Lahainaluna High School

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Lahainaluna High School
Motto O Keia Ke Kukui Pio'ole I Ka Makani O Kaua'ula
Established 1831
Type Public Secondary School
Principal Emily De Costa
Students 1038
Grades 9–12
Location Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA
District Hawaii State Department of Education, Lahainaluna District
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Campus Suburban Coed
Colors Red, White and Black
Mascot "Lunas"

Lahainaluna High School is a grade 9–12 school located in Lahaina (on the island of Maui), Hawaii. It was founded in 1831 as a Protestant missionary school, originally named Lahainaluna Seminary. The early missionaries who arrived in Lahaina in 1823 explained to the Hawaiian Royalty the importance of an educational institution. A number of the pioneers are buried in a small grave yard. It was the first school founded in Hawaii and has remained in operation since.

History and traditions[edit]

The missionary station in Lahaina was established by William Richards in 1823. In June 1831 Lorrin Andrews was chosen as first principal of a seminary. The site was named Lahainaluna for "upper Lahaina".[1] On September 5, 1831 classes began in thatched huts with 25 Hawaiian young men including former royal historian David Malo.[2] The second principal was William Patterson Alexander 1843–1856.[3] The post-secondary program later became part of the first University of Hawaii.

Lahainaluna has a boarding program where students from the outer islands (including students from the "other side of the island") can live and study at either of the campus dormitories. In return, they work 18 hours per week doing various jobs around the campus. Initially and exclusively for males, the boarding program became coed in 1980. The two dorms are David Malo Dormitory for the boys and Hoapili Dormitory for the girls. Previously, Hoapili housed both genders. Lahainaluna is one of only a few public boarding schools in the nation.

Twice a year, boarders lay a fresh coat of white lime on Pu'u Pa'u Pa'u in the shape of an 'L'. On the L is the year and number of athletic championships won the previous year. On a clear day, the freshly limed L can be seen from the island of Molokai. It is located at coordinates 20°53′15″N 156°38′29″W / 20.88750°N 156.64139°W / 20.88750; -156.64139 (Pu'u Pa'u Pa'u).

The school celebrates David Malo Day annually – a day where a feast is served, students sing, and the dormitories are open to the public.

Hale Paʻi[edit]

Hale Paʻi
Hale Paʻi
Lahainaluna High School is located in Hawaii
Lahainaluna High School
Location Lahainaluna High School, Lahainaluna, Hawaii
Coordinates 20°53′24″N 156°39′36″W / 20.8899°N 156.6599°W / 20.8899; -156.6599
Built 1834
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 76000662[4]
Added to NRHP May 13, 1976
Front page of 1834 student newspaper

Hale Pa'i, or the house of printing, is a small coral and timber building on the Lahainaluna campus that, starting in 1834, served as the home of Hawaii's first printing press. English and Hawaiian language books and newspapers were printed here, including the first newspaper printed West of the Rocky Mountains. The first paper currency of Hawaii was printed here in 1843, and a student was expelled in 1844 for counterfeiting, causing all the paper money to be re-issued with secret marks.[5]

A map of the islands on the one dollar bill, ho'okahi dala, printed in 1843 at the school press

Many archived publications are on public display at the site, now a museum maintained by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.[6] Hale Pa'i, also known as Hawaii Site No. 50-03-1596, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[4]


Lahainaluna High School is perched on the side of a volcano. The multiple classroom buildings are widespread. The grounds are covered with many benches, pathways, grass, plants and trees, the latter allowing easy-to-find shade even on hot, sizzling days. The campus boasts the ceramic sculpture Orbit by Toshiko Takaezu. There is also a small stream near the school, past the Agriculture area. The path to view this stream is against a cliff and is therefore challenging to get to. The red rocks and lush scenery here however, eases one's trepidation while viewing.

Lahainaluna is high enough on this volcano to allow views of the Pacific and of the islands of Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kaho'olawe. It is simply one of the best views from any school in the islands.

Notable alumni[edit]


School Clubs:

  • Academy of Hospitality and Tourism – A business class and club that is a part of the National Academy Foundation. Students participate in mock interviews, go on job shadowing and internships, travel to various parts of North America and Asia, and practice dressing in business attire.
  • Anime Club – One of the more social interactive clubs on campus that brings students together with the culture and interest of anime.
  • Aloha Club – A club that is involved in community service projects.
  • Interact Club – A club is involved in community service projects, but on a more international scale the club is currently headed by President Saumalu Mata'afa.
  • Japanese Club – A club that teaches students the culture of Japan both traditional and modern.
  • Chess Club – A freelance club holds occasional casual games of chess where students can participate.
  • Water Polo Club – A co-ed club meant for water polo players and swimmers.


  1. ^ "lookup of "luna"". on Hawaiian Dictionary web site. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  2. ^ Dibble, Sheldon (1843). History of the Sandwich Islands. Lahainaluna: Press of the Mission Seminary. 
  3. ^ James McKinney Alexander (1888). Mission life in Hawaii: Memoir of Rev. William P. Alexander. Pacific Press Publishing Company. ISBN 1-116-99054-7. 
  4. ^ a b Larry I. Miller (March 31, 1975). "Hale Pa'i nomination form" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  5. ^ Peter Morse (1968). "The Lahainaluna Money Forgeries". Hawaiian Journal of History (Hawaiian Historical Society, Honolulu) 2. hdl:10524/263. 
  6. ^ "Hale Pa'i" Story by Rita Goldman, Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol. 12, No. 3 (May 2008).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°53′19″N 156°39′33″W / 20.88861°N 156.65917°W / 20.88861; -156.65917