It was indeed a pleasure for me to be in the audience of two important events at Lahainaluna High School last month: the National Honor Society induction ceremony and as a panelist reviewing senior project presentations.
In a time when our country suffers the economic recovery pain from the Great Recession and our national government leaders - on both sides of the aisle - continue to lack due diligence in righting the ship, it was an enlightening and inspirational experience to FEEL the exuberance and sincerity of the NHS membership in the celebration of its new initiates, and the passion of the students' senior project presentations.
This year's NHS induction class included 22 students, the most in the memory of the Lahainaluna organization's advisors to join the existing membership in forming the school's academic leadership core.
Gaining membership to the National Honor Society requires high academic achievement, leadership ability and citizenship, and with the roster growing annually at Lahainaluna like it has, it is clearly evident that the integrity and character of our village holds a very bright future.
This optimism for not only the Lahaina community, but for the country and world at large, was further evidenced in senior project presentations we were privileged to review.
This graduation requirement dictates that each senior choose a profession to study by "shadowing" a worker or expert in that field and researching to compile information detailing that work in a power point presentation near the end of the school term. These presentations are reviewed and graded by a panel made up of teachers, community members and fellow students.
In particular, the presentations of Ashley Pula and Kiara Galicinao were impressive and inspiring. Both of these bright young ladies arrived for their presentations early and dressed distinctly in professional attire, and both presented captivating power point works related to vital professional pathways.
Pula's senior project revolved around being an OB-GYN nurse, while Galiciano's presentation detailed a drafting/architectural focus. Both were remarkably engaging in presenting numerous photos and diagrams that detailed the two professions.
Pula was particularly frank about the work of OB-GYN nurses in dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, child birth, birth control and teen pregnancies; while Galiciano presented an intriguing blueprint of a renovation of the boy's dormitory in the Boarding Department at Lahainaluna.
While the subject matter in all of the presentations over the week-long event for all seniors was impressive and important, what struck me even more was the overall intelligence and positive spirit exhibited by them.
It became crystal clear to me that this generation, led by these same NHS members and the "Pulas" and "Galicinaos" of the Class of 2012, will pay forward the upstanding character of the Maui community to the betterment and benefit of all.
We salute Lahainaluna Principal Emily DeCosta, Vice Principals Joanne Dennis and Keola Rogat, NHS advisor Ashley Olson and PCNC Leslie Hiraga for their vital contributions as educators in our community. Malama pono!