Waimea Middle School - Home- Old Website (Not Current - Historical Information)


Waimea Middle School is transitioning to a new website. Please click on this link to see our new site and update your bookmarks.
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Recipient of a Full 6-Year WASC Accreditation: 2014 - 2020

Charter Contract Renewed Through June 2025


Mission: "Waimea Middle School empowers all students with the skills, values, and cultural understanding 

to successfully navigate high school and beyond.”

I KAIR Core Values: 'Ike * Kaizen * Accountability * Integrity * Respect

   Important School Events & News - click here.  
Employment Opportunities: Alternative Learning Center - Teacher - Long Term Substitute, Bus Driver, Casual Van Drivers, & Migrant Ed PPT Position for 2018-19SY click here.

For great photos of learning in action and school events - www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool
   Behaviors For Learning - WMS Student Discipline Policy - click here.
WMS Schoolwide Chant & 'Ike Hawai'i Lessons - click here
HIDOE Student Information Privacy - http://bit.ly30ERPAHI 
Exciting Before- & After-School & Intersession Student Programs - click here

WMS Student Mentoring Program - click here.

Mahalo To The Taxpayers of Hawai'i and our Legislators & Governor 
For Our New Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center -  More info - please click here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      School Wellness Policy - click here.


Great News:  

Waimea Middle School Names Miss Janice English as Principal

Click here for more information or see West Hawai'i Today news story: 


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Congratulations to All of Our Exiting 8th Graders!    

Congratulations too, to our families and MAHALO to our teachers, staff and partners!    

2018 Top Academic Scholars: 

Six WMS 8th graders were saluted for exceptional academic achievement at the school’s end-of-year Exit Ceremony Thurs., May 31, 2018 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel at Mauna Kea Resort.  All six of these students carried a 3.6 grade point average or better for their entire three years – 6th through 8th grade – at WMS.  Pictured (L-R) are Eito Kawakami, Makena Hurney, Eva Delgado, Shaiya Cacabelos, Malia Camero and Lily Mood.  Earning top honors for the 76-member class were Makena Hurney and Malia Camero, who were both named class Valedictorians as they tied with a 3.8 GPA for their three years at WMS.   Congratulations to these students and the entire class!  

WMS 2018 "College Pathway Scholarship" Recipients: 

Five WMS 8th graders were each awarded a $1,000 “College Pathway Scholarship” by Waimea resident Dr. Roger Gremminger (right) during the school’s 

end-of-year Exit Ceremony Thurs., May 31, 2018 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel at Mauna Kea Resort.  Pictured here with WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski (left) are (L-R) Farah 

Marini, who will be attending Parker School for 9th grade; and Makena Hurney, Kyana Brucelas and Malia Camero, all three of whom will be attending Hawai’i Preparatory Academy 

in the fall.  Missing from this picture is Jordan Hanano, who also will be attending HPA in the fall.  Dr. Gremminger's scholarships – acknowledging academic achievement – are 

intended to assist with the students’ 9th grade tuition and reinforce planning and academic focus to ensure college preparedness.  In addition to these scholarships, Dr. 

Gremminger is establishing a separate academic incentive program to encourage WMS Exiting 8th grade students attending Honoka’a High School to work hard throughout the 

next four years to become eligible for a scholarship to help with tuition in their first year in college, trade school or other accredited post-secondary educational program.  Born 

and raised in Wisconsin with seven brothers and sisters on a small family farm of meager means, Dr. Gremminger attributes his ability to become a successful emergency room 

physician to hard work and the help he received to go to college.  Now retired and living in Waimea, he hopes to encourage WMS students and families to pursue higher 

West Hawai'i Today News Feature on June 11, 2018 salutes Dr. Gremminger's scholarship program:

Thank you Dr. Gremminger!  It makes a HUGE difference in the lives of our middle school students!  It's also a powerful reminder that EVERY child deserves our school-community rallying around them and giving them the very best shot at a great life!  

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2018 WMS May Day Royal Court!  

May 25, 2018 - Theme:  "Ku'u Kula Iwi" - My Homeland

Hundreds of 'ohana - from our students and families, teachers and staff, to community friends and cultural practitioners helped make our annual May Day Hoike PRICELESS! 
We thank them all for helping to make this long standing Waimea tradition possible! !  

Lots more pictures to be posted soon on Facebook! 

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Mahalo To Our Principal Search Candidates!

Mahalo, too, to our Waimea Fire Department for safety coverage for our annual 6th Grade Hoku'ula Hike!

See Facebook for photos of Hoku'ula hike and field trip to Mana'ua and Anna Ranch. 

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A HUGE MAHALO to the State Legislature -- and especially our community's elected representatives Sen. Lorraine Inouye & Rep. Cindy Evans -- 
for approving our WMS Grant In Aid request for $298,000 
for our 'Full STEAM Ahead!' technology programming for the 2018-19 school year.  We are humbled and grateful.  
The final vote will come in the next few days but we're in the agreed-upon budget.  

Mahalo, too, for including $1.6 million to try to purchase the vacant lot next to the schools and post office 
to address student-family-community safety. 

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Please click here for more info and applications for summer opportunities for Waimea families
including Honoka'a High's Summer Bridge Program and Neilan Foundation's Music Camp (July).
Most programs include breakfast and lunch daily.  Warm mahalo to our funding partners!  

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Please join us in supporting the community of Puna! 

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Important Dates & Information:

WMS-WES-Neilan Foundation-Ho'okako'o Corporation Summer Music & Arts Program:  July 5-27, 2018.  8 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  For WES & WMS Exiting K thru Exiting 5th grade students.  Click here for more information and application.  

 2018-19 School Year

Ø  Mon., August - Monday, August 6 - GEAR UP! - 7 a.m.-6 p.m. in L Courtyard.  Closed from Noon to 1 p.m.  Families invited to campus to get ready for the start of school - also to meet teachers - very informal.  

Ø  Tues., August 7, 2018 - First Day of Classes for Students!   8 a.m. - School attendance DAILY ON TIME is our #1 Priority for all students!   Click here for school year calendar! 

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Honoring Our Mentors!  

Our Heroes!  Please click here for more about student mentoring!

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May 18, 2018 - Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Tina Benson 

THIS IS WHAT TRADITION LOOKS LIKE!  For many years now, our WMS 6th Grade teaching team have taken the class on a thoughtful 'Ike Hawai'i journey to learn more about this special place as well as the world they live in -- where we came from (ancient civilizations)...to thinking about how we Malama Honua -- care for Mother Earth and where we are going.  Culminating this journey is an annual hike to the top of Hoku'ula, one of the magestec pu'u that stand guard over Waimea.  THIS is what good teaching and learning looks like...and what memories are made of!   

MAHALO to our teachers, staff and all who make this possible including Parker Ranch and our Waimea firefighters -- who stand by to be sure everyone is safe!  Mahalo, too, to our cultural practitioners -- Ku'ulei Keakealani and Keali'i Bertelmann for helping make the connections...and keep the stories and place names alive.  We were especially thankful too for a spectacular sunny - a bit windy - almost vog-free day! 

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Mahalo to all who participated in and contributed to our WMS 'Malama Honua' 8th Grade Ho'ike 
and also our WES-WMS STEAM Family Night!

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MAHALO WMS students - Thirty-five 7th grade students plus 8 teachers-staff and another group of 8th grade students gave up recess March 14, 2018 to come together for 17 minutes of silence as part of the nationwide Walkout of schools to honor those who perished in the horrific gun violence in Florida on Valentineʻs Day - and to advocate for a change in Americaʻs gun control laws and practices. Thanks, too, to Waimea Elementary students, teachers and staff who also turned out with signs along Mamalahoa Highway to share their voices for change. In the silence, we could hear church bells tolling from across Waimea town - a very "chicken skin" time for all!  To our students, teachers and staff - you make our community proud for believing our children deserve not to live in fear...to feel safe in their own communities.  #Enough #NeverAgain 

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Congratulations WMS Track & Field Athletes for earning 15 Gold, 13 Silver and 11 Bronze medals 
for a total of 39 medals this season!

For more details, please click here

  Photo courtesy of Mrs. Havaiki Etherton 

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IMPORTANT:  Cases of mumps have been reported Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 - in Waimea.  

Here is a link to the State Department of Health website with a lot more information on what you can do to protect yourself, family and others: 

Here is a link to the CDC website with still more information: 

In general, they strongly recommend an immediate MMR vaccination including a "booster" for adults who have not had one in 10+ years, even if they had mumps as a child.  

