New beginnings can be busy and exciting. The start of the new school year at Island Pacific Academy was, indeed, very busy and very exciting. Our first week of school saw many special activities, for both the students and their parents.
New Parent Reception
The ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY ʻohana welcomed new families at the New Parents’ Reception on August 12 in the multi-purpose room. Mr. Gerald Teramae, Head of School, and Ms. Charmaine Hauanio-Kuewa, Director of Advancement, welcomed everyone, introduced faculty and staff, and answered parents’ questions. Mr. Steve Ross and Ms. Kip Cummings, elementary and secondary school principals, and Ms. Michelle Bradley, secondary vice principal, were also on hand to help extend a warm aloha to all the parents in attendance. In addition, several longtime IPA parents were invited to share their experiences at IPA with the new parents.
Following the program, parents and IPA faculty mingled and enjoyed heavy pupus and desserts provided by IPAPA, the ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY Parent and Teacher Association. IPAPA president Desiree Loperfido (Class of ‘22 parent), secretary Kristi Britto (Class of ’26 parent), and IPA parent Marised Gillette deserve a big mahalo for organizing and providing the beautiful spread.
First Day of School
Students were excited to return to IPA for the first day of school on August 17. It was a time for organizing lockers, settling in to new classroom routines, reuniting with old friends, and making new ones. A special assembly for the Elementary division was held in the multi-purpose room where the newest Elementary faculty members were welcomed into the IPA family. And in anticipation of the unveiling of the new playground, lucky Boedy (’27) was selected by drawing to take the inaugural ride down the slide at the dedication ceremony on August 23.
Senior Pledge Ceremony
On August 22, the entire grade 6-12 student body and faculty gathered for a special assembly in the multi-purpose room to continue the tradition of the “Senior Pledge”, started just last year. The special ceremony was created as a way to acknowledge the seniors at the beginning of their final year at IPA, and to present them to the younger students at the “elders”, or leaders, on campus.
“Grade 12’s you are the elders of our school. You are the product of what we all strive to do: to graduate fine young men and women that are confident and make a difference in the lives of others,” Ms. Cummings, told the new senior class. “You all have your individual gifts and a collective wisdom and strength that you bring to IPA. Now to use that power for good. You are an amazing group of young men and women – I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in your final year at IPA.”
The Class of 2017, led by class president Rachel, together recited the “Senior Pledge”, in which they vowed to uphold their commitment and responsibility to the school and their fellow classmates. Mr. Teramae then recognized the seniors individually on stage and presented each with a class token representing IPA. The wonderful tradition of the “Senior Pledge” is a meaningful way to remind the seniors of the important position they hold on campus and their individual value to the entire IPA community.
Of special note for the Class of 2017 is that five seniors are part of the Founding Families of IPA. These are students who started at the school when it first opened its doors in 2004. Jake, Katie, Jade, Rachel, and Kalena all started at IPA as kindergartners and are now beginning their 13th and final year as Navigators!