Our School History

     The Government School for many years was held in Hale Aloha.  It was moved to the present grounds in the later 1880’s. At first there were two buildings containing five rooms and having five teachers. The other buildings and rooms have been added as the school grows.

     Mr. Henry Dickenson at the age of 29 was appointed principal while the school was still located at Hale Aloha and continued when the school was moved, serving 27 years as the principal and was remembered with a great deal of love and respect by many in Lahaina. (a street bears his name!)

    In 1900 a Miss Nancy Malone taught kindergarten in a building located on the grounds of the Baldwin “homestead”.  H.P. Baldwin put up the building, the community supplied furnishings, and Pioneer Mill Co. contributed to current (operating) expenses.  In 1901, this building conducted Kindergarten and held The Library and Evening School. 

    In 1901, The Maui News reported the school had an average enrollment of 185 pupils.  And in 1912 it was reported the largest school in the county was Lahaina with 10 teachers (all others schools had only 1 teacher).

   The buildings however that had been new in the 1880’s had become worm eaten and decayed and the number of pupils had so increased that a new building became necessary.  So money was found to pay for a new building and the corner stone was laid on April 18th 1913 (somewhere under room 7!)

   The Territorial Legislature of 1913 passed a Resolution that the new Lahaina School building be named Kamehameha III School in memory of the King who lived on the spot and where the first Legislature met.

    Here is the resolution: H.R. No. 134: Whereas, Kamehameha the Third, in all his acts, proved himself to be a just and conscientious ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii and; Whereas, It was during the reign of the said Kamehameha the Third that the first Constitution of Hawaii was signed and presented to the people; and Whereas, There should be a Memorial, at Lahaina, Maui Commemorating the signing of the said Constitution by the said Kamehameha the Third; and Whereas, There is now under the course of construction, in Lahaina, Maui a public School building; Therefore Be it Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii that the Department of Public Instruction is hereby instructed to name the said Public school building the KAMEHAMEHA III SCHOOL;

Edward Waiaholo, Representative, Third District

    On September 22, 1913 the government school in Lahaina reopened in the new school building with a new name Kamehameha III School. Also new was the principal, Mr. O.T. Boardman, who announced the new building, which had two stories with 11 rooms. This building is pictured on our commemorative t-shirts. At this time we had 11 teachers and 369 scholars.

    In September 1923 when Lahainaluna went from a vocational boy’s boarding school to a general education high school our school changed from Kindergarten to 10th grade down to Kindergarten to 8th grade. In the same year, several more classrooms were added to our school, as well as new bathroom facilities.

    Kamehameha III School kept growing, and in 1924, both the Domestic Science Building and the Carpenter Shop were built. These buildings are still in use today and are known as Building G.  In 1930, the Home-making building was added, which today you all know as the Cottage or the Good Deed Store. In 1951, the long-awaited cafeteria was built.  It is the same cafeteria we are using today.

    In 1955, Hawaii was still a United States Territory and money was secured from the Territorial Legislature for the construction of new school buildings. In 1957, the old school building was demolished. The new structures consisted of 4 wings with 6 classrooms each. These four wings remain today. In June of 1958, another wing which included the administration building and library were completed. Through the 1960’s as the enrollment continued to grow, additional portables were also added to the campus.

    In 1978, after years of discussion and planning, Lahaina Intermediate School opens, providing education for 6th through 8th grades.  This event transforms our school into King Kamehameha III Elementary School, with grades Kindergarten to 5th grade.  The school name was modified in the 1980’s, adding King to its name and later adding Elementary.  

            This is a summary of the 1st 100 years of King Kamehameha III Elementary School. We look forward, with anticipation, to the next 100. I mua!

Cherish the Past, Explore the Present, Embrace the Future

King Kamehameha III Elementary School’s 5.6 acre campus sits on an archaeological site at the heart of the historical whaling town of Lahaina.

King Kamehameha III School serves students and families makai and mauka of the Honoapiilani Highway from Lahaina to Honokahau Valley. The students who attend King Kamehameha III School come primarily from families of tourist industry service employees. Many of these parents have more than one job, making it difficult to involve them in school activities and programs. The student population has leveled off over the past two years at approximately 700 students.  Three portable classrooms were added to our campus during the 2007-2008 school year.  They have provided much needed instructional space.

