Agreement in mind; unanimity of sentiment; union of feeling; oneness; similarity. 

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865


As a high school physics teacher, I challenged myself to make physics understandable, applicable to real life, and enjoyable to learn. To do this, I couldn’t base my lessons solely on what I found interesting. I needed to get to know my students, become familiar with their interests, and appeal to what they found relevant. Consequently, for my group of beginning and aspiring drivers, we learned about the dynamics of motion by going into to the community to determine which was the most dangerous intersection in Enchanted Lakes. For our beach lovers, we learned about wave behavior by measuring sand erosion at Kailua Beach. And for every sweets lover, we learned about thermodynamics by creating human powered ice cream making machines. While many of my students were imbued with memorable lessons that inspired them to pursue careers in science and engineering, there was one lesson that inspired all and helped me to see the Lōkahi between teachers and students.

Did you know that we are comprised primarily of four elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen? In a myriad of combinations, they comprise the air filling our lungs, the blood flowing through our veins, and the bones giving our bodies structure. But how did they get into our bodies – especially when 98% of the universe is hydrogen and helium? The answer lies in the way carbon, oxygen and nitrogen are created: in the nuclear reactors of stars. Only stars have the immense energy needed to fuse hydrogen and helium together to create these elements. And when a star explodes, these complex elements are shot across the vast universe and, despite the minuscule odds, onto our planet. Therefore, each and everyone of us are comprised of the rarest of stardust.

Students reliably marveled at this fact. They looks at their reflections differently, seeing themselves as a wonder of nature – as they should. As their teacher, I felt pleased to share this lesson with them since I could’ve benefited from knowing that fact when I was a teenager. Simultaneously, it served as a reminder of how even as an adult I needed to assimilate this lesson. Too often, as a teacher and now as an administrator, I mistakenly saw myself as separate from my students. I treated teacher and student as a one way relationship. Yet, in reality we are equal; all are learners. For in teaching one is simultaneously learning and in learning one is simultaneously teaching, even if one is not aware of it. And in this case, as I taught, I learned that I still needed practice in seeing all as beautifully rare stardust for whom the heavens as our elemental ancestors.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: The Day You Begin read by its author Jacqueline Woodson (same author as last week’s read aloud) and illustrated by Rafael López. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: With a parent or kupuna, talk about something that makes each of you “fabulously different from everyone else you meet.” How can you turn this trait into your new beginning?
  • SKILLS: The illustrator used rulers as a metaphor for how we measure ourselves against other people. Rewatch the story to see at which points the rulers appear. What was happening in the story? How were the characters measuring themselves?
  • INTELLECT: The author shares that rice is the most eaten food in the world. Research what other foods are among the most eaten. What foods do you and your ohana eat that are among the most eaten in the world? What are foods you and your ohana love that are not on that list? Why do you think some foods are eaten across the world and others are not?
  • CRITICALITY: The author reminds us, “how grateful every room we walk into should be for our presence there.” What are the gifts you bring into the room? What gifts do others bring into the room that you are grateful for?
  • JOY: Draw a picture of a time where you measured yourself against others. Include a ruler in your drawing as Rafael López did for this book. Share your picture with your parents, kupuna, or class.


Last week Wednesday, Mrs. Nagaishi’s Language Arts Enrichment students were treated to a special visit by Ellen Nakashima, an alumnus of Kāneʻohe Elementary and a journalist with the Washington Post. During her talk, Ms. Nakashima regaled students with stories about her career, the world affairs she covered, and the amazing people she met. She even shared how at one point she narrowly avoided being kidnapped by terrorists in the Philippines. As a reporter with the Washington Post, Ms. Nakashima has been “a member of three Pulitzer-prize winning teams at The Post, including in 2022 for an investigation of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, in 2018 for digging into Moscow’s efforts to influence the 2016 election, and in 2018 for exploring the hidden scope National Security Agency surveillance.” We mahalo Ms. Nakashima for inspiring our students and letting them know that being from Kāneʻohe is an asset from which they can explore the world and make a great difference. Fun fact: Ms. Nakashima is Aunty Karen Kimura, our STEM resource teacher’s sister.


To get us into the fall spirit, our student council organized a Halloween Spirit “Week” for our school. 

  • On Monday, we invite students to wear orange and/or black. 
  • On Tuesday, we will have a Halloween Costume Parade on the lower field after morning piko (weather permitting). NOTE: we invite parents/kupuna to watch the parade and piko.
  • We will also be putting out an anti-BOOllying video next week by our student council.  

Lastly, please remember that our School Celebration Policy prohibits the distribution of cupcakes and other sugary snacks. Instead, if you are wanting to give out goodies, please consider non-edible Halloween treats such as: Bubbles, Lego, glow sticks, games, playdough, slime, vampire teeth, finger puppet rings, bugs, spider soap, funny pencils, beads and strings. Please know that any cupcakes or sugary snacks brought to school will be returned and not distributed.



It is the last week of National Bullying Prevention Month, yet our efforts to be kinder, be more respectful, and act more civilly towards others will indefinitely continue.


See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.


Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 


At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


Oct 23 – Nov 3, 2023Parent-Teacher Conferences
early release 12:45 PM daily
Mon, Oct 30, 2023,Wear Orange and Black
Tue, Oct 31, 2023Costume Parade following in-person piko
Wed, Nov 1, 2023Complex PC Day – No Students
Nov 6 – 9, 2023WASC Accreditation Full Visit
Wed, Nov 8, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *