SHA Kaleo

You are here

Subscribe to SHA Kaleo feed
The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Taking steps toward a zero-carbon footprint

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 10:10am

For Sacred Hearts Academy sophomore Ella blu Pakele to offset her own carbon emissions, she’d need to plant 12 trees. And that’s exactly what she did at Gunstock Ranch, as part of an initiative to make Hawaii the first carbon-neutral state.

“Taking an active approach to this climate change problem instantly drew me into the challenge, and I wanted to be a part of that,” said Pakele, who calculated her carbon emissions using an online survey.

She and others not only made state history planting more than 10,000 native Hawaiian trees at once that day but also helped curb a global climate crisis at a local level.

Camilo Mora and his daughter Asryelle Mora holding a native tree sapling. They organize plantings and speak to schools about the Carbon Neutral Challenge.

The effort to target climate change, by having a zero-carbon footprint, was a challenge put forth by father-daughter duo Camilo and Asryelle Mora. Prior to this, they organized a group to plant 1,000 trees in one day near Tripler Hospital. 

“It never would have crossed my mind that we would be planting trees,” said Camilo Mora, an associate geography professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “But it was my then seven-year-old daughter who showed me the light and came up with the challenge.”

Carbon neutrality refers to removing as much carbon dioxide from the environment that one puts into it. According to him, even a small increase in carbon dioxide can cause the earth to get warmer; a scenario confirmed by NASA last year in being the second warmest year on record.

The trees planted at the Gunstock Ranch will be named Pearl Harbor Legacy Forest in commemoration of the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  

Facing challenges

Camilo Mora is certain that carbon neutrality will be the solution to climate change.

“Think about carbon neutrality like your bank account; you cannot spend more money than you have…or you’ll start going into debt,” he said. “The same goes with climate change because we are producing carbon dioxide like crazy.”

On his website, an individual can calculate how much carbon dioxide they generate and estimate the number of trees necessary to sequester those emissions.

As simple as it sounds, he says, the project still faces challenges.

“Right now in the state, where you plant trees, their survival is about 10 percent. Out of 100 trees, only 10 of them will survive,” Camilo Mora said. 

Infographic by Noe Nekotani.

Through pilot studies, his team used weed-blocking mats around each plant to combat weeds. This increased the saplings’ survival by 50 percent.

Lack of water had also been a challenge, which was improved upon at the Gunstock Ranch planting. The team organized a watering system. The system collects water during the rainy season to last through the dry season and thus ensure constant maintenance.

To remedy roots damaged during the transplant process, the team found a cheaper alternative that would allow volunteers to plant trees without damaging the roots in the process. The saplings’ survival rate will increase to about 60 to 80 percent.

Though these solutions have brought hope to the project, they did not come at a small cost to Camilo Mora; most of which he pays out-of-pocket. 

The most recent Gunstock Ranch event totaled over $30,000. Some funding came from a Kickstarter campaign and 350 Hawaii, a local non-profit fighting climate change. Support from the government, he said, would help to reach their goal in making Hawaii the first carbon-neutral state.

Trending trees

An illustration showing how bettering the environment is a worldwide effort, and no matter who you are or where you’re from, steps toward a zero carbon footprint can be achieved in even the smallest efforts, like planting a tree. Illustration by Brianne Ishihara.

The university professor is not alone in his efforts to combat climate change with trees.

A similar online challenge called #TeamTrees encouraged followers to plant 20 million trees. The effort would potentially raise $20 million, which would be donated to the Arbor Day Foundation.

The challenge gained traction through the online video-sharing platform YouTube, reaching its funding goal within a few months. 

Student volunteer Pakele said the efforts should extend beyond the viral challenge.

“I hope that their minds and hearts are doing this from a genuine place,” she said. “Sustainability is not a trend, nor should it be treated like one.”

Spreading the word

Among the challenges, motivating the community is the most difficult. The father-daughter pair have been speaking at schools, including the Academy.

They explain the concept of a person’s carbon footprint and how everyone’s carbon footprint contributes to global warming. 

Pakele, who splits her time between three environmentally and globally focused clubs, attended the presentation earlier this year.

“I hope that people walked away with a better understanding that their positive contribution, no matter how small, can leave a lasting impact on their community and around the world,” she said.

Masses Raise Glasses to Pay for Students’ Classes

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 11:25am

Laughter surrounded the Sacred Hearts Academy campus a few weeks ago, as the smell of food and wine wafted through the air. The third annual Academy Uncorked event offered gourmet food, wine and entertainment as a way to raise scholarship monies by raising glasses. 

This year, the event raised more than $100,000 for student scholarships. In the past, the event has financed 44 percent of students at the Academy, according to coordinators. 

Winners from the wall of wines celebrate. This fundraising activity allowed guests to buy randomly numbered chips with the possibility of winning the matching wine bottle.

Guests participated in various fundraising activities, such as the lucky draw sweepstakes, live auction and a wall of wines. The live auction portion earned more than $47,300 and included valued packages, such as a Las Vegas VIP Vacation, two dinner parties and a special reception at the Alohilani Longboard Club. At the wall of wines, guests purchased randomly numbered chips, with the prize being the matching wine bottle.

High school math teacher Kimberlee McCoy won a staycation at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.

