Ka Leo O Ke koa


The voice of the Warrior

The online student news source of Waiakea High School

Senior Edition 2023

Congratulations Warrior Seniors!

Warrior seniors to be featured during the 2023 Waiakea High Commencement

Congratulations to Waiakea High School's 30 seniors who maintained a GPA of 4.0 and above. These seniors are Waiakea's 2023 Valedictorians. 

Taylor Aburamen -  Tevin Atwal  - Riley Bockrath

Princess Gail Calapit -  Sienna Chanhmany - Jacob Chong

Eva Chupity -  Misty Cruden - Michiko Ejima 

Taarini Godbole - Sara Igawa -  Tobias Johnson

Brycen Kano -   Courtney Kim - Madison Manguso

Mailiokawailelenani McKeague - Kaylee Nagata - Kira Okazaki

 Joshua Penney - Maya Polloi - Angelina Schwiter

Nathan Sewake -  Jessie Shimizu - Alanna Sun

Rachel Tao - Mia Tulang - Alexander Tuson

 Paul Varricatt   - Ricky Xie  - Landon Yanagisawa

The student with the second highest grade point average is named the Salutatorian and will deliver the welcome address at this year’s Commencement. The Class of 2023 Salutatorian with a 4.314 CUM GPA is Taarini Godbole.

The Class of 2023 Valedictorian is the student with the highest grade point average, and will deliver the farewell address at the Commencement exercise. This year’s Valedictorian, with a 4.325 CUM GPA is Rachel Tao.

Valedictorian Rachel Tao will give the Farewell Address

Salutatorian Taarini Godbole will give the Welcome Address

70 Warrior Seniors are Academic Recipients

By Eli Funai

Academic honors are bestowed upon Seniors who have strived for academic excellence. They have maintained a better than 3.8 grade point average over seven and a half semesters of work. They have met the Board of Education recognition diploma standards and are Waiākea High School’s Summa Cum Laude graduates. This year’s Class of 2023 has 70 seniors who have earned this award. They will receive a certificate of commendation and a red cord to wear at Commencement to signify this high honor.

Taylor Aburamen - Kaylee Aiona -Tevin Atwal - Lainie Balingit

Brianne Bartolome - Riley Bockrath - Denver Branco - Chloe Brunner 

Princess Gail Calapit - Sienna Chanhmany - Jacob Chong - Eva Chupity

Misty Cruden - Mila Davis - Michiko Ejima - Reyn Funai

Devin Garza - Taarini Godbole - Jackson Goebel - Kaylie Hashizaki

Agata Highstein - Lia Ho - Shaynon Iaea - Sara Igawa

Jazlyn Inouye - Lexy Iwaoka-Troutman - Justin Iwata - Tobias Johnson

Chloe-Layne Kalai - Leiah Kang - Brycen Kano - Claire Kildahl

Courtney Kim - Apetahi Kua - William Lockhart - Madison Manguso

Mailiokawailelenani McKeague - Carmelyn Rhose Miguel - Kaylee Nagata

Kate Newell - Chiarra Nguyen - Yael Nolan - Xia Hui Kaiao Nowka-Louie

Kortney Nuniez - Kira Okazaki - Alyssa Oshiro - Grace Ota

Joshua Penney - Maya Polloi - Jayke Prudencio - Kevin Ragasa

Angelina Schwiter - Nathan Sewake - Elena Shibuya - Jessie Shimizu

Noah Siegel-Stone - Koraliʻi Smith - Alanna Sun - John Paul Tabile

Jayden Tanaka - Shuntaro Tanaka - Rachel Tao - Mia Tulang

Alexander Tuson - Paul Varricatt - Mia Wheeler - Rhys Wilson

Ricky Xie - Sakura Yabuki - Landon Yanagisawa

NA KOA PO'OKELA Award for outstanding warriors

Paul Brilhante

Taylor Aburamen

Paul Brilhante

Taylor Aburamen

Waiakea High academies highlight their top seniors

The Waiakea High School features 4 outstanding academies: the Arts and Communication Academy, Health Services Academy,  the Public Service Academy and the Academy of Technology and Industry.  Every year, each academy recognizes the top students who have excelled the highest in their senior class

Arts and Communication:

Kaylee Nagata and Taylen Butler

Ambassador:  Jacob Chong

Health Academy:

Paul Brilhante and  Xia Hui Kaiʻao Nowka-Louie 

Ambassadors:  Paul Brilhante, Misty Cruden, Taarini Godbole, Jaelee Picar-Cabal, Angelina Schwiter, and Mia Tulang

Public service Academy:

Kira Okazaki

Ambassadors:  Taylor Aburamen, Brianne Bartolome, Kathrina Kapela, Kira Okazaki, Koralii Smith, Donte Taifmai, Landon Yanagisawa

Academy of Industry and Technology

Jessie Shimizu (business) - Devin Garza (auto)  - Jayden Gebin (Construction)

Ambassador:  Nathan Sewake

Taylen Butler

Paul Brilhante

Kira Okazaki

Devin Garza

Kaylee Nagata

Xia Hui Kai'ao Nowka-Louie

Jessie Shimizu

Jayden Gebin

Department awardees excel and shine in their classes

Fine Arts:  Mila Davis and Sienna Beasley

Mathematics:  Rachel Tao

English / Language Arts:  Madison Manguso and Alexander Tuson

World Languages:   Carlie Cuba-Nethon and Nahi'ena Kekuawela

Social Studies:  Taylor Aburamen

Science:  Rachel Tao and  Paul Varricatt

Health and PE:  Robby Tahara Ebesuno

Outstanding Warriors recognized with service awards

Taylor Aburamen - Tevin Atwal - Lainie Balingit - Aiki Bothell

Paul Brilhante - Misty Cruden - Taarini Godbole - Kaylie Hashizaki

Sara Igawa - Leiah Kang - Eli Kanno - Claire Kildahl

Madison Manguso - Kaylee Nagata - Arianne Nakamura - Kate Newell

Chiarra Nguyen - Kira Okazaki - Alyssa Oshiro - Jaelee Picar-Cabal

Maya Polloi - Nathan Sewake - Noah Siegel-Stone - Korali'i Smith

Alanna Sun - Dontae Taifmai - Mia Tulang - Alexander Tuson

Rhys Wilson - Sakura Yabuki - Landon Yanagisawa

Top Warrior student athletes are recognized


Girls Volleyball: LA'AKEA G NAKOA ONESS 

Cross Country: SHANAY HAA (Girls) TYLER SELLEY (Boys)


Cheerleading: JERZEY CORREA 








Student writing feature:  

"My Life with Clay" by  Senior Daniel Higa

Howzit! My name is Daniel Higa, a senior in the Arts and Communications Academy.  My senior project showcase night for the Arts and Communication Academy was on April 11, 2023 at 5:00 pm in the Waiakea High School Cafeteria.  My project involved making fish molds and head sculptures of movie or show characters. Mr. Luna, my ceramics teacher, mentored the process. 

 At the beginning of my senior year, I decided to use my ceramics class to work with clay and push my artistic talent.  I focused my time on making an Ulua mold.  My Ulua mold took about two months to finish.    The mold was later entered into a contest in the beginning of January.  After I worked on my mold, I started my next project.  I decided to make a head sculpture of Ichigo kurosaki from the anime Bleach. This project took me at least two months to finish. My final project that I'm working on is a Ghostface head sculpture from the movie Scream.

My favorite part about doing my project was talking stories with my mentor/ teacher Mr. Luna.  We would always crack jokes in class with each other. We would laugh at how my head sculptures would look in the beginning because the face structures would look weird without the details that came later. I also enjoyed seeing how my ideas came out in the end and later, seeing people’s reaction to what I created.   

Through this project, I learned that I have a creative mindset when it comes to working with clay. I never knew I could make cool looking art.  I never knew that other people would like my work. Technically, I learned that if the clay is cold you cannot fire it or it will explode in the kiln and destroy your project and other people's projects.  When working with clay, you must always be patient and must always be careful when you add details to it and when you are carving out.

My advice to the underclassmen is to use this project as an opportunity to challenge yourself because you never know where it will lead you or what kind of creative things you can create. 

Waiakea High Students capture huge science award!

Waiakea High School STEM team was named Hawaii’s winner in the annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition. A fitting project just in time for Earth Day!

The assignment was to choose a problem affecting their community and demonstrate how science, technology, engineering, and math can help to address it. The Waiakea High team selected coral bleaching, and now they are working on making an environmentally safe sunscreen. The students propose using sugarcane and squalene, which is an extract from the sugarcane, and we’re using it as a UV protectant. It’s also got skincare benefits. The students have added squalene as the ingredient in the sunscreen.

Under the leadership of teacher Whitney Aragaki, Waiakea High has entered almost every year since Samsung started the Solve for Tomorrow contest for middle and high schools nationwide 13 years ago. According to Ms. Aragaki,  for the past few years Waiakea has been fortunate to be named a state finalist.

For capturing first place, Samsung awarded the school $12,000 worth of technology and supplies, including the equipment students used to make a video that explains the problem and how they’re tackling a solution. And there are more prizes on the line. “We have prizes for every stage of the competition. It’s gets higher as you go further in the competition with $100,000 of Samsung technology and classroom supplies for the national winners,” said Ann Woo, of Samsung Electronics America.

From among the 50 state winners, Samsung will select three national winners in May. Judges will base their decisions on the information provided in the videos each school produced.  The team is made up of 20 juniors and seniors. They were also working on other sustainable solutions before they settled on the sugarcane/sunscreen project.

“I like these kinds of projects because it mimics what they will do in the real world,” Aragaki said.

APES Video Samsung Solve For Tomorrow (1).mp4

  Background of the project:

   Sunscreen, through high tourism traffic and overpopulation, has caused injustices to our marine ecosystems. Typical sunscreen, which can be found in any big box store, is deadly to our coral reefs. The chemicals that companies use have bleached many of our corals. This is why we created Kōconut sunscreen. 

