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VOICES Brings Vocal Ensemble Concert to Hilo

The ensemble VOICES, led by local voice teacher Mark Sheffield under the auspices of his Mark Alan VocalWorks studio, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The group’s pianist is Kanako Okita. Showtimes are Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Protestant Church.  Admission is free and by donation, with a suggested donation of $10.00. For more information, call 238-6040.

Mark Sheffield

The evening’s program, entitled That’s Life, presents music for ensemble and solo voices both a capella and with piano, especially chosen to highlight the seasons of the year and the seasons of life.  From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the recital brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Eric Whitacre and Lili Boulanger, and songs as varied as the sacred My Song in the Night by Mack Wilberg and Africa by Toto, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and small ensembles intermingle with full ensemble numbers to provide variety and interest.

Mark Sheffield, Tenor and Voice Teacher, began his studio in Hilo over a decade ago. In that time he has given students success in local theater productions and concerts. He has also sent students to further study and to careers in professional theater and music. His work as a voice teacher has been highly regarded for his skill in bringing each singer’s true voice forward. Now, his students make up the personnel of his new group VOICES.

VOICES, a vocal ensemble consisting entirely of students in Sheffield’s Mark Alan VocalWorks studio, gives Sheffield’s advanced students the additional challenge of learning and performing challenging ensemble music within the context of Sheffield’s instruction in vocal technique and interpretation. Last year’s debut concert of the group included staged theatricality as well as new interpretations of songs from classic to modern. VOICES has also performed on the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center stage, featured in recent UH Hilo choral concerts. Beyond this, VOICES and its less formal predecessor has a decade-long history of performing to acclaim at the annual Keaau Christmas Parade.

Asked about how he came to create That’s Life, Sheffield said, “I was inspired by the seasons of life, and how they fit with the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. This program takes VOICES and the audience on a life journey through youth to maturity and venerable age. We end with a note of hope and timelessness that surpasses all seasons, whether of weather or life. The concert includes songs in a rich variety of styles designed to showcase the brilliance of the ensemble as well as the theme of the evening.” Sheffield continued, “This concert is our second full-length concert, presented as a gift to our community. We appreciate your support, we welcome your donations toward our future endeavors, and we look forward to seeing you at That’s Life. Please do come and join us in this evening of vocal excellence.”

VOICES: That’s Life comes to Hilo May 12 and 13, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Protestant Church for two shows only.  Admission is free and by donation, with a suggested donation of $10.00. Donations accepted at the door. Call 238-6040 for more information.

Former Heald College Students Eligible for Federal Student Loan Cancellation and Refunds

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Hawaii Post-secondary Education Authorization Program (HPEAP), joined with at least 42 other states and the District of Columbia, is notifying nearly 2,500 Hawaii residents who attended schools operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. – including Heald College in Honolulu – that they are eligible for cancellation of their federal student loans used to attend those schools.  If a student’s federal loan is cancelled, the student will make no more payments on the loan, and any payments already made will be refunded.

Approximately 2,474 Hawaii residents are eligible for federal student loan cancellation and will receive a letter explaining the relief available and enclosing a short application that must be filed with the U.S. Department of Education.

After intense scrutiny by various government entities, for-profit Corinthian Colleges abruptly ceased operations in 2015, transferring some of its campuses to a non-profit called Zenith Education Group.  The U.S. Department of Education then found that while it was operating, Corinthian Colleges made widespread misrepresentations between 2010 and 2014 about post-graduation employment rates at its Heald College campus, and elsewhere across the nation. Lists of the affected campuses, programs, and dates of enrollment are available at https://www.StudentAid.gov/heald-findings and at https://www.StudentAid.gov/ev-wy-findings.  Students who first enrolled in the identified campuses and programs during the specified time periods are eligible for streamlined discharge of their federal student loans.

“Former students are still unnecessarily paying for loans that should be forgiven,” said Bobbi Lum-Mew, HPEAP Program Administrator.  “This is the latest effort by state and federal officials to reach these Hawaii residents and put money back in their pockets.”

 HPEAP’s outreach will be sent to students who fall within the U.S. Department of Education’s findings of fraud discussed above, and who are eligible for a special “streamlined” process to discharge their federal student loans.  However, any student who attended Corinthian Colleges and believes that the school lied about job prospects, the transferability of credits, or other issues may apply to have their federal student loans canceled using the Department of Education’s universal discharge application at https://borrowerdischarge.ed.gov.  More information is available at https://studentaid.ed.gov/borrower-defense.

Borrowers should beware of student loan scams.  You can apply for loan forgiveness, or get information on loan forgiveness, for FREE through the U.S. Department of Education.  The U.S. Department of Education never charges application or maintenance fees, so if you’re asked to pay, walk away.

It may take time for the U.S. Dept. of Education to process applications, so anyone who applies for loan discharge should continue making payments on the affected loans until informed by the U.S. Dept. of Education or his loan servicer that his federal loans are in forbearance while his application is pending or that his loans have been cancelled.