“I never win anything,” she said. “(My favorite part of Uncorked was) being with coworkers in a setting outside of responsibilities and requirements and just getting to enjoy and have a good time.”

Entertainment included live Hawaiian music and a performance by Academy senior Rachel Javier. While the guests listened to music, they enjoyed specialty dishes prepared by Chef Marc Anthony Frieiberg of Landmarc Catering. 

“(My favorite part of Uncorked is) being able to meet people from all walks of life,” senior student volunteer Aubree Davis said. “A lot of the people there have a special connection to Sacred Hearts.”

Volunteers helping guests participating in the wall of wines.

More than 200 volunteers helped with the event and included students, alumnae, parents and staff. 

Development Office Assistant Loretta Loo and several student volunteers discuss the logistics of the next fundraising activity.

“It’s a great way to show off our students and the kind of adults Sacred Hearts Academy wants to nurture,” Development Office Assistant Loretta Loo said. “It allows our guests to have a tangible way of interacting with those affected by the funds raised by their attendance at Academy Uncorked.”

Uncorked leaves a lasting impression on not only the guests but also on the students at the Academy. The money raised from the event, also raises students’ spirits because guests hydrate to educate.

Academy students take a trip to the State Capitol

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:56am
Gallery|4 PhotosSacred Hearts Academy’s Girls Got Grit program prepared a presentation about problems in Hawaii. Photos courtesy of Noe Oliver. Close var sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; $('html').on('wheel', function(event) { var delta = { y: event.originalEvent.deltaY }; if (delta.y > 20 && sno_slideshow_open == 'yes') { $('button.remodal-close').trigger('click'); sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; } }); $('.flexslider').animate({'opacity': 1}, { 'duration': 'slow'}); $('.flex-container').css('background', 'unset'); $(document).ready(function() { $('html').on('click', 'button.remodal-close', function(){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; }); $('html').on('click', '.sfi-return-to-story', function(){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; }); $('body').keypress(function(e){ if(e.which == 27 || e.which == 0){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; } }); $(function(){ $('.modal-photo106665').click(function() { var image = $(this).attr('data-image'); sno_slideshow_open = 'yes'; var inst = $('[data-remodal-id=modal-photo106665]').remodal(); var photoids = '14264,14265,14266,14267'; var unique = '106665'; var storyid = '14261';; $.ajax({ url:'/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', type:'POST', data:'action=getslideshow&photoids=' + photoids + '&unique=' + unique + '&storyid=' + storyid + '&image=' + image, success:function(results) { $('.photo-container106665').replaceWith(results); } }); }); }); $('.sfiphotowrap106665').hover(function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#1304b4'); }, function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#000'); }) });

The Sacred Hearts Academy cheer team and Girls Got Grit program (GGG) visited the Hawaii State Capitol this weekend to be recognized by and meet Gov. David Ige.

On Monday, the Academy cheer team, along with Saint Louis School members, met with the governor to be recognized for their win at the Jamz Cheer National Competition. Later, the GGG members were able to present on the topic of, “If I were Governor, what would I do to make Hawaii better?”

“It was really interesting to see the Capitol and Gov. Ige in real life and not just on the news,” senior Melina O’Reilly said. O’Reilly, along with senior Megan Valente, were the only seniors on the team.

Academy Athletic Director Ryan Hogue, Head of School Betty White and Gov. Ige presented certificates to the team after a short speech about their success.

“I honestly never would have thought that we would have won this big and be grand national champions,” O’Reilly said. “The ‘cherry on top’ was definitely feeling the love and pride of our win back home in Hawaii. I never thought we would gain so much attention for our win, and it makes me really proud of my team and how far we have come.”

While the cheer team was celebrating their championship win, the Academy’s GGG team waited to present their presentations on problems in Hawaii and how to solve them. Problems that the groups covered included, environmental sustainability, pedestrian safety, teenage vaping in Hawaii, youth drug use and life skills training for high school seniors.

“The girls had been working on the answer to this question with their mentors since February and had their official presentations last week,” GGG Advisor Noe Oliver ‘96 said. “As a result, we were invited by the governor to have each of the five teams give a short summary of each of their answers to that topic.”

Following the presentations, the governor addressed each group, as well as the problems they focused on and what the government is currently doing to resolve them. Each groups mentors were also present to provide support for their students.

“The topic was very broad and difficult this year (and) thinking of ‘big picture’ issues challenged every student to develop their patience, resilience, adaptability and problem-solving skills,” Oliver said. “It was very meaningful to have the governor recognize the teams and all of their hard work this season.”

Youth push for statewide ban on flavored tobacco products

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 2:51pm

In an effort to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in Hawaii, Sacred Hearts Academy students helped decorate the Hawaii State Capitol lawn with art and the words, “Candy Flavored Tobacco Hooks Kids.”

“Candy flavors mask the taste of tobacco, which I’ve been seeing become more popular among my peers,” Academy senior Agnes Brown said. As a youth council member for the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii (CTFH), Brown joined state lawmakers, health organizations and other students in the anti-flavor-tobacco initiative earlier this month.

The public display brought attention to two bills that would make Hawaii the first state to pass a ban on flavored tobacco products, which advocates say the tobacco industry has used as a way to target youth.

HB276 and SB1009 would eliminate the sale of products statewide, including electronic smoking products.

