Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers tell us about their high school. This week's school is Waialua High and Intermediate School.
Newspaper: The Waialuan
Editors: Lorin Milotta and Candice Novak
Faculty adviser: Gail Kuroda
Address: 67-160 Farrington Hwy., Waialua, HI 96791
Principal: Aloha Coleman
Students: 780 (seventh to 12th grades)
School colors: Scarlet and gray
>> 1914: Mokuleia School opened as a one-room school.
>> May 1, 1924: The Waialua Agricultural Co. donated five acres of land where six new classrooms were built. The school was renamed the Andrew E. Cox School.
>> 1936: The school was renamed Waialua High and Intermediate School.
By the Numbers275: Number of steps it takes to get from the office to the parking lot if walking on the sidewalk
2.2: Miles from the school's parking lot to the nearest beach
23: Number of benches on campus
1: Number of benches accidentally broken by students
1: Number of students who have two different natural eye colors
Future in technology
Beach bonding, service
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The demands for Internet know-how and computer literacy in the workplace are increasing more and more as newer technology emerges.
Waialua builds future
Students can use the robotics
program to enter a national
By Lorin Milotta
Waialua High School
To sufficiently prepare students for their roles in the work force, Waialua has taken it upon itself to use the latest technology and create opportunities for its students to use this technology in a meaningful way.
COURTESY OF WAIALUA HIGH SCHOOL
Multimedia technology plays a key role in several programs at Waialua High School. Clockwise from top left, students Sharron Wallace and Nicholas Serrone recently worked on a video project, while Crystal Jumawan and Jennifer Wade prepared to use a computer and scanner.
Robotics is a seventh-period class in which students build a robot and then enter it in the annual For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Competition in San Jose, Calif.
Each January, the teams are given a new assignment from FIRST. They are given six weeks from the time they first receive the robot parts and assignment to completely build the robot and then ship it off to San Jose.
They must also document everything in a special booklet and design and build a Web page for the team, including a computer-animated section.
Lynette Okita, an adviser for the team and a math teacher at Waialua, says: "What I like about robotics is, it helps students to develop sportsmanship, leadership, public speaking and teamwork. They have a lot of fun."
Waialua is one of only a few Hawaii high schools to have a robotics team, and they have been successful each year they have competed.
In the 1999-2000 school year, the team's first year of competition, it was one of only two Hawaii high schools (the other was McKinley) to compete.
Nevertheless, Waialua placed second in the Western Regional and also won the prestigious Team Spirit Award, which is given to the team showing the most enthusiasm and team spirit. The following two years, the team finished in first place.
Okita says that although Waialua is a small school that often does not get much recognition, the team has proved itself among others in the nation.
"People think, Why Waialua, how did we get picked?" Okita says. "I think we have a really, really good vocational program."
Robotics was designed to get students interested in engineering. Okita praises the program, saying, "I've been in it and I've seen students just blossom."
The program causing the most excitement on campus right now is the Bulldog Bytes Meal Tracker System. It is a computerized meal card system that works like a checking account.
Every student has been issued a card with a bar code and his or her name and picture on it. Parents can prepay for their children's lunches by putting money into their accounts. Each student then gets his or her card scanned instead of paying cash for the meal. This makes it easier for both students and parents and makes lunch lines move faster and smoother.
Students will also use the cards as an ID and for borrowing books from the school's library.
Also anticipated is the closed-circuit television program, which will be run by the Ala Ike Media Center.
According to Andy Cole, who is in charge of the media center, the equipment needed for a closed-circuit program has already been ordered and should arrive this month, with the program hopefully starting by the second semester. Students will also be able to run the television program from anywhere on campus.
Students enrolled in the program learn video editing and graphic arts. They are also responsible for teaching other students how to use the equipment.
Besides the television program, other media center projects include making videos and commercials for other businesses.
Students already have made a documentary video for Dole Plantation and a safety video for Hawaii Prince Hotel. During vacations the students have also filmed wedding videos for couples.
