The Golden Anniversary Issue

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Illustration by Hatasha Horiuchi and coloring by Alycia Abordonado

Table of ConTenTs

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GALERA lauds school's excellence


“WHen yoU’Re a paRT of soMeTHing biggeR THan yoURself, iT affeCTs yoU peRsonally and pRofessionally'' - daRRel galeRa

To Galera, working at Moanalua was the most rewarding and inspiring experience.

At Moanalua it was always our motto that we need to strive for excellence,” said Darrel Galera, former Moanalua High School social studies teacher, vice principal, and principal. He reflected back on his near 13-year tenure at Moanalua with only the best memories.

“[When I was hired] as a social studies teacher in 1981 it was probably the defining moment for me and my career,” he said. Galera reminisced on the innovative and leading qualities Moanalua has embodied since opening its doors. He spoke of fond memories; of former principal James Kim, of watching students learn and grow, and of loving the community and culture that defined Moanalua. “I quickly saw that I was part of something bigger than me,” he said. Moanalua has always been a special school, trailblazing the path to the future. He commented on the school’s constant devotion to improvement and change.

“We saw how innovative the school was,” and how quickly it established itself as a premier high school.

When Galera worked as a social studies teacher at the school, he recognized that the teachers knew they could and would do anything to help students, changing the world in the process.

Teachers were entering students in academic contests, promoting the fine and performing arts, and engaging in professional development themselves.

The school was a place where the administrators such as first principal Richard Kim, who hired Galera as a teacher, “created a safe and trusting environment, where teachers could take risks,” he said.

“I’ve worked at many schools [before and after his time at Moanalua], but there’s a strong sense of aloha and pride that drives you to want to be at Moanalua for so long,” he said. “When you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, it affects you personally and professionally, and helps you to follow that model to strive for excellence… I wanted to try to perpetuate the traditions of excellence in place at Moanalua,” Galera said.

Over the years, some events and traditions have come and gone (such as the Homecoming bonfire), but for the most part, the school has only added to its character: the development the fine and performing arts (the Performing Arts Center alone was a 20-year journey), media, career and technical education, STEM, and athletics programs are just some of the many pieces that define Moanalua. The expanded military and civilian housing over the decades also helped the school grow into a vibrant, diverse campus.

Some school programs ended up having a wider impact on all students in the Hawaii DOE.

Galera credited former principal Jaqueline Heupel for introducing the idea of teacher professional development to Moanalua and creating student learning goals that the state of Hawaii Department of Education would later adopt and turn into the General Learner Outcomes.

Moanalua High School also was the first to develop the Career and Academic Plan program, which then became the Department of Education’s Personal Transition Plan requirement after it dropped the semester “guidance” class from the curriculum. When CAP first began here, everyone on campus, including administrators, taught an advisory class. The purpose was to ensure all students felt they had an adult advocate on campus. This was decades before the emphasis on Social Emotional Learning became popularized in education.

Other innovations and ideas sparked at Moanalua High School include the state’s year calendar and the ACT test for juniors.


Original faculty recalls the building of the “Kimdom”

The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” is wise on many levels. The genesis of Moanalua High School’s strength can be traced back to the 13 original faculty of Moanalua High School. This small but mighty group was the “village” who literally opened the doors to students in the fall of 1972 and welcomed 169 tenth graders to the 30-acre campus at the top of the hill overlooking the new Salt Lake housing area.

Last October, 50 of the school’s earliest faculty returned to campus to see how much the school had grown and changed from its humble beginnings. Teachers who had been on staff between 1972 and 1984 celebrated in a homecoming event that allowed them to reminisce and reconnect. The teachers were treated to videos made by students in the MeneMAC (media and communications) program, which described the history of Moanalua, followed by a tour of the campus and lunch.

Moanalua High School’s first principal, James Kim, now 95 years old, flew in from the Big Island for the event. The emcee introduced him as the man who built the “Kim-dom.” Kim welcomed the group and reminded them that they all helped build the school from the ground up--literally. He reminded them of how he shared his big goals for the future of the school. The first step was getting the right faculty.

He needed to find teachers who could not only teach their content but also be able to multi-task.

“The registrar was also the athletic director, and some elective teachers taught different classes,” former Student Activities Coordinator Lana Mito said.

Kim’s philosophy was simple: get to know each other then work together to excel.

The first part was easy.

school was completed.” As each year passed by the school got better and better. By the year 1986, Moanalua High School was the first ever national high school ever recognized.

“The teachers knew every single student because you started with a small number,” Mito said.

The school added another sophomore class each year until 1974, when the school had all four grade levels.

The second part required the faculty to collaborate. Kim gave teachers time during the day for teachers to work together--sometimes with others from different departments--to develop a curriculum.

“He was a visionary,” MIto said. “He knew what he wanted. . . and he made it possible. There was always that element of trust that he had in us and we had in him, and he would somehow find the resources to support us.”

Teachers, Mito said, were enthusiastic about the opportunity they had to give Moanalua direction.

“Because we were struggling in the beginning, there is that bond that was created through our small faculty and staff and expanded as we all heard, shared, and practiced the same philosophy,”

“We got the right people for the job,” Kim said at the October meeting, as he reflected on his tenure. “By the 14th year, the school was completed.”

In 1986 Moanalua High School was recognized by the United State Department of Education as a “Blue Ribbon School” of excellence.


James Kim addresses his former colleagues in the performing arts center during the October 5th teacher reunion. See upper right: James Kim poses in his office in 1972 .


Chef Gordon Ramsay says to “work hard and don’t wait for things to happen themselves,” and that’s exactly what Kaleb Molina did. Molina, a 2020 Moanalua graduate, did not let his last-minute, senior-year pivot to the culinary program deter him from setting his sights on working in a professional kitchen.

In just three short years, Molina has worked his way from F 201 to college to a bustling restaurant in Honolulu.

This feat is more admirable given the fact that Molina’s senior year was cut short by the Covid shutdown, which limited his learning. Fortunately, his participation in the February Leeward Community College scholarship brunch and state CTSO competition provided him with an idea of what the field was like.

“I remember making omelets and having fun doing the [Leeward] event,” he said. At the CTSO competition, Molina placed third in his category.

These experiences convinced him to pursue his passion at Leeward Community College.

One highlight of his time there was entering a competition sponsored by 7-Eleven called “On the Hotline,” in which culinary students were challenged to make a disk the convenience stores could sell in its hot meals display case. It took two tries in the contest Molina persisted and persevered through and won the competition the second year. Molina’s Vegan Rigatoni Bolognese, and was available in 7-Elevens across the state.

“I enjoyed creating food and making a healthier option for people,” Molina said of his entree.

Molina’s meal was renamed” Kaleb’s Keiki Meal” for the Honolulu Zoo’s new Kapahulu Market for a limited time in 2022. Today Molina works at MW Restaurant, which is a casual fine dining restaurant, as a chef that works mostly on meats and the high

He believes that Moanalua has helped him to become “Kaleb was very driven to succeed and he was passionate about what was being served,” Lars Mitsuda,

Down the line, Molina hopes to open his own restaurant, focusing on local foods “with a twist,” he said. In addition to his brief but fruitful cooking career at Moanalua High School, Molina was also in the drumline of the marching band. He believes that being a chef is very similar to being in the band. The chefs and workers in a restaurant need to work together to be able to create good food, similar to how the marching band needs to work together to play the excellent music that they play today, he Similarly, both music and food are best when served with sincerity and love.

“It’s about the love and passion that’s gonna shine through (with the food),” Molina said. “If I’m gonna cook. . . for someone else, I want to cook it to the point where I would want to eat it. I’m not going to make something that I wouldn’t give to my grandma.”

Kaleb Molina shows off his winning 7-Eleven dish, the vegan rigatoni bolognese
Photo courtesy Kaleb Molina

Kyra achieves her Disney dream

Watching the triple axels and camel spins in the Winter Olympics is usually how children learn about the sport of figure skating. This was no different for Moanalua alumna Kyra Fukumoto. Drawn to the sport, she began skating at Ice Palace after begging her mom to let her try it out. The ice quickly became a second home. “I’ve never thought about not skating.” Fukumoto said. After graduating from Moanalua in 2019, Fukumoto followed her dreams and after years of work, skated into a whole new world: she made it to Disney On Ice.

Fukumoto is an example of Snow White’s claim that “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”

Throughout high school, Fukumoto skated at Ice Palace and trained in California over breaks. She remains thankful that the people at Moanalua were always supportive. But, she quickly moved to California after graduation. She spent time training and working, hoping her dream to skate professionally would come pass. She said she

She was finally able to join the company in July of 2022, and has been touring since as a female ensemble skater. She has also been a princess and a character from “Frozen.”

New skaters spend two weeks training, learning the entire show, and rehearsing, before going on tour. This means that they won’t have huge amounts of time practicing inbetween shows. Even though it hasn’t been long since she started skating with Disney on Ice, she aid she has already been able to make an impact no the audiences. “I wasn’t a lead role in the number [but] when I stopped along right in front of the audience one of the families [was] telling their little girl, ‘Oh look she's going to wave to you.’ I waved to them and the parents were like, ‘Thank you.’ …Those [interactions] make my job so amazing and worth it.”

Touring with Disney on Ice means a new city every week. For a hodophile (one who loves to travel), this is no problem. “I keep an app where I follow all the places I’ve been to…Montréal Canada [has] probably been my favorite place so far,” Fukumoto said. When the performers arrive in a city, they receive a few days of the week off, which is spent exploring and grocery shopping. Then there are the action-packed days when they perform. The skaters eat, check-in, put on show makeup, warm up, change outfits, preform, and then repeat. Thanks to the intensive training before the tour, the performers spend only half an hour practicing each week.

The pace is hectic but rewarding. From shows in an ice house in Halawa to extravaganzas in the Mouse’s House, Fukumoto said Disney really does make dreams come true.

Photos courtesy Kyra Fukumoto


Opening a new school is not easy. Besides the hiring of teachers and purchasing of books and furniture, there are also the legacy decisions, such as selecting the school colors and mascots. In 1972, the school’s first principal, James Kim, assigned all of the teachers a task before the first day of school. For Ronald Hirai, the school’s first music director, that task was to write the alma mater.

While composing the alma mater in the summer of 1972, Hirai had to make many vital decisions. He had to determine if he wanted to start from scratch or take inspiration from a recognizable tune. He ultimately decided to start from scratch and produce his own set of meaningful lyrics that would reflect the school’s values.

As most people would assume, the three most meaningful lyrics of the school’s alma mater are the words honesty, loyalty, and unity. He wanted the start of the alma mater to be ear-catching and something grandiose, and he also wanted to ensure those words featured prominently in the song.

“Those three [lyrics] are very vital, without one, you can’t succeed [in life],” Hirai said, about his thought process.

Hirai also wanted the introduction itself to be arresting. He decided to mimic an ancient Hawaiian chant for the beginning. Hirai wanted to capture the Hawaiian culture, specifically, and did not want it to sound “European.” Usually, a Hawaiian chant contains one or two repeated low notes repeated over and over, he said. This is reflected in the first line of the song. As he got to the middle of the alma mater, he wanted to create tension, and then build up to a dramatclimax.

Of course, composing a piece takes a lot of time, effort, and many drafts. Hirai said his drafts depended on three things: the shape of the music, the key, and the range. He had to write it in a key that would be singable and doable for an average person.

Hirai’s first teaching position was the music director at Moanalua Middle School in 1968. After four years, Kim hired him to be the first music director. After five years, Moanalua boasted two concert bands, a marching band, a jazz band, string orchestras, and a chorus and Polynesian music program.

Hirai left Moanalua to become music director at Mililani High School. He then became an administrator, returning to the area to become the principal of Moanalua Elementary School. When he retired in 2004, he returned to his passion for clarinet performance and orchestral conducting. Currently, he stands as one of the conductors for the Oahu Civic Orchestra.

SCAN HERE TO LISTEN TO THE ALMA MATER! Ronald Hirai, the composer of the alma mater Haley Meyer Photo


“When I was in high school, I mapped out my plan. I wanted to be a paramedic and I didn’t even plan on going to UH. I always told myself I never wanted to be in music, it didn't seem like something I wanted to do,” Dane Pinell, former Moanlaua music department president, and current music education major, said.

Pinell began his journey training to become a paramedic, never thinking that he would end up where is he today, pursuing music education at the University of Hawaii.

Fresh out of high school, Pinell went into training to become a paramedic liek his father, spending years in the field before realizing that music education was his calling. This is surprising, considering Pinell spent his entire high school career in the music department.

“Moanalua helped me to broaden my perspective on a lot of things. It opened a lot of doors and gave me new opportunities,” he said. “Music was always in my life, and there were many things that I learned through music.” Pinell spent four years in the Moanalua High School Menehune Marching Band in the low brass section. He is currently the drum major for the University of Hawaii’s marching band.

Remembering his time at Moanalua, Pinell recalls the devotion and time the music department directors invested in their students and their music. “Seeing how much they sacrificed and what kind of good can come from being a teacher, especially a music teacher, and the opportunities you have to shape the younger generation really inspired me,” he said.

Pinell’s choice to change his major and study music education was spurred on by advice from a professor. “I was sitting in my religion class, and the professor said to the class, “You never really know if you’ll like something until you actually do it.” Because of that, Pinell decided to pursue music education. “I've loved it ever since,” he said.

He dedicates much of his choice of studying music education to Moanalua High School Music Director Elden Seta. “He understands that not all of his students will be involved in music after high school, but he wants them to be good at whatever they do, taking the lessons they learned in band wherever they go in life,” Pinell said, stating that he wants to pass on the same message to his own students one day.

ALYCIA ABORDONADO | STAFF WRITER Dane Pinell, drum major of UH Manoa’s Marching Band Na Hoku Staff Photo

The Wizard of Ahhs

In the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” the real wizard was a humble man behind the curtain. The same can be said of Jensen Ball, the manager of the school’s Performing Arts Center. He is the man behind the curtains helping the school’s programs shine in the spotlight.

A 2004 alumnus of Moanalua, Ball has always felt a special connection to the school. In some ways, it is almost magical in how his life’s path has managed to bring him home to his alma mater, no matter how far he traveled. His job has allowed him to give back to the school in the way that he knows best: technology and education.

During his time as a student at Moanalua, Ball was always involved with MeneMAC, the media program. He dedicated time after school and at home to film and edit videos. Learning about technology and media in the early 2000s was a whole different ball game from what it is now, Ball said, but he found it fun to manage. With heavy cameras and slower computer programs, the process of filming and editing was tedious, but Ball enjoyed the challenge.

“[MeneMAC] was my place to be. It was where I hung out, [and] it was what I helped out with…It did inspire me. I’ve always liked technology…so, I started [there] and kind of stayed in that area, and it’s been fun ever since,” Ball said.

To Ball, Moanalua is a place full of culture and family, and through his work, he hopes to enhance those values. In his current role, Ball has seen the PAC open up opportunities for the students and the public. Other than providing convenience, the PAC gives those involved in music, theater, and media a place to display the performances and productions they work to perfect.

As high school graduation approached, Ball contemplated his next step. Then, almost out of thin air, a technology coordinator position opened at nearby Red Hill Elementary. Ball went straight into the workforce and realized how much he enjoyed working with students and teachers to support their learning. After several years at schools and in the private sector, Ball found himself as an assistant to the chief of staff for Dr. Christina Kishimoto, the former Hawaii school’s superintendent. There, he helped with the superintendent’s scheduling as well as planning and managing department proposals.

“He is extremely friendly and has a great work ethic,” former colleague Camille Masutomi said. “People who work with me know that I’m very demanding…and I need someone who’s flexible in that way, and that’s Jensen,” she said.

The opening of the school’s Performing Arts Center in 2021 was Ball’s signal to come home to his alma mater.

Calista Eriko Ancog Photo

“I think for me, it’s nice to work with students again. But it’s also neat to get to see the latest in technology,” he said.

Even before taking up an official position at Moanalua, Ball was always giving back to Moanalua. Registrar Carolyn Morita has worked closely with Ball throughout his career.

“Jensen Ball is truly dedicated to Moanalua High School and our students. Even when he worked at other places (DOE and non-DOE), we could always count on Jensen to return to MoHS whenever we needed his help. For our professional development conferences, Jensen would help coordinate the guest speakers, handle the registration, publicity and even work the controls of the sound system. Then, in May he returned to help with graduation and was often tasked with jobs that popped up and were probably overlooked in the planning stages. Jensen Ball is a great problem-solver and easily grasps the big picture. In addition to being a hard-worker, Jensen shows great leadership and management skills,” she said.

He says that his current position allows him to cover his passions in both education and media/technology. Ball has overseen the various events that have been held at the PAC ever since. He says that the great thing about the PAC is that there are more opportunities for Moanalua students to perform and engage with the community. Some of the events he covered include Dance Moanalua’s performances, the various band and orchestra concerts, as well as community events.

Aside from his position at Moanalua, Ball also does nonprofit work as the president of the Hawaii Association for the Supervision of Curriculum Development (HASCD).

“The main goal of HASCD is to provide opportunities for teachers, and educators, but also for students. We’ve done a lot of work around personal development…and [have also partnered] with other organizations,” Ball said. Several HASCD speakers have already used the PAC to deliver presentations and trainings.

Outside of work, Ball finds comfort in travel and relaxation. In fact, he travels very frequently for both pleasure and professional development. He is a Disney enthusiast, and always has been since he was a child. His

favorite Disney movie is Aladdin because like the main character, Ball says he enjoys “throwing his hand in” at any opportunity that passes his way.

One such opportunity actually involves the Disney Corporation. In 2017, Ball was given the chance to attend a Disney Institute, which is the company’s professional development branch that does leadership training for different companies. From then on, he continued to participate, train, and bring what he learned to Hawaii. He has assisted with training both in Hawaii and at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

If it’s one thing Disney excels at, is captivating audiences with its storytelling.

“You need to know how to share your story and not be afraid to show your story,” he said.

Coming back to Moanalua with 15 years of experience and knowledge, Ball is looking forward to encouraging students to contribute to the Moanalua legacy. He feels comfortable back behind the scenes, helping students and teachers tell their own stories through technology and performance.

“I feel like Moanalua gave me the opportunity to explore what I was interested in…school provided me with the opportunity to explore different clubs, and also helped me find my niche and what I like to do. I’m pretty sure Moanlua helped gear me in that direction,” Ball said.

Na Hoku Staff Photo Ball setting up for a conference in the Performing Arts Center
Photo courtesy Jensen Ball Ball as a student working on a MeneMac Project

"Moanalua" Returns Home

Moanalua students were welcomed back from a relaxing summer vacation with a big surprise in front of the performing arts center. A large copper sculpture loomed over the walkway at the front of the school. This past summer, the sculpture titled Moanalua was mounted onto an outside wall of Moanalua High School’s Performing Arts Center.

After an attempted theft of the piece almost two decades ago, Moanalua finally returned home. Robin Martin, the current principal of Moanalua, was a vice principal in 2004 and remembers seeing the removed sculpture in the middle of the teacher’s parking lot.

“It was broken and bent,” Martin said, “I imagine that they tried to load it onto a pickup truck or something, but it’s huge.”

The story behind the sculpture starts with the artist. Bumpei Akaji was a wellestablished sculptor from Hawaii Island. His large copper and brass sculptures can be seen all over the state. One of his most well-known works is the Eternal Flame, located across the street from the State Capitol building. He was chosen to create the sculpture titled “Moanalua” in 1976.

The sculpture was commissioned and funded by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. According to the Hawaii Public Art Archive, the sculpture is of an abstract seascape, an ode to Moanalua’s watery origins. Moanalua was an important and sacred place for the Native Hawaiians. The

to the spirits and gods.

In 2015, Martin started to draw the plans for the new performing arts center. Remembering the sculpture, she asked the builders to build a wall that would be strong enough to hold it.

When Martin contacted the Hawaii State Foundation of Culture and the Arts about finally having a spot for it; she found out that it wouldn’t be so easy to get the sculpture back. The foundation had stored it in a place where they could no longer pay the rent because of a change in Hawaii’s procurement laws.

“I was shocked when I found that out, and it really came to a point where I thought we weren’t going to get it back,” Martin said.

Coming to the rescue was local businessman Michael Gangloff, who heard about the situation and paid the rent needed. Gangloff, who owns Mira Image Construction, arranged to restore the sculpture and mount it onto its current spot on the performing arts center.

He said one of the edges was dented over the years, but his workers restored to near-perfect condition.

Even though Gangloff himself is a Farrington High School graduate, he said he was eager to help Moanalua retrieve its bespoke artwork.

“After my construction company Mira became successful, I realized that I didn’t need all this money to survive and live on. I had already had my family accounted for so I decided to help others. At the end of the day the goal was to give

Caylen Maria Corpuz Photos

back, and spread aloha,” Gangloff said. After hearing about Gangloff’s contributions, Martin was ecstatic to finally bring the sculpture home.

“We owe him a great deal…because it was quite a lot of money. It was 15 years of rent, and that was just to get the sculpture back, it didn’t include restoring it and mounting it,” Martin said.

“Moanalua” was originally commissioned in 1975, and was created by an artist named Bumpei Akaji. Akaji passed away in 2003, a year before the piece was stolen, which made “Moanalua” even more important to restore and recover. The hillside Moanalua sits on were once used as sacred religious sites by the Native Hawaiians, inspiring Akaji to create an abstract scene of the sea and mountains that they cherished. Students around campus have been curious about the sculpture, shocked at its size and bold appearance.

“I didn’t really know what it was, I just thought that someone basically threw an art piece up there to make it look all fancy and

authentic,” junior E’mia Hawthorn said. Similar to Hawthorn’s view on the sculpture, senior Alexandria Burnett said, “I didn’t really know what to make of it at. After learning the history and meaning of the sculpture, Hawthorn and Burnett realized how great it was to get the sculpture back and mounted.

“I think it’s great that we got it back, and I think it’s terrible that somebody stole it, but I think it really represents Moanalua’s culture, and it’s a good symbol for our school,” Hawthorn said.



Moanalua High School graduates have been pursuing success for five decades, and even past their high school years, they look back with fondness on their time here. 1998 graduate Aaron Johanson served as a state representative for District 31, which includes Moanalua and Foster Village, for the past 12 years, stepping down last November to return to private life. He said his time at school proved memorable and essential to his life today, allowing him to gain incredible experience and insight into his career.

“There’s all kinds of ways to explore government [at Moanalua] and I think that’s helpful for people who are built differently,” Johanson said.

Serving in student government from the fourth grade to his senior year of high school, he reflects back on that time with fondness, enjoying the great lessons he learned along the way that would later prove important to him in his career.

“I learned really early on how important coalitions were,” he said, looking to his friends in student government as an example. He said he learned how each of them brought something different to the table, which allowed them to work together to best serve the school and their communities.

“Tactically it was helpful in running for public office,” he said, because he realized his “earlier desire to serve students just became the desire to serve people [in his larger community.]”

Johanson spent nearly all of his school career working in student service, his love for it lasting throughout his life as he would eventually pursue a career in politics. But that was not always the case. But he emphasized the importance of exploring different career options while in high school and how well Moanalua prepares students for the future.

“I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician,” he said. “I took AP Bio at Moanalua and realized I don’t want to study science for the rest of my life.”

Moanalua helped him to find his passions and interests, and the opportunities available to our students are valuable for anyone finding their own. The school encouraged students to explore different career options and prepared them for the future.

“Follow your own course…I’m a big proponent of [the idea that] everybody gets there however they get there,” he said.

He felt that Moanalua provided its students with important experiences and challenges that build them up and make them stronger.

“When you’re in college and you think, ‘Oh should I take this class? I’m not sure but it seems to be interesting. Should I take a chance?’ Or, ‘Maybe I want to switch my major,’” that’s when having had the opportunity in high school to learn how to make their own decisions and to learn from the outcomes benefits students, he said. Moanalua provided that space for the students.

After high school Johanson attended Yale University and later went on to work as a Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of the Treasury, specifically at the United States Mint, as a Deputy Associate Director in the Office of Presidential Personnel in the George W. Bush White House, bringing his unique perspectives and ideas to our nation’s capital.

“I spent two years working at the White House, which was super helpful because it was super stressful,” he said.

Johanson learned in the crucible of Washington, D.C., where all tasks seemed at the time to be at a “code red” level. He said working at the state level was less intense, and that even the most high-pressure situations were more like a “code orange” here. Those early years helped Johanson set a strong, resilient foundation for his career in Hawaii.

“Because we got paid so little [in Washington D. C.], you get paid in photographs,

Na Hoku Staff Photo

and cool experiences, and the ability to make a difference for the whole country,” he said.

His youth played a role in developing his leadership style as well.

“I was only 25-27 [years old] at the White House with progressively more responsibility… [my jobs there] gave me a healthy dose of skepticism” about how the state of Hawaii’s legislature functioned and helped him clarify how he saw his role as a representative. “I think it made me better [as a leader] because I was aware of what less-than-ideal legislatures and less-than-ideal legislation looked like,” he said. “Sometimes now I have to say as a 42 year old… I can’t believe I had that kind of responsibility at 25.”

Johanson was one of the only people from Hawaii who was working at the White House in the early 2000s. He said that coming from a diverse place such as Hawaii gave him a unique perspective on what he saw there, and also allowed him to share his ideas with those he met. He gained an understanding of how to govern amid diverse views.

“It takes all kinds [of people to function well] in politics, and there is quite a diversity in background and person,” he said, in reference to both local and national politics. Working at the white house allowed him to see how the branches of government overlapped and worked together, even in times of conflict. .

“I was a better state representative in the legislative branch… because it wasn’t my first job,” he said.

Johanson said that his prior experience working with the United State Congress and in the White House taught him to be a more prudent person who looked for the best thing to do while balancing the opinions of those he represented.

“I think it’s healthy when somebody has some other life and professional experiences prior to the legislature,” he said.

He recalled his days at Moanalua High School and noted how well his experiences in student government prepared him to run for a state office. Each level of student leadership, from homeroom representative to senator, from a club officer to a class or school-level committee chair allows individuals to learn how to lead and serve.

“If people are interested in running for office then it is helpful to start challenging yourself now,” he said. “I think it’s helpful to [take advantage of student leadership opportunities] because it’s in a safe space and you don’t necessarily have to run for office. You can volunteer to be on a committee or you can be [Student Association] committee chair. Everybody can go at their own pace.”

Johanson’s total time in public service has been about two decades. He retired from the state House last November to spend more time helping his parents and pursuing personal projects. That does not mean Johanson has closed the door to future public service.

“Maybe someday I’ll get back into politics again,” he said. “I haven’t lost the desire to help people and to care for a very special place.”

Photo courtesy AlohaOi Photo courtesy AlohaOi


Evan Hashizume: “One of the things I miss is that when you’re in high school, you see each other everyday, but once highschool’s over everypne goes their own ways and it’s hard to keep in touch with them.”

Austin Zavala: “Moanalua and MeneMac has helped me understand at a young age how to work hard for the sake of “it’s the right thing to do. You walk humbly knowing you’ve done the right thing for the right reasons and not for any type of acclamation. Work hard, be kind, and help others.

Cher Takemoto: “The student makeup has always been [really diverse]...some of my best friends in high school were military students, and I think that broadened my scope [of the world].”

Kyle Nakamichi: “I came back to this school because I wanted to coach baseball with my former coach Mr. Yamada.”

Cavin Takesue: “I feel like [Moanalua] gave me a good foundation, the fundamentals for anything I wanted to do. I wasn’t the most studious student, I was under the radar, I did what I needed to do to pass, but I feel like at that time the school gave me what I needed.”