Both bills are currently being reviewed and, if passed, would take effect January 2020.

National studies show more than 80 percent of youth who use tobacco start with a flavored product, while 95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21. In Hawaii, 1 in 4 high school students regularly use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, according to the state Department of Health.

“The purpose (of the bills) is to reduce the number of people, in particular youth, that use tobacco products,” CTFH Youth Coordinator Scott Stensrud said.

An assortment of e-cigarette devices displayed at the Academy during a CTFH presentation to teachers and parents. Photo by Noe Nekotani.


Juuls, a type of e-cigarette that looks similar to a computer flash drive, have become increasingly popular with middle and high school students. Its sleek design and appealing flavors mask the high concentrations of nicotine, which can be damaging to brain development.

A 2017 study by Truth Initiative reports that one-fifth of youth ages 12-17 has seen Juuls in school.

Of the more than 15,000 available flavors, CTFH says flavors like Molokai Sweet Bread and Li Hing Mui specifically target Hawaii’s youth.


‘Up against the industry’

“We’re up against the industry, (and) to counter the money the industry is pouring into defeating this bill, we need to gather even more supporters,” Stensrud said.

In 2016, the tobacco industry spent about $9.5 billion on advertising and marketing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although a person must be at least 21 years old to buy tobacco products, Stensrud said teens obtain products through friends, older family members or online.

“Some know of stores they can get (these products),” he said. “Either it is because they know somebody who works in the store, or they just know that the store would sell it to underaged individuals.”

‘Not appropriate or intended for youth’

Local businesses, such as VOLCANO eCigs, disagree and point to their policy on checking identification.

“We’re very strict and ID everybody,” employee Manuel said. “No matter if they look like their 80; we 100 percent ID check, and we try to do that before someone asks a question about a product.”

Despite the policy, the company still encounters many underaged customers.  

“Customers have their uncle, or someone, try to buy for them,” he said. “It happens quite often. If we see the older person asking questions for the younger person, then we kill the whole sale.”

The company has several shops throughout Oahu but also sells products online.

To view Juul’s website, users must verify that they are at least 21 years old. Screenshot courtesy of Juul’s website.

Upon first entering the company website, the user encounters a notification stating, “The products contained on this site are intended for sale to adults of the legal smoking age in their respective place of residence. By clicking below, you certify that you are of the legal smoking age.”

The same policy is in place for companies like, Juul. Users must agree to being of legal smoking age by clicking a link to enter. The top of the homepage reads in bold letters, “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”

According to its website, Juul is an alternative to smokers, with a mission to “improve the lives of the world’s more than one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes.” It continues by stating that the company does “not want to see a new generation of smokers” and that it “wants to be part of the solution to end combustible smoking, not part of a problem to attract youth.”

“The tobacco industry argues that…some adults use (e-cigarettes) to quit, but it’s really switching from combustible cigarettes to vaping, so it’s really not quitting,” CTFH’s Stensrud said. “They still have an addiction to nicotine; they’re just using a different product for it,”

The Truth Initiative states that youth, age 15 to 17, are 16 times more likely to use a Juul, as compared to those ages 25 to 34.

Peer-to-peer outreach

To combat these statistics, the youth council–consisting of high school and college students–continues to advocate during legislation.

In 2016, the council helped raise the age of tobacco sales to 21 years old. This was a first for any state. It also helped pass a law prohibiting smoking in cars with kids throughout Oahu.

The council advocates against tobacco use through community presentations and policy change at the local and state levels.

“Being part of this youth council is my way of lessening the effect of this epidemic,” Academy senior Brown said.

The most impactful way to get their message across, members say, is through peer-to-peer outreach. Youth advocates recently presented to more than 20 schools and organizations, including the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

This week, Brown presented to Academy students and families about teen tobacco use, specifically vaping through the use of e-cigarettes.

In addition to peer-to-peer outreach, youth council members have produced videos used as part of the 808 No Vape Campaign, as well as participated in the Breathe Aloha mural project. The murals can be seen throughout Hawaii high schools. They are meant to encourage tobacco-and-vape-free lifestyles.

Later this month, Brown and other youth council members will participate in the national Kick Butts Day. The initiative raises awareness about the dangers of using tobacco. More than 1,000 events in schools and communities around the world are expected to participate.

Academy welcomes new Head of School

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 11:50am

Sacred Hearts Academy students gathered yesterday for a special morning assembly announcing new Head of School Dr. Scott Schroeder. He replaces Betty White, who has been at the Academy for more than 40 years.

Schroeder, a former Academy Board Member and chair, will start in July 2019.

Following White’s official retirement announcement in January 2018, a 6-month-long search for the new Head of School commenced. A pool of applicants was then submitted to the Members of Sacred Hearts Academy for further review.

White has been an educator at the Academy for 50 years. This year marks her 17th year as the Head of School.

“I would have never imagined that they would choose a male Head of School, but now that we have one, the idea doesn’t seem too far-fetched,” senior Xavier Downey-Silva said. “In fact, I’m excited to see what (Dr. Schroeder) can do for the school.”

Schroeder was chosen based on his high scores in the key elements that exemplified a befitting successor to White’s legacy, such as, education experience, leadership and business acumen, academic and student affairs experience and Board relations. He most recently served as Dean of the School of Management and Communication and Professor of Management at Chaminade University.

Schroeder was also commended for his five-plus years experience of being a Board member for the Academy, aligning his beliefs in the Catholic faith, as well as reinforced professionalism and passion as an educator from supervisor references.

“We’re in a time of unprecedented opportunities and challenges for girls and young women,” Schroeder said during the morning assembly. “I believe the best that the Sacred Hearts Catholic education has to offer; faith development, academic aventure and an environment filled with joy, will prepare (the students) to grab those opportunities and meet those challenges now and in the future.”

Students show off their talent at SHA’s Got Talent

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:51am
Gallery|3 PhotosClose var sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; $('html').on('wheel', function(event) { var delta = { y: event.originalEvent.deltaY }; if (delta.y > 20 && sno_slideshow_open == 'yes') { $('button.remodal-close').trigger('click'); sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; } }); $('.flexslider').animate({'opacity': 1}, { 'duration': 'slow'}); $('.flex-container').css('background', 'unset'); $(document).ready(function() { $('html').on('click', 'button.remodal-close', function(){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; }); $('html').on('click', '.sfi-return-to-story', function(){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; }); $('body').keypress(function(e){ if(e.which == 27 || e.which == 0){ sno_slideshow_open = 'no'; } }); $(function(){ $('.modal-photo57760').click(function() { var image = $(this).attr('data-image'); sno_slideshow_open = 'yes'; var inst = $('[data-remodal-id=modal-photo57760]').remodal(); var photoids = '13950,13951,13952'; var unique = '57760'; var storyid = '13949';; $.ajax({ url:'/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', type:'POST', data:'action=getslideshow&photoids=' + photoids + '&unique=' + unique + '&storyid=' + storyid + '&image=' + image, success:function(results) { $('.photo-container57760').replaceWith(results); } }); }); }); $('.sfiphotowrap57760').hover(function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#1304b4'); }, function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#000'); }) });

Sacred Hearts Academy held its first-ever talent show recently in an effort to add variety to the usual school assemblies. Instead of student and faculty games, the talent show showcased student-performed hula, singing and dancing.

“I liked how everyone supported the acts, even if they were in different grades,” junior Chanah Tanioka said. She helped plan the event as a member of the student council.

According to her, the assembly was meant to spotlight students who do not normally have the opportunity to show off their talents.

Among the performers, junior Rachel Javier sang  “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. Sophomores Catherine Loiselle and Elena Amado performed, with their instruments, “Mobamba” by Sheck Wes.

Both Javier and the instrumental duo won first place for their categories.

“It was exciting and refreshing to see fellow classmates being brave enough to share their talents and have a good time,” junior Isabella Johnson said.

Academy students start the school year with the implementation of advisory

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:59am

Sacred Hearts Academy recently implemented a new advisory program in place of homeroom for grades seven through 12. Advisory occurs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with the goal of students creating a bond with their division and building a sisterhood. Students participate in several activities such as scavenger hunts and coming up with ideas for their class legacy.

The idea was initially introduced towards the end of last year to Academy faculty.

“It’s a learning process,” Student Activities Director Melinda Rocha said. “Just adjusting to new changes happening this year is a bit overwhelming but I think it would be a positive program for the students.”

Each division class has their own set of activities all of which has the purpose of building a stronger and closer relationship with their peers. Advisory was initially made for teachers to form closer relationships with their students and provide extra support for them as well. During its first weeks, activities such as icebreakers, temperature checks and weekly check-ins with teachers were done.

Academy teachers were required to attend workshops prior to the new school year to learn how to prepare the class for activities and get accustomed to the new change. Through the workshops, teachers were to work collaboratively with one another and go through the same activities as the students.

“The entire concept of advisory isn’t that bad or horrible,” senior Ashley Zeidler said. “I believe that it’s interesting because I’m finally getting the opportunity to learn more about my other classmates that I don’t usually converse with and I feel that we should have had it sooner.”

Advisory is set to continue throughout the school year in hopes that the bond within class divisions will become stronger and create a more positive community within the Academy.

Student Center makes new menu changes for a new school year

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 10:28am

Poke bowls and loco mocos are new additions to Sacred Hearts Academy’s lunch menu.

“We began to make changes at last year’s second semester, (but) some changes could not be drastic due to set pricing,” Sodexo General Manager and Student Center Adviser Erin Awai said. “Over the summer, we put together a bunch of new menu options and incorporated them into this years selections.”

Awai and the Student Center staff sent out multiple surveys regarding the food served at the Student Center in order to better satisfy the students, faculty and staff.

Junior Noe Nekotani frequents the Student Center for lunch daily and says she’s pleased with the new changes.

“Since the start of (my) sophomore year, the lunch staff began to make interesting, new, healthy varieties, which was a pleasant surprise,” Nekotani said.

Nekotani isn’t alone when she says the school lunches have taken a turn for the better. In a survey conducted by Ka Leo, 43% of students from grades nine through 12 have said they are pleased with the changes in the lunch variety.

“Enrollment is a bit down, so the sales overall is down, but I know we end up selling out every day, so that is a positive sign students enjoy the added selections,” Awai said.

Nike campaign sparks debate among social media users

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 7:23am

Popular shoe brand Nike is under fire for its latest advertisement debut featuring former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As a part of Nike’s 30th annual “Just Do It” campaign, the company choose Kaepernick based off of his participation with the 49er’s, as well as being the progenitor for the racial injustice protest of kneeling on one knee while the National Anthem was being played before National Football League (NFL) games.

Kaepernick, who has been working with Nike since 2011, first posted about his being a part of the campaign on Sept. 3 via Twitter, which featured his black and white headshot with the phrase, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” along with Nike’s “Just Do It” phrase and logo on it.

Social media users have expressed mixed emotions about Nike’s campaign.

Videos and pictures of users burning Nike products began circulating, along with smaller companies and schools replacing Nike products in light of the advertisement.

Since his initial kneel during the preseason games in Aug. 2016, Kaepernick and the NFL have had both positive and negative responses from the movement. They received comments ranging from him using his image for a good cause to him being unpatriotic.

Many fellow NFL players have joined Kaepernick in the movement by kneeling, sitting and staying in the locker rooms during the National Anthem.

In March 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49er’s and has since been a free agent.

Despite the backlash of Kaepernick helping to lead the campaign, NFL continues to work with Nike, saying, “We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social-justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

Academy PWH scholarship recipients celebrate annual retreat

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 10:04am

On Aug. 16, while many students were spending their four-day weekend at the beach or at home with family, Sacred Hearts Academy’s Perseverance-Hope-Wisdom (PWH) Scholars headed out to the Saint Stephen Diocesan Center in Kaneohe for their annual retreat. The new scholarship recipients reported to the center on Aug. 15 following the school’s dismissal, whereas returning scholarship recipients were expected the following day.

The PWH Scholars Program along with the Augustine Educational Foundation work to provide scholarship opportunities to 70 students within four Catholic schools in Hawaii, 22 of which attend the Academy as of the 2018-2019 school year.

New scholars were expected earlier than returning scholars due to their unfamiliarity to the program, the extra day allowing them ample time to become accustomed with PWH traditions and program faculty.

“I really enjoyed the retreat. When I first arrived I was amazed by the scenery and the people I met were very helpful and generous,” freshman Dezaray Carter said. “I made friends with everyone on my floor and some (upper) classmen, too. I learned to be grateful for opportunities some kids could only dream of having.”

Carter along with her fellow new recipients played games, created lanterns, which were later used for night prayers, watched the movie “Spare Parts,” an annual tradition and discussed about growth mindset.

For returning scholars, in addition to meeting and mingling with the new scholars, they were have developmental discussions with each other.

“There were four domains we want to address every year at the retreat: spiritual development, academic development, personal, social, emotional (development) and college/career,” Sacred Hearts Academy’s PWH Scholarship Program Counselor and retreat director Cleo Eubanks said.

All scholars were provided the opportunity to listen to speakers on various careers, such as, farmers, chefs, social workers, veterinarians, therapists and lawyers.

“The theme for our retreat this year was ‘Do Something,’ and I was constantly asked,  ‘what are you going to do?’; such a broad question evoked so many different answers from within me,” senior scholarship recipient Xavier Downey-Silva said. “I learned things about myself that I feel will aid me in my future endeavors.”

Downey-Silva along with fellow seniors, Dallas Martinez, Jasmine Matsumoto, Shaydee Afoa and Amelia Nofoagatoto’a, savored this retreat as it was their last one after four years of being with the program.

“Since this was my last retreat, I felt completely at home with my fellow scholars because I had the privilege of growing alongside them. The entire experience was uplifting, yet melancholy,” Downey-Silva said. “All of us scholars have received the amazing gift of education, which has greatly impacted our lives in such an unexplainable and astonishing way. Due to the support and loving family system that is PWH, we will mature to become successful and philanthropic members of the society. Overall, this program has taught me the value of education, the beauty of generosity, and the need for more compassion in our world.”

BREAKING NEWS: Academy to close due to Hurricane Lane

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 3:03pm

Sacred Hearts Academy will be closed tomorrow and Friday due to approaching category 4 Hurricane Lane, expected to hit the state tomorrow.

Head of School and Principal Betty White sent an email to parents, faculty and students with this announcement 20 minutes before school ended today.

Currently, the storm is on its way through the island chain at 150 mph, set to hit Maui and Hawaii Island later today.

Academy cancels after-school activities

The Department of Education (DOE) canceled all after-school activities through the weekend until further notice. Activities like the SAT, internships, sports, college courses and band practice have been canceled for the rest of the week.

The Academy’s after-school care and Kamaaina Kids will resume as normal until 6 p.m. today.

College Board rescheduled this Saturday’s SAT for Sept. 15 and other activities are still being rescheduled.

The DOE sent out a statement for all public schools to close on Thursday and Friday. Public schools are set to be reopened on Monday.

Students react to the situation

As the bell rang to indicate the end of school, students exited classrooms excitedly with the knowledge of two days off school.

Sophomore Amanda Matsukawa said that she’s ecstatic for the four-day weekend.

“I am excited for school to end because I have more time to do homework and play games,” Matsukawa said. “I’m not worried (about the hurricane) because being worried and freaking out won’t help us.”

Matsukawa is planning to watch a movie with friends tomorrow.

Her family is prepared for the hurricane with non-perishable items and bottles of water.

