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Damien Memorial School WINTER 2018


Administration President & CEO: Wes Reber Porter Principal: Br. Daniel Casey, CFC Vice Principal: Daniela Checinski Dean of Students: Kim Buffett Dean of Students: Elle Zieser Athletic Director: Wallace Aina, Jr. ’70 Campus Minister: Jeremiah Carter Admissions Director: Brent Limos ’94 Chief Financial Officer: Tiffany Sawai ________________________

Board of Directors 2017-18 Gregory Sitar ’78, Chairman & Treasurer Dr. Jeffrey Moniz ’87, Vice Chairman Bob Barrett, Secretary Br. Edward Brink, SM Paul J. Cunney Jonny Bevacqua Wendell Lum ’71 Michael Magaoay Joe Martinez Kattie A. Mettler Susie Chun Oakland Cleigh Pang ’67 Nadine Stollenmaier Jeannie Yukitomo ________________________

Kamiano Magazine Production Team Alan Eyerly Ayumi Johnson Eddie Klaneski ’93 Kate Landau Tony Pablo Wes Reber Porter Special thanks to Donna Marcello and Dayne Teves

Table of Contents President’s Message!


Report | Making ‘Hacks’ to Improve Education !


Report | ‘Women in Leadership’ Expanding!


Events | Winter Evening of the Arts!


Events | Social Studies & Performing Arts Night!


Report | National Catholic Schools Week Activities!


Student Activities | Speech and Debate Club!


Governance | Meet Damien’s Board of Directors!


Profile | Board Chair Gregory Sitar ’78!


Happenings | Drive ‘Fore’ Damien Golf Tournament !


Damien Hui `Ohana | Parent Group Forms!


Report | Fundraising !


Events | Come to the Lu`au on April 29!


Profile | Anvie Alcayde Explores ‘Big Questions’ !


Report | Art Contest Raises Awareness!


Athletics | Winter Sports Wrap Up!


Student Activities | Advanced Media Class | Hula Halau! 22 Alumni | Damien Football Transformation!


Alumni | Inoke Breckterfield ’95 !


Report | What It Means to be a Monarch!


Alumni | Rusty Komori ’87!


Upcoming Events!


____________________________ Cover Photo: Paddlers Brayden Flores '21 and Jonah Nalaielua '20 in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Photography by Tony Pablo


‘Ho'i Hou e Kamiano - Come Back to Damien’ The theme of this Winter 2018 issue of Kamiano Magazine and our upcoming oncampus lu’au is “Ho`i Hou e Kamiano - Come Back to Damien.” As you’ll see from reading about achievements of our students, alumni, faculty and staff, we have so much going on and there are indeed many reasons to come back to Damien. After becoming head of school in 2016, I frequently heard alumni wax nostalgic about their alma mater, saying things like: “This place hasn’t changed at all. It still looks the same as it did when I went here 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago.” While I’m glad the campus feels familiar and welcoming to alumni, it is a misperception that Damien hasn’t evolved much since its founding in 1962, including the last two years. There should always be something new to see and highlight when members of our campus community return for visits. We’re making that happen. Damien is progressing with the times by adopting best practices in K-12 education from across the nation. This means our students benefit from the latest advances in teaching, learning and technology as they prepare for college, careers and lifetimes of service to their communities. In keeping with Damien’s mission - preparing students from all walks of life for challenges of their future - our executive team strives for continuous quality improvement in everything we do. We’re dedicated to helping students grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually through cutting-edge classroom instruction, project-based learning, leadership opportunities, religious retreats, athletics, clubs and other meaningful activities. One way we’re achieving these goals is through the “Our Campus 2020” campaign, which is enhancing the school’s physical plant to create modern, versatile and attractive spaces for the entire Damien `ohana and our immediate Kalihi community. Relatively recent improvements include student-led beautification projects, such as commissioning a colorful, two-story mural depicting our school’s namesake, Saint Damien of Molokai. We also established a more intentional walking entrance to campus and installed additional signage. The most ambitious project to date involves repurposing the underutilized Brothers’ Residence into a spacious Welcome Center, which now serves as a source of school pride and hub for campus activities. By relocating admissions, financial aid, alumni relations, Campus Ministry and other offices onto the center’s first floor, we created a convenient, one-stop shop for parents, prospective parents and other visitors. This initiative also freed space elsewhere on campus for additional classrooms and other facilities that will accommodate future enrollment growth. Still under construction on the Welcome Center second floor are the Design and Innovation Studios where students will develop expertise in design thinking, photography, podcasting, video production, advanced media, computer skills and more. We plan to open the design and innovation spaces this summer and put them in full use starting with the 2018-19 school year. We also may be able to open the facilities during non-school hours to assist neighborhood children interested in similar pursuits. In conclusion, people readily see the campus is changing for the better when they come back to Damien. What will never change, however, is our high-quality educational product, Catholic identity and focus on faith, character and service to others. Accordingly, our students graduate as better people who uplift society - all because they came to school here and stay connected to Damien. Mahalo and God bless! Wes Reber Porter Damien President and CEO


