Breaking News

Breaking News


Kauai High convoys for commencement

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Jonathan Tejada was first in line during the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Dad Guillermo Tejada, Jonathan Tejada and mom Mary Jane Fernandez prepare for departure from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi for the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Dad Kaipo Contrades, Kaua‘i High graduates Alyssa Contrades and Victoria Contrades and mom Robbi-lyn Contrades celebrate before the departure of the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Girlfriend Liesel Rudolfo, Kaua‘i High graduate Dhemye Dalayap, mom Lerma Dalayap and dad Dames Dalayap pause before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Sister Karylle Cabacungan, Kaua‘i High graduate Carl Cabacungan, mom Lowelyn Cabacungan and dad Edgar Cabacungan beam before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High graduate Kiawe Kanei Pedro and dad Brandon Kanei throw shakas up before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High seniors and their families await the start of the school’s graduation celebration convoy at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Mom Tracy Bukoski, sister Caitlyn Bukoski and Kaua‘i High graduate Kierstyn Bukoski ready for a drive before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Mom Juliet Ruiz, one of two dozen Kaua‘i High valedictorians Justin Ruiz and brother Dionie Ruiz are ready to depart with the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High graduate Isaiah Pascua-Balbin, mom Bobbie Balbin and sister Kyra Balbin are ready to convoy before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    One of several Kaua‘i High valedictorians, Justin Ruiz, is ready to ride before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Yet another Kaua‘i High valedictorian, Alaysia Navor, stands at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School with her family, from left Jane Rameld Navor, Ridel Navor, Cameron Navor, Austin Ramos, Alaysia Navor, Diamond Navor and Kasarah Navor, before the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    State Department of Education Kaua‘i Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki and Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Acting Principal Jean Morris are ready to join the convoy at the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration from CKMS in Puhi Friday.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High graduate Atelaite Tangatailoa is surrounded by family at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi. Here are parents Leo and Loisi Tangatailoa, sisters Sabrina, Fianu, Malia and Alicia Tangatailoa, brother Kalolo Tangatailoa and guardian angel (not shown) Siate “Richard” Tangatailoa, before the start of the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Senior class advisor Marissa Purcell rocks the special made Kaua‘i High face mask created for all administrative staff and donated by Sherry Parubrub, at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Friday before the start of the Kaua‘i High graduation convoy celebration.

PUHI — On Friday afternoon, Kaua‘i High graduates and their parents and families lined up their decorated cars at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, patiently waiting to convoy in style before heading home to watch a virtual ceremony televised on K5 and Hawai‘i News Now.

As they waited, graduates talked about COVID-19, many saying they felt cheated for not getting a traditional graduation ceremony. All of them, however, were determined to make it a memorable day.

Alyssa Contrades was in line with her sister Victoria Contrades, excited to graduate together. Both are planning to attend Kaua‘i Community College. Alyssa plans to take up electrical engineering and music, and Victoria is in pursuit of a cullinary degree. Both said they had mixed feelings about the big day.

“It only hit me just now seeing everyone, teachers even from my freshman year. All 13 years just passed. It’s special. I feel like we made it. A lot of families been through a lot during this COVID-19, staying home all together, all cooped up,” said Alyssa Contrades.

Victoria added: “I feel a little sad because we missed the fourth quarter. We couldn’t experience the rest of our high school year. We are going to try to make it today a positive time. “

Standing nearby was Robbi-lynn Contrades, watching her two daughters get ready for graduation day.

“It’s bittersweet,” she said. “It’s not exactly the traditional graduation ceremony. It is what it is, so we are going to make the best out of it.”

Out of 22 valedictorians in the Kauai High Class of 2020, Alaysia Navor is the valedictorian with the highest GPA, 4.217. She said Friday she will be going to Yale to study neuroscience with an emphasis on a pre-medicine track.

“I choose Yale because I thought it was the best fit for me, and I wanted to be academically challenged, and the people who I talked to said they really like it and it seems like a welcomed community,” said Navor. “Just because we are not having the same traditional ceremony doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be any less proud of what you accomplished.”

Vice Principal Joe Hicks, one of three vice principals at the school, said he was feeling especially proud of the graduates for making it through to the end of the year during the uncertain times of the pandemic.

“(It’s amazing) to be able to achieve what they achieved,” he said Friday. “Their future is bright, and I can’t wait to see what they do in their college career and the rest of lives.”

When it was almost time to begin the convoy to Kaua‘i High School, where students picked up their diplomas, state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki and CKMS Acting Principal Jean Morris took the lead in a red, classic pickup truck.

“Look at this great line of cars, parents, happy faces,” he said before the convoy took off from CKMS toward Kaua‘i High. “This is all about Kaua‘i — the love and aloha that we have here, the families are former students, and just being here is great.”

When it was time to start their engines, one by one cars honked their horns and celebrated with whoops and cheers. Their first destination was Kaua‘i High, then after they headed home to watch the rest of the televised virtual ceremony.

Before they left, Principal Marlene Leary offered a few words of wisdom, highlighting the challenges of the past two months for seniors.

“They have had to adapt and accept extreme changes to the normal routines of school and social connections,” she said. “The loss of senior activities and sports events caused sadness and anger. Yet, when push came to shove, they rose up to the challenge to prove to all of us that they are persistent, creative and courageous.”

•••

Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.

0 Comments

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

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.