Ka Leo ʻO Nanakuli https://nhiskaleo.com The student news site of Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Tue, 07 Jan 2020 16:40:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 NHIS Academies in the Works for 2020-2021 School Year https://nhiskaleo.com/12449/news/nhis-academies-in-the-works-for-2020-2021-school-year/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12449/news/nhis-academies-in-the-works-for-2020-2021-school-year/#respond Sat, 04 Jan 2020 01:03:53 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12449 Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, Nānākuli High and Intermediate School will transition into an academy structure school. An academy structure is based around a Career Technical Education (CTE) area or theme. Right now, NHIS has five CTE pathways, but they are electives and not academy structured. The school will have two academies: a Design Academy and a Sustainability Academy, with each having four career pathways.

“Academies will have teachers assigned to each academy and the teachers will work together and the curriculum will be integrated. Thus a student could be working on a project that involves writing, math computation, and the CTE/pathway skills all put together. Right now, everything is standalone and there is no connection with CTE with core content,” said Robotics teacher Richard Enright.

The Design Academy will include the following pathways: Coding, Marine Mechanics, Building and Construction and Fashion Design. The Sustainability Academy will include the following pathways: Natural Resources, Public/Clinical Health, Business-Entrepreneurial/Virtual-Entrepreneurial, and Education.

The academies and pathways were selected collaboratively by the administration and a leadership group composed of teachers and students.

One of the main reasons for NHIS moving to the academy structure is to better prepare students for life after high school. According to Darin Pilialoha NHIS Principal, he wants to see that the school offers more than just earning credits to get a diploma. 

“We want to set up career pathway structures that a student is interested in and has a connection to early college or certification programs,” said Pilialoha.

Jessica Matsik NHIS CSI Coordinator added, “So the high school student has more of a personalized experience, has more of a direct line to possible career or college. We don’t want to continue to, you know, work really hard and have these kids just going through the motions and stay in high school to get your credit and then you go on and move on. We want to make sure that the high school experience is more appealing and that we have fewer kids chronically absent. We have more kids engaged in class.”

Students have expressed some excitement and concern to the news that NHIS will be transitioning to an academy school structure.

“I feel that its gonna be a great opportunity personally. I’m kinda excited, but I’m concerned that if I choose the pathway I think is interesting but it turns out to not be something I don’t want to do, getting out of it is gonna be annoying. Also concerned that some students or friends are gonna think of this as more work for them to do,” said Eighth Grader Leinee Marie Loa.

“My biggest concern about the school moving to academies next year is about the students who are not interested in any of the academies provided. What if they wanted to do something else? Will the students be forced to be in an academy that they do want to be in?” said Junior Emma Seeya. “I know the academies are supposed to benefit students who want to enter that certain career field in the future but what would happen if they had different goals? If the kids are not interested in what they are learning, then they won’t care to pass.”

In order to address these concerns, Pilialoha feels that communication is key — working with students to make connections from their passions into different careers.

“(By) educating students and making connections to what we have. For example, if a student is interested in becoming a professional athlete what would happen after they are done with their careers? Having those conversations with students in what will they fall back on,” said Pilialoha.

Not only will the academies affect the students, but it will also cause change for many teachers. Core teachers in high school will be teaching two different grade levels of a core content class. Currently, in high school, core teachers only teach one grade level. Another big impact that the academies will have on teachers is that they have to teach performance-based lessons — these types of lessons require students to problem solve and use the skills they learned in class to create a final product, to demonstrate learning. 

“From the teachers’ perspective, it’s going to take more time to develop lessons. There will be more work for teachers but the stuff you will be doing in class is what you will be doing in the real world,” said Enright.

“One example of a performance-based lesson would be for students in the Natural Resource pathway would be to investigate an environmental issue in the Nānākuli or Waianae community. The skills they learned in English will be used to write their proposals. The skills they learn in science would be used to teach them how to conduct an experiment. They would use the content they learned in social studies to understand the historical perspective. Lastly, they would use math to apply data analysis,” said Student Activities Coordinator Robin Kitsu.

Kitsu added, “This final project would be presented to the respective community or state officials with recommendations on how to address the problem. This is very different from a student writing a research paper and giving it to a teacher and nothing happens. Also, it is different because the work done in English, social studies, math, and science would all relate to this one project.”

