Three Hawaii public high schools are preparing for national competitions on the mainland this spring after their triumphs at statewide contests.
"Our Science Bowl, We the People, and LifeSmarts champions are proof of the outstanding students we have in our public schools. They are the very best in the state at what they do," said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "And their successes are a tribute to the dedication of our teachers, who selflessly give of their time – many times outside of school hours – for the benefit of our students."
Hawaii Regional Science Bowl
Once again, Maui High was crowned Hawaii Regional Science Bowl champions, capturing its fourth consecutive championship late last month at Honolulu Community College. It marks the sixth championship for science teacher Ed Ginoza's Sabers since 2002. The 2014 team members include seniors Bryson Galapon (captain) and Riley Camp; juniors Joyce Cebricos, Christopher Kim and Thomas Sturm. The team will represent Hawaii in the National Science Bowl competition in April in Bethesda, Md.
Senior captain Galapon, who is headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, leads the Maui High squad. Last year's captain, Steven Okada, is currently in his freshman year at MIT.
"It's amazing when I reflect on my team this year," said Ginoza. “To think we are able to produce students who are willing to sacrifice their life and time to spend a couple of hours a day, four hours on Wednesdays, vacations – including summer – preparing for one chance to win the Science Bowl and advance to the Nationals."
We the People
Mililani High, the top civics education team in the state, heads to Washington, D.C. in late April for the "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" 2014 national finals. The program is the most extensive education program in the country, developed by the Center for Civic Education to teach young people about the history and principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Each member of the Mililani Advanced Placement Government and Politics class, taught by Amy Perruso, Ph.D., has become an expert witness in one area of American constitutionalism, and will testify as part of a unit based on that expertise before a panel of judges acting as U.S. Congressional representatives at the national finals. The Feb. 1 state finals held at Circuit Court in Honolulu involved the presentation before Circuit Court judges of a four-minute essay and a six-minute question-and-answer period.
"I am extremely proud of my students and look forward to watching them discuss pressing issues facing this country with the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars and leaders," said Perruso.
LifeSmarts Consumer Education
In a statewide final that pitted three public schools against each other, Waipahu High emerged victorious at the 10th Annual LifeSmarts Consumer Education Competition held recently at the Hawaii State Capitol. The team will advance to the nationals April 26 to 29 in Orlando, Fla. The Waipahu team is coached by Cindy Takara and includes members Roel Jake Ibanez, Maximiano Saludares, Mark Abucay, Marc Dave Ramierez and Cia Dela Cruz.
The gameshow-style competition tested students on their knowledge of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer rights and responsibilities. The LifeSmarts program, run by the National Consumers League, is sponsored in Hawaii by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Office of the Securities Commissioner, in partnership with the Hawaii Credit Union League.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.