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Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Application Period Begins Today

The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program between Monday, September 19 and Monday, October 31, 2016.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.

preschool-open-doorsThis program, which currently serves more than 1,300 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition. POD aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year (born between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012). Families are reminded that a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Families may choose any one of the 438 State-licensed preschools. Underserved or at-risk children receive priority consideration for the POD program, and funds are limited.

Interested families may request an application beginning Monday, September 19, 2016 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting www.patchhawaii.org or calling 791-2130 or toll free 1-800-746-5620.  PATCH can also help families locate a preschool convenient for them.

Applications must be received by October 31, 2016 to be considered during the January 1, 2017-June 30, 2017 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the following:

PATCH – POD
560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI 96817
Fax: (808) 694-3066

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs. For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov

“Sea to Sky” – Rebuilding Hōkūalaka’i

A free youth event called “Sea to Sky” will be held this weekend.  This event is designed to bring different aspects of our island together with the common purpose of rebuilding the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.  The Hōkūalaka’i will be used for teaching purposes on Hawaiʻi Island and beyond. Hōkūalakaʻi’s home is in the same location (Palekai) that the historic Hōkūleʻa departed from on its world wide voyage.

hokulakaiThis will be the first of many “Sea to Sky” events at Palekai in Hilo.  It will be an all day event with something for everyone to enjoy.  We have invited many members of the scientific field to have fun educational learning stations available for kids and all participants will be hosted with great food and activities. The focus of the monthly events are structured to:

  • Unite community in helping to restore the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.
  • Promote indigenous knowledge in science programs
  • Increase cultural relevance
  • Create opportunities to pursue careers in science and culture education fields

The schedule for the September 24th will be:

  • 8:00-8:30am Informal meet, setup and discuss days activities and work planned for the canoe.
  • 8:45-9:30am ‘awa ceremony and welcome
  • 9:30-11:30am Work on Hōkūalakaʻi, Visit Learning Stations, and Site Beautification Project
  • 11:30-12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:00-4:30 Paddling, Sailing, Swimming (Ocean Activities)
  • 4:30-5:00 Closing talk and cleanup

We will have “Learning Stations” and a variety of organizations joining us each week. Come down to Palekai and join in the community effort to restore Hōkūalakaʻi and help our youth learn about the science and culture that is happening on the Big Island.

If you would like to setup a booth to help educate kids, please contact us!  This will be an on-going event to share Hawaii’s Science and Culture with our youth and each other.  We will be publishing more details and our upcoming events on our website: http://alohapueo.org/pueo-events

THURSDAY: 6th Annual Kipimana Cup – Keaau vs. Kamehameha

The Keaau Cougars will host the 6th Annual Kipimana Cup challenging the Kamehameha Warriors Thursday, this time with a new head coach who happens to be a former coach for Kamehameha.

kipimana-cup
“We are excited to host the Kipimana Cup at our campus this year,” said Iris McGuire, Keaau High School’s athletic director. “We have a new coach and style of football at Keaau High School,” she noted, referring to Aurellio Abellera, who was the defense coach for the Warriors before opting to lead the Cougars.

Hosted by W.H. Shipman, Limited, which calls Keaau home, the Kipimana Cup is a goodwill football game between the public and private schools located within a few miles radius in Keaau.

“Every year it is encouraging to see the attitude of friendship tied to this particular competition,” said Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman, Limited. “Team leadership has been effective in instilling what we all hoped that attitude would be: we can play hard, we can compete to win a game and we can compete here in Keaau in a spirit of good will. Similarly, we encourage incoming businesses to recognize this as a special place to do business and to work together to create an environment where our customers want to come to do business.”

Dan Lyons, head football coach for the Kamehameha Schools Keaau campus, noted the Kipimana Cup is a way of “creating a competition” among the two schools and their athletes, “but also an acknowledgement of sportsmanship” that exists between the two schools. “I just think it’s a really good thing for the community, building community togetherness with both of us being in Keaau.”

He noted that W.H. Shipman, Limited is rooted in the history of both schools, with the land originally owned by the family owned company. As for Keaau’s new coach being one of his former staffers, Lyons thinks it’s “awesome.”

“’Leo’ is a really good guy and a really good catch,” Lyons said. Noting the Cougars have already won a couple of games, he said Abellera will bring “structure, organization, character, and integrity” to the Keaau team. “I mean, he’s a very good coach and great guy. It obviously leaves a void in our program, but it certainly helps Big Island football be better.”

“I coached with Dan for the last three years, and he helped me bring back the fun in coaching and football,” Abellera said. He has actually been a math teacher at Keaau High School for the last 16 years, and this is his second time coaching there. “My dad got sick and footballl didn’t seem fun anymore,” he said.

It was Lyons and the Kamehameha Warriors that got him back into coaching. With Kamehameha on solid ground, and the Cougars in need of help, Abellera returned to Keaau.

For the Kipimana Cup Thursday, Kamehameha will show up with four wins and one loss to Kealakehe, in their most recent game on Friday. Keaau, meanwhile, will face off with the Kamehameha Warriors with two wins and one loss, having defeated the Honokaa Dragons in their most recent game last week.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be a league game for both teams. Kamehameha Schools and Keaau High School didn’t always play against each other, being in different divisions — Keaau being in Division 1 and Kamehameha being in Division 2.  The Big Island Interscholastic Federation League ultimately changed that, but not before W.H. Shipman, Ltd. first pitched the annual Kipimana Cup six years ago.

