Kealakehe High School

Kealakehe High School is a public high school located in Kailua CDP, Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States.[2] It has the largest geographic school attendance boundary in the state and covers a geographic district 40 miles (64 km) wide, encompassing the communities of Kailua-Kona, Hōlualoa, Waikōloa, and Puakō.[3] The school motto is "Harmony and unity through dynamic education and community for everyone, every time."[4]

Kealakehe High School
Kealakehe High School.jpg
74-5000 Pūʻohulihuli Street
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

United States
Coordinates19°40′13″N 155°59′53″W / 19.67028°N 155.99806°W / 19.67028; -155.99806
Motto"Harmony and unity through dynamic education and community for everyone, every time."
PrincipalMr. Glenn Gray
Staff74.00 (FTE)[1]
Number of students1,311 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio17.72[1]
Campus size50 acres (200,000 m2)
Campus typeOutdoor
Color(s)Blue & Silver          
Athletics conferenceBig Island Interscholastic Federation
AffiliationState of Hawaiʻi
Vice PrincipalsCasandra Macatiag, Nani Demasco
NewspaperThe Wave

Kealakehe's MissionEdit

Encouraging partnerships among students, parents, faculty, staff and community by offering a curriculum which will address multi-intelligences and awareness; providing a safe environment which expects mutual respect; providing opportunities where all students can develop their gifts and talents to be productive members of the community.[5]


The high school established its 9th grade class first in 1997. Each year the subsequent grades were added, and the campus enlarged, to accommodate the first graduating class in 2001. A football stadium was added in 2003.[4]

The school was built on 50 acres (200,000 m2) in the Kealakehe ahupuaa (traditional land division) at coordinates 19°40′13″N 155°59′53″W / 19.67028°N 155.99806°W / 19.67028; -155.99806Coordinates: 19°40′13″N 155°59′53″W / 19.67028°N 155.99806°W / 19.67028; -155.99806, on the slope of Hualālai.[4] Kealakehe Intermediate School and Kealakehe Elementary School are also located nearby. The Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park and Honokōhau Harbour are downhill from the schools. The name means "the winding path" in the Hawaiian Language.[6]

Kealakehe High School has been led by Principal Wilfred Murakami throughout its history. Kealakehe High Schools' rival is Konawaena High School.

Notable AchievementsEdit

In 2007, the Milken Family Foundation awarded mathematics teacher Yannabah Lewis with a $25,000 Milken Award.[7]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


A wide variety of sports is offered at Kealakehe, including baseball, basketball, bowling, canoe paddling, cross country, cheerleading, football, golf, judo, riflery, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, and many other various sports, all of which, compete under the Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF).[4] In order to play sports, there is a requirement of a minimum 2.0 GPA, a passing grade in all core classes, and must be passing citizenship class.

Between 2004 and 2012, the Kealakehe football team has won the Division I BIIF title seven times.[8] The boys soccer team won the 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011–2012, and 2012-2013 BIIF Division I titles.[9] The girls soccer team has won the 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 BIIF Division I title. In 2011-2012 they were undefeated. In 2012-2013, in the state championships they got 7th place.[10] In 2009, the girls swim team, with only five girls, won the State Championships.

Academic programsEdit

  • Academic Decathlon - 3rd in the state two years in a row
  • Academic World Quest- 1st place in the 2010 Hawaii Island Competition and 2nd place in the 2011 Hawaii State Competition, the top scoring public school in the state.
  • National Honor Society
  • Ocean Bowl - 1st place in 2007 and 2nd in 2008 (team members: Riley Saito, Emma Leonard, Todd Yamakawa, Sarah Crawford, Conrad Sanborn, Julius Guiterrez)[11] -3rd place in 2010
  • Math League
  • Science Bowl - 2nd place in 2008 (states)[12]
  • Science Fair - Kealakehe high school took 2nd place states(2019) and 3rd place internationally at Intel ISEF(Intel Science and Engineering Fair)(2019), additionally Kealakehe took winning places 1-5 (2008 district); 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (2007 district); and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th (2006 district).

AP CoursesEdit

In the 2011-2012 school year, the AP classes Kealakehe High School offered were AP Calculus AB, AP Physics B, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP U.S. History, AP Literature, and AP Language.

Interact ClubEdit

Working with close affiliations to the Rotary Club, the Kealakehe Interact Club has been the top Interact Club in the State of Hawaii for 12 years (2001–2013). Every year, at least 100 people from the school signs up, and the top 30 active members are rewarded with Interact Camp, where they go to Kolopa State Park.