Prepare by making an emergency preparedness kit

The American Red Cross recommends making an emergency preparedness kit that includes items like water, non-perishable foods, a first aid kit, extra cash and copies of important documents. For more information, and the full list of recommended items for the emergency kit, go to

Stay out of flood zones and head toward a shelter

Shelters will open tomorrow at 10 a.m. but it is not mandatory to evacuate yet. Currently, 20 shelters will open for residents who live in flood zones. The shelters will not provide food and will be open to everyone including pets.

Seniors enjoy a blast from the past

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:25am

Seniors had a blast from the past for their senior week. Each day of the week had a different theme but the same purpose, which was to reward students for their hard work and express division spirit.

This year, the theme of the week was a throwback to the 2000s. The senior division council worked hard to express the theme that relates their childhood into every activity.

“Our activities involved accessorizing with our little sisters and dressing up as ABC Store tourists, wearing our old class shirts, playing childhood games in the gym and composing an outdated outfit that we would’ve loved as kids,” division president Lauren Chung said.

The division enjoyed many dress-down days in celebration of their week. Seniors wore business casual clothing for Touring the Capitol Tuesday, tourist themed clothing on Waikiki Wednesday, past and current division shirts on Throwback Thursday and non-fashionable or outdated clothing during Fashion Don’t Friday.

Seniors wear unfashionable clothing to wrap up their division week. During the week, the seniors were allowed to dress down most days of the week.

“(Seniors) got to dress up four out of the five week days, which was highly requested by the majority of the class,” Chung said.

Seniors were also treated to food throughout the week, such as, poi donuts and shave ice, which were popular snacks from when they were elementary students.

“It was great seeing everyone participate and enjoy everything the Council planned,” Chung said. “Although Senior Week has a long history in SHA, this year’s senior week was definitely one successful and amazing week.”

Students say “no” during the March for Our Lives

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:22pm

On Feb. 14, students in Parkland spent their Valentine’s Day hiding under their desks in fear. It only took six minutes until the gunman started shooting students and staff with his AR-15 rifle. A total of 14 students and three staff members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were killed.

People all over the nation, including survivors of gun violence, students and parents, all across the nation prepared to make their voice heard in the nationwide rally to protest gun violence on Mar. 24, a week after the Parkland shooting.

The movement kicked off after students shared their experiences and decided that no one else should die due to gun violence. Led by students, hashtags like Enough is Enough and Never Again, resemble the students need for a change.

The mission statement for the March for Our Lives states, “Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”

Many marches took place in different states around the nation, and several countries around the world. Each march took place on Mar. 24 in their respective time zones.

The main march took place in Washington D.C., a few blocks away from the Capital.

The main march on Oahu took place at the state capitol, but there were also two other marches in Kailua and Ala Moana Park. The Kailua march was designed for those who cannot attend the Honolulu March but support student action for gun regulation reform.

Marchers in Hawaii experienced heavy rain as they marched but they stayed passionate as they protested. Photo by Taylor McKenzie.

Sacred Hearts Academy senior, Taylor McKenzie, helped plan the march that took place at the Hawaii State Capitol.

“I was motivated to organize the March For Our Lives event because it’s about time that we have gun control,” Mckenzie said. “There was a lot of people, which shows that there’s a lot of interest in this and that the country should be listening.”

March for Our Lives has already received an abundance of support from countless amounts of people, including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Justin Bieber.

Businesses have also been offering their support. Ride-sharing app, Lyft, offered Stoneman students free rides to the march, and Bumble, a dating app, banned images of guns on its platform and donated $100,000 to the cause.

Academy students learn about engineering from professionals

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 2:20pm
Slideshow • 3 Photos

Students use marshmallows and spaghetti to create structures. Photo courtesy of Brian Wong.

Close $(document).ready(function() { $(function(){ $('.modal-photo40740').click(function() { var inst = $('[data-remodal-id=modal-photo40740]').remodal(); var photoids = '13580,13581,13579'; var unique = '40740'; var storyid = '13578';; $.ajax({ url:'/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', type:'POST', data:'action=getslideshow&photoids=' + photoids + '&unique=' + unique + '&storyid=' + storyid, success:function(results) { $('.photo-container40740').replaceWith(results); } }); }); }); $('#slideshowwrap40740').hover(function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#1304b4'); }, function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#000'); }) });

On Feb. 22, Sacred Hearts Academy held the annual Engineering Day where the school invited workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries. The different individuals created activities about engineering to help students understand different aspects of their careers.

One of the activities was an interactive demonstration about architecture. Students used marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti to build the tallest sustainable building.

Since the marshmallow and spaghetti are both unusual materials for building, it is especially hard for using it to build a tall building. With their intellect, students successfully built tall buildings that withstand an unstable base.

For those who attended they were able to walk to different tables and learn about different engineering careers. Engineering Day is created to help students become more knowledgeable about job careers they can enter.

This year was special because engineering was a day before Science Symposium, another event created to introduce students to STEM.

“Last year, our top 10 seniors all choose majors in STEM,” College counselor Randall Fong said. “This definitely proves that girls have a great understanding of engineering.”


Juniors participate in annual ceremony

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 2:11pm
Slideshow • 2 Photos

Juniors purchased rings and pins to participate in annual Junior Ring Ceremony. Junior Dallas Martinez, like others, brought her family to the event to celebrate with her. Photo courtesy of Steven Tagupa.

