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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Updated: 2 hours 23 min ago

Band students to play before nationwide audience

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 9:27am

Sixteen students from the Academy have been chosen to appear in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2016.

Representing Hawaii, students from schools throughout the Hawaiian Islands form the band.

The committee for the All-State Band asked band director Keith Higaki to nominate a number of students, most of whom will be sophomores, juniors or seniors next year. After a survey to show student interest, 16 students, including one current freshman, were nominated.

Those students attended a meeting at the UH Manoa Band Room to learn more about the opportunity. Those selected will be a part of the band performing on Thanksgiving day for the nationwide audience.

For the trip to New York, students will go a week before Thanksgiving to allow time to visit numerous landmarks, including the Air and Space Museum, the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty.

Since students live on different islands and cannot meet to practice prior to the trip, the band will practice together for the first time the week before the parade.

Robotics propels team to state competition

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 9:25am

The Academy’s lower school robotics team competed in the Hawaii FIRST Lego League (FLL) Kalani District tournament against 21 other teams on Nov. 11.

Members of the team include sixth graders Chloe Kwok, Kylee Kamauoha-Phillips, Prudence Eddy and Nanami Mehring, fifth grader Hyatt Yoshioka, fourth graders Addison Mattox, Malaika Ssebayiteko, Abegail Aguirre and Reese Machida. Team coaches were sixth grade teacher Jennifer Arthur and fourth grade teacher Lacey Teshima.

The challenge for this year’s FLL was “Trash Trek.” Teams had to choose a piece of trash and find a way to recycle it.

In addition to the project, Academy team members had to create a presentation for the judges at the tournament. Students created a presentation on how to recycle styrofoam trays, using the trays to create a bean bag chair, which they presented to judges.

The Academy team was successful in the competition and will be one of seven chosen to advance to the state tournament on Dec. 5 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

Lower school readers raise funds for library

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 5:02am

Lower School students eagerly shopped for new books during the Scholastic Book Fair this past week.

The fair, themed “Reading is So Fun It’ll Give You Goosebumps,” aimed at promoting enthusiasm and enjoyment of reading. It took place in the lower school library over several days with all divisions visiting the fair.

A surprise visit by Clifford the Big Red Dog highlighted the fair. Students also participated in a cookie guessing game, the winners of which were fifth graders Jolie Heresa and Jolie Taurua, fourth graders Jondrina Cambra and Nevaeh Coffin and first grader Chayla Kihano.

Fifty percent of all purchases went to buying books for the lower school library. Over $3,000 was raised for the new reading materials.

The library also raised $125 to buy new books for the Palolo Elementary School Library, 100 of which was a gift to the library for participating in the book fair and the remaining 25 raised by families of students.  


Student musicians chosen for prestigious orchestra programs

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:28pm

Hawaii Youth Symphony (HYS) is the only statewide orchestra program for youth. Each year HYS serves students ages 7-18 from nearly 100 schools on the different islands at all skill levels.

During the academic year, HYS operates three full symphonic orchestras and four string orchestras, instructing students who are beginners to the most accomplished young musicians. The HYS orchestras present free Listen & Learn educational concerts for elementary school children.

This season the Academy has outstanding musicians selected to participate in the orchestra. Seniors Kelly Chong and Mizuki Hamaguchi, junior Marissa Okamoto and sophomores Daryl Bolosan and Yiming (Sage) Guo participate in Youth Symphony I, Youth Symphony II or Concert Orchestra.

Chong plays the oboe, Hamaguchi percussion, Okamoto bassoon, Guo bass and Bolosan horn.

Students will perform at the Blaisdell Concert Hall during Dec. 7-9.

S club volunteers add color to annual 5k run

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:24pm

Soroptimist Club members volunteered at the annual Color Run, also known as “The Happiest 5k on the Planet,” a 5-kilometer race focusing less on speed and more on fun with family and friends.

Thousands of participants were doused in different colors of corn starch at each kilometer.

S club members helped pass out water and cheered on participants as they crossed the finish line.

Junior Neicy-Mae Fujiwara said, “Although we weren’t assigned at a color station, the water station was still fun. It was a great place to help because we were able to see many creative outfits and all of the colorful participants right after they had finished the race. It was great seeing everyone smiling and having a good time with their friends and family.”

After finishing the race, runners took part in the color festival near the main stage area where there was music and more dye packets were passed out, preparing participants for massive color throws. The event saw everyone sprayed with color dye, including volunteers.

Club adviser Randall Fong said, “This was our third year where we have volunteered at the Color Run. This service event is one of our most popular events and students really have fun while earning community service hours.”

Local Tea shop gives back to Wounded Veterans

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:16pm

Sacred Hearts Academy will be hosting a Taste Tea Fundraiser to support the Friends of Windward Wounded Warrior Foundation.

The fundraiser will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19, and Monday, Nov. 23 after school from 1pm to 5pm.

Friends of Windward Wounded Warrior Foundation aims to improve the lives of recovering servicemembers and their families. While providing assistance and resources, the foundation perpetuates the support of servicemembers and their families by helping them through physical, mental and spiritual transitions.

The truck that will be coming to the Academy will have flavors that Taste Tea regularly has on the menu.

Administration Director Toni Normand said, “We partnered with Taste Tea because we noticed students frequently coming to school with Taste Tea beverages. We hope that this fundraiser will be popular and students will be encouraged to buy.”

The sales collected will benefit the foundation and 20 percent will come toward the Academy.

Soroptimist Club gains behind-the-scenes view of television

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 10:10am

Soroptimist Club members took a field trip to the Hawaii News Now television station in Honolulu where they learned about television programming and the three sister networks, KGMB, KHNL and KFVE. Students had an inside look at an actual newscast watching the 5 p.m. news with anchors Chris Tanaka and Stephanie Lum.

Club adviser Randall Fong said, “Since the Soroptimist Club visited the tv station two years ago and students enjoyed it, we again had the chance to learn more about the broadcast industry and meet with those who work in that particular field. We met the lead anchorwoman and saw the different roles that women play, such as the engineers and those in the control room who keep the news running. It gave us a great opportunity to see women who are doing what used to be men’s jobs.”  

Students found the visit entertaining and informative.

Freshman Jessica Medrano said, “It was a really great experience to see the anchors do the news live and what actually happens behind the scenes and seeing what doesn’t air on  screen. It gave me a new perspective while I was watching the newscast in person compared to watching the news on the television screen.”

Senior Shannon Domingsil said, “I’m considering studying broadcast journalism in college, so this visit to the tv station was an amazing experience to really see what it’s like behind the scenes. It gave me more insight into what I should expect if I enter into this field.”

Veterans day parade to feature Academy band

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 10:04am

Sacred Hearts Academy’s band will perform in the Veterans Day parade on Wednesday, Nov. 11,  in Wahiawa.

The Aloha Week parade organization now requires bands to pay for a ribbon for each participant, including parents marching with the band.

Academy band director Keith Higaki believes the payment was not justified. “They were treating us kind of rudely and the other band directors pretty rudely, said Higaki. “I decided to pull out and have the band march in a more worthy parade, such as the Veterans Day parade in Wahiawa.

“The Aloha Week parade has, over the last decade, degraded into one of the most disorganized, poorly-planned parades. There’s low participation and low advertisement, and the crowds we’ve been seeing over the years have been dwindling. It really makes it, one, the most difficult parade and longest parade, and for little return. I didn’t feel that it was worth it any more.”

OUR club shares Halloween with housing residents

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 11:11am

The Outreach, Unity and Renewal Club (OUR club) has hosted holiday parties for Loliana Hale, a transitional housing shelter for families, for more than 30 years.

On Oct. 29 club members threw the annual Halloween party for the children living at Loliana Hale.

The nine students did face painting, applied temporary tattoos and played games with the children.

Senior Nicole Pagdilao said, “I was in charge of a game called ‘pin the wart on the witch’ where we blindfolded the kids and spun them around multiple times. All of the children were very friendly and talkative. They also showed great sportsmanship and those waiting in line were constantly laughing and smiling at their friends while they were trying to pin the wart on the witch.”

OUR club centers its activities on community outreach to give students an opportunity to help others. The activities provide practical experiences for students while meeting a need for less fortunate residents in the community.

Senior Kayla Galima said, “I wanted to make sure that these families had a sweet, fun-filled Halloween that they deserved. Even though the activities were simple, the children were excited and showed their appreciation. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to help these families celebrate the holiday.”

Annual FAST ‘sparks’ change in student attitudes

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 9:46am

The annual FAST for a Better Tomorrow, sponsored by the Junior Class, was held on Oct. 23.This year’s theme was “Be the Spark That Lights The World.”

