Posted on May 3, 2014
The fragrance of puakenikeni and plumeria lingers, the lei gracing my desk, reminders of the 2014 annual May Day performance. To acknowledge the 10th year anniversary of the elementary, we brought back the best of ten years of May Day programs beginning with May 2004 when MPI elementary began at its Kaimukī location (formerly Epiphany). I remember fondly the outdoor pavilion at Kaimukī Park where students sat on mats beneath the trees awaiting their turn. Since then, our May Day themes have always been a pleasant surprise! Ancient and contemporary Hawaiian dance, hapa-haole songs, Broadway musicals, and Motown hits! This yearʻs theme -- Hana Hou! Celebrating Our Best! -- was a fitting way to look back at ten amazing years as MPI elementary and preschool. Music teacher Sarahlea Kekuna coordinated the program and added her own special touch by choreographing the fifth gradeʻs Ainʻt No Mountain High Enough. Noe Goldstein Vitarelli, kindergarten assistant teacher, also choreographed the hula numbers. Read on for more about our learning process and the incredible support from parents.
The entire Wilcox building resonated with May Day music wafting from the music room nearly ever day since spring break. (I admit my favorite was Happy Talk from the Broadway musical South Pacific by Rogers and Hammerstein.) Days before the program, practices were held on the courtyard lawn, thankfully under sunny skies. When I think about the studentsʻ learning process in different environments, I appreciate the final performance and the transitions our students made in adapting to different conditions. Even the dress rehearsal the morning of the May Day program ran through without any major changes.
Two weeks before the program, the Tech Lab transformed into a costume workshop -- sewing machines, fabric, yardsticks, ironing boards filling tables and corners. By Thursday afternoon, costumes were distributed to the classrooms. Thursday evening more parents were busy setting up the backdrop and the plant arrangements to line the stage. We are deeply grateful to the following parents who volunteered their time and talent to prepare for May Day (names in bold were May Day Committee, chaired by Andrea Stoebenau): Alicia Brandt, Cory Ching, Janice Choi, Donna Dale, Cindy Fujii, Tammy Ishibashi, Melissa Juliano, Dawn Kanno, Marla Kelly, Wendy Kobayashi, Akiko Marutani, SooJean Misailidis, Lisa Nhom-Koza, Yumi Nasrallah, Yuki Saito, Heather Salonga, Leslie Turnbull, Frances Ueunten, Neige Whittington, Karen Wright, and Terry Yee. We also appreciated all the foliage for the stage. Thanks to Craig Hirasaki for designing the stage banner, which weʻll display on campus while we continue to celebrate our 10th year.
For more photos of the May Day Program, check the photo gallery link on the main page of the MPI website. http://www.midpac.edu/ What will the next ten years of May Day performances bring?
Earlier in the week, we hosted two teams of high school students from Farrington and Waipahu who participated in the DOEʻs Career Path Program. These students were part of a cohort of other high school students who have chosen teaching as a possible profession. After several weeks of introductory lessons on curriculum and instructional planning, cohort students met to plan a 1.5-hour lesson on Earth Day. Hosting teachers Chris Bailie and Robbyn Leventhal commended the future teachers on the quality of their instruction and interactions with students.
I enjoy seeing the variety of P.E. experiences offered to our students. Fifth graders had a chance to try their hand at archery on the playcourt. Quite a few students have a sharp eye and excellent focus. I was more impressed by the way students encouraged one another, even when the arrows missed their mark. And when the arrows made bullsʻ eye, students were generous and sincere with their praise. Developing an attitude of good sportsmanship is the ultimate target.
Our faculty will be working on end-of-year student assessments (performance continua and preparations for May 22-23 parent conferences) this coming Friday, May 9, while your children are enjoying a day off with you or other family members.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey