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Molokai High SCC Hones In on Student Success

Community Contributed

By Mele Kāneali’i, MHS Senior

The Molokai High School Community Council (SCC) held its first meeting on Aug. 24 on Google Meets and discussed topics such as the new MHS website launch, the shift to College and Career Academies, and student successes to kick off the new school year. The meeting was attended by the stakeholders of the school community: two students, Quedin Bumatay and Aiko Kanemitsu, three parents, Jennifer Ainoa, Tiare Holm, and Kahea Tancayo, one community member, Nate Oswald, four teachers, Ric Ornellas, John Vaughn, Diane Mokuau, and Laura Peterson, and the principal, Dr. Katina Soares. 

The new school website, molokaihighschool.org, provides parents and community members with updates on big events and sports game dates. In addition, access to MHS staff contact information and student resources are available on the site, and upcoming SCC meetings, updates of the College and Career Academies shift, and more will also be available on the site.

The College and Career Academies are Molokai High’s new dynamic approach to preparing students for post-high school life. The academies provided are determined by the expertise, community partners, and resources available on Molokai and what fields have generated the highest interest from students. 

Innovation, Business, and Technology (IBT) Academy Team Lead, Kai Ward, highlighted that the top priority in this recent shift to academies is to monitor how it affects student attendance, behavior, grades, and necessary credit completion. The team leads will provide academy progress reports every month. 

Looking forward to the upcoming year of activities and athletics now that COVID-19 restrictions have lessened in recent months, students are bouncing back with spirit and pride. Aiko said recent Welcome Back-themed activities, such as a spirit assembly, football scrimmage, Club Rush, etc., have generated high spirit among students and faculty. Dr. Soares congratulated the dynamic student leadership, despite the difficulty of planning events due to the prior restrictions. 

The stakeholders certainly set the tone for this school year, sharing a few words representing the mindset they are bringing to this year’s SCC. First, student representatives Aiko and Quedin highlighted that they prioritize pushing to persevere in these uncertain times. Second, parents, Ainoa, Tancayo, and Holm are determined to be proactive advocates who strive for MHS students to be confident, motivated learners. Third, community member Nate Oswald is focused on this year being a “launch point” for student success. And lastly, teachers, Vaughn, Mokuau, Ornellas and Peterson demonstrated a commitment to equity and prioritize that all students feel connected in this new school year.

The next SCC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 21, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. All students, parents and community members are invited to attend virtually. Please contact SCC Chair, Ric Ornellas at Richard.Ornellas@k12.hi.us to receive the meeting link.


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