Shelly Koyanagi: “I came back to work here and there were other Moanalua High School alumni teachers which made it easier for me to transition back as a teacher. Even if we weren’t in the same class, we at least sort of knew each other which made it easier.”

Ashley Whang: “A lot of my enjoyable memories came from high school…so that’s what made me want to come back.”

Joy Okano: “I was more affected by my cheerleading days. I think the relationship with my coaches and my cheerleading mates where we supported and protected each other, helped me become who I am today, where I always want to cheer on the under-dog. Especially with my students who need extra support.”

Jessy Shiroma: “I’d say that because I grew up in the Moanalua school community, elementary, middle and high school it was just such a friendly, encouraging warm environment where I felt I could succeed and grow as a student and it made me wanna come back and be supportive to other students here.”

Kelly Kaholokula: “When I was a student, I always felt there was somewhere I could belong and someone I could talk to, I want to make sure my students can feel the same way.”


alUMni TeaCHeRs sHaRe RefleCTions fRoM

THe oTHeR side of THe desK.

Chad Yoshizawa: “I enjoyed my high school experience here and I wanted to give back to the school that gave me that opportunity.”

Vanessa Schlegel: “I felt that the students here were much nicer than the ones I used to talk to, that the teachers were really passionate. There’s just that school spirit here.”

Jason Nagaoka: “I had very inspiring teachers as a student here. When I decided I wanted to become a teacher I thought what better way to continue their legacy than to follow in their footsteps and work here as well.”

Reyn Okamura: “Being able to see students actually come out and be more willing to express [themselves] is something that [I didn’t see when I was a student.]”

Karl Achiu: “Two things, are what encouraged me to come back. The first is I couldn’t imagine myself teaching outside of me home, and this is my home. The second reason goes like this, Mr. Galera the former principal had said ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to see a faculty meeting with physics teacher Karl Achiu. As he continued to encourage us graduates to go into teaching.”

Carolyn Morita: “The population was smaller so we were closer and tighter. There were not many distractions like cell phones, we didn’t even have email. We even had a class that taught keyboarding.”

Joanne Yonamine: “I just wanted to come back to my alma mater because I love my school. [My] old teachers were encouraging me to come back to Moanalua because they were going to retire.”

Scott Yamada: “I like that the students [are still] carrying on the traditions and maintaining the school’s reputation.”

Sherrie Faildo-Lee: “Seeing classmates kids coming to school and learning at Moanalua is surprising. “It’s a feeling of like ‘oh i feel so old’ and I guess that feeling surprised me. I knew it was coming but seeing the kids just makes it feel real.”

Jaclyn Kaya: “I’ve always looked up to [my teachers] and now they are my colleagues and I don’t know what to call them. I’m not used to calling them by their first names.”

Digital Illustration: Alycia Abordonado & Calista Ancog


Several alumni come back to campus for Moanalu’s Career Fair Day and share how Moanalua has helped them in their careers.

It is no secret that life isn’t a Cinderella fairytale–there is no such thing as extravagant wishes being granted overnight. Rags can’t turn into a ball gown, pumpkins can’t turn into carriages, and mice can’t turn into coachmen. However, for 2003 Moanalua graduate Michelle Tamayoshi, granting special wishes for others is second nature to her.

The wishes don’t happen overnight, but with Tamayoshi’s fairy godmother touch, there are about 90 kids per year across the islands of Hawaii who see what they thought to be a miracle become true.

Tamayoshi works at Make-A-Wish Hawaii as their Special Events Manager. Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization and their goal is to make life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses come true.

Tamayoshi’s position requires her to create budgets that would minimize the cost of the wish, while also maximizing the magnificence of it all. As Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization, most of the money used on wishes come from donations, fundraising, and company sponsorships.

“I’m in charge of securing the budget, reserving venues, planning activities, and just

overall ensuring that the child and their family enjoy the wish,” Tamayoshi said.

During her time at Moanalua, Tamayoshi gained experience in event planning through the various clubs and organizations she participated in while on campus.

“Three out of my four years in high school I held a [student government] officer position, so I was always involved in planning proms, banquets, and service projects which I think really played a part in my career since what I do now is plan much bigger events,” Tamayoshi said.

For Tamayoshi, the magic began at Moanalua, but it didn’t end there. Her experience with event planning and leadership at the school allowed her to grant all kinds of wishes for children of all ages in Hawaii.

Casey Miyashiro had many great memories at Moanalua High School.

Miyashiro, a lawyer who specializes in insurance coverage litigation, recalls student activities and band practices. He was an active member in the music department, being a member of the marching band and the orchestra.

As a 2012 graduate, Miyashiro said many in his graduating class also went on to successful professional careers.

“I’m really proud of my classmates,” he said.

Miyashiro said he realized in college that as a public school student, he was able to meet people who were from different social, ethnic and economic backgrounds, an experience his private school classmates did not always have. He noted that many of his high school classmates were very determined and driven.

“Being around the people and the teachers [who are highly motivated] just really influences you,” Miyashiro said.

Miyashiro works at the law firm Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert. He earned his law degree from the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, and served as the Managing Editor of the University of Hawaii Law Review after graduating.

Photo courtesy Make-A-Wish Hawaii XCHYLER BARUT | STAFF WRITER
Xchyler Barut Photo

dara dedIcates herself to the dIsabled

There are some students who type on a computer in the same way a piano virtuoso plays on a keyboard. Then there are others who are more deliberate, tapping one key at a time. Dara Fukuhara is in the latter group. But this is not for lack of practice.

At a young age Dara, a 1998 Moanalua High School graduate, was diagnosed with hereditary neuropathy, which is a slow progressing muscle weakness. It causes numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the limbs. She motored through the campus hallways on a wheelchair, often accompanied by a classmate, who helped her with her backpack essentials.

“Up until I was in my late 20s, the weakness only affected my arms, hands and leg muscles but it’s now affecting my vocal cords and lungs, making my voice very soft and difficult to breathe,” she said.

For all the challenges that living with limited mobility has presented, Fukuhara does not feel sorry for herself. “I’m not the type of person to wallow in my setbacks,” she said. Even in high school Fukuhara made it a point to pursue passions, which included writing.

She joined the school newspaper as a sophomore, and her interest in journalism took off.

“If it wasn’t for [the Language Arts Department] allowing me to take [the] class as a sophomore, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” she said. “I lived and breathed newspaper.”

This was not easy in the late ‘90s, before desktop publishing became the commonplace. She typed by tapping with her thumbs and writing by holding a pen between the sides of her thumb and index finger. She also founded Java Jam, the school’s annual poetry reading night, after reading about a similar event at another high school and calling on her friends who were in the school jazz band.

After graduating from Moanalua, Fukuhara attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She then joined the school’s newspaper, Ka Leo O Hawaii, as a features writer, and she worked her way up to features editor and editing manager by her senior year. Using the skills she obtained from news writing back in high school she was able to reach her desired position.

After graduating from UH Manoa, Fukuhara became a freelance writer for MidWeek for several years.

Eventually, Fukuhara wanted a career change.

