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Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers tell us about their high school. This week's school is Sacred Hearts Academy.
Next week: Hawaiian Mission Academy

Three generations of the Kwock family celebrate kindergartner Nicole Yamada's first year at the academy: From left are Lorie Kwock Nagata, Linda Kwock Yamada, Nicole Yamada, Lisa Kwock and Rose Pang Kwock.

Generations of education

Although not Catholic, the Kwock flock
holds with the Sacred Hearts
traditions and mission

Program pulls more power with PDAs
School facts

By Celia Downes Sacred Hearts Academy

The tradition started with the decision Rose Pang Kwock made 45 years ago.

"If I have girls, I will send them to my alma mater," Kwock, a 1946 Sacred Hearts Academy graduate, recalls telling her husband shortly after they were married.

She smiles at the memory of her decision to give her three daughters and son the best education possible. For Rose Kwock that meant Sacred Hearts Academy for her three girls and Saint Louis School for her son.

The Kwock daughters -- Lorie Nagata (class of 1976), Linda Yamada ('77) and Lisa Kwock ('85) -- are all 13-year graduates; Yamada's daughter Nicole is currently enrolled in senior kindergarten.

The Kwock family is just one example of how the legacy of Sacred Hearts Academy continues through the generations.

The academy has been home to hundreds of families since 1909; daughters, granddaughters, nieces and cousins still pass through the school's doors every year. Currently, 20 percent of students are closely related to others who are or have attended the academy.

What keeps families returning to enroll their daughters at the academy? For the Kwocks it was the school's philosophy. Though the Kwocks are not Catholic, they agreed with the school's traditions and mission and believed that it prepared students well for adulthood.

"Mrs. Kwock felt it was very important that spiritual values were developed," said Lower School Vice Principal Remee Bolante, who taught Linda and Lisa when they were in the Lower School.

"Their mother knew that the academy had strong academic values, but she also desired a sound spiritual foundation for her daughters," said Bolante.

In order to afford sending four children to private schools, Kwock worked for 40 years at Harder's, a beverage company, eventually becoming office manager. Husband Kenneth held a job at Foodland and also worked for a contractor to support the family.

"The girls were all quite smart and could have attended any of Hawaii's private schools," said Principal Betty White, who taught all three daughters, "but the academy offered both spiritual and academic guidance for a lower price."

The hard work and sacrifice paid off. Nagata is now the treasurer at Hawaiian Electric Co.; Yamada is the human resource manager for Duty Free Shoppers; and Lisa Kwock is a finance manager at Metcalf & Eddy Pacific, a civil engineering firm that encompasses Hawaii and the Pacific region.

"At Sacred Hearts we were taught to strive for what we wanted and to ignore the stereotypes people have of women in the workplace," Lisa said. "Our mother always worked, and we knew that going to college and preparing for a good job were not optional."

"Despite not being Catholic and the financial demands, Catholic education was preferable and worth all the effort for my husband and me," Rose Kwock said. "The academy creates a certain kind of person who is independent, assertive and confident. Our daughters were worth every penny we spent on academy educations."

And what does kindergartner Nicole have to say about where she's going to school? "My popo says it was good, my mom says it was good and I say it's fun."


Lancer facts

Address: 3253 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone number: 734-5058
Mission: The academy provides opportunities for students to develop personal responsibility, acquire self-discipline, value lifelong learning and become productive citizens in service to others.
Principal: Betty White
Students: 1,080
Faculty and staff: 130
Newspaper: Ka Leo
Editor: Celia Downes
Faculty adviser: Gaylen Isaacs

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