Please read carefully and take precautions.  Mumps are to be taken seriously.

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Attendance Daily On Time Is a Schoolwide Priority!
For more about the importance of attendance, please click here.

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Mahalo To All Who Joined Us In Dedicating our new 9-classroom Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center.

Kahu Billy Mitchell and Kumu Micah Kamohoali'i with representative WMS students, teacher, community leaders and VIP officials.

WMS Students present an 'aha -- braided cordage that was made by all WMS students, teachers, staff and some families and community friends. 
The kaona of the 'aha reflects the strength and mana that each individual contributes to nurturing and enriching the lives of our children and community! 


Gov. David and Mrs. Ige, Sen. Lorraine Inouye and Rep. Cindy Evans join students in planting a young 'ohi'a tree to conclude the STEAM Learning Center Dedication.
A dense native forest of 'ohi'a and sandalwood once grew here on this 'aina and stretched as far as the eye could see, both toward the Mauna Kea and makai toward the sea.

WMS 6th grade student Aivao Wong suggested the new learning center's name -- working with a group of fellow students, teacher-advisors and a Hawaiian language expert.

Please click here for video news coverage:

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Mahalo to WMS & WES families who attended

the WES-WMS Emergency Preparedness Talk-Story

Jan. 18, 2018 in the School Cafeteria.

MAHALO to former State Civil Defense Director Ed Teixeira

for coming to help us all to become better informed!

Mahalo, too, to WES staff for yummy from-scratch Blue Zoney light dinner.

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MAHALO to all who participated and contributed to our Martin Luther King, Jr. Make A Difference Day!

Lots of pictures to be posted on Facebook soon!

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MAHALO to all who joined us for the dedication of
Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center
Monday, Jan. 8, 2018!

Please click here for video news coverage:

Just a glimpse of the "soft" traditional Hawaiian blessing held yesterday for our new STEAM Learning Center with WMS teachers, staff, admin and Local Advisory Panel members - led by Kahu Danny Akaka and Anna. Such a sweet beginning in the middle of a very Waimea day - rain and wind, low-lying clouds and chill - but all the sweeter! We especially appreciate Danny's and Anna's guidance, advice and teaching to better understand the rich traditions of blessings. Moments like this help us appreciate the unique and special nature of Hawai'i and the traditions carried on for generations. They also remind us of the responsibility we shoulder for doing our very best every day for every child. Mahalo to Hawai'i taxpayers, our legislators, governor, and DOE/DAGs partners and all of the amazing construction team with Isemoto Contracting and their subs who built this new learning center for our children, families and community! The formal dedication will be at 10 a.m., Mon., Jan. 8, 2018 - please plan to join us!! Everyone in the entire community is invited!
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Check Out These Exciting 3rd Quarter After-School Opportunities:

To download an application, please click here.

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Please Save The Date & Join Us!
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Awesome!  Both WMS First LEGO League robotics teams did really well Sat., Nov. 11, 2017, 
coming in 2nd and 3rd overall in the District Finals, thereby earning an invitation 
to the State Finals Sat., Dec. 2, 2017 in Honolulu!  

November 30, 2017


The qualifying members of two WMS First LEGO League robotics teams for the State tournament this weekend will be leaving after school tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 1, 2017) for O'ahu. This is quite an achievement for these middle school students who had to excel in this year’s First LEGO League “Hydrodynamics” project competition, and also had to develop and successfully deploy their autonomous robots, and concurrently had to fulfill contract obligations that included grades, behavior, and other team contributions. Please join us in passing on good wishes to the following who will be representing our school at this year's event with 43 teams from across the state!

Eito Kawakami
Shaelyn Freitas
Minnow Benedict
Rovi Afaga
Arel Urbanozo
Kaden McQuirk
Jordan Barcenilla
Lyle Hooley

-- Mahalo, WMS Robotics Teacher-Coaches Nau'i Murphy, Jade Bowman and Tisha Gusman

Mahalo, too, to our funding partners with the Kamehameha Schools STEAM grant!  

For more pictures, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool 

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Check out K(Arts) Grand Finale pictures at www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool

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Free Breakfast & Lunch & Free Busing
In Waimea for all WMS students this school year!

Before- & After-School Opportunities:
Homework Help+ - Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15-3:45 p.m.
Free including snacks and busing in district.
Click here for application or stop by school office.

After-School Robotics, Volleyball and Cross Country, Mala'ai After-School and 21st Century Classes Continue.
Click Here for More Information or See Auntie Bernie in the Office.

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Please look closely at this picture -- do you see what some might consider a ho'ailona? 

This picture was taken Oct. 26, 2017 when our State Sen. Lorraine Inouye brought members of the very important State Senate Ways And Means (WAM) Committee to tour our soon-to-open 9-classroom, $15.89 million STEAM Learning Center - visible in the background.  

Most of these senators were responsible for authorizing the $15.89 million secured in 2013 and 2014, and to their credit, the language of the bill they approved included “furniture, fixtures and appurtenances.”  This confirmed their legislative intent – to outfit the building with 21st century technology as a complete STEAM Learning Center.  But it hasn’t worked out quite like that, so we need help, both legislatively and from our wider community.  Even if legislators move quickly to address this during the 2018 session, it would be at least September-November of 2018 before public funding would be accessible. 

Thus, responsibility to help fund essential technology is falling on the community.  In a way, this is good.  We are the public middle school of the community, which means that it is our responsibility to prepare a majority of the 6th-8th grade children of Waimea for the world and workplace.  We ask the community to support this.

Our children – 70% of whom come from economically challenged families and more than 50% of whom are of Hawaiian ancestry – need and deserve better.

We are hopeful.  If you look closely at this picture, you will see the rainbow reflection in the windows – a ho’ailona of the possibilities this building represents to Waimea’s future.  We welcome your wisdom and help.   

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Mahalo to all who participated & contributed to our Sept. 29, 2017
5th Annual IKAIR Fun Run/Walk, Silent Auction, Bingo & Dinner!
For event pictures and results, please click here or see Facebook.

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Still time to sign up:

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Robotics 2017-2018 SY:

We are stepping up our STEAM teaching and learning this school year!  

This includes offering Robotics both during the school day and after-school, and participating in two tournaments - VEX and First LEGO League.  In fact, WMS will participate in and host VEX tournaments during 1st semester.  

We thank our teacher team, and all of our community partners, who make this cool STEAMy programming possible.  

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For School Year Calendar, please click here.

For Student Supply List, please click here

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Congratulations WMS - Faculty & Staff! 

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While there was a school for Waimea children going back to the mid 1800s, Waimea School as we know it today began in 1916 for students in grades K-12.  In the 20th century, it became initially a K-9 school, and then evolved into a K-8 school.  In the year 2000, through faculty, staff and family initiative, the school was split into two schools, and became Waimea Elementary (a P-K-5) and Waimea Middle (a 6th-8th grade) School.  The school celebrated its centennial year in 2016.    

In 2003, the Waimea Middle school community voted to become Hawai’i’s first Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS) under a new law passed by the 2002 State Legislature.  Act 2/2002 was created with the support of many educational visionaries in Hawai’i including Kamehameha Schools and the Hawai’i Business Roundtable, who together sought to nurture student achievement by providing public schools — who were willing to embrace change — with greater local control over curriculum and resources through active collaboration that involves and respects all stakeholders. 

Act 2/2002 created the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Ho’okako’o Corporation, which works in partnership with the Board of Education, the Hawai’i Public Charter School Commission, Kamehameha Schools and others.  Ho’okako’o Corp. serves as our Local School Board.  The State Legislature authorizes per pupil funding for WMS and the DOE is responsible for our facilities though some day-to-day maintenance and repairs – and all utilities, food service and busing -- are funded out of the school’s modest per pupil allocation from the Legislature.     

Upon becoming a public conversion charter school, WMS conducted a comprehensive Systems and Organizational Audit (SOA), which provided a “road map” for developing an Educational Strategic Plan that was formally adopted by the school-community and guided all decisions.  This plan focused on student achievement, family engagement and community involvement.  Our school governance model is one of respectful collaboration involving all stakeholders — teachers, staff, families, students, a Local Advisory Panel and the wider community. 