DAMIEN REPORT Through School Retool - a Platform Created at Stanford’s Acclaimed - Damien Making ‘Small, Scrappy Experiments’ to Promote ‘Deeper Learning’ for Students “Hacks” are a good thing, according to professors with Stanford University’s acclaimed, if they’re “small, scrappy experiments” that promote student learning. With that in mind, Damien Memorial School joined institutions across the nation in conducting these small experiments, while pondering big questions about the future of education under a platform called School Retool, which has regional cohorts throughout the country. “The has many innovative projects,” according to Damien President and CEO Wes Reber Porter, including the School Retool initiative launched in 2015 with a mission of helping students “acquire essential cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills needed to solve the novel, complex problems they will encounter in the world.” This program acts as a catalyst in bringing design thinking into schools and reimagining current academic models to promote “deeper learning.” Porter is among the educational thought leaders participating in Hawaii’s first School Retool cohort sponsored by MLTS (Most Likely to Succeed) Hawaii. These educators attend four retreats and assist each other with school enhancement projects. “Excitingly, it’s about changing the school environment and the school community through small tweaks,” Porter said. “Instead of having more meetings and just thinking about possible improvements, School Retool has a ‘bias toward action’ that removes the stigma of failing. If we try something and it doesn’t work out, then we’ve learned something nonetheless.” The “hacks” Porter implements at Damien give students a greater voice in how their school operates and evolves. A recent experiment, for example, involved an “Idea Station” set up during lunchtime in the cafeteria and at a student town hall meeting. “We traded some treats for fresh ideas from students,” Porter said. “Their feedback ranged from curriculum ideas to our physical plant and facilities to the dress code to course offerings to extracurricular activities. It was all over the map.
 “We had upward of 300 ideas that came in from students,” he said. “And considering that our student population is about 650, that’s a pretty amazing level of feedback.”
 Another hands-on experiment involved two administrators and six students who visited from one of Damien’s partner institutions, Ewa Makai Middle School. “We had them, without telling our admissions department, assume the role of prospective parents and prospective students and go through our admissions cycle,” Porter said. “They took tours and attended classes, then we debriefed with our admissions staff. “That was helpful,” Porter said, “because we used the visit to improve something we usually don’t get feedback on.”
 Porter also sought to help Monarchs by taking part in Stanford’s “Shadow a Student Challenge.”
 “It’s a nationwide movement in which administrators trail students around for an entire day to gain some perspective and insight,” Porter explained. “I have done that, I will do it again and I encourage other administrators to do the same.
 “You learn the difficulty a student has in moving through the day,” he continued, “how often they move and how little time they have to move. And having a different teacher every 40 minutes or so is challenging. “I was tired. I looked forward to lunch. I looked forward to the day being over. It was difficult to listen. It was difficult to learn.” 4

To gain additional firsthand knowledge regarding challenges Monarchs face, Porter might even commute with a student from home to campus.
 “We have kids from Nanakuli, we have kids who live near the North Shore,” Porter said. “Some of them take part in sports and other activities after school. It’s a long day!”
 Porter also reaches out to students by asking them to serve as consultants on school improvement projects.
 “That’s another way to give them a voice,” Porter said, “by putting them on a real project like we did with our Design Team.” That group of students planned, commissioned and raised funds to create a two-story mural depicting the school’s namesake, Saint Damien of Molokai.
 In one new experiment, students from an advanced media class are generating ideas for decorating blank walls on campus. In yet another experiment, girls from the “Women in Leadership” program are helping determine future uses of the Design and Innovation Studios under construction at the Welcome Center.
 “They’re developing a survey of their classmates regarding how they would use the space,” Porter said. “What would they want from it? What type of furniture would be useful? What would they name it? When would they use it?” It’s all about empowering students, Porter said, one hack at a time.


DAMIEN REPORT ‘Women in Leadership’ Initiative Expanding to Include Junior Girls, Off-Campus Internships with Mentors “Oftentimes leadership is thought of in terms of being a CEO at a thriving business,” Checinski said. “We let them see you can be in the nonprofit sector, you can be in law, you can be in advocacy.” After a few months of being inspired by and learning from their mentors, the seniors delivered TED-style talks in December before a large audience. 
 Were the girls nervous about speaking in public without notes? 
 “Nervous is an understatement,” Zieser pointed out. “There were tears. They kept telling us: ‘We can’t do this! This is unreasonable!’’’ Based on the success of Damien Memorial School’s inaugural “Women in Leadership” initiative, this extracurricular activity will expand into a two-year program involving senior and junior girls paired with adult female mentors who’ve distinguished themselves in a wide variety of fields. 
 The goal is establishing a new mindset among Monarch coeds by “empowering them to believe they can bring about positive change,” according to Vice Principal Daniela Checinski, who created and conducts the leadership program with Dean of Students Elle Zieser.
 “A lot of it is for the girls to just take that first step,” Checinski said. “We made a space for them to take off. We provided the platform and the means and the coaching to do so. We pushed their boundaries – we certainly did – but they were ready.”
 The pilot program, which began in the fall of 2017, attracted 13 seniors who were told they would shadow mentors in the workplace, interact with them at social gatherings and report on what they learned in a public setting. 
 “Once we got our mentors, we had the girls look them up,” Checinski said. “They had to Google them, even their social media, and find out everything they could.” Then students were paired with leaders who possessed similar personality traits. 
 “The girls were like little doppelgangers,” Checinski said with a laugh. “It was the weirdest thing ever!” A major benefit of the program is that it enabled girls to see leadership in many different forms.

Rather than lower expectations, Checinski and Zieser heightened support for the girls by thoroughly critiquing their speech drafts and even giving guidance on how to dress appropriately for the big night. “I think the high-stakes nature of the event made them thrive,” Zieser said. “It wasn’t just a presentation in front of their class. It was a presentation in front of the community. It was a prime example of setting high expectations for students and letting them rise to the occasion.

‘Women in Leadership’ Mentoring Culminates in TED-style Talks Eleven senior girls participating in the new “Women in Leadership” program at Damien Memorial School delivered TED-style talks on December 8 to an audience of mentors, family members, faculty, staff and students. Serving as emcee at the event was student Kala`i Souza. The girls and their speech topics were: Corrine Pierce: “Buzzword” Gabi Gabur: “Does Different Mean Less?” Stella Matthews: “Look Both Ways” Maya McGarry: “This Isn’t Love” Erica Nishikata: “The Modern Tool Box” Kehulani “Kai” Smith: “Food is Freedom” Lea Cayanan: “Not a Boy” Courtney Everett: “Picture Perfect” Courtnee Elento: “Dear Rappers” Camille Aiu: “Like a GIrl” 6

“We held them to it,” Zieser added, even when it looked like the talks might be postponed when a campus water main broke and Checinski was sick in bed with pneumonia. “Everything that could have gone wrong that day, went wrong,” Checinski recalled. “But we were able to say to the girls: ‘Keep climbing. This is just a hurdle.’”
 Now that their public speaking challenge is behind them, the girls are helping plan a more ambitious, two-year program that will launch this fall for Damien seniors and juniors.
 “In Year One, our students will do normal classroom curricula as it relates to this topic,” Checinski explained. “They’ll still do the office visits, the meet-and-greets and the community projects,” while participating in more one-to-one interactions with mentors. During Year Two, seniors will engage in off-campus internships and do some mentoring of their own by offering guidance to juniors.
 Along with expanding the program at Damien, Checinski and Zieser are encouraging other Oahu schools to start

similar leadership training initiatives. “What we’ve really enjoyed about this program is the ability to share it with other campuses,” Zeiser said. “They can take it and do their own twist.”
 “It can go in a lot of directions,” according to Checinski. “It doesn’t mean people need to adopt what we’re doing exactly, but the model itself works. It just has to be organic to the school’s mission. “If you’re more interested in innovation and science and technology, for instance, that can certainly have a leadership program related to it.” 
 At Damien, a Congregation of Christian Brothers school, the mission “is very much about advocacy and change and equality and more humanitarian-type work,” Checinski emphasized. “It’s about standing in solidarity with the marginalized,” she said. “Our whole message to the girls is: ‘It is your problem. You’re living in this world. If something is unjust, it is your problem.’”



DAMIEN EVENTS Social Studies & Performing Arts Exhibition Night


DAMIEN REPORT Assembling Care Packages for Homeless Teenagers Among National Catholic Schools Week Activities To celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Damien Memorial School students engaged in a wide variety of creative, educational and service activities. Among the highlights was assembling 137 care packages for homeless teenagers - far exceeding the goal of collecting supplies for 25 bags.

Other activities during the week of January 28 to February 3 included: special writing assignments focused on how Catholic school educators positively impact young lives, student peer tutoring in math classes, campus clean-up projects and a talent show. Since its beginning in 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has emphasized the value a Catholic education provides to students, along with its contributions to the Church, communities and the country. A resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives stated that Catholic schools “serve the nation by providing a diverse student population from all regions of the country and all socioeconomic backgrounds a strong academic and moral foundation, including 41.4 percent of students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and 19 percent from non-Catholic families.”

Students assembling care packages for homeless teens

“I’m blown away by what the kids in this school have done,” said social studies instructor Patricia McMaster, whose students gathered soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other personal care products to promote human dignity among the less fortunate. Partnering with Damien on this community service project were the Ohana Waikiki East Hotel, which donated some of the supplies; and Catholic Charities Hawaii, which distributed the care packages to impoverished teenagers.

 A U.S. Senate resolution affirmed that Catholic schools “are an affordable option for parents, particularly in underserved urban areas,” and that Catholic high schools boast a 99 percent graduation rate, with 86 percent of seniors going on to attend four-year colleges.


STUDENT ACTIVITIES Suffer from Glossophobia (Fear of Public Speaking)? Not Members of the Monarch Speech & Debate Club Countless people suffer from a fear of public speaking - clinically known as glossophobia - a condition that produces feelings of panic and other forms of physical distress. So what’s the value for students in overcoming speech anxiety? According to the nonprofit National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), schools that offer public speaking programs report: ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏ ๏

Increased attendance; Higher tests scores; A rise in college acceptance rates; Unique benefits for at-risk students; and Reduced dropout rates.

 Moreover, speech and debate programs strengthen the core areas of literacy: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This according to English/personal development teacher Philip Balmores, who advises 15 students in Damien’s Speech & Debate Club. “As a teacher and a coach, I believe the activity of speech and debate can build great leaders and engaged citizens of the world,” Balmores said. That’s because students who engage in public speaking “develop social skills in conflict resolution, assertiveness and interacting with peers.” 
 When students are determined to build confidence and resilience - and embrace skills such as voice projection, enunciation, research, logical thinking and empathy - they tend to thrive in tournaments, Balmores said.
 The key to victory? Practice, practice, practice. “For speech, the main concerns are memorizing lines, establishing the right mood for the piece and creating distinct characters,” Balmores explained. “Debate is about preparation and anticipation. A lot of research is necessary, and debaters need to be able to create a ‘case’ about this year's topic.” The current topic, as determined by the NSDA, examines the policy question of whether the federal government “should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.”
 Balmores, who competed in speech and debate as a high schooler, said the tournaments “really helped me get out of my shell.” “I absolutely enjoy the activity and how it gives the students a voice in expressing their own ideas and thoughts about big issues,” Balmores said. “As an advisor, I am here to help our students at Damien do their best in competitions while they learn, grow and thrive from the experience.” 

Speech & Debate Students Aim for State Tournament For students in Damien’s Speech & Debate Club, their goal is performing well at the Oahu District Debate Qualifying Tournament on March 10 and thus qualifying for the State Forensic Championship, scheduled for April 12-14 at Kamehameha Schools and Punahou School. 
 The contests are presented by the Hawaii Speech League, an organization of public and private schools that promotes excellence in speech and debate activities for middle and high school students. Based on their performances in a previous tournament, two Damien seniors already qualified for the state tournament. Courtnee Elento will represent her school in the Dramatic Interpretation category, and Tymir Streeter will compete in Impromptu Speaking. 11


Meet Damien’s Board of Directors 

Dr. Jeffrey Moniz ’87 Vice Chairman

Gregory Sitar ’78 Chairman & Treasurer

Bob Barrett Secretary

Johnny Bevacqua

Jeannie Yukitomo

Suzie Chun Oakland

Katie Mettler

Paul Cunney

Cleighton Pang ’67

Br. Edward Brink, S.M. Joe Martinez

Michael Magaoay

Nadine Stollenmaier

Wendell Lum ’71



Damien ‘Morphed in So Many Good Ways’ During Gregory Sitar’s Board of Directors Tenure During his quarter-century of service to Damien Memorial School, Board of Directors Chair and alumnus Gregory Sitar ’78 helped bring about some of the most significant changes on campus since its founding in 1962.

Another development during Sitar’s tenure resulted in statewide headlines when Damien announced in 2001 that it would forfeit two upcoming football games against Saint Louis School, a perpetual powerhouse in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH). “There was a terrible imbalance in the athletic abilities of the two schools,” Sitar pointed out, with Saint Louis typically surging to significant leads by halftime.

 Sitar, a Senior Vice President and Area Manager for First Hawaiian Bank (FHB), began assisting his alma mater in the early 1990s when a Damien board member inquired about restructuring the school’s finances. 
 “They asked me as a banker and an alum to help,” said Sitar, who managed FHB’s Moanalua Branch at the time. “Very simply, we provided financing to the school, I became the school’s banker and I’ve been their banker ever since.”
 Upon joining Damien’s board in 1998, Sitar worked with the administration on numerous initiatives, such as helping boost enrollment by creating the middle school and later welcoming female students to campus after 50 years of operating as an all-boys institution. 
 “I think the addition of young ladies was, in my mind, the best thing that ever happened to this campus,” Sitar said. “Although I grew up and thrived in an all-male environment here at Damien, I do believe the young ladies brought a new dimension of life to the school. Adding the middle school was great for Damien, but I think going coed was even more important.”
 Sitar was also instrumental in other projects, such as: • Expanding the campus boundaries by leading initiatives to acquire the property at Houghtailing and Kohou streets; • Constructing the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Building; • Changing the method of school governance by switching from a principal/vice principal model to a president/ principal model; and • Leading the search committee that brought on board current President and CEO Wes Reber Porter. “I feel proud that I was there to help give birth to all these things,” said Sitar, who will have served on the board for 18 years when his current term concludes.

“We understand that you want to play, you have the heart and you have the desire,” Sitar told Damien parents and students. But, as Sitar put it, “at that point in time, we simply didn’t have the enrollment, the training and conditioning programs and resources to be competitive while ensuring the safety of our student athletes.” That controversial decision to forfeit the games was initiated by then-Principal Br. Greg O’Donnell and fully supported by Board Chair Sitar, all the other directors and the administration. Their action spurred talks that led to ILH implementing a classification system. This realignment meant that Damien and other schools with smaller team rosters could compete on even terms in their own division. Growing Up in a Military Family Sitar moved from the mainland to Hawaii in 1963 “as a three-year-old military brat” when his father, an Air Force pilot who fought in the Vietnam War, was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base. “Coming to Damien was wonderful because I developed friendships with kids from all over the island,” said Sitar, who entered the Monarch “melting pot” as a ninth grader after graduating from Holy Family School. “I thrived here.” Sitar later studied at the University of Portland for one semester before returning home and enrolling at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Business. He joined FHB fresh out of college “and 35 years later I’m still here at the bank,” Sitar said. “My function is essentially helping First Hawaiian grow, increasing market share, increasing profitability and maintaining proper staffing levels in the branches under my direction,” he explained. Sitar is also active in the community, serving on numerous boards in addition to Damien’s. One of his past roles was president of the Kalihi Business Association, which, among its many activities, sponsors the KBA Christmas parade. 13

