The Children Bid Aloha to a Special Friend - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

The Children Bid Aloha to a Special Friend

Posted on October 11, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on October 11, 2008

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

Simple Gifts was the perfect melody to sing for Margery Jacobson, office manager and administrative assistant for the preschool and elementary, who leaves Mid-Pacific Institute this week. At the school assembly in her honor, children queued up to thank her and share special memories of their interactions with her.  Lori Abe, the character education teacher for preschoolers and K-2 grade levels, shared a delightful prayer -- actually a list -- of what the first and second graders wished for Miss Margie:  ". . .  that you can speak the same language that the people in Chicago speak;" ". . . . that your airplane gets you to the right place;" ". . . .that you get a good pair of walking shoes and really warm clothes. . . ."  Margie will be taking with her to Chicago a beautiful koa album filled with children's notes, poetry, drawings, and photos to remind her of nearly twenty years of her life at Epiphany School and Mid-Pacific Institute. Truly down to earth, pragmatic yet compassionate, witty and unbelievably organized, Margie helped to make our lives manageable by attending to the daily minutiae of school business.  And she had a wonderful, simple way of touching every person's life, students, faculty, and parents alike. Yesterday's assembly was poignant affirmation about her relationship with us.  We wish Margie a safe journey as she travels back home to Chicago!

We welcome Mrs. Kelli Tokuyama as the new administrative assistant.  She has worked for nearly twenty years in various positions with the state, such as the Department of Human Resources Development and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is leaving her position at the College of Education (UH-Manoa) as secretary for the chair of the Curriculum Studies Department Masters program. She begins work this Friday with Margie at her side to get situated.  

The faculty of the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels spent a full day of team building and professional development working in various areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  They enjoyed continental breakfast and lunch together. The preschool team conducted a webcam session with Reggio Emilia specialist Dr. George Forman (we are consulting with him throughout the year via webcam) to deepen their understanding of children's learning. The elementary faculty began their second session with consultant Ermile Hargrove on learning more strategies to help their students improve attention, memory, and focus.  

In the afternoon, all school faculties gathered at Kawaiaha`o Theatre to share their "stories" of how they see the new MPI vision, developed by the Board of Trustees and the MPI administration, fully implemented in the next five to ten years.  There is clearly energy and commitment from all teachers about the new vision.  The historic Friday meeting -- the first time the entire MPI faculty has met to discuss a school initiative -- will be the first of many planning meetings to carefully develop ways to implement the vision. We were reminded by facilitator Cynthia Kitagawa of Insights that the journey or process far outweighs the destination because it's how we fare in the process that is the measure of success.  You'll be hearing more about MPI's new vision.  Rest assured that the mission of the school remains the same, which is to provide an educational program that develops the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical dimensions of all students so that they can become compassionate, lifelong learners and global citizens.  

The flu vaccinations for all students with parental permission are this Thursday beginning at 8:15am. The teachers will walk their students to Scudder faculty lounge where there will be several parent helpers.  The vaccination process went well last year with very few children shedding tears, and with so many nurses available to give the shots, the process goes quickly. A word of advice: Talking too much about the vaccination can make your child overly anxious and fearful.  A few words, reassuring hug and encouraging smile when you drop off your child will do the trick!

I am asking for your support on two safety issues.  I know that our MPI grassy hills are inviting playgrounds.  However, we had a near accident after school last week when one of our children ran downhill on the grassy slopes leading to the lower autoline, stumbled, and landed in the road.  This incident was reported to me by security, teachers, and parents.  Thankfully, there were no cars.  So, we will not permit students to play on the grassy hills.  Please note that when teachers take students outside, we never permit them to play on the grassy slopes.

The second issue is in regards to double parking next to the cars closest to the royal palm trees (upon entering the elementary school, immediately to the right).  Drivers entering the elementary campus cannot see around these double-parked cars and exiting cars cannot get by.  Beginning this Tuesday, October 13, double parking will not be allowed.

The only persons who should be parking from 7:40am during morning drop-off (besides faculty with permits) are parents of preschoolers.  Otherwise, if you want to walk your child to school, or want to meet with the teacher in the morning, etc., please park in the lower area by the outdoor basketball courts and walk your child to the elementary campus.  We really like seeing so many of you on campus in the morning, but parking is very limited, and we don't want to prohibit double parking only after an accident occurs.  If your child is a kindergartner, please drop him/her off in autoline.  And please drive all the way around the turnaround to stop and drop off your child rather than stopping midway.   

Moon Over Manoa is next Saturday at the Sheraton Waikiki.  Thank you, parents, for your generous contributions to the class baskets.  If you were unable to drop off your donation last week, please do so by Tuesday, October 14.  Last I heard, there are about five hundred attending this gala event.  I'm looking forward to seeing many of our preschool and elementary parents!

For our children,

Edna L, Hussey