Beginning in 2011, WMS applied for Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and after extensive, in-depth collaboration involving all stakeholders, it was awarded a full 6-year Accreditation for 2014-2020.  Accreditation is a commitment to continuous improvement.  This requires Action Planning focused on a set of priorities related to student achievement.   The school underwent a mid-term Accreditation review in the Spring of 2017, and WASC agreed to continue the school’s Accreditation and provided an updated set of Action Plan priorities.  Copies of the 2017 Accreditation review are available including detailed Action Plans. 

Also during 2017, WMS was approved for a new Three-Year Charter Contract by the Hawai’i Public Charter School Commission beginning July 1, 2017 and concluding June 30, 2020.  The contract renewal also involves stringent accountability and continuous commitment to improvement. 


  • WMS is the public middle school of the community – publicly funded, no tuition, accepts all children and provides extensive supports for all, including Special Education, Migrant Education and English Language Learners (see attached school demographics).
  • WMS is committed to collaborative leadership including all stakeholders, as well as family engagement and community involvement. 
  • WMS abides by DOE collective bargaining agreements with HSTA, HGEA and UPW.  
  • WMS is committed to fiscal and academic accountability:  We conduct annual financial audits and abide by strict procurement, employment and conflict of interest policies.  
  • WMS, with Accreditation and Charter renewal, formally embraced a schoolwide Vision and Mission Statement and IKAIR Core Values of 'Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity and Respect.  


WMS actively pursues community partnerships both to support “bell-to-bell” teaching and learning, and before- and after-school programs – often including busing and snacks.  Major partners include:

·    Kamehameha Schools’ support for both schoolwide teaching and learning as well as ‘Ike Hawai’i cultural curriculum and programming;

·    The now 12-year alliance with Mala’ai School Garden for hands-on lessons integrating health-wellness and environmental awareness with science and other core curriculum. 

Other partnerships have also funded a full time reading teacher position and reading curriculum and supports, purchase of two school buses and two vans to encourage school attendance and provide curriculum-related field trips while also reducing operational overhead.  Also significantly enriching students’ learning and school engagement are school-day and after-school Robotics, K(Arts), Athletics, extensive one-on-one and small group student mentoring, tutoring and STEM-focused 21st Century Community Learning Centers classes. 


Ho’okako’o Corporation serves as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit to facilitate tax deductible donations and other contributions to the school.  HC does not charge a fee or any other costs for managing grants or donations, and all funds earmarked for WMS are passed through direct to the school. 


WMS students participate in the same academic assessments as do all DOE schools, and students and families are regularly informed about and discuss academic progress.  Aggregated results are published annually via the State’s Strive HI system and are shared with students and families, and are posted on the school’s website and published by local news media. 

WMS students struggle academically.  Many enter 6th grade below proficiency. Many of the school’s Accreditation Action Plans and Charter renewal commitments specifically address academic progress strategies for low performing students.  Also, teachers are provided with time to meet as teams to review student data to guide instructional decisions and professional development. 

After two intense years of a schoolwide focus on reading, WMS students showed positive growth on the Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment for Spring 2017.  Mathematics and Science scores have declined.  Therefore, the transition to STEAM teaching and learning is critical.


If you have questions or would like to get involved in supporting student learning, please contact:

·         Amy Kendziorski, Principal - (808) 464-9902 or email Amy_Kendziorski@wmpccs.org

·         Patti Cook, Development Director – (808) 937-2833 or email cookshi@aol.com

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Congratulations WMS Exiting Class of 2021! 

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For a second year, Exiting 8th graders from Waimea Middle School are being awarded with a $1,000 “College Pathway Scholarship” by Waimea resident Dr. Roger Gremminger (4th from left). Students are (L-4) Anuhea Winters, Tayson Hirayama (Class Valedictorian), Violet Stevenson, Cade Arafiles, Maggi Sommerhoff, Katiana LaLonde, Malia Fetsch, Nahenahe Rosario and Kaile Dills with Principal Amy Kendziorski. The scholarships – acknowledging academic achievement – will assist with 
their 9th grade tuition at Parker School, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy or Makua Liana Christian Academy. In addition to these scholarships, Dr. Gremminger is establishing a separate academic incentive program to encourage WMS Exiting 8th grade students attending public high schools to work hard throughout the next four years to become eligible for a scholarship to help with tuition in their first year in college, trade school or other accredited post-secondary educational program.

Congratulations to our Class of 2021 Valedictorian Tayson Hirayama! 
Pictured here with teachers - Mrs. Kara Onaka-Winters and Miss Nau'i Murphy. 

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AN EXTREMELY MEANINGFUL “SNEAK PEEK” TOUR was provided last week for VIP guests State Senator Lorraine Inouye, State Senator Michelle Kidani and State Representative Cindy Evans into our still-under-construction, $16 million 9-classroom STEAM Building.  The group is seen here inspecting a state-of-the-art science lab with members of both WMS school leadership and members and staff of our local school board, Ho'okako'o Corp.  Pictured (L-R) are Dr. Robert K. Masuda (Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), Rep. Evans, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Inouye, Joe Uno (Ho'okako'o Board Chair), Sen. Kidani, Dr. Paul Nakayama (also a Ho'okako'o Board Member representing Waimea), David Gibson (Ho'okako'o's Executive Director), Nancy Barry (a Ho'okako'o Board Member), Pat Rice (long time Waimea teacher, counselor, three-time principal & grant coordinator), and Steven Smith and Jay Matsumoto with WMS tech team.  Mahalo to our visiting public policy makers -- first for securing this "gift" to the children and families of Waimea -- and for your insights and assistance to help us continue moving this project forward to be all that it can be for our students!

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May 24, 2017: WMS students talked "live" via satellite phone to the Hokule'a on its final leg home from the worldwide 'Malama Honua' voyage! 

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WMS May Day Ho'ike 2017

For many more pictures:  https://sites.google.com/a/wmpccs.org/home/-ike-hawaii/may-day-2012

Also more pictures on Facebook.

The WMS 2017 May Day Royal Court was among the highlights of our May Day Ho'ike!  The court and all 250 students who performed completely outdid themselves with their singing, dancing, chanting, presence and deep pride in their own achievements and aloha for family and school-community!  They were "living" our I KAIR Core values! What an amazing celebration of the school's first 100 years -- and evidence that we're STEAMING FORWARD into a new century of learning and growth!  And deep love for this place and its heritage and traditions.   

Mahalo to everyone who participated and contributed - most notably our teachers and staff, Kumu Hula Lani Isaacs and her halau, and our families and community partners...including Kahilu Theatre and Parker Ranch.  

What a great day for Waimea!  

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WMS Students Offered One-Class Summer School 2017 Scholarship To HPA 

Pease click here for more information about class choices & to download application.

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Congratulations WMS!  

Charter Renewed thru June 30, 2020 (3 years)!

To read more, please click here

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Look who came for a quick sneak peak into our still-under-construction 9-classroom, 

$16 million STEAM building during today's 24th Annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival! 

Yes, that's Hawai'i Governor David Ige (in front of the Mala'ai garden sign with pink lei) and his wife in bright pink, Dawn Ige. Welcoming them for the visit -- including an opportunity to see first-hand how the new STEAM building will integrate with the school's open-air Mala'ai Garden "classroom", were, L-R: Ho'okako'o Board Member Paul Nakayama, WMS teacher Mrs. Linda LoBue, Keck's Rich Masuda, WMS' Mrs. Pat Rice, DOH Pubic Health Nurse Sandy Tomiyama, WMS LAP Community Rep Jane Sherwood, WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski, Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Rep. Cindy Evans and Ho'okako'o Board member Robert K. Masuda. Kneeling are L-R: Mrs. Gayle Kamei, a STEM teacher at Waiakea Intermediate, Ms. Connie Hastert, Mala'ai Garden Leader Holly Sargeant Green, Miss Kimberly Kamei and Canada-France-Hawai'i Telescope's Mary Beth Laychak. Gov. Ige was Senate Ways and Means Chair when funding was secured for this major new educational asset for Waimea and worked closely with both Sen. Inouye and Rep. Evans to fund the project. Part of the visit was sharing the school's expanded vision for the building to create a "hub of STEAM teaching and learning" for Waimea. 

Photo courtesy of Tina Benson

What's New:  

Full STEAM Ahead!  

West Hawai'i Today/North Hawai'i News Feature - Friday, Jan. 27, 2017: 


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WMS Students & Teachers In-The-News! 

From Alaskan Permafrost To Sea Level Rise at Spencer Beach:

WMS & Alaska Yup'ik Students Pilot STEM Lessons Together As Global Citizens

Click here for news feature in West Hawai'i Today - Friday, April 7, 2017: 

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Lā Pa’ahana (hard, industrious work) Day for WMS 7th Grade

(This is what Place-Based Learning (PBL) is all about!) 


Having just completed a Social Studies unit on Hawai`i’s sugar industry and how geography and physical environment impact businesses and lifestyle, our 7th graders extended their learning beyond the classroom, text book and internet with our school’s now annual Lā Pa’ahana (hard, industrious work) Day.  On Thurs., Dec. 8, students stepped out of the classroom into our Waimea community to explore its physical environment in relation to spatial geography, business and lifestyle. Students had the opportunity to hear from individuals who make the choice to work in lifestyles dependent on the environment every day.

Mahalo nui to all of the Lā Pa`ahana presenters including Kumu Ku`ulei Keakealani, `Ainahua Florals, Hawaiian Hogs, Hawai’i Island Humane Society, `Aina Hou Veterinary Clinic, Waiki`i Ranch, Parker Ranch and Uncle Ma`ulili Dickson of the Makali`i Voyaging `ohana.

It was a fascinating day offering a wide variety of field trips to learn about careers in businesses connected to the land and this special place.  It really was all about pa’ahana (hard work) and following your heart, and in most instances, there was discussion of post-high school educational requirements. 

Here are a few pictures of students with presenters who shared insights, wisdom and advice - having chosen lives and careers that are connected in many deep ways to the land and environment!

For example, despite thick fog enveloping Waiki'i, about a dozen of our WMS 7th graders participated in an exploratory visit to this historic upcountry Parker Ranch station to learn about career choices and what it takes to be successful at various professions -- in this case, ones that are closely tied to the land and our community's ranching heritage. Special presenters included Uncle Sonny Keakealani, a revered paniolo, his daughter Ku'ulei Keakealani, Alvin Kawamoto and Jesse Ho'opai.

MAHALO to teachers and staff for coordinating this annual exploratory!


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Thank you K(Arts) Fall 2016 students for terrific K(Arts) Grand Finale performances this week at Kahilu Theatre! Students shared what they've learned in this popular after-school program, including choir, hula, 3-D Stereographic Video, hip hop, art & backstage production!  Also, mahalo to our program partners - Kahilu Theatre Foundation, the Neilan Foundation and Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture & the Arts.  We also thank program coordinators Auntie Bernie Marsh and Auntie Lisa Shattuck and the amazing instructors behind the scenes!  

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Please review this and do everything you can to support Attendance:
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Oct. 7 was WMS Annual I KAIR Day! 

Students fanned out from campus to participate in numerous community service projects! 

Ōlelo No‘eau (Traditional Hawaiian Proverb):  Ma ka hana ka ‘ike.  In working one learns.  

* * * * *

Mahalo to all who participated in and contributed to our Centennial kickoff Fun Run & Silent Auction!  

We especially thank donors, volunteers and our faculty-staff for their support!  

It was a great beginning of an exciting year for our school-community leading up to dedication of our new 9-classroom $16 million STEAM building!  

STEAM:  Science * Technology * Engineering * 'Aina/Arts * Mathematics!  

To view a video clip of our "Take a LAP Fun Run/Walk & Silent Auction" - click here: 


* * * * *
And...yes!  We are welcoming "home" alumni and former teachers-staff as part of our Centennial celebration!

* * * * * 

WMS 'Full STREAM Ahead Summer Adventure' Ho'ike 

(A concluding presentation for families and friends - Friday, July 1)

Our choir was awesome - singing the Beatles "Hello, Goodbye!" and songs from "Lion King"!  

Mahalo to all our our teacher and staff team - especially singing teacher Mr. Ryan Tan, shown here with 

students.  Mahalo, too, to our many community partners who made this memorable journey of learning possible! 

Go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool for video clips of the students' singing, 
and pictures from throughout the 3 week adventure! 

WMS' 'Full STREAM Ahead!" Summer Adventure - Opening Day Student Assembly.

 Savoring the view from atop Pu'u Kehena while learning about the ancient Kohala Field System. 

Day 1 Field Trip for our Summer Adventure Environmental Science Class. 

* * * * *

Congratulations to our Exiting 8th Graders... 

Waimea Middle School Class of 2020! 

Five Waimea Middle School Exiting 8th Graders Receive ‘College Pathway Scholarships’

Five of Waimea Middle School’s (WMS) Exiting 8th graders are receiving College Pathway Scholarships to assist with transitioning to Parker School or Hawai’i Preparatory Academy for 9th grade. 

Recipients of these new College Pathway Scholarships are Kawehi Bell Kaopuiki, Hunter Kalahiki Arnbrister and Samantha Burgeron, who will be attending Parker School in the fall, and Jaysen Bragado and Dillon DuPont who will be attending HPA come fall. 

Funding these College Pathway Scholarships is Dr. Roger Gremminger of Waimea (center), who has been a volunteer tutor for WMS students for the past two years.  Dr. Gremminger grew up in Wisconsin with seven brothers and sisters on a small family farm of meager means. He attended seminary for nine years which introduced him early to community service.  Four years before completing seminary, he shifted focus to medicine, and, thanks to hard work and the support of his parents and older sister, he was able to go to medical school and achieve his goal of becoming an emergency room physician.

The support he received from his family to pursue higher education, and his early years of involvement in helping others, inspired him to continue giving back to his community even while working as an ER doc. For many years, he dedicated hundreds of hours as a volunteer physician at free clinics to ensure that quality health care was available to many. His “giving back” continues even after retiring to Waimea with tutoring both Waimea Elementary and Middle School students and occasionally helping at the Waimea Elementary School Thrift Shop.

From personal experience, he says he knows that completing high school and pursuing further education in college can open many doors, hence the scholarship’s name. 

"I am most grateful for generous community members like Roger who support our students with their time and talents, making Waimea Middle School an amazing place for students, families and staff to successfully prepare to navigate high school and beyond," said WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski (left).    

Waimea Middle School’s new College Pathway Scholarships are being administered by the school’s Local School Board, Ho’okako’o Corporation. 


Pictured here with Dr. Roger Gremminger and WMS Principal Amy Kendziorski (left) are the first recipients of Dr. Gremminger’s new scholarships (L-R) Kawehi Bell Kaopuiki, Samantha Burgeron, Jaysen Bragado, Dillon DuPont and Hunter Kalahiki Arnbrister. Dr. Gremminger anticipates providing these new College Pathway Scholarships annually for WMS Exiting 8th graders. 

* * * * *

6th Grade Culture Faire - celebrating a year of learning, growth and pride! 

                                                                       Photo courtesy of Shelby Matsumoto

Saluting our 2016 Waimea Middle School May Day Court!  

See many more pictures and video: www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool

Here's a quickly prepared video of our May Day morning performance by WMS students - prepared by a community friend, Niel Thomas. 

It’s a 429.3 Mb file - here'a a link to watch it on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/805Xraj5URU.\

It begins with a chant and just a photo, then the video kicks in with excerpts from the rest of the program. Enjoy! And mahalo Niel!

Spring 2016 K(Arts) @ Kahilu Theatre 

The Grand Finale was fabulous! See Facebook for lots more pictures! 

For a full video of the K(Arts) evening performance:  



* * * * *

Congratulations to our Track & Field Athletes & 

Coaches for Bringing Home 52 Medals! 

Mahalo, too, to County Parks & Rec and generous funding partners!  

Click here for more details! 

                                                        * * * * *
Mahalo to our 'Plastics and Our Oceans' Project Students & Partners! 

Please click here for a video clips about the project:  

* University of California - Santa Barbara Plastics Video:  https://youtu.be/YGBpHYLNtRA

* WMS' Plastics Project Video by Ty Stuyvescant:  https://vimeo.com/153850025

These short video news stories convey a glimpse of the meaningful school-community partnerships 
that are enriching student learning, achievement and connection to the 'aina and this special place!  

Waimeaʻs leaders of tomorrow from Waimea Middle School, Parker and HPA with the "Plastics and Our Oceans" project 

gather for one last photo after having shared their new-found wisdom about why Plastics are so very harmful...and what 

WE can do to make it better...concluding a 3+-day immersion in the science and public policy of plastics.

