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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Suiting up for war

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 10:05am

Instead of sitting and taking notes during a lecture last week, some AP students suited up for war, dodging imaginary bullets and bombs. It was part of an interactive lesson with social studies teacher Alexander Adkins, who is an Iraqi war veteran.

The AP Language and Composition students are currently reading the novel “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. The novel is a collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.

The lesson was meant to help students better understand aspects of war.

“I enjoyed this class because I learned things I didn’t know before,” said junior Kiley Pazcoguin. “Mr. Adkins really put a lot of emotion into what he was talking about because he, himself, experienced a war. We got to get a first person point-of-view.”

Pazcoguin not only learned new things about war but also experienced it. A part of the lesson included students dressing up in military uniform. They reenacted a war scene by running across the class, while quickly leaping to the floor for safety.

In addition, Adkins’ AP U.S. History class learned to rhetorically analyze one of the United States’ most important documents, the Declaration of Independence, with English teacher Margy O’Kelly.

The collaborative effort between the two junior-level classes was a first of its kind and provided students with new perspectives on traditional classroom curricula.

Launching into projectile motion

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 10:01am

If you peeked into the AP Physics classroom recently, then you might have seen small balls launching across the room. It was part of a lab on projectile motion, in which students launched the balls out of mini cannons. The goal was to aim the ball so that it went through one of three hoops.

“To figure out where the three hoops needed to be, we used a kinematics equations,” senior Krista Thom said. “We placed our hoops and our target based upon our calculation.”

Projectile motion describes an object that has both horizontal and vertical components.

Students used the height of the table and the height of the three rings to figure out how far they needed to place the rings. The goal of the experiment, as explained by Thom, was not only to aim the balls through the rings but also to hit the center of a paper placed on the floor.
After numerous attempts, the AP Physics students were finally able to shoot achieve their goal of shooting the balls through the hoops.

Are you prepared for a hurricane?

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 9:58am

Hurricane season in Hawaii is in full effect until November. And although residents have experienced minor damage from hurricanes over the past several years, experts say it is only a matter of time before a hurricane wreaks havoc on the islands.

To make sure your home is prepared for the hurricane, ensure it meets building codes for withstanding hurricanes and has storm shutters. Also, have proper tools, such as flashlights and batteries, supplies, a first aid kit and have plenty of food. It’s also important that everyone in the household knows an evacuation routes and a meeting point.

“My family and I are always prepared for hurricanes,” freshman Jayce Lynn Jeremiah said.

“When the two recent hurricanes came (Madeline and Lester), we didn’t worry because we were ready.”

Food is an important supply to have packed for emergencies, such as hurricanes. Make sure to store at least three-days worth of nonperishable food. Select food items that do not require any refrigeration, preparation or cooking. Here are more tips:

  • Ready to eat foods include, canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups
  • High energy foods- peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Comfort food- cookies, candy, instant coffee and tea
  • Extra pet food

Tools and supplies that are important to have are:

  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Signal flare
  • Area map
  • Non-electric can opener or utility knife
  • Battery operated radio

Students journalists work under pressure

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 11:05am

Hawaii high school journalism students experienced firsthand–what it’s like to work under the pressure of a real-world reporting deadline. This was all part of the action at Journalism Day, an annual event for staff members of high school newspapers around the state.

Sacred Hearts Academy sophomore Shelby Mattos and her partner filmed and edited a video for a mock press conference, hosted by local voting organization Common Cause Hawaii.

“I was very nervous (working under pressure),” she said. “I spent 50 minutes going over the footage because I had specific quotes I wanted to put in but took time finding them.”

Similar press conferences were held throughout the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, where the event took place. Student reporters worked individually or in small groups to produce a video news story or write an article. They had about one hour to submit their assignments.

Sophomore Becca Meyer attended a mock sports press conference. For her, the quick deadline was no big deal.

“I was used to working under pressure, so it felt normal to me,” she said. “It actually made me more excited than nervous because I was doing something I enjoyed (writing a story) versus, like, multiplication.”

The day’s event was broken up into different sessions, which allowed students to learn various aspects of the journalism industry from seasoned professionals. Such aspects included tips on writing different types of articles–from news to opinion pieces. It also included learning the basics of video reporting.

Once the students finished their articles, they headed back into the ballroom to discuss their progress with classmates over lunch. Following that, they uploaded their work to the Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association website. The day ended with a final breakout session; students had the choice of attending a session on either design and copy editing, photography or online trends.

Students attending the event said they enjoyed the bonding experience they had with their newspaper staff. They also gained new insight into the world of journalism.

“Journalism Day changed how I viewed the way stories are portrayed,” junior Taylor McKenzie said. “Because I had the chance to learn about different social media platforms and unique story perspectives.”

Parents going ‘Back to School’

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 2:43pm

More than 300 parents attended Sacred Hearts Academy’s annual Back to School Night this year. The event gives parents an inside look into their daughter’s’ day-to-day school lives.

“I decided to attend the event because I wanted to meet my daughter’s teachers,” said one parent who attended. “I felt happy for my daughter because she’s going to a good school with good teachers and a beautiful campus.”

Parents travel from room-to-room, mirroring their daughter’s schedules. This includes homeroom and change of classes, with five minutes of passing time. At the start of the night, parents were welcomed with a virtual introduction to the Counseling and Athletics departments.

This was also the first time grades 7 to 12 parents attended in a single evening. Previously, the event was split into two evenings; one for middle school and the second for high school.

For high school English teacher Rosalynn Cambe, Back to School Night is a chance to share her class and curriculum with parents. It is also a chance for her students to earn extra credit if their parents attend.

“I got this idea from other teachers who have been [giving extra credit] and decided that it would be a good idea,” Cambe said.

Teachers bring back long-lost tradition with mass class

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 8:33am

Teachers at Sacred Hearts Academy were looking especially dapper at the school’s September first Friday mass. Particularly, the male teachers, who were bringing back formal attire traditions by wearing slacks, dress shirts, dress shoes and ties.

“To me, it shows respect and the importance of mass,” said college counselor Randy Fong, who encouraged his fellow colleagues to bring back the tradition. The Academy had once required faculty and staff to wear formal church attire to school mass.

Many of the teachers who chose to dress up for mass said they enjoyed the change to their wardrobes.   

“Formal Friday [attire] is a nice opportunity for male teachers to look sharp,” Choir teacher Zachary Moore said. As a new teacher on campus, and to Hawaii, Moore says he has already been wearing his share of aloha shirts to school. Therefore, he decided to go beyond aloha attire for the occasion, dressing up in a collared shirt and tie.

The classy attire did not go unnoticed by the rest of the school body.

“They looked respectable, and I liked it,” said sophomore Ragelle Lumapas.

While most chose to wear the common necktie, some opted for a classy bow tie, including Social Studies teacher Alexander Adkins.

“As a teacher, I want my students to look up at my face,” Adkins said. He explained how bow ties encourage direct eye contact because of how unusual they are in today’s society. They seem to catch people’s attention.

“They are also simply classier,” he said.

CyberLancers victorious in cybersecurity comp

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:53pm

Academy students are working to make the virtual world safer, one computer at a time. And they’re doing this through a national cybersecurity competition.

The CyberPatriot competition tests participants on various coding and computing skills. These skills include ensuring that computers have strong password policies, that updates are scheduled regularly and that they do not contain files with malware and viruses.

Last school year, one of the Academy’s two CyberPatriot teams–both known as the CyberLancers–took second in the state of Hawaii in the gold tier. The team continues celebrating into the new year, after receiving its award in late August.

“It was great to not only represent our school but also to meet and talk with our fellow competitors and their mentors,” CyberLancer member and senior Shailyn Wilson said.

This is not the first victory for the CyberLancers.

“We’ve been pretty consistently second in the gold,” adviser and Academy math teacher Mrs. Deborah Kula said. “The team this year is really shooting to be in the platinum tier.”

CyberPatriot competitors compete in one of three tiers: gold, silver and platinum. Teams are able to advance through the tiers with increasing skill level.

The win has sparked new interest in the CyberLancers.

“For the past couple of years, we’ve had two teams; one of them has been gold and the other silver,” Kula said. “This year, there’s enough interest that we’re going to have four teams.”

Build-your-own meal: A tasty twist on traditional school lunch

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:51pm

The lunch menu at Sacred Hearts Academy just got beefier.

In addition to hot meals and various snacks, students are now able to create their own pizzas and sandwiches, by choosing from a list of toppings and ingredients. During the cooler months, they can warm up with an array of soups, such as Homestyle Chicken Noodle soup, Portuguese Bean soup, Beef Vegetable soup and Tomato Bisque.

These additions are an expansion of the “build-your-own” salad option, which began last year and was a hit with the faculty, staff and students.

The expanded program rotates on a weekly schedule; students can order personalized sandwiches during week one, add some greens into their diets during the second week and on the third week, assume the position of an Italian chef by creating their own pizzas.

To order a customizable lunch, students should fill out order forms before school or during recess. The cashier will then charge their accounts. During lunch, students can pick up their meal on the opposite side of the snack bar line. The special creations are available daily, with the exception of Mass and Assembly schedule days.

The Academy’s Sodexo Supervisor Erin Awai says this program makes lunch easier for teachers and students with busy schedules.

“I understand that a lot of students have club meetings during lunch,” Awai said. “This option provides them with grab n’ go lunch, with no lines to wait in!”

With personalized meals, come local support. About 30-percent of the ingredients Sodexo uses in its meals is purchased from local vendors and companies, according to Awai.

Senior Shailyn Makana Wilson, a “build-your-own” salad enthusiast, believes the expansion caters more towards students’ taste buds.

“I think it’s great that they expanded the program,” Wilson said. “Students can personalize their food. Before, students couldn’t decide on what they wanted to eat. Now, the program allows students to order a meal that they chose and created.”

Lancers celebrate 107 years with a week of birthday activities

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:43pm

Sacred Hearts Academy celebrates its 107th birthday this school year. That’s more than a century’s worth of memorable moments made by this all-girls Catholic school. But the memory-making doesn’t end there. Rather, it continues in full force with the annual Academy Birthday Week.

To prepare, the Student Council is hard at work, planning fun events for the students, faculty and staff to enjoy. The action-packed week begins–not with birthday cake but–with a birthday pep rally on Monday, Sept. 12. To celebrate as Lancers, the school is encouraged to wear white and gold or an Academy t-shirt.

And what birthday party would be complete without a frozen treat? On Tuesday, students can enjoy ice cream in the courtyard at recess. Then on Wednesday, the week gets even sweeter when the Taste Tea Truck rolls up on campus. The food truck will be at the PAC Building Courtyard from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Designed By Taylor McKenzie

Designed By Taylor McKenzie

On Thursday, the Council invites students to put on their game faces for the Flip Cup Challenge. The competition takes place during lunch at the Frear Courtyard.

Designed By Taylor McKenzie

Designed By Taylor McKenzie

Then on Friday, the birthday celebration ends with the annual Club Fair. This is when Academy students can learn about the different school clubs. They can also quench their thirst with a refreshing lemonade. One cup costs $0.50, while refills are $0.35.

Throughout the week, the Student Council will be hosting an Instagram Challenge. The challenge invites students to participate for a prize. More info can be found on the Student Council Instagram account (@shastudentcouncil).

Academy prepares for traffic during Obama’s arrival

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 1:49pm

President Barack Obama is expected to fly in this afternoon for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Conference, which is the largest conservation event in the world. His arrival to Hawaii not only brings excitement and anticipation but also traffic.

Today, Head of School Mrs. Betty White sent a letter advising parents to heed the traffic advisories issued by the city and to plan accordingly.

“The President’s arrival will cause road closures in the afternoon as the President travels from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to the East West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus,” White states in the letter. “The reports say that the road closures can begin as early as 4 p.m. and will affect all Eastbound lanes of the H-1 and surface streets from the airport area to Manoa.”

When the President leaves Manoa, westbound lanes will be closed. Closures will occur from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday school dismissal at the Academy will not be affected; however, it is recommended that parents pick up their child as soon as possible, especially if she is in After School Care.

The advisories have prompted the Academy to cancel all Early College classes; details regarding athletic practices and games are still being discussed.

Campus safety policies enforced by teachers

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:15am

Students may have noticed teachers cracking down on a few campus safety rules this school year. The rules include locking all doors during class, faculty and staff wearing identification badges and, for some teachers, not allowing students to use the restroom during instructional time.

These policies are part of the school’s Crisis Management Plan, which is meant to “ensure the safety of all students and staff on campus,” Vice Principal Kinga Sanders said.

Over the summer, administrators met to discuss ways of improving the safety and security of students and staff, in the event of an evacuation or campus intruder, Sanders said. This plan has always been in effect; however, with the recent string of school shootings nationwide, Academy administrators are pushing for heavier enforcement.

According to the management plan, doors should never be slightly ajar, unlocked or opened during class time. This is to prevent intruders from entering the classroom and thus, jeopardizing the safety of occupants.

On the lower school campus, students are required to go to the restrooms in pairs. While on the upper school campus, a handful of teachers have been restricting students from using the restroom during class time–with the exception of an emergency. This is to prevent students from roaming campus unsupervised.

“We hope teachers understand that we can’t always control our needs (to use the restroom),” sophomore Aiyana Arnobit said.

Mrs. Leilani Asuncion-Tagupa, high school theology teacher, agrees and says teachers must use their discretion in allowing students to use the restroom during class.

“We know which students are going to waste time in the restroom and which ones genuinely have to go,” she said. Students are able to use the restroom before, during and after school.

Academy enrollment similar to recent years

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:11am

Sophomore Grace Kim has been a student at Sacred Hearts Academy for 10 years. And she says that every school year, it feels like there are more and more students on campus. A hunch that has also been echoed by her peers and a few teachers.

But, according to Vice Principal Kinga Sanders, there has not been “a significant increase in students this school year.” In fact, she says, the numbers are similar to recent years.

There is currently a total of 166 new students this school year; 76 from the lower school and 90 students from the high school. Specific enrollment numbers from last school year could not be released.

Even though enrollment has not change drastically, the students who are new to the Academy say they are glad they chose to attend this school.

“I decided to enroll (here) because it was a better opportunity for me,” sophomore Chazzlyne Rae Luna said. “The education is just so much better.”

She is also making time to enjoy her first few weeks as a Lancer.

“It’s been great so far,” Luna said. “I joined air riflery, which…is the first sport (I am trying).”

Robotics kick-off event opens more than just the season

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 10:49am

Robotics teams from all over the island were grinding gears at the annual East Oahu VEX Championships, the kick-off event for the state.

Held on campus, the competition hosted more than 20 teams, including Sacred Hearts Academy’s Lancer Robotics. The teams came hand-in-remote with their robots and competed for the title of the “East Oahu VEX Robotics Tournament Champions.”

This year, Pearl City High School VEX Robotics Team were victorious, receiving a plethora of awards that included the Excellence Award, Robot Skills Champion and Design Award.

Robotics teacher Peter Park said that the event provided the team with a new perspective.

“Having seen excellent models during the competition, we were all able to see where we stood, compared to other teams,” Park said. “It gives us a lot of room for improvement.”

Park also added that the event was successful; volunteers from other schools helped the function to run smoothly. Teams were also reportedly satisfied with their campus workplaces, also known as “pits.”

“It was a very good experience, hosting the event here,” said Park.

New year means new rules at Sacred Hearts

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:41am

With the start of the new school year comes new changes to policies at Sacred Hearts Academy. According to Vice Principal Kinga Sanders, such changes were implemented after  realizing the need for enforcement of the rules, particularly with new students and seniors.

In regards to the sock policy, socks must be ankle-length with the school’s logo visible; otherwise, socks should be of a plain white color. This policy applies regardless of which type of uniform the student may be wearing (i.e. blue skirt, white skirt, Friday attire). Those without the appropriate socks will be required to buy a pair from the high school office for two dollars.

Originally, the minimum skirt length was no more than two inches above the knee, but that policy has been changed to three inches above the knee.

In addition, the V-neck pullover sweater will no longer be allowed as part of the uniform due to students’ abuse of the garment. Some have not been wearing their full uniform underneath it.

According to the updated policy on tardiness, students will be marked tardy if they are not present in their homeroom’s flag line at morning assembly.

Junior Tyson Noquez-Epil said, “I am not really affected by the uniform policies since I have always followed the uniform anyway, but I like that now we are able to use our phones during the school day. To me, this change had the biggest impact.”

Previously, students were not allowed to use cell phones between the hours of 7:35 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. According to Sanders, after a teacher survey showed that the faculty supported students’ learning responsible cell phone use, the policy was updated and students will now be able to use their cells during recess and lunch. During all other times, cell phones should be silenced and stored in lockers or bags.

Lastly, in the classroom, students will no longer be allowed to eat or drink during instructional time due to the distraction it causes in the classroom. However, water will be allowed.

Leo Club volunteers their hearts out at annual walk

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:38am

The heart of the lions beat with awareness and solidarity, as the Academy’s Leo Club volunteered at the 26th Annual Oahu Heart and Stroke Walk.

The walk, hosted by the American Heart Association, is meant to raise “funds to save lives from…heart disease and stroke” and “promote physical activity and heart-healthy living.”

Juniors Kaleikaumaka Cruz and Jiyeon Chun had a chance to watch their heart — literally.

The two were in charge of supervising a giant inflatable heart that people could walk through and learn more about heart ailments. Informational signage and diagrams were posted on the walls.

Chun thoroughly enjoyed being the “guardian” of the heart, as she put it.

“I was really amazed by the heart model because the heart was delicately represented with information attached to each part,” she said.

For Cruz, it was much more than a volunteer opportunity.

“I really did like watching over the inflatable heart,” Cruz said.“It was really cool, and I also was able to do it with my best friend.”

The event took place at Kapiolani Park in early August, hosting more than5,000 people and raising $563,515 in donations. Participants had the choice to take a one-mile stroll around the park or challenge themselves, and their cardiovascular systems, by running a 4.5-mile course around Diamond Head.

After completing their walk, participants enjoyed breakfast provided by Subway and received other goodies, such as informational flyers, stress balls — even a pill-shaped pen. There were information booths and a keiki corner to educate and entertain the community about heart and other cardiovascular diseases.

Chun believes that having the Heart Walk ultimately benefits the community.

“It is important because people get to learn how to prevent heart diseases,” Chun said.

Cruz agrees.

“The Heart Walk is important to have because it teaches you about your health and ways to be healthy,.” said Cruz.

Ka Leo team takes 1st in video competition

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:58am

Junior Frances Nicole Tabios and sophomore Celine Isabelle Arnobit, Ka Leo staffers under the guidance of video teacher Alyssa Myers, won 1st place in the News category of the 13th Annual Statewide Olelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition.

The competition encourages students to express their voice through videos on issues that concern youth. Tabios and Arnobit’s video featured Academy sophomore Daryl Bolosan who dedicates more than 200 hours annually as a volunteer at the Honolulu Zoo.

Tabios said, “We wanted a story that would be influential on viewers and definitely a video about a student from school who performed an uncommon type of service to the community. With both of Daryl’s parents being long-time zookeepers, Celine and I thought it would be a fascinating story to film since she basically grew up at the zoo.”

Myers helped the students with the script and the filming.

Myers said, “As their mentor, I helped Celine and Frances Nicole with the entire production process and assisted them where they needed help. Overall, I think it was a good learning opportunity for them because they had the chance to go out  and do actual reporting in a real world setting.”

The making of the video was a long process, taking a lot of time outside the classroom and having to film at the zoo during the winter break. Although the entire filming and editing process took about three months, the students found it to be rewarding.

Arnobit said, “From this experience, I learned the different aspects of video journalism and I improved my video editing skills. It has also helped me with collaboration and investigative skills while we worked hard to gather the necessary information for our video. We were very excited and happy when we won and overall, it was lit!”

