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School History

A special tribute to Kahuku High and Intermediate's 100th anniversary celebration

The SPEAKER pro tempore: Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from American Samoa [Mr. Faleomavaega] is recognized for 60 minutes.

Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA: Mr. Speaker, it is a real pleasure and a distinct personal honor for me to prepare this special order of the House to inform my colleagues of a very special occasion that will take place this week on the campus of one of Hawaii's smallest public high schools. Small in number maybe, Mr. Speaker, but dynamic in terms of the quality of its academics, its ethnic social mix, and a high school marching band that has won top awards throughout the State of Hawaii for years. The band even marched at the Rose Bowl and was rated among the top high school bands in the Nation; and yes, its athletic program is also among the best in the State of Hawaii.

Mr. Speaker, the high school I am referring to is none other than the pride of the North Shore on the Island of Oahu, Kahuku High School. As they say among the locals in Hawaii, ``Imua Kahuku High School on your 100th birthday.''

Mr. Speaker, the Hawaiian word ``Kahuku'' has a special meaning among the ancient Hawaiians. The first four letters, ``Kahu'', means guardian, or royal keepers or protectors. The last two letters ``ku'' are in reference to an ancient Hawaiian god named Ku.

According to ancient Hawaiian tradition, the god Ku was a member of the godhead of three gods, and their names were Kane, Ku, and Lono. Those three gods were all powerful. They created the heavens and the earth and, yes, from red earth they made man in their express image, and they even breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul.

Mr. Speaker, if one wants to give specific meaning to the word, Kahuku, after which the location and high school are named, it means one is a guardian of the god Ku. Rightly so, Mr. Speaker, because not far from Kahuku is another place called Laie, which according to Hawaiian tradition was an ancient city of refuge, a special place of sanctuary where offenders may escape to seek refuge and be reinstated by the priests who preside over the sanctuary.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to share this portion of Kahuku's history because I suspect many people are not aware of its meaning and its significance as far as ancient legends are concerned. As far as the record is known, the first classes ever held at what was unofficially known as Kahuku school began in 1893. The classes were held under shaded trees or in someone's yard. The school was first organized by a Hawaiian lady named Mrs. Hookana.

Four years later in 1897, and this time with an appropriation of only $984 provided by the republic, or then the sovereign nation of Hawaii, a one-room schoolhouse was built. An enrollment of 36 students was noted and a Mr. Brightwell served as the first principal.

By the 1920s the school had grown and was educating children from the Campbell and Laie plantations, plus a pineapple camp known as the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. During this period the school moved to its present location.

In 1939, the high school was added and the school was renamed Kahuku High and Elementary School. The next year, the first senior class graduated 16 students and they took home the school's first yearbook, the Ke Koolau.

In the 1940's the Laie area was still almost exclusively plantation, and the area from which it drew its students had grown considerably. The list of plantations and other activities reads like who's who in the North Shore during the 1940's. Attending Kahuku during this period were the children from the Marconi Wireless Station, the Paumalu Pineapple Camp, Waialee-a Hawaiian settlement, and several camps of the Kahuku Sugar Mill.

The Kahuku athletes became known as the Red Raiders because they wore red uniforms donated by Iolani High School in 1950. Prior to this time the unofficial nickname was the Ramberiers. Through the 1940's Kahuku had developed sufficiently and there was competing in sports events against other high schools on the North Shore and the Windward sections of the Island of Oahu, and it won its first football championship in 1947. This was the first in a long line of championships that began the development of many championship players as well.

In 1988, Kahuku High and Elementary School became the Kahuku High and Intermediate School, and the elementary level was separated. Today, Kahuku High School has only about 1,100 high school students from grades 9 through 12. Supporting the students are its 136 faculty members, four administrators and the supportive staff of 42. The school has developed into an athletic powerhouse and students from other parts of the island travel to Kahuku just to participate in their academic, social and sports programs. This is considered a considerable achievement, given the diversity of the school's population.

