MHS Recognizes Student Success
Celebrating success is now a trend at Molokai High School (MHS). The students and staff filled the gym Thursday morning for the first recognition assembly of the 2013-14 school year. Recognition ceremonies were previously held occasionally throughout the year. Now, a monthly assembly will highlight student and faculty accomplishments to provide encouragement for academic and athletic excellence.
“It’s all about the support,” said MHS student activities coordinator Lisa Taka. “Each student should be recognized because it helps with their self-esteem and confidence and [the assemblies] show the school that’s it’s possible to attain and achieve goals.”
Maui County council member and MHS alumni Stacy Crivello presented awards to more than 40 students for excelling in statewide science and engineering competitions as well as last year’s Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) champions and all-star athletes.
Last year, MIL champions were MHS boys baseball, girls basketball and softball. Several players from the school were named 2013 MIL all-stars, an honor organized by The Maui News.
Baseball’s first team all-stars are Nohi Meyer, Kahanu Alcon, Codi Kamakana, David Rapanot, Trevor Takata, and Brayden Willing-McCutcheon. Second team all-stars are Koal Kaulia-Makaiwi, Levi Horner-Villa, Hana Dudoit-Enos, and Ena Victorino.
Girls basketball all-stars Shaniah Mollena-Lopez and Hepuakea Feleialii made the first team and Tiara English made the second team. For boys basketball, David Rapanot made the second team.
First team for girls softball includes Khaylie Adachi, Tai Yamamoto, Kiona English, and Karlie Martin-Galam. Kelsie Espiritu-Tanabe made the second team.
Senior Martin-Galam said this is her first year as an all star and hopes to play college softball next year.
Other first-team all stars include Pono Chow for boys tennis; Heather Place and Kelsie Espiritu-Tanabe for canoe paddling; and Kailaoe Cabanting, Desiree Corpuz, Alexandria Simon, and Rizpah Torres-Umi for girls wrestling.
Softball coach Coco Augustiro and baseball coach Mike McCutcheon received the MIL Coach of the Year awards, also resulting from Maui News polling.
The assembly also recognized several individuals for their academic success in science, engineering and student-career advancement programs.
“Sometimes the sports gets highlighted, but we also want to make sure we’re celebrating and acknowledging all the academic highlights that happen at the school as well,” said MHS Vice Principal Daniel Espanola.
Luke Kikukawa and Paul Parker received first place for video production at the 2013 Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) National Leadership Conference held in Tennessee. The two qualified for the national conference held in June after placing fourth at the state HOSA conference on Oahu. Their short film was about First Aid and CPR as well as their learning experiences and opportunities on Molokai.
In the 2013 Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Erik Svetin was selected as the state merit winner for an additional row of stitches he added to a baseball, making it travel 2 meters farther than the traditional ball.
“Many of you might not realize it but you’re inventors in your own way,” Crivello said to the school, prior to recognizing Svetin. “ On Molokai, we’re MacGyvers and utilize everything we have.”
Four girls received awards at the 56th Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair — Xrystina Bicoy, Shellamarie Keahi, Sarah Jenkins, and Lily Jenkins. Lily received recognition for her project, “Effects of Non-Native Water Lettuce in Canal at Puko`o Pond,” which she started in eighth grade and will continue to develop this year as a freshman.
Lily said in the future she aspires to continue her studies in natural resource management and work as a park ranger with the state’s Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to Espanola, the school’s recognition assemblies are both to celebrate the student’s achievements and to set a model for the rest of the school.
“Even coming from a small school and a small island, our students are able to accomplish big things—things that should be acknowledged,” said Espanola. “That’s the kind of culture we’re trying to build at Molokai High School.”