Our Students Soar - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Our Students Soar

Posted on May 3, 2015

by Dr. Edna Hussey on May 3, 2015

blessing of names.jpgAt long last, the preschool and elementary buildings have names! More than a year ago, and in anticipation of our tenth year on the Mid-Pacific campus, the faculty discussed the possibility of naming the buildings. Many ideas emerged -- place names, names of virtues, names of persons -- but we settled on the names of winged creatures. We investigated all kinds of names of winged creatures, then decided on native Hawaiian birds. The teachers continued their research, analyzing the cultural, historical, and metaphorical significance of certain birds. We consulted with Mid-Pacificʻs kumu Lanakila Casupang and another cultural specialist from Kamehameha Schools. We presented the names and the rationale for each name to Dr. Turnbull in Spring 2014. In February, the faculty presented the names to the students at the monthly assembly. And at the 2015 May Day performance, the names of each building were "unveiled" through mele and hula, the theme of the program. Under the blessing of rain showers, Kahu Davis blessed each building and the beautiful name banners. Here are the new names, which will be used to identify each building: Preschool: Pueo; Kindergarten: ʻElepaio; M 1-2 (Revard & Leventhal): Iʻiwi; M 1-2 (Bailie & LeBlanc): Manu-o-Kū; M 3-4: Noio; Grade 5: ʻApapane; CE House: Palila; Art House: ʻAlalā. As Kahu explained, like these birds, our students soar in their learning!

Wehena.jpgIf you attended May Day 2015 in the gym, you were treated to a well-orchestrated and impressive performance by the students in the preschool and elementary. Following through on the theme of the building names, the children performed mele about many of the native Hawaiian birds for which the elementary buildings were recently named. Music specialist Sarahlea Kekuna, in collaboration with Kumu Lanakila Casupang and kindergarten assistant teacher Noe Vitarelli, taught the students the mele and hula. (photo courtesy of Scot Allen; Mid-Pacific photo gallery)

PS with High school.jpgMany in the audience commented on the emotional impact of seeing preschoolers dance beside the high school students in the school hālau. I suspect there wasnʻt a dry eye when all preschool and elementary students concluded the program by singing The Rainbow Connection. I hadnʻt paid as much attention to the lyrics until I heard it sung by our students. One verse: What's so amazing / That keeps us stargazing / And what do we think we might see / Someday we'll find it / The rainbow connection / The lovers, the dreamers, and me. (lyrics by Williams and Ascher). All of this and the visual impact of the costumes and background made for such a memorable program.

(Photo courtesy of Scot Allen; Mid-Pacific photo gallery)

Heather Salonga.jpgWe are deeply grateful to parent coordinators Heather Salonga and Karen Wright who began this mighty task several months ago. Together, and with the help of ʻOhana president Eric Koike, they assembled a task force of over 50 parents who sewed costumes in school or took baskets of material home to sew, provided beautiful monstera, varieties of ginger, and ti, assembled more than 20 floral arrangements to decorate the gym, and cleaned up the gym in record time! Incredible parent (and grandparent) support throughout the weeks prior May 1. Lei of aloha to Ms. Kekuna for preparing our students whose singing, hula, and pronunciation of the Hawaiian language were quite impressive. (Photos courtesy of Scot Allen; Mid-Pacific photo gallery) Karen Wright.jpg

poem in your pocket.jpgAt the April assembly, we celebrated National Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day. Multiage third and fourth grade teachers Lucy Masa and Tiffany Byrne opened Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day with a poem for two voice -- a witty dialogue between a queen bee and a worker bee. So well delivered! Throughout the day, students and faculty stopped each other in passing and read their poems aloud.

Such a spendid beginning to the merry month of May!

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.