He often appeared in the parade and at school events as the association’s colorful mascot - Kip the Wallaby. “When you’re in that costume, nobody knows who you are, so your alter ego comes out,” Sitar said. “It was so much fun entertaining at numerous Kalihi-area schools! But it was also a very hot and heavy costume. I must have lost about a hundred pounds wearing that costume!” As for his personal life, Sitar and his wife Susan have been married for 31 years. Their eldest son, Ryne, graduated from Santa Clara University and co-founded a small tech startup in South San Francisco. Their younger son, Trent, is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, pursuing a degree in education. And as for his connection to Damien, Sitar said he’s “been involved for so long that I’ve seen how the school has morphed in so many good ways,” resulting in what we see today with a vibrant campus, record turnouts for open houses and wait lists at certain grade levels. “That’s why I love being in this environment,” Sitar said. “I’d like to believe we really helped position the school very nicely for the future.” Greg Sitar in his Kip the Wallaby costume


DAMIEN HUI `OHANA Parents Group Forms to Support Damien Activities

The founding committee of the Damien Hui `Ohana above are (from left): Agnes Macaereg, Evelyn Barut, Pauline Ozoa, Nashira Mason, Carie Buckman, Kasey Crawford, Tammy DiCenzo, Cheryl Agunat, Esther Domingo. Not pictured are Eddie Somera and Malia Beazley

Parents committed to promoting an active partnership among parents, students, faculty and the administration at Damien Memorial School have formed a new support organization. Called the Damien Hui `Ohana, this group is led by founding committee member Kasey Crawford. “A parent organization is important for a school because it can offer a way for parents to build a relationship with teachers, staff and other families while supporting their students,” Crawford said. “I am blessed to be a part of this process for Damien Memorial and I look forward to seeing the organization grow and prosper.”
 For information on the parents group, contact Crawford at 15


Henry Kapono Concert Raises Funds for School Among the fundraising events supporting Damien Memorial School during the 2017-18 academic year was a private concert featuring guitarist/vocalist Henry Kapono, winner of multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. The November 28 concert was held at Blue Note Hawaii in Waikiki. Prior to the show, more than 300 corporate donors, alumni, parents and friends of Damien dined at various Honolulu restaurants. Event organizers included alumnus Cleighton Pang ’67, Vic Angoco and Billy Gabriel.




DAMIEN PROFILE Instructor Anvie Alcayde Helps Students Explore Life’s ‘Big Questions’ in Senior Religion Class Transitioning from high school to college is often an intimidating experience as teenagers confront major questions regarding identity, autonomy, finances, career choices, friendship, sexuality, marriage and more. Preparing Damien Memorial School seniors for this pivotal time is religion instructor Anvie Alcayde, whose class focuses on “what it means to live out a Christian lifestyle after graduation.” 
 “Here at Damien, students are almost sheltered, in a sense,” Alcayde said. “Sometimes it's not until they go out into the world that they’re exposed to the realities of all these different issues - things like homelessness and gender equality.” Despite the weighty topics students explore, Alcayde strives to make her class fun - especially during spring quarter when discussions turn toward love, marriage and children. “I think the majority of them feel called to marriage, called to become parents,” Alcayde said, “even when it looks like such a far reach to attain. They desire love and a lifelong companion. It’s so much fun to talk about!” Alcayde, who joined the Damien faculty in 2014, is a native of the Philippines who grew up in Ewa Beach, attended Campbell High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in Family Resources from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Counseling, rather than teaching, was Alcayde’s original pursuit following college. “For a year, I worked at a domestic violence shelter,” she said. “I loved it at the beginning, but I had to discern whether or not it was something I wanted to continue doing. I loved knowing I was able to help and make an impact. But because of Hawaii’s lack of housing and lack of resources, I always felt I was the bearer of bad news.” So, Alcayde embraced teaching, a “much more uplifting” career. “It was a little difficult at first,” Alcayde recalled, “because I wasn’t an education major.” She did have experience working with students, however, as an intermediate school tutor with a government-funded program. “I just fell in love with teaching,” said Alcayde, who taught second grade at St. Joseph School in Waipahu before coming to Damien. “I love the way I’m able to work with students and the joy they bring into my life.” Alcayde furthered her knowledge by earning a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Chaminade University. Sponsored by the Diocese of Honolulu, the program was primarily designed for Catholic school administrators. “I was very fortunate to be chosen for that cohort,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll ever give up being a teacher, but it was nice studying with administrators. It was an eye-opener for me. It helped me look at Damien with a different lens. I got the bigger picture outside the classroom.” As for her religion class, Alcayde enjoys “journeying” with her students as they embark on a dramatic time of challenges and opportunities. “At the beginning of their senior year, they have all these worries and all these stresses,” Alcayde said. “Then come graduation day, it’s nice to see how much they’ve achieved, how everything plays out. “They’re dealing with the big questions of life,” she emphasized. “This is exciting!” 18

