Maui High School’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: A Success for Generations
Brooklyn Jones | Maui High School, Class of 2022
Although Lahainaluna was the first school on Maui, Maui High was the island’s first public high school. After fifty-nine years at the original Hāmākuapoko campus upcountry, the graduating classes of 1972–1975 relocated to the current Kahului campus.
The transition from the secluded, lush atmosphere of the Hāmākuapoko to the crude, in-town Kahului school may have been a challenge for the students. Still, in true local fashion, they persevered and found success. Maui High alumni have become renowned athletes, leaders of nonprofit organizations, barrier-breaking professionals, and more throughout the years.
To commemorate Maui High’s journey as a school and community, the Maui High School Foundation sponsored a 50th-anniversary celebration on February 12, 2022. Upon entering the campus through the parking lot, staff members and a vintage car show immediately greeted them. “It gave many of us a look back into how vehicles were for past students,” remarks Maui High senior Mykayla Lorenzo. Mykayla, the Vice President of the school’s National Honor Society, came to the event to volunteer at the drink booth and enjoyed the exhibitions while she spent her day there. The car show was “one of [her] favorites” but she found walking around the time capsule of pictures and displays located in A Building was surreal and amazing.
Admiring the fantastic and rare cars was very interesting but it could work up an appetite! Luckily, food trucks were just across the campus near the cafeteria if you came to the celebration hungry. “I ate at one food truck: Ogo Maui,” recalls Renzo Gaoiran, a senior at Maui High School. He used to work for Ogo and “had to give it a shot again.” “If you’ve ever heard of ‘Renzo’s Hurricane Chicken,’ that was named after me!” Renzo laughs. Local businesses like Ogo, Pastele House, Al’s BBQ Pit and Bang Um Out Grindz dished out crowd-pleasing favorites like barbeque shrimp plates, noodles and more to hungry guests. And if you were in the mood for dessert, flavored churros from Bang Um Out Grindz and varieties of filled sweet bread from Molokai Sweet Breads were sure to satisfy.
After stopping to get something to eat, visitors made their way to A Building. Stepping into the space, the pictures, newspaper clips and yearbook excerpts covering the walls were the first thing you noticed. You could see parents pointing out their photos to their kids. Old friends were revisiting fond memories. Current Sabers like Kristiann Miguel found the memory lane fascinating as well. The senior in particular recalls the picture of Maui High’s old flag corps catching her eye. As a current color guard captain, seeing the “Saber legacy” from flag corps to color guard teams, invoked a strong sense of pride and belonging in the color guard captain.
Local artists–including Homestead, a band consisting of Maui High alumni–provided entertainment and ambiance for the event. And at the end of the day finale, planners organized a surprise flash mob following the Alma Mater sung by Maui High School senior Aeris Miyake. I was also recruited for the flash mob performance and had a blast learning the choreography and dancing with my friends.
Even though Connor Gunderson had to miss most of the celebration for a high school swim meet, he arrived just in time to see the flash mob performance, saying it “caught his attention.” “I saw a couple of my friends participate in it and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did,” he comments. Connor came to the event to help clean up as a National Honor Society member; he may not have been able to make it for most of the day but still looking at the exhibits and watching the performances was fun and memorable for the Maui High senior.
To Sabers of any age, this event was a success. It was heartwarming to see generations of Maui High School students revisit their old alma mater for its landmark 50th anniversary.
And in the future, for the centennial celebration of Maui High School’s Kahului campus, current Sabers are excited to do the same.
(Thank you to Jansen Chase Aceret for providing me with key details for this article from his coverage of this event!)
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.