The overall hope for NHIS by doing these academies is to set students up to be career-ready and to help them have a plan for the future. Other things they hope to improve is classroom engagement and student attendance. 

“One of the scariest feelings is to be sitting out on the football field on graduation day, earning a diploma, but not knowing what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. By moving to the academy concept, we hope to eliminate that fear,” said Kitsu.

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Beware, Eyes are Everywhere https://nhiskaleo.com/12454/news/beware-eyes-are-everywhere/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12454/news/beware-eyes-are-everywhere/#respond Fri, 03 Jan 2020 23:08:16 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12454 NHIS students and staff can now feel secure or paranoid as the school installed cameras all around campus. The cameras are currently up and running and will allow the school to monitor areas around campus. School funds were used to purchase the cameras. The camera project was a topic of discussion last school year and was recommended by the District and NHIS Administration team went with the recommendation. 

The purpose of the cameras is to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as well as to monitor school facilities before, during, and after school hours.

 “I think that there in very public visible areas. I think that they will help our school administrations identify problem areas or incidents on campus, a student gets into a fight or an altercation, the administration would be able to have video evidence to show that,” said Social Studies teacher Jeffrey Uyemura-Reyes.

Band teacher Blythe Emler added, “I think it’s the best idea ever. I feel like we should have had this like 5 years ago. I feel like we’re late to the game and I’m glad we finally caught up with the rest of the world.” 

For many students, having the cameras around has garnered mixed reactions some feel that it may invade a students’ privacy, but also understanding the benefits that it may bring within school discipline. 

“I mean I wouldn’t mind the cameras but I also think it’s an invasion of the students’ privacy because some of the students might feel like they’re being watched all the time,” said Junior Alexis Cardines.

Junior Elexizijah Kalei Aipoalani-Tuaoi-To’oto’o added, “It’s kind of weird having people watch you like when we’re walking through the halls, it’s kind of creepy to me but I think that they can use that to bring the students discipline so that they can act upon their wrongdoings. Like if a student got caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing they can actually do something about it because they have proof.”

By having cameras around campus, teachers feel more secure when having to stay late for certain activities or just for the safety of their classrooms. NHIS has had a history of classroom break-ins and graffiti, thus having cameras would allow the administration to identify the culprits.

“Iʻve been wanting cameras on campus for years and the reason is that in the past I’ve had the experience of sleeping over at the school for NPAC activities so it’s very interesting to see what kind of people walk around campus at 1 and 2 in the morning. We’ve had classrooms broken into overnight, graffiti, and vandalism so my hope is that by publicizing and the community knowing that we have cameras it’ll prevent or discourage people from doing inappropriate activities on campus,” said Student Activities Coordinator and NPAC Director Robin Kitsu. 



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Reaching My Dream https://nhiskaleo.com/12431/features/reaching-my-dream/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12431/features/reaching-my-dream/#respond Sun, 13 Oct 2019 19:59:22 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12431 Volleyball.

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to play the game. But one problem I had was I didn’t really know how to play the game. I just played for fun with my family.

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to play volleyball. My mom didn’t really want me playing any sports because I always get hurt but that didn’t stop me from playing any sport.  I watched all of my older sister and brothers games when they were playing here at Nānākuli and most of my family played volleyball. I heard that my uncle was the best player when he played here at Nānākuli and was well known. 

I was definitely concerned about making the team especially since I didn’t play volleyball the whole summer, I was always cleaning or watching my baby sister. 

The best thing have been my teammates, they helped me ever since I first came to practice. For example, one thing I learned that I didn’t know about was the rotations. I know where to go now just not when I kind of know when not well though. 

I’m not gonna lie but the first two days of practice before the weekend was kind of hard for me and I was hurting and tired, I wasn’t my usual active self I’ll say, but as the days went on and I went to every single practice even though I was having problems with myself I eventually got used to it. 

After a couple of practices during the summer, it was tryouts and it was good, I missed a day because I was sick but I still made the team and I’m happy about that,  I finally get to play volleyball for a school. Tryouts were good we did simple drills like passing and volleying and so on and that was it.

I made it through the season and the games and the joy of winning and the pain of losing.

And now the season is over.

It was a good experience and there’s many more to come as I have reached my dream and will continue to pursue it every year in high school.