Although video submissions to the contest have won prizes before, this was the first time a school team took first place in any category.

Academy’s band sweeps away audiences with sound of music

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:58am

The Sacred Hearts Academy band performed at the annual Parade of Bands over the course of three days at McKinley High School.

Students began preparing songs upon their return from winter vacation.

“I was most impressed, very excited because I saw a drive and will in the students of our bands, especially Wind Ensemble, to really push themselves and call their own rehearsals and shoot for their utmost,” said Band Director Keith Higaki. “I think for the most part, when we hit Parade of Bands, it was their best performance of those numbers up to that point.”

Students in the Wind Ensemble received a score of 2+, but the highest score is 1+.

“The judges gave us 2+, which is pretty bad because we usually get 1+, but Mr. Higaki thought we played the best we had ever played with the most passion ever,” said junior Samantha Ishihara. “I feel like it didn’t happen though. It felt normal.”

After the concert, students were proud of their performances.

“I thought that the sound was better there because we’re so used to playing at Mamiya Theatre,” said junior Taylor Yee. “I felt good after because the sound was really great and we sounded really good.”

Despite the rating, students enjoyed the outcome of their performances.

“You could tell that they felt a feeling of accomplishment,” said Higaki, “and so did I because those numbers are not easy. Even when I mentioned to my colleagues in the Honolulu Wind Ensemble, they all said, ‘oh wow, those are are tough numbers.’ So, it was an accomplishment and at the same time a great pride. I thought that they did quite well on it, considering where we started.”

For the seniors, this was their second to last performance before the Aloha Concert.

“To think that for the most part, except for the seniors, they’re all the all students that I started in beginning band,” said HIgaki. “That was even more reason for being so proud of them. They’ve come so far.”

C.S.I Sacred Hearts? You bet!

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:52am

Over the course of roughly seven weeks, an after-school class directed by Dr. Arnold Laanui of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) taught students how to analyze and conduct an investigation.

Students gained entry to the class on a first-come, first-served basis. The program was introduced by Britney Valoria, a graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy who majored in forensics at Chaminade University. Viloria interned for the FBI and currently works as an operational support technician.

“Arnold had pulled me aside one day and said he had a project he was thinking about and asked if I could help. He proposed the idea of introducing Sacred Hearts [to the program] since I’m a graduate.”

Viloria attended all the sessions with Laanui to assist him.

The program consisted of a series of classes held once a week after school over the course of seven weeks. Each class taught a different skill, such as sketching and mapping a crime scene.

At the end of the program, students left campus to solve a simulated crime scene from the beginning analysis to discovering the fate of the victims.

To test the group’s final skills, the students in the class collaborated with Waipahu High School for two field days.

Students had to employ teamwork and key skills from their classes to locate a piece of evidence crucial to solving the case.

On the group’s first day, students stayed at Sacred Hearts, where they interviewed “witnesses” including teachers Alex Adkins and Kevin Allen.

On the second day, students visited a crime scene on the campus of the University of Hawaii West Oahu where they processed a crime scene by sketching it, taking pictures and collecting evidence. Students later used the collected evidence to piece together the events of the crime.

Part of the simulation was digging up skeletons. While the crime scene was not real, one of the two skeletons was. Students also worked in the “bone lab,” where they had a chance to use equipment and study bones.

“It was a great experience, coming back, seeing what’s changed, seeing how these girls grow,” said Viloria. “I always love coming back. Anything to help the Sacred Hearts family.”

Since this year marked the first time Sacred Hearts participated in the program, interest level was unpredictable.

“There were too many people,” said Toni Normand, director of Student Activities. “We couldn’t have them all in one class; we had to turn some away.”

The program has been done before with Waipahu High School for three years. In the first two years of the program, Farrington was the partner school.

“This is the first year we’ve partnered with an ILH school,” said Laanui.