In 2003, King Kamehameha III School was one of the Hawaii Schools that received the Distinguished School Award.  King Kamehameha III School has implemented various programs throughout the years.  For five years King Kamehameha III Elementary School has participated in an after school tutoring program in reading for third and fifth graders with volunteer community tutors. A school-wide reading program was implemented to benefit all grades.  King Kamehameha III School will continue to have an after school tutoring program for math for our fourth graders.  The fourth grade students are tutored by Lahainaluna High School students on their campus.

King Kamehameha III School continues to offer the Good Beginnings transition program during the summer for incoming kindergartners.  This program was implemented to give incoming kindergartners a better academic foundation.

King Kamehameha III School is fortunate to have great community support from hotels and restaurants.  The Hula Grill Restaurant recognizes school staff members for their outstanding efforts in education on a monthly basis.  The Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club installed an irrigation system in front of the campus

during Spring Break in 2009.  King Kamehameha III School has extremely strong support from the local PTA.  The PTA helps fund programs on campus and makes a special effort to recognize students and all staff members.  We received the gift of a campus beautification project from the U.N.U.M. Insurance Company this spring.  This included painting of buildings and fences, landscaping of grass, tropical plants and trees as well as the donation of a glass display case.  This gave our campus some very recognizable “curb appeal”.

King Kamehameha III recently opened a time capsule from 1957 and replaced the time capsule with items from 2007.  It is scheduled to be opened again in 2057.

 King Kamehameha Elementary School celebrated its 100th Anniversary in the Spring of 2013.

A Brief History of King Kamehameha III

A little prince was born and destined to be the longest reigning king of Hawaii nei.  His father was King Kamehameha I and his mother was Keopuolani, one of the highest ranking ali’i of old Hawaii. His brother, Prince ‘Iolani Liholiho, and his sister, Princess Nahienaena, complete his family.

The little prince had two birthdays: August 11th, 1814 and March 17th.  He chose to celebrate his birthday on March 17th after he heard about St. Patrick from an Irish friend. Hence our celebration of him today, March 17, 2017.

After his father, King Kamehameha the Great had passed away in 1819, Liholiho became King Kamehameha II and ruled the islands with Queen Kalama.  Unfortunately, it was a short reign as both rulers died of measles while visiting the Queen of London, in 1823.

That meant that the Little Prince, Kauikeaouli, would now rule the islands as King Kamehameha III. He was only 10 years old; therefore, he was given a Kuhina Nui, a person to rule with him. That honor went to Ka’ahumanu until her death in 1832.  King Kamehameha III was 19 years old and considered too young to rule alone.  So he was given another Kuhina Nui, and that person was his half-sister, Kina’u.  Kauikeaouli and Kina’u did not always agree on what was best for the people.  He terminated Kina’u’s position, and on March 15, 1833 he took control of the government.  He told the people that he alone would rule.

He had his sister, Princess Nahienaena beside him as one with whom he could confide and who was his friend until her death in 1836. She was only 20 years old. This left King Kamehameha III depressed and saddened as he was now all alone.  His immediate family had all gone before him.  He kept, however, the foundation, the roots of his upbringing. 

King Kamehameha III died December 16, 1854 at the young age of 40.  During his reign, he accomplished many things:

·       He created the “Declaration of 1839” which brought religious freedom.

·       He wrote the “Constitution of 1840” which was a democratic constitution, one that gave the Hawaiian men voting rights and enabled them to hold office or be appointed to one.

·       He wanted Hawaii to be the “Kingdom of learning” so he set up schools throughout the islands for the future leaders.  Lahainaluna, founded in 1831, was one of the first schools for the                commoners.

·       English became the official language during the end of his reign, in business, education, government, and foreign affairs.

·       He moved the capital from Lahaina to Honolulu since there were more shipping and business activities there.

·       In 1848 King Kamehameha III wrote the “Great Mahele” which meant that the working people of Hawaii could now own land.

·       Finally, the new Constitution of 1852 gave greater power to the people in running the government.

And his motto lives on in all of us:  “Ua mau ke ea oka ‘aina I ka pono.”  The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

Happy Birthday to our school’s namesake King Kamehameha III.