AOHT students take flight before graduation

WAIPOULI n Fifteen seniors from the Kaua‘i High School Academy of Travel and Hospitality celebrated the successful completion of their two-year curriculum at a pre-graduation banquet.

Under the direction of AOHT Director Chanelle Quinones, most of the students entered the program as 11th graders, and following a curriculum geared toward careers in the visitor industry, are cored around instructors Andrea Watts, Elena Kealoha, Lane Tokita, and Quinones.

Chelsey Shibata, one of the graduates, said the AOHT program “was interesting to learn.”

Shibata, who plans on continuing her educational endeavors at the Travel Industry Management school at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, said eventually she wants to end up somewhere in marketing, but focusing on the visitor industry.

Ashley Valoncia, a senior who came in mid-way through the program, said being part of the AOHT program “was a good experience.”

Valoncia plans on attending the Kaua‘i Community College to get her liberals done before deciding on her future path.

“This was a great opportunity,” 11th grader Brandon McNichols said. “I was able to get a job out of this.”

McNichols said that when he entered the AOHT program, it was one of two academy programs being offered by Kaua‘i High School.

“But they’re expanding the academy program now. Next semester, there will be five academies.”

In addition to the AOHT program, the other academy was the Business Academy. When the school doors open in late July, the other academy choices will include Arts & Communication, Health, and Engineering, McNichols said.

The 11th grade members were on hand to help host the event for the seniors and their guests.

That included Kaua‘i Area Complex Superintendent Daniel Hamada, who was invited by the class.

“We wanted him to see what the program was about,” Quinones said.

The graduating seniors include Shibata, Jeff B. Hidalgo, Laine Carbonel, Kathleen Constantino, Ashley Fujinaga, Nicole Iglesia, Nicky Longboy, Whitney Machad, Grecean Manuel, Roshelle Palalay, Aaron Ramelb, Tron Rule, Keri Sakai, Princess Valencia, and Chasidy Yasay.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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