   Unlike other sunscreens, ours are made with natural minerals and ingredients. Sugar cane is abundant and non-native here in Hawaiʻi, and has a compound that can be used as a UV protectant. Thus, we decided that it was perfect for our product. Kōconut sunscreen is reef-safe and sustainably developed. 

The project students include Alexander Tuson, Maya Polloi, Madison Manguso, Taylor Aburamen, Jaelee Picar-Cabal, Gavin Nishida, Paul Brilhante and Ocean Bardwell-Jones

Congratulations to the new officers for 2023-24!

Waiakea High Student Government Association Officers

SGA President - Cheydon Naleimaile Evangelista

1st VP - Abigail Keith

2nd VP - Francis Anne Dela Cruz

Secretary -  Ericka Vento

Treasurer - Yuma Kamuro

Senior class of 2024

Senior President -  Keiki Ifenuk

VP - Jessie Higa

Secretary - Malia Hill

Treasurer - Ava Santos

Junior class of 2025

President -  Charley Brown

Vice President - Maiyah Panis-Vuong

Secretary - Lily See

Treasurer - Isabella Oyer

Sophomore class of 2026

President - Lexie Katsuda

Vice President -  Karly Chang

Secretary - Kolin Oshiro

Treasurer - Jacob Tajiri

Earth Day at Waiakea High School

by Dylan Sasahara

For Earth Day, one of the things we forget to do is to look around at all the good work students are doing to make good use of our natural resources and be stewards of our environment. At the Waiakea High School Agriculture facility at K-building, Public Service Academy students in Natural Resources have learned how to grow native fruits crops, including bananas, pineapples, noni, and taro. They have also raised close to 20 chicken, which were raised for consumption and eggs.  

Students have also raised tilapia, which was a senior project for PSA student Khalla Chinen. For Khalla, her project was a labor of love. She said she started the school year with about 20 tilapia that carried over from last year. But since then they've grown to over 100 tilapia, including dozens of baby-sized fish. In the next few weeks, she hopes to continue her project by bringing home the adult sized tilapia for consumption and sharing. She will use the other tilapia for her aquaponics farm, where she is growing lettuce. She hopes to utilize the skills she's learned in her PSA natural resources class (taught by Ms. Tmakiong) to continue her own agricultural projects. She said she's learned the importance of sustainability and the importance of eating healthy and naturally grown foods. Congratulations Khalla!

The PSA Natural Resources students learned to raise chicken for eggs and for family consumptions

Naturally and organically grown eggs at the WHS Agricultural facility

Noni fruit

Fresh, organic pineapple

Setting up and pounding taro into poi is one of the student projects

Khalla and Laakea are both PSA natural resources students

Waiakea High home grown tilipia

Khalla takes care of her tilapia every day with regular feeding and water maintenance

Waiakea High School Robotics Team find success in Florida

By Eli Funai

During Spring Break, the Waiakea High School Robotics team earned a trip to Florida where they placed 3rd in a competition hosted by Florida A&M University. The students included Micah Tajiri, William Hiro Lockheart, Rylan Colbert , Kainoa  Chong, Charley Brown, Avery Wong, Gunner Cabreira, Chase Tafua, Cooper Simon, Daniel Li, Evan Rosehill, Justin Imamura, Paul Varricatt, Quentin Nguygen, Sebastian Oliveros, Scott Bancorft, Zakariya Tamimi, Ava Ignacio, Cole Anderson, Taylen Raiyan and Kayla Binear.

Waiakea High School's Robotics Club gives students the opportunity to utilize and enhance the skills taught in our academy elective classes. Students pursuing careers in engineering, business, video production, and technology to put their skills to the test while also competing against other high schoolers around the world through the FIRST robotics competition, as being on the robotics team allows them pursue their horizons.. 

The club also offers opportunities for community service, internships, and serves as a great place for students to build connections with local businesses in the community.  According to WHS robotics team member Charley Brown, "It was a great leadership experience and I can't wait to see what else we can accomplish as a team and how much improvement I have also made as an individual."


Waiakea High School Spanish Club:  European Vacation!

By Keilani Rapu

Special to the Kaleo

During this past spring break, a group of students from the Spanish classes under the tutorship of Sra. Junqueira, traveled to Europe on a school trip in order to learn more about the culture of the Mediterranean. The trip began on March 8th and ended on the 21st of the same month. 

During these two weeks the students visited 4 countries:  France, Spain, Italy, and Vatican City, which is the smallest country in the world. During their trip, the students were able to immerse themselves in the Mediterranean culture by trying new types of food, listening to new languages, meeting great artists such as Gaudí and Miguel Angelo, learned stories from the places, met new people, and toured beautiful places throughout Europe.  Some of the highlights visited were Rome, the Sistine Chapel, Pisa, Nice, Carcassonne, Casa Mila, Sagrada Family and Toledo. 

Warrior Alumni Spotlight: 

 Ms. Shannon Okinaka - Class of 1992

Waiakea High Graduate Shannon Inouye Okinaka is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Hawaiian Airlines.  Kaleo reporter Paisley Menino interviews Ms. Okinaka about her years at Waiakea High School, about her favorite teacher, and how it feels helping to run one of Hawaii's largest and most important companies.


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