Today was an amazing day for many Waimea middle school students -- from WMS, Parker and HPA! After a wonderful assembly at Kahilu Theatre (above) with 15 students sharing their newly gained knowledge and wisdom about the science and public policy related to Plastics and Our Oceans...the students concluded the program with an art class with artist Dianna from PlasticPollutionCoalition.org...creating this mural: Hold the Foam! The students (below) are "flying" with Dianna like the albatross they met and depicted in the mural.  Again, we mahalo University of California - Santa Barbaraʻs science team and partners including NOAA, UH Marine Scientists, Kokua Foundation, Surfrider Foundation and more including Councilwoman Margaret Wille and Kahilu Theatre. We also thank each of the 15 students for being such fabulous ambassadors for their generation! And to the teachers, family members and staff who supported this program...itʻs all about "the village" doing whatʻs best for our children. 


‘Plastics & Our Ocean’ Student Research Presentation 
10-10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 25 at Kahilu Theatre – Families & Community Invited!

“Plastics and Our Oceans" will be a collaborative presentation by 15 middle school students -- five each from Waimea

 Middle School, Parker School and Hawai’i Preparatory Academy.  This will be the culminating ho'ike (presentation) after

 an intense 3-day hands-on learning experience this weekend on O’ahu with marine scientists 

and public policy makers.  

While on O'ahu, the student research team will visit an albatross nesting colony, 

conduct a beach clean-up and be a part of deciding the future of plastics in Hawai’i. 

This program is a 3-school partnership with the University of California -Santa Barbara, the National Oceanic 

and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University of Hawai’i marine researchers, Kokua Foundation, Surfrider 

Foundation and others - including Kahilu Theatre Foundation.   

Photo Above - A selfie of the entire group ready to fly to 

Honolulu this morning!  Courtesy of WMS teacher Tina Benson

Our joint WMS-Parker-HPA team of student-researchers began their day in Honolulu with a visit to the State Capitol, 

where the Legislature is in session. They visited with several of these public policy leaders to discuss their research and 

possible proposals regarding "Plastics and Our Oceans" -- 

mahalo to Kailua-Kona Rep. Lowen (shown here) and all who welcomed and spent time sharing their insight and knowledge with our students!

Concluding the day of research about the political policy aspects 

of plastics on Oahu...our students prepare for a short boat ride to 

beautiful Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, 

which today is a marine research station!

Day 2:  A day of warm sunshine and learning about albatross, monk seals, whale and more...

Wanna guess what our "Plastics and Our Oceans" student-researchers are dissecting?

Itʻs Albatross bolos (vomit) from Midway...they are discovering what birds had ingested 

but could not digest...and not surprising, a lot of it is plastics. 

For a close up look, go to the last picture.

After dissecting Albatross bolos, students watched a short film on the birds and then skyped with the producer...amazing! 

We are grateful for this exceptional learning experience!

* * * * *

* * * * *

Fight The Bite!  Dengue Fever Prevention...

Mahalo to our County’s on-the-ground staff with the State Department of Health for spraying our campus this past Sunday for mosquitoes. We know these men 

and women have been working long hours to “Fight the Bite” and minimize/eliminate the dangers of Dengue Fever to our children and island community. We also 

thank them for agreeing to do it on Sunday to avoid impacting the Saturday Farmers Market!

For more about how to "Fight the Bite" -- go to www.health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001 (Hilo) or 322-4880 (Kona).

If you think you have been infected with Dengue Fever, or know of someone who may have been infected, contact your doctor or a local health clinic and get 

medical care. Hamakua-Kohala Health, with offices in Honoka’a and Kapa’au, provides care year-round regardless of whether or not you have health insurance.

* * * * *

Celebrating Progress Together for 2016 National School Choice Week 

WMS has been a public conversion charter school since 2003 - we did so, not because it's easy, but because it's what's best for our students.  

Being an Accredited public conversion charter school is all about partnerships and we thank our many partners for helping us achieve our mission 

of "empowering all students with the skills, values, and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond."

 We're celebrating student growth 
as measured in the 2014-15 Strive HI Performance Report!    
Our students cruised past a number of other Hawai'i middle schools by raising our cumulative points from 158 to 191!  
We also know every single one of us has a great deal of focused work ahead!  
It's all about Continuous Improvement.  
But for now - good work, students & teachers-staff!  
To review WMS 2014-15 Strive HI Performance Report released Oct. 19, 2015, please click here.  
* * * * *

Congratulations to WMS Students for 1st Semester Achievements!  

Introducing our 1st Semester I KAIR Student Achievement Award Recipients for K(Arts)!  

For more pictures of award recipients for Positives, Athletics, Robotics, Mala'ai and more, 

go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool or see the Jan. 6 newsletter (click here). 

* * * * *

WMS Student One of 10 Nationally To Win Fire Prevention Award For "Taking Action" After Kawaihae Fire! 

Congratulations to WMS 8th Grade Student Kyren Martins!

* * * * *

* * * * *
MAHALO to everyone who participated in, and contributed to our 
'Take A LAP' Fun Run Friday! 
* * * * *

* * * * *

 WMS 9-Classroom STEM Building Groundbreaking - Sept. 9, 2015

Mahalo To Everyone Who Came & Contributed!  

It Was A Great Day For All Waimea Students & Our Entire Community!


News Feature - WEST HAWAI'I TODAY - THURS., SEPT. 10, 2015:  http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/new-stem-building-set-construction-waimea-middle

Groundbreaking for our 9-Classroom STEM building was a really G-R-E-A-T DAY for the children & families of Waimea! 
This is a pivotal moment for our students, school and community -- doing what's right for the next generation of Waimea children. 

MAHALO to all who helped make this long time dream come true. 

We also thank all of the construction crew who will make this a safe, inspiring and beautiful learning center for our children.

Please click here for more details!  



WMS 'Ike Hawai'i class led by Kumu Keala Kahuanui and Angela Pastores work with 

students to create ti-lei for some of today's VIP guests. 


* * * * *


Most WMS 2015-'16 Faculty-Staff gathered for a blessing of our new buses and vans today!  Mahalo to all for participating -- and to Kahu Billy Mitchell for your wisdom and deep aloha for our mission, our children and our community!  

* * * * * 


Whoa!  Look What Arrived July 14 At Our School!  

Check out Waimea Middle School’s new buses – fully loaded with state-of-the-art student safety devices including seat belts, student card scanners and audio-video cameras which are connected “live” to the school via wifi.  The buses, along with two new vans, will help the public conversion charter school better serve student transportation needs, afford more educational, athletic and arts field trips, and also save money that can be redirected back into the classroom to support academic achievement by all.  
The buses and vans were donated to the school by The Neilan Foundation after students, faculty and families held a “Take a LAP Fun Run/Walk” fundraiser last school year to launch an Accreditation-driven “We’re Going Places” sustainability  campaign.  Shown here signaling “Whoa!” with Interim Principal Amy Kendziorski (2 nd from right) are (L-R) WMS Head Custodian and Athletics Director Warren Tamaye, office staff members Kiki Kihoi and Bernie Marsh, new bus driver Ray Aina, Susan Fernandez who assisted with procuring the buses, new bus driver Val Brighter, office secretary Michelle Kauhi and Community Liaison Patti Cook. 

For busing application, please click here.  For questions about busing, please call Auntie Kiki Kihoi at 887-6090 Ext. 224.  

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6th Grade Culture Faire - May 2015!

                                                                                                           * * * * *
                                        WMS May Day - May 22, 2015 
“Malama Honua” – Take Care Of The Earth” was the program theme of our 2015 May Day Celebration that featured our May Day Court!  
Mahalo to all who participated, contributed and attended!  
Photo below taken with the 2015 May Day Court with Waimea community heroes that are featured on our school's HERO WALL and who will be honored during this year's May Day program.  
        To read more about May Day and honoring our heroes, please click here or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool                 
                Photo below taken at the 2014 evening performance featuring both the WMS May Day Court and, in the foreground, many former court members!  

 * * * * *

Check Out Our Beautiful New WMS Vans! 

WMS is blessed to have received two beautiful brand new vans, and soon, two brand new buses to enhance student learning and activities and also help the school become more financially sustainable. We extend a very warm mahalo to The Neilan Foundation for making this possible!  
* * * * *
Great News:  Our 9-Classroom STEM Building continues to move forward!  
                                 * * * * *
* * * * *     

     A Warm Mahalo To The Ted & Laurie Beneski Foundation     
                 -- And To 7th Grade LA Teacher Tim Beneski

     A New Laptop Coming For Every WMS Student!

What an awesome gift to our students & teachers!  
To learn more about the Beneski Foundation gift of almost $147,000, please click here!  
News Feature in West Hawai'i Today & Hawai'i Tribune-Herald:  http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/waimea-middle-school-gets-147k-donation-computers
            * * * * *    
Congratulations, Students!  For Track & Field meet results, click here
* * * * *

                        Look Who Came To Dinner!  

Mahalo Mayor Kenoi for Sharing Your Mana'o & Honoring Our Volunteer Mentors, Students, Families & Staff.  


DDream BIG, Work Hard & Never Give Up!!



Check out this link to a news feature by Big Island Video News spotlighting WMSʻ recent "Connecting for Success" family night w/ Mayor Billy Kenoi:                        




* * * * *

Congratulations to both our WMS boys and girls teams who won the Huki Huki competition at the 2015 Ka Moku O Keawe Makahiki! 


Our 10th K(Arts) Grand Finale at Kahilu Theatre Was AWESOME!
Great work, Students!  And to program instructors, assistants and especially project coordinators Auntie Bernie Marsh & Auntie Lisa Shattuck -- MAHALO!!! 
We also thank our many partners - especially The Neilan Foundation & Kahilu Theatre!!  Click here to view YouTube Videos of "Slam Photography" Projects! 
 * * * * *   




Special thanks to our fun run volunteers & community businesses who supported the event including the silent auction! Mahalo, too, to The Neilan Foundation for underwriting event expenses and contributing to bus purchases, too!  

See great photos on Facebook and check out this video footage taken from a mini-helicopter by Alan Nakagawa:


Also, check out this West Hawai'i Today Front Page News Feature on WMS School Bus Fundraising (9-16-14): 



Click on the following link to a North Hawaiʻi News Feature Story (9/2/14 Edition):  



* * * * *

WMS School Bus Fundraising Project Receives $2,000 

From Windermere Foundation!  Mahalo! 

 Windermere Foundation’s Waimea real estate sales team presented — for a second year —  a $2,000 donation to WMS, thanks to its supportive marketing practices.  Team members here to present the check are (L-R) Kerry Balaam (RS), Harold Clarke (Windermere Partner), Joshua Conklen (RS), WMS parent John Balaam (Broker in Charge), Beth Richardson (Principal Broker), Puakoa Taga (Bookkeeper – hidden a bit), WMS parent Charito Balaam (RS), and Guy LaGuire (RS). Windermere sets aside a percentage of every single real estate transaction to contribute to its community and we sincerely appreciate their support for our school bus fundraising project! 


                                        * * * * * 

The 2013-ʻ14 School Year Is Done! 
Congratulations To All, Especially Our Exiting 8th Graders! 

                                                                   * * * * *

Crew members of the Hokule'a and Hikianali'a wa'a are shown proudly wearing their bright yellow olena-dyed bandana gifts hand-made by Waimea Middle School students and they are holding hand-written notes from students! The wa'a are set to depart Pelekai Bay -- Hilo -- today, Friday, May 30 between 11 a.m. and noon on the first leg of their World Wide Voyage. 
As Papa Mau Piailug always said, "Prepare well and make strong like a mountain for the journey!"
To track the voyage, go to www.Hokulea.com
                                       * * * * *

                      Mahalo To All Who Attended Our WMS Steak Fry Celebration!

                                     Congratulations To The WMS Recipients of
               Student 'Grit' Awards & Faculty-Staff 'Culture of Excellence' Awards

Sponsored by Tom & Gail Gimbel – The Neilan Foundation

WMS Student 'Grit' Award Recipients - May 14, 2014


GRIT is not something new to you or Waimea. In fact, Grit is what Waimea’s paniolo are all about! Loosely defined, Grit is persistence over time to overcome challenges and accomplish big goals.

It’s a legacy that is imbedded both in the Waimea community’s heritage and your school’s Core Values of ‘Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity and Respect. We are big believers in GRIT as one of the most important character traits for students to be truly successful in school and in life. Our family believes in you and wants to support your success. We invite you to reflect on the current school year – the hard work you have done as a student and the challenges you have faced and overcome – and then enter this essay contest explaining why you deserve a GRIT AWARD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                       With Aloha, Tom and Gail Gimbel, The Neilan Foundation - Click here for more information!

Spring 2014 'Grit' Award Recipients: 

6th Grade:  Jenny Coney, Hillary Connors, Isabella Kilgore & Jermon Thomas

7th Grade:  Breana Arakawa, Cy Chong, Darius Day & Emily Fetsch

8th Grade: Benjamin Paki Akau, John Paul Bala, Lahela Dickens, Maya Gee, Ryan Hooley, Madilyn Jardine, Kaeo Medeiros Kaaekuahiwi, Nakue Olotoa, Kamuela Spencer-Herring & Trayson Tripp-Carvalho




Spring 2014 Award Recipients – Presented May 14, 2014 - Each recipient was awarded a $1,000 unrestricted gift from The Neilan Foundation. 

1)     Student Academic Growth – Some outstanding individuals, be they teachers or other school staff, have a measurable and profound impact on student achievement through their persistence and focus.  Preparing students for a brighter future begins with a solid academic foundation and high expectations for learning and growth.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Student Academic Growth” award demonstrates clear evidence of a dramatic impact on student growth in core academics as a result of his or her work.

Shelby Loo and Sarah Teehee

2)     Teacher Leadership – The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Teacher Leadership” award not only demonstrates exceptional professional practice, but also intentionally shares his or her successes, resources, and struggles with others.  Creating a true “Culture of Excellence” relies on individuals with the courage to open themselves up to share ideas for improving the classroom learning environment.

 Nau'i Murphy and Janice English-Somerville

3)     Personal and Professional Growth – A “Culture of Excellence” is characterized, primarily, by continuous improvement for the organization and for individuals.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Personal and Professional Growth” award embodies continuous improvement through his or her own personal and professional growth; he or she is an open example of learning from experiences, including personal missteps, and continually striving to improve.

  Tanya Malani

4)     Caring and Inspiration – Everyone can think of that adult from their past who has made an extraordinary impact on them by caring and inspiring them to being their best.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Caring and Inspiration” award goes well above and beyond to make connections with students and inspiring them to reach their full potential both today and for the rest of their lives.

  Warren Tamaye and Bernie Marsh

5)     Family and Community Connectivity – To provide the best education possible for students and to create a “Culture of Excellence” that lasts requires resources and connections beyond the schoolhouse walls.  The recipient of the “Culture of Excellence – Family and Community Connectivity” award finds countless ways to establish and maintain meaningful connections to the community to benefit students; these connections raise the bar for everyone within the school.

 Pua Case and Patti Cook

* * * * *


WMS Receives 6-Year Accreditation!


$15 Million STEM Building!


At 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, May 5, Waimea Middle School was informed it was receiving 6-year Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)! 

“This represents national recognition of the great work our teachers and staff are doing. It validates the school’s academic and organizational effectiveness in delivering what’s best for students and also being committed to continuous improvement,” said Principal Matt Horne.

“This is perfect timing as it coincides with National Teacher Appreciation Week when we honor teachers for their dedication to children,” said Horne. “Even better, is the fact that this news comes on the heels of last week’s authorization of almost $10 million by the 2014 State Legislature – to be added to the $5 million appropriated in 2013 – to construct our school’s long dreamed of 9-classroom Science-Technology building.”

“We are ecstatic to have the building fully funded and thank our legislators – State Sen. Malama Solomon and Rep. Cindy Evans in particular. We also thank Gov. Neil Abercrombie for recently releasing the first $5M and visiting with us last week and committing to expedite release of this year’s $10M to get construction started as soon as possible,” Horne said.

“Accreditation – coupled with 21st century STEM education classrooms -- puts Waimea Middle School on the map as one of the state’s most progressive and effective public middle schools,” said Horne.

“This is a real milestone in Waimea Middle’s history as a school – congratulations to everyone who was involved.  We couldn’t be happier for the students and families of Waimea,” said Dr. Megan McCorriston on behalf of Ho’okako’o, which is school’s governing board.

 “I couldn’t be happier for the whole community of Waimea; it’s wonderful to have such a great school in our town,” said WMS parent John Balaam.

 Daniel Gomez, another WMS parent who serves as a volunteer member of the school’s Local Advisory Panel, said: “The real testament of what your efforts have already achieved is in more than WASC’s Accreditation…but in the daily and weekly effects seen in kids and families who, like mine, regularly experience the benefits or your life-giving passion! Thanks to each of you for your limitless giving and care towards each of our keiki (including the smallest unseen acts from the many of you behind the scenes who might go unacknowledged).” 