W.H. Shipman, Limited provides $500 to each of the school’s booster clubs following the game, and a trophy to the winning team.
The Kamehameha Warriors have won all five of the previous Kipimana Cups, but that may be a different story this year with Abellera leading the Keaau Cougars, Lyons acknowledged.

Kamehameha School’s Hawai‘i campus opened on former W.H. Shipman land in 2001 and has an enrollment of a little over 1,000 students, grades K-12, while Keaau High School has an enrollment of 880 children, grades 9-12.  The school first opened in 1998, also on Shipman property.

Kipimana is how Hawaiians historically referred to Shipman. W.H. Shipman, Limited staff came up with the idea for the Kipimana Cup six years ago.

Based in the Puna for the last 130 years, W.H. Shipman, Limited currently has 17,000 acres in and around Keaau, and is active in agriculture and commercial/ industrial development and leasing. Shipman holds a long-range view toward sustainability and planned development for balanced community use.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be held at Keaau High School.  Kickoff for the varsity game is expected to start around 7:30 p.m., a half hour after the 5 p.m. junior varsity game ends. Expect to pay a nominal admission.

Contact Walter at 966-9325 for more details.

Hawaii Celebrates National Child Passenger Safety Week with Free Car Seat Checks Statewide

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is teaming up with the four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates to promote National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24.

During Child Passenger Safety Week and throughout the year, Hawaii’s child passenger safety technicians are dedicated to helping parents and caregivers learn how to correctly install child safety seats and properly buckle up their keiki, whether it’s in child safety seats, booster seats or when using the vehicle’s seat belts.

“Hawaii’s keiki are our most precious asset, we can and need to do better to give them the future they deserve,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Parents and caregivers can improve their child’s safety by simply using child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts properly.”

In Hawaii, children under 4 years old are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.

According to 2014 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 24 percent of children ages 4 through 7 years old were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 9 percent were unrestrained. Children should remain in booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and can use seat belts correctly without the booster seat.

Before a child can be moved from a child safety seat to a booster seat, parents and caregivers should check for the following:

  • The lap belt fits across the child’s upper thigh;
  • The shoulder belt fits across the child’s shoulder and chest;
  • The child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back; and
  • The child can stay seated properly during the entire trip.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now advising that children ride rear-facing until at least the age of 2. To educate the public about this recommendation and Hawaii’s child restraint law, the HDOT is airing public service announcements on television and in movie theaters statewide. Hawaii’s child passenger safety media campaign is 100-percent federally funded.

Hawaii has more than 340 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and parents. All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it and using it correctly.

“Each county has child restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks to ensure that all children return home safe,” said Fuchigami. “Parents and caregivers should utilize these free resources to better protect their children.”

seat-checksFree public car seat check events will be held on National Seat Check Saturday, September 24, at the following locations and times:  

Oahu
Waipio Shopping Center, Waipahu
94-1040 Waipio Uka St.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hawaii
Target, Hilo
391 E. Makaala St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Target, Kailua-Kona
74-5455 Makala Blvd., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kauai

Walmart, Lihue, 3-3300 Kuhio Highway 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A community seat check event will also be held on Saturday,

September 17, at:  Maui

Maui Marketplace, Kahului, 270 Dairy Road,  10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by NHTSA. For more on child safety, as well as a list of child restraint inspection stations and community car seat check, visit:  www.kipchawaii.org or www.safercar.gov/parents

THINK Fund Classroom Grants Available for 2016-17 School Year

THINK Fund at HCF has funding available for STEM classroom grants through DonorsChoose.org for the 2016-17 school year.

The classroom grants support projects that boost Hawai‘i Island public and public charter school 3rd – 12th grade students in STEM learning; can include materials, supplies and on-island field trips; and can be up to but not over $2,500.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

“Many types of projects are part of the STEM learning pathway for our local students, so we support engineering projects such as robotics, engineering design, and aerodynamic design,” says Lydia Clements, Director of Neighbor Islands for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “We also encourage projects that expose students to STEM career opportunities like computer programming, environmental science and healthcare.”

Projects can be posted at any time at DonorsChoose.org and requests are reviewed weekly by the THINK Fund at HCF. If a project is selected for funding it usually takes less than three weeks for the students to receive materials in their classroom.

Mrs. Richards’ science class at Keaau High School received a STEM classroom grant in the 2015-2016 school year. Instead of having her students read about decomposition, the students got their hands dirty and created interactive presentations that told the story. “These kids didn’t present dry, written lab reports,” Mrs. Richards said. “They created art to tell their scientific stories. We’re empowering young scientists, thanks to the grant.”

With the classroom grant from THINK Fund at Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), the students used EcoSTEM Earth Kits to create mini biodome environments to study real-time worm culture, decomposition, soil quality, and planting. But they didn’t stop there. With the Epson 3LCD projector, they told their stories of theory and discovery using interactive technology.

THINK Fund at HCF gets classroom materials into the hands of teachers and students quickly, capturing their enthusiasm while it’s still fresh and getting them out in the field with their projects. The fund’s purpose is to support projects that promote science and math disciplines.

To apply, teachers write up their grant need on DonorsChoose.org, applications are reviewed, projects are selected and funded.

In its first eighteen months, THINK Fund at HCF has committed $150,000 and funded 82 classroom projects for over 8,000 students across Hawai‘i Island. These students have nurtured hydroponics gardens, studied water quality through new lab equipment, and built their own Mars Rover with the help of 3D printers.

