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Kahilu Theatre Presents the Broadway Musical – 13 the Musical

Saturday, June 17, at 7 pm, and Sunday, June 18, at 4 pm, Kahilu Theatre presents 13 the Musical with the Kahilu Youth Troupe.

Using the Kahilu Youth Troupe’s youngest rising stars, Director Beth Dunnington directs this hilarious, coming-of-age musical about discovering that “cool” is sometimes where we least expect it. 13 the Musical is about fitting in and standing out. Recognized for featuring the only all-teenage cast ever to hit Broadway, 13 the Musical has a powerful rock score and searingly honest high energy story.

13 the Musical is directed by Beth Dunnington (assistant director Sean Dunnington) with musical direction by NYC’s Phil Kadet, choreography by Amanda Trusty (assistant choreographer Noelani Anderson), costumes by Leilani Bostock, tech by Waimea Music, and vocal coaching by HPAF Artistic Director Val Underwood. Kahilu Theatre enjoys artistic collaboration with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in this production.

The cast of eighteen, in alphabetical order, includes Grace Bostock, Tyler Bryson, Colby Camero, Stacee Firestone, Lucky Friend, Rose Friend, Eric Gee, Caitlyn Hooley, Ryan Hooley, Benito Mercier, Mako Satoh, Makana Shimizu, Cameron Supplee, Melissa Lynn Threlfall, Grace Todd, AriaMarie Tyau, Ethan Tyau, and Alianna West.

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, June 17, at 7 pm, and at 3 pm for the performance on Sunday, June 18 at 4 pm. There will be snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.

13 the Musical follows the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Godspell, and Grease, all directed by 13 the Musical Director Beth Dunnington, as the fourth annual Kahilu Youth Musical in two decades.

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 is made possible by generous sponsorship by Kate Bell & Tom Blackburn, Tim Bostock & Melanie Holt, and Duncan F. Dempster.

Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. 13 is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

Parker School Announces Fine Arts Award Winners

On May 11, students in grades 6–12 were honored for their dedication and excellence in the school’s fine arts program for the 2016-2017 school year.

Senior Jame Lozano received the night’s top honor, earning The Senior Rising Star Award. Awards were given for outstanding achievement in this year’s two Dramatiques productions, as well as visual arts and performing arts classes, students honored include:

Dramatiques Award Winners:

  • Dorothy in Wonderland (Fall Play)
  • Outstanding Actor in Principal Role: Spencer Corabi as Mad Hatter
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (high school): Grace Bollinger as White Rabbit
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (middle school): Portia Bonnici as Humpty Dumpty
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (high school): Ally Thomas
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (middle school): Julia Padron
  • Outstanding Production Supervisor: Kyra Matsuda, Costumes
  • Outstanding Technician (high school): Malaya Hill, Asst. Stage Manager and Summer Strom, Make-Up Crew
  • Outstanding Technician (middle school): Hana-Lei Ji, Sound Board Operator
  • MVP High School: Coco Romano-Giordano
  • MVP Middle School: Eleanor Carey
  • Director’s Award: Eric Fetsch
  • Heart of the Show Award: Tierney Wold

Mary Poppins (Spring Musical)

  • Outstanding Actor in Principal Role: Simon Dunlap as Bert
  • Outstanding Actress in a Principal Role: Kenzie Nelson as Mary Poppins
  • Outstanding Featured Actor (high school): Eve Anderson as Mrs. Correy
  • Outstanding Featured Actor (middle school): Portia Bonnici as Neleus
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (high school): Tierney Wold
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (middle school): Mallory West
  • Outstanding Choreographer: Ivy Kruger
  • Outstanding Production Supervisor: Kyra Matsuda
  • Outstanding Backstage Technician: Severin Wold
  • MVP Middle School: Noe Sulla
  • MVP High School: Coco Romano-Giordano
  • Director’s Award: Ethan Tawater
  • Heart of the Show Award: Bradley Smith

Visual Art Award Winners for Upper School:

  • The Annie Leibowitz Award for Best in Portrait Photography: Kawena Ching
  • Diego Rivera Award for Painting: Coco Romano Giordano
  • David Hockney Award for Best in Drawing: Erica Yost
  • The Ansel Adams Award for Best in Landscape Photography: Riley Herendeen
  • Francis Bacon Existentialism Art Award: Jenna Harris
  • Salvador Dali Surrealism Award: Micah Yamanaka
  • Judy Chicago Award for the Best Use of Art for Social or Political Change: Kenzie Nelson
  • Magdalena Abakanowics Award for Best Installation Work: Sophia Kaufmann
  • Creative Visionary Award for Macro Photography: Caylyn Makoff
  • Maria Montoya Martinez Award for Best Ceramic Vessel: Bradley Bollinger
  • Kandinsky Award for Best in Imaginative Work: Kawe Lincoln
  • Henry Moore Best in Abstract Art: Conner Kimbell
  • Michaleangelo Award for Best in Figurative Sculpture: Kawe Lincoln
  • Vincent Van Gogh Award for Best Use of Color to Express Emotions: Alex Coley
  • Frida Kahlo Award for Best Use of “Self Story” in Art: Hali’a Buchal
  • Andy Warhol Graphic Design Award: Darien Jones
  • Aurora Robson Environmentalism Art Award: Jadyn Ashcraft
  • Leonora Carrington Award for Conceptual Art – Eric Fetsch
  • David Ogilvy Award for Best Advertising Campaign – Alana Halstead
  • Best Cinematography Award: Grace Bollinger and Gracelyn Jardine
  • Senior Rising Star Award: Jame Lozano