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A Quarter of Change https://nhiskaleo.com/12436/features/a-quarter-of-change/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12436/features/a-quarter-of-change/#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2019 22:32:11 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12436 Well, it’s been a very good first quarter for me. There were a lot of things I’ve never thought would happen in this quarter that happened. Let’s start with this student government class. Mr. Kitsu is a very great teacher. I thought this class would be a chill and create things kind of class. It is not what I was expecting. This class is pretty easy but it’s also pretty hard. I did my first banner in this class and now I know how to make one. Well, I think I’m going to be creating more banners throughout this year. It’s going to be a great year I hope. 

Another thing I never thought would happen is the fact that I quit playing football. This football season is going pretty good. I stopped playing football this year because of personal reasons. Still, that isn’t stopping me from going out to the games and supporting. 

As far as school is going, I am pretty satisfied with this year. First, I got closer to people and students I never thought I would get closer to, and I made new friends. Second, these new teachers I got this year are pretty chill and seem to like me. I have a lot of other things to say but I’m not going to say it all because it’s too much. To me, my most engaging class would be Mr. Murakami. This year is my third year taking his class. His class is agriculture and it is located all the way down campus at the very bottom. We get to plant a lot of plants and he will cook them when they get harvested and we get to eat it. My hardest class this year is going to be Ka’aloa’s. I really like that class, but the fact that we have to read is what I don’t like. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to read. So I think that that is going to be the hardest class for me this year.

 Next week is homecoming week. It’s been rough selecting the things that we are going to be doing for that week, but I think it’s all set already. Banners are almost done and I hope the pep rally goes as planned. It sucks that there will be no JV game but I hope that the varsity is going to play hard and win this homecoming. 

Since I’m not playing football anymore, I decided to go ahead and play volleyball for the Kulia Volleyball Club. Now, I can prepare for this varsity season playing for the school. Well, this quarter is about to end in a couple of weeks and I hope the rest of the quarter goes great for me. 

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Kamikawa Leads Middle School https://nhiskaleo.com/12445/news/kamikawa-leads-middle-school/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12445/news/kamikawa-leads-middle-school/#respond Fri, 20 Sep 2019 20:21:50 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12445 A new face has been seen in B-building this school year; new Assistant Principal Lauren Kamikawa is now in charge of the middle school.

Kamikawa came from Nānākuli Elementary where she was the Vice-Principal. Prior to that she was the Vice-Principal at Waianae Elementary. She also worked at the Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Area for two years as a Resource Teacher, and she was at Moanalua Elementary where she taught grades 1,3,6 and also was a Literacy Coach. 

Kamikawa also has a passion for hula — participating in the Merrie Monarch Festival 20 times.

Kamikawa’s goal for middle school is to continue making it a safe place for the students to learn and grow. 

“I always tell the students that my role is to keep them safe.  I wear many hats throughout the day, but my priority is student safety,” said Kamikawa

Some of the biggest challenges that she’d faced so far has been learning everything at once. 

“There are so many new faces, new names, new systems at a new school. It could be very overwhelming to tackle this all at once,” said Kamikawa “There were so many things coming at me at once. In order to overcome this, I reminded myself to take things in small chunks and to allow myself time to get to know students, time to get to know the staff, time to get used to new systems.”

For Kamikawa, one of the biggest rewards for her is to see growth and improvement within her students.

“Itʻs gratifying to be able to help students learn and grow — in classes, but also for life. I enjoy the work I do and helping the students with any problems they may have,” said Kamikawa.

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Landfill Expansion Voted Down by Board https://nhiskaleo.com/12439/news/landfill-expansion-voted-down-by-board/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12439/news/landfill-expansion-voted-down-by-board/#respond Sat, 14 Sep 2019 19:55:43 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12439 On Wednesday, September 4 at Nānākuli High and Intermediate Schoolʻs multipurpose cafeteria, there was a Nānākuli-Maili Neighborhood Board meeting to discuss the PVT landfill plan to expand to the northwest side of Lualualei Road. 

PVT Land Company limited is a private business that deals in solid waste management, working with materials from construction and demolition sites. 

The landfill accepts “non-hazardous materials- which includes but is not limited to wood, metal, plastic, concrete, asphalt, glass, masonry, roofing, rock, dirt, boulders, and siding,” according to the PVT website, as well as some materials containing asbestos.

PVT was the only subject on the Board’s meeting’s agenda. An earlier Neighborhood Board meeting was adjourned early due to heated emotions and frustration with the limited time to share testimony.