The following 29 schools on Hawai‘i Island have received STEM Classroom Project Grants from the THINK Fund at HCF: Connections New Century Public Charter, Hilo Intermediate, Hilo Union Elementary, Ho‘okena Elementary, Innovations Public Charter, Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo Public Charter, Kano o ka‘aina New Century Public Charter, K‘au High and Pahala Elementary, Kea‘au High, Kea‘au Middle, Kealekehe Elementary, Kealakehe High, Kealakehe Intermediate, Keonepoko Elementary, Kohala Elementary, Kona Pacific Public Charter, Konawaena Elementary, Konawaena High, Konawaena Middle, Kua o ka La Public Charter, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter, Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate, Prince Kalaniana‘ole Elementary and Intermediate, Volcano School of Arts & Science Public Charter, Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate, Waikoloa Elementary & Middle, Waimea Elementary and Waters of Life Public Charter School.

HIDOE Names 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) named its 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year award winners, recognizing employees for their special and continued contributions to education and the students of Hawaii.

“Every one of our winners and nominees have shown exceptional dedication to our students and schools,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “Their hard work is reflected in our students’ achievements and have improved the overall education experience for our children, parents, teachers and staff.”

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Spencer supervises a custodial staff and, under eight years of his supervision, the campus has bloomed with native Hawaiian plants in well-manicured gardens.  His direction helped to provide seamless maintenance of school buildings and the campus grounds during a recent staffing shortage.  His pride in the campus is evident in all of his work and that of his staff.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Santa Monica embraces the school’s vision to “Empower, Explore and Excel” and transformed the traditional role of a cafeteria manager to become a vital partner with the school’s booster club to provide food service for special events and activities.  His caring support ensures that students and teachers who are busy with lunchtime activities always have meals available.  Teachers describe him as the “heart of the school” and students see him as a role model, setting a great example to follow.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The team addresses the wide range of Autism Spectrum Disorders to serve students from pre-K through high school and provides training and support to families to help improve their lives.  The team provides training to teachers that incorporate virtual walkthroughs to provide realism and illustrate best practices in action.  Parents have commented that the training they received has helped them to better understand and cope with their autistic children.

The team is comprised of 23 members: Aletha Sutton, Brendan Ahern, Jennifer Bishop, Kali Carvalho, Bianca Chang, Heather Chapman, Verna Choy, Kari Crisler, Cynthia Hopkins, Rochelle Kekauoha, Danielle Mizuta, Carey Motohiro, Jon Motohiro, Meg Murphy, Roxanne Rokero, Melanie Sakai, Jakriz Villahermosa-Madsen, Dayna Williams, Tomoko Yokooji, Diane MacDonald, Ashley Tani, Aida Mercades and Travis MacDonald, along with 45 highly-trained Autism Educational Assistants.

Spencer, Santa Monica, and the Windward District Office Autism Team will represent HIDOE in the upcoming annual Governor’s Awards for Distinguished State Service ceremony.

Today’s event also recognized the outstanding efforts of the following HIDOE employees and teams:

Sustained Superior Performance Award

  • Edgar Yoshida, Baldwin High School, Maui District

Team Excellence Award of Merit

  • Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area Induction & Mentoring Team: Sue Bevacqua and Christine Braga
  • Kapolei Elementary School Office Team: Karie Gomban, Wanda Goo, Denise Lee, Alyson Manuel, Muriel Takano and Leslie Veazie
  • Olomana School Comprehensive Student Support System Team: Bob Christensen, Sheri Dennis, Tulifau Esene, Wilisoni Fatafehi, Mike Silva and Kelly Taniguchi

Click here for photos from the awards ceremony.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Recognizes Hawaii Teachers Selected for Presidential Award

Today in Washington, DC, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recognized Hawaiʻi teachers selected for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and presented them with a Congressional certificate. Five Hawaiʻi teachers were amongst the 213 math and science teachers around the country selected for the award. The 2016 Hawaiʻi awardees are:

  • Alicia Nakamitsu, AieaHigh School
  • Eliza Yoshida, Pu’u Kukui Elementary School
  • Stan Mesina, August Ahrens Elementary School
  • Bryan Silver, Kalani High School
  • Patricia Urasky, Waimea High School

The PAEMST is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.

(Left to right) Alicia Nakamitsu, Bryan Silver, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Eliza Yoshida, Stan Mesina

(Left to right) Alicia Nakamitsu, Bryan Silver, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Eliza Yoshida, Stan Mesina

Awards were given to K-12 teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). Each awardee received a citation signed by President Obama, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and travel to Washington, DC for an award ceremony held yesterday.

Parents Urged to Complete Federal Impact Aid Survey Card – Funding Benefits ALL Public Schools Statewide

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will be sending a U.S. Department of Education Federal Survey Card home with Hawaii’s public school students for parents to complete beginning Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

Over $40 million in Impact Aid funds was received in SY15-16, benefitting all public schools in Hawaii. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys beginning Sept. 7th.  Photo Credit: Department of Education

Over $40 million in Impact Aid funds was received in SY15-16, benefiting all public schools in Hawaii. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys beginning Sept. 7th. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Completed Impact Aid Program survey cards allow HIDOE to qualify for a partial reimbursement for educating federally connected students, such as children whose parents work or live on federal property. The program was created to assist school districts that lose tax revenues (e.g. income, sales and property taxes) due to a federal presence. Received funds go to all local school districts, just like local property taxes, and can be used to hire teachers, purchase textbooks and computers, pay for utilities and more. Parents are strongly urged to complete the surveys and return them to their schools as soon as possible.