Visual Art Award Winners for Middle School:

  • Excellence in MS Pottery: Violet Freeney
  • Excellence in MS Sculpture: Maloa Thompson
  • Excellence in MS Drawing and Painting: Anuhea Elliot
  • Excellence in MS Photo/Mixed Media: Lucas Koranda
  • Raising Star Award: Kehea Gaglione, William Bowers and Everett Gordon

Performing Arts Award Winners:

  • Baritone Section Leader Tenor/Bass: Ethan Tawater
  • Alto Section Leader: Elonna Blunt
  • Soprano Section Leader: Emma Hardin
  • Most Improved: Mo’orea Suguitan
  • Most Vocally Flexible: Emma Hardin
  • Most Enthusiastic- Upper School: Severin Wold
  • Most Enthusiastic- Middle School: Zoey Quiocho

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Winner of Senior Essay Contest

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “What was your biggest ‘Moment of Awesomeness’ in your life?”

All senior year students from West & North Hawaii’s schools were invited to participate.  This year’s student winner is Neena Charles from Makua Lani Christian Academy. She wins a $1000 cash prize.

Neena Charles wins this year’s Auto Body Hawaii Essay Contest

Ms. Charles’ essay, titled “My Moment of Awesomeness: Home Alone,” described how, in addition to her school work load as a senior, she had to step into the role of parent to her two young siblings while her mother and father had to attend to business in the Philippines for weeks, even months at a time. Her essay not only described a crash course in multitasking, it exemplified maturity and a deep sense of responsibility.

An excerpt of her essay follows:

“By the end of the several weeks my parents were gone, I felt a sense of accomplishment and maturity. In the end, what left the deepest impression was the value of never giving up. The act of playing the role as both my mom and dad was the ultimate event that marked my transition from childhood to adulthood. With so many responsibilities on my plate, I was able to learn how to manage my time better, be more on top of my work, and become more organized. Through this experience, I have gained a greater understanding of the duties of an adult and the hard work that is needed to get things done.”

The full essay is posted on the Auto Body Hawaii website; www.autobodyhawaii.com.

Call Tracey Taylor, 329-2544; tracey@autobodyhawaii.com, for more information.

Kahilu Theatre Offering Summer Performing Arts Camps

Kahilu Theatre will offer three performing arts summer camps for Hawai‘i Island youth this summer. The camps are Let’s Dance (June 19 – June 30), Adventures in Polynesia (July 3 – July 15), and KPAW (July 17 – July 28).

Let’s Dance! (Summer Dance Camp)

Directed by KPAC Director, Angel Prince, Let’s Dance! teaches technique and choreography classes in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz. The camp also includes daily Pilates and Yoga classes as foundational strength and flexibility training. There are additional courses in Acting, Anatomy, Choreography and Improvisation, Stage Makeup, and Salsa.

Let’s Dance! runs from June 19 through June 30 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, June 30 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 16.

Adventures in Polynesia

Adventures in Polynesia, directed by Kalena Ohilo, is inspired by the motion picture Moana and focuses on Acrobatics, Tumbling, Vaulting and Aerial Silks. The camp is infused with Polynesian Music, Implements, and Dance. In addition to indulging creative energies in Acrobatics, students will create their own “Moana Skirt” and Maori Poi Balls.

Adventures in Polynesia runs from July 3 through July 14 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 14 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 5 to 12.

Note – There is no class on July 4. A makeup class will be held Saturday, July 8.

KPAW (Keiki Performing Arts Workshop)

Directed by former Kahilu Youth Troupe member, Marena Dunnington,  KPAW focuses on teaching stage skills necessary for musical theatre, with singing, acting and dancing as the three primary disciplines. Classes in playwriting and storytelling, makeup, improvisation, accents and dialects will also be offered.

KPAW runs from July 17 through July 28 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 28 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 12, or rising 3rd through 6th grades.

KPAW instructors are alumni of the Kahilu Youth Troupe: young performers who have trained at Kahilu with Beth Dunnington and are now pursuing their acting careers at the collegiate level.

Camp Enrollment Information:

  • All camps run Monday through Friday, 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Each camp concludes with a performance
  • Fee: $230 for each camp
  • Scholarships are available

Scholarship application deadline is May 28 and scholarships to be announced on June 5

  • Max enrollment = 30
  • Students should bring a packed lunch from home

For more information about the Kahilu Performing Arts Camps call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868. Registration is available online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

Hawaii Department of Education Launches Final Phase of Student Transportation Reforms

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has successfully reached the final phase of its Get on Board initiative with the awarding of new contracts on Maui and Kauai for school year (SY) 2017-18.

On Maui, Robert’s Hawaii School Bus will service the Kekaulike Complex and Ground Transport Inc. will provide transportation for the Baldwin, Maui and Lahainaluna complexes. On the Garden Isle Akita Enterprises will service the Kapaa and Kauai complexes, while Yamaguchi Bus Service will serve the Waimea Complex.

This culminates the last of three stages of HIDOE’s reform efforts that began in 2013 as a pilot project in Central Oahu. The Get on Board initiative has improved service by streamlining processes and upgrading technology while reducing overall transportation costs by more than $13 million annually.

