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MPA celebrates fourth anniversary

November 5, 2009
BY GEORGE C. BAKER, Headmaster, Maui Preparatory Academy
NAPILI — On Oct. 14, 2005, a small group of eight faculty and staff and 18 Middle School students arrived on the Maui Preparatory Academy campus for their first day of classes on the newly constructed 15-acre campus with spectacular ocean and mountain views. Today we have a thriving school with 37 faculty and staff and 175 students in preschool through 12th grade. Having just celebrated our fourth anniversary, it seems appropriate to share a little about what’s happening at Maui Prep.


For the last several years, as head of school, I have been privileged to watch our teachers and students in action on a daily basis. As I stop in classrooms, I witness the marvelous excitement, energy and active learning that take place every day across all grade levels. It is this engagement between students and teachers, both in and out of the classroom, that is truly what Maui Prep is all about.


And what do I see at various times on my “walk arounds?”  I see preschool students learning to videoconference with each other, navigating the technology with amazing fluidity. A short distance away, the AP Physics class works out formulas for velocity by examining the flight path, force and energy necessary when shooting off a rubber band. Around the corner, I spot the second grade class working with their teacher and parent volunteers in the school garden as part of their science curriculum. 


Heading up to the upper campus, I hear the sounds of the rock band fine-tuning one of their numbers. Students in the Japanese class amaze me with their fluency, and in the Project Management class, our seniors discuss their wonderfully varied senior projects. 


After school, the activity continues with rehearsals in full force for our lower school musical production, students of all ages receiving extra help at Homework Club, athletic teams practicing and the college counselor guiding seniors in the college application process.


Each day gives me a broad insight into the diverse nature of our educational program and a deeper appreciation of the gifts that passionate and dedicated teachers can bring to their students.


There are several other important factors that have also helped to shape our school and enable us to fulfill our mission: Accredited by the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC); over 80 percent of our teachers have master’s degrees; almost 40 percent of our students receive need-based financial aid; technology, art, music and drama taught at every grade level; strong emphasis on character education, community service and good citizenship; sixth to 12th grade laptop program with 24/7 access; SAT prep and AP classes.


When I “retired” to Maui in 2004 after spending 35 years as an independent school teacher and administrator, little did I know that I would soon embark upon one of the greatest adventures of my life. What a joy it has been to be part of this remarkable school and to witness its life-changing impact on our students and families.  


Words can only say so much when describing the vibrant learning community we have created at Maui Prep. Therefore, we encourage you to come for a visit. We host community tours of our campus every Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Come learn about our Maui Prep ‘ohana in person — you’ll be glad you did.

Article Photos

Baker

 
 
 

 

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