St. Catherine School graduates feted

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Some of the St. Catherine School eighth-graders, including Martian Binonwangan, Julia Durocher, Ella Ersoy, Kiera Johnson-Zielazinski, Katherine Lamden, John Paul Mueller and Kyle Yamashita, troop across the lawn of St. Catherine’s Church in Kapa‘a Saturday during the in-person graduation ceremony for their eighth-grade class.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Martian Binonwangan, Chase Capelli and Julia Durocher lead the line of St. Catherine School eighth-grade students Saturday outside the entrance to St. Catherine Church during the in-person Mass and graduation ceremony.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Emma McCartney recognizes her parents Saturday during the St. Catherine School in-person Mass and graduation for eighth-grade students, at St, Catherine Church in Kapa‘a. McCartney received a special perfect-attendance award for attending school with no absences from kindergarten through eighth grade. She is the second student to earn this honor in the 78-year history of the school.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Martian Binonwangan struggles with his armload of award trophies and certificates Saturday during the St. Catherine School in-person Mass and graduation for Binowangan’s eighth-grade class, at St. Catherine Church in Kapa‘a.

KAPA‘A — Fourteen of the 15 St. Catherine School eighth-grade students were celebrated Saturday during the school’s in-person Mass and graduation held at St. Catherine Church.

“Payton Walker could not be here with us because of health reasons,” said St. Catherine School Principal DJ Adams. “In his stead, Emma McCartney will receive his honors.”

Due to rules and guidelines established by the COVID-19 pandemic, the audience of parents and family was limited to less than 100 people, a capacity that is less than half of the church, said the Rev. Anthony Rapozo, pastor.

The pandemic conditions that closed the school to in-person learning created reasons to celebrate the students’ best finish in the worst finish, Adams said, making note of awards being presented to Ella Ersoy, Jerycho “Kepa” Sarsona and McCartney for perfect attendance during the 2019-20 pandemic school year.

McCartney was also presented the “almost new” Sandra Mendonca Perfect Attendance Award by Lawrence Mendonca for having attending school with no absences from her entry into kindergarten through graduation from the eighth grade.

“Sandy had perfect attendance at St. Catherine School from 1983 through 1992,” Adams said. “Sandy left our planet far too early, but she lives today in this award to a special student who is only the second student to get this award since the school started in 1946.”

Graduates include Martian Binonwangan, Chase Capelli, Julia Durocher, Ella Ersoy, Jordyn Estenzo-Fernandez, Tristan “Rozz” Fiorovich, Kiera Johnson-Zielazinski, Katherine Lambden, Emma McCartney, John Paul Mueller, Jerycho Sarsona, Evalei Shimabukuro, Maya Ventura, Payton Walker and Kyle Yamashita.

Major awards distributed included Language Arts, Ventura; Social Studies, Science and Catholic Doctrine, Binonwangan; Mathematics, Durocher.

New awards were given to Ersoy, Mucia; Binonwangan, Most Creative Innovator; Ventura, Dedication to Craftsmanship; Fiorovich, Inherently Skillful; Yamashita, Spirit of Effort and Growth; Durocher, Most Outstanding.

Special recognition awards went to McCartney, Service; Estenzo-Fernandez, Perseverance; Fiorovich, Insightful; McCartney and Binonwangan, Leadership; Walker, Kindness.

Valedictorians are Binonwangan, Durocher and Ventura.

Those making the Principal’s List with grade-point averages of 3.6 and better are Binonwangan, Durocher, Ersoy, Estenzo-Fernandez, Johnson-Zielazinski, McCartney and Ventura.

On the fourth-quarter Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.3 and higher were Capelli and Shimabukuro.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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.