“Impact Aid funds are extremely important to support all our public schools statewide and help to improve quality education for our students,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent. “During the 2015-16 school year, the state accounted for 27,660 federally connected students and received more than $40 million in Impact Aid funding.  We ask all parents for their cooperation to complete these important surveys.”

Completed survey forms will benefit students at all public schools statewide.  Federal reimbursements help to offset such costs as student transportation, school utilities, substitute teachers, portable classrooms and many others necessities.

Without these federal funds, the Hawaii public school system would have $40 million to $50 million less per year to operate with and would need to reduce support for all schools to pay all its expenses. These funds benefit all students at all public schools. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys.

Every public school has a 100-percent return rate goal and asks that parents complete and return the federal survey next week. Please visit our Impact Aid Program webpage for more information and common questions.

All Hawaii Island PUBLIC Schools Will Reopen Tomorrow

As Tropical Storm Madeline moves past the State, all Hawaii Island public schools will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 2. Schools on the island were closed on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the storm.

doe logo

The schools that were activated as shelters on Wednesday closed sheltering services at 6:00 a.m. today.

All after-school activities remain cancelled through tomorrow.

“We assessed our school campuses this morning and no damages were reported,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We will remain vigilant as Hurricane Lester makes its way towards the islands and continue to keep everyone informed of the affects it may have on our schools.”

All public charter schools on Hawaii Island will also open tomorrow.

On Maui, Hana High and Elementary School was closed today following heavy rains that created dangerous conditions. Hana School will also reopen tomorrow.

For more information about HIDOE schools and continued updates, visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org, follow us on Twitter at @HIDOE808, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

UH Hilo Students to Participate in Conservation Congress Gathering

Four cohorts of students from the Kūʻula Integrated Science class in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Science program have been invited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Marine Program to open the Marine World Heritage Reception on September 5. The reception is part of the Internal Union of Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) that will be held in Honolulu September 1-10.

UH Hilo Moniker

The Kūʻula students will present a chant and hula describing human relationships with the ocean and coral reefs. One of these chants, Uku ʻĀkoʻakoʻa, was composed specifically for Kūʻula by Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, the director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College through the Uluākea Program. The students presented the same chant and hula to open the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu attended by 2,500 people in July.

Kū’ula students integrate western and Native Hawaiian scientific knowledge and research methodologies to understand the environment of Hawai’i. Their research has enabled them to establish personal and meaningful connections to the places they study, which have included Midway Atoll and Ha’ena, Kaua’i. Most Kū’ula graduates have gone on to graduate schools or to jobs in natural resource management and education.

“This is a significant achievement for our students majoring in natural sciences, Hawaiian Studies, and social sciences, who worked together through the Kūʻula class experience,” said Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, professor, marine science. “The recognition they are receiving is well-deserved.”

For more information about Kūʻula, contact Takabayashi at 932-7095 or email
misakita@hawaii.edu.

134 Kids Participate in HI-PAL Basketball Tournament

A total of 134 youths from 15 teams participated in the HI-PAL “Click It or Ticket” Back 2 School Bash basketball tournament this past weekend at Papaʻikou Gym.

In the 10-and-Under division finals, Kohala’s NSP defeated Fly Girls 21-14 to claim the title. Layden Kauka led NSP with 7 points. Maela Honma tallied 9 points for Fly Girls

NSP

NSP

Members of the champion NSP squad included Landon and Layden Kauka, Isaac Salvador, Tiras Perez, Kayzen Ittner, Jayden Hook and Isaiah Omalley.

In the third place contest, Warriors out-gunned Keaʻau Chargers 20-14. Javan Ferry led the Warriors with 8 points. Kiai Yasso scored 7 points for the Chargers.

In the 8-and-Under division, Warriors defeated B-Elite 18-2, avenging a 26-22 loss in pool play. Kawohi Huihui and Zoe Silva each tallied 6 for the champions.

Warriors

Warriors

Members of the champion Warriors included Huihui and Silva, Hayzen Ferry, Kai Kahana-Rowe, Kaiea Peterson, Keinan Mattos, Micah Chung, Rayden Handy and Waimalu Kahana-Machida.

Keaʻau Chargers finished third.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaiʻi Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic Results

A total of 122 youths from 13 teams, included four teams from Oahu and Maui, participated in the HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic this past weekend at Waiākea-Uka Gym.

In the Varsity Girls division finals, Maui Sparks edged Wahine Ryders 41-39 in overtime, with Mikayla Tablit hitting the game winning three-pointer in the waning seconds of the game. Tablit led the Sparks with 21 points. Mandy Kawaha topped the Ryders with 19.

Maui Sparks

Maui Sparks

Members of the champion Maui Sparks squad included Tablit, Nel Mae Bumanglag, Kaylee and Kyra Cambra, Kamaile Cugal, Jordyn Mantz, Honeylet Padasadao, Ashley Taylor Peralta, Kealia Sjostrand, Mikiala Sniffen and Tanniya Uchida.

In the third-place contest, Waiākea defeated Keaʻau 43-15. Madison Hwang tallied 10 for Waiākea.

