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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Updated: 2 hours 10 min ago

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.

Cultural activities mark K-club’s year

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:46pm

The scent of ginger and spices filled the air as members of the Korean, or K-club had the unusual opportunity to make kimchi to start the new school year.

Kimchi is Korea’s most popular side dish, eaten with every meal and made from fermented cabbage or other vegetables seasoned with fish sauce, pepper flakes and many other spices.  

Loved by Koreans and foreigners alike, kimchi is loaded with vitamins and aids digestion.

The K-club activity on Oct. 1 marked the club’s first meeting with new members.

Under the guidance of club adviser Peter Park, the club’s new initiatives include incorporating cultural activities for members to become more familiar with Korean culture.

Junior Tiani Quon, a K-Club officer, explained the importance of the plan.

“Exploring different cultural aspects allows us not only to experience customs unique to a specific culture, but also to acquire an appreciation for cultural differences,”  she said.

The  next cooking workshop for K-club will take place on Oct. 20 where members will be making “hoddeok,” a Korean pancake-like street food that is enjoyed during the winter months and “kkakdugi,”  daikon kimchi.

‘O Christmas tree’ sales! Project grad 2017 fundraises

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 7:29am

The annual Christmas tree sale for the Class of 2017 Project Graduation, also known as Project Grad, is on the horizon.

Project Grad is a nationwide program that offers organized, adult-supervised and alcohol-free activities in the form of a class party on graduation night. Its goal is to prevent student-run parties that often feature alcohol and drugs. The program often takes the form of an overnight stay for the class at a hotel, a camping trip or the school itself.

Christmas tree sales began Sept. 21. The trees for pre-sale are Noble and Douglas firs. Wreaths are also available for sale.

Prices for trees and wreaths vary, depending on size. Noble firs are $65-$145 per tree and Douglas firs $59-$78. Wreaths cost $30-$40.

If orders are placed before Oct. 9, a 10 percent discount will be applied.

To order a tree or wreath, a form is required and can be found on Edline. Trees and wreaths can be picked up on Friday, Dec. 4, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Academy.

Trees and wreaths must be picked up by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Acting classes spark performers for theater and screen

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 7:26am

Kyle Kakuno, program director at Mamiya Theatre, has offered to students semester-long courses, Musical Theatre Workshop and Acting for Stage & Screen, through St. Louis School’s after-school drama program. Each course culminates in a performance at the end of the semester.

Kakuno is the director of many Academy drama productions, including this year’s “The Wizard of Oz.”

Musical Theatre Workshop is aimed at teaching students how to use the disciplines of acting, singing and dancing to tell a story. Focusing on character development and the use of body, voice and imagination, the class teaches young actors how to work as an ensemble. Kakuno will also teach the young thespians how to prepare for auditions.

Acting for Stage & Screen is an intensive program for students interested in exploring the creative process and emphasizes the craft of acting. Focusing on guideposts utilized by professional actors, students will develop skills in acting, analyzing script and playing roles for theater, film and television. Tips for auditioning and getting an agent are also included in this class.

Freshman Kira Stone, the lead of the Academy’s past production of “Alice and Wonderland,” is in  the Musical Theatre Workshop.

Stone said, “ I am really enjoying the program so far. I am learning how to better my audition skills from the general areas like the right songs and monologues to choosing the nitty gritty things like how to walk into a room and how to stand. There are only six of us in the class, so it gives us one on one time with Poasa, our teacher, for some useful, constructive criticism on our songs and the way we carry ourselves. I am really enjoying the class and learning a ton about finding myself and stepping out of my comfort zone as well as becoming a better performer.”

Sophomore Alana Glaser, who has played major roles in several community and school projects, is also enrolled in the program.

“I am participating in the Acting for Stage & Screen Workshop this semester. It is expanding my acting skills by helping me to open up. The class is very small, so I receive personal constructive criticism that strengthens me as a performer. We have learned how to successfully go through the process of a cold read, which is the term for the reading of a script for the first time (before the script has been read or viewed before). We are currently working on monologues, and we will be working on scene work next.”

The second semester begins in January, but students can apply now for classes by contacting Kakuno at or (808)739-4886.


Senior gives scholarship finalists a run for the money

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 7:23am

Senior Phoebe Kirk, previously a finalist for the Positive Coaching Alliance Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship, has won the scholarship.

Kirk has been a notable runner in cross country and track since middle school.

Kirk wrote that her essay displayed excellence in Personal Mastery: Making oneself better;  Leadership: Making one’s teammates better; and Honoring the Game: Making the game better.

Athletic director, Ryan Hogue, encouraged Kirk to apply for this scholarship opportunity.

On reaction to her win, Hogue said, “Phoebe is an outstanding student-athlete who has found her success through simply outworking her competition and having a passion for running. She makes everyone at the Academy very proud.”

Kirk will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. She hopes to run in college and eventually become an astronaut in the future.

First retreat of the year encourages friendships

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 4:24pm

Sixth graders experienced their first class retreat at St. Anthony Retreat Center in Kalihi organized by the Living in Faith Experience (LIFE) team on Sept. 18.

“A Pizza Friendship” was the theme of the retreat where students had a series of sessions and activities to unite them and deepen their faith. Retreat leaders held three sessions focused on trust, keeping peace between classmates and friendship.

