Entire Casco family shows great strength of character
Many years ago, as I was complimenting her for the admirable way she and her husband were bringing up their three sons, Stacy Casco replied, “Well, it really takes a village to raise a child.” That simple statement has stuck with me through the years since and added credence to validate that which we share about the strength of character in the Lahaina community.
Randy and Stacy Casco raised their three sons – Kawika, Kainoa and Lake – in the center of the Lahaina residential community in the Kilauea Mauka subdivision off of Lahainaluna Road. They attended Holy Innocents Preschool and then the public schools all within walking distance from their home: Princess Nahienaena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High School. They worshipped at Maria Lanakila Church, and the boys all participated in the youth sports programs offered up here on the West Side.
Stacy worked as the human resources director at the Royal Lahaina Resort, while Randy moved over from the hotel industry to become a physical education teacher at LIS. He also founded a Tae Kwon Do school – the first of its kind -in Lahaina. The martial arts school thrives to this day, as Randy Casco has been promoted to master status, and Stacy has attained a third degree black belt ranking.
The couple continues to serve the educational community. Stacy has moved over to the administrative office at Maui Preparatory Academy, and Randy is one of the longest-tenured teachers at LIS.
Kawika, Kainoa and Lake all practiced Tae Kwon Do as well but made deeper marks in sports at Lahainaluna. All three became all-state football players and helped lead their teams to memorable runs in the state playoffs. All three also became two-time individual state wrestling champions – a remarkable feat that will most likely not be repeated – while again leading the Lunas to top finishes in the state tournament.
“They (the Casco boys) are three of the greatest athletes to attend Lahainaluna,” said Lahaina sports historian Bob Kawaguchi.
Kawika earned five letters and was a five sport Maui Interscholastic League all-star in football, wrestling, track and field, swimming and surfing in his senior year. He manifested the competitive spirit of the Lunas – and his family – as he was awarded a full scholarship from the football program at the University of Utah from the head coach at the time, Urban Meyer, now at Ohio State and recognized as one of the top coaches in the nation.
Meyer gathered his team one day after practice, brought Kawika up in front of them and said, “We are awarding a full scholarship to Kawika in recognition of his intense competitive drive and value to this team.”
Kawika, Kainoa and Lake were also honor students at Lahainaluna and went on to earn advanced degrees.
Upon returning to Maui, Kawika taught at Maui Prep before taking the Maui County Fire Department test and then becoming a member of that public protective service. Kainoa also returned to the islands and has launched a sustainable business consulting firm called Susty Pacific. Lake has earned a Master’s Degree in Materials Engineering and is involved with Kainoa’s endeavor.
As we view the big picture then, a clear vision emerges of family and community values that represent the true integrity of Lahaina emanating from the Cascos.
It is a strength of character that emphasizes diligence in effort, sincere regard for family, as well as a genuine respect and devotion of giving back to home.
It is the immeasurable treasure that returns as true happiness and the intangible cultural tradition that makes this the best place to live on Earth. Indeed, it is the village that makes the difference.