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‘More than Ready’ – Celebrating the Class of 2024

Photo by Arianna Patterson

On a breezy May evening, the Molokai High School community gathered to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2024. This year’s ceremony was particularly poignant, marked by a shared sense of triumph over adversity. As Principal Dr. Katina Soares took to the podium, she delivered a speech that resonated deeply with both the graduates and their families.

“There’s no point in sugarcoating it. Your high school journey hasn’t been easy,” said Soares, addressing the tumultuous years the students had endured. She recounted the significant challenges faced by the class, from navigating online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic to the constant upheaval of schedules and routines upon their return to in-person classes.

Soares also acknowledged the disruption of traditional high school experiences that many students and families had long anticipated.

“On behalf of Molokai High School, and maybe even life itself, I owe you an apology. You were robbed of some of the traditional high school experiences, the ones that leave an indelible mark on our memories,” she said.

However, Soares’ speech was not all about the struggles — it was also a testament to the students’ resilience.

“You adapted and persevered. Despite the upheaval, you stand here today, soon-to-be graduates ready to take on the world,” she declared.

Class President Ivan Ramos echoed this defining sense of community and support in his address.

“It takes a village to raise a child. This village raised 85 beautiful and amazing children,” he began, his voice filled with gratitude. “I want everyone to know before I leave the stand that you are more than just an Instagram like. I want you to believe that you can do anything—part the seas like Moses, climb to the top of Everest, or even get an A in Ms. Harada’s class.”

Salutatorian Sonni Han reflected on the unique challenges of transitioning back to in-person learning.

“COVID seemed to be a fading bad dream and finally our senior year was normal,” she explained. Han encouraged her classmates to carry on the strength of their ohana.

“Let us represent our ohana with pride and aloha wherever we go.”

Valedictorians Aiko Kanemitsu, Sheniah Agcaoili, and Jericho Ku Adolpho also each had a chance to share their thoughts and aspirations.

“Everything will be okay in the end. I am scared of the future. It is something I can’t control, but something I can build for,” observed Kanemitsu.

Adolpho likewise reflected in his speech on resilience forged through adversity.

“Tough times make strong men and women. Even though tough times await us at the end of the road, we can overcome them from our past trials and lean on our unwavering support,” he said.


As the ceremony drew to a close, there was a palpable sense of pride and accomplishment.

“You are more than ready,” Soares affirmed. “Through the last four years, you’ve adapted, learned, and grown. We are incredibly proud of you. Farmers Class of 2024, congratulations!”

With these words, the Molokai High School Class of 2024 turned their tassels, ready for the future.


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