Relay For LifeEdit

In February 2008, Kealakehe High School raised over $15,000.[13] In February 2009, Kealakehe High School raised $27,227.65.[14]

Graphic DesignEdit

Kealakehe High School received 8 awards at the recent 2008 HTEA Fair held in Honolulu's Blaisdell Center for their graphic arts and designs.[15]

Advanced Global CitizenshipEdit

Advanced Global Citizenship consists of Speech and Debate, Model UN, Model APEC, World Quest, and TED Talks. It is aimed to raise awareness of international relations as well as to consume intellectual ideas. Matt Buongiorno explained AGC as following: "Advanced Global Citizenship offers things conventional curriculum cannot, such as an opportunity to work with pressing international issues outside the classroom and beyond the island," and Justin Brown added that it "broadens their awareness and understanding of international affairs in an exciting, competitive way."[16]

Model United NationsEdit

- Model United Nations is an organization that works to promote international relations studies through debating and negotiating. Students are assigned a country to represent and become a diplomat defending the country's position in different committees. KHS Model UN was created in the year 2010 when Justin Brown and Matthew Buongiorno, experienced college Model UN delegates, decided that international relations would change students' perspective of world.[17]

The team first participated in the 2011 National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) Conference in New York City in March 2011. In NHSMUN, 3000 students from 150 schools of over twenty different countries participated,[18] and the opportunity kindled interests in international studies to KHS students. NHSMUN experience showed success in Model APEC held in West Hawaii Civic Center, November 28, 2011, when the Kealakehe team led students from other districts to learn what it is like to negotiate as a diplomat.

The team attended the Regional High School Model United Nations Conference in San Francisco December 1–3, 2011, where they won the Outstanding Conference Preparation and Research award.[19] The team will be attending their second National High School Model United Nations Conference in New York City, March 7–10, 2012. They hope to go to future conferences in the United States and aspire to attend a conference in China in the following years. The team filled a void in Kealakehe High School's curriculum; a need for international relations studies. The success of Kealakehe High School's Model United Nations team jump-started other Advanced Global Citizenship programs, as well as an AP class, and has sparked interest in international relations, policy, and study.

Kealakehe Robotics (Tiki Technologies,Team 3880)Edit

Started in 2010, Kealakehe High School has one of the state's most successful robotics programs. The team participates annually in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), Botball, VEX (Vex Robotics Design System), and MATE ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle). The team's formal competition name is Tiki Technologies known colloquially as 'The Tiki Techs'. All members of the team complete United States Department of Labor (OSHA) safety training gaining their General Industry 10-hour card. Team members participate in the Stanford University Design Thinking(DT) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) OCW satellite training. The team participates in a variety of community service projects to give back to the community that supports them.[20] In 2011, the Tiki Techs received a proclamation from Hawaii State Governor Neil Abercrombie for their successes. More information about the team can be found at


Kealakehe won the judges' award at the 2010 Honolulu Botball Regional held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Botball is a robotics competition for middle and high school students. Organized by the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, Botball encourages participants to work constructively within their team building basic communication, problem-solving, design, and programming skills. Each team builds one or more (up to four) robots that will autonomously move scoring objects into scoring positions.


In their rookie FIRST season, Kealakehe partnered with Waialua and McKinney robotics to win 2011 FIRST Honolulu competition (Logo Motion held at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of UH Manoa. The team was also awarded the GMC Excellence in Industrial Engineering Award. With this victory, the team received a prestigious invitation to the World Championships held at the Edward Jones Dome in St Louis, Missouri.[21]

Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), created the world's leading high school robotics competition in 1992. FIRST provides a varsity-like competitive forum that inspires in young people, their schools and communities in an appreciation of science and technology. This robotics competition is a multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. In 2007 (after 15th FRC season), there were over 130,000 students and 37,000 adult mentors from around the world involved in at least one of FIRST's competitions. In 2011(the 20th FRC season, FIRST had over 294,000 students, 26,900 teams, 24,300 robots, 51,000 mentors/coaches, 50,000 other Volunteers (e.g. events Volunteers, Operational and Affiliate Partners) and nearly $15 million in college scholarships.[22]

FIRST encourages teams to find adults from outside of the school environment who can pass on their knowledge as mentors. There are thousands of scholarships available to students who participate. The FLL robots are entirely autonomous; the FTC competition involves separate autonomous and driver control matches; and the FRC competition involves an initial autonomous period (10 or 15 seconds) followed by teleoperated driver control. On August 14, 2011, ABC aired a special on FIRST called " FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll"[23] that featured many famous musical artists such as The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith. himself was the executive producer of the special. The program placed a special focus on the FIRST Robotics competition, even though it included segments on the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Lego League, and Junior FIRST Lego League. Kealakehe Robotics was one of the teams at the event for the ABC piece.

Underwater RoboticsEdit

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center sponsors an annual international ROV competition;[24] the first competition was held in 2002. The competition is open to middle school (grades 5-8), high school (grades 9-12), community and technical college, and four-year university students as well as home-schooled students of comparable grade levels.


Kealakehe captained winning alliance the last two years winning the 2010 Hawaii VEX Competition held at Imiloa Astronomy Center and the 2011 Maui Fair VEX Competition.[25] With these wins the team attended the International VEX competition at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World on April 14–16, 2011 and will attend the 2012 VEX National Competition in Omaha, Nebraska as well as the 2012 VEX International Competition at Disney Land April 18–21, 2012. The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) is a robotics competition utilizing the VEX robotics platform.[26] VEX Robotics, Inc. contracts the non-profit Robotics Education and Competition Foundation to organize and operate the worldwide VEX Robotics Competition.[27] Teams build and program a robot to complete a task revealed each year.

