Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, January 28, 2002


In true team spirit, Hawaiian Mission Academy's Class of 2003 attempted recently to build a pyramid in record time.

Small school
creates big ohana

Students at Hawaiian Mission
Academy thrive in a safe,
Christian environment

Academy weaves worship into an ohana setting

By Matt Campbell and Joshua Jeong
Hawaiian Mission Academy

Situated on the grounds of the former royal estate of Princess Kawananakoa, Hawaiian Mission Academy is a small school tucked away off a busy street. One might pass the school and never realize that a campus is actually located there.

People of all cultures come together and are enriched by their experiences with each other and with God.

Students come from 10 countries and eight states, creating a rich cultural and ethnic mosaic. Despite the differences in backgrounds, various activities nurture interaction among the students, faculty, staff and administration, creating a feeling of ohana on campus.

The low 14-to-1 student-teacher ratio ensures that students all know one another and that they receive personal attention from teachers. Most students admit that at least one of the teachers has a special place in their heart.

Because teachers put in extra hours to help students understand their lessons, they often seem like second parents to us. HMA teachers listen to students when we need someone to talk with, and do everything they can to ensure the best possible learning environment.

We really appreciate their involvement in our overall education. Sometimes students from other schools are amazed at how much we like our teachers!

HMA provides many activities in different settings for its school family.

The Religious Activities Committee plans a weekly Friday night vesper program where students and faculty can come and close a busy week in worship. Friday evening programs include beach vespers, hikes, religious musical programs, special guest speakers, Bible studies and faculty home vespers.

Homerooms meet twice a week and give students and advisers another opportunity to pray together and share inspirational stories. This creates an even tighter family unit among smaller groups of students.

Each homeroom also takes on various projects to help those in need. Students contribute money every Thursday to help children and teens in Third World countries.

HMA students have also raised money for victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy and contributed and wrapped gifts to deliver to seniors at Christmas.

Participating in these projects bring us closer to one another as we work together toward a common goal, again strengthening the feeling of family that exists at HMA.

Many other school activities bring the HMA ohana together. There are Saturday night socials, which include basketball and volleyball games in the gym, game socials and the annual Fall Festival.

Perhaps the favorite event students look forward to is the annual schoolwide trip to Camp Erdman.

Every year, HMA takes its students to the camp on the North Shore for three days and two nights. Here, the school family eats together and has morning and evening worship together, competes in sports and games, concluding with a talent show and campfire on the last night.

It is often at Camp Erdman where the classes bond more closely with each other and friendships are further strengthened. Many students say that what they look forward to most at HMA is not the summer or winter break, but the time they spend with friends and faculty at Camp Erdman.

At Hawaiian Mission Academy, students are encouraged to do their best, test their limits, express themselves and make friends for life.

In a safe, Christian environment, students are part of one ohana, one big school family.

Angela Gallegos, Contessa Mensink, Lauren Horinouchi and Janice Flores sing "O Holy Night."

Academy weaves
worship into
an ohana setting

A Christian education forms the
foundation for lifelong learning

By Sean Chong
Hawaiian Mission Academy

"Educating the hand, the head and the heart," Hawaiian Mission Academy stands unique among other schools, living its mission with a special emphasis on the heart and working its vision statement, "Making a difference for time and eternity in service for humankind and God."

With its beginning in 1895 as the Palama Chinese School, Hawaiian Mission Academy, established in 1920, has maintained its goal of providing a Christian education where young people can strive for excellence spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.

In an intimate ohana setting that few schools provide, students from grades 9-12 take not only general and college-bound courses toward graduation, but also four years of Bible courses. Focusing on spiritual development, the school provides a number of religious activities.

One is the opening of every class with prayer.

Another is chapel attendance for students and faculty twice a week.

Other special religious programs include:

>> Friday evening vesper services, where students meet to sing and worship together and listen to featured speakers.

>> Island Fire Ministries, an outreach program in Waikiki, where students pass out literature, sing songs and spread the good news of God's love.

>> Fall and Spring Weeks of Prayer, where an entire week is dedicated to hearing special speakers, including student speakers, share the word of God.

>> Prayer Conferences on the mainland, where students sing, hike, participate in prayer walks and interact with young people from other states.

>> Choir, where students present spiritual, inspirational messages in song.

At Easter, students engage in the "He's Alive!" evangelistic program, sharing with the community the story of the crucifixion of Christ. Sent to churches throughout the state, students hone their skills in public speaking and develop a greater understanding of their own spirituality.

Other spiritual activities sometimes include islandwide Christian youth rallies and mission trips, where students go to developing countries to build churches and clinics, and to assist in providing medical assistance.

Hawaiian Mission Academy believes in preparing its young people to spread the good news of the gospel and to prepare for service, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.


Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers will tell us about their high school. This week's school is Hawaiian Mission Academy. Next week's scheduled school is Seabury Hall.

Hawaiian Mission Academy

Art Date founded: 1920
Principal: Josue Rosado
Address: 1438 Pensacola St.
Yearbook: Ka 'Lamaku
Newspaper: Ka 'Elele

Managing editor, Joshua Jeong; copy editor, Sean Chong; advertising editor, Nick Kim; layout editor, Lourdes Whittaker

Colors: Blue and white
Web site:
Mission: "Educating the hand, the head and the heart."
Vision: "Making a difference for time and eternity in service for humankind and God."

Fast facts

>> Average class size: 14

>> Notable alumni: Hawaiian scholar and author Mary Pukui, former Gov. John Waihee III, former first lady Lynne Waihee, former fire Chief Abraham Aiona, former police Chief Dan Liu, state Rep. David Pendleton, OHA trustee John Waihee IV

>> Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

>> Member of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools


What is your favorite thing about Hawaiian Mission Academy?

Elizabeth Jeong
"Christmas banquet. I enjoyed being with my friends in a fun, festive atmosphere."

Justin Martinez
"The friendly people. They make me feel so welcome."

Charity Filion
"Living in the dorm or Island Fire Ministries. All of the dormers are like brothers and sisters, and I meet interesting people in IFM."

Johnson Ma
"Spiritual activities and Week of Prayer. They help me in my spiritual growth."

Darcel Lee-Valdez
"Fresno basketball tournament. My friends went also, and we got to play other sister schools."

Lee Wells
"Mainland prayer conference. I gained a lot from the meetings, interactive activities and singing."

Kamaile Chan
"California Leadership Conference. I enjoyed exchanging ideas with other student leaders from the West Coast."

Jimmy Hung
"It's a tossup between Camp Erdman and the Senior Trip to California. Both were fun. I've never been to an all-school camp before."

Wataru Kondo
English as second language
"Friendly teachers. Because it's a small school, I get personal attention from the teachers."

Tae Kyung Ko
English as second language
"Dormitory life. I like the dorm family."

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