Close $(document).ready(function() { $(function(){ $('.modal-photo27151').click(function() { var inst = $('[data-remodal-id=modal-photo27151]').remodal(); var photoids = '13576,13575'; var unique = '27151'; var storyid = '13567';; $.ajax({ url:'/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', type:'POST', data:'action=getslideshow&photoids=' + photoids + '&unique=' + unique + '&storyid=' + storyid, success:function(results) { $('.photo-container27151').replaceWith(results); } }); }); }); $('#slideshowwrap27151').hover(function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#1304b4'); }, function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#000'); }) });

Students from Sacred Hearts Academy gathered in the school’s chapel to celebrate the annual Junior Ring Ceremony on Feb. 22. Alongside their parents, juniors took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this initiating event. Packed with speeches and prayers from the junior division council, the annual event was truly memorable.

The purpose of the Junior Ring Ceremony is to commemorate the importance of their junior year in high school and to initiate them as upper school students. It has been a tradition for Sacred Hearts Academy students for many years.

“I like this ceremony because my family is here with me, my grandmother graduated from this school,” Junior Eliza Otenbriet said. “(Junior Ring Ceremony) is special for her to watch me participate in this ceremony as well.”

Juniors had a choice between buying a ring or a pin and during the ceremony, they receive their pin or ring. Before students started to receive pins, all guests were asked to raise their right hands and bless the pins and rings.

During the ceremony, juniors walked to the altar with their family or friends and the students’ accompanying guest put the ring or pin on the junior.

Along with their purchased ring or pins, juniors also received a yellow rose. The Junior Ring Ceremony has been held every year for juniors but it has a unique meaning to every junior that participates in it.

Running for a cause

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 2:20pm
Slideshow • 3 Photos

Head of School Betty White, along with Director of Student Activities Eubanks and teacher Dawn Tello, in the midst of their run. Photo courtesy of Cleo Eubanks.

Close $(document).ready(function() { $(function(){ $('.modal-photo40605').click(function() { var inst = $('[data-remodal-id=modal-photo40605]').remodal(); var photoids = '13534,13535,13536'; var unique = '40605'; var storyid = '13517';; $.ajax({ url:'/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', type:'POST', data:'action=getslideshow&photoids=' + photoids + '&unique=' + unique + '&storyid=' + storyid, success:function(results) { $('.photo-container40605').replaceWith(results); } }); }); }); $('#slideshowwrap40605').hover(function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#1304b4'); }, function(){ $('.slideshow-enlarge').css('background', '#000'); }) });

On the morning of Feb. 19, crowds of people gathered at Aloha Tower to participate in the 34th annual Great Aloha Run.

The run officially kicked off at 7 a.m., but many people arrived at an earlier time.

Unlike other years, in which the run was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, this year’s run was sponsored by Hawaii Pacific Health.

Despite the threat of stormy weather, the approximately 24,000 people showed up to participate in the 8.15-mile course from Downtown Honolulu to Aloha Stadium.

The weather cleared up just in time for the race.

Andy Wacker of Boulder, CO. came in first place, at 39 minutes and 35 seconds. The first person from Hawaii to cross the finish line was Pierce Murphy of Hanalei, Maui. He came in about 10 seconds after Wacker.

Over 100 people represented Sacred Hearts Academy including, students, parents, teachers and staff completed the race.

“Student volunteers helped during the (Great Aloha Run) Expo, preparing and giving out race packets the three days before the race, gave out water along the course, folded finisher t-shirts and gave out t-shirts,” Director of Student Activities Cleo Eubanks said.

The Academy’s Leo Club and National Honor Society were a part of the many who volunteered at the race.

It was reported that this year’s race raised about $350,000 for local charities and the military.

Winter ball embraces sisterhood with policy change

Sun, 03/04/2018 - 10:36am

This year, all-girls school Sacred Hearts Academy parted from a longstanding tradition by allowing students to bring female guests to Winter Ball. The policy change was created to promote a stronger bond of sisterhood, administrators say, but not many took advantage of the change.

Out of the more than 100 Academy students attending the Winter Ball, six brought a female guest and 56 brought a male guest. Traditionally, Academy students were only allowed to bring a male guest to events, such as the Winter Ball and prom.

According to Director of Student Activities Cleo Eubanks, the low female guest turnout might have also been a result of students attending with friends from the Academy.

The policy states that students at the Academy cannot be a guest of another student from the school. Additionally, guests, male or female, must be between the ages of 14 to 19 and attend a high school or college.

Infographics by Martha Nicholas

The ball, which takes place in December, is opened to students in grades 9 to 12. This year, the event was held at the Ala Moana Hotel.

“It was weird that students had the choice to bring a female guest, but I (barely saw) anyone bring a guest that was female,” sophomore Mier Yu said.

She added that it might have been due to students being uninformed of the policy change; however, Eubanks said students were made aware of the change at a meeting before ticket sales began in October. They could also find more details on the school’s information system, on flyers posted around campus and on the school’s student-run news program.

Challenges in finding a male date

Some students, like sophomore Arynn Acdan, were pleased to hear about the policy change.

“(Bringing a female date) takes the pressure off of always having to find a male guest,” sophomore Acdan said.

