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Twenty Years Ago

Twenty Years Ago
Dr. Edna Hussey

For nearly two weeks, the facilities and maintenance crew has been painting the exterior walls of the elementary buildings in preparation for this coming Saturday’s Beautification Day, September 30th, 9 – 11:30 a.m. They’ve also been painstakingly scrubbing off the water calcium deposits on windows that have set in over the years. While these painting and cleaning efforts may seem just an ordinary part of building maintenance, itʻs much more significant for me. Here’s why.

A bit of history

In 2004, Epiphany School, an Episcopal elementary school in Kaimuki founded in 1937, merged with Mid-Pacific to create its elementary school. The preschool and elementary were constructed in 2004-2005 while Mid-Pacific’s new elementary continued operations in Kaimuki in the former Epiphany School buildings owned by the Church of the Epiphany. From the groundbreaking to the grand opening of Mid-Pacific’s preschool and elementary, I remember the many daily treks I made from Kaimuki to Mānoa, meeting with the program manager and construction manager, Mid-Pacific’s CFO and Director of Facilities. That was over 20 years ago!

2004: left to right, Edna Hussey, President Joe Rice, 1st grader V.Antunes, elementary parent representative Kim Soares. Building to the right is Wilcox and behind us is the baseball batting cage.

22 years ago, the Epiphany faculty at the time participated in a charrette — an intensive, collaborative process involving the faculty, architects, engineers — to brainstorm and develop the purpose and design of the elementary/preschool facilities. From the concept of a learning village or community of houses with a “piazza” or central gathering place emerged the configuration and design we see today. The design has held up well and continues to manifest the concept of a community working together in collaboration, sharing and celebrating learning at the symbolic “courtyard” of assemblies, presentations of inquiry learning, and traditions (e.g. Grandparentsʻ Day, Field Day).

2004: The first 154 Mid-Pacific elementary students, kindergarten through 5th grade, in Kaimuki.

September 2005: The first assembly at the courtyard. The courtyard was cordoned off to allow the grass to grow.

Seeing the buildings being repainted for the first time in 20 years stirs my memories of that exciting time. And now anticipating on September 30th the sight of nearly 100 volunteers painting the buildings just makes my heart sing! It will feel like community ownership of the school and a rousing sense of school pride. It will feel like a rebirth!

Definitely proud and honored to be Mid-Pacific!

E Kūlia Kākou! Let’s strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.

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