“The success of our Get on Board efforts can be attributed to the improved partnerships we developed with our vendors, and their willingness to work with us as we look for ways to make our student transportation services more efficient,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The Department is also taking advantage of advances in technology to improve accountability and promote transparency.”

In June 2012, HIDOE eliminated 100 bus routes due to rising costs and a loss of funding. Get on Board was launched to address these issues. The pilot portion immediately restored service to around 350 students at the beginning of SY 2013-14.

As part of the initiative, legislation was passed that gave the Department more flexibility in how bus contracts are awarded.

The most visible component of Get On Board is the implementation of never-before-used technology that enhances and protects student health and safety. The technology platform now includes computerized routing software, automated route and stop assignments, GPS mapping and tracking, video cameras on all school buses, and online information portals.

“Our Department transports more than 40,000 students per day statewide, and the safety of our passengers is a top priority. The upgraded technology is just another tool we can use to create a secure environment on our buses,” added Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson.

Parents can sign up for transportation by obtaining a 2017-2018 School Bus Handbook from their child’s school or online. The handbook contains important information about school bus ridership, and the back cover of the handbook is the 2017-2018 application. Completed applications should be returned to the school office prior to the first day of school. Parents may call the school office or the district transportation office for more information.

For more information about HIDOE’s transportation services and to download the application and handbook, click here.

Hawaii Department of Education Receives National Innovation Award From Education Commission of the States

The Education Commission of the States announced that the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is the 2017 recipient of the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation. The Commission sited the Department’s broadly-supported and impactful education improvement efforts, including focusing school accountability on students’ college and career readiness; teacher and education leader support across the state; development of a comprehensive longitudinal data system; and investing in data literacy as reasons why Hawaii received the award.

“Hawaii worked diligently to positively change the landscape of education in the state and dramatically improved and enhanced the structure of education in its schools, as well as outcomes for its students,” said Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States. “The state’s thoughtfully constructed policies, reforms and capacity-building programs provide teachers and education leaders with opportunities to increase the potential for both their professional success, as well as the success of their students, and also support the state in achieving its education goals.”

HIDOE’s suite of data tools includes a longitudinal data system that provides educators with real-time access to data and even allows for targeting underperforming student populations. The Department’s accompanying long-term investment in data literacy is evidenced by their Formative Assessment/Data Team initiative which engages 11,000 teachers statewide to participate in grade-level or content-based data teams using formative assessment data to inform and improve instruction.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education approved the first iteration of HIDOE’s new accountability system, Strive HI, which shifted the system’s focus from 10th-grade proficiency to ensuring all students graduate ready to enter postsecondary institutions or the workforce. The accountability system extends beyond test scores to include broad measures, such as student growth, chronic absenteeism, college readiness and college-going. Results from the new accountability system showed increased college and career readiness from 2011 to 2015: 42 percent increase in the number of students taking Advanced Placement Exams; 74 percent increase in the number of students enrolling in Early College to earn University of Hawaii credits, and about one-third decrease of number of graduates needing remediation upon entering the University of Hawaii colleges.

Through its policy and program efforts, supported by a U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top grant, HIDOE developed a robust support system for its teachers and education leaders. One example is the statewide Induction and Mentoring Initiative, which pairs all first- and second-year teachers with an experienced mentor beginning their first day. This investment increased the five-year teacher retention rate, which rose over six years from 44 percent (2004 hires) to 52 percent (2010 hires). Additionally, HIDOE and the Hawaii State Teacher’s Association agreed to a progressive performance evaluation system based on evidence of both teachers’ practice and student learning and growth. To support school leaders, the Leadership Institute provides training programs with relevant and coherent curricula to the different leadership role groups, which better equips leaders to achieve success in their roles.

“This honor is a testament to the perseverance of our school leaders, teachers and community partners who supported the department in our effort to raise rigor and expectations for our students,” shared Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Thank you to Education Commission of the States for recognizing our hard work and the progress we made transforming public education for Hawaii’s students.”

Education Commission of the States will present Hawaii with the award at the 2017 National Forum on Education Policy, taking place June 28-30 in San Diego.

The Frank Newman Award for State Innovation recognizes a state for any of the following:

  • Education improvement efforts that are replicable and hold valuable lessons for other states.
  • Bold and courageous policies, including existing approaches with evidence of significant impact on student achievement in the state.

Policies or programs that have bipartisan, broad-based support.

These significant efforts to improve education honor the late Frank Newman. For more information about the award, click here.

Hālau Kū Māna PCS, Kamehameha Schools Maui Win Top Prizes at Hula Competition

With an impassioned tribute to Mauna Kea, the students of Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School took home the Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy at the 39th Annual Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition held this past Saturday at ‘Iolani School. This overall prize is awarded to the hula hālau with the best combined hula kahiko score and best Hawaiian language score.

The hālau will now also be invited to perform at the 40th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival in July.

The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui took home the George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy, which is the top prize for the intermediate division.

This unique competition, which offers intermediate and high school hula hālau the opportunity to compete among their peers, was founded by kūpuna Aunty Malia Craver and Uncle Earl Kawai. Both were staff at Queen Lili‘ūokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) Windward Unit at the time and created the event so secondary school students had an opportunity to learn and train in hula kahiko, the ancient Hawaiian hula.

