Students get ‘smoked’ at Kilauea School

KILAUEA — Kilauea School students Abel Guerra, Shane Nishioka, Crystal Tangalin and Vanessa Ortal got a hands-on taste of being in a career.

The four, armed with lists and digital equipment, were tasked by their instructor to record the school’s annual Career Day program for the school’s announcements and yearbook.

“We don’t have enough memory, so we have to come back and download all the time,” the two girls said of their plight in dealing with resource management.

The four students were broken down into teams who spanned upper- and lower-campus areas, with the girls frequenting the computer lab with their equipment filled with shots.

Twenty-eight presenters descended on the school to talk about and demonstrate their field of work, and organizer Debbie Erikson was pressed into service tending a flock of day-old goats because Louise Wooten, one of the presenters, had to tend to an emergency.

“Who wants to be smoked?” queried beekeeper Mark Anderson, one of the veteran presenters. There was no hesitation, as every hand in his group instantly went up.

Anderson had a see-through hive and his equipment, and explained that smoke helps not only mask the human scent, but can also hide a person’s fear to the bees, which have a keen sense of smell.

Sue Saldana, the other coordinator of the Career Day program, explained that about half of the presenters are parents of students who attend the school and took time out to talk to students about the work they do.

The remainder are from Erikson’s contact list, and many are returnees from previous presentations.

Kekai Tuturu, a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines, said she came because of her son. “I’m doing just one class,” Tuturu said. “That’s the one my son is in.”

Cecilia Villanueva of Wagner Engineering is an alumni of Kilauea School, and brought along engineers Erik Paseo and Stu Morita, who teamed up as surveyors, while Villanueva prepared the students with explanations on what the team does.

“You need to have short names,” Paseo joked with the group. “If you want to be a surveyor, you need short names like Erik and Stu.”

With Paseo manning the heart of the surveying equipment, Morita took students to various points on the rain-soaked campus to position the prism for a reading which would be mapped out.

“They never had things like this when I was here,” Villanueva said while watching the student teams scour the campus. “This is good.”

Ryan McKnight, a paramedic with American Medical Response, was another alumni who returned, with George Mones, to give their presentation to some of the elementary-grade students, McKnight getting hugs of homecoming from some of the staffers as the students took their turns touring the inside of the ambulance.

Jean Souza of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary took advantage of traveling from Hanapepe for the presentation and, following her career-day program, extended her visit with a special presentation on disentanglement of whales to students in several of the classes as part of the Humpback Whale Awareness Month, February.

Juday Leong, a counselor at Kilauea School, was given credit for starting the annual Career Day program when she arrived about 11 years ago.

“I brought it over from Kalaheo School, and since then, it’s become an annual event,” she said.

“It’s good because the parents and visitors get to come and talk about what they do to the students, and the students feel good because a lot of them know who the presenters are,” said Fred Rose, the school’s principal. “Everyone has a good feeling.”

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