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Maui Prep Class of 2021 is ‘an incredibly special group’

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Jun 4, 2021

The Maui Prep Class of 2021 includes (from left): Sydney Snyder, Noelle Sheveland, Charltyn Hannon, Ashley Nielson, Jordy Houglum, Lily Bourland, Slater Fleck, Aiesha Pradhan, Peyton Gillespie, Jonah Kirkham, Ozzi Doherty, Jolene Munch and Paloma Banto. Not shown are Kila Parnell, Isaac Hessel, Jack Sisco, Nolan Brown, Zyra Gonzalez, Keeana Villamar and Sofie Webber.

NAPILI — The Class of ’21 at Maui Preparatory Academy is about to venture into the world with an opportunity to discover and pursue their passion. Acknowledging that the transition from high school to college represents the students’ next adventure, the West Side community sends the graduates best wishes for all their tomorrows.

Maui Prep, a private school for preschool through 12th grade located in West Maui, offers a well-rounded college preparatory program for all students to succeed in academics, athletics and the arts. Along with highly qualified teachers and small class size, the unique ecosystem and culture of Maui are a part of the classroom experience. Known as the Pueo (the Hawaiian owl, a Bringer of Good Luck), the Maui Prep ‘ohana provides a deeply connected community that thrives on elevating the experience for their students and the larger West Maui community.

Dr. Miguel Alejandro Solis, head of school, said, “Congratulations Class of 2021! Our mission and vision to establish a culture of excellence focused on building relationships, fostering empowerment and ensuring relevance shines bright in all of you. These characteristics, along with a commitment to ‘Live Aloha,’ are modeled by our Maui Prep staff, families, and our alumni around the world.”

“I wish the best of luck to the amazing Class of 2021 –an incredibly special group of students,” noted Maui Prep Principal Ryan Kirkham. “We are truly beaming with pride. Some of them have been with us since preschool! The Class of ’21 is chock-full of incredible leaders. Ever since their ninth grade year, this group has had a tremendous positive impact on the culture and climate of our school and community. They have set a high bar in academics, athletics, the arts and student life. Our younger students have had a terrific example set for them.”

Kirkham emphasized, “I am also proud to say that 100 percent of our senior class will be attending college this fall, many of them at some of the top schools in the country. These 20 students have been offered more than $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to attend those schools. They are seeing the fruits of their hard work and commitment to their own education. We are confident that will continue next fall at college.”

“As one of the 2005 founding faculty members at Maui Prep, I look forward to seeing the school extend itself as a leader in 21st century teaching and learning on Maui,” Kirkham added.

“College preparatory has always been ingrained in the DNA of our school. That includes working with our students to find a school that best fits their needs and goals. Our college counselor, Keenan Reader, has done an amazing job working with our kids and their families to help them achieve these goals.”

Keenan Reader, Maui Prep college counselor and athletic director, agreed.

“The Class of 2021 is a talented crew,” he said. “A mix of athletes and artists, they have thrived within the three pillars of Maui Prep’s college preparatory program: academics, athletics and performing arts. Their list of college acceptances is impressive and a testament to the hard work they put forth in the classroom. However, I am most impressed by their overall desire to use their careers to help others and impact social change. They are products of great families and a loving community that pushed them to pursue excellence.”

The 2021 Valedictorian, Aiesha Pradhan, recalled, “Through receiving Maui Prep’s Pueo Pilot Scholarship in 2017, I have had the opportunity to take rigorous courses, involve myself with several school clubs, and become an active member in my community. Through shadowing at a local health clinic, my passion for public health was solidified. I am attending Cornell University this fall in the pre-medicine track. I aspire to attend medical school and eventually work with nonprofit organizations. Maui Prep has encouraged me to continue my passion for learning, has taught me the value of community service, and has provided the foundation on which my future goals will be built.”

Salutatorian Sydney Snyder expressed, “Maui Prep has taught me how to be involved and make a positive impact in my community. I have been a student at Maui Prep since pre-school, and the teachers have always fostered my love for learning and encouraged me to pursue my interest in science. For this next chapter of my life, I will be studying chemistry at Boston College with hopes to go into a hands-on science job.”

Maui Prep continues to pursue rigor and excellence in its educational, athletic and creative programs to equip students for a successful college experience and to reach their full potential. In addition, they inspire responsible citizenship by fostering lifelong development of mind, body and character.

Paloma Banto, Class of 2021, reminisced, “Looking back, the best part about my experience at Maui Prep is that I was able to grow, not only intellectually, but socially and emotionally. Knowing who I am as a person is why I feel well prepared for the future. I am also thankful for the strong relationships I have had with the teachers, who have shown that they genuinely care by challenging me.”

Peyton Gillespie, Class of 2021, pondered, “Maui Prep has done more than just allow me to challenge myself academically, athletically, and by way of extracurricular activities. The close relationships I have built with the faculty and my friends are bonds that will undoubtedly last forever. This is a direct reflection on Maui Prep’s family-oriented community and unique character. I am certainly going to miss walking out of the classroom and looking right at the ocean, bonding with my teachers and classmates, performing in our school band, and working with other student leaders to plan fun school-wide activities and impactful community volunteer events. But know that wherever I go, the Pueo Spirit will be with me!”

The Maui Prep Class of 2021 is off to the following colleges and universities:

Paloma Banto — Concordia University, Irvine, CA;

Lillian Bourland — Concordia University, Irvine, CA;

Nolan Brown — Chapman University, Orange, CA;

Ozzi Doherty — University of California, Santa Barbara, CA;

Slater Fleck — Concordia University, Irvine, CA;

Peyton Gillespie — Brandeis University, Waltham, MA;

Zyra Gonzalez — University of Hawaii at Manoa, HI;

Charltyn Hannon — Tulane University, New Orleans, LA;

Isaac Hessel — Washington State University, Pullman, WA;

Jordan Houglum — Boca Beauty Academy, Palm Beach County, FL;

Jonah Kirkham — Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada;

Jolene Munch — Chapman University, Orange, CA;

Ashley Nielson — Point Loma University, San Diego, CA;

Kilakila Parnell — Temple University, Tokyo, Japan;

Aiesha Pradhan — Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;

Noelle Sheveland — University of Hawaii at Manoa, HI;

Jack Sisco — Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA;

Sydney Snyder — Boston College, Newton, MA;

Keeana Villamar — Scripps College, Claremont, CA;

Sofie Webber — University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

Other outstanding student honors include:

Paloma Banto, National Art Honor Society President, Student Senate Co-President;

Ashley Nielson, Senior Class President;

Jolene Munch, National Art Honor Society President, Student Senate Co-President, National Honor Society;

Lily Bourland, National Art Honor Society President, Social Chair Student Senate;

Charltyn Hannon, National Art Honor Society;

Sydney Snyder, National Art Honor Society, Secretary National Honor Society, Rotary Interact Club Secretary;

Peyton Gillespie, Student Senate MDSCO Representative, MDSCO Vice President, Rotary Interact Club Vice President, National Honor Society, Admissions Ambassador, Pueo Pilot Scholar;

Aiesha Pradhan, Student Senate Treasurer, Interact Club President, National Honor Society President, Yearbook Editor, Admissions Ambassador, Pueo Pilot Scholar.

Athletic standouts include:

Sydney Snyder, MIL High Jump Champion, Paddling All-Star;

Slater Fleck, MIL Swim Medalist;

Paloma Banto, MIL Swim Medalist, NCAA partial swim scholarship;

Jonah Kirkham, USA Triathlon High School State Champion and partial cross-country scholarship.