Entering Aloha Harvest Art Contest Raises Awareness Among Religion Students About Plight of Homeless To help Damien Memorial School students gain greater awareness about the struggles of impoverished families and individuals, religion instructor Anvie Alcayde encouraged her seniors to enter the “Compassion in Arts Competition” as a class project. Conducting the sixth annual contest, with a theme of “Compassion for the Hungry and Homeless in Hawaii,” was Aloha Harvest, a nonprofit organization that rescues quality, donated food and delivers it to social service agencies. Two of Alcayde’s students - Chloe Fernandez and Jenna Pedro - were finalists in the competition, and Fernandez went on to place second in her division. “It’s one way we can advocate for the needy and bring awareness,” Alcayde said. “I’m glad we were able to do something compassionate.” All the contest submissions were displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Students could also put their artwork up for sale, with proceeds supporting Aloha Harvest.

Award-winning artwork by Chloe Fernandez


DAMIEN ATHLETICS Winter Sports Highlights: Boys’ Basketball Team Reaches State Finals for First Time in School History By Donna Marcello Assistant Athletic Director Coming off a successful fall athletics season, winter sports teams representing Damien Memorial School had big shoes to fill. And they delivered! Basketball
 For the first time in school history, Damien made it to the finals of the Snapple/Hawaii High School Athletics Association Boys Basketball Division II state tournament, played Feb. 16 at Stan Sheriff Center. After a hard-fought four quarters of competition against our school’s nemesis, the top-ranked Saint Francis Saints, Damien fell short by a 76-52 tally, thus ending the season in second place statewide. Damien qualified for the tournament by winning an intense game against University Laboratory School. The Monarchs then advanced to the state finals by beating third-ranked Seabury Hall and second-ranked Kalani High School, the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II champion. Although Damien graduates four seniors this year, next season’s team is expected to be one to watch out for as we continue chasing the koa trophy.
 As for the boys’ intermediate teams, both ended their seasons in the top two, with our JV-G squad walking away as Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) champions.
 Our girls’ basketball team, which started this season with a completely new coaching staff, performed well in ILH regular season play. Although Damien graduated seven seniors this past season, talent on the lower levels will ensure our competitiveness next year. 
 Damien’s always-consistent wrestling program once again posted impressive results, with Kela Chinen-Zablan and Kendall Ramelb both finishing second in the ILH Intermediate Championship. 
 Finishing third were Joseph Higuchi and Isaac Petersen, Anthony Maize was fourth, Raffe Perreira was fifth, Cody Yamashita took sixth, Jacob Enrico and Blaze Kim finished seventh and Kaleo Humber was ninth.


Our Lady Monarchs were also fiercely competitive, placing second in the ILH for the regular season and second in the ILH Dual Meet Championships. The girls then finished in the top 20 in the 2018 State Wrestling Championships. Of the 13 student-athletes who qualified for state, Alexis Gibbs and Valerie Ramos placed fourth and Keoua Kuahi was sixth. With such great results coming out of our intermediate program, we anticipate a strong varsity team coming up next year. Soccer
 Participation in Damien soccer continues to grow. When our boys held strong teams such as Punahou School, Mid-Pacific Institute and Kamehameha to minimal scoring, it offered proof of an improving program. With many underclassmen returning next season, Damien soccer should become even more competitive.
 As for the Lady Monarchs, they engaged in a backand-forth battle against Le Jardin Academy but were unable to qualify for a berth in the Girl’s State Soccer Championship. Our girls’ program, only in its second year of fielding a varsity team, is one of Damien’s youngest programs. Judging by their performance this year, however, the girls will become a force to be reckoned with soon. Swimming Two Damien swimmers participated in the PAC-5 this season, with sophomore Casey Garcia qualifying for the state championship in the 200 individual medley and butterfly.

Casey Garcia

Paddling Damien declared three canoe paddling teams this year, with our mixed crew nearly making it to the state championship. With the possibility of increasing the number of teams next year, the future is bright for this program.
 Looking ahead to the spring season, Damien athletics looks just as strong as it did during the winter. We anticipate finishing the year on a high note!

Nadine Malazarte


STUDENT ACTIVITIES Computer Tech Students Decorating Welcome Center With Images Showcasing Damien Campus Life Four Damien Memorial School students in the Computer Tech 3 advanced media class are decorating the recently opened Welcome Center with images showcasing numerous facets of campus life. Technology and photography instructor Tony Pablo said his class helps students develop important qualities, such as: leadership, teamwork, problem solving, communication, flexibility, interpersonal skills and work ethics.
 The students expect to complete their project, which involves decorating the center’s first-floor walls, by the end of the school year.

Hula Halau Performance Honors Service Personnel To honor the sacrifices of America’s servicemen and servicewomen, Damien Memorial School’s hula halau performed at a Veteran’s Day luncheon. The festive event was held at the Kapolei facility of U.S. Vets, a nonprofit corporation that provides counseling, employment assistance, case management, drug- and

alcohol-free housing and other services for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.
 “I know the kids were happy to dance for these vets who worked hard for us,” said Kumu Hula Sky Perkins Gora. “We are very grateful for all they have done and what they stand for – our country.”