We extend deep gratitude to our entire faculty and staff, every single one of whom has participated in the Accreditation process,” said Horne. “We especially thank our school’s Accreditation Steering Committee that included teacher Nau’i Murphy and school counselor Mary Martinson working with long-time Waimea educator Pat Rice. We also thank our focus group chairs, our volunteer Local Advisory Panel (LAP), our Ho’okako’o Local School Board, and also students, parents and community members who have been deeply involved in our accreditation,” said Horne.

WMS applied for accreditation with the assistance of Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and Kamehameha Schools. We established eight focus groups tasked with examining all aspects of school life, from curriculum, assessment and governance to student supports and family engagement, to facilities and financial accountability and transparency. These focus groups produced a comprehensive Self Study that identified strengths and challenges. These conclusions were prioritized and four Action Plans developed that commit the school to an accountable course of continuous improvement, said Horne.

HAIS then identified an Accreditation Visiting Team of respected educators to thoroughly review the school and its Self Study and Action Plans.  Visiting Team members in addition to Dr. Shiraki included Ryan Masa, Chief School Officer with the Hawaiian Education Council, Dr. Katina Soares, Vice Principal of Kualapu’u Public Conversion Charter School on Moloka’i, Mollie Sperry, a retired head of school, and Puanani Wilhelm, Education Director for Kua O Ka La Public Charter School.

The Visiting Committee spent three days here in late March conducting an in-depth review that involved observing every teacher in action, as well as interviewing each of the focus groups and also students, families, community members, partners, the school’s administrators and its local school board. The Visiting Team then produced a 57-page report for WASC that included both extensive commendations and recommendations to guide the school’s ongoing improvement process. 

“The Visiting Committee had high praise for WMS as a safe and caring school with strong student supports and family and community involvement. The Visiting Committee also commended our school’s dedicated team of teachers for going above and beyond to fulfill the school’s mission of ‘empowering all students with the skills, values and cultural understanding to successfully navigate high school and beyond’,” said Horne.

“To celebrate these two significant achievements, we are today inviting the entire Waimea school-community to a steak fry next Wed., May 14, from 5-7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.  It’ll be a wonderful celebration to recognize community-wide support for doing what’s best for the children of Waimea. The steak fry is being hosted by a private funder, The Neilan Foundation, which is helping WMS become more sustainable by underwriting cost saving strategies such as converting to photo voltaic and exploring purchase of our own school buses. The steak fry is free to children 14 and under; it’s really free to everyone else but we do suggest a donation and all money raised will go to our new School Bus Fund,” said Horne.

The steak fry also will include presentation of The Neilan Foundation’s new WMS “Grit” Awards for 30 students, and five $1,000 Teacher-Staff “Culture of Excellence” Awards. 

“What a great year it is for the children of Waimea!  We hope the entire community will join us May 14 for a delicious meal and to thank everyone who has made this possible,” said Horne. 


A Very Warm Mahalo to the 2014 State Legislature For Putting Waimea Children First! 


$15 Million Appropriated for WMS' 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building!  Awesome! 

WHT (June 7, 2014) - http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/waimea-middle-school-gets-5m-more-toward-science-building

News Release (June 5, 2014) - http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/governor-releases-87-1-million-for-public-school-improvements/

To read more click here

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Mahalo to everyone who participated in and contributed to a priceless 2014 May Day Celebration! 

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Mahalo To Our Accreditation Visiting Committee! 
Mahalo, too, to our entire school-community for making this a meaningful, collaborative experience! 
To read about preliminary (not final) Commendations and Recommendations of the Visiting Committee, 
and/or to review our Accreditation Self-Study and Action Plans, please click here.  
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Mahalo to All For Joining Us for our "Connecting For Success" Family Dinner & Talk-Story With Mayor Billy Kenoi! 


What a great evening for our WMS students & families, faculty & staff! Mahalo Mahyor Kenoi for sharing your message that we all "Get Chance" 
if we 
Dream BIG, Work Hard, and Never Give Up! 
Mahalo, too, to Hawai'i Community Foundation and all who support our new "Connecting For Success" program including more than 25 volunteer mentors! 
We also thank our program team leaders - 
Suzi Herhold and Lori Ching with support from Principal Matt Horne, Vice Principal Amy Kendziorski and Former Principal Pat Rice!

Photo courtesy of West Hawai'i Today/Brad Ballesteros


To read Carolyn Lucas-Zenk's news feature in West Hawai'i Today (3/14/14), click here:  



To view Big Island Video Newsʻ video news feature, click here: 


To learn more about "Connecting For Success" including what's involved to become a student mentor, 

please click here.  


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Mahalo to 'Cable One' & Kamehameha Schools' 'Aina Ulu Lahui for Your Malaʻai School Garden Work Day Contribution!  
Mahalo, too, to Buttons Lovell for your tireless generosity and pa'ahana for our students and school-community! 
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State House of Representatives Includes $9.89M in Budget 

for WMS 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building!  


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 A Very Warm Mahalo to Hawaiʻi Island Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee Robert Lindsey and Fellow Trustees!
We are deeply grateful to OHA Trustees for again voting to contribute a total of $1.5 million to Hawaiʻiʻs 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools including WMS!  We are not sure yet how much this will mean to our students, but last yearʻs contribution was about $27,000 and this is deeply appreciated and will be put to good use!   
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WMS 6th Graders enjoyed tasting Blueberries during our weekly USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetables sampling to introduce a wide array of fresh produce to the nation's children.  


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                           Mahalo to all who participated in our I KAIR Campus Clean-Up on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service! 


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Waimea Middle School Uses Hokule'a As A Model
             Feature news story on Hawai'i Public Radio by Sherry Bracken - Thurs., Dec. 19, 2013
           Feature news story in North Hawai'i News by Catherine Tarleton - Thurs., Dec. 26, 2013
Hawai'i’s voyaging canoes are a link to the past of those who first settled our islands.  But they’re also a tool for today’s students to learn not just about Hawai'i’s earliest residents but about how to practically apply today’s classwork.  HPR’s Sherry Bracken talked to a navigator about how he’s been working with one Big Island school...click here to hear the full news feature from HPR public radio: 


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At the prestigious NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Regionals held in San Diego Dec. 8, WMS 8th Grader Kelsan Cacoulidis (2nd from right above) placed 2nd in his 12-13 Boys age division, missing 1st Place by only 7 feet!  In all, there are 2,230,000 participants of all ages in this competition and Kelsan was ranked 5th in the nation as of Dec. 9. We are still awaiting final results as other regional competitions are held across the country. What we do know is that the top four high scorers in each of the 10 age divisions from all 32 Team Championship events advance to the Nationals and that these 40 winners – along with one guest each – will travel to the PP&K National Championships that will take place in January at an NFL playoff game. We’ll let you know if Kelsan’s in this group!  Regardless -- Congratulations, Kelsan, for making your family, school and community very proud!
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                                    Mahalo To All Who Attended...and Contributed to Our Sensational
         K(Arts) Grand Finale at Kahilu Theatre!  
For more pictures, see this week's 'Ohana News - click here and scroll down or check us out on Facebook! 
For short video clip of the K(Arts) Grand Finale, check out this link!  
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PLEASE join us for our WMS K(Arts) Grand Finale performance by 80+ students today - Wed., Nov. 20 - on the giant stage at Kahilu Theatre!  Doors open at 5; performance at 5:30 p.m. - it's free and super family-friendly!  Students will be sharing what they've learned in after-school classes in Tahitian, Hip Hop and Kahiko Hula and Chanting, Drama and Musical Performance, Art and Backstage Production!  Hope to see you there!  And MAHALO to Kahilu Theatre Foundation, Ho'okako'o Corp. and private funders as well as the amazing instructors and assistants who make this possible!  
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Congratulations to our Robotics Club - 3rd Place in First Lego League Hawai'i Island Competition November 2013! 

WMS entered two teams in Saturday’s First Lego League  competition in Kona and our “LaVog Runners” took 3rd overall so are the Alternate Team for the State Championships if either of the top two teams is unable to go to Honolulu.  Competition involved an Interview where the team was judged on teamwork and problem solving; then a Research Project related to “Nature’s Fury” — this team invented a volcano-resistant one-piece hooded weatherproof jacket with built-in hard hat, built-in first aid kit, built-in rope and LED lights.  The third part was the actual robots competition. Mahalo to our teachers and former Civil Defense Director Ed Teixeira for supporting this!  