“It was law school or going into [public relations],” she said. “I’m very glad that I made this career change because I enjoyed doing PR and was good at it.” She was able to use her journalism background and

knowledge and work with a wide range of clients in various businesses.

Fukuhara was able to use her journalism background and knowledge to work with a wide range of clients in various businesses. She also was working as an account executive at the largest public relations/ marketing firm in Hawaii, Communications Pacific. This was where Dara became involved in disability advocacy.

“I was nominated by [Gov. Linda Lingle] to the Statewide Independent Living Council and by Mayor Mufi Hanneman to his Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities,” Fukuhara said.

Fukuhara was also a founding board member of AccesSurf Hawaii, Independent Living Waipahu and Ad2 Honolulu. She was also named the 2007 Personal Achievement Award recipient of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Hawaii Chapter.

Currently, Fukuhara is the board president for two non-profit organizations: Hawaii Fi-Do Service Dogs, which trains service and therapy dogs for clients, and Aloha Independent Living Hawaii, which provides independent living programs and services for Hawaii residents living with disabilities.

A big fan of the CBS TV show “NCIS: Hawaii,” Fukuhara said she “made it a goal to become an extra. I’m in two episodes in season 1 but I’m just a millisecond smudge in the background.”

BENJAMIN CARLOS | STAFF WRITER Photo courtesy Dara Fukuhara

Future investment: Moanalua experience

From teacher, to vice principal, and then to the first lady to the governor of Hawaii, Dawn Ige has worn many hats over the years. One of Ige’s stops along the way was as the vice principal at Moanalua High school from 2010-2013.

Before coming to the high school, she worked as a third grade teacher at Waimalu Elementary School for over ten years. She’s more widely known for her latest job: serving as first lady of Hawaii alongside Governor David Ige for eight years. Now that his second term has ended, both have retreated to being private citizens again.

Though a long-time educator, Ige admitted that she had to learn how to adjust to the new high school environment. She describes it as “a large, steep learning curve,” where she learned the ins and outs of high school administration.

“I had to see the different spectrum of education,” she said. Also during her first year, Ige was the administrator in charge of the music department.

“[My job meant] a lot of working with the music directors on their different special events,” she said. One of her responsibilities that she found difficult was disciplining students.

“I wish I didn’t have to suspend anyone,” Ige said, “because I truly believe that students belong in school and that they need to be in school as much as they can.”

She disliked giving punishments to students, but she understood that it was necessary for “keeping the community and

the campus safe.”

Although one of her main responsibilities was dealing with troublemaking students, she loved her students and strove to help them in any way she could.

“Academically, they were just amazing,” Ige said, describing the students she met while working here. She recalls going to

a science presentation, “where they had poster boards on all their science projects. I think I couldn’t pronounce most of the words that were displayed,” she said with a chuckle.

Ige also enjoyed working with the student athletes.

“It was exciting to be at football games,” she said as she reminisced about the home games, which the vice principals chaperoned.

“I really enjoyed the high school and I miss being at Moanalua because they offered a variety of activities, experiences, and a huge number of students.”

For Ige, the greatest fulfillment of being Vice Principal was “to be able to see students with so much potential to do so much good in our community to bring about positive change.”

Ige visited the Moanalua campus in January and marveled at the Performing Arts Center.

“That [project] was just in the conversations and was something that people hoped for [in the years I was here], but it hadn’t been totally funded yet,” she said, “so to be able to see that completed building as first lady [in the spring of 2021] was quite exciting.”

Looking back, Ige credits her time as vice principal as preparation for becoming first lady.

“Being at Moanalua High School gave me the strength to become resilient,” she said, “and not fear what’s going to happen during the day.”

Ige explained that as vice principal, “you had to be prepared for whatever came to you that day” such as last-minute meetings, discipline issues or

I don’t know if you realize, but you as students have so much of an impact in our community.
Na Hoku Staff Photo

helped Ige prepare for role as first lady

safety concerns.

The same happened at Washington Place, the governor’s residence. Although she often planned out her daily schedule, she had to be ready to change if the circumstances changed, such as adding or cancelling an event. accommodate for whatever the day threw at her.

“Things come up all the time, so you have to be flexible enough to be able to adjust and accommodate to whatever happens,” Ige said.

Certainly, she faced many difficult adversities as first lady. But possibly the most challenging of all was navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At that time there were so many unknowns,” she explained, “so I think [our challenge] was trying to get as much information as we could, both locally and nationally” and

then make the best decision.

Ige herself had to transition to using technology to communicate with constituents on line rather than in person. She majored in journalism in college, and worked in public

Being at Moanalua High School gave me the strength to become resilient.

relations, so communication was always part of her DNA. The suddenness of the change, however, required being nimble. “I had to pivot from just being out [in the community]

physically to doing everything digitally.” Ige would set up online interviews on Facebook with state officials such as the directors from the departments of health or transportation to disseminate information.

Because of her lifetime commitment to education, Ige pursued several educationrelated projects as first lady.

“One of the projects I did was Ohana Readers that was in partnership with singer Dolly Parton’, Imagination Library,” Ige said. It was a program where “children would [receive] free books once a month in the mail.”

The program was implemented on Molokai, Lanai, and in several communities on the Big Island, as they didn’t have the funds to expand further.

She also worked to promote eating breakfast at school, and started a program

called Jumpstart for Breakfast. “We were at that time the lowest in the country in breakfast participation,” Ige said.

To encourage students to eat breakfast at school, she collaborated with No Kid Hungry, a national non-profit organization. Ige was even able to expand her efforts to promote literacy across the Pacific Ocean. She said the state of Hawaii State Public Library System was able to develop a “sister library” relationship with libraries in Japan.

“In particular, [Hawaii connected with] the Hiroshima Prefectural Library and the Okinawa Prefectural Library.” The goal was to have “cross cultural exchanges between the libraries, including exchanges of books.” Gov. Ige is of Okinawan descent. Both Iges traveled to Okinawa last fall to deliver some books in person.

Now, after two terms serving Hawaii, David and Dawn Ige are returning to their normal, civilian lives, where they are only accountable to themselves. They returned to their Aiea home and are living among the renovations they are finally getting around to doing their own driving.

As much as Washington Place was a beautiful home, she is happy to be back where she started.

“I love Aiea,” she said. “It’s always nice to be able to go back home to see familiar areas and familiar faces.”

Nearing the end of their final term, the Iges thank the DOE and Board of Education for everything they’ve accomplished during their time in office

Photo courtesy Department of Education



Moanalua proudly acknowledges our alumni who go on to make great accomplishments. High school is an important part of their experience, where they develop the interests and the connections that will influence their later decisions. Linda Ichiyama, our state representative, who graduated from Moanalua High School in 2003, continues to thrive and represent our community. Her time during high school greatly shaped her towards being a state representative. She was a part of many school activities and outside school organizations that display her role as a leader.

