have recently been working on full-size playhouses to go along with many other projects completed around the school, such as concrete slabs and demolition.
A few students are even giving back to their community. Seniors Marvin Agmata and Roen Duanes have been involved with the Habitat for Humanity Program and have received positive feedback for their efforts.
"LHS has been a strong leader in terms of construction for Maui County. This academy gets the students prepped for the industry, and these talents can stay with them for the rest of their lives," Delos Reyes said.
COURTESY DAISY ANDRES
These are the finished playhouses built by students from the Construction Academy.
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Europe trip fulfills dream
Foreign Language teacher Ashley Olson has tried to organize a trip to Europe for more than 10 years. Her dreams came true when she traveled to France and Spain March 16-28 with a group of 11 students and two chaperones through the educational travel company Explorica.
Graphic art teacher Gayle Ancheta and Valerie Smith, a second-grade teacher at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School, helped Olson supervise the group of Lahainaluna girls: seniors Kaitlan Sera, Kelleen Sera, Angela Vasquez and Michelle Fuller; juniors Mary Bermel, Rachelle Chavez, Chelsea Drawzkowski, Roxanne Grantham and Stephanie Hall; sophomore Nicole Ewing; and freshman Kristen Fuller.
"We couldn't have chosen a better group if they had been hand-selected," gushed art teacher Ancheta. "Even the tour guide (Angelo Scimia) complimented us on our girls."
The tour, with the theme of "Artwork of France and Spain," was chosen for the 10-day journey. Because of the small size of their group, Lahainaluna students had to join with a group of five women (two adults and three high school students) from San Diego and a party of 25 (16 adults and nine middle school students) from St. Louis.
Each student paid a base cost of $3,400 dollars which did not include spending money, lunch or beverages other than water at dinner. A minimal amount of fundraising was done because of the late start to preparation, but students still participated in a rummage sale and a car wash and sold coupons for Cool Cats cafe. Donations were also made from the Lahainaluna High School Foundation and Dowling Co. as well as a few generous individuals.
COURTESY OF ASHLEY OLSON
Students enjoy the cold weather as they stand before Métro Line 12 Abbesses Station in Paris.
Olson hoped that the students could share her joy of travel, culture and language by participating in the trip. "I wanted them to come back in the same physical condition but with a brand-new excitement about the world." She said, "If that's the only measure, then the success would be overwhelming."
Due to an 11-hour time difference, the group arrived in Paris on Tuesday, March 18, and immediately went to the Musée d'Orsay, most known for its impressionist masterpieces by Monet. The following day was a full one in the town of Versailles, after some maneuvering through the Paris Métro, the French subway system. Thursday included a visit to the famous Musée du Louvre, a museum that houses the Mona Lisa as well as many other pieces by artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. A boat ride down the River Seine and shopping at the Galleries Lafayette completed the day. Leaving Paris behind, the tour groups took the Train à Grande Vitesse (French for "high-speed train") to Biarritz and spent a night in San Sebastian, a town that borders France and Spain and is unique for its blended culture.
A bus ride to Madrid took the tour to the heart of Spain. Students also had the chance to experience snow while passing through the Pyrenees Mountains. On Easter Sunday the tour brought them to the city of Prado, where they stopped at the Palicio Real, a famous Spanish palace. On Monday, after a visit to the Reína Sofia Museum, the girls shopped. A bus to Zaragoza and a quick visit to an ancient cathedral led the group to Barcelona, where the rest of the trip was spent touring and enjoying the city.
Olson hopes to organize another trip for next spring with a larger group.
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Students enjoy tour of Japan
Over spring break, Lahainaluna students from the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism and the Japanese Club took a 10-day trip to Japan.
Japanese teacher David Esselburn and AOHT teacher Tracy Nagao, along with additional chaperones Gail Takeuchi, Tom Takeuchi, Rochelle Knight and Melinda Emmel, oversaw the trip. The 14 privileged students included seniors Eric Emmel, Riley Mayo, LC Cajimat, Angelica Tamayo, Setaita Filikitonga and Jacki Tanaka; juniors Tiffany Tanaka, Karl Dave Companero, Maricris Bote-Estabillo, Janine Tagayuna, Jamie Buza, Janice Ganoy and Tam Nguyen; and sophomore Brandon Knight.
Upon arriving in Japan on March 18, the students were delayed because of passport problems for one of the students; she returned home.
The following day, during their stay in Tokyo, the group visited Shinagawa Station, one of the busiest train stations in the world. Religious shrines and temples also were on the itinerary. Among them were a Shinto shrine and Sensoji, Todaiji and Kinkakuju temples.
A week after their arrival, while exploring Mount Koya in Osaka, the group had an opportunity to stay overnight in a Buddhist temple, Shikishoin. The monks who lived in the temple served them vegetarian meals, the focal point of which was tofu.
"Mount Koya was my favorite part of the trip. Learning about the culture and traditions was amazing," said Tagayuna.
Though there were many new experiences, Nagao and Esselburn entered familiar territory when they returned to their old schools on the last day of the trip. Nagao attended Kobe Yamate Girls High School for a year as part of an exchange program, while Esselburn attended Kwansei Gakuin University.
Esselburn plans to repeat this biennial experience in the spring of 2010.
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If you were in a box of crayons, what color would you be and why?
"Neon lavender, because it's bright like me."
"Metallic blue, because it's mesmerizing."
"Rainbow, because it's crazy."
"Chartreuse, because it's full of energy."
"Tangerine orange, because it looks yummy."
"Striking yellow, because it reminds me of sunflowers."
"Periwinkle, because I'm a very peaceful person."
"Mellow yellow, because it's bright and calming like me."