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This is the Island Princess of Lana'i and her escort -- riding in the Keiki Pa'u Unit of the 38th Annual Waimea Paniolo Parade this past Saturday...please look closely at their beautiful pa'u horse lei which were created by WMS students with guidance from a team of dedicated lei makers – Kumu Keali’i Bertelmann, Kumu Keala Kahuinui, Ana Kaho’opi’i, Ku’ulei Keakealani and ‘Ike Hawai’i Resource Teacher Pua Case. To see dozens more photos of Saturday's beautiful parade, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaMiddleSchool.  
PS: That's Waimea's 150+-year-old historic Spencer House in the backdrop!  Photo courtesy of Sherman Warner

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Students Learn ’Sense of Place’ Skills To Perpetuate Tradition & Preserve Resources

Connecting Culture To Curriculum             

& Practice To Perpetuation

As the magnificent pa’u units pass by spectators during this Saturday’s 38th Annual Waimea Paniolo Parade, the scene that unfolds will be breathtaking. The fabulous flowing pa’u garments and stunning lei worn by superb horsewomen are the highlight of the parade, and this year will be no exception, especially with Anna Akaka riding as Pa’u Queen, accompanied by her husband, Danny Kaniela Akaka, Jr. But to WMS 6th and 7th grade students -- and 8th, too from lessons learned in previous years -- it will mean so much more. Through a two-week series of rigorous, integrated Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and even Math lessons involving “close reading”, detailed study and note taking, watching documentaries, listening to personal family stories by one of the community’s best storytellers who “lives” the paniolo life, calculating costs involved, and topping it all off with helping to make from scratch four horse lei for the keiki pa’u unit...our students have a much deeper understanding of what they will be seeing. They’ll know both the significance of each pa’u and lei as well as how much effort and expense went into the visual feast for the eyes...and also how important it is to help preserve this tradition and with it -- protect and preserve the natural resources required -- our forests and shorelines. 

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Waimea Middle School's Mission:
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Click here for our WMS 'CONNECTING BEYOND OUR SHORES' Reports by 'Ike Hawai'i Resource Teacher Ms. Case, and Teachers Ms. Haight and Mrs. Foster, as they journeyed to Washington, D.C. and New York...and kept connected to us!  They are now back home but the Unity Ride continues...     
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Mahalo to all who participated in, and contributed to our Expanded Summer School, which concluded today...June 28, 2013 with a Hoike.  
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 Campus Closed: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F except for families dropping off/picking up children and others on school  business.  All visitors to campus must first report to the office to secure a Visitors Pass - No exceptions.


 Emergency Contact Info:  Families must keep the school office informed about phone and mail contact information to ensure that the school is able to reach families quickly.  Questions?  Call the office: 887-6090.

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Introducing our 2012-'13 Schoolwide Theme: 
-- Adapted From "'Ölelo No'eau - Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings" by Mary Kawena Pukui"
And...as shared by Chadd Paishon at the opening day assembly and in Mala’ai:
He wa’a he moku. He moku he wa’a.
Literally – The canoe is an island, the island is a canoe.
Figuratively - Everything you must do to survive on a voyaging canoe — the values you must have, the respect and
compassion for others, the supplies and work ethic necessary for survival—are also essential to living on an island.
Click here to learn more about 'Ike Hawai'i at Waimea Middle School.

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News Flash:    
WMS Becomes
'A Candidate For Accreditation'!
Congratulations To All - This Is A Major Step Forward!  
Click here for more details.
WMS 8th Graders Visit King Kamehameha Statue in Washington, D.C. - May 2011
Brief History of Waimea Middle School:  Why we became a public conversion charter school and what it means to our students and families.

While there was a school for Waimea children going back to the mid 1800s, Waimea School as we know it today began as a one-room school house in 1916 for students in grades K-12.  In the 20th century, it became initially a K-9 school, and then evolved into a K-8 school.  In the year 2000, through faculty, staff and family initiative, the school was split into two schools, and became Waimea Elementary (a P-K-5) and Waimea Middle (a 6th-8th grade) School.    

In 2003, the Waimea Middle school-community voted to become Hawai’i’s first Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS) under a new law passed by the 2002 State Legislature.  Act 2/2002 was created with the support of many educational visionaries in Hawai’i including Kamehameha Schools and the Hawai’i Business Roundtable, who together sought to nurture student achievement by providing public schools — who were willing to embrace change — with greater local control over curriculum and resources through active collaboration that involves and respects all stakeholders. 

Act 2/2002 created the not-for-profit Ho’okako’o Corporation, which works in partnership with the Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools and others.  Ho’okako’o Corp. serves as our “Local School Board.”  DOE continues to fund WMS and is responsible for our facilities though most day-to-day maintenance and repair is funded out of the school’s per pupil allocation from the Legislature.     

Upon becoming a PCCS, WMS conducted a comprehensive Systems and Organizational Audit (SOA), which provided a “road map” for developing an Educational Strategic Plan that was formally adopted by the school-community and guided all decisions.  This plan focused on student achievement, family engagement and community involvement.  Our school governance model is one of respectful collaboration involving all stakeholders — teachers, staff, parents, students and community. 

Beginning in 2011, WMS applied for Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and after extensive, in-depth collaboration involving all stakeholders, it was awarded a full 6-year Accreditation for 2014-2020.  Accreditation is really a commitment to "continuous improvement."  This requires Action Planning focused on a set of priorities related to student achievement.   For more about Accreditation, click here please.    

Foundational Commitments: 

  • WMS is the middle school of the community – publicly funded, no tuition, accepts all children and provides extensive supports for all, including honors students as well as Special Education, Migrant Education and English Language Learners.
  • WMS is committed to collaborative leadership including all stakeholders, as well as family engagement and community involvement. 
  • WMS abides by DOE collective bargaining agreements with HSTA, HGEA and UPW,  
  • WMS is committed to fiscal and academic accountability:  We conduct annual financial audits and abide by strict procurement, employment and conflict of interest policies.  
  • WMS, with Accreditation, formally embraced a schoolwide Vision and Mission Statement and I KAIR Core Values of 'Ike, Kaizen, Accountability, Integrity and Respect.  

Expanded Learning Opportunities (Free!):
  • Morning Hot Chocolate Club and After-School Homework Help+ (Tutoring):  Transportation provided.  For more info, click here.
  • Robotics Club.  Click here 
  • K(Arts) - Click here
  • Athletics (Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, and Track & Field).  Click here.
  • Makahiki Games.  Click here.

Key Partnerships: 

Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School works closely in partnership with the Hawai’i State Department of Education (DOE), the State Public Charter School Commission, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai'i Community Foundation.  Also, WMS is Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  These partnerships require evidence of "continuous improvement" and therefore, substantial data reporting for academic and financial accountability.  This, too, has helped our school better serve all students.  

Many other community partners also support our students and families and we thank all for their generosity and for understanding the important role public education plays in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.  This includes the The Neilan Foundation and Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). We cannot do this alone and we welcome partners and volunteers including mentors!  Please call us! 


More Information:

If you have questions or would like to get involved in supporting student learning, please contact our Principal Amy Kendziorski at 887-6090 or email Amy_Kendziorski@wmpccs.org

To register your child for school, please call our Registrar Lorna "Mas" Muromoto at 887-6090 or email:  Lorna_Muromoto@wmpccs.org 
Perpetuating Waimea Traditions...

2016 May Day Court
2015 May Day Court

2014 May Day Court
2013 May Day Court
2012 May Day Court
2011 May Day Court

2010 May Day Court
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2016 6th Grade Culture Faire culminates a year-long study of ancient civilizations. 

2015 6th Grade Culture Faire 
2014 6th Grade Culture Faire
2013 6th Grade Culture Faire
2012 6th Grade Culture Faire

2010 6th Grade Culture Faire   

8th Grade East Coast Trippers:  Thanks to their own fundraising efforts and help from their families and community friends, WMS 8th grader students may conclude the year with an educational visit to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia to bring alive American History!

The lehua lei mural which encircles the school office was created by students in 2005 as a visual 'Ike Hawai'i cultural reminder
of the diversity within — diversity of skills, learning styles and cultural heritage.  The rocks are symbols of our
kupuna — our elders — our foundation!
Patti Cook,
Dec 16, 2016, 5:05 PM
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:16 PM
Patti Cook,
May 17, 2011, 8:24 PM
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:18 PM
Patti Cook,
Feb 24, 2011, 8:18 PM