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Maui Prep plans to expand international boarding program

By Staff | Oct 9, 2014

German junior Niels Jeske has quickly become a leader on the cross country team, and his dream is coming true as he learns to surf in preparation for the Maui Interscholastic League surfing season.

NAPILI – Maui Preparatory Academy began its tenth year in August with the celebrated launch of its international boarding program.

The Napili-based, pre-kindergarden through 12th grade independent school first opened its doors in 2005 to students in grades 6-8.

The following school year, Maui Prep founded its lower school program and established its upper school program with the new ninth grade.

This past spring, Maui Prep held its fifth high school graduation.

According to teacher Andrew O’Riordan, the school has a community-based mission. It seeks to serve students of diverse backgrounds and experiences who ultimately aspire to attend a college or university once they graduate from Maui Prep.

From left, sophomores Bond Pang, Danny Ornelas and Lewis Long flash shakas on a recent beach boarding excursion. The Chinese boarding students are improving their English, making new friends and loving Hawaii.

“The more interconnected the nations of the world become, the more important it is that students develop the awareness, skills and sensibilities to be not only effective stewards of their local community and environment, but engaged citizens of the world beyond Maui,” he noted.

“As much as Maui Prep encourages its students to participate in this greater world, with the addition of the new international boarding program, Maui Prep is making it possible for students from around the world, in grades 9-12, to pursue their studies here on Maui.”

Students from China and Germany have joined Maui Prep this current school year, and inquiries for the second semester and the next school year arrive nearly daily from the Neighbor Islands, Mainland USA, Canada, Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand), Central and South America (Brazil, Chile, Mexico), Saudi Arabia and Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Italy).

Maui Prep has acquired use of a boarding facility and will eventually be able to enroll as many as 48 boarding students during the school year, and over 60 students during the summer season.

O’Riordan explained, “Though the distance to Maui is quite far for most international student travelers, and the overall size of Maui Prep’s program is relatively small, the destination is a special one. There are few college preparatory boarding schools in the world that can offer students the opportunity to explore the galaxy from atop a mountain in the morning (Haleakala), and the ecosystems of coral reefs in the afternoon (Honolua Bay).

“Maui Prep may be the only college preparatory boarding school in the world that offers students access to world-class tennis and golf facilities (Kapalua Golf and Tennis), while also providing them interscholastic surf competition and easy access to Maui’s world-class surf. And there is perhaps no better place on Earth to be able to examine and address the challenges of sustainability and environmental stewardship than on an island like Maui.”

Maui Prep is in the early stages of designing summer programs. Known as Maui Preparatory Summer Academies, these programs will likely feature studies in marine science, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and 3D imaging, English language learning, Hawaii ocean sports, Hawaiian archaeology and anthropology, and possible courses in filmmaking and ocean cinematography.

More information will become available about these programs in a few weeks. Though these programs will draw participants from around the world, high school students from anywhere on Maui will also be invited to participate.

O’Riordan said that as a community-based independent school, Maui Prep remains committed to serving the families of Maui and West Maui in particular.

With the new boarding program and infusion of international students into the upper school program, Maui Prep is providing a unique college preparatory experience for everyone involved.

For information, contact Admission Director Cathi Minami at cminami@ mauiprep.org and visit Maui Prep’s website at www.mauiprep.org/main/maui-prep-boarding/.