More than 20 juniors assisted as group leaders with over 100 participants from grades nine to 11.

The FAST garnered over $1,500, more than 200 canned goods and many bags of donated clothes. The donations were for homeless communities in Kakaako and Waikiki through the Youth Outreach Drop-in Center.

For 14 years the Academy Campus Ministry has worked with  the Junior Class. Campus Minister, Sr. Katherine Francis Miller, remembers the beginning of the FAST.

“We realized that the junior religion course, Call to Justice, needed an experience that wasn’t academic but could engage students, especially in this time of their teenage years.”

Junior Brianne Agcaoili confirms the impact on her after attending the event.

“The FAST was an eye-opening experience. I most appreciated the speakers from Youth Outreach (YO). It helped me realize that even though we may think we have it hard, there are people out there who live the unthinkable. I definitely think the students got to know each other on a different level,” she said.

The FAST for a Better Tomorrow continues to meet its original goal from 14 years ago, but it couldn’t have been a success without the collaboration of students and teachers who plan the event each year.

Miller said, “This year’s team was committed and worked well with each other. It wouldn’t have gone the way it had if this chemistry wasn’t shared. “

Vice-principal shares birthday gift of reading

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 9:39am

Celebrating someone’s birthday often includes presents given to the birthday boy or girl.

Lower school Vice-principal Remee Tam turned the tables on this tradition by sharing her gift with Academy students.

On Oct. 26, Tam read her birthday book, “I Wish You More” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, to sixth graders.

“This beautifully written story is about endless good wishes – wishes for wonder, friendship, curiosity, strength, laughter and peace,” said lower school assistant librarian Heather Stenger.

“I Wish You More” promotes the acknowledgment and joy of everyday life and reminds readers to cherish even the littlest of things.

Inspired by Tam’s book, the sixth graders followed the reading in a story-making project on their iPads.

Read to Succeed Program challenges students to read

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 9:18am

Students in junior kindergarten to sixth grade are taking on the challenge of the lower school library’s Read to Succeed Program which asks students to read 100 books during the school year.

Students make a commitment to read at least 15 books with a minimum of 20 pages each month for seven months. If students complete the program, they receive a gold medal and a certificate.

Each month students are required to submit a completed reading log. They can earn a Pizza Hut Book It coupon for a free personal pan pizza.

Librarian Laurel Oshiro is thrilled with her students’ participation.

“Currently, 151 students are attempting to read 100 books this school year and discovering new books every day!” said Oshiro.

October begins annual fundraising season

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 11:24am

October usually means charitable activities at the Academy.

Annually, several fundraisers are held to benefit Aloha United Way (AUW) coinciding with the Halloween season.

From Oct. 1 to 30, lower school students contribute to Coins for a Cause, a fundraiser in which loose change is collected. This year’s collection is destined for the American Cancer Society because October is also breast cancer awareness month.

All students will have a chance to purchase delicious treats during the Bake Sale on Oct. 22 in the Clarence T.C. Ching Student Center. Donations of baked goods, popcorn and packaged juices will be accepted that morning and sold for the fundraiser.

On Oct. 30, students in grades junior kindergarten through 12 can support the AUW by dressing in costumes in support of Costume for a Cause. Students donate three dollars for their participation.

The morning of Oct. 30 also features lower school students in a costume parade as well as various Halloween activities.

Last year Academy students and families donated a generous $11,060 to Aloha United Way.


Come FAST!

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 9:53am

Every year, the FAST for a Better Tomorrow is sponsored by the Junior Class as a service activity for students in grades nine through 12.

Participants are asked to donate canned goods and 10 dollars for the purchase of toiletries, which are bagged and given to Waikiki Youth Outreach(YO), an organization helping teens on the streets.

This year’s theme is “Be the Spark that Lights Up the World.” More than 20 juniors serve as volunteer leaders under the guidance of Sr. Katherine Francis Miller and Sr. Irene Barboza. Juniors Kaysey Siobal and Katherine Hennion are the overall coordinators.

Siobal said, “We have been preparing for FAST for a few weeks, almost a month, now. Our theme is individuality as reflected in our title, “Be the Spark that Lights Up the World.” We are emphasizing gaining or strengthening the confidence that every individual needs in order to fully understand how she is as a person. Individuality exists hand in hand with confidence and functions with the other. Through our theme we are focusing on finding ourselves and how we can help others do the same. To be confident in one’s individuality means everyone contributes their unique traits and is the ‘spark’ that lights up the world altogether.”