“We all learned from our mistakes from last time,” said Kalani Puaoi. Prior to the meeting, he and other members of the community-led people at the meeting in the traditional Hawaiian protocol of chants and a short address on the importance of Kapu Aloha and the role it was to play in this meeting.

Then when the protocol was adjourned, the collected people returned to the cafeteria for the 7:00 p.m. meeting. 

At the beginning of the meeting, after reviewing some of the formalities, it was established that speakers would direct all testimonies to the board themselves, to prevent similar anger amongst community members like in the past. 

Though this meeting was to be rooted in Kapu Aloha that did not stop anger from swelling. At certain points of the night the crowd became hostile. There were multiple occasions when there was “booing,” and other verbal forms of bullying against speakers in support and rallying against PVT, even at times directed towards the Members of the Board.

A motion was passed by the board to limit all discussion from the community to 1 minute a person in respect to the time limit. This was passed despite the disapproval from the community and so to compromise, it was decided that the board members would be under this 1 minute time constraint as well.

After the board ended discussion it took arguments and testimonies from both sides of this very controversial issue. Those against the further development and extension for PVT cited multiple reasons, health being one of them.

People claimed that their families have been affected; that the dust and air pollution coming from PVT and the transportation of debris to PVT’s location, affects this already at-risk community, linking asthma and other ailments, even cancer to this landfill. 

Some residents of Nānākuli and other pro PVT supporters refuted that claim and said that they had never been affected. Towards the beginning of the night, one woman claimed to have fished in-stream adjacent to PVT and said that she is fine.

Steve Joseph, director of planning and permitting, took steps to reassure that they do all they can to mitigate the threat of asbestos. Employees are given time each year to go to the doctor as an extra precautionary measure and the thought is that they would not send these workers to work in conditions that would endanger them.

“We care for our employees,” said Joseph on the air quality.

 “The Community just really needs to come out here and see what we [PVT] do,”  said Kapua Kanui the PR representative of PVT. “What PVT does is they help to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels” 

This was a crucial point for the pro PVT argument, the good that they do for the community, scholarships they provide, the benefits for our economy, the benefits even for the ‘āina (land) in their recycling process.

Despite this, there was still pushback from the community based on cultural, medical, and on sheer principle. 

“Though PVT, they do a great deed for our community, we’re sick of being the dumping grounds,” said Kawena Houlu.

With all the concerns raised, eventually, the board came to a decision. 

“The purpose of tonight was to give the community an opportunity to voice their opinion, for the board to hear that opinion and for the board to take a position, as an advisory board,” said Cynthia Rezentes Chair of the Nānākuli-Maili Neighborhood Board.

“The board likes what PVT is doing but in general we do not support them expanding their process to the land on the Honolulu side of Lualualei Naval Road.”

The next steps include more public hearings for regulatory approvals needed for the project from the State Land Use Commission, City Planning Commission, and the City Department of Planning and Permitting. 


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Frightful Friday https://nhiskaleo.com/12433/features/frightful-friday/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12433/features/frightful-friday/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 17:43:46 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12433 It was August 30, 2019. I remember the flood of students rushing out of their classes after the school bell rang. Most of them rushed home or rushed to other after school activities. NPAC students, however, were preparing for something much more nerve-racking: “Be More Chill” callbacks. As a new member of NPAC and a rookie theatrical performer, I never thought I would have made it this far. The fear of messing up my first callback took over me and I was convinced that I needed to go to auditions early. Sure enough, I wasn’t the only one. After a while, we all came together and began our vocal warm-ups. When we finished, the realization of what was next almost scared me. Little did I know that something much more terrifying was about to happen next.

The intercom suddenly came to life and alerted us about something that I was not prepared for. Something that I had forgotten all about. Our school was on lockdown. All the possibilities echoed in my head as I was trying to soak it all in. Before I knew it, Mr. Kitsu was pulling other students in the building. Then there was darkness. All of us were in shock. Many of us turned to social media to put together the puzzle of events. Though, I wished we never solved it. We come to find out that someone threatened to shoot up our school. As we grasped the situation that was before us, we all kind of freaked out in different ways. Some of us chose to keep it in and some of us did not. I tried to stay calm, but the storm of fear inside of me kept getting stronger.  The one thing that kept me calm or shall I say sane was Mr. Kitsu’s reaction to the whole situation. By remaining calm, he was able to reassure all of us and bring peace to an unpeaceful situation.