Sixth grader Keona Tomita said, “My favorite part of the retreat was the opportunity to make our own skit within our small group that focused on the comparison between a good friendship and a bad one. My small group was really fun, and I’m looking forward to our future retreats.”

As they leave elementary school this year, many students are beginning to get a sense of their own identity and learning how to decide right and wrong.

LIFE member and retreat coordinator, Nicole Pagdilao, said, “This was our first retreat of the school year and we were ecstatic at how well the sixth graders reacted to this experience with such open minds. We included three important sayings that we wanted them to take home from the retreat: kill others with kindness; share your bacon, which relates to a skit about sharing; and always be strong because we are sisters.”

The retreat activities were effective in reminding students that they should be able to trust and have good friendships with other girls.

Sixth grader Chloe Kwok said, “Since this was my first retreat, I really didn’t know what to expect but after this experience I’m excited for our future class retreats. I’m also a new student, and I didn’t know some of the girls in my grade and it was just nice making new friends.”

Robotics team takes on trash challenge

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 9:01am

The Academy’s lower school robotics team is on a mission to tackle the 2015 FLL Challenge, “Trash Trek.”

“Trash Trek” asks students to research and investigate which type of trash is most commonly found in their communities. After doing so, the team will brainstorm several ways of disposing or reusing the trash they encounter.

The team visited Times Supermarket and spoke to the seafood department representative to decide which trash they will evaluate. After the visit, students decided to pursue the project, focusing on styrofoam trays.

Fourth grade teacher Lacey Teshima and sixth grade teacher Jennifer Arthur are requesting that other students contribute to the project, by bringing in styrofoam trays until Oct. 9. In addition, the team has a survey ( concerning the use of styrofoam trays.

With the help of the entire student body, the lower school robotics team hopes to put together a presentation that will impress judges in the exhibition which will take place in November. 

Administration changes dismissal time for high school

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 10:00am

Because of traffic problems on Wednesdays, the administration has changed the dismissal time for high school students.

The day has been extended by 15 minutes to allow fourth to sixth graders easier access to leaving campus at 1 p.m. and alleviate congestion in the lot.

Head of School Betty White said, “Traffic has been problematic, and often the parking lot is literally in gridlock. To avoid this, especially on Wednesdays, we will be dismissing grades seven to 12 at 1:15 p.m. rather than 1.”

Many students are pleased with the new dismissal time.

Junior Christina Nguyen said, “I feel relieved that we are ending later than lower school because after dismissal, I usually have a hard time locating my parents due to the traffic.”

Because of the lengthening of the day, recess has also been extended from 10:50 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Students on work study end at 1:45 p.m. instead of  1:30.

Freshman Mikaela Dolor said, “Overall, I am pleased with the new dismissal time because now, I’m able to have time to eat and study longer at recess.”

Academy commemorates 106th birthday

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 9:33am

Sacred Hearts Academy celebrated its 106th birthday with activities throughout the week culminating in a fun-filled assembly involving the the entire school.

On Wednesday, the student council presented teachers with a variety of snacks as a way of thanking them for their hard work.

During lunch time on Thursday. students and teachers participated in an activity involving a bungee cord and marshmallows. The objective of the game was for participants to eat the marshmallow that was five feet away while placing a bungee cord between their mouth and nose. The bungee cord was meant to restrain participants from leaning forward, testing their persistency and strength.

Junior Amily Tam said, “The activity during lunch was a bit painful but it was a very fun experience that tested my own strength. Although I had a hard time walking towards the marshmallow [because of the cord],  I was able to motivate myself because I really wanted to test my abilities and of course, eat the marshmallow.”

On Friday, the  student council hosted a morning birthday assembly, welcoming the entire school and a few sisters of the Sacred Hearts order.

Lancer cheerleaders started the assembly with cheers and a dance number, pumping up the crowd and showing school pride.

Senior Haylee Bennett said, “I loved it so much because there was so much positive energy being spread throughout the gym while we were cheering. The student council also planned many fun activities for the divisions to participate in during the assembly and that’s what really got everybody excited.”

During the assembly, a spirit attire contest was held with three categories: most white and gold, most creative and best representation of the Lancer spirit.

Several games involved student participation, including “The Magic Carpet,” “Tilt a Cup,” and a lip syncing contest and dance.

Senior Nicole Pagdilao said, “The assembly was the best part of the week because it included the entire school community and we got really hyped up to celebrate the school’s birthday. I enjoyed the students’ lip sync battle, especially when they pulled one of the lower school girls to sing. I thought that it was really cute because it involved everyone. I also enjoyed watching the teachers lip sync and dance crazily because it was very entertaining!”

Lower school students excel in summer reading challenge

Thu, 09/17/2015 - 2:23pm

During the summer, 51 students from grades junior kindergarten to sixth grade participated in the Summer Reading Bingo Challenge.

Students participated as a part of the Lower School library’s Read to Succeed program.

The program gave students various challenges to complete over the summer to hinder the academic slide, according to librarian Laurel Oshiro.

Too often the two-month period of summer means students regress and knowledge is lost.

Each completed challenge filled a spot on the bingo sheet. To complete the challenge students needed to blackout 25 spots.

Some of the challenges included reading a book with a friend, reading at the public library or reading without being asked.

Oshiro said, “I was really impressed that so many students were excited to complete so many reading challenges. The program helped motivate a lot of students to read during the summer.”

The prizes for completing the challenge were from the library’s treasure box or a certificate if students completed the blackout.