“The big time goal of the program was to see if we could interest high performing young ladies with a background in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the field of law enforcement,” said Laanui. “At the same time, it’s trying to introduce into the classroom some really interesting problem-solving techniques. The kind of stuff that the FBI and FBI agents use around the world every day, which is, ‘how do we go ahead and solve some of these really complex crimes?’”

In order to do so, basic skill sets were introduced to the class. This included how to secure crime scenes, how to sketch them and how to secure evidence.

“We put a two-day, ‘whodunnit’ together, where the students actually go out and try to solve a case for the very first time with very minimal coaching,” said Laanui. “They, for the most part, operate and run the whole case like they’re real FBI agents.”

Was it successful?

“It was highly successful,” said Laanui. “Absolutely, one of the things that was really interesting, certainly, was the caliber of writing that comes out of Sacred Hearts.”

Virtually everything done in law enforcement must be documented.

The highest form of law enforcement agents includes writing affidavits, search warrants and affidavits to support arrest warrants.

“The students here did really well,” said Laanui. “They put together, as part of [the program] affidavits.”

Documentation is a key component of law enforcement. Not only must one have the skill to go ahead and investigate the crime but the crime must also be taken to court.

The big goal is to have justice dealt out in an appropriate way. The documentation of the investigation is key in making that happen.

“I enjoyed it, absolutely loved it, certainly, I knew I came to the right place,” said Laanui. “A lot of the research I’ve been conducting for the FBI clearly shows that if I can build more diverse teams, I get better outcomes. If I can attract more people of a different gender to the traditionally male dominated law enforcement environment and also entice individuals with different ethnic backgrounds.”

That, for the most part, is the hallmark of Sacred Hearts, according to Laanui.

“That kind of background, coming from a different gender, especially as well as mixed ethnicities, is exactly the kind of stuff that we need in the FBI,” continued Laanui. “I’m hoping that down the road, it might entice women to this type of exciting career.”

Sophomore Ashley Zhang was one of the student participants.

“I joined because I like it. I was very interested in the topic,” said Zhang. “I like investigating. That’s one of my dream jobs as a kid. It was really fun. I love digging up bodies.”

Freshman Christina Dang was also a participant.

“ I was interested,” said Christina. “I wanted to be in the FBI. Accomplishing my little good old self dream! It was super fun. I saw a real dead body.”

Although the field day featured a crime scene, it was only a simulation. However, two skeletons were present at the crime scene: one fake, one real.

Sacred Hearts Academy is very satisfied with the outcome of the program.

“The students came early,” said Normand. “They were so excited. Laanui was absolutely wonderful to work with. He tells us real good stories. Best field trip ever!”

 

Student’s appreciation for teacher takes on poetic form

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 12:56pm

Sophomore Ashley Zhang’s submission of a poem to Barnes and Noble’s Best Teacher contest about her favorite teacher, band director Keith Higaki, won.

“I was shocked when I won because I thought that my poem wasn’t very good,” said Zhang.

Evidently, the judges thought differently. So did Higaki.

“Her poem was quite creative and well written,” said Higaki. “I feel very honored and at the same time very surprised to have even been nominated. When I found out, it was a total surprise for me. My initial thought was ‘why me?’ It was very nice of her.”

“I chose Mr. Higaki since he’s the teacher I’m most comfortable with,” said Zhang.

At the presentation at Barnes and Noble, Zhang read her poem before her family, Higaki, administration and the award givers.

The store representative presented gifts, which included “ten pounds of classic books” for Higaki and a $25 gift card for Zhang.

“It was a total surprise, but it’s an honor to be recognized by a student who felt strongly enough to write about me. In a positive manner,” added HIgaki, laughing. “I’m very honored and very appreciative.”

Academy offers several new courses

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 12:55pm

Several new courses are available for students in grades seven to 12 in the 2016-2017 school year.

In the English department, World Literature and American Literature are options for sophomores. Creative Writing, Literature of Food Culture and Reading-Writing workshop I and II are other courses for students in grades 10 to 12.

In the Math department, new courses are AP Calculus BC for students in grades 11 and 12 with a pre-requisite of a grade of “B” or higher in the second semester of Pre-calculus.

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