Though the thought of a shooter lurking on campus alarmed me, I couldn’t help but wonder what made them act out in such manner. In fact, earlier that day, I watched a video in AP Literature. The video discussed that when feeling attacked, our brain has trouble identifying if you were being attacked physically or mentally. As a result, the person could react in an explosive way. On the other hand, the damage could be reduced if the person paused and let their brain think it through. Then by moving on, the person will grow and be more open-minded of future situations. The person who wanted to shoot up our school did no such thing. Not only did it affect their life, but it affected everyone on that campus.

Reflecting on the recent event, I wish as students, we were better prepared mentally for situations just like this. I wish we had a plan or something for us to refer to under these tight circumstances. On another note, I would like to thank everyone in that room for being able to help each other out throughout the situation. Thanks to this event, I learned that in NPAC, we all have each other’s back.

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Welcome Back Assembly Much of the Same https://nhiskaleo.com/12306/features/welcome-back-assembly-much-of-the-same/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12306/features/welcome-back-assembly-much-of-the-same/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 17:31:45 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12306 Our annual Welcome Back Assembly was held on August 23 which was a bit later in the month than in the past due to a holiday. The purpose of the assembly is to introduce new staff, new student council members, and get students excited about the new school year. 

The disappointing side of the assembly is that we did not have enough time to do everything we planned on doing. For example, we had planned to have the new teachers play a game, the slipper game. But things didn’t go as planned as time was precious and the game was the last thing we had to do.

In the beginning, during set up, Mr. Michael Cheap, who retired at the end of last school year, kindly helped out with the sound system. This was very helpful because Ms. Jamie McGhion replaced Mr. Cheape and was new to the whole set up and how things are run. And thanks to Dominic Manuwa, my fellow student council classmate, for also being a big help with assembling the big speakers. Our sound system was set up, plugged in and ready to go. With all this help we got perfect loudspeakers that served its purpose. 

As we set up the speakers, we also set up the dividers of grade levels, banners, and separated the beach balls. This year we decided to make it fun and added some beach balls and a couple of regular big sized bouncy balls. It looked like students had fun and passed around the balls. We only had only six beach balls, and I feel we should add more. But the fun only lasted about 20 minutes, then students ended up either holding them or popping them. 

Next, was all the regular things we have during our Welcome Back Assemblies. It began with the presentation of colors by our JROTC and the band playing the National Anthem and Hawaʻi Ponoʻi. We then presented our administration and then it was our principal, Mr. Darin Pilialoha’s speech about attendance, being on time and being welcomed back into school, which I’m sure many people agreed with. All six grades levels introduced their student councils, and intermediate is one whole council. Student Government was also introduced and took the longest. We also introduced all the new teachers with their favorite songs down a tunnel lined by all the Student Council members. 

We then had several presentations. One was for the winner of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center’s logo contest and the other was to recognize the students who played on the 12U Nanakuli Hawks youth baseball team and won this year’s State Championship and then went on to the mainland to compete in the national championship.

Then we shared about the Class of the Year award won by the current Freshmen class and one of their advisors, Mr. Jeff Uyemura Reyes, share the meaning of the Spirit Stick. And then we announced the winner of the Welcome Back Assembly Banner contest who was the Sophomore Class and presented them with the Spirit Stick.

The Sophomore Class celebrates winning the Welcome Back Assembly Banner contest with the Spirit Stick.

The assembly ended with the football, softball, and volleyball teams leading the school in the singing of the Alama Mater.

So overall we had an okay Welcome Back Assembly. It could’ve been faster and we could’ve had time to play the games. But we did get through all the important things and that’s enough, but next year we are looking at making some changes to the assembly. 

Now we prepare for Homecoming!

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Stress Can Overtake Your Life https://nhiskaleo.com/12301/features/stress-can-overtake-your-life/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12301/features/stress-can-overtake-your-life/#respond Tue, 13 Aug 2019 16:43:54 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12301

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Influences of Drugs on the Brain https://nhiskaleo.com/12296/features/influences-of-drugs-on-the-brain/ https://nhiskaleo.com/12296/features/influences-of-drugs-on-the-brain/#respond Tue, 13 Aug 2019 16:39:57 +0000 https://nhiskaleo.com/?p=12296

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