This vision was recently realized when last year’s winners, the high school boys from Saint Louis School, placed in the kahiko division of this year’s Merrie Monarch competition.

The first second school hula kahiko competition was held in 1978 at Kualoa Regional Park. QLCC ran the competition until 1985, when Aunty Malia asked the Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society (KPCA) to take over the event. The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society has proudly been the lead producers and sponsors of the event since 1986.

Aunty Malia Craver remained a critical member of the competition for many decades. She served as a judge for over 20 years. She wrote and gifted many oli (chants) to the competition. She remains the guiding light of the event. The competition was renamed in her honor after her passing in 2009. “We strive daily to honor her vision and her legacy,” says KPCA President Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “I have no doubt she is proudly watching over us, delighted to see how these students continue to flourish.”

The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society also produces the Queen Lili‘ūokalani Keiki Hula Competition, which will take place this year at the Blaisdell Center July 20-22, 2017.

For a full list of winners, please see below:

Intermediate Division:

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Ka Lani Kalākaua”, Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Wāhine First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, “He Ho‘oheno Kēia No Wilikoki” Kumu Hula: Pilialoha Kamakea-Young

Wāhine Second Place: ‘Iolani School, “Nani Wale Ku‘u ‘Ike”
Kumu Hula: Kū Souza and Lehua Carvalho

Wāhine Third Place: Robert Stevenson Middle, “‘Ano ‘Ai Ku‘u Wehi”
Kumu Hula: Rich Padrina and Blaine Kaohe Nohara

Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg Hawaiian Language Trophy:
Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy: Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

High School Division

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Holo Mai Pele”
Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Kāne Second Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Makali‘i”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Kāne Third Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Nu‘uanu Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “No Luna I Ka Halekai”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Wāhine Second Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Haili Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine Third Place: Sacred Hearts Academy, “Nā Wahine Waipahē”
Kumu Hula: Kahaku & Puka Asing

Hui ‘ia First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Kū Kia‘i Mauna”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Aunty Malia Craver Hawaiian Language Trophy: Mid-Pacific Institute

Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

Invitation to Perform at the Prince Lot Hula Festival: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

 

UH Hilo Chancellor’s Scholarship Recipients Named

Thirteen students from Hawaiʻi’s public and private high schools have been awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

The award, valued in excess of $28,000, covers four years of tuition for students graduating from a Hawaiʻi high school who earned either a GPA of at least 3.5, a combined 1800 SAT (reading, writing, math) or a composite score of 27 on the ACT while demonstrating leadership and/or community service.

Chancellor’s Scholars are required to enroll as full-time students and earn a minimum of 24 credits each academic year. They must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and participate in leadership activities and/or community service with other Chancellor’s Scholars.

The 2017-2018 recipients and their respective high schools include:

  • Hailey Briseno, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy
  • Kekamamakoaaka`ilihou Caceres, Kamehameha – Kapalama
  • Scott Dakofsky, Roosevelt High School
  • Ariana Dolan, Pearl City High School
  • Skyla Elder, Honoka`a High School
  • Kaitlyn Evans, Kamehameha – Maui
  • Presly Kaanaana, Kamehameha – Kapalama
  • Polina Kozinskiy, Laupahoehoe PCS
  • Sophia Smith, Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Jaron Sugimoto, Waipahu High School
  • Naneaikealau Thomas, Kamehameha – Hawaiʻi
  • Vanessa Watkins, Waiakea High School
  • Kamamaluwaiwai Wichimai, Kamehameha – Hawaiʻi

2017 Kaha Ki‘i Second Congressional District Art Competition Winners Announced

At the Hawai‘i State Capitol this morning, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted an awards ceremony in coordination with the Hawai‘i Art Education Association and Youth Art Month, where she announced the winning pieces (shown below) of the 2017 Kaha Ki‘i Second Congressional District Art Competition and honored the high school artists who created them with cash prizes.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and the 2017 Finalists

The first-place, second-place, third-place, and “People’s Choice” pieces of art will be showcased at the U.S. Capitol, in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Washington, DC and Hawaiʻi offices, and online (respectively).

“Congratulations to our 2017 Kaha Ki‘i Second Congressional District Art Competition winners Tori Wills, Chais Pascua, and Daymien Rodrigues, our remaining ten finalists, and the more than one hundred students from across the state who submitted incredible artwork this year,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in her address to the art students at today’s awards ceremony. “Your artwork is an amazing platform to communicate. It moves people.  It inspires. It provokes thought, conversation, debate, and sometimes, even controversy. What you’re doing is powerful, and I’m so proud to be one small part of making this happen so we can encourage you to continue expressing yourselves through your art, which is showcased here in Hawai‘i, in Washington, as well as across the country and around the world through our Facebook page. Keep striving to increase your already amazing abilities—you have more supporters and champions than you know.”

Each spring, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sponsors the Kaha Kiʻi Congressional Art Competition to recognize and encourage creativity across Hawai‘i as part of a nationwide high school art competition with other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The “People’s Choice” winner was determined by a contest on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Facebook page.

My Hawai‘i, 2017 Student Environmental Writing Contest Winners Announced

The 25 winners of the 11th annual My Hawai‘i Story Contest were announced today.

The theme of this year’s contest is, “He Wa’a, He Moku”- Mālama Honua, celebrating the return of Hokule’a to Hawai’i from the Worldwide Voyage.