If you have questions, more information about the Office’s outreach to former Corinthian Colleges students can be found at http://www.HealdOutreach.com.  Students can also call the U.S. Department of Education hotline at 1-855-279-6207 or e-mail questions about discharge of their federal student loans to FSAOperations@ed.gov.

Leeward Oahu Administrator Named Hawaii’s 2017 National Distinguished Principal

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association today named Principal Nelson Shigeta from Makaha Elementary School as the 2017 National Distinguished Principal. Shigeta will join the National Association of Elementary School Principals awardees from the other 49 states in Washington D.C. in October.

2017 National Distinguished Principal Nelson Shigeta thanks his staff and praises other nominees and administrators. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“These school leaders possess strong collaborative values, working with their teachers and staff to create effective school communities to support students,” said Deputy Superintendent Keith Hayashi. “Congratulations to all of the nominees, Principal Nelson Shigeta and the Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year Greg Nakasone.”

Shigeta is a veteran educator who has spent many years on the Leeward Coast. He values technology and has identified ways to incorporate 21st Century Learning strategies to improve reading proficiency, and increased the number of 1:1 devices available to students in order to enhance access to leveled texts in each classroom. As a result, students have spent more than 5,000 hours reading a total of 19,000 books, and reading proficiency has improved in numerous areas.

“I’m humbled to be recognized, especially after hearing the stories of the other nominees,” shared Shigeta. “Leadership is a team effort and one of the things I’m most proud of at Makaha Elementary School is my staff who work hard everyday to meet the needs of our students. This award means so much to me because it recognizes their commitment too.”

The other 2017 National Distinguished Principal (NDP) nominees who were honored include:

  • Alison Higa, Shafter Elementary School
  • Darlene Javar, Naalehu Elementary School
  • Gay Kong, Keolu Elementary School
  • Jason Yoshida, King Kaumualii Elementary School
  • Kim Mukai-Ontai, Kamalii Elementary School
  • Laura Vines, Kalihi Kai Elementary School

Front Row (L to R): Nelson Shigeta, Laura Vines, Darlene Javar; Second Row (L to R): Gay Kong, Kim Mukai-Ontai, Alison Higa, Jason Yoshida, Greg Nakasone. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The 2017 NDP awards took place at the Hale Koa Hotel and were sponsored by Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union and VALIC.

The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association (HEMSAA) is the local chapter of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The purpose of HEMSAA is to facilitate positive educational leadership and serve as a voice for elementary, middle-level principals and other members. For more information, click here.

Students from Kalani High School Power Ahead to 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Competition

Kalani High School students will be competing for the first time in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The 20th annual Nationals Finals Competition will take place April 22-23 at Oregon State University. The team joins 24 other regional winners out of a total of 392 competing teams.

L to R: Zoe Asahan, Rovi Porter, Mika Ishii, Daniel Huang, David Higashi, Coach Leslie Hamasaki.  Photo Credit: Kalani High School

Students from Kalani High School will compete against other top high school scholars in the 20th annual National Finals Competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) this Sat., April 22 and Sun., April 23. The team won the Hawaii regional competition and joins 24 other regional winners (out of a total of 392 competing teams) at the finals at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

“This is the first time that students from Kalani High School will be competing in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and we are excited to cheer them on this weekend,” said Principal Mitchell Otani. “The lessons and skills the students have learned by preparing for the competitions have given them a strong foundation as they pursue post-secondary opportunities in science-related fields as well as public policy.”

Students will test their knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology by answering buzzer-style, multiple choice questions, and longer, critical thinking-based team challenge questions. They will also participate in the Science Expert Briefing, a mock congressional hearing where they present science recommendations on a piece of legislation, enhancing their critical thinking skills and building a better understanding of the broader context of science.

The Kalani High School team consists of: Zoe Asahan, David Higashi, Daniel Huang, Mika Ishii and Rovi Porter.

The NOSB, a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, is building the next generation of ocean-literate citizens and scientists, educating them on timely topics that will remain relevant for years to come. The Finals competition theme this year is “Blue Energy: Powering the Planet With Our Ocean.”

Follow the Kalani High School team at the NOSB National Finals competition this weekend on Twitter (@NOSBRocks), FacebookInstagram, and Tumblr, using #NOSB17 and #NOSBturns20.

Big Island Students Qualify for National Speech and Debate Tournament

Parker School qualified five students for the National Speech and Debate Tournament during the three-day Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament held at Kamehameha and Punahou Schools on O’ahu April 6-8, 2017.  This sets a new school record for the number of students to qualify for nationals during a single season.

Five Parker School students qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Alabama during the recent Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament April 6-8, 2017.

Parker junior Kirk Hubbard, IV and senior Susie Krall placed first in Varsity Policy Debate, followed by Parker sophomores Zoe Vann and Anna Gaglione earning second place. By placing first and second, both Parker debate teams instantly qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Alabama in June and are the only two teams to represent Hawai’i at the national level. Parker freshman Hunter Kalahiki-Arnbrister also qualified for the national tournament after placing second in Program Oral Interpretation.

