Student as Protagonist - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Student as Protagonist

Posted on May 15, 2011

by Dr. Edna Hussey on May 15, 2011

This Thursday and Friday, the preschool and elementary campus becomes a gathering place for parents and students with teachers in scheduled meetings called three-way conferences. The student as the "protagonist" takes center stage and leads the discussion about the quality of learning experiences in the second semester. For students in grades one through five, they'll speak about their strengths as readers, writers, mathematicians, inquirers, and members of this school community. They'll also acknowledge areas of growth and challenge and what they should do, with teacher and parent support, to address improvement. K-5 students have worked thoughtfully on selecting pieces for their portfolio and writing reflections on what these pieces indicate about their learning. Parents should receive their child's performance continua as a pdf no later than Wednesday so they have time to review these continua for inquiry, writing, reading, and mathematics before the conference. Preschool parents will view video clips of their children working on "plans" while teachers unpack the significance of these learning moments. All parents are encouraged to schedule a meeting time with any of the teaching specialists who'll be available to meet in their respective offices or classrooms. Here is the contact information for specialists:

Character education: Lori Abe (K-4),; Shirley Rivera (gr. 5/counseling),
Physical education: Pam Jenkins,
Music education: Diane Koshi,
Art education: Jill Johnson,

A lei of aloha to the `Ohana, especially the parents who came in this past Friday to set up a healthy breakfast and hearty lunch for the faculty and staff as part of Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day. The faculty very much appreciated the nourishment while they prepared for end-of-the-year student evaluations, continua, and conferences. We know we have the best parent community in Hawaii -- for sure!

The entire school faculty, from preschool through high school, gathered at a special Aloha Awards assembly to acknowledge teachers' years of service and bid aloha to those retiring or departing Mid-Pacific. We also announced the names of outstanding teachers and presented them with cash awards. This award, named the Helen M. Ogata Teacher Excellence Award, is given to an outstanding teacher at each of the grade levels (preschool/elementary, middle, and high school) who "aspires to truly make a difference in children's lives and whose commitment to such a noble profession" deserves recognition. Congratulations to Kelley Hitomi, selected by her colleagues, as the preschool/elementary teacher of the year.

An award is also given to an outstanding staff member -- an individual whose contributions of knowledge, expertise, a strong school spirit, and exceptional demonstrations of collaboration -- have made a difference at MPI. There were two recipients this year, one of whom is Scott Yoshinaga, who is in the IT department. Scott is housed at the elementary and was the former IT staff at Epiphany School. We are very proud of Kelley and Scott!

Just a final word on parent-teacher-student conferences this week. We appreciate these opportunities to celebrate your child's learning in December and in May. Every student has been reading, writing, creating, thinking, imagining, playing, singing, problem-solving, listening, sharing, dancing, asking questions, cooperating, collaborating, and enjoying learning. It's a great time to be a student!

Be sure to read the latest Owl Line edition with features on our students, especially the cover page article on the Kindergaren Mural, Nai`alele.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey