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Students Celebrate Dr. Seuss Day

On Monday, March 2, students and faculty at Maryknoll School celebrated the birthday of American writer and cartoonist, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to most by the pseudonym Dr. Seuss.

Students in the Kindergarten D class constructed and decorated their own personalized hats based off of one of Seuss’ most famous pieces: “The Cat in the Hat.” Seuss was the author of over 60 children’s books, and the Kindergarten D students had a great time celebrating Seuss and his imaginative accomplishments through their own artistic and literary adventures.

Robotics Team Takes Two Titles at State Competition

On Sunday, February 22, the Maryknoll Elementary School Robotics Team competed at the Hawaii VEX IQ State Championships, held at Pearlridge Center. Presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, the VEX IQ Challenge featured students from the top qualifying local school programs.

Our students worked incredibly hard, and were awarded fifth place at the competition! Not only this, but they were also awarded “The Create Award.” This award was presented to the team who was judged to have had the most creative engineering solution to the game task. We are so proud of our brilliant students, and of these amazing accomplishments. It has been a wonderful adventure for all of those involved, as our students were even granted a segment on Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, February 17, as a precursor to the competition. Congratulations to our team, and to their robot named Buddy!

Band Students Honored by Music Association


On Sunday, February 15, eighth graders Renceh Flojo (8B) and Jamie Lacno (8D) performed in the Oahu Band Directors Association Middle School Select Band concert, in conjunction with the Hawaii Music Educators Association State Conference.


Renceh and Jamie, distinguished trombone players, auditioned to perform in the concert and were selected out of 150 students to be a part of the 70 member Select Middle School Band, which was conducted by Mr. Steven Hirahara. The concert was held at McKinley High School, and was a cumulative production of both the Middle School Select Band and the High School Select Band. This is a very distinct honor, and we at Maryknoll School are so proud to have such talented musicians among us!


Yes, Virginia

yes virginiaMaryknoll School students, fourth through eighth graders, have joined together to put on this season’s holiday performance, “Yes Virginia The Musical.” This original production is based on the true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897, inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus. The production, meant to share a message of love and generosity, is part of the Macy’s “Believe” campaign and their school musical program.

Opening night will be on Sunday, December 14, at 3:00 p.m. in Bachelot Hall, with a closing the next morning on Monday, December 15, at 9:05 a.m. in Bachelot Hall. The production is just a supplement to the entire “Believe” campaign supporting Make-A-Wish®. During the holiday season, Macy’s collects letters to Santa. For every letter collected, they donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Bring your letter to Santa to the Santa Mail letterbox in the Macy’s store of your preference.

Join us in watching this season’s performance of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” at Maryknoll School on December 14 and 15. Together, we can ring in the holiday, support the keiki, and spread some compassion.

Sen. David Ige, Duke Aiona, Rep. Takai and Charles Djou visit Maryknoll for WeVoteHawaii Rally

Maryknoll School Spartans vote! On Wednesday, October 22, the school teamed up with WeVoteHawaii to get special guests like Senator David Ige, former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona, former Representative Charles Djou, Representative Mark Takai, and Representative Della Au Belatti to visit the school.

Guests were greeted with paper-chain leis made by our grade school students and welcomed with so many smiles. Guests then had the opportunity to speak and interact with the entire student body made up of more than 1,250 students in the Maryknoll Community Center Gym. This WeVoteHawaii Rally was able to set a real impression on the Spartans. As a group, they learned about the importance of voting and civic engagement.

After speaking in the gym to the whole school, our special guests were able to sit down and have a smaller session with the high school senate officers. Those in the room heard about the great benefits that come from becoming a leader, what makes a leader, and what kind of hurdles they may have to overcome when representing a large amount of people. This experience has had an all-around positive impact on the students, staff, faculty, and entire school. Know the value of your vote, and go cast your ballot on November 4!

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival was a wonderful success! We at Maryknoll School would like to send a special shout-out to our amazing donors and vendors who came to support us at our 3rd Annual Harvest Festival this evening. Our community means so much to us, and we are beyond happy with how successful the event was. 


Our thanks to donors and their homemade treats: Mrs. LaPrade’s various potted plants, Mrs. Loomis’ homemade salsa and chips, Mrs. Costa’s pickled onions and kamaboko dip, Dr. Sylva’s baked goods, Mr. Williams baked goods and pickled vegetables, Mr. Kern’s photos, Mr. Koki’s art pieces, Mrs. Spurrier’s art pieces, the Creative Art Club’s homemade crafts (pot holders), the Journalism & Photography Club’s banana lumpia, Kern Season salt & dish towels, Ms. Saito’s avocados, Mrs. Worley’s pesto, Mrs. Liu’s pikake leis, Ms. Tina’s library books, and Mrs. Robinson’s products.

We would also extend our gratitude toward vendors: Elena's Home of Finest Filipino Foods, Project Graduation (hamburgers, hot dogs & acai bowls), Culture Club HI (women’s jewelry and fashion), Pomai Kulolo (kulolo, poi and haupia), Kane Kreationz (women’s jewelry), Manoa Honey (homemade honey), Diane Beauchinmin (craft goods, jerky, and other goods), Kahuku Farms, Aloun Farms, Island Green Produce, Sugarland, and Otsuji Farm.

Lastly, a special thank you to D. Otani Produce for continually supporting Maryknoll School in so many ways over the years. Again, Mahalo nui loa to those who made our treasured Harvest Festival so great this year, including the students, families, teachers, faculty, alumni, and the entire Spartan Ohana. Noblesse Oblige!

Chinese Moon Festival

Some of our amazing students learning Mandarin graced Ala Moana Centerstage on Saturday, September 28th, to showcase some of their musical and linguistic talent. The students danced on the stage while singing an array of Mandarin songs. They even sang a version of the song, “Let It Go!” from the Disney movie, Frozen! Later on in the week, our fifth grade classrooms put on performances for families to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival. It was a wonderful time at the school; our students are always excelling in their Mandarin skills and becoming more knowledgeable, global citizens of character.

Campus Improvement Projects Included New Kindergarten Playground

Maryknoll kindergarteners love to play on their new playground! On Tuesday, August 27, the students were busy exploring and having fun in their area. This grassy and open space is separate from the rest of the grade school so the children may play and progress at their own pace. This is one of the many campus improvement projects that occurred during the end of the last school year and finished over the summer. School President, Perry Martin, notes the hard work that goes into providing the best possible surroundings for our students in Honolulu, an undoubtedly urban setting. Maryknoll School is always working to provide top-of-the-line facilities and a nurturing environment for our Spartans!

Maryknoll Students Receive Awards at Speech Festival


Eigth graders from Maryknoll School participated in the Middle School Speech Festival at Punahou School. On April 19th, Dr. Anne Sylva, Mrs. LeeMarie Deponte, and Ms. Diana Wan coached seven of the Maryknoll contestants to win “Superior” performance medals. These talented students were Raquel Valle, Daniel Ferrer, Aedrik Johann, Ryan Benavente, Chad Oshiro, Jacob Nakasone, and Braedan Taramasco. Congratulations students on your well-deserved winnings!

Nene: Another Successful Year

Once again, Maryknoll scored BIG in the annual Nene Book Award Competition. We had 13 winners and honorable mentions, more than any other school.

The Nene is an annual statewide reading program open to all 4th, 5th and 6th graders in public, private and home schools. This year, the competition was based on the 2013 Nene Book, Middle School: the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson. Students wrote essays, drew posters, or created digital media presentations. 

The winners were recently honored at an award ceremony and were hosted at a luncheon.

Maryknoll students included:


Phoenix Ferriman, 6th Grade Honorable Mention 

Reece Kadota, 6th Grade Honorable Mention 


Brendan-Jae Acob Supnet, 6th Grade Honorable Mention


Caela Caberto, Chay Cunningham, Allison Kanenaga (video team), 4th Grade Winners 

Catherine Choi, Hailey Shi, Kayci Yang (video team), 5th Grade Winners 

Yukiko Hughes (PowerPoint), 5th Grade Honorable Mention 

Logan Choo, Austin Chun, Chance Otsuki (PowerPoint team), 5th Grade Honorable Mention

A Maryknoll team also participated in an online Jeopardy game against Pearl Ridge Elementary and won! Questions were based on all 30 nominated books for the 2014 Nene Book. The victorious team members were: Tiffannie Chang, Austin Chun, Matthew Chun, Madison Hack, Taylor Heatherly, Yukiko Hughes, Ariel Ma, and Megan Otani.

Maryknoll congratulates all winners as well as every student who participated in the Nene, an extra-curricular project that promotes reading and creativity.

Brie Bella of Maryknoll School wins 2014 USA Judo Youth and Scholastic National Championship

On March 22, Maryknoll’s own Brie Bella won the 2014 Female Intermediate 2 -28 kg. division at the Youth & Scholastic National Championships.

Brie travelled with her team, Hawaii Tenri Judo Club, to Irving, Texas to compete with more than 600 of her peers from all over the United States. Brie has been doing judo with Hawaii Tenri Club since she was five. Her father and brother are also judo champions, so the love for the sport runs in the family. 

Brie has a strong passion for the humble sport, and she works hard to accomplish her goals. Her winning attitude matched with diligence and determination has helped her to become the strong athlete she is. 

Even as a three-time champion, Brie, like most accomplished athletes, still got her fair share of jitters before it was her turn to get on the mat and compete. Her focus was quickly regained as soon as she got her first grip, and she went on to be undefeated throughout the entire competition.

I love judo, and I am so happy for my win!  But I know there's a lot more for me to learn. #judoalwaysonmymind.” (her Instagram tagline) says the young champ. With her new acquired gold medal, Brie was awarded a spot on the USA Judo Junior World Team.  This honor allows Brie to compete internationally, including the upcoming Ilioupolis Cup International in Athens, Greece and the Grand Prix Marcinelle in Marcinelle, France. 


Eighth Grade 2014 D.C. Trip

Maryknoll students embarked on their annual and much anticipated eighth grade trip on Thursday, March 20. Each year, the eighth grade class travels together on an educational and very memorable trip that they wait for all year long. An excited bunch of 40 students and four teachers are taking part in the “2014 D.C. Trip.” Currently, they are experiencing some of America’s greatest treasures.

Pictured are our eighth graders in front the Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia. The house is on the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) list, regarded as one of the most prized landmarks in the world.

The trip will continue until March 30, and will include visits to Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and a multitude of memorials. Keep up with the students on Vice President Kris Kern’s blog that will serve you with photo and video updates along with more information outlining the trip at

Choral exchange program with California’s Whittier College Choir


The brand new middle school choir here at Maryknoll has not been cut short of any memorable learning experiences this year. On March 17, the middle school students enrolled in choir were able to participate in a choral exchange with California’s Whittier College Choir.

The two school choirs were able to share their music (and love for it) at Sacred Heart Church. Before they performed for each other, Professor Stephen Cook from Whittier College led students from both schools in a warm-up. Maryknoll students were able to gain valuable experience when singing for the college choir members, and even learned about stage presence and vocal production by watching the college students. The young choir students were inspired by the power and expression conveyed by the performance of the Whittier College choir.

Eighth grader, Kyle Roche, captured this photo of the Maryknoll Sixth Grade Choir alongside the Whittier College Choir at Sacred Heart Church. 

“The experience turned out to be very valuable and educational for the middle school choir,” said Julianne Hiu, Maryknoll Choir Director. “I am very thankful to Professor Stephen Cook and the Whittier College Choir for taking the time to visit with us.”

The Maryknoll Middle School Choir members were appreciative for the encouragement and support that came from the college students. The middle school choir thanked them with Maryknoll lanyards and chocolate-covered macadamia candies. 

7th Grade Science Fair Reflections

Our 7th graders did a wonderful job of exploring the scientific process for their science fair presentations in January. Below are two reflection papers, written voluntarily by students who participated, elaborating on all that they gained during the process. The student writers are Renceh Flojo and Lyric Medeiros, who went above and beyond by submitting these essays. 

7th Grade Science Fair
by Renceh Flojo

                 The 7th grade science was meant to kindle our interest in experimentation and research. It also helped my classmates and I to practice our public speaking skills. When we had to present our topic, we had to prepare our speech and get comfortable talking in front of crowds. But even before the actual science fair happened there was tons of preparation.

                Our preparation required us to routinely turn checks in of our project. We had to decide on our topic and make our board look impeccable. Once everything was done, it was time to present. The science fair took place in the gym on Thursday, January 30, 2014. The entire grade level presented with in depth knowledge of their topic. To whomever we presented, my classmates and I had to be prepared for any question that may come our way. After we finished presenting and the science fair was over, all were thankful for the people who prepared us.