In the Girls Rising Stars finals, Kona Stingrays withstood a furious comeback from Hoop Dreams to claim the championship 26-25. Gracie Hing scored 11 points for the Stingrays and Keani Midel had 10 for Hoop Dreams.

Kona Stingrays

Kona Stingrays

Members of the champion Stingrays included Hing, Kassie and Lanie Alapai, Kiera Ambrosia, Tayvia Cabatbat, Dallas Carlos, Rebekah Fong, Peyton Healeamau, Gabryela Kaipo, Iolani Kamakau, Caiyle Kaupu and Juliana Losalio.

In the third-place contest, Honokaʻa outscored Maui Sparks 26-15. Kaliana Salazar-Harrell led Honokaʻa with 14 points.

In the boys Rising Stars division, Hoop Dreams out-gunned St. Joseph 62-32 to claim the title. Keawe Silva scored 18 points, Kobe Kahele added 16 and Kiaʻi Apele tallied 11 for the champions. Stan Mawry led the runners-up with 10 points.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Members of the champion Hoop Dreams included Silva, Kahele, Apele, Kaukahi Alameda, Macmillan Aloisio, Isaiah Cordero, Chance Simeona, and Kaupena Yasso.

In the third-place contest, Hawaiʻi Storm ran past PGU 42-7. Enzo Mazzulli scored 10 for the Storm.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaii Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

Hawaii’s Public High School Graduates Improve in ACT College Preparedness Test Scores

A national report released Tuesday shows an increase in Hawaii public schools’ Class of 2016 graduates meeting college readiness benchmarks. ACT, a research-based non-profit organization, issued The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report, which includes information on students taking the ACT test in every state, including Hawaii.

2016 act

Hawaii’s Class of 2016 public high school graduates meeting ACT’s college readiness benchmarks saw these year-over-year changes:

  • A 2 percentage point improvement in Mathematics
  • A 1 percentage point improvement in English and Science
  • Unchanged Reading scores

Approximately 10,525 Hawaii public school graduates in the Class of 2016 took the ACT college preparedness test as juniors. All of Hawaii’s public school juniors now take the ACT test as part of a range of recent transformational efforts to increase students’ college and career readiness. Learn more about these efforts in an Expectation of College . These efforts have produced strong increases in college enrollment, enrollment in early college programs at the high school level, as well as significant declines in college-level remediation in English and Mathematics.

The ACT results provide students information about their readiness for postsecondary education, a score that they can use for college admissions and placement, and information about how to better prepare for postsecondary education during their senior years. The ACT includes a student survey to gauge their plans for life after high school.

“Eighty percent of 2016 graduates who took the ACT test indicated their desire to earn a two- or four-year college degree, and we are encouraged by steady gains in our students’ college preparation and enrollment,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “However, we recognize the need for more of our students to be ready for the rigors of work and study after high school.”

Over the past three years, Hawaii public school students have seen steady improvements in the individually tested ACT subjects:

  • 4 percentage points up in English
  • 3 percentage points up each in Mathematics, Reading and Science

While Hawaii’s scores have been rising, ACT scores nationwide have shown declines and fluctuating results. Also, not all states administer the ACT to all juniors.

Improvements in the recent ACT scores are a promising reflection of college readiness in Hawaii’s public high school graduates. The ACT is one of only two readiness examinations used for U.S. college and university admissions and was taken by approximately 2.09 million 2016 graduates nationwide.

Click here to view The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report.

 

Free ‘Imiloa Membership for All UH Hilo Students

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has announced an exciting new benefit for its students. For the very first time, the University’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is offering a complimentary individual membership to every student with a valid I.D. who is registered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Free Imiloa
“Very few universities can boast an on-campus resource like the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, which showcases Mauna Kea and its cultural and scientific value, especially way-finding and astronomy,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “We greatly appreciate this gesture and encourage all of our students to take advantage of the benefits ‘Imiloa has to offer throughout the academic year.”

‘Imiloa is located on the upper campus, and housed in a striking titanium-clad conical structure. The Center is open to the public six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday). Student members will be able to enjoy four free daily shows in the full-dome planetarium, full access to the interactive exhibit hall, plus discounts on special events and purchases at ‘Imiloa’s award-winning Sky Garden Restaurant and on-site store.

For Astronomy majors Shelby Wood and Micah English, an ‘Imiloa membership is something they’ll make extensive use of.

“I’m from New Mexico, and have never been to ‘Imiloa, so I appreciate the opportunity to check it out,” Wood said. “I think it’s really great that they are doing this, because I have been to the planetarium and it was really cool,” English added.

Hawaiian Studies Major Kehaulani Esteban sees ‘Imiloa as a valuable resource for learning more about the Hawaiian culture.

“I’m really looking forward to the Mauna Kea show because we get to learn about how the Hawaiian Islands were created,” Esteban said.

`Imiloa Executive Director Ka’iu Kimura sees the memberships as an effective avenue for advancing ‘Imiloa’s mission to inspire exploration through the sharing of Hawaiian culture and science.

“One of the goals ‘Imiloa has set for our second decade is to take our programming across the island, the state and beyond. At the same time, however, we are committed to amplifying our impact here at home,” Kimura said. “What better way to inspire the next generation than to deepen our ties to UH Hilo and the community of students at our doorstep?”

Students can activate their free membership by visiting: http://blog.imiloahawaii.org/general-information/free-imiloa-membership-for-all-uh-hilo-students/.