According to her, finding a male date has always been difficult for her and her peers. She attributes this to going to an all-girls school, where, she said, forming relationships with male peers can be limited.

“I had to somewhat go out of my way to find a male guest to bring,” Acdan said. “My guest was a friend, who I met through a friend’s friend. If he was not able to go with me, I probably would have attended alone or brought a female guest.”

Listening to students

Many agree that the policy provided more freedom for students attending the ball.

“Having that option (to bring a female guest) is empowering (and) exciting,” Eubanks said. “It brings a sense of community.”

In addition to sisterhood, the policy change is meant to address student wishes. Students requested to bring female guests to semi-formal and formal events last year.

“I think we need to always remember our students have a voice in the things that we do, and this is one of (the times when we listen),” Eubanks said.

The administration worked with student council and the Winter Ball committee in making this change possible.

The future of female guests

Due to the success of the revised guest policy for Winter Ball, Eubanks said it will extend to other school events, such as prom.

Junior class advisor Leilani Asuncion is currently preparing for junior prom in April.

“For (the school) to be on the same page, all formal and semi-formal events, like junior prom and senior prom, are going to basically follow the same guest guidelines,” Asuncion said.

Junior Jasmine Matsumoto is happy to hear about the policy change and agrees that if she had to find a male guest, it would be challenging for her. She is also considering bringing a female guest to junior prom this year.

“Prom is one of the most important milestones of our high school careers,” she said. “I don’t want to waste it stressing about finding a male guest.”

Marching for life at pro-life rally

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 4:26pm

Protesters gathered at the Hawaii State Capitol on Jan. 22 to participate in the annual March for Life. The march gave protesters the opportunity to voice their opinions on the practice and legality of abortion.

“It (was) a thrilling experience to partake in this event,” Sacred Hearts Academy junior Rin Inuzuka said. “It was very heartwarming to see people of all ages and background (come together) and advocate for such a cause.”

The theme for this year’s march was, “Embrace them, not destroy them.” Signs reading, “We love pro-life” and “Cherish life,” were scattered throughout the Capitol.

The controversial topic regarding abortion was first sparked 45 years ago when the court case Roe vs. Wade ruled in favor of abortion.

The case took three years to conclude, and since the court ruled in Roe’s favor, pro-life activists have been protesting. The marches began in Washington D.C. following the court and has since spread throughout the country. Hawaii joined the movement two years ago.

The rally started at 3 p.m. and finished at 9 p.m. Events that occurred throughout the day included, a live performance by Academy sophomore Rachel Faith Javier and a speech from Bishop Larry Silva.

In her speech, Javier said, “I feel that we need to speak up for life, especially (for) those that do not have a voice.”


Celebrating Galfriends with GALentine’s Day

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 4:23pm

Students started their Galentine’s day with letters from friends and Valentines Day candies from student council. In celebration of the day of love, students were given the opportunity to write letters to their friends calling the day, ‘Galentine’s Day.’

“This is an opportunity for students at the Academy to express their appreciation of their closest friendships,” student council vice president Taylor McKenzie said.

All students from grades 7-12 participated in this event by writing letters or funny message to their friends on a heart-shaped card.

Letters are written and collected in homeroom, and if students wanted extra hearts or time to write sweet notes they were given the opportunity to turn it into Cleo Eubanks, director of student activities. The number of cards were not restricted and students were invited to write as many letters as they want.

“I got two (notes) from my best friends and one from Mrs. Eubanks,” McKenzie said. “My best friends wrote jokes and puns on their cards and it made me laugh. It touched me to receive a note from Mrs. Eubanks because I’ve been in student council with her for two years.”

“When we were researching names (for Galentine’s Day), that name popped up so we decided to go with Galentine’s.”

The holiday, which is celebrated one day before Valentine’s day, was first created in the television show, Parks and Recreations. First aired in 2010, the episode includes a celebration of female characters relationships.

Students participated in celebrations for Galentine’s day for the second time this year. As the holiday becomes more of a norm students start to look forward to celebrating Galentine’s day.

“I look forward to Galentine’s day because I get chocolate and letters from my friends,” junior Martha Nicholas said.

A women’s gathering for equal rights

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 2:25pm

On Jan. 21, crowds of people gathered from 10 a.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol to march for women’s rights.

The 2nd Annual Women’s March began with speakers, which then later commenced to the actual march. From the State Capitol, the ambitious advocates marched along Richards Street, passing South Beretania Street and returning to the starting point.

The march was created on Facebook last year by Maui local Teresa Shook. This page along with several other pages linked within it gave marchers more information on the itinerary of both the Hawai’i State Capitol march and several other marches throughout the nation of America.

Protesters followed Shook and marched to fight against President Donald Trump’s inauguration. According to marchers, they are protesting against the President’s action and words throughout social media, demean women and other minority groups.

Women and men across America stood against the inequality of women who are still deprived of their rights today.

After the #metoo movement, which demonstrated a widespread problem of sexual harassment and assault, countless more are speaking up to the power imbalance not only in Hollywood but also for the everyday American women who are not given equal rights and respect.

“Don’t be afraid to speak your truth and have your own opinions,” Sacred Hearts Academy English teacher Chloe Smith said. “If you believe passionately about something, believe in that passion and speak that passion and find something that you value.”