                The mentors who prepared us were the teachers, and parents prepared us a great deal. Parents listened to our speeches and presentations, helped us by driving us to our partners and buying our supplies. The teachers also played a great deal too. The teachers initiated the science fair, got the venue and helped us complete our task. Looking back at the science fair, it was fun and mind-boggling.

                When it was the day of the science fair I was nervous but also calm at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew my topic well enough to explain it. As we began presenting I got less nervous as time progressed, but when it was over, I was grateful. As I look back on it, what we did was incredible! We prepared for a long time and gave our presentations like there was no tomorrow. It was an accomplishment I am proud of. This is what I took away from our science fair experience.

The Science Fair 2014
by Lyric Medeiros

            At Maryknoll, we strive to become 21st century learners, leaders and citizens of character. One example of this is the recent science fair held by our seventh graders in the Clarence T.C Ching Gymnasium. Many students expressed that the science fair was unique, exciting and challenging.

            Our science fair was unique, filled with many original ideas, technology skills, and a mix of public speaking in between. Ideas like the comparison of oils and the importance of skin moisturization were topics that stood out not only to the seventh graders, but to parents too. In addition to finding a topic, we had the options of a display board for the creative artistic minds, or a powerpoint for the more tech-skilled students. Finally, between all of the facts and experimentation, we had to explain the reasons why we chose our topics in the first place. That required us to use our language arts skills and to practice our public speaking for the clarity of our audience.

            While the science fair was extraordinary, it was also very exciting. From the moment it started, we were absolutely ready to show our ideas to everyone and the hard work put into this massive project. In the end, as thrilled as we were about how we presented, the future thoughts of what our experiments could be, was definitely the bigger picture. Grade wise, we were all confident in how we presented and were excited to see our scores too.

            Like many things in life, we face challenges. But the best part about a challenge, is overcoming it, and I truly believe we did. Our success showed throughout the day also. With the daily stages of work that needed to be completed, partners needed to schedule time and be flexible with each other. As seventh graders, we are expected to be impartial with our evaluations for each and every board, which can be a bit difficult knowing that we could be grading our best friends project.

            In conclusion, the Maryknoll science fair was an educational and a fun experience. I believe that many of the projects from the fair could be the newest thing in the future, because at Maryknoll, the opportunities are endless!



Inspired In Hawaii Contest

Amy Ohari and art teacher, Mrs. Myrna Spurrier.

On February 19th, 6th grader Amy Ohari was recognized as the third grade winner in the poster category for the Clarence T.C. Ching “Inspired in Hawaii Contest.”  Ohari received a certificate and a cash award of $50 for her work of art.  Her poster was entitled, “Bullying, Words can Hurt.”  Her masterpiece will be on display at Kahala Mall, along with the other winners. 


Robotics State Tournament

On Sunday, February 16th, six of our third grade students participated in the State VEX IQ Robotics Tournament at Pearl Ridge Center.  We are so proud of them, as they were some of the youngest to compete. They competed against over 20 teams, most of which had members consisting of students in upper elementary and middle school.   The participant names are:

  • Jayden Asato
  • Wynn Iong
  • Ethan Kimura
  • Kaylee Noguchi
  • Isabelle (Mei Wai) Lee
  • Mia Wong
  • Coach:  Mr. L. Kimura


Good luck to our Lady Spartans!

The Girls Varsity Basketball team was blessed at our Grade School morning assembly, led by Mr. Bacnis, as they start the playoffs tomorrow, Feb. 7th.  Breana Jones (#14, senior) is an exchange student from New Zealand that has lived Mrs. Worley this year. The team is pictured here with Mrs. Worley's kindergarten class. 

Maryknoll MATHCOUNTS team was awarded “Best New School” for 2014

In January, the Maryknoll MATHCOUNTS team competed at Kamehameha Schools for the first time and the team was awarded “Best New School” for 2014. Team members are: Matthew Batacan (6th grade), Reyn Okinaga (6th grade), Alyssa Watanabe (7th grade), Tyson Tonokawa (7th grade), Allysha Mae Mateo (8th grade), Darren Kam (8th grade), and Jonathan Li (8th grade).


The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is the only competition program of its kind, with live, in-person events in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and schools worldwide through the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department. The Competition Series is ideal for students who have a talent and passion for math who need to be challenged. Students will engage in exciting, "bee-style" contests in which they will compete against and alongside other bright, motivated students. At the local, state and national level, students win hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes every year.

A Season of Giving

The Holiday Season is here, and it ushers in a time of tradition, celebration, and reflection. In the spirit of Noblesse Oblige, we will once again be sharing our harvest with those who are less fortunate. Students will be putting together Thanksgiving Baskets, and will be donating them to one of two charitable agencies: Catholic Charities of Hawai’i or Sacred Heart Parish Outreach Pantry. Mr. Wendell Bacnis, the basket drive coordinator, says, “It is our hope that these agencies will reach an island-wide, broad and varying family base who are in need. These families are ones who take in foster children, are victims of domestic violence, homeless or simply struggling to make ends meet.” Homeroom teachers will be coordinating the efforts with the children. They are asked to put together a basket of non-perishable goods and to take up a simple monetary collection, enough to provide the adopted family with a gift card/certificate for the perishable items needed for the Thanksgiving meal. Mahalo for your generosity during this season of peace and joy.

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Maryknoll School students “Get UP, Get FIT!”

The Maryknoll Athletic and Grade School PE department launched the “Early Riser-Get UP & Get FIT” program for the 3rd-6th graders this fall. This free, 5-week fitness program was a huge hit. During the month of October, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00-7:30am in the MCC, students worked on health and skill-related fitness components. All 88 participants started their days with a total body workout, followed by a variety of movement activities and games. Mahalo to the PE department for coordinating this program, and kudos to our Early-Risers!

Federal Firefighters Visit Maryknoll!

On Tuesday, October 29th, federal firefighters from the Kāneʻohe Marine Corps Base visited Maryknoll students and gave presentations for K, 1, & 3. Mahalo to our Maryknoll parent, Mr. Aaron Kailio, for all the help in scheduling this.


Crishelle Ildefonso, Fall Winner of Hawaiian Electric's Energy Detective Contest

Crishelle Ildefonso, 9, is the fall winner of Hawaiian Electric's Energy Detective pledge contest. For her promise to conserve energy and help protect the planet, the Maryknoll Grade School student wins an energy conservation kit with neat energy saving devices, tools and information. Crishelle, standing center with Kristopher Kern, vice principal, and Bree Komagome, Hawaiian Electric senior community affairs consultant, is the daughter of Cris and Thalia Ildefonso of Honolulu. The 4th grader says she replaced all the light bulbs in her home with energy saving lights and uses a power strip to stop the energy phantoms and bandits from stealing energy. Earlier this year, Crishelle picked up a copy of the Energy Detective guide during the schools’ Earth Week celebration and turned in her completed energy pledge to Hawaiian Electric. The grade school recently installed an aquaponics system (shown in photo background) as part of its “Green for Green” project to help students understand sustainability concepts, and will be growing produce for the cafeteria to serve students.

Students celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi


Maryknoll School celebrated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi at Mass, on October 7th, with a blessing of the children’s stuffed animals. Around this time of year, it’s very popular for animals to be blessed, because this feast commemorates the life of St. Francis, who was the patron saint of animals. In this year of faith, the Maryknoll Community reflects on prayer, and as a community the focus on prayer has been refreshed through our Masses.

Soleil (Kala’i) Soares and Allyson and Nazareth Agcaoili. Photos courtesy of 8th grade Maryknoll student, Kyle Roche.


Maryknoll Students Raise Funds to Benefit Oklahoma Tornado Victims

In one single day, Friday, May 31st, Maryknoll School National Junior Honor Society students raised a total of $814.23 that will be given to the American Red Cross to help victims of the devastating Oklahoma tornados.

“The students saw the devastation on the news and wanted to lend a helping hand to those impacted by the tornados. Our students worked hard last week, standing outside of our school during times that parents were dropping off and picking up their children, waving signs to promote the day of collection.” said National Junior Honor Society Advisor, Mr. Kris Kern, “I am very impressed that the kids were able to raise such a large amount in just one day, and I am very proud that our Maryknoll families were so willing to donate to the relief effort.”

Alongside the American Red Cross project last week, the students also collected dozens of backpacks which were then filled with non-perishable food and donated them to the Hawaii Food Bank.

“This was a wonderful effort on their part and a great way to live out Maryknoll School's motto noblesse oblige, which means:  ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’” 

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Honolulu, HI 96822

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Maryknoll School
Grade School
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Honolulu, HI 96822

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