Golden Anniversary of Kalakaua Basketball Clinic Recognized by Senator Kim and Clinic Alumni

Before a large and appreciative crowd in the Moanalua High School Gymnasium, the man behind the renown Kalakaua Basketball Clinic today was honored for five decades of serving the community and helping thousands of students find success both on and off the court.

Photo via Senate Communication

Photo via Senate Communication

State Senator Donna Mercado Kim (Dist. 14 – Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea) was on hand to present a proclamation to Coach Dennis Agena and his staff in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Kalakaua Basketball Clinic during a surprise ceremony at the end of practice.

“Coach Agena is an absolutely remarkable, generous individual who deserves all the accolades being bestowed on him today,” said Sen. Kim. “How he’s given so much of his time and his own resources for the last fifty years is an inspiration to us all.  He exemplifies selflessness and strong leadership through his coaching and guidance by teaching students how to be a good athlete and even greater citizen.”

Kalakaua Basketball Camp2

Sen. Kim’s son, Micah, was a participant in the clinic as a youngster and she witnessed how the program helps build character. “I was proud to see Micah blossom not only in his basketball skills but also as a responsible young man who learned the rewards of hard work and team work,” she said.

Coach Agena is recognized as one of the most respected basketball coaches in the state and founder of the renown Kalakaua Basketball Clinic.  Thousands of students have gone through the clinic that stresses the importance of mastering fundamental basketball skills, as well as team building skills.  Equally important are the values students learn through the program that they carry with them through life: respect, commitment, dedication, and humility.

While the clinic has moved locations over the years, the program has consistently been led by Dennis Agena, who along with his wife Lani, have made it their life mission to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. He and his staff conduct the clinic on a completely voluntary basis.  The fee for the clinic goes towards maintaining the equipment and covering the expenses for the athletes to travel for tournaments.

Some of the players who have gone through the clinic to become successful athletes at the high school,college and professional level include Derrick Low, Kyle Pape, Blaine Gaison, Cliff LaBoy,Bobby Nash, Dean Shimamoto and Kahi Villa. Also, Nani Cockett, Brandy Richardson, Teddi Pila, BJ Itoman, Iwalani Rodrigues, Tiana Fuertes, and Melanie Azama.

“I’m proud of all the kids. You develop them, you mentor them, you see them grow up, get married, they have kids and I think soon it will be my third generation of coaching these kids and I’m happy for doing that,” said Dennis Agena. As for today’s honors, Agena was humbled. “It’s not about me, it’s about the product you produce out of the program that makes Coach Agena and Coach Myles (Akamine) look good.”

Community Voices Sought for Input on Public Education Plans

Since April, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Board of Education’s (BOE) has engaged the community as it reviews its joint Strategic Plan. BOE members have hosted meetings in Waimea (Hawaii Island) and Wailuku, and the public has more opportunities to provide feedback at upcoming community meetings on Oahu, Kauai and Molokai.

A group brainstorms ideas during the Maui Community Meeting on Aug. 8.  Photo: Department of Education

A group brainstorms ideas during the Maui Community Meeting on Aug. 8. Photo: Department of Education

“It is important for us to dialogue with members of all sectors of our communities as we work on strategies towards achieving student success,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Education affects all of us, that’s why we appreciate the public input provided so far and urge others to attend the few meetings we have left before finalizing plans that will set the direction for public education in the upcoming years.”

The public has the remaining opportunities to lend their voice at the following community meetings:

  • Aug. 22: Kailua High School College and Career Center, 451 Ulumanu Drive
  • Aug. 31: Manoa Public Library, 2716 Woodlawn Drive
  • Sept. 1: Kaunakakai Elementary School, 30 Ailoa Street
  • Sept. 14: Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, 4431 Nuhou Street
  • Sept. 15: Waianae Public Library, 85-625 Farrington Highway

All meetings will be held from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Storyline Consulting, a third-party facilitator, brought in to ensure the objective report of community input, reported on the first phase of HIDOE’s community outreach, which included 108 focus groups on six islands and 1,429 online survey responses. The Phase I report noted the following emerging themes as community-based descriptors of student success:

  • Giving back to the community, environment, and world;
  • Discovering and pursuing passions so students can reach their full potential;
  • Demonstrating strong academic and soft skills, and showing an ability to think critically, solve problems, and apply knowledge to new situations or contexts;
  • Being prepared for life after high school, including setting clear goals and developing short-term and long-term engagement in learning;
  • Exhibiting strength, confidence, and resilience in their every day lives and being generally healthy and happy; and
  • Gaining a strong sense of cultural understanding and appreciation for Hawaii.

For more information, view the digital and print reports.

The Department and BOE are updating the description of student success, and strategies for school and community innovation, professional development, leadership and more. A draft plan will be presented to the BOE in mid-October, and final plan will be presented to the BOE in December.

“Since we embarked on community engagement in April, we have received tremendous amounts of valuable information that will help us craft a Strategic Plan that meets the ever-changing needs of our students and community,” said Tammi Chun, assistant superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance. “The process has been two-fold as we’re also using the feedback from the community to help us with our state plan in response to the new federal education law, ESSA, that is required to receive federal funds.”

HIDOE continues to monitor the national changes for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and has offered feedback to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on how the rules and timelines will impact Hawaii.  The Department took issue with the draft regulations appearing to be more prescriptive than what is described in the spirit of the law. HIDOE anticipates submitting the state’s plan for ESSA funding on the USED’s March 6, 2017 deadline.

