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Working group to brainstorm ways to sustain LHS Boarding Program

By Staff | Oct 23, 2014

De Costa

LAHAINA – Lahainaluna High School Principal Emily De Costa announced the launch of a new working group to brainstorm ways to sustain the historic school’s Boarding Program.

A meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 30, in the LHS Library at 6 p.m.

De Costa explained in an e-mail, “The challenge we face as educators during these lean economic times is to sustain and enhance our Boarding Program – one that offers students statewide to live in an environment that teaches them to be resilient, resourceful, collaborative and academic while learning their kuleana as boarders.

“We, therefore, invite you to join our Working Group; one that is being formed with participants from diverse backgrounds and perceptions. In a positive atmosphere, we will brainstorm ideas ‘inside and outside the box’ – ones that will be viable and resonant solutions to enable our Boarding Program to exist in a robust manner.”

At the first meeting, participants will focus on setting up the structure of the group. De Costa seeks one representative from each of the following stakeholder groups: administration, complex area superintendent, community member, legislator, School Community Council member, current boarder, and a Lahainaluna parent, student and teacher.

Richard “Noosh” Nishihara will represent the Lahainaluna High School Boarding Association on the panel, and Craig Murakami will participate on behalf of the LHS Foundation.

Nishihara explained that after the Lahaina News ran the article “LHS Boarding Department faces funding challenges” in May, he wrote a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie requesting that the state form a task force to consider ways to improve and perpetuate the program.

The governor passed the letter to Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Nishihara said, and three weeks ago, she informed him that she asked Maui Complex Area Superintendent Lindsay Ball to form the panel.

Nishihara commented, “Bottom line is the impending dialogue is long overdue… At the very least, that represents a resigned commitment to take a serious look at the overall program.

“Nevertheless, stake-holders are at long last being provided an opportunity to help create a renewed vision of sustainability.”

De Costa wrote, “We at Lahainaluna High School enlist the help of our communities, locally and statewide. As educators, we are challenged with sustaining a time-honored tradition: our Lahainaluna Boarding Program.

“Lahainaluna started as a seminary in 1831, establishing itself as the oldest school west of the Rockies. Five years later, in 1836, the Boarding Program welcomed students into a ‘work-study’ program and has been in existence since its inception.

“Our carefully constructed, conceptual vision reads: ‘Gather at this place, Lahainaluna; Grasp the flaming torch of excellence; And, together, let us move forward.’

“Towards that vision, one that is ever evolving, ever being in alignment with progress without compromising our tradition and culture, we invite you to be a part of our Working Group… to brainstorm ways to sustain our Boarding Program. Moreover, the essence of our vision compels us to respect the knowledge of past generations, while realizing the need to teach skills and concepts to our students so they are ‘college, career, and citizenship’ ready when they graduate. We believe that collaboration, critical problem-solving, communication and creativity are skills our students need to be contributory citizens in our global society. Two Hawaiian values temper those skills: kuleana (responsibility) and pono (excellence, goodness).”



The idea to form a working group originated before a letter was sent to the governor. In addition, no representatives have been selected to represent stakeholder groups. The working group will be formed at the open meeting on Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Lahainaluna High School Library at 6 p.m.

The Lahaina News apologizes for the mistakes.