Jamie Yap: A Principal with Impact
Brooklyn Jones | Maui High School, Class of 2022
December is an exciting month for all: full of everything Christmas or winter-themed, a break from work and school and the end of the old year. On top of everything, December brought something else special this year. Mr. Jamie Yap, after leaving his position as principal of Maui High School, officially became the Acting Area Complex Superintendent on December 14, 2021.
“Mr. Yap set a positive example of what a principal should be like,” says Maui High School Junior Jarred Peros. As the head of the school, principals must set up rules and regulations but to Jarred, Mr. Yap’s rules were “fair” and they “ensured safety and fun” at Maui High.
He also admired the principal’s school spirit. Be it basketball, football, baseball, and more, you could spot our principal cheering the Sabers on.
Not only would he come to competitive events but he enthusiastically participated in student-led activities too, like the seniors’ class music video for one year’s annual homecoming music video. Needless to say, the seniors took the win.
And Sabers remember in virtual school, Mr. Yap would make appearances during Saber F.Y.I. videos—the media students’ weekly production for announcements and important reminders. He encouraged students to stay on top of their grades and contact their teachers or the counselors if they needed extra help with the responsibility of online assignments. It was important for struggling students to know there was someone to support them.
When school came back full time, Faith Christy Soliven, a senior at Maui High, recalls a visit from the principal in her Education class. As someone interested in the education field, Faith respected the “passion” and “heart” Mr. Yap displayed as he talked about his lifestyle and job responsibilities. “His warm personality and wisdom about the impact you can have on others through education are inspiring,” Faith says.
Norlito Ranchez, a senior, had Mr. Yap at both Maui Waena Intermediate, where he was principal until 2016, and at Maui High. Through his interactions with Mr. Yap in middle school, he knows the past principal of Maui Waena as “sympathetic” and “someone who knows how to talk to students.” Norlito, who admitted he was a “bit of a troublemaker” in middle school, sought Mr. Yap’s guidance to learn to make better decisions. Fast forward to high school, and the student and principal came full circle; Mr. Yap presented Norlito with the Harvard Book award for academic excellence in May 2021. To Mr. Yap, Norlito would like to say the following: “Thank you so much for changing my life as it would have gone in the wrong direction. You inspired me to work hard and continue to make the most of my life.”
Whether they knew him personally or from afar, it’s evident Mr. Yap had a significant impact on the lives and attitudes of his students.
From everyone at Maui High, we would like to wish good luck to Mr. Yap, and Mrs. JoAnne Higa, the new interim principal of Maui High School, in their positions.
Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Brooklyn Jones, a Senior at Maui High School. She is an assistant editor in her school’s journalism program, Saber Scribes, and also a member of the Girls Can STEM Club. Brooklyn is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, specializing in graphic design. In her free time, she swims for Hawai‘i Swimming Club, bakes and likes to go to the beach. She is the daughter of Melissa Ligot Jones and Darren Jones.