  • Brooklyn Aipoalani, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Taylor Amalato, Kaimuki Christian School
  • Connor Arakaki, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Cameren Banis, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Grace Bostock, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Kylie Chock, Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • Jamie Cummings, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Roisin Darby, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Morgan Davis, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Ella Gibson, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Koa Higgins, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Jaeden Jimenez, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Gabriel Kalama, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Kamaha’o Liu, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Chase Kamikawa, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Lyla Kaneshiro, S. W. King Intermediate
  • Katherine Payne, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Wainohia Peloso, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Ella Prado, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Tory Refamonte, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Chloe Sylva, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Quincy Tamaribuchi, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Johnsen Uwekoolani, Kamehameha Schools Maui
  • ‘Ala’I Williams, Holy Nativity School
  • Noah Zitz, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School

The winners will be presented with awards and prizes at the Hawai’i Conservation Conference on July 17, 2017 at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu.

Mahalo to all the participating students, schools, and teachers!

Two Hawaii Youth Honored for Volunteerism at National Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Hawaii’s top two youth volunteers of 2017, Cierra Nakamura, 18, of Honolulu and Emma Tandara, 14, of Ewa Beach, were honored in the nation’s capital last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 22nd annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Cierra and Emma – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – each received $1,000 awards and personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps congratulates Cierra Nakamura, 18, of Honolulu (center) and Emma Tandara, 14, of Ewa Beach (right) on being named Hawaii’s top two youth volunteers for 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Cierra and Emma were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where they each received a $1,000 award. (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Insurance)

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), named Cierra and Emma Hawaii’s top high school and middle level youth volunteers in February. In addition to their cash awards, they each received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events.

Cierra, a senior at ‘Iolani School, collects donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and packages of dental floss for impoverished families in underdeveloped Asia-Pacific countries through a campaign she calls “Spreading Smiles Across Miles.” Her interest in Third World dental care was sparked at a 2012 fundraiser for a medical mission to Nepal. “I was in awe of the doctors and nurses who flew to Third World countries at their own expense to treat ailing patients,” said Cierra. “I wanted to take part in this noble effort.” But as a 13-year-old, she didn’t know what she could do.

A little research, however, alerted her to the fact that dental care in Nepal is almost nonexistent; toothbrushes and toothpaste are luxuries that most cannot afford. Cierra resolved to address this need by collecting 2,000 toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and dental floss packages. She asked family members and friends for donations, then reached out to vendors at a Hawaiian dental convention. After exceeding her goal, she sent all of her collected supplies to Nepal, along with an instructional video she made with a dental hygiene professor to demonstrate proper oral hygiene procedures in Nepalese. Later, Cierra personally delivered toothbrushes and school supplies to kids in an orphanage in Vietnam, and is currently working to send dental supplies to the Philippines.

Emma, an eighth-grader at Ewa Makai Middle School, led an effort at her school to promote recycling of bottles, cans, paper products and old T-shirts. From the time she was very young, Emma accompanied her beloved grandmother in a wide range of volunteer activities. When her grandma died of cancer, Emma was moved to rededicate herself to community service.

She got that opportunity when she joined her school’s leadership team and elected to work on enhancing the school’s recycling program. She spearheaded the filming of a music video explaining her school’s green initiatives and how to properly sort recyclables, which was presented to the student body, teachers and staff at an assembly led by Emma and later shown to more than 300 educators across the state. Emma also led a recyclables sorting game at three elementary schools, helped coordinate two community recycling drives, and demonstrated how to turn old T-shirts into bags at an emergency preparedness fair. “Though my grandmother couldn’t stay forever, the work I’ve done in her spirit has become something that can,” said Emma.

“These honorees have done exemplary work to contribute to the health and vitality of their communities, and we look forward to seeing the great things they achieve in the future,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “Congratulations to each of these extraordinary young volunteers.”

“It’s a privilege to celebrate these students not only for outstanding volunteer service, but for the example they’ve set for their peers,” said Jayne Ellspermann, president of NASSP. “These honorees prove that one person truly can make a difference.”

Youth volunteers in grades 5-12 were invited to apply for 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. More than 31,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year’s program.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 to identify and recognize young people for outstanding volunteer service – and, in so doing, inspire others to volunteer, too. In the past 22 years, the program has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.

For more information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year’s honorees, visit  http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.

Hawaii Department of Education Announces New Partnership with Tahiti Schools

The Hawaii State Department of Education brought together education leaders, teachers and students to celebrate the homecoming of Hōkūleʻa announce a newly signed agreement between the Department and Tahiti’s Ministry of Education that will carry on the mission of Mālama Honua.

Nainoa Thompson shared a message to educators about the importance of the “Promise to Children,” and the journey it took to get to the launch of the worldwide voyage. Photo Credit: Department of Education

After implementing nearly four years of lessons connected to the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūleʻa, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will engage in a formalized partnership with Tahiti schools. Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today made the announcement to education leaders, teachers and students who have incorporated Mālama Honua into their learning.

The shared agreement was established last month during a meeting that coincided with Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia’s arrival in Tahiti. Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson also attended the meeting.

“Tahiti and Hawai’i currently enjoy student exchanges through our respective network of schools,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “Tahiti’s Education Minister and I signed a commitment to help facilitate these exchanges through a teacher exchange program; to share strategies and curriculum, and lastly start to develop a digital network of resource sharing between schools.”

