Elementary School Principal's Blog

Celebrations and Remembrances

Posted on May 28, 2022

by Dr. Edna Hussey on May 28, 2022

As quiet and still as the campus seems in the opening photo, the last week was filled from moment to moment with high energy and celebration. While you gather with family and friends this Memorial Day weekend and the official start of summer, take a few moments to view the images collected in the last blog of school year 2021-2022. You and your child, perhaps before bedtime, can view the images together and talk about your child's memories of these activities. Take a few at a time and savor the moments together.

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Congratulations to our 48 fifth graders at the annual Leavetaking ceremony last Wednesday. SInce 2004, each fifth grade class commemorates their elementary years in this ceremony. In attendance were the families of fifth graders, the kindergartners, and third and fourth graders while the rest of elementary and preschoolers viewed the livestream. After the ceremony, the fifth graders strolled through the campus to the cheering and sign-waving of the students in other grade levels (photos below).

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For the first time in over two years, parents of fifth graders joined their children on the courtyard to congratulate them with lei and gifts. It was truly heartwarming to see the families mingling safely on campus, many of them not having seen each other since the pandemic began. We appreciate fifth grade parents Charmaine Chan and Christine Hangai for coordinating the lunches (courtesy of Panya Restaurant) and the fifth grade class gift, a maker-space cart for design thinking projects.

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An important part of the Leavetaking is the blessing of the self-portrait tiles. Upon leaving the elementary, each fifth grader creates their own self-image, and the tiles are affixed to the walls surrounding the elementary. Kahu Davis joined the children on Tuesday morning to bless their self-portraits. In the years to come, students are always welcome to return to the elementary to find their tile. Several graduating seniors from the Class of 2022 did just that over the past few days leading to their graduation on campus on Saturday evening.

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We bid aloha to several faculty and staff, two of them pictured here. Mahalo to Mrs. Karen Koles who has served as the coordinator of the afterschool program. Students from the middle and high school who participated in the program joined the elementary children in a lovely send-off with popsicle treats. We will miss her kindness and caring ways and her most creative arts and crafts activities.

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Ella Browning, Director of Admissions, is retiring in June. We thank Mrs. Browning for her leadership in the Office of Admissions since 2004 when Epiphany (elementary) School merged with Mid-Pacific. Often the first person to talk with inquiring families about Mid-Pacific, she has conveyed the heart and soul of the school through her personalized approach to admissions. Pictured on the right are Ms. Jen Matsumoto (front) and Ms. Pam Clifford (back), who comprised the 5th grade teaching team and are moving on from Mid-Pacific to new adventures. We also bid fond aloha and warm wishes to Ms. Kelly Quiban, Ms. Rebecca Wilhite, Ms. Rusti Cripps, and Ms. Cami Magallenes. A hui hou!

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I've always thought we have the best last day of the school year -- a field day with activities planned and coordinated by Mr. Preston Pires, our PE Specialist. Volunteer parents transformed the baseball outfield into an amusement wonderland that each student experienced with their classmates as they moved from station to station. Obstacle course, sack races, bubble play, and water activities. Oh, yes - students also snacked on shaved ice and other treats. Thank you, parents, for your donations and for availing your time and support at the event by managing the activities.

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And so we come to the end of school year 2021-2022. While grateful for so many and for so much beyond our expectations, we pause here to remember the children at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

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We send our deepest sympathy to the grieving families and join our grieving nation.

Parents, wherever and whenever possible, we must do our part to ensure that all children are safe, protected, treasured. Thank you for supporting our efforts in the classroom and on campus. We prepare now for summer school and hope that you and your children enjoy summer adventures ahead. I look forward to seeing you on August 10, the first day of school year 2022-2023. A hui hou!

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, EdD

Principal