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Many new faces at Sacred Hearts

By Staff | Sep 29, 2011

The staff at Sacred Hearts School includes (from left) Susie Slear, Ailene Schwartzlow, Bradley Mason, Wilmont Kahaiali‘i, Susan Hendricks and Joe DeRose.

LAHAINA — Sacred Hearts School has started the year off with several new students, teachers and programs, all operating under the school’s theme for this year: “We are a part of all creation — one ‘ohana.”

With the new highway wall on one side of the school and the gothic church on the other, many drive by not realizing what a jewel of a school is shining in between!

The 149-year-old Catholic school welcomed 35 new families this year, some who came from as far as Oklahoma, Florida and Alaska, and others who transferred from local Maui schools, for a total of 185 students. In addition to the new families and students this year, Sacred Hearts School has several new teachers, special programs and activities planned for another year of mission-driven education.

“Life is ‘ono when you are pono” is the motto of Wilmont Kahaiali’i, the school’s new Hawaiian Studies teacher. Kumu Wilmont is filling in for Kumu Kehaunani Ka’auwai during the first semester while she is traveling back and forth to the Mainland working for her family.

Kumu Wilmont is sharing his mana’o of the sacred Hawaiian culture, and the students are exploring the opportunities to live out aloha and unveil the fruits of our common spirits.

Susie Slear is the new fourth grade teacher. Slear came to Maui last year with her husband and daughters. SHS was delighted to have her in the middle school program last year.

When the position opened in June, her years of teaching fourth grade in San Antonio, Texas allowed for a seamless transition.

Bradley P. Mason has been hired as the new seventh grade homeroom teacher. He is teaching middle school math and science. A NASA-trained Star Partner, Mason is passionate about engaging the students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.

Katie Tursi Lee is the third grade teacher. She has returned to Sacred Hearts School after being fortunate enough to raise her first child, who is almost old enough to join the SHS Early Learning Center. She was previously the fourth grade teacher at Sacred Hearts School and most recently the After School Program director.

Ailene Schwartzlow will be using her counseling and tutoring skills this year in the Elementary and Middle School. The students and teachers in first and second grades are happy to have Schwartzlow as their classroom aide in the mornings, and all grades will be able to work with her in the Resource Room in the afternoons.

The Early Learning Center has two new preschool aides: Carolyn Border and Paula Brannon. Border comes to Sacred Hearts School with many years of experience working with preschool and kindergarten age children. Brannon, a trained artist, finds the imagination of the young ones a refreshing and delightful experience.

School parents Wendy Laurel and Sarah Clark have created a new Cross-Country Track Program that meets after school. Students will be competing in races with Valley Isle Road Runners. Talent in this rigorous sport is apparent in many of the students, and all of them look forward to the races!

Another new program at the school is the creation of a full instrumental band. With the direction from retired musician Joe DeRose, the school is forming an after school band club where students can rent the instruments of their choice. DeRose has played many instruments professionally and taught music for many years. The school is thrilled that he has retired on Maui and continues to share his gifts of musicianship in our community.

This year’s eighth-graders are sailing toward their goal of graduation. In fact, they will be learning to sail boats at Lahaina Yacht Club every Thursday in September as part of the eighth grade curriculum. All at Sacred Hearts School want to congratulate the SHS graduating class of 2007 — 100 percent college-bound this year!

In keeping with the school’s mission “to provide excellence in education and nurture a life of prayer, faith and service in the Catholic tradition,” the students will be learning and living out selected scripture passages each month that will be on display in the school courtyard. School parent Kim Austin is volunteering to hang banners with a scripture message that the students are encouraged to learn and relate to in their daily lives.

This summer, SHS teachers took professional development classes that included “wet-on-wet” watercolor technique. Telling stories from the Bible and depicting them in this painting technique is an exciting addition to the children’s art curriculum.

Principal Susan L. Hendricks went to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana this summer. Hendricks is a graduate student in the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, where she will obtain a Master’s Degree in Catholic School Administration. Bringing back to the school the fruits of the first of three summers in the Notre Dame program is an honor for the school principal.

Upcoming activities in 2012 include the planning for Sacred Hearts School’s 150th year celebration. Alumni are welcome to contact the school with anecdotes they would like to share about their memories of the school. Alumni are also welcome to participate in planning the celebrations. The planning committee welcomes your input — the more the merrier! Please call the school at 661-4720 and leave a name and contact number.