KOLOA — Koloa School celebrated the final day of school Thursday with a series of parades and celebrations of students highlighted by a parade of the 49 students advancing from the fifth grade.
“Other schools had similar celebrations,” said Koloa School Principal Leila Maeda-Kobayashi. “They just didn’t tell us.”
Teachers donned bright, gay clothes, and joined the array of celebratory signs that marked the path on the red carpet set up on the sidewalk fronting the Koloa Public/School Library conference room.
“Everything on our calendar has been canceling out,” one of the teachers manning a bubble gun said. “We had to be creative.”
Students and their parents were assigned times to appear to minimize congestion in the drive-thru fronting the school. Once in the drive-thru, the student got out of his car to accept the certificate and school gifts before being announced and walking the red carpet, followed by his parents driving the vehicle to the special photo sign where the parents and advancing student could get a photo on the wall.
Joining the audience of cheering teachers was first-grade teacher Estelle Miyasato, who donned not one, but two bubble guns.
“I got my shirt,” Miyasato said. “Today is my last day after 30 years of teaching. I started out at Koloa School for my first two years. I went to O‘ahu and was everywhere before coming back for the final four years — back to where I started at Koloa School. From tomorrow, the shirt says ‘I have no class!”
Several students achieved perfect attendance: Julian Remigio (grade one), Davis Brown (grade two), Mehana Dameron and Angel Udarbe (grade four), and Zariah Fernandez, Kainoa Racca-Perez, Arianna Ragus Valmoja and Naiome Tadije (grade five).
The most-improved students were chosen by their teachers: Chance Kuhlmann, Poppy Olson, Clayton Rader, Tretany Hustance Fu, Shairhem Dullaga, Kayden Graycochea, James Suniga, Kallie Akau, Hezekiah Sarmiento, Madison Franklin, Ella Martinez, Alexander Ayers, Ij Jones, Reef Felipe Mierta, Harrison Jacobsmeyer, NJ Paul and Kristen Abara.
The following are silver Presidential Scholars based on academic achievement: Railee Baniaga, Zhara-Lei Corpuz, Dean Hatton, Aekai Huff, Makena Jimenez, Chance Kuhlmann, Angela Querubin, Naiome Tadije, Royce Andre Companero, Azure Guiteras, Peyton Hoff, Keili‘imoanakahi Javier, Aiden Kakuda, Destinie Keamoai-Barnes and Kainoa Racca-Perez.
The following are gold Presidential Scholars based on academic achievement: Kobe Claussen, Kohana Fern, Zariah Fernandez, Nico Roey-Shiba and Skylar Shim.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.