On February 11, the freshman class of 2015 got spiffy to make their debut on the red carpet at Keʻeaumokupapāiʻaheʻahe Dining Hall, the scene of their freshman banquet. The theme was “Walking the Red Carpet” and with an added layer of Hollywood glam, the freshmen were looking like stars.
The evening started off with the freshmen getting to walk down their own personal red carpet to enter the transformed dining hall. Each student received an ID lanyard containing a personalized VIP pass to the event.
Their black, white and red color scheme was evident in the decorations inside: swaths of fabric swooping down from the ceiling, black tableware with red flowers and ribbon accents, balloons on the dance floor, and a large display of the word “Hollywood” accented with a giant paper filmstrip and twinkling white lights, as well as other decorations throughout the dining hall. The decor became a quick favorite of all in attendance.
“The decorations are beautiful. I like the Hollywood theme. It was easy to dress up for,” freshman Jessica Mendiola said.
Shai Ibara, 2015 class president, headed up the decorations committee with other government officers.
“We stayed after school yesterday until 6:00 p.m. setting up everything as much as we could. We came back this morning [Saturday] and have been here [setting up] since 9:00 a.m. I love freshman banquet because our class can spend quality time together and have fun,” she said.
Students had photo-booth style pictures taken by Bayez Photo. Freshman class adviser, Mr. Kaholo Rickard, said students had expressed worries about taking intimate boy-girl photos, which prompted him to use Bayez Photo, whose casual, fun style he was familiar with. Bayez Photo gave students props - like hats, glasses, and boas – and took four posed shots, which were printed out for them as soon as they finished.
Once everyone was seated, the dinner was open and the students helped themselves to a Hawaiian plate-themed dinner and delicious treats from a chocolate fountain dessert table. The food was catered by Maui Style Seafood Catering. Each table came with two bottles of sparkling apple cider.
The announcement of the Hall of Fame winners was one of the evening’s highlights. Tiana Sakumoto was among the students awarded for her outstanding qualities. She won the Future Olympian award.
“I play softball and volleyball. I’m glad that I got be recognized for that tonight,” she said.
Also recognized were three students who were celebrating a birthday at the banquet: Sakumoto and twins Cody and Kyle Fushikoshi Wago, who turned 15 that night.
Sakumoto was happy that her birthday coincided with the event. “I get to hang out with all my friends!” she said.
As soon as the award winners had taken their seats, the freshmen took a walk down memory lane and watched a lengthy slideshow of photographic memories.
Feeling closer than ever after that, they took to the dance floor. Next Level Entertainment Dj’ed and played music videos on the big screen while students danced.
Though the night had begun with some of the girls receiving detention for attending in dresses that were more than four inches above the knee, the rest of the night went by smoothly.
“I am proud of the production of the freshmen banquet. We didn’t have as much help as initially promised, but those who did stay did an amazing job. They pulled together and worked hard to the end. There weren’t really any major problems; everything fell together nicely,” Mr. Rickard said.
Other KSM high school staff and students helped make the event possible. Teachers chaperoned, and Mr. Rickard attributed a lot of the success of the event to senior class adviser, Ms. Ronnelle Suda. Senior class leaders were also there to set up and monitor the buffet line all night.
The freshman class of 2015 transitioned from middle school to high school on Monday, August 1, the first day of the new school year.
Some were excited to return, “My day is going pretty good, and I liked seeing all my friends,” freshman Athena Aguilar said.
Other freshmen, like Jessica Mendiola, were still unsure. “My first day of high school was all right, I guess. I was kind of nervous because it’s a new school,” she said.
For some, not getting the classes they wanted was the worst part. “I was expecting to have better classes, but my schedule is junk,” said freshman Nicci Enovijas.
Some freshman students did not face their first day of high school alone, joining older siblings who are KSM upperclassmen.
By lunch, however, freshmen Mendiola and Anson Souza said that neither of them had seen their older brothers, both current seniors, as they had expected. Though they had not met up on campus on Monday, Daniel Mendiola said he doesn’t mind helping his sister and had answered the questions she had about high school.
The faculty and staff were prepared to welcome the class of 2015, too. “We get to break them in and get rid of any bad habits,” said Mr. Kaholo Rickard, math teacher. “They have a lot of energy, and sometimes they have trouble focusing their energy.”
Despite being unfamiliar with the campus, freshman Josh Higa has already seen a few benefits to high school. He said he had trouble finding his classes but, “The best thing so far is the lunch and more freedom.”
Though summer is over, freshman Athena Aguilar said she is happy to be back to school. She said she will miss being able to sleep in.