Other highlights include freshman Jordan Vedelli and junior Zach Mader taking first place in Junior Varsity Policy Debate, with freshmen Tyler Thomas and Hiroki Soler placing second.  In addition, senior Alex Coley placed fourth in Championship Lincoln Douglas, sophomore Colin Klimt fourth in Student Congress, sophomore Malia Dills fourth in International Extemporaneous Speaking and junior Kirk Hubbard IV placed fifth in Impromptu Speaking. In the program’s eleventh year, the debate team sent 45 students to compete in the state tournament.

Hawai’i Island schools had a strong presence at this year’s Hawai’i Speech and Debate State Tournament having won half of the six major debate categories. Parker earned top honors in both the Varsity Policy Debate and Junior Varsity Policy Debate, while Hilo High School’s newly founded debate team won Beginning Public Forum.

“Coach Roland Laliberte and the Hilo High School debaters did an amazing job in their first year at states,” says Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster and debate coach. “Having had regular inter-squad matches with Hilo’s debate team this season, our entire team was excited for their success.”

Multi-Media Dance Show – “Dance of the Bees”

Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 7, at 4 pm, Kahilu Theatre presents Dance of the Bees, a multi-media dance show that examines the life and plight of honeybees. Director Angel Prince is collaborating with local beekeepers to create an artistic and educational show based on a topic that is both relevant, and urgent. Over 100 students from the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC), ages five to adult, will come together in this original Kahilu Production.

Photos by Evan Bordessa

“The subject of the honeybee, an insect of which the future of our species is intrinsically tied too, is an urgent matter,” says Angel Prince. “The concept of the show is to elevate the life of the honeybee to a stage performance, in part to raise awareness of the honeybee, and perhaps to soften their image. This show is both entertaining and exuberant and showcases the talented youth and choreographers of the Big Island.”

Dance of the Bees includes contemporary dance, trapeze, aerial silks, hip-hop and breakdancing, and features choreography by Angel Prince, Lynn Barre (Kona), Elizabeth McDonald, Mana Ho‘opai (Hilo), and Kat Reuss, with exciting and eclectic music from Mum, Zoe Keating, Jon Hopkins, and more.

Dance of the Bees will also play for local schools and children in two youth Shows on Wednesday, May 3rd at 9 am and 10:30 am. For more information about the Youth Shows offered at the Theatre please contact Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck at youth@kahilutheatre.org.

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and at 3 pm for the performance on Sunday, May 7 at 4 pm. There will be snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change Juried Exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery. Both exhibits run through May.

Tickets are $38 / $28 / $22 / $16 and available for purchase online at kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, M-F 9 am to 1 pm.

This Kahilu Production and these performances are made possible by sponsorship from Terry & Michael Cromwell, Mimi & Brian Kerley, and John & Anne Ryan.

Island Air Honors Explorers Program Graduates

Island Air recently honored 25 students who graduated from its Explorers Program, a 10-week mentorship program that gives high school and college students an opportunity to learn about careers in the aviation industry.

“We are proud of these young men and women for their accomplishment and completion of the Explorers Program,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air. “This is the future generation of Hawai‘i’s aviation industry. We applaud their passion for airline careers and look forward to seeing them follow their dream and obtain local jobs.”

Explorers are offered an in-depth, hands-on overview of the airline industry, learning everything from how airplanes operate to customer relations management and corporate responsibility. The 10-week program provides information for airline related jobs such as pilots, flight attendants, ramp operators and aircraft mechanics, as well as visits and lectures from members of the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Air Traffic Control.

In addition to mentorship, the Explorers Program graduates have the opportunity to receive the Jaime Wagatsuma Award, a $1,000 scholarship named in honor of the program advisor and pilot for both Island Air and Aloha Airlines who lost her battle with cancer in 2007. This year Island Air awarded two top achievers. The recipients are Mizuki Wiseman of Leeward Community College and Jordan Fines of Damien Memorial School.

The 25 graduates include:

  • Chad Alcantara-Rillamas – St. Louis High School
  • Phoebe Brandt – Castle High School
  • Carlos Bulan – James Campbell High School
  • Abigail Dang – Home School
  • Dylan Decker – Kalani High School
  • Caleb Dirks – Kaiser High School
  • Marcus Faufata-Pedrina – Damien Memorial School
  • Matthew Faufata-Pedrina – Damien Memorial School
  • Jordan Fines – Damien Memorial School
  • Kawelo Inciong – Kamehameha Schools
  • Kyo Johnson – Leilehua High School
  • Chance Kim – Roosevelt High School
  • Kristen Kop – Mid-Pacific Institute
  • Shane Kunimitsu – Kamehameha Schools
  • Elijah Lewis – Home School
  • Kealani Lui-Kwan – Castle High School
  • Kayla Malta – ‘Iolani School
  • Daylen Masaki – Moanalua High School
  • Cannan Nodine – Kaiser High School
  • Rovi Porter – Kalani High School
  • Wyatt Ross – Kaiser High School
  • Kaylin Urata – Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • Caden Warhawk – Home School
  • Mizuki Wiseman – Leeward Community College
  • Micah Yamamoto – Mid-Pacific Institute

Island Air’s Explorers Program is the only student workforce initiative in the aviation industry on O‘ahu. It became an official Explorer Post of the Boy Scouts of America when the program graduated its first class of students in April 2009. Since its founding, 161 students have completed the course. Many graduates have returned to Island Air for internships or full-time employment.

For more information, visit www.islandair.com/explorers-program.

Walgreens Helps UH Hilo College of Pharmacy with Diversity Initiative Funding

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy received a $7,000 check from retail pharmacy Walgreens to fund a diversity initiative. An additional $5,000 will go toward scholarships to students in the PharmD professional program.

From left, Quinn Taira, Eleanor Wong, Carolyn Ma, Amy Song and Heidi Ho-Muniz

This is the ninth year the college has received funding from Walgreens for diversity. The funds have sponsored educational programs such as a tour of healthcare facilities at Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi.

Walgreens began the diversity program in 2009 to donate $1 million annually toward diversity initiatives at all of the accredited pharmacy schools nationwide.

Eleanor Wong, Walgreens area healthcare supervisor for the San Francisco Peninsula/Hawaiʻi region, presented the check to Dean Carolyn Ma at Walgreens specialty store on Oʻahu. Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy alums Quinn Taira and Amy Song, who both work at the retail store, were in attendance along with Heidi Ho-Muniz, district manager for Walgreens Pharmacy and Retail Operations.

“We are grateful for this initiative that has helped our student pharmacists through the years and strengthened our own commitment to promoting and embracing diversity,” Ma said.

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations www.uhfoundation.org.

Kona Historical Society and Ke Kai Ola Present Free Monk Seal Lecture

Kona Historical Society is pleased to partner with The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola: The Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital to present “A Natural History of the Hawaiian Monk Seal,” the April installment of the 2017 Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series. The lecture is free to the public and is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:30pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center.
 
During their presentation, Ke Kai Ola’s outreach and rescue staff will explore the natural history of the Native Hawaiian Monk Seal, including the historical and cultural significance of this endangered species. Hawaiian Monk seals are native to Hawaii and are not found anywhere else in the world; they are also the most endangered animal species in the world. In 2014, The Marine Mammal Center opened “Ke Kai Ola” (“The Healing Sea”) a hospital and education center dedicated to caring for injured, ill, and orphaned Hawaiian monk seals and returning them to the wild.
For the past six years, Kona Historical Society has offered this community lecture series, spotlighting local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects. It is a gift from the Society to the community that has supported it for so long and it is presented in cooperation with the County of Hawaii. The lectures are free of charge and open to all, residents and visitors alike.

Big Island High School Senior Earns National Art Award

Parker School is pleased to announce senior Eric Fetsch has earned national recognition in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Eric Fetsch

Fetsch was selected by a panel of creative professionals as the most accomplished in the nation and received a Scholastic National Silver medal award for his art portfolio titled “Human Figures.” His portfolio included 10 sculptures of the human figure in clay and is one of the most prestigious categories as it shows a sustained level of excellence over multiple works in both concept and execution.

This year, more than 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted, with approximately 18,800 submissions receiving a Gold Key award – the highest honor at the regional level. Fetsch is among the top 1% of only 2,740 students to be awarded at the national level.

Fetsch has been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 8 and to participate in showcase events at Parsons School for Design at The New School and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City.

Nine additional Parker high school students earned regional recognition out of more than 1,500 submissions in the state, including Shea Ervin (grade 10), Riley Herendeen (grade 11), and Coco Romano Giordano (grade 12) who each earned Gold Key awards.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized creative teenagers from across the country. By earning this award, Fetsch joins a legacy of celebrated authors and artists including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Robert Redford, Lena Dunham, and many more.

Parker School Raises $205,000 for Student Financial Aid

Parker School held its 12th annual Kahiau auction gala for financial aid on March 4 at the Fairmont Orchid along the Kohala Coast.  Over 250 people attended this evening event which raised approximately $205,000.

Parker senior Alex Coley shares appreciation for the support and encouragement the school has shown during high school years.

Nearly 50 percent of the 340 kindergarten through grade 12 students at Parker receive financial assistance, which is nearly triple the national average of approximately 18 percent.  This commitment by Parker School helps make the dream of an independent education possible for more children on Hawaii Island. Kahiau, meaning “to give generously from the heart,” is the school’s primary source of financial aid and funding.  Attendees enjoyed cocktails, pupus, a sit-down dinner, live and silent auction, plus dancing.

The highlight of the evening was a speech given by Parker senior, Alex Coley, regarding his appreciation for the support and encouragement Parker School offered during his high school years. Attendees responded to the senior’s speech by donating nearly $98,000 during the “raise the paddle” portion of the evening.

Parker School is grateful to the Fairmont Orchid, sponsors, donors, volunteers, and attendees who helped make the dream of an independent, college preparatory education possible for more families.

Industry-Led Coalition Launched to Prepare Next Generation of Hawaii Workforce

The Hawaii State Department of Education announced its Connect to Careers (C2C) coalition today alongside business and education partners. The initiative is designed to collaboratively prepare students for success in high-skill, in-demand career pathways.

Legislators and business and education leaders came together to launch the C2C coalition. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced its Connect to Careers (C2C) coalition today alongside business and education partners including the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund. The initiative is designed to collaboratively prepare students for success in high-skill, in-demand career pathways.

“Preparing students to be ready for life after high school is an evolving target, and it is important that professionals from various industries and trades are involved to ensure we are providing the right skill sets and aptitudes in our schools,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are thrilled to launch C2C and grow Hawaii’s future workforce and economy, and thank our partners for supporting and investing in our students.”

The effort has three pillars:

  1. Business-led: Industry identifies needed entry-level skill sets and employability qualities, and collaborates on degrees and certifications that prepare students for these opportunities.
  2. Aligned curriculum and opportunities: The K-12 and post-secondary educational systems coordinate relevant and rigorous learning pathways that answer these needs.
  3. Tracking effectiveness: Industry identifies needed entry-level skill sets and employability qualities, and collaborates on degrees and certifications that prepare students for these opportunities.

“When we have a strong workforce, it creates a healthy economy,” stated Linda Chu Takayama, DLIR director.  “By educating our middle and high school students about the practical application of their skills after they graduate, our kids not only have a shot at employment but also we put them on a path for their future careers.”

The announcement took place in Kapolei at the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund site.

“For our local construction industry, this is a valuable partnership,” said Edmund Aczon, executive director, Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund. “Currently we have programs underway at Kahuku, Waianae and McKinley high schools. In addition to aligned curriculum, we have teacher support and coursework at community colleges.”

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the University of Hawaii are leading industry partners.

“During our sessions we are able to determine what career pathways are needed most and discuss the changes that are taking place in our industry sectors,” stated Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and chief executive officer, Chamber Commerce of Hawaii. “C2C is transformative work that we believe will put students on a path towards success and result in an innovative workforce.”

For more information about C2C, visit http://bit.ly/Connect2Careers.

Ongoing Partner Investment

The C2C coalition building and planning was first facilitated through the New Skills for Youth grant that was competitively awarded to HIDOE in 2016 from JPMorgan Chase in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Advance CTE. Hawaii was among 24 states and the District of Columbia to receive the New Skills for Youth grant.

C2C industry partner Harold K. Castle Foundation recently approved up to $200,000 to be spent towards Career and Technical Education within C2C to improve, enhance and expand career academies. The following six schools were awarded funds for the following initiatives:

  • Waipahu High School: $30,000 to expand quality and rigor to three more high school academies so that all five meet National Standards of Practice and achieve National Certification as model academies.
  • Farrington High School: $29,600 for the Health Academy to meet National Standards of Practice and achieve National Certification as a model academy.
  • Kapaa High School: $29,100 to create the Natural Resource Academy.
  • Kapolei High School: $20,550 to improve overall governance, student voice and staff capacity as a wall-to-wall academy school that offers eight career academies.
  • Waimea High School: $28,513 to expand the Engineering Academy and create the Natural Resource academy.
  • Pearl City High School: $30,000 to help the school transition to wall-to-wall academies in school year 2018-19 as well as to improve the rigor of the existing SALT Academy.

In total, $167,763 was awarded directly to selected high schools. The Castle Foundation  also budgeted $12,500 for a mid-point gathering in October 2018 and $19,500 for the National Career Academy Coalition to conduct a Baseline Analysis in each participating high school at the end of the grant period as way to gauge progress and impact.

“We understand the benefit of investing in areas that connect our students to career opportunities and these schools are committed to developing educational pathways for students,” shared Alex Harris, senior program officer for education, Harold K. Castle Foundation. “We congratulate all of the schools and look forward to seeing the progress of the career academies.”

Grants Approved for Digital Repository of Spoken Hawaiian Language

Grants approved for digital repository of spoken Hawaiian language
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have collectively awarded grants totaling $448,464 over a three-year period to fund a project involving multiple University of Hawaiʻi campuses to build a digital online repository of spoken Hawaiian language, or ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Principal Investigator Keiki Kawai`ae`a, director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke`elikōlani (KHUOK) College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

The NSF grant is for $283,464, while the NEH portion totals $165,000. The awards are effective August 1, 2017 and will be managed by Principal Investigator Keiki Kawai`ae`a, director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke`elikōlani (KHUOK) College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, along with co-Principal Investigators Larry Kimura, associate professor at KHUOK, and Andrea Berez-Kroeker, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at UH Mānoa.

The project, entitled “Building a Hawaiian Spoken Language Repository,” will create Kani`āina, a digital corpus of recordings and transcripts of Native Hawaiian language. Kani`āina will feature hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings, fully searchable transcripts in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, catalog information in both English and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, and a unique crowd-sourcing feature for soliciting enhanced transcription and content-tagging of the recordings from the public.

The recordings and transcripts will be accessible online at Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, beginning with Phase 1 of the first two collections: Ka Leo Hawaiʻi and Kū i ka Mānaleo, later this year. The content will be archived for long-term preservation in Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawaiʻi Digital Language Archive, which is part of ScholarSpace, the UH institutional repository.

Kawai`ae`a says the awards also include funding for undergraduate research opportunities and for a cross-campus graduate educational exchange in language documentation and revitalization, which is especially timely.

“We are elated that we can now move toward building a larger public repository of audio and visual native speaker collections to support the growing population of Hawaiian speakers,” Kawai`ae`a said. “Kani`āina comes at a crucial time when the number of Hawaiian speakers is increasing as the last of the native speaking elders is rapidly dwindling. We now estimate the number of elder native speakers outside of the Ni`ihau community to total between 20 and 30.”

Data from an April 2016 report by the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Hawaiʻi’s non-English speaking population found the number of persons aged 5 and older who spoke Hawaiian at home statewide totaled 18,400. Kawai`ae`a also noted that more than 3,000 students are presently enrolled in Hawaiian-immersion schools P-12, while 13,500 are enrolled in Hawaiian language coursework in public and private educational institutions, and 2,000 students are enrolled in similar coursework at UH campuses.

Kawai`ae`a says the broader impacts of Kani`āina will include its integration into immersion-based language education from pre-school to the university level, Hawaiian knowledge in the natural and social sciences, and beyond. The project will also engage underrepresented groups as citizen scientists through its creation of a publicly available corpus of an endangered U.S. language.

Big Island Police Charge Women Who Stole from Schools Booster Club

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 42-year-old Hilo woman in connection with the theft of money from a public school booster club.

JoAnn Maldonado

On Monday (April 10), JoAnn Maldonado reported to South Hilo Patrol officers that an unknown suspect entered her Waiākea Uka residence and removed, among other personal belongings, in excess of $10,000 cash which belonged to the Waiākea Intermediate School Ukulele Band Booster Club.

She was arrested on Tuesday (April 11) after the investigation indicated that Maldonado, who is the club’s Vice President, took the money for herself, staged the burglary and made the fictitious report to police about a break-in.

At 1:55 p.m. Thursday afternoon (April 13), detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section charged JoAnn Maldonado with second degree theft and false reporting to law enforcement authorities.

Maldonado is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $2,500 bail, pending her initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court scheduled for Monday afternoon (April 17).

Leilehua High and Waimea High Qualify for National Leadership Bowl Championship

After advancing through two phases of online competition against 1,378 teams worldwide, the Leilehua High “Mighty Mules” JROTC Leadership Team and the Waimea High Menehune Battalion will compete at the 2017 Army JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl in Washington DC.

​After advancing through two phases of online competition, the Leilehua High “Mighty Mules” JROTC Leadership Team and the Waimea High Menehune Battalion will compete at the 2017 Army JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl (JLAB) in Washington DC. The competition will be held from June 22-27, 2017, and is sponsored by the Army JROTC and conducted by the College Options Foundation.

“This will be the first time that two of our public schools have simultaneously reached this level of competition in the National Leadership Bowl Championship,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are proud of these cadets and congratulate them for being among the best teams in the country. We also send our best wishes as they head to Washington DC.”

Forty Army JROTC Leadership Bowl teams in the nation have advanced to JLAB, which includes an all-expense paid trip to the Championship event in DC. During the two fast-paced preliminary rounds, cadets were tested on their knowledge of current events, leadership values and leadership skills.

Leilehua’s team is composed of Cadet Faith Boyce-Jennings, Cadet Morgan Burks, Cadet Kobee Ledward, Cadet Janarah Jones, and team alternate Cadet Essence Johnson. The team’s coach is Nick Spiridigliozzi, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Retired.

The Leilehua High JROTC team earned top scores out of the 1,378 Army JROTC teams that competed from around the world. It is composed of Cadet Faith Boyce-Jennings, Cadet Morgan Burks, Cadet Kobee Ledward, Cadet Janarah Jones, and team alternate Cadet Essence Johnson. The team’s coach and chaperone is Nick Spiridigliozzi, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Retired.

Waimea’s team is composed of the following cadets: Micah Guillermo (Team Captain), Kristine Ruiz, Wayne Noda, Cade Tanaka and team alternate Leilani Hikashi. Chaperones are JROTC instructor Victor Aguilar, Major U.S. Army Retired and Corazon Guillermo. Photo Credit: Waimea High School

This is the fourth time that Waimea High’s Menehune Battalion has qualified and competed at the National Leadership Bowl Championship. The team earned high scores and is composed of the following cadets: Micah Guillermo (Team Captain), Kristine Ruiz, Wayne Noda, Cade Tanaka and team alternate Leilani Hikashi. Chaperones are JROTC instructor Victor Aguilar, Major U.S. Army Retired and Corazon Guillermo.

JLAB is a nationally recognized competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The competition creates tremendous opportunities for JROTC cadets by allowing them to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities.

College Options Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the academic development of high school students and assisting them in their preparation for higher education.  Using academic competitions, college exam study guides, college admissions tutorials and personalized counseling, College Options Foundation has assisted the nation’s JROTC cadets worldwide for over a decade.

Department of Health and University of Hawaii at Hilo Notify Students and Staff of TB Exposure at Hilo Campus

Clinic to be held on campus in April

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and University of Hawaii at Hilo are notifying approximately 120 students and staff members of their recent possible exposure to a person with active tuberculosis (TB) at the Hilo campus. All students and staff will be receiving a notice describing the situation and whether testing is recommended. A clinic for TB testing will be held on campus this month and DOH will be testing only those persons with regular close contact to the patient.

“The University of Hawaii Hilo campus activities and all classes can be held as scheduled with no safety concerns related to the past possible exposure,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We don’t expect to find more individuals with infectious TB disease, but we hope to identify individuals who may have had recent exposure, are not contagious, and could benefit from preventative medication.”

“Tuberculosis usually requires many hours of close indoor person-to-person contact to spread it to others,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, chief of the TB Control Branch. “Most of the students and staff are not at risk, and our investigation to date has found no related active TB cases and no spread of the disease at the university or in the community.”

DOH conducted an extensive investigation and evaluation of potential contacts and possible exposure immediately after being notified of the active TB case. The individual is receiving treatment and is no longer infectious. Further Information on the individual and their case is confidential and protected by law.

TB is a disease that is commonly seen in the lungs and can only be spread from person-to- person through the air. When a person with active TB disease in the lung or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, tiny drops containing M. tuberculosis may be spread into the air. If another person inhales these drops there is a chance that they will become infected with TB.  Two forms of TB exist, both of which are treatable and curable:

  1. Latent TB infection – when a person has TB bacteria in their body but the body’s immune system is protecting them and they are not sick. Someone with latent TB infection cannot spread the infection to other people.
  2. Active TB disease – when a person becomes sick with TB because their immune system can no longer protect them. It usually takes many months or years from having infection to developing the disease and most people (90 percent) will never become ill. Someone with active TB disease may be able to spread the disease to other people.

For more information on tuberculosis, please call the State of Hawaii Tuberculosis Control Program at 832-5731 or visit the Department of Health website at www.hawaii.gov/health/tb.

Climate Change Research at UH Hilo: Monitoring the Coasts for Signs of Erosion

Climate change is affecting more than just plants and animals—it is changing coasts and sea levels. Researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are monitoring these changes and the impact on local communities by gathering data that will help officials make sound predictions about, and decisions for, the future.

Graduate student and researcher Rose Hart holds an unmanned aerial vehicle used to survey coastal areas.

Rose Hart, a first-year graduate student in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science program at UH Hilo, has teamed up with faculty member Ryan Perroy, an assistant professor of geography and environmental science at UH Hilo, to begin monitoring shorelines using an exciting and innovative technique.

The researchers are using small unmanned aerial vehicles to capture images of coastal areas across hundreds of acres. The images are used to create 3D data sets to observe past and present changes. A variety of coastal environments are being used for the study including sea cliffs (honoliʻi), low-lying and subsiding coastal lava fields (kapoho) and calcareous beaches (hapuna).

The project has a number of aspects and goals—one is to determine from a historical point of view how these coasts and regions have changed over time to present day. Another aspect is more short term, meaning that data collection occurs every couple of months to every few weeks to see how the coasts are currently changing.

The overall goal is to try to make accurate predictions on how the rise in sea level will affect the coast and what that entails for communities and the county in regard to planning. For example, setback regulations from the coastline may need to be adjusted. How the community will respond to the rising sea level is an important factor to consider especially in the long-term sense things will be dramatically different in the next 50 to 100 years.

For more on Hart and Perroy and their research, read the full article at UH Hilo Stories.

University of Hawaii Researcher Awarded $3M to Study Cancer Treatment Potential of Ironweed Plant

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a five-year $3 million grant to a University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center researcher to study how natural compounds in ironweed plant extract can be used to treat breast and brain cancers.

James Turkson holds ironweed plant extract.

“It would be life changing for cancer patients if ironweed extract could help fight aggressive types of breast and brain cancers. Since the compounds are found in the plant, they are less toxic than traditional forms of treatment such as chemotherapy. This gives cancer patients a better quality of life when developed as drugs,“ said James Turkson, awardee and director of the UH Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Program. “Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer that currently has no cure. In addition, the types of breast cancers we are targeting are some of the most life-threatening breast cancers with few successful treatments.”

“The vast natural resources of Hawai‘i give our researchers a rare opportunity to make scientific discoveries of unique and significant proportions in treating cancer,” said Dr. Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center’s director. “This significant NCI award recognizes the breadth and depth of the natural product research focus of the UH Cancer Center, and highlights the national impact our research in Hawai‘i has in the fight against cancer.”

Turkson, along with collaborators Leng Chee Chang, Dianqing Sun and Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, published a study a year and half ago showing that the natural compounds from the ironweed plant were effective in killing breast cancer and brain tumor cells and blocked the development and growth of these cancers in the laboratory. In recognition of these preliminary findings, the funds were granted to continue and expand the study.

“Our team of researchers at the UH Cancer Center and UH Hilo will now be able to probe deeper into the cancer treatment potential of ironweed. The plant’s extract is currently used in Southeast Asia for smoking cessation because of the affects the compounds have on the brain. Some of our initial findings suggest the plant’s natural compounds interfere with key cancer-causing biological pathways in the cancer cell, thereby shutting down the ability of the cells to grow and multiply,” said Turkson.