The FAST will be held in the auditorium from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 23.

New Feminist Club advocates gender equality

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 2:22pm

Welcome to the Feminist Club!

“Feminist Club was started to educate girls in the fundamentals of feminism. We wanted to create a safe place for girls to share and discuss ideas freely, and explore the spectrum of being a girl in today’s world,” said President Ji-Won Ha.

The club gained considerable attention at the Club Fair a few weeks ago with over 140 students signing up.

Ha is the club’s founder as well as an avid feminist.

Ha said, “I think I’m so passionate about feminism because I believe it’s just common sense. Feminism is ultimately about empowerment and knowing what you’re entitled, and I want to help as many people as I can to reach that state.”

Members of Feminist Club will participate in discussions regarding women in today’s society and women in male-dominated fields. Members will also hear guest speakers, mostly women who have made names for themselves in the work force, and participate in self-defense classes.

Ha is an advocate of the idea that feminism is not misandry but gender equality. She hopes to spread the message not only on campus but in the broader community as well.

“We want to reach out to as many people as possible.  We want to spread as much awareness as we can and gain support for this movement.  In the community, we want girls to go out into society with confidence and positivity, and overcome any obstacles they may come across with the tools they’ve acquired from this club and the lessons it has taught,” said Ha.

The Feminist Club meets every second Friday of the month in room A224.

Give a gift of limitless possibilities

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 2:09pm

With the holidays around the corner, the Academy Parent Organization is conducting its annual Christmas Gift Card fundraiser which allows families to purchase gift cards for favorite eateries, department stores and shops.

The Gift Card fundraiser encourages families to buy gift cards for everyday purchases. It features favorite clothing and convenient store gift cards from Bath and Body Works, Best Buy, Children’s Place, Longs, American Eagle Outfitters, Aeropostale and Office Depot. Gift cards are also available for eateries, including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Buca di Beppo, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Macaroni Grill, Ruby Tuesday and Taco Bell.

The amount of each gift card varies from $10 to $100. A percentage of the sale of each card will go towards capital improvement projects on the Academy campus. The donation varies depending on the store, ranging from three to 14 percent.

Students and parents are invited to purchase gift cards through the Academy by completing orders online at Within 48 hours, an email confirmation will be sent. The confirmation letter must be printed and returned with payment to the lower or high school office. Checks made payable to Sacred Hearts Academy Parent Board are encouraged; cash will not be accepted. Credit cards are discouraged because of the additional processing fees.

The last day to order is Oct. 19. Pick-up dates will be Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in the Conference Room and Nov. 18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m at the Student Center.

Lynn and Levin Matsukawa, the chairs of the Gift Card Fundraiser, can be contacted at


Retreat emphasizes individuality and supportive friendships

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 1:55pm

Eighth graders had their retreat, themed “Donut Be Afraid,” at St.Anthony’s Retreat Center on Oct. 8.

LIFE team members, the retreat leaders, stressed the importance of community, self-worth and being content through a variety of activities.

Eighth grader Leiolani Faurot said, “My favorite part of the retreat was affirmations. We were each given a plate and in our small groups we were to write something we liked about the person on her plate. After this activity, I felt great about myself and I know we have a greater connection with each other.”

Ana Araujo said, “My favorite part of the retreat was creating a banner of all our similarities within our group and the qualities we think a community is made up of.”

Since Junior High students are greatly influenced by the people around them, the retreat encouraged students to surround themselves with people who support their beliefs and promote their individual growth.

LIFE member Haylee Bennett said, “ I enjoyed coordinating this retreat and helping the girls build new friendships. Hopefully, as they enter high school, they will not be afraid to make new friendships.”

Redesigned tests hope to prove relevance to students

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 1:49pm

The College Board has made several substantial changes to the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) as well as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) which are taken by thousands of students nationwide.

The changes “will make the tests clearer for students, more closely connected to K-12 course work and more useful for college admission officers,” according to the College Board.

Academy students take the PSAT three times, beginning in freshman year through the fall of junior year. Juniors take the SAT in the spring of their junior year and often a second time in senior year.