DAMIEN ALUMNI Graduates Helped Transform Damien Football from Winless Season to State Championship Contender By Eddie Klaneski ’93 Serving as head coach of the Damien Memorial School football program for the past seven years has been a humbling, challenging and meaningful experience for me. I’ve watched many young boys grow up to become outstanding young men through athletics. It’s been a pleasure witnessing this transformation as our alumni move on to bigger and better things. As of today, 12 of my former players are living their dreams by playing football at colleges and universities in Hawaii and on the mainland. The list includes: ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

University of Hawaii at Manoa (Austin Pang-Kee ’15 and Kana`i Picanco ’15); Colorado Mesa University (Shaun Apiki ’17); Whitworth University (Jarin Manuel ’16); George Fox University (Cody ’16 and Dallas Labanon ’15); Montana State University (Shawn Borges ’17 and Kapili Livingston-Lopez ’17); Gustavus Adolphus University (Dutch Claybaugh ’15); College of Idaho (James Roy ’14); North Park University (Rush Asing ’17); and Pima Community College (John Kauwenaole ’15).

All these Monarchs helped lay the foundation for our current football program. Without their hard work and dedication, the football culture at Damien wouldn’t be like it is now. This progress was not without growing pains. In my first year as head coach, we went 0-10. The following year we tallied three wins in the preseason. Then, in my third year, the team broke through by winning all the preseason games and our first league contest against a PAC-5 opponent. Since then we’ve achieved three consecutive Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II titles, winning at least seven games per season and finishing with ten wins in 2017. We also qualified for the state tournament these past three years. Last season we even vied for the State Championship against Hilo High School but came up a little short.   The evolution of Damien’s football culture is directly attributed to these collegiate players, along with many others, who put in their blood, sweat and tears on our field. With Damien’s growing enrollment and increasing student-athlete participation, we’ll continue building on this solid foundation for years to come.

Kapili Livingston-Lopez Dutch Claybaugh

James Roy

Jarin Manuel Shaun Apiki

Kana`i Picanco

Shawn Borges

Austin Pang-Kee Rush Asing John Kauwenaole Cody Labanon

Dallas Labanon


DAMIEN ALUMNI Alumnus Q&A: Inoke Breckterfield ’95 Excelled as Football Player, Now as Coach for Wisconsin After graduating from Damien Memorial School in 1995, football standout Inoke Breckterfield went on to become one of Oregon State University’s best defensive ends of all time. Honored in 1998 as a third-team All-American and first team All-Pac-10 Conference player, he received the prestigious Morris Trophy awarded annually to the conference's top defensive lineman. 
 Following a successful stint in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts (1999-2000) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2001-03), Breckterfield coached at Oregon State, Weber State University, the University of Montana, UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves as defensive line coach for the University of Wisconsin, helping the Badgers compile a 34-7 record over the past three seasons while beating USC in the Holiday Bowl, Western Michigan University in the Cotton Bowl and the University of Miami in the Orange Bowl. Breckterfield and his wife Carol, a former soccer star at USC, have a young son named Kalevi who loves playing football and soccer. What attracted you to Damien?
 My brother Francis ‘92 was attending Damien when I was King Intermediate in Kaneohe. I was too big for Pop Warner in seventh and eighth grades so I would come to Damien and work out while Francis was at practice. I eventually became involved as a water boy along with Kamu Lau, and we both decided to follow our brothers to Damien.
 What are some of your favorite memories from your time on campus?
 We had a very tight-knit freshman class when I got to Damien. My friendships with my classmates are something I cherish to this day. Being away on the mainland makes it tough to stay in touch, but social media helps a lot.
 Were there any coaches or teachers who were especially helpful? 24

Coach (Wally) Aina was so helpful in my development as a person and as a football player. He preached discipline and toughness. You came to Damien as a kid and left a man. Melvin Andres was my defensive line coach while I was at Damien. He is the person that helped me develop as a player. When I got to college, I was prepared to end up starting as a true freshman.   Mr. Weaver’s history classes were the best. Loved his energy as a teacher. I loved how Brother Cullerton would tell it like it is and wouldn’t sugarcoat anything. I enjoyed Mr. Alejo’s professionalism, both on the football field and how he carries himself on campus. I was able to take a little from each of these individuals and apply them to who I am today.

 How did Damien prepare you for your collegiate and professional football careers?
 I still to this day don’t think anyone outworked us at Damien - from our summer workouts at the beach and the stadium stairs at Roosevelt with Coach Mel Andres, then back to campus for mat drills and then to practice. I never had a better strength coach then Noll Andrel. He pushed you to your max every time you stepped into the weight room. Coach Aina instilled toughness on the football field, which helped me develop the right mindset of how this game is to be played.

 As defensive line coach for the Badgers, what mental/ emotional qualities do you develop in your players?
 I preach being smart, tough and dependable. I demand great effort in all they do. I want guys that LOVE football.

 What was it like winning your last three bowl games?
 The 2015 Holiday Bowl Win against the University of Southern California was an awesome one, being that it was in San Diego and pretty much a home game for them.

One Student Shares What It Means to Be a Damien Monarch by Josiah Saifoloi ’19
 The MerriamWebster definition of the word monarch is “a person who reigns over a kingdom or empire: such as a.) a sovereign ruler, or b.) a constitutional king or queen.

