The daily commute to and from school may take more than an hour for some Kamehameha students, meaning they don't reach home until late in the afternoon and have less time to do homework and other activities.

Board stories

Convenience is just one reason some
Oahu students live on campus

Traveling over 50 miles a day wasn't exactly senior Hughie Long's idea of a good time. Nevertheless, this was his daily commute to and from school for 11 years. During his junior year, Long decided to try something different: become a boarder.

Kamehameha High School

Ka Mo'i

Faculty adviser
Lionel Barona

Blaine Tolentino

210 Konia Circle, Honolulu 96817

Phone number


Blue and white

Anthony Ramos


"The bus ride to North Shore (where he lives) is over an hour long," said Long, who now lives in the Lunalilo dormitory.

Senior Shawlea Aona from Honolulu agrees that transportation was always an issue with her family. "Since I can't drive yet and my parents work, it was a hassle for them to take me to and from school," said Aona, who lives in the Kapiolani Nui dormitory.

There are currently 30 Oahu students from grades 9 to 12 who are boarders. For the 2004-2005 school year, there are 385 high school boarders. Boarders pay $4,039 per year, which includes tuition, meals and housing, compared with $2,171 for tuition and meals for day students, according to Boarding Department secretary Jan Wakamatsu.

"We (the boarding program) are always trying to accommodate day students," said Wakamatsu. "Before, we couldn't accommodate everyone because of the limited space."

More boarding spaces have become available to Oahu day students since both the Hawaii and Maui campuses opened.

As boarders, Long and Aona feel that they are more focused on school, since they have study hall every night. "Before, I wouldn't do my homework until the bus ride to school," said Long. Arriving home at 8 p.m., Aona would eat a quick dinner and then stay up to as late as midnight doing homework.

Staying focused on school is only one of many benefits of being a boarder. According to Long, other benefits include waking up at 7:15 a.m. instead of 5:15 a.m., having more free time, and eating breakfast. "I never ate breakfast at home because there was no time," he said.

Senior Shawlea Aona is one of 30 Kamehameha students living on Oahu who decided to become boarders.

The only negatives of becoming a boarder are less privacy and rules for checking in and out of the dormitory, said Long. Boarders must check in with their dormitory advisers after school and are not allowed to travel off of campus on weekdays. Seniors are exempted from certain rules through senior privileges such as not having to attend breakfast, which allows them to sleep in until their first class at 7:35 a.m. Senior boarders can also travel off of campus on weekdays until 10 p.m. and order pizza on weekdays.

Long checks out almost every weekend due to his job at Kualoa Ranch. Some outer-island boarders also have jobs off of the Kapalama campus.

Although boarders are required to do chores, these tasks are no different from the responsibilities Long and Aona have at home. Chores as a boarder include personal tasks like doing laundry and making the bed, while other chores alternate between roommates, including cleaning the bathrooms and working in the dish room at the dining hall.

Many activities are planned for boarders, such as movie outings, special dinners and the Penny Carnival.

Boarder activities are "a chance for the boarders to get out of their dorms and be like regular teens," said senior Kimo Kaona, president of the Dormitory Residence Advisory Council. Comprised of students, the council meets once a week to discuss the boarding program and ways to improve it.

Fortunately, being away from home hasn't affected the relationship they have with their families. "I don't miss my family because I visit home every weekend and call them every night," said Aona. Long also visits home every weekend.

To Aona, "Boarding at Kamehameha is a good stepping stone for boarding in college."


Students excel inside and
outside classrooms

Kamehameha School is a wealthy and renowned institution. Unfortunately, much of its reputation stems from negative incidents spotlighted in the media.

People don't usually talk about the lives of Kamehameha students. A closer look at these individuals, however, reveals hard-working, industrious students -- students who represent the legacy of the beloved Kamehameha Schools founder, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

According to senior guidance counselor Larry Lee, about 95 percent of the high school students at Kamehameha participate in extracurricular activities at school, with about 75 percent participating in athletics alone. This doesn't even include activities students do outside of school.

Senior Kawakahi Amina, who has attended Kamehameha School since kindergarten, manages to participate in seven extracurricular activities while still maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

"I think ... the more activities you have, the better you seem to budget time," Amina said.

Senior counselor Larry Lee said, "I think it's real easy for people to seize on negative things. ... If they knew the youth of today ... man, you guys are bright and sophisticated. It seems like kids get smarter and smarter and more and more sophisticated." He said that even the students who aren't at the top of the class are talented: "There's people in the middle who are so dynamic. They have such dynamic personalities."

Senior Ikaika Hardie, a boarder at Kamehameha since seventh grade, participates in basketball, football, and track. He has earned ILH first-team all-state selection for both basketball and football, and in 2004 he was a member of the HHSSA state football championship team.

"I think it's harder to be a day student (than a boarder) because in boarding they manage time for you," said Hardie, referring to the nightly study hall time required for all borders. He said this helps him get his work done; he maintains a GPA of 3.6.

"(Boarding) has been the best experience I had since I came here," he said.

Amina and Hardie are just a few of the widely gifted and involved students at Kamehameha.

According to Amina, "A typical Kamehameha student is a person who understands or who has a grasp of his or her culture but also has the tools necessary to approach the future and make a change in the world."


You asked...

"What does Princess Bernice
Pauahi Bishop mean to you?"

Nalani Amina
"Since I'm from Waianae, I believe she (Pauahi) has given me a greater opportunity to become someone I couldn't have been if I had stayed in Waianae."

Jen Hashimoto
"I'm very thankful; if I could choose one person in the world to eat lunch with, it would be her."

Travis Lopez
"She (Pauahi) is generous, in the fact that she created this school with her own money and land."

Peter Thoene
"Princess Pauahi's resources have greatly benefited the indigent people of Hawaii, and I am eternally grateful."

David Tyau
"She (Pauahi) gave us this school, so she gave us this education."

Natasia Tumbaga
"I love Pauahi. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here (at Kamehameha)."

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