“I did Speech and Debate – I was the President of the Speech and Debate Club when I was at Moanalua. It helped me learn how to speak on my feet, research, writing, speaking persuasively –those are all valuable skills, not just in the legislature but also my career as an attorney,” Ichiyama said. Not only that, but she was also a SA (Student Association) Senator for 4 years during high school, and was a part of the Hawaii State Student Council when she was a Junior, for the Board of

Education, where students go to learn about politics and focus on making student voting rights more accessible.

“When I was a Senior, I ran for the Hawai’i State Board of Education, to be the student member of the board of education. It was about 180,000 students on the board of education,” said Ichiyama.

She believes that it is important for the younger generation to be involved and active in politics, as it would be better to improve the diversity in votes and provide great consideration to our opinions.

During High school, she dreamed of a career towards International politics – Foreign Service in the State Department, to be in a counselor’s office in a foreign country, and to be a History Professor. She had big goals for herself, which was demonstrated by her involvement during highschool. She definitely thinks it was her interest in International politics that led her to going to college and studying politics— which soon led her to being a state representative.

“I’m very fortunate to represent the area that I grew up in, because a lot of members don’t have that. When I was in my last year of law school at Richardson, and UH, I was thinking about running for another district because I knew I was interested in politics – but it turns out there was a space available for Moanalua, and I didn’t have to run against anybody,” said Ichiyama.

She enjoys representing her community she was raised in. High School was very memorable to her; she still remembers being in Mrs.Voss’s class and seeing the hammers drawn on her English papers, doing ceramics for 4 years of high school, and also preparing for the Homecoming performance.

“I remember the panic on [the day of the floorshow,” she recalled. “None of our props were put together and we kept asking, ‘Where are the scissors?’.”

Ichiyama said that year she was a part of an outer-space themed floorshow performance, and had to make giant purple people eaters with big cardboard boxes. It was an unforgettable part of her highschool experience.

Photo courtesy State of Hawaii House of Representatives

Townsend takes care of the earth


Wanting to incorporate her passion for the environment with law, Townsend received her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with an emphasis in environmental law.

Climate change, water scarcity, and pollution are three of the top environmental issues for a lot of people today. As each day passes, these problems grow bigger. To resolve these problems, environmentalists from different organizations around the world come together to make planet Earth a liveable and clean place to live in. One of these environmentalists is Moanalua High School alumna Marti Townsend.

Townsend, who graduated in 1995, has always identified herself to be an advocate for our environment. Her time at Moanalua was spent in programs that required strength, endurance, discipline, and respect for the truth: speech and debate, newswriting, yearbook, and media. Also as a high school student, Townsend also had an internship at the Outdoor Circle, a nonprofit organization founded in Hawaii that focuses on environment conservation. In addition, she attended several sponsored forums hosted by different organizations that were targeted toward high school students.

“I always considered myself an environmentalist,” Townsend said. “That’s how I identified myself.”

Townsend’s mother urged her to become a lawyer; however, she initially was not enthusiastic about that pathway. Therefore, after high school, Townsend focused on her passion for the environment and studied abroad in Germany to inform herself of different perspectives on environmentalism.

After she returned from Germany, Townsend made a bet with her mom that if she didn’t have a real career in the next two years, she would apply to law school. Townsend lost the bet. She was able to find a short-term job as an aide at the Hawaii State Legislature. And although she wasn’t very fond of the idea of being a lawyer, Townsend ultimately found an interest in social issues, the complexity of the court, and how the law really matters in society while at the state capitol.

She worked her way up to becoming the director of the Sierra Club, a non-profit organization that advocates for action to address climate change and protect Hawaii’s lands. After seven years of serving as the director, Townsend decided to step down and move to her current position with EarthJustice, a non-profit law firm that focuses on environmental issues.

“Hawaii has such a unique way of life,” Townsend said. “We have to make an effort to really protect [the environment], in terms of invasive species, taro farming, fishing ponds, all of the things that make us the regular people we are,” she said.

One of the biggest projects that Townsend has worked on was the Red Hill water contamination issue. She worked on it for many years, and every day, it becomes a bigger issue. The leak of jet fuel from the US Navy’s tanks under Red Hill into one of Oahu’s freshwater systems in 2021 is only one of the many concerns Townsend and other residents have.

She said there is still a lot of work to be done to completely clear up this issue. Fresh water is going to be one of the primary issues in the future, due to climate change. Therefore, the better society can get at managing, holding, releasing when needed, and cleaning water, the community can help the rest of the environment to be better for everyone.

“Taking care of our water will be a beautiful outcome of this tragedy,” Townsend said.

With all of Townsend’s successes, the person she became was shaped in high school. Though everyone thinks that whatever you do in high school will affect your life, Townsend believes that nothing is set in stone for the future. Whatever you choose to do in high school will help guide you.

“Everybody’s life takes its own paths, and you can notice things that other people did, but you shouldn’t measure [your life to theirs],” Townsend said. “Try to be as open as possible and be open to every opportunity and circumstance for you.”

Photo courtesy Marti Townsend

Where do our seniors see Moanalua in 50 years?

Tupu Herdrich: Honestly, I see Moanalua growing and becoming something greater than when I left it.

Michelle Amero: In 50 years, I would like to see better communication between staff and students about mental health. I think the overall well-being of students is way more important than academics. Yet, time and time again staff show it is not a concern for them.

Jasmine Adiniwin: I see everyone being even more tech savvy than ever. Kind of silly, but flying cars are definitely a possibility. Would probably help with traffic too.

Alia Fatty: As a part of the 50th graduating class of Moanalua, I see the school being relatively better. I’ve seen the progression here and there over my four years here such as the Performing Arts Center which was a huge addition to our school as well as minor decor changes. In 50 years, Moanalua will be a better version of what we see today.

Josh Mano: A pile of rubble.

Fabian Pena: In 50 years, I see Moanalua growing it’s CTE courses. I hope to see more design courses that cater to the art of architecture.

Ryan Gibbs: I think Moanalua will have a nicer field and all our bathrooms will be as nice as the gym’s bathroom. Moanalua will also continue to be an open division football team, hopefully.

Cyrus Faradineh: I see Moanalua excelling in bringing students to their dream colleges. We have great teachers and programs and I think Moanalua will be even more successful in the next 50 years.


First graduates recall being new kids on campus

NA HOKU STAFF the help of their teachers, to develop clubs and activities such as the May Day court and assembly and the May Fest fundraiser carnival.

Each year, the school added another sophomore class. When Shimomura graduated as the first class in 1975, the school had three grade levels represented.

He said the school’s principal, James Kim, “was innovative and forward thinking. He strived for excellence in the classrooms and expected all teachers, students and staff to live up to those expectations.”

The original 13 teachers “instilled the values I still maintain to this day. Honesty, integrity, hard work, dedication and my passion for excellence in education,” he said.

Shimomura married classmate Carol Matsumura, who was a cheerleader and prom court attendant. Their two children graduated from Moanalua in 2008 and 2013.

Calvin Shimomura spent his career in education. He was a teacher, coach, school-level administrator and district educational officer. He recently retired as the Complex Area Personnel Specialist. Carol Shimomura spent 42 years in the insurance industry and will be retiring soon from the position of Vice President of Employee Benefit Sales at Pacific Guardian Life.