Essentially, this correlates with what it means to be a Damien Monarch: being the ruler of your own kingdom through honor, integrity, confidence and respect. Being a monarch means that you take pride in everything you do, and that you uphold your wins and accept your losses. As a monarch, we aren’t given as much as other schools. But being a Monarch means being able to create something from nothing with the family you came up with, cultivating your own kingdom.

The 2016 Cotton Bowl win against Western Michigan was awesome being that it was a New Year’s Six game and they came into the game undefeated. To come out with the win was great! We finished in the top 10 that year, also. The 2017 Orange Bowl win against No. 10 Miami was even sweeter. The game was held in Miami in their home stadium, so it was a true home game for them. Getting that win to cap off a 13-1 season with our only loss coming against Ohio State by 6 in the Big 10 championship game was an awesome feeling. We finished in the Top 10 again for the second-straight season.


DAMIEN ALUMNI Record-Setting Tennis Coach and Alum Rusty Komori ’87 Shares Secrets of Success in ‘Beyond the Lines’ Book After setting a national record in all sports by leading his boys’ tennis teams to 22 consecutive state championships, legendary coach and Damien Memorial School alumnus Rusty Komori ’87 is sharing his formula for success with a much wider audience.

“Over half of the Punahou boys’ varsity team were my private students,” Komori said, “so our athletic director and tennis director asked me to be head coach.” That led to his record-setting string of state championships from 1994 through 2015. In addition to teaching tennis skills, Komori emphasized the mental, emotional and moral development of his players. “Examples of mental character include discipline, focus, self-control, decisiveness and self-awareness,” Komori said. “Examples of emotional character include positivity, resiliency, courage, cooperation and confidence. Examples of moral character include integrity, loyalty, honor, respect for others, humility and compassion.”

Komori, who began a long coaching career at Punahou School at the age of 24, wrote about his experiences and philosophies in “Beyond The Lines: Creating A Leadership Culture to Achieve Extraordinary Results.” To support his alma mater, he donated proceeds from a recent book signing to Damien. 

“Barnes & Noble asked me to name a beneficiary of my signing connected to literacy or education,” Komori said. “So I chose Damien Memorial School because my priceless experiences at Damien helped shape my character into who I am today.” 

Komori explores these topics and others in his new book from Legacy Isle Publishing. “By writing ‘Beyond the Lines,’ I can help all schools, businesses, sports teams, parents, students and organizations in the world,” Komori said. “It will help them in leadership, achieving and sustaining success, improving their life and the lives of others and finding greatness.”

 Komori initially played baseball and soccer as a youth, then focused on varsity tennis during his final three years of high school. “I liked tennis because I controlled my destiny,” he recalled. “If I wanted to be great, I could be because it all depended on me and no one else. And the hand-eye coordination skills I learned in baseball, and the footwork and conditioning I did in soccer, greatly helped me in tennis.”
 Komori said he “valued and appreciated” all his teachers and coaches at Damien.

The book includes Komori’s “Four P's of Success” and “Eight Keys of Leadership.”

“They cared about us and always had our best interests at heart,” he said. “By attending Damien, I learned how to tie a tie and dress sharp. My classmates were awesome we always helped each other with everything.”

The personal discipline Komori learned at Damien - along with respect for others, punctuality and time management - “not only prepared me for college,” he said, “it prepared me for life.”

“The Four P's (People, Purpose, Process and Performance) are the general framework to achieve and sustain success,” Komori explained. The Eight Keys form the character of a champion, he said, which involves discipline driving performance, always keeping in control and demonstrating courage and conviction on and off the court.

Upon graduating from Damien, Komori received a tennis scholarship at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. He returned to Hawaii after college and began developing many of the state’s top-ranked players as a tennis pro at Punahou.

“You create the environment,” he said, “find your passion, welcome adversity and real winning occurs within.”
 Achieving and sustaining success isn’t easy, Komori pointed out. But the question is, can coaches and other leaders help people deal with challenges in a positive way? 26

People don’t want to be managed - they want to be guided,” Komori said. “They want to know that no matter how challenging a situation might be, they can trust their leader to make the best decisions for the team.” Now that he’s retired from Punahou, Komori delivers motivational speeches to business, organizations and sports teams. He also conducts private tennis lessons and keeps in shape by hiking and working out at an athletic club. Komori’s advice in a nutshell? “I know there is greatness in everyone,” he said. “Find your greatness and then help others find theirs.” “Beyond the Lines: Creating a Leadership Culture to Achieve Extraordinary Results” is available at bookstores and other retail locations, online booksellers and direct from the publisher at 27

Upcoming Damien Events Date




March 14, 2018

Damien Hui `Ohana Inaugural Parent Gathering


6:00 p.m.

April 29, 2018

Damien Lu’au

Damien Memorial School

Noon - 4:00 p.m.

May 4, 2018

Spring Evening of the Arts

Damien Memorial School

6:30 p.m.

June 21, 2018

Drive “Fore” Damien Golf Tournament

Hawaii Prince Golf Club


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Damien Memorial School 1401 Houghtailing Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 Tel: 808.841.0195 Fax: 808.847.1401 Email: Website:

Kamiano Winter 2018  
Kamiano Winter 2018