VRC is played on a 12'x12' square field. Two alliances – one "red" and one "blue" – composed of two teams each, compete in each match which consists of a twenty-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by accruing points according to the game elements laid out in that year's rules. In some years, additional points could be earned by positioning the robot at the end of the match. In Elevation, Clean Sweep, and Round-Up, a bonus was awarded to the alliance that has the most total points at the end of the Autonomous Period. In Gateway though, there is no autonomous bonus. The winning alliance (and runners up at events with 51 or more teams) at each local competition qualify for the VEX World Championship. The winners of the Robot Skills and Programming Skills Challenges also qualify for the VEX World Championship. In addition, the winner of the "Excellence Award" at each tournament with at least 18 teams qualifies for the Vex World Championship.[28]

Citizenship ProgramEdit

Kealakehe High School offers one of the highest levels of citizenship programs in the nation. Every morning for 15 or 45 minutes (depending on the day), all students attend their mandatory Citizenship class, which is similar to a Homeroom class, where they watch their Morning Broadcast program. The Morning Broadcast program is a morning class where students relay the news to everyone else in the school. After the broadcast, teachers may come on and give assignments for the entire school to do (regardless of grade level). The entire school is assigned work to do during citizenship. The grading system for this program is as follows: A=95%-100% B=90%-94% C=85%-89% I (incomplete) is given for 80%-84% and F=79% and below. Citizenship class is worth .50 credits every year. The 9th and 10th-grade Citizenship counts as elective credit. The 11th and 12th grade Citizenship may count as elective credit OR the required 4th year of Social Studies credit.

Graduation RequirementsEdit

The graduation requirements for the Class of 2010 is 24 credits: 4 Social Studies credits; including Civics, Modern Hawaiian History, World History, and the United States History; 4 English credits; 3 Math credits, 3 Science credits,5 Health credits; .5 Personal Transition Plan (PTP) credit; and 1 Physical Education credit 6 elective credits, 2 "consecutive electives"(2 credits in: World Language OR Career and Technical Education OR Fine Arts). In order to be a class valedictorian students must do a senior project which is worth 1 credit (earning a total of 25 credits for a BOE recognized diploma-students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to earn this type of diploma). Passing all 4 years of citizenship (equivalent to 1 year of social studies and 1 year of elective credit) is required in order to walk the line at graduation. A passing grade in citizenship is currently 85%. A student not passing citizenship can make up their year grade if they are in the 80-84% range.[29]

Alma materEdit

written by Mr.Stanford Ha'o
The words to the school song:[30]

In the shadow of the rising sun on Mount Hualālai,

Majestically she stands above Honokōhau our strength and might.
Our memories we'll cherish,
Our future we'll prepare,
Kealakehe, your name we proudly bear.
She is our beacon to light our winding path,
We ride the wave of the future as we look upon our past.
We are strong! Kealakehe!
We are proud! Kealakehe!
Let us raise our anthem loud,

Kealakehe Hail! All Hail!


  1. ^ a b c "Kealakehe High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Kailua CDP, Hawaii Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Kealakehe High School web site". Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "Activities help Kealakehe grow" in Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 24, 2003
  5. ^ "Kealakehe High School". Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  6. ^ lookup of "kehe" in Hawaiian Dictionary
  7. ^ "Kealakehe teacher earns Milken award", April 23, 2003 on West Hawaii Today web site
  8. ^ Big Island Interscholastic Federation
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ - Aloha Bowl, Hawaii Ocean Science Bowl
  12. ^ - West Hawaii Today - Science Bowl Team Places Second
  13. ^ "- Relay For Life Gallery at Kealakehe". Archived from the original on June 4, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  14. ^ - American Cancer Society - Kealakehe
  15. ^ "- HTEA Fair Photo Gallery for Kealakehe". Archived from the original on June 4, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  16. ^ Lucas-Zenk, Carolyn. "Creating global citizens". West Hawaii Today. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  17. ^ "Kealakehe HS Model UN Promo Video". Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  18. ^ "About NHSMUN". The International Model United Nations Association. Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  19. ^ "500 Delegates Attend First RHSMUN Conference Held in San Francisco". Best Delegate. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  20. ^ "Kealakehe High robotics team goes back to elementary school". West Hawaii Today. August 9, 2011.
  21. ^ "The Blue Alliance"
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "ROV Competitions!".
  25. ^ "Bot winners to nationals". The Maui News. October 12, 2011.
  26. ^ Site can be found here [1]-VEX Robotics
  27. ^ "REC Foundation Partners with VEX Robotics, Inc. to Manage VEX Robotics Competitions". Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "- Kealakehe Citizenship". Archived from the original on January 25, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  30. ^ Kealakehe Alma Mater

External linksEdit