Superintendent Matayoshi stressed that the work done by educators is the “Education Wa’a” of the Mālama Honua journey. She addressed educational leaders, teachers, and partners this morning at Chaminade University’s Clarence T.C. Ching Conference Center.

The program included a recap of highlights from Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia’s port visits to school projects that incorporated Mālama Honua such as school gardens, community clean ups, environmental research and revitalization and video projects.

King William Lunalilo Elementary Principal Amy Kantrowitz noted, “There has been a change in the mindset of our students, they are much more aware of their responsibility to care for our Island Earth, to care for our culture and each other. That’s what we’ve been instilling these past few years – it’s not just an activity, it’s a way of thinking.”

During the gathering, Thompson shared a message to educators about the importance of the “Promise to Children,” and the journey it took to get to the launch of the worldwide voyage.

“It must’ve been five years ago that I had a meeting with Superintendent Matayoshi, and we talked about an idea about sailing around connecting it to education – strengthening education,” shared Thompson. “I want to thank her for her vision and her trust. We would never have taken the risk of the voyage unless we knew it would be worth it.”

Thompson stated once Hōkūleʻa returns home, the mission will continue with a statewide sail to visit 100 schools.

The “Promise to Children” was established in November 2013 and signed by educational leaders and hundreds of individuals in support of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s worldwide voyage and the mission of Mālama Honua. The agreement emphasized that lessons passed along to students will inspire them to explore, discover and learn about the Island Earth.

For more information about HIDOE’s integration of the Promise to Children and Mālama Honua into its schools and curriculum, click here.

Department of Education to Expand Free Meal Program to 52 Public Schools on Six Islands

This upcoming school year, HIDOE will expand a USDA free meal program, called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), from 30 public schools to a total of 52 across the state. The CEP program allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to all students even if they do not qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch reimbursements.

The CEP program allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to all students even if they do not qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch reimbursements. Photo Credit: Department of Education

This upcoming school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will expand a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) free meal program, called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), from 30 public schools to a total of 52 across the state.

The CEP program allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to all students even if they do not qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch reimbursements.

“We are very pleased to be able to expand this program to 22 additional schools statewide to provide free meals for over 8,500 more students,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “The program helped over 18,000 students to receive free meals over the past two years and provided significant relief for many families.”

The 22 additional schools being added to the program in school year 2017-18 are:

  • Oahu – Aiea El., Central Middle, Governor Sanford B. Dole Middle, Kaala El., Kaewai El., Kahaluu El., Kaiulani El., Kalihi El., Kauluwela El., Mayor Joseph J. Fern El., Palolo El., Puuhale El., Waipahu El. and William P. Jarrett Middle
  • Hawaii Island – Chiefess Kapiolani El., Hilo Union El., Honaunau El., Hookena El., Keaukaha El., Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole El. & Inter. and Waimea El.

The 30 schools already participating in the program in school year 2016-17 are:

  • Kauai – Kekaha El.
  • Oahu – Blanche Pope El., Leihoku El., Linapuni El., Maili El., Makaha El., Nanaikapono El., Nanakuli El., Nanakuli High & Intermediate, Olomana School, Waianae El., Waianae High, Waianae Middle and Waimanalo El. & Intermediate
  • Maui – Hana High & El.
  • Molokai – Kaunakakai El., Kilohana El., Maunaloa El., Molokai Middle and Molokai High
  • Lanai –Lanai High & El.
  • Hawaii Island – Kau High & Pahala El., Keaau El., Keaau High, Keaau Middle, Keonepoko El., Mountain View El., Naalehu El., Pahoa El. and Pahoa High

To qualify for the CEP program, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Currently HIDOE pays an average of $5.50 a meal (including food costs, labor, utilities, etc.). The USDA reimburses the state $3.89 for students who qualify for a free meal and $0.44 for those paying for a meal. HIDOE charges $2.50 for elementary school meals for a total of $2.94 in recouped cost for the state.

Under the program all students in the CEP school would qualify for the higher $3.89 reimbursement. While participating schools may no longer be collecting meal monies and ensuring accounts have sufficient funds, families will be required to provide information for data collection.

For more information about the USDA CEP program visit: http://1.usa.gov/1iP9FQI.  For details on HIDOE’s CEP pilot program, visit http://bit.ly/1Kh8SL1.

HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch has a website that will provide families at schools that are not in the CEP program with the option to submit applications for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits online. For more information visit http://bit.ly/1VX1OID.

Hawaii Students Compete in Underwater Robotics Competition

The Coast Guard hosted several students during the Marine Advanced Technology Education Oahu Regional Competition at Base Honolulu, Saturday.

Nine teams from local elementary, middle and high schools competed in an underwater robotics competition focused on the use of technologies used for ocean and space science and exploration.

Nine teams comprised of local elementary, middle and high school students participated in the Marine Advanced Technology Education Oahu Regional Competition at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, May 6, 2017. Students competed in an underwater robotics competition focused on the application of technologies used for ocean and space science and exploration. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa E. McKenzie/Released)

“We always love to partner with the community because we know that we’re creating future scientists, engineers and Coasties,” said Capt. Edward Sheppard, commanding officer, Coast Guard Base Honolulu. “We can help instill science, technology, engineering and math. Many of these kids will go off to colleges here in Hawaii or also on the mainland and then we might even be their future employer so it’s fantastic to be here.”

