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Help the Lahainaluna Boarding Department evolve and thrive

By Staff | Mar 12, 2015

Alumni and supporters of Lahainaluna High School’s Boarding Department are again concerned about the future of the program.

An e-mail circulated Friday stated, “Funding for the 178-year-old Lahainaluna Boarding Department is under review by the Hawaii State Legislature. The complex area superintendent is eliciting suggestions for changes to the program.”

A meeting was held Monday in the LHS Library, and supporters welcome testimony on the Lahainaluna High School Boarding Department Work Group’s website at lhsboardingworkgroup.weebly.com/testimony-submitted.html.

As we have reported in recent years, the department faces challenges in funding, dwindling enrollment, supervising the students when school is out and even what to teach the boarders.

Former Boarders like Richard “Noosh” Nishihara want to see students learn modern day career skills in fields like agriculture, marine science and renewable energy. This could help attract students from around the state and strengthen the department.

Friday’s e-mail blast explains that LHS math teachers Shannon Fields and Victoria Zupancic are working with the boarding students on an internship program and professional development.

In the process, the teachers recognized the need to strengthen the connections between academics and the Boarding Department through experience-based learning programs.

The good news is the Boarding Department enjoys strong community support. West Side businesses will surely step up to help mentor students when new programs are proposed.

Add your testimony to let state lawmakers and the Department of Education know that the Boarding Department is valuable and, with some adjustments, can be a pioneering instructional program in Hawaii.