The tests will no longer include random vocabulary words. Instead, they will use words that students are more familiar with and that must be read in context to be understood. The notorious “SAT Vocabulary Words” are a thing of the past.

The revised assessments will also require students to provide evidence and encourage them to justify their responses and explain the steps for arriving at a conclusion.

For the SAT, the 50-minute essay is optional. The prompt will be posted online prior to the test; however, the passage and text will be different on the actual test. The College Board recommends that students check with the institutions they are applying to to determine whether they should take the essay portion.

The tests will focus on three essential components of math: problem solving and data analysis; the heart of algebra; and Passport to Advanced Math.

Problems on the assessments will have greater relevance to real-world situations. Questions will be “directly related to the work performed in college and career,” according to the College Board.

Students taking the PSAT and SAT will also use math, reading, writing and language skills to analyze questions and texts in science, history and social studies contexts.

The assessments will be more inclusive of U.S. history and current events.

“Every time students take one of the redesigned assessments, they will encounter a passage from a founding document or a text from the ongoing global conversation about freedom, justice and human dignity,” according to the College Board.

Previously, one-fourth of a point was assigned for incorrect answers. This penalty has been removed on the new assessments. Students will gain points for correct answers.

In the past, students had been advised not to guess if they did not know an answer to a question. With the redesigned tests, it is in students’ best interest to guess as they have a chance of getting the right answer without a penalty.

Students in the class of 2016 must take the old SAT. All students in the class of 2017 and later will take the new PSAT and SAT.

‘Land of Oz’ comes to Mamiya Theatre

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 1:44pm

Sacred Hearts Academy’s fall drama production of “The Wizard of Oz” premieres on Nov. 6 at St. Louis School’s Mamiya Theatre under the direction of St. Louis director Kyle Kakuno.

The cast features 37 Academy students and seven male performers who have been rehearsing since September.

“The Wizard of Oz” is the story of a young girl’s adventures while finding her way back home.

When a tornado hits Kansas, Dorothy and her dog Toto embark on a magical journey through the land of Oz. Along the way, Dorothy befriends a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion. All four travel together seeking the wizard of Oz so that Dorothy can get home, the Scarecrow a brain, the Tin Man a heart and the Lion courage. Misadventure plagues the quartet as they are attacked by evil, including the Wicked Witch of West, flying monkeys and a field of sleep-inducing poppies.

Well known songs, including “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “The Merry Old Land of Oz” and “Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!” are featured in the production.

Sophomore Alana Glaser has the lead, as young, sprightly Dorothy Gale.

Glaser said, “I was surprised and overjoyed when a group of seventh graders ran to me with the good news of being cast as Dorothy. Theater has always been a part of my life, and I feel that by performing, I am able to tell a story and share a message with the audience. My goal on stage is to touch each audience member in their own way by the end of the show.”

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5, 6,  7, 13, 14 and 4 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 15.

A ‘scare-tastic’ October: Fright Night rises from the dead

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 5:19am

Students are looking forward to Sacred Hearts Academy Room Parents’ (SHARP) Board Halloween Fright Night on Oct. 30 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event was cancelled last year.

The Haunted House, a crowd favorite, will be in the Conference Room.

Board secretary Joy Oehlers said, “You won’t recognize it after the parent volunteers and the YMCA team transform the ordinary harmless-looking conference room into the most exciting Haunted House ever with scary surprises at every turn and corner – sounds, smells, sights and touch galore!”

Attendees can enjoy festive snacks at Treat Street, play games for prizes in Games Alley, and get glitter tattoos and balloon animal.

Cash prizes ranging from 20 to 50 dollars will be awarded for the best costumes according to age groups and various categories as well as for the pumpkin carving and decorating contest (students and families must bring their own pumpkins).

In addition to Halloween festivities, Fright Night also offers a myriad of volunteer opportunities for junior high and high school students for community service hours.

Students can sign up to portray monsters in the Haunted House, thus creating fear in fellow classmates.

Students can also sign up to help at the Treat Street stands or assist with games in Games Alley.

Volunteers will be given free popcorn and shave ice.

A variety of food will be offered at Fright Night. Bento #1 includes hibachi teriyaki chicken, furikake rice, sesame noodles and vegetables. Bento #2 is a vegetarian option which comes with eggplant parmesan with angel hair pasta and garlic bread.

The bentos must be pre-ordered by Oct. 23 at Bottled water and fruit drinks will be sold.