It’s tough being the new kid at school. But just imagine what it was like on that dusty September 5th day in the fall of 1972 when Moanalua High School opened its doors. The small group of sophomores were not just the new kids on campus; they were the only kids on campus.

The first class--all 169 of them--set the foundation for the school that fifty years later still stands proudly.

“Since we were the only class and considered the pioneers of this new school, much responsibility was placed on us,” Calvin Shimomura said in an email. “As the first class, we had to create the Alma Mater, vote on the school mascot and school colors, develop clubs and utilize only one grade level for all sports.”

Shimoura said when the school opened, only M-Building was standing. They went to class with doors closed and no air conditioning in order to keep out the noise and dust of the construction around them.

School life was challenging, Shimoura admitted.

“Assemblies were in the parking lot behind M-building. Lunches were transported from Moanalua Middle School and were served through one of the classrooms and taken by the students to be eaten in various classrooms, using disposable plates and utensils,” Shimomura said. “But the biggest challenge was, there were no upperclassmen to look up to and provide leadership, everything we did was a first.

By first, this meant it was up to the students, with

Carol (Matsumura) Shimomura (far left) was part of the Senior Prom Court. Calvin and Carol Shimomura today. Photo couresy Carol Shimamura Calvin Shimomura’s 1975 senior protrait.

17th Annual PTSA Kina'ole Awards Banquet

On Feburary 23rd, PTSA held the 17th annual awards banquet and silent auction to raise funds for the school. Two former principals, Raynor Minami and Jacqueline Heupel were recognized alongside Michael Gangloff who was responsible for returning the statue to Moanalua.

Staff pose together during dinner before the ceremony.

Kina’ole: “Doing the right thing, at the right time,
for the right reason, in the right way, for the right person, the first time.”
PTSA President Michelle Nakayama welcomes the attendees. Junior Air Force ROTC Sabre Team provided a dramatic entrance for the guests. Michael Gangloff (left) was honored at the banquet for his efforts to reclaim, refinish, and replace the “Moanalua”

Happy Birthday, Moanalua


Across -

4) Third in alma mater

6) “Moanalua” material

7) Campus center

10) Original student activities coordinator

12) Zoo grinds creator

13) Jensen Ball’s nickname?

14) School’s fundraiser

15) Golden

18) Linda’s and Aaron’s career connection

19) Annual alumni celebration

Down -

1) Senior Lounge, usually...

2) Leader of the band

3) First leader

5) Dara’s goal, accomplished

8) Sculpture savior

9) ”Ice” princess

11) Hirai Legacy

15) Ige’s last job

16) Small, but mighty figure

17) First class

TWo sUdenTs WHo CoMpleTe THe CRossWoRd, please see MRs. Voss In H303 foR a pRIZe!


Continued from page 1

The annual PTSA Kinaole fundraising dinner is another event Galera supported when he was principal here. The dinner honors people who have contributed to the school and raises money for classrooms and school organizations through a silent auction. The dinner, which began in 2003, also includes the participation of student groups such as MeneMAC, the Air Force JROTC cadets, the business students, and the Polynesian Dance Club students. This year’s dinner was Feb. 23 and honored Moanalua High School as a whole for its fiftieth anniversary.

“Fifty years is huge,” Galera said. “Oftentimes we are too busy and we don’t stop [what we are doing], but it’s important now to take a moment to stop and appreciate where we began. It’s important to understand that when you are a part of something that’s excellent, you don’t want to take it for granted. You want to understand why it is so you can build on that.”


Continued from page 19

Her greatest influence and example was her mother, who raised her and her three other siblings. Her mother pushed her, and she believes that it was her support that helped her be the person who she is today.

“She was a special education teacher before becoming a vice principal. She raised me and my three siblings, and put us all through Moanalua High School,” Ichiyama said.

A strong defender of public schools, Ichiyama takes pride in the fact that she sends her children to schools in our community. She believes that public schools let students be surrounded and exposed to a wide variety of people.

As a community servant, Ichiyama sees that on a daily basis, and she credits her education in the Moanalua district as a big part of that.


Continued from page 2

When the school opened, the only building was M building. Two portable buildings served as the administration building, and another two were the library. Students ate lunch in M 105 and sat on temporary metal bleachers in the teacher’s parking lot for assemblies, while surrounded by mounds of gravel. Dances were held in M 203 and 204.

To support student emotional growth, former Language Arts teacher Francis Achiu said Moanalua opened even while it was still being built, a practice that would not happen today. “[Workers] were grading the land to build G-building [while classes were in session in M-Building], so there was dust,” Mito said. “It was difficult in the sense that there were physical challenges, but it was offset that we really got to know the students and each other.”

It was that sense of community that Kim valued at Moanalua. Mito said he encouraged co-curricular activities because he wanted well-rounded students. He even organized occasional faculty socials-sometimes at his house--to build relationships among the faculty, spouse included.

Human Services Pathway teacher Lynn Hashizume corroborated that memory.

“I remember once I had to go to his house for a party, and I had to bring rice,” she said. “It was there that I met [former Language Arts teacher] Francis Achiu’s wife, who was pregnant with [current physics teacher] Karl [Achiu] at the time.”

“His theme was humanism,” former Language Arts teacher Raynice Messier said. “He said to always treat the staff well.”

Gail Awakuni, who taught English, newspaper and yearbook, said she was impressed with his eloquence at faculty meetings.

“He applauded the faculty for working together and conveyed his appreciation for the loyalty, unity, and honesty of the faculty and staff in carrying out Moanalua’s vision.” she said.

Of course, there were times Kim had to be the voice of authority.

When a school bathroom was vandalized, Kim called a school assembly to express his disappointment, Mito said. When music teacher Ronald Hirai showed him a copy of the alma mater with the word “purity” in it, he changed it to “unity.”

“I’m so impressed and grateful that the school kept on proceeding onto greatness,” Mito said. It was “becoming what we envisioned in the past.”

The expectation is that the Moanalua “Kim-dom” will continue to reign.the school taught 40-minute mini-courses once a week.

“Students could chose from a long list of courses such as my chess class, basketball, ceramics, leather works, mahjong, or hula and many more,” he said. “The students could change courses every quarter.”

Another Language Arts teacher, Raynice Messier, said she taught tap dancing as a mini course.

“I still keep in touch with one of my students 46 years later,” she said.


In the beginning...


...and now


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Digital media editor

Caylen Maria Corpuz

Alycia Abordanado

Xchyler Barut

Benjamin Carlos

Ruben Chavez

Christopher Dias

Hatasha Horiuchi

Jameson Huang

Kira Kaneshiro

Nevaeh Hoku Medina

Our mission is to report news within Moanalua High School and the surrounding community as impartially as possible, while maintaining transparency and accountability as journalists. Being members of the media, we exercise our first amendment rights to free speech and a free press. Our core principles follow the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, centering around seeking the truth, treating members of the school and community with respect, serving the school, and taking responbility for our actions.

Moanalua High School Newspaper

2825 Ala Ilima Street

Honolulu HI, 96818