"What we're trying to do is make technology relevant to real-world situations," Cole said.
Waialua is striving to produce well-rounded students who are knowledgeable about the latest technology, and through these various programs, it hopes to succeed.
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What do swaying palm trees, aquamarine surf, sun-bleached hair and school have in common? At most schools, nothing. At Waialua High and Intermediate, though, all the beauty, fun and sun are just another part of our everyday lives.
Beaches offer chance
for student bonding
and community service
By Candice Novak
Waialua High School
If you're from somewhere other than Waialua, nothing would seem mundane here. The bland normalcy of any other school seems to have been replaced by the beach lifestyle in which our students were fostered.
Surf shorts and slippers replace the slacks and sneakers that usually trot around school campuses. In the parking lot, towels adorn seats, and flower leis dangle from the rearview mirrors. Plumerias behind ears sweeten the air.
In short, we are the Green Acres of Hawaii.
The school is about a mile from the beach, but about two miles when you take the winding country road that curves around old sugar mills and agricultural fields. If everyone is so engulfed with this beach culture and natural Hawaiian beauty, why would we ever go to school? Well, the beach culture is part of school, too.
Maybe kids from Waialua have a natural advantage when it comes to anything near the ocean. Think about it: Your whole life has been spent celebrating birthdays at the beach, surfing your home break and playing water sports for your high school; it's surprising some of us don't have gills. There's something about taking your first steps in the grainy sand and smelling the ocean air wherever you go.
Paddling is a fairly new team at our school. We are only in our second season, but we don't carry the inexperienced burden most beginners do. In our first meet last year, the team stroked past eight of nine crews to win second place. Later last year, we competed in the state championships.
Having a school so close to great beaches encourages a lot of activities near the shore. Cross-country runners do drills at the beach, and the volleyball team occasionally spices up the gym sport in the sand.
Almost everyone incorporates the beach into their life, sport or school activities, but the most prominent and widely recognized is surfing. After all, the North Shore is the "surf capital of the world."
No sane surfer could say no to uncrowded breaks and clean water just five minutes from school. That's probably why students and teachers frequent surf spots from Mokuleia to Haleiwa.
"In surfing ... bonds are formed that create mutual respect in the classroom," said English teacher and Waialua surfer Tommy Deasy.
The October issue of Surfing magazine named Waialua "Best High School in Hawaii" for two reasons: Our school has teachers and students who mingle in the lineup and the classroom, creating a friendly environment; and our school's location automatically nurtures great surfers.
A few alumni include Megan Abubo, Flynn Novak, Ross Williams and Shane Dorian. These athletes were not only successful surfers, but also great students; some even graduated cum laude. So don't worry, they were not all surf bums.
In fact, the association that most Hawaiian amateurs compete in makes sure of that. A Hawaii Scholastic Surfing Association rule requires all competing students to have at least a 2.0 GPA and not be in trouble at school. There are no discipline problems, detentions or suspensions allowed.
"Although surfing is often viewed as a negative influence on school attendance and performance, it is important for people to realize that the sport requires long-term commitment, constant practice, and builds confidence and self-esteem," Deasy said.
In December our school's first Surf Club will begin practice, beach training and contributing to the community with events like the planned surf clinic, open to children on the North Shore.
One student who awaits the club's season, sophomore Jerry McNulty, said: "This club will prove that we aren't just beach bums. ... We can get good grades, surf and give back to the community."
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What is your remedy for grief?
"When I'm depressed, the best remedy for me is crying. Everything goes away with the tears that way."
Matthew J. Suyat
"I turn my grief into anger and use it to train (in football). It makes me push harder."
"My friends try to make me smile and laugh, but the only thing that helps is listening to music."
"Watch TV and lie down in my room."
"I think about eating Lucky Charms! If I can, I eat them."
"I go running in the forest in my mind ... around circles."
"Eat frozen bananas."
"I watch my 'SpongeBob' DVD."
"I swim in the ocean until I can't breathe. Then I think about breathing instead of my problems."
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