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Luna Class of 2010 will be remembered for their kindness

By Staff | Jun 3, 2010


LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School graduating Class of 2010 — all 158 strong — will be remembered as the guys and gals that finished first in the hearts and memories of those who knew them best.

Both Principal Michael Nakano and Vice Principal Lynn Kaho‘ohalahala echoed that sentiment last week on the last day of the 2009-10 school year.

“These were the nicest kids — always friendly and warm,” said Nakano.

“Oh, yes — they had a special kindness that made them unique in their own special way. They always influenced my day in a positive direction with their friendliness, humility and their positive attitude,” affirmed Kaho‘ohalahala.

Class Valedictorians Jing Hua and Josie Gomez offered their sentiments of their Lahainaluna years in this way.


“We, the Class of 2010 are like a family. We share our  laughter, we’re supportive of each other and we’re each highly unique individuals who plan to be magicians, doctors and engineers. Our family, like every other family, has a house that protects us in times of danger, keeps us safe and keeps us together. Our house in particular is made up of people that care for us. Our parents and our guardians who have been there throughout our whole experience make up the strong and sturdy foundation that supports the rest of the house,” said Hua.

“The administration makes up the wall of the house that keeps us in check. The teachers are the roof of our house — they teach us how to defend ourselves and survive in the outside world. The community is the door of our house — they open opportunities for us through networking and scholarships. The underclassmen are the window additions that make the house brighter. Last, but by no means least, the members of the Class of 2010 are the people who live in this house and have become the ‘ohana,” she continued.

“As a member of this house for several years, this house has become something more than a house for me. It has become a home for me, where I have developed a bond with 201 different students. It is a place where my memories, my friendships, my dreams, and where I have been made. So I’d like to thank each of you for being my home. The administration, the teachers, our parents, the underclassmen, the community and lastly, and most importantly, our Lahainaluna Class of 2010,” said Hua.

Gomez added, “To me, being a student at Lahainaluna is an honor. I feel lucky to be part of a school with such a rich history and tradition. I love how the pride for the school is so powerful not only among the students and teachers, but also the entire Lahaina community. For me, being part of Lahainaluna is like being part of a great family. When I first entered as a freshman, I could immediately tell that I had become a part of something special. The sense of belonging is something that the Lahainaluna ‘ohana gives to each and every person who visits the school.

“I am proud to be a Luna and I will always look back on my four years at the school with very fond memories. My high school years have been an experience I will never forget and would not want to have experienced them anywhere else. I am so grateful to have been part of such a special community, and I believe that this is something that I could not have experienced anywhere else. I will forever be proud to be a Luna and cannot wait to return home someday soon,” she concluded.

The 2010 commencement exercises will remain unique in that the event took place on Boarders’ Field, because the athletic facility is undergoing upgrades with the “Re-do the Imu” project.

The charm of the Lahainaluna years gone by was brought back with the ceremony on a traditional stage amid the shade of the tree-lined venue. A gentle breeze comforted the throng as the Boarders’ Chorus and Hawaiiana Club serenaded the crowd.

Vice Principal Kaho‘ohalahala noted that the class will receive $1,700,000 in scholarship aid, and that a majority of them will continue their education at colleges across the nation — particularly at the University of Hawaii Maui College campus.

Notable among those leading that charge to higher education are Tyler Vanderlaan to the military academy at West Point, and Milika Taufa on a full-ride basketball scholarship worth $250,000 to the Big Ten’s Indiana University.

The Class of 2010 will always be remembered for being a part of seven Maui Interscholastic League championships and an unprecedented state title for the Lady Lunas hoops team.

Kaho‘ohalahala concluded by saying, “Congratulations to all of you in the Lahainaluna High School Class of 2010. I am proud of each of you, and may life offer you the best of everything. I will miss you. Be safe and take care of yourselves and each other. Make the world a better place. Aloha.”