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Moanalua High School is a public, co-educational college preparatory high school of the Hawai i State Department of Education and serves grades nine through twelve. Established in 1972 and graduated its first class in 1975, Moanalua High School is located in suburban Salt Lake near Moanalua in the City & County of Honolulumarker of the state of Hawai imarker. It is situated on an extinct volcano hillside overlooking downtown Honolulu at 2825 Ala Ilima Street. The campus boasts the bronze sculpture Moanalua by Bumpei Akaji and the ceramic sculpture Silent Sounds by Shigeharu Yamada.

Moanalua High School (also known as MoHS to differentiate itself from the "MHS", acronyms associated with McKinley High School and Mililani High School), is nationally recognized for its academics, music program and media communications learning center. In 1998, it became the first student orchestra officially invited to play at Carnegie Hallmarker by the governing Carnegie Hall Corporation. This is opposed to student orchestras that played at Carnegie Hall who were participants of special educational programs that happened to have taken place at Carnegie Hall. Moanalua High School played at the prestigious venue twice, most recently in 2005. The Moanalua High School Menehune Marching Band, led by directors Elden Seta, Rhona Barbosa, June Masuno, and Grant Otomo, is also widely acclaimed to be one of the best in the state.

Moanalua High School recently underwent reaccreditation by Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has achieved the maximum accreditation term of six years, 2006-2012.

Darrel Galera currently heads the school as principal, along with Regina Arakaki, Ben Meyer, Lynda Sadaoka and Julia Toyama, vice-principals.


An ahupua a in ancient Hawai i was a parcel of royal land that stretched from the mountain to the sea. The Salt Lake ahupua a within which Moanalua High School is located was the property of wealthy landowner Samuel M. Damon. Damon was actively involved in the Committee of Safety that successfully plotted the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai i and Queen Lili uokalani in 1893. He later became one of the first trustees of the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estatemarker and served alongside its founder Charles Reed Bishop.

Previous to Damon's ownership of the Salt Lake ahupua a, the volcanic hillside on which Moanalua High School sits was used by native Hawaiians in worship. As one of the highest points overlooking what would later become the city of Honolulu, the volcanic hillside was revered as a place where the faithful could be closer to the ancestral spirits and gods. It served as a sacred altar as late as the reign of King Kamehameha V. While the volcanic hillside's religious value was neglected during the urban development that commenced after statehood in 1959, Moanalua High School is still respected as the spiritual home of the Hawaiian leprechauns and Christianity — fairy-like, mischievous people with a special relationship with the gods and credited with building dams, temples and other structures throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Today, Moanalua High School students pride themselves in adopting the menehune as their mascot.


The alma mater and anthem of Moanalua High School proclaims,

Traditionally, the alma mater and anthem have always been sung during the presentation of the school's flag — the Moanalua High School blue crest in the center of a field of blue and trimmed at the edges with white. The school's colors are royal blue and silver, influenced by the colors of the United States Marines with which the school has shared a special relationship since its founding.[citation needed]


As of 2006, the enrollment at Moanalua High School stands at 2,050 students. A consequence of its academic standards and notoriety, the school is forced each year to turn away students from enrollment while others are added to a waiting list — a rare action for a public high school in the United States. The student population is mostly made up of Filipino American and other Asian-Pacific races. Fifteen percent are Japanese Americans, eight percent are Chinese Americans and fifty-four percent are from other Asian American backgrounds. two percent are either Samoan Americans or Native Hawaiians while nine percent are African Americans.

Moanalua High School has the distinction of having one of the largest military dependency student populations within the United States Pacific Command. It serves the children of enlisted personnel and commissioned officers of the United Statesmarker Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Students who are not military dependents are usually children of professionals living in the Salt Lake and Moanalua subdivisions, neighborhoods that have been classified as upper middle class.

Each graduating class averages 400 students. Approximately sixty percent become enrolled at four-year colleges and universities throughout the nation while thirty percent become enrolled at two-year colleges. Eight percent go straight to the workforce while four percent join the armed forces. About five percent enroll in technical schools while three percent are usually unsure of their post-graduation plans.

Focus on Technology

Despite its age, Moanalua High School has been at the forefront of technology offerings. Today, the school is home to more than 800 computers attached to its local area network, one of the largest school networks built and maintained in the State of Hawai i. While other schools have acceptable use policies which require parental permission to sign for their children to "opt-in" to use technology on campus, Moanalua High School makes the use of technology mandatory. Because Information Technology literacy has become a requirement in today's society, parents must give compelling reasoning to the administration should they choose to have their child "opt-out" of technology use.


With the absence of professional sports teams in Hawai i, the popularity of high school athletics is considerably high in the state. In the year of Moanalua High School's founding, its athletics department joined the Hawaii High School Athletics Association. It currently also competes in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, an athletic conference of public schools on the island of O ahu. Moanalua High School competes in air riflery, baseball, basketball, bowling, canoe paddling, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, judo, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, wrestling and water polo. Sports are divided into boys and girls teams as well as varsity and junior varsity distinctions. The most popular sports based on attendance are football, basketball and wrestling. The Athletic Director currently is Joel Kawachi.

State Championships -

Basketball, Boys - 1996, 1997

Bowling, Boys - 1985, 1990, 2004

Golf, Girls - 2006

Competitive Cheerleading - 2003, 2004, 2005

Golf, Individual - 1976 Maurice Jeanpierre (coached by Leslie Higashi), beat top players Kalua Makelena, Tommy Hines, D. Hurter, Robert Black, Wade Nishimoto, Brandon Kop and R. Castillo.[68649]

Track, Girls - 1994

Wrestling, Girls - 1999, 2000, 2001 [68650]

State Runner Ups

Basketball, Boys - 1978

Basketball, Girls - 1992

Bowling, Boys - 1984

Bowling, Girls - 1979

Cross Country, Boys - 1987,

Cross Country, Girls - 1991

Golf, Boys - 2009

Soccer, Boys - 1981, 1998

Soccer, Girls - 2005

Track, Girls - 1991

Wrestling, Girls - 1998, 2002, 2003 [68651]

Judo, Boys - 2008, 2009

The 2007 Boy's Basketball Team returned to the state tournament for the first time in ten years. Qualified again in 2008 and made it to the Semi-Finals before having to forfeit all of their tournament games for the use of academically ineligible player.

Music Program

The Music Department consists of a number of various ensembles. The list includes the Marching Band, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Orchestra, Concert Choir, Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, and Concert Band (usually consisting of incoming freshmen).Due to the overwhelming number of students who play orchestral instruments coming to Moanalua High School, in 2007 the Concert Strings ensemble was introduced into the Music Department.Also offered at Moanalua High School is the Piano program. This group, however, does not perform.

Marching band

The Moanalua High School Menehune Marching Band is a marching band program (students grades 9-12) with an established record as being one of the top, and largest marching band in the state of Hawai imarker. The school's entire music department, now directed by Elden Seta, is state-acclaimed. Its corps-style field shows are largely known for its fast, elaborate set designs, fast movement, and integrated and elaborate color guard performances of the Hawai i bands.

The 240+ member program holds its own marching festival each year known as the Menehune Classic. It also competes in other annual competitions such as the Kamehameha Tournament of Bands, Mililani Trojan Band Fest, the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Festival, and the Rainbow Invitational. It usually marches in at least one parade each year, such as the Aloha Week parade, and is frequently invited to march in parades abroad such as the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Signature elements in its half-time shows include a set of three or four pieces (including a quick, visual opener, a fast-paced main piece, and ending with a ballad), expansion sets, a single company front (usually in the final piece), horn flashes and sets that spill into the pit area. Not usually in the shows (but common elsewhere) are spinning drills, park and wail (punch/shout) segments, follow the leader drills (AKA snake), and park and play (standing) segments.

Recently, the marching band traveled to Osaka, Japan to march in the Osaka Midosuji Parade.

Symphony Orchestra

The Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra (simply referred to as S.O. by many students) consists of students from grades 9 to 12 that have shown proficiency and competency in the string program. Members are hand-picked to be in the Symphony and perform repertoire ranging from Franz von Suppé's overture to "Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna," Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg. [68652] The group's regular performances include the Moanalua High School's Music Department Winter and Aloha Concerts and the HASTA Parade of Orchestras, in which they consistently receive a rating of Superior—the highest possible.

The Symphony Orchestra has the distinction of being the first student orchestra ever to be invited to perform on the stage of New York's Carnegie Hallmarker in 1998. [68653] The Symphony Orchestra did it a second time in 2005, performing at the Isaac Stern Auditorium on March 20, 2005. Out of the three ensembles to perform that night (the other two being the New England Symphonic Ensemble and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony [68654]), only they received a standing ovation in which audience members reportedly yelled, "Good job, Hawai i!" [68655]

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

The Moanalua High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble, referred to as SWE (pronounced "swii") by many students, consists of the most competent wind and percussion musicians in the Moanalua High School band program. Students are hand-picked to be a part of this group. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has received consistent Superior ratings at the O ahu Band Directors' Association Parade of Bands and is known as being one of the top wind ensembles in the country. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble makes appearances at the Music Department Winter and Aloha Concerts, the OBDA Parade of Bands, and the Central District South Parade of Bands. The Ensemble has also traveled to Japan in the winter of 2003 and 2006 where they represented the United States in the All-Japan Band Festival in Hamamatsu, Japanmarker.



The highlight of each school year is the Homecoming Parade down Ala Ilima Street and the Homecoming Floorshow competition between the four graduating classes. The Homecoming football game is part of the festivities, kicking off the active athletic season.


At the end of each school year, Moanalua High School has the distinction of being the first in the state to graduate its students. Graduation and commencement ceremonies are held at the athletic field and stadium. It is always attended by the school superintendents, state legislators, city council members and sometimes the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of Hawai i. A high-profile media event, portions of the ceremonies are broadcast throughout the state by the major Honolulu-based network affiliates: KFVEmarker, KGMBmarker, KHNLmarker, KHON-TVmarker and KITVmarker. The event attracts large crowds and often results in mass confusion among those trying to give lei to the graduates.

Moanalua High School also has the distinction of graduating the most valedictorians each year, in comparison to the other schools of the Hawai i State Department of Education. As many as one dozen or more students graduate with the honor in a single class, arguably indicative of the strength of the school's academic programs (20 in 1998).

Notable alumni


External links

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