The contest’s top winners will travel to Long Beach City College in Long Beach, Calif., to compete against the winning teams of other regional MATE international ROV competitions.

The MATE ROV competition challenges students to apply the physics, math, electronics, and engineering skills they are learning in the classroom to solving problems from the marine workplace. Mentors are expected to limit their input to educational and inspirational roles and encouraged to focus on the benefits of the learning process and not winning the competition.

The primary mission of the MATE Center is to provide the marine technical workforce with appropriately educated workers and to use marine technology to create interest in and improve STEM education.

Groups are divided into two teams determined by skill level. The Ranger class is an intermediate level of competition aimed at middle and high school teams featuring robots and missions more complex and technologically advanced.  All missions are performed without looking in the pool, relying only on the sensors and cameras mounted on the ROV. The Scout class is open to novice teams in elementary through high school and introduces projects enabling students to learn the fundamentals of ROV design and construction.

2017 Kaha Kiʻi Congressional Art Competition Finalists – Rep. Gabbard Launches “People’s Choice” Contest on Facebook

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced thirteen finalists in her Fifth Annual Kaha Kiʻi Second Congressional District Art Competition and launched a “People’s Choice” contest on the Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Facebook Page where the public can select their favorite pieces. A gallery of the finalists’ artwork is now on display in the halls of the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. Each spring, the congresswoman sponsors the event to recognize and encourage creativity across Hawai‘i as part of a nationwide high school art competition with other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I encourage everyone in the community to check out the art being showcased by these gifted students from across the state of Hawaiʻi—either see the pieces in person at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, or take a look on my Facebook page. You will be impressed and inspired by their talent and creativity,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.  “Our annual Kaha Kiʻi Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity to recognize the creative abilities of Hawaii’s young adults and encourages them to further pursue their artistic talents. Congratulations to this year’s finalists, and mahalo to the educators and family members who have supported these students as they embrace their passion.”

The overall winner of the district-wide competition will be announced on May 13th in a ceremony at the Hawai‘i State Capitol. The first-place piece will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol alongside winners from all other congressional districts. The second-place and third-place pieces will be hung in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Washington, DC and Hawaiʻi offices (respectively) for one year. All winners will be awarded with a cash prize.

The entry with the most Likes, Loves, and Shares in the “People’s Choice” Contest on Facebook on Thursday, May 11th at 5:00 p.m. HST will be featured as the cover photo at the top of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s official Facebook page, and the artist will win a cash prize.

The 2017 Kaha Kiʻi Congressional Art Competition Finalists are listed below, and their artwork is shown in the corresponding graphic from left to right, top to bottom:

  • Water Is Life – Standing Rock by Riley Herendeen, Grade 11, Parker School (Hawaiʻi Island)
  • The Old Ways by Tori Wills, Grade 12, Kalaheo High (Oʻahu)
  • Fozzie by Paxton Bender, Grade 12, Leilehua High (Oʻahu)
  • Wahine’Ume’Ume by Chais Pascua, Grade 12, Baldwin High (Maui)
  • Hula Skirts by Lacey Santos, Grade 12, Seabury Hall (Maui)
  • Stoked by Emma Sanchez, Grade 11, Kalaheo High (Oʻahu)
  • Innocence by Sophia Kauffmann, Grade 11, Parker School (Hawaiʻi Island)
  • Self Portrait by Lillian Pickering, Grade 12, Seabury Hall (Maui)
  • Surrounded by Ruby Ranoa, Grade 11, Kalaheo High (Oʻahu)
  • Looking Into the Future Through the Past by Hunter Weigle, Grade 12, Parker School (Hawaiʻi Island)
  • Girl in the Shadows by Sonja Angst, Grade 12, Molokaʻi High School
  • What’s Around by Daymien Rodrigues, Grade 9, Leilehua High (Oʻahu)
  • Submerged by Jackie Duliere, Grade 12, Leilehua High (Oʻahu)

Each spring, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sponsors the Kaha Kiʻi Congressional Art Competition as part of a nationwide high school arts competition. The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. For more information, click here.

Big Island Students Travel to India

Parker students witnessed new cultures and participated in an unforgettable volunteer experience on an 11-day trip to India as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten Parker upper school students visited India on a recent 11-day trip as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten upper school students, along with two teachers and a Parker parent, traveled to India in March where they visited the Gandhi Museum and a Sikh Temple in New Delhi, participated in the Holi Festival (color festival) in Jaipur, and volunteered to help rescued sloth bears and elephants at Wildlife SOS in Agra.

“Wildlife SOS is a non-profit in India that rescues sloth bears and Asian elephants in addition to working with local communities to create employment opportunities that do not endanger animals,” says Melissa Lunchick, Parker middle school Spanish teacher and Travel Club advisor. At the Wildlife SOS headquarters, students learned how development threatens animals and habitats in India. They also had the chance to monitor animal behavior for research, bathe elephants, prepare food for the animals, as well as build enrichment structures for the sloth bears’ enclosures.

“Along with this profound volunteer experience, our journey through several urban and rural parts of India allowed students to witness different walks of life in the developing world,” says Jessie Marshall, also a Parker teacher and co-advisor of the Travel Club.  “Experiencing Indian food, culture, and lifestyle gave us a valuable perspective about the things we take for granted.”