From the well-to-do residents of the famous Sunset Beach and the neighboring golf course communities to the low-income housing development on the North Shore and everything in-between, there is ethnic and economic diversity at Kahuku. Unlike some areas, this diversity has been the strength of Kahuku. As one of the last undeveloped areas of the island of Oahu, the North Shore has experienced significant growth in recent years, and this has challenged State planners and the State board of education. For the most part, the area is not as sufficient or as affluent as the southern portion of the island, and for that reason the adults and the children are supposedly less sophisticated than the more populated areas of the State. This diversity, however, Mr. Speaker, has given Kahuku its own charm and uniqueness.

Mr. Speaker, music is one of the many areas in which Kahuku has excelled. Mr. Michael Payton started the band as a musical instructor in 1968 with only 10 members. With his retirement in 1995, the band has grown to 100-plus members and won many State and national awards.

In 1980, the Kahuku High School marching band was rated among one of the top 10 marching bands in the Nation by the National Band Association. In 1983 the marching band won a Class A championship in the Florida Citrus Bowl and were the Class A champions and overall sweepstakes winner in the Parade and Field Show Competition.

In 1991, Kahuku's marching band won international fame as they won first place in the international division of the Midosuji Parade in Osaka, Japan.

Both in 1981 and 1984 the band was one of four featured bands in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Band Festival and marched in the world famous Tournament of Roses parade.

Among the dignitaries the band has performed for were the late Emperor Hirohito in Japan, former President George Bush, and Governors John Burns, George Ariyoshi and John Waihee of the State of Hawaii.

The list of accomplishments of Kahuku students is too long to repeat here, Mr. Speaker, but I am appending a partial list at the end of this statement. I do want to note, however, that the list includes 13 scholastic State championships and nine athletic State championships. There are also 76 other athletic championship titles, a record difficult to match by any small school of this size. In the last 10 years there have been 2 State winners, 11 runners-up, and 41 finalists in the Sterling Scholar Awards.

Recent awards received by the administration and faculty of Kahuku include the Milken and Crystal Apple Awards for Contributions to Education awarded to the principal, Mrs. Lea Albert, and social studies teacher, Mrs. Linda Smith. Music teacher Beth Kammerer has been chosen as the 1997 State Teacher of the Year by the Department of Education and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Mr. Speaker, one graduate of Kahuku high school who recently made the national news is Chris Naeole. Chris is a 6 foot, 4 inch, 310-pound offensive guard from Kahuku High School where he played football. Chris went on to the University of Colorado where he played for four years. Last week Chris was the tenth player chosen in the first round of this year's NFL draft. Selected by the New Orleans Saints, Chris is one in a line of many professional football players who have graduated from Kahuku High School.

Another professional football player of note is Junior Ah You, who made all-State in football, basketball and track while at Kahuku high school. Junior played professional football for the Montreal Alouettes for over 10 years and made all-pro status for several years as defensive end. Earlier this year Junior was admitted to the Canadian Football League's Hall of Fame.

The football legacy of Kahuku High School is legendary, Mr. Speaker. Generation after generation of many families have played football in this school and the family names are enshrined in local record books. Among these notable family names are: Thompson, Reed, Ka'anana, Santiago, Fonoimoana, Compoc, Kaaihue, Akiyama, Tollefson, Leota, Maiava, Ah You, Nawahine, Broad, Enos, Barros, Kahawaii, Caneda, Suzuki, Furuto, Oyawa, Anae, Lolotai, Tatum, Kim, Harrington, Finari, Funaki, Tupou, Taylor, Finai, Atuaia, Tufaga, Niumatalolo and others.

Mr. Speaker, while the list goes on, I would like to recognize a few more of Kahuku high school's graduates that have done well and have contributed substantially to the communities in Hawaii as well as to our Nation.

We have Mr. Leo Tanoai Reed, a former Kahuku High School graduate and a graduate of Colorado State University, who served formerly with the elite force of the Honolulu police department. Mr. Reed is currently serving as the national director for the Teamsters Union relative to transportation issues affecting the entire motion picture industry in the United States.

There are approximately 72 unions that are involved with the motion picture industry, and Leo Reed plays a very important and key role relating to contract disputes and in important negotiations on behalf of some 4,000 union members whose jobs depend on the movie industry.

Mr. Speaker, Kahuku also proudly claims the important contributions made by Dr. Lokelani Lindsey who not only serves as an educator but as an administrator and trustee of perhaps the most prestigious trust foundation in the State of Hawaii; namely, the board of trustees of the Bernice Panwahi Bishop Foundation. This foundation provides funding and administration of Kamehameha Schools which serve specifically the educational needs of students of native Hawaiian ancestry. Dr. Lindsey's educational background and profession as an educator will go a long way to assist her native Hawaiian people while serving as a trustee of the Bishop Trust Estate.

Mr. Speaker, another Kahuku High School graduate who has made his mark in the area of the culinary arts is none other than Mr. Sam Choy, Jr. Known throughout the State of Hawaii as one of the top chefs in the hotel industry but who now has a very successful restaurant business in the State of Hawaii.

Mr. Speaker, a couple of Kahuku graduates have also served with distinction in State administrations. There was Mr. Sus Ono, who for many years served as the right-hand man for former Governor George Ariyoshi. Mr. Ono also later served as a leading member of Governor Ariyoshi's cabinet.

Currently under the administration of Governor Ben Cayetano, another Kahuku graduate, Mr. Earl Anyai is the State's chief financial officer and treasurer.

Mr. Kamaki Kanahele, another Kahuku graduate, a former member of the board of trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, currently is the statewide chairman of the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, a consortium of Hawaiian groups put to serve the needs of some 30,000 native Hawaiians in the State of Hawaii.

Mr. Speaker, Kahuku has also had its fair share of graduates who are in their given professions in the fields of law, medicine, engineering, education, and many other fields of endeavor.

Kahuku has also sent its share of her sons and daughters in the fields of battle to defend America against its enemies. Many were wounded and some never returned. And as a Vietnam veteran, Mr. Speaker, I pay a special tribute to the thousands of Kahuku graduates who served honorably in the armed services of our Nation.

Mr. Speaker, as you may have guessed, I, too, am a graduate of Kahuku High School. The education I received while at Kahuku, even though it was many years ago, gave me the foundation to go to college and law school. Having seen this school rise from plantation school to a State powerhouse has given me great pride, and it is with pleasure and an honor that I stand here today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and say, I salute you, Kahuku High School. You have provided sound educational guidance for the last century. You have fought many battles, but I know your past will serve you well as we move forward.

You have provided inspiration to thousands of us as generation after generation returns to you asking for help in meeting the educational, economic and social needs of Hawaii and our Nation.

Mr. Speaker, I end my remarks with the words to a very simple song that is always in the minds and hearts of all Kahuku graduates. The words to the song go like this:


In old Kahuku stands our alma mater:

Where the salt winds blow day after day

Where her doors flung wide for our sons and daughters true.

While the flag of freedom proudly waves above

Hail Kahuku, hail our alma mater

Hail to our colors red and white.

We will cherish, love and honor thee. All hail Kahuku, hail.


Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the Record:


Kahuku High School Athletic Championships

Football OIA champions: 1947, 1958, 1959, 1969, 1972, 1989, 1993, 1994, & 1995.

Football East/West Conference Champions: 1971, 1972, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, and 1992.

Boys OIA Volleyball Champions: 1995.

Boys Volleyball East Champions: 1992.

Girls Volleyball OIA Champions: 1992 & 1993.

Girls Volleyball East Champions: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1992 & 1993.

Girls Basketball State Champions: 1983.

Girls Basketball OIA Champions: 1980, 1983, 1984, & 1985.

Girls Basketball East Champions: 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985 & 1991.

Boys Basketball East Champions: 1987.

Wrestling State Champions: 1969, 1983, & 1985.

Wrestling State Runner-ups: 1981, 1982, 1988, 1990-1992.

Wrestling OIA Champions: 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, & 1992.

Wrestling OIA Dual Meet OIA Champions: 1993.

Wrestling East Champions: 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1987-1992.

Golf State Champions: 1969, 1972, 1973, 1976.

Golf OIA Champions: 1971, 1978, 1993, & 1994.

Golf East Champions: 1974, 1978, 1988, 1993, & 1994.

Girls Tennis OIA Champions: 1994.

Judo East Champions: 1989, 1990, & 1991.

Boys Swimming Varsity East Champion: 1995, 1997.

Water Polo Public School State Champions: undefeated.


Kahuku High School Scholastic Championships

Citizen Bee State Champion: 1993.

American Legion State Champion: 1991 & 1993.

We the People State Champions: 1993 & 1994.

History Day State Winners: 1994.

State JV Debate Champions: 1993 & 1994.

SLEP (ESLL) State Speech Champions: 1991-1994.

Spelling Bee State Champions: 1991.

Kahuku High School Band Accomplishments

The Kahuku High School Learning Center “Red Raider'' Marching Band and Color Guard was under the direction of Mr. Michael J. Payton. Mr. Payton was a graduate of the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Mr. Payton retired June 1995, having taught at Kahuku High and Intermediate School for the past 27 years. He was the Coordinator and Director of the Kahuku High School's Performing Arts Learning Center Program, focusing on marching band and color guard, and he was the Director of the Annual All-State Marching Band Camp.

Mr. Payton had been the backbone of the marching band program at Kahuku. He established and built a band from an existing band of ten (10) members in 1968 to a superior award winning band of a hundred plus (100+) members.

The Kahuku High School Marching Band, under Mr. Payton's direction for 27 years, has always won superior ratings at local and national competitions. In 1980, the Kahuku High School Marching Band was rated as one of the top ten (10) marching bands in the nation by the National Band Association. In 1983, the Kahuku High School Marching Band won the Class A Championship at the Florida Citrus Bowl Band Competition. In 1986, the Kahuku Band attended the Sea World Holiday Bowl Band Competition and was the Class A Champions and Overall Sweepstakes Winner in the Parade and Field Show Competition.

In 1991, the Kahuku High School Marching Band won International Fame as they won 1st Place: International Division at the Midosuji Parade in Osaka, Japan.Both in January, 1981, and in January, 1993, the band was one of the four featured bands at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Band Fest and marched in the world famous Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Kahuku High School Marching Band has played for many important dignitaries. Among these important people are: Emperor Hirohito, President Bush, Governor Burns, Governor Ariyoshi, and Governor Waihee of Hawaii.


Aloha Week Parade Hon, HI--1st Division-Highest Scores.

King Kam Parade Hon, HI--1st Division-Highest Scores.

S. Pacific Bi-Centennial Parade--Hawaii's Bi-Centennial Band.

Int'l. Lions Convention--Brazil's Honor Band; State Band.

Kauai Island Concert--Guest Band.

OIA Marching Band Festival--1st Division-Highest Scores.


Rated by National Band Assoc.--One of Top 10 Marching Bands in USA. Selected to the 1981 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade--Guest Band.


Aloha Week Parade--1st Division.

Kam Tournament of Bands--Overall Sweepstakes Award. All

Caption Awards. Annual Pahu Award.

Citrus Bowl Band Competition--1st Place Overall Trophy

Class A. Outstanding Rifle Corp. Drum Major Award.

Citrus Bowl 1983--Bowl Pre-Game Guest Band. Citrus Bowl Parade Participant.

Disney World (FL)--Guest Band.

Epcot Center--Guest Band.

Knott's Berry Farm--Guest Band.

Magic Mountain--Guest Band.

Disneyland (CA)--Guest Band.

Arlington Nat'l. Cemetary--1st Hawaiian Band to participate in wreath laying ceremony at Tomb of Unknown Soldiers (D.C.)


San Diego Holiday Bowl--1st Division Rating. 1st Place: Parade Competition. 1st Place: Field Show Competition. 1st Place: Drum Major. 1st Place: Percussion. 1st Place: Color Guard.


Florida Citrus Bowl Band Competition--1st Place: Percussion. 1st Place: Drum Major. 1st Place: Color Guard. Superior & 1st Division Rating. Class A Field Show Champion.


USA President Bush-Hawaii Visit--Only High School Band invited to perform for President of USA.


Midosuji Parade--Osaka, Japan--1st Place Winner Int'l. Division.


Tournament of Roses Parade--Pasadena, CA--One of four (4) marching bands to participate in Band Fest at Pasadena City College.


CBS Thanksgiving Day American Parade--Featured Band and Dancers on national television.

Oceanic Cable Television--Featured band during school pride advertisement.

Holiday Bowl Parade--2nd Place.


Holiday Bowl Field Competition--1st Place--Category 2. Grand Champion Overall.