For more information about the Strategic Plan and HIDOE’s ESSA efforts, click here; to join the conversation on social media use #HIQualityEd.

Senator Schatz Accepting Applications for High School Internship Program

Schatz Seniors Internship Program Open to High School Seniors from Across the State

The office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) is currently accepting applications for this year’s Schatz Seniors High School Internship Program.

Sen. Schatz in Puna after Iselle hit the area.

Sen. Schatz in Puna after Iselle hit the area.

The Schatz Seniors program provides a hands-on learning opportunity about the U.S. Senate and encourages students to be advocates in their schools and communities.   Schatz Seniors will work with outreach staff, identify issues of interest to their communities, and attend and staff special events.

“Each year our Schatz Seniors show a commitment to service and our state that keeps me optimistic about Hawai‘i’s future.  I encourage all high school seniors who want to help make a difference in their communities to apply to be a part of our team,” said Senator Schatz.

This is not an office position.  Students will complete the majority of assignments in their homes, schools, and communities and should miss little or no class time.  The internship runs from October 2016 – April 2017, and interns must commit for the full term.  Public, private, charter, and homeschool seniors may apply.  Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or better and have personal access to email throughout the internship.  Schatz Seniors will be selected based on their involvement in their community, diversity of interests and life experiences, and demonstrated leadership.

The application is available on his website at schatz.senate.gov and must be completed no later than 6:00pm on Friday, September 16, 2016.  Please contact our Honolulu office at 808-523-2061 with any questions.

Internships for undergraduate and graduate students are also available year-round in our Washington, D.C. and Honolulu offices.  More information can be found on his website.

Kahilu Performing Arts Classes Fall Semester Registration Opens August 18

Registration for the fall semester of Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC) opens Thursday, August 18. The semester begins Wednesday, September 7 and classes run through Thursday, December 15, concluding with a music and theatre showcase on Saturday, December 17.

trapeze

There are a total of 26 classes on offer for the fall semester, including the addition of four new classes – Dance Improv & Choreo, Backstage Tech, Conditioning, and Acting the Song.

Formerly Prince Dance Institute and smArt Academy, these two programs have merged into the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC). Directed by Angel Prince, former Artistic Director of Prince Dance Institute, this newly renamed Kahilu Theatre education program will continue to offer excellence in training in the performing arts with many of the same teachers and classes returning for the new semester.

New Classes:

Dance Improv & Choreo is a fun and explorative class, which will use interactive games as a tool to create movement, enhance creativity and inspire new ideas. Basic composition lessons will aid in developing individual creative expression in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Backstage Tech is a hands-on, audio-visual class for those who are interested in theatre production experience. Students will learn the basics of lighting, sound, set building, and various technical performing arts world skills. There is no experience needed to join this class.

Conditioning class optimizes neuromuscular connections, alignment, strength and flexibility. It supports dancers in training or anyone wishing to move with the skill and grace of a dancer. An ideal after-ballet class, all levels of experience are welcome to join to lengthen, tone and reconnect.

Acting the Song is a musical theatre class that will teach students a technique for working on and performing songs from musicals. The same method acting technique that Beth Dunnington teaches in acting class will apply to this musical theatre class. Students will work on individual songs and one group number, both of which they will have the opportunity to perform in the December 17th showcase at the Kahilu. Students will be welcome and encouraged to audition for the June Kahilu Theatre Youth Troupe production of 13: The Musical.

Complete List of Fall Semester Kahilu Performing Arts Classes:

  • Trapeze 1, Trapeze 2
  • Contemporary 1, Contemporary 2, Contemporary 3
  • Aerial Silks 1, Aerial Silks 2, Aerial Silks 3, Aerial Silks 4
  • Keiki Dance
  • Ballet 1, Ballet 2
  • Hip Hop 1, Hip Hop 2
  • Breakdancing
  • Hula 1, Hula 2
  • Dance Improv & Choreo
  • Theatre Games
  • Singing
  • Acting the Song
  • Acting Technique & Improv
  • Circus Arts
  • Conditioning
  • Backstage Production

KPAC Faculty

  • Angel Prince (Director of KPAC): Contemporary, Improv and Choreography
  • Noelani Anderson: Theatre Games
  • Lynn Barre: Ballet and Conditioning
  • Paul Buckley: Backstage Tech
  • Beth Dunnington: Acting Technique and Acting the Song
  • Graham Ellis: Circus Arts
  • Chris “Mana” Ho’opai: Hip Hop and Breakin’
  • Leia Lawrence: Hula
  • Elizabeth McDonald: Contemporary and Trapeze
  • Kat Reuss: Aerial silks
  • Victoria Roos: Aerial silks
  • Val Underwood: Singing

Class Enrollment Information:

Classes will be held Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 3:00pm and 7:30pm, and will be held on the main stage and in the Mike Luce Studio.

Dance Class

Scholarships are available for qualifying applicants and will be accepted from August 18 through September 1. A panel will review applications and notification will be sent to all applicants before classes begin on September 7.

For more information regarding class schedules, registration, fees, and scholarship information, call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868 or visithttp://www.kahilutheatre. org.

Hawaii Rush Soccer Team Wins National Championship… Again!

Winning a National Cup Finals championship means you’ve joined elite company.

Hawaii RushAbout 1,000 teams compete over the course of National Cup Regionals and the Finals, and that doesn’t even incorporate total state cup participation, which exceeds that.

