Aloha, howzit going? I will start by telling a little about the community that I currently live in and why this is a major and important issue that needs to be solved in my community for the youth of the future. I live in Kihei, HI on the island of Maui. Hawaii is the most isolated archipelago in the world and yet we still manage to stay connected to the rest of the world, problems that occur on the mainland will also effect us. Currently the city of Kihei does not have a “real” high school. There are however two elementary schools and dozens of daycares. There is one school however, which I attend. Kihei Public Charter School is a public high school which is privately funded by community partnerships and private organizations. This is a small school, I can’t stress that enough. My graduating class will have about 25 students graduating at the most. The school facilitators are trying there best to serve the needs of the community but the problem is just too great for them to handle it alone. Our representative of the area of Kihei, Wailea , and Makena is senator Baker. She has been trying for many years now to get federal funding reinstated to build a permanent high school which will serve this area. The area is constantly being developed which would bring in more people living in the area and will create more of a stress on the local infrastructure as well as in the education of the community.
On the island of Maui there are currently seven major high schools that I know of. These are, in Lahaina, Lahainaluna High School. In the Kihei area, Kihei Public Charter School. In Kahului and Wailuku, Maui High School and Baldwin High School. In Upcountry there is King Kekaulike High School, Seabury and Kamehameha High Schools. The last two schools, Kamehameha and Seabury High Schools are privately funded and private schools. They have their own acceptance issues separate from the public schools. If you were to move into Kihei, your choices would be Maui High School and Kihei Public Charter School. If you are lucky you would also have the choice to go to Baldwin High or Lahainaluna High school under special circumstances.
One thing that I should point out about the school that I currently attend is that, it is not a permanent school. A project that all the upperclassmen students will be participating in is a project, finding land somewhere in the Kihei area or in Wailuku and designing a school using Google Sketchup and then estimating the cost of the entire project, from finding loans and then determining the estimated cost of construction. So far our budget for the project is only one million dollars. In Kihei alone the cost for not even half an acre of land is about half a million dollars, just to put that in perspective of the cost of living on Maui. Our school is a technology based school and a project based school. We have all done several projects around the community. Ask any one of our students and you will see how knowledgeable we are in this category. We live on doing projects which involve the community.
Okay so the overall goal of the project that I am and will be participating in if it gets approved will be to find land somewhere preferably in Kihei and design a school around that. The school would be a public high school and hopefully still retain part of our name. There will also be a great emphasis on creating a environmentally stable school and a school that would reflect all of the cultures that we are blessed to live with on this island. As a senior this would be the greatest senior gift that I will be able to repay the school for their great hospitality and education that I was able to have going to this school. I will be going to college to study architecture to one day become an architect so this project will be a great start for me to get into this field of study. I will also be determining the cost and then hopefully present the whole project to the school board, in which they could have a say as to what would be the next step if any. Looking at the community right now I see many kids, elementary and middle school kids that will not a choice as to which school they could chose to go to. They will be forced to travel everyday about ten miles to Maui High school in Wailuku. To me that is unacceptable especially for living on a small island where mostly everyone knows each other. As I said the area is becoming developed faster everyday so what do you think will happen when more kids come into the area? If nothing happens then we will have a crisis in the education department shortly in the future.
As the class of 2008 graduates, my greatest dream as a senior gift would be to give back to the school a new permanent home for the children of the future to go to. Too me the kids of today are the future for tomorrow and all they need to do good is to have a great education and a good lifestyle. All of which I believe will be able to be achieved through a new “permanent” high school in Kihei.