Breast and brain cancer in Hawai‘i

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Hawai‘i.
  • An average of 125 women die from the disease each year in the state.
  • On average 41 people in Hawai‘i die each year from brain cancer.

*According to the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry

NCI grant: 1R01CA208851

The University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center through its various activities, cancer trial patients and their guests, and other visitors adds more than $54 million to the O‘ahu economy. This is equivalent to supporting 776 jobs. It is one of only 69 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the Center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at www.uhcancercenter.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UHCancerCenter. Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

For more information, visit: http://www.uhcancercenter.org/

Hawai’i Students Nab 20% of Awards at National Student Video Competition

Students from Hawai‘i schools returned to the Islands with 20 percent of the 196 total awards given out at the 14th annual Student Television Network (STN) Convention in Anaheim, CA, held March 28-31. The complete list of Hawai‘i results is included below.

All but one of the Hawai‘i schools that took home awards are public schools. Kamehameha Schools Maui, which won two awards, was the sole Hawai‘i private school in attendance. All of them participate in PBS Hawai‘i’s HIKI NŌ student news network.

Approximately 3,000 middle and high school students from across the U.S. gathered to compete in on-site, time-restricted contests in video journalism, television production, filmmaking, music videos, commercials, and public service announcements.

As in the last few STN competitions, the number of awards won by Hawai‘i schools was notably high in comparison to states with larger populations, such as California, Florida and Texas.

Two neighbor island middle schools led the Hawai‘i awards count – Kaua‘i’s Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School and Maui Waena Intermediate School, with seven awards each. Veteran student video production high schools Moanalua and Wai‘anae took home wins in major overall categories.

“Without a doubt, the stellar performance by Hawai‘i schools at STN is due to the work our schools have done with HIKI NŌ and PBS Hawai‘i,” said Kevin Matsunaga, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School media teacher and STN regional board member. “Our Hawai‘i media teachers have worked tirelessly, as well, and the outstanding work their students have done at these competitions is proof that HIKI NŌ is making a huge difference in the lives of our students.”

“HIKI NŌ offers students the ideal preparation for this national competition and it also readies them for different professional paths – by teaching them to work their way through challenges and deliver quality work on tight deadlines,” said Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO.

“This national recognition is yet another testament of the quality work being produced by our HIKI NŌ students and the dedication of their media teachers and mentors,” stated Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education Schools Superintendent. “These opportunities would not be possible without the commitment and partnership with PBS Hawai‘i. The teamwork and use of technology needed to create these quality productions align with the Department’s mission to help our students connect with their communities and be lifelong learners.”

2017 Student Television Network – Hawai‘i Winners:

CONVENTION RE-CAP

  • 1st Place – Moanalua High School
  • 2nd Place – Waipahu High School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui High School

SPOT FEATURE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

MOVIE TRAILER—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

“TELL THE STORY”

  • Honorable Mention – Waiakea High School
  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

NAT. SOUND PACKAGE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui Waena Intermediate School

NAT. SOUND PACKAGE—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Moanalua High School
  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

COMMERCIAL—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Moanalua High School

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Maui High School
  • 3rd Place – Moanalua High School
  • Honorable Mention – McKinley High School

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School
  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui Waena Intermediate School

WEATHER REPORT—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Kapolei High School

SILENT FILM—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

ACTION SPORTS—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Kamehameha Schools Maui High

ANCHOR TEAM—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

MUSIC VIDEO—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

CRAZY 8s BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • 2nd Place – Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle
  • 3rd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School

CRAZY 8s BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

CRAZY 8s SHORT FILM DOCUMENTARY—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – McKinley High School

CRAZY 8s SHORT FILM FICTION—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Ewa Makai Middle School
  • 3rd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST WRITING

  • Waipahu High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST EDITING

  • Moanalua High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Moanalua High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST ANIMATION

  • Wai‘anae High School

MONTHLY BROADCAST EXCELLENCE AWARD

  • Wai‘anae High School

Hilo High Students Win Championship

Hilo High School Sophomores Emma Laliberte and Bryn Wilcox took first place at the Hawaii State Forensic Championships held last Saturday on Oahu.

Emma Laliberte and Bryn Wilcox

Organized by the Hawaii Speech League, this years championship tournament hosted eighteen schools competing in sixteen speech and debate events over a three day period.  Hilo High School was the only public high school from the neighbor islands to attend the event held at Kamehameha and Punahou Schools on Oahu.

“We worked hard and it paid off,” said Bryn Wilcox.  “I can’t believe we’re champions!” said Emma Laliberte.  After judges announced their win the team received a standing ovation.  On the flight home passengers cheered when the Hawaiian Airline pilot announced their victory on the loudspeaker.

Debate Coach and Emma’s father, Greg Laliberte, sees the win as an opportunity to attract more students to the debate club at Hilo High.  He said, “we have a lot of talent at Hilo High. We are going to build on this momentum.” Interested students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to contact Coach Greg at  Hilospeechanddebate@gmail.com to get involved.