LIHU’E — For 17 Kaua’i residents, this year’s group of Kaua’i Community School
for Adults (KCSA) graduates, it was a long road to the lobby of the Kaua’i War
Memorial Convention Hall on Sunday morning.
“Success comes by trying …
sometimes, again and again!” Bonnie Lake, recently-retired KCSA vice principal
congratulated the graduates that lined the stage.
Surrounded by their
children, spouses, relatives, and friends, the 17 graduates had trooped down
the aisles of the convention hall to the “Pomp and Circumstance” being
rendered by Arnold Meister.
Lake charged the graduates to always treasure
Katrina Bagano, mother of six children and one of three student
speakers, said, “What kind of parent am I going to be if I can’t back up what
Realizing her children are growing up, Bagano told the audience it
was time to go back to school where in addition to being taught the necessary
academia leading to the coveted General Equivalency Diploma (GED), her
instructors worked with her to develop lifeskills such as writing resumes, and
being prepared for job interviews.
Tears started streaming down her cheek
as Bagano concluded by telling how the hardest thing for her to do was dropping
out of school when she was in the ninth grade.
“Friday night was
graduation,” Bagano said.
“You could see the excitement on the faces of
the graduates and the happiness reflected in the eyes of their family and
friends. And, in all those years that I attended graduations, I always wished
it was me.”
The Sunday ceremony had special meaning for student speaker
Charlene Adric who talked about the path that took her 28 years to
“Over the holidays, I made a resolution to get my diploma before
my 47th birthday, Adric said. That was my goal.”
Her husband Rodney
played an important role in her journey towards the acquisition of her diploma
and she thanked him for cooking dinners, picking up the kids from school and
other life experiences.
“It is the achievement of goals that create the
future,” Adric told the gathering.
Two days before her 47th birthday,
Adric was informed that she had passed her tests for the diploma.
Tecson, already emotional from the previous two speakers, said the hardest
decision she had to make in her life was to drop out of school, but with the
support and belief from family and friends, she was now able to get on with her
life. Daniel Hamada, superintendent of schools for the Kaua’i district, and the
day’s keynote speaker, acknowledged the heartfelt speeches of the student
speakers in presenting congratulations from the administration of the
Department of Education as well as the University of Hawai’i system.
are eager to get on with life,” Hamada told the graduates. “You now stand at
a gateway where, on the other side, is an immense field of better jobs and the
“The diploma is the key to that gate. Take what you have learned,
and use it well,” he said.
Diplomas were presented by Eugene Uegawa,
principal for KCSA, Hamada, and Lake as the hall filled with celebratory
cheers, shouts, and hoots of joy.
Maureen Gonsalves, Brad Imano, Patsy
Imano, Sue McLaughlin, Christine Meade, Roy Miyake, Sanford Oshiro, and Raymond
Young make up the instruction staff of the KCSA.