This is the second trip made by the school’s newly reformed Travel Club, with eight students traveling to Peru last summer for the club’s first travels abroad.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 14-Year-Old Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 14-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Kahli Akau was last seen in the Waiākea Villas area on March 17, 2017.

She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-4, 115 pounds with long brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Additional Open Application Period Begins for Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has opened an additional application period for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program and encourages families to apply between May 1 and May 31, 2017.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

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This program, which currently serves more than 1,700 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 2018-2019 school year (born between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013). 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 433 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, May 1, 2017 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting 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 Wednesday, May 31, 2017 to be considered during the July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the following:

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

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed online 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.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Free Summer Junior Ranger Programs Begin June 6 and June 13

Keiki from ages seven to 13 years old are invited to become “Next Generation Stewards” in the free summer junior ranger program through Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A fun-filled, three-day program for keiki ages seven to 10 is June 6-8, and a program for youngsters ages 11 to 13 is June 13-15.

Island youth listen as Ranger Noah explains how shards of volcanic glass, called Pele’s Hair, are formed. NPS Photo by Janice Wei

Each age group begins Tuesday and ends on Thursday. For the first two days, “Next Generation Stewards” begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. On the last day (Thursday), the program begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. The programs will start and end at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai.

The summer junior ranger program is designed to encourage a child’s enthusiasm for conservation by connecting the child with park resources and staff, and to inspire his or her appreciation of what is uniquely Hawaiian by exploring the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i.

Participants must bring and be able to carry their own day pack with water, snacks, lunch, and raingear, and hike for age-appropriate distances over uneven terrain at a leisurely pace. All interested applicants must submit an application to register. Contact Education Specialist Gwen “Lanakila” Anderson at (808) 985-6020 or email gwen_anderson@nps.gov for information and an application.

Applications are due by noon on Wednesday, May 17, and selections will be made, and parents notified, on May 18.

The summer “Next Generation Stewards” junior ranger program is co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Names Winners

Culinary entries from Maui and the Big Isle were tapped winners at last night’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. A sold-out crowd of 600 attendees sprawled inside and out of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel for the sixth annual fundraiser to benefit four island non-profits.

The event theme “Worth Its Weight in Gold-The History of Chocolate” was depicted at culinary stations and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai was tapped Best Decorated Booth.

From Left: Big Island Chocolate Festival founder Farsheed Bonakdar presented the professional culinary winners with their plaques: Michelle Yamaguchi of Wailua Estate for Best Bean-to-Bar, Chef Dayne Tanabe of Hilton Waikoloa Village for Best Savory, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company for Best Plated Dessert and People’s Choice Best Sweet, Chef Eddie Enojardo for Best Bonbon and Chef Alan Heap, Mara Masuda and Albert Asuncion of Huggo’s for People Choice Best Savory. Photos by Kirk Shorte

Creations by chefs, chocolatiers, college and high school culinary students were critiqued on taste, texture, appearance and creativity by a team of celebrity judges at competitions during the two-day festival.

Gala winners were Chef Dayne Tanabe of Hilton Waikoloa Village for Best Savory, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company for Best Plated Dessert, Chef Eddie Enojardo of Hilton Waikoloa Village for Best Bonbon and Michelle Yamaguchi of Wailua Estate for Best Bean-to-Bar Chocolate.

People’s Choice Awards went to Chef Alan Heap of Huggo’s for Best Savory and Guittard for Best Sweet. In the farm awards division, Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm earned Best Cacao while J. Bennett of Nine Fine Mynahs took Best Criollo.

Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm in Kona earned Best Cacao.

Six high school culinary teams participated in the gala with Kea‘au High School winning first, followed by Waiakea in second and Konawaena in third.

Earning first place in the high school culinary division were students from Kea‘au High School.

Students at Waiakea High School placed second in the high school culinary division.

Taking third place in the high school culinary division was the Konawaena team.

Three students earning culinary scholarships were Hannah Norman and Mina Acosta-Cabamungan of Waiakea and Rhoma Dai of Kea‘au.

From Left: High School scholarship winners included Hannah Norman and Mina Acosta-Cabamungan of Waiakea and Rhoma Dait of Kea’au.

For Friday’s college competition, UH-Maui College took first and second while UH-Palamanui came in third. Due to a mix up in the judging process, the incorrect winners were named during the gala and the judges later made the correction.

The team of judges for the various competitions were Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, Chef Alicia Boada of Cacao Barry, Paul Picton of Maverick Chocolate, Chef Elizabeth McDonald of B3 a Beach Bunny Bakery, Chef Ricky DeBoer of The Fairmont, Kea Lani; Chef Yoshikazu Kizu of Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Chef Teresa Shurilla of UH-Maui College, Chefs Connor Butler and Frank Kramm of the Kona Butcher Shop, Chef Krista Garcia of UH-Maui College, Chef Stephane Treand, Nat Bletter, Neal Campbell, Weston Yap, Paul Picton, Farsheed Bonakdar and Chef Bruce Trouyet of Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

The real winners of the annual festival are the four beneficiaries: the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn., Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the Big Island Chocolate Festival not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the professional and student culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

In addition to last night’s gala, the festival offered a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus growing and processing seminars and how-to culinary demonstrations by chocolate industry experts.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for updates on next year’s event.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2017 event sponsors Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Pivotal Shift Consulting Group, Hawaii Coffee Connection and TheWave@92FM.  www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. #BIChocoFest, #ChocolateGold