With only 20 teams capturing national titles last month at the National Cup XV Finals, mathematics alone proves that winning your last game of US Club Soccer’s cup-based national championship series is a rare feat. The Hawaii Rush ’02 girls team one-upped those odds by winning the U-13 Premier Group championship last year and then winning the U-14 Premier Group title this year. This year, that feat was only accomplished by Hawaii Rush ‘02.

“I feel that this championship impacts all of these players for a lifetime,” Hawaii Rush coach Brent Murakami said. “It may not just be holding on to the trophy at the end of the tournament, but all the work that was put in to achieve that success. These girls needed to sacrifice a lot for this championship: time spent on the field instead of with friends, waking up early, sleeping early, being pushed physically and mentally.

“I think that the determination to overcome all those frustrations and sacrifices will take them a long way in life. It’s important to understand that getting to the top does not come easy. Unfortunately, only one team can win and that teaches the players to be proud, but to be humble. I believe that had been displayed by them throughout the entire tournament.”

The ultimate results may have been the same at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. as it was at Aurora Sports Park in Aurora, Colo., but Murakami said the similarities stop there.

National Cup XV Finals in Aurora, Colo.:

  • Hawaii Rush ’02 5, GPS ME Phoenix Elite 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 4, FC Stars ’02 NH United 0
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 1, NEFC Premier South 0
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, NEFC Premier South 0

National Cup XIV Finals in Westfield, Ind.:

  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, Washington East SC ’01 2
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 1, Cincinnati United Premier Black 01/02 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, California Odyssey ’01 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 3, Cincinnati United Premier Black 01/02 0

“Last year was our first opportunity for these girls to make a US Club Soccer national appearance,” he said. “It was tough last year in the sense that it was their first. Everything was new to them. It was the first time playing beyond the West Coast for most of the girls.”

This year, Murakami admits that the girls weren’t playing to their potential heading into the tournament after a “roller coaster spring season.” But, the momentum started changing through good training sessions.

“This tournament was different, because we were now the defending champions and we were no longer flying under the radar. Although we had never played any of the teams in our pool before, they all knew that we were the defending champions. There was motivation for them.”

With any national championship event, scouting is difficult. The team and even the coaching staff weren’t familiar with the teams they faced in pool play (GPS ME Phoenix Elite, FC Stars NH United and NEFC Premier South). But, Hawaii Rush managed to score first in all of its games – and not only score first, but do it within the first five minutes of each game.

As the girls enjoy their back-to-back championship notoriety, Murakami insists they’ve not entertained the idea of a three-peat just yet. “We are just so happy for the girls to win this year,” he said, adding they welcome the challenge of being moved to the Super Group (most competitive) next year if they qualify to the National Cup XVI Finals. “To end the year playing the quality of soccer they played in the tournament was awesome.”

Lance Keawe Wilhelm Reappointed Kamehameha Schools Trustee

Probate Court Judge Derrick Chan today reappointed Kamehameha Schools Trustee Lance Wilhelm to serve a second term on the trustee board. Trustees Corbett Kalama, Micah Kāne and Robert Nobriga filed a response in court in support of the reappointment.

Newly reappointed Trustee Lance Wilhelm (left) considers it a blessing to work alongside his fellow trustees Corbett Kalama, Robert Nobriga and Micah Kāne. Wilhelm hopes to use his five-year 'window of opportunity' to make a positive impact on KS.

Newly reappointed Trustee Lance Wilhelm (left) considers it a blessing to work alongside his fellow trustees Corbett Kalama, Robert Nobriga and Micah Kāne. Wilhelm hopes to use his five-year ‘window of opportunity’ to make a positive impact on KS.

“Lance has brought a lot of knowledge and wisdom to our group,” says Kalama, Trustee chair. “He also brings to our organization a deep respect for the Hawaiian culture – especially in his ability to speak Hawaiian in a very humble, sensitive and meaningful manor.

“As trustees, we strive to be good representatives of Pauahi. Lance carries himself well. His behavior reinforces what we expect of our students and staff members, making him an excellent role model.”

KS trustees are appointed by the Probate Court in accordance with a process approved by the court in 2000. They may serve up to 10 years and are eligible to petition for reappointment at the end of their initial five-year term. Wilhelm hopes to make the most of his remaining time as trustee.

“I am deeply humbled by the support of my colleagues,” says Wilhelm. “I have the greatest respect for my fellow trustees and consider it one of the great blessings of my life to work alongside these remarkable individuals.

“As trustees of Kamehameha Schools, we come to our responsibilities knowing that our window of opportunity to make positive impacts to our organization is limited. I hope that within my window I can help to move us into our Strategic Plan with high energy and high confidence.”

Joining the KS trustees at Probate Court to witness the hearing was KS Chief Executive Officer Jack Wong.

“Judge Chan’s reappointment of Trustee Wilhelm today reflects the court’s acknowledgement that he has served KS well and has earned his second term as trustee,” says Wong. “I look forward to our continued work with Lance and the trustees as we build momentum around our Strategic Plan and strengthen our commitment to cultivating a thriving lāhui.”

Wilhelm is the managing principal for Irongate Capital, overseeing its current and future development operations in Hawai‘i including Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikīkī Beach. He is also a board member for several nonprofit organizations including the YMCA of Honolulu, Island Pacific Academy, Hawai‘i Pacific University and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation.

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama in 1983, he went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in communications from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.