Valedictorians reflect on graduating from Lahainaluna High School
LAHAINA – A Lahainaluna High School graduating class of some 230 seniors walked the line in their commencement ceremony last Sunday evening at Boarders’ Field in the heart of the historic campus with adoring family, friends, dignitaries, alumni, administrators and staff on hand to share in what has become a signature event of the West Side community.
For the last two weeks, Lahainaluna Road leading up to the campus has been lined with ingenious and creative banners and placards saluting the graduates for the most important achievement of their young lives.
And the post ceremony party at Boarders’ Field is a mass of delighted humanity punctuated with more signs and beaming graduates bedecked with imaginative lei up to their noses.
The crowning glory is the lighting of the freshly painted “L” above the school.
Three valedictorians of the Class of 2015 offered parting messages to the Lahainaluna ‘ohana.
“Attending Lahainaluna is definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. Not only did my teachers challenge me to do the best that I can and beyond, but the support that I received from my classmates through academics, athletics and even Homecoming was superb. Going to Lahainaluna taught me a great deal about taking pride in where I’m from and what I do. I am proud to say that I am graduating with the Lahainaluna High School Class of 2015,” wrote Nicole Aceret.
“Attending Lahainaluna has been one of the best decisions of my life. The school has provided me with countless opportunities and endless support. For me, graduating from Lahainaluna High School means I am now part of something greater. It means that I will forever have a home no matter where life may take me. Graduating also means I will be leaving my memories behind to create new ones. I take pride in the community that has raised me and could not be more excited to go out into the world this fall. I am extremely proud to be a graduate of Lahainaluna,” noted Kaile Stockham.
“By attending Lahainaluna, I was given the opportunity to make myself known. Being the first of my immediate family to attend school here meant that I didn’t have any connections to anyone and had no knowledge of what to expect. Throughout my four years at Lahainaluna, I developed an understanding of why it has held such a special place in the hearts of community members and its alumni. With its timeless traditions and amazing staff members who are always willing to help, it has meant the world to me to attend this school, because without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” Genevieve Joy Layante explained.
“Although I didn’t participate in the more well-known programs like HOSA or sports, I was a four-year member of the Music Department of which I have a great sense of pride in. The Music Department is like a second family to me, and through this program, I developed many skills that can be used in the outside world. Overall, to be a graduate of Lahainaluna would mean that I have added on to its unique and never-ending story, and that is something worth treasuring.”
The Class of 2015 had 34 academic scholars – including 13 graduating Summa Cum Laude, 13 graduating Magna Cum Laude and eight Cum Laude – and several Department of Education recognition certificates.
Of the class of 226 graduates, an impressive 94 percent will attend college, vocational school or the military in the near future.
They will receive just under $2 million in scholarship aid from local and national programs.
Senior class advisor Laura Jones expressed a fond farewell to the graduates: “My special thanks goes to Audrey Casicas (class president), Tobi Bonifacio (class vice president) and Ennah Cabading (student body treasurer) for all of the help and hard work this year. The class as a whole has come a long way since their freshmen year. They have matured a lot, and I am very proud of them and wish them luck with their future endeavors. Good luck and, as I always say, make good choices.”