Posted on April 29, 2017
Thirteen years ago, the seniors in this photo were admitted into Mid-Pacific's first kindergarten class when the elementary school began in 2004. The elementary was located on 10th and Harding Avenues in Kaimuki, formerly Epiphany School, in 2004-2005 while the current elementary facility was being constructed. A photo of Mid-Pacific elementary in 2004 and the 2016-2017 school photo are hung together in the office, a daily reminder of where we came from and who we are today. I invited Mid-Pacific's first thirteen-year students to have lunch with me this week because they've asked me to be their commencement speaker. I inquired about their favorite memories of elementary, where they're going to college, and what they plan to do with their lives. It was hard to contain my emotion (but I did) as I listened to them share their hopes and dreams. They talked about the deep respect they had for one another as friends who grew up together over 13 years, their remembrances of inquiry projects, May Day, fifth grade camps, lunch in the dining room, to name a few, and the unique bond they share as 13-year students. What an amazing experience this was for me of reaching back into the past and seeing the present and future in their faces. How would I have ever known that the 5-year-olds I greeted every morning and observed in the little red schoolhouse would become these confident, smart, aspiring young men and women with bright futures and who believe they can make a difference! Behind them are two grade levels of juniors and sophomores who will become Mid-Pacific's first 14-year and 15-year students, respectively! Imagine that!
I attended the preschool's special research trip led by Kumu Moses Goods, a gifted cultural storyteller, who shared stories of treasured areas in the Kapiʻolani area of the Mānoa ahupuaʻa. He led them to a surprise lunch gathering of the childrenʻs parents and other family members in a peaceful setting among towering keawe trees. Here he told a mesmerizing legend of Kamapuaʻa, the pig god, followed by a family lunch, bubble-blowing, and a special preview of their May Day chant. The preschoolers' year-long project on treasures (literal and figurative exploration and cultural experiences) is a most amazing, unique learning experience not only for the children, but also for their families. Just ask them.
All the children in preschool and elementary have been practicing for the much-anticipated May Day performance this Friday, May 5, 12:30pm, in the gymnasium. The music has been dancing down the hallway to my office or drifting from the dining room into the office. The holoholo theme is carried throughout the selection of mele and hula. Parents, you are in for a special treat. Come early to find a parking space (as directed by the security staff) and seating on the gym bleachers. Remember to charge your smartphones for photo-taking!
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.