Moanalua High School

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Moanalua High School
Motto Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu - Strive for Excellence
Established 1972
Type Public secondary
Affiliation none
Principal Robin Martin
Students 1999 (2014)
Grades 9–12
Location 2825 Ala Ilima Street,
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96818-1799, United States
District Central District
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Campus Suburban
Colors Royal blue and Silver          
Mascot Nā Menehune
Yearbook Ke Aliʻi
Newspaper Nā Hōkū O Moanalua
Military United States Air Force JROTC
Distinctions Awarded "Hawaii's Best Public High School" by Honolulu Magazine May 2003, 2004
Website School website

Moanalua High School is a public, co-educational college preparatory high school of the Hawaiʻi 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 Honolulu of the state of Hawaiʻi. It is situated on an extinct volcano hillside overlooking downtown Honolulu at 2825 Ala ʻIlima 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.

Moanalua High School recently underwent reaccreditation by Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has achieved the maximum accreditation term of six years, 2012-2018.

Robin Martin is currently heads the school as principal (Darrel Galera left Moanalua in 2012), along with Wilbert Lum, Dawn Amano-Igo, and Julia Toyama, vice-principals.


An ahupuaʻa in ancient Hawaiʻi was a parcel of land that stretched from the mountain to the sea. The ahupuaʻa of Moanalua was the property of wealthy landowner Samuel M. Damon.

Previous to Damon's ownership of the Salt Lake ahupuaʻa, the volcanic hillside on which Moanalua High School sits was used by native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian religion. 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. The volcanic hillside's religious value was neglected during the urban development after statehood in 1959. Moanalua High School adopted the menehune as their mascot: with a special relationship with the gods and credited with building dams, temples and other structures throughout the Hawaiian Islands.


Traditionally, the alma mater and anthem are sung during the presentation of the school's flag — a 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 State s Marines with which the school has shared a special relationship since its founding.[citation needed]


The following table represents the number of enrolled students from the years 2003 to 2014.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2,022 2,005 2,016 2,016 1,958 2,017 2,102 2,086 2,010 2,200 2,100 1,999

Source: [2]

As of the 2012 school year, the racial/ethnic composition was as follows:

Moanalua High School has one of the largest military dependency student populations within the United States Pacific Command.[citation needed] It serves the children of enlisted personnel and commissioned officers of the United States 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[edit]

Moanalua High School is home to more than 800 computers attached to its local area network, one of the largest school networks built and maintained in Hawaii. While other schools require parental permission to "opt-in" to use technology on campus, Moanalua High School makes the use of technology mandatory. 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 Hawaiʻi, 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 Oʻahu. 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 [1][edit]

Basketball, Boys - 1996, 1997

Bowling, Boys - 1985, 1990, 2004

Golf, Girls - 2006

Golf, Boys - 2012

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. [4]

Track, Girls - 1994

Wrestling, Girls - 1999, 2000, 2001

Judo, Boys - 2010, 2011,2012

State Runner Ups [1][edit]

Baseball- 2011

Basketball, Boys - 1978

Basketball, Girls - 1992

Bowling, Boys - 1984

Bowling, Girls - 1979

Cross Country, Boys - 1987,

Cross Country, Girls - 1991

Competitive Cheerleading- 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Golf, Boys - 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014

Soccer, Boys - 1981, 1998

Soccer, Girls - 2005

Track, Girls - 1991

Wrestling, Girls - 1998, 2002, 2003

Judo, Boys - 2008, 2009, 2013

Judo, Girls - 2014

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[edit]

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).

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.

In 2013 Moanalua High School music building was completed.

Marching band[edit]

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 Hawaii. It is led by directors Elden Seta, Rhona Barbosa, Cavin Takesue, and Tadahiro Meya, and is widely acclaimed to be one of the best in the United States.[citation needed]

The 220+ 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.

The marching band traveled to Osaka, Japan to march in the Osaka Midosuji Parade. In the winter of 2009, the band traveled to Arizona to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

Symphony Orchestra[edit]

The Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra consists of hand-picked students from grades 9 to 12. The Symphony Orchestra was the first student orchestra to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1998.[5] 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,[6] only they received a standing ovation in which audience members reportedly yelled, "Good job, Hawaiʻi!"[7] Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall again in 2013.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble[edit]

The Moanalua High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble, consists of the most competent wind and percussion musicians in the Moanalua High School band program. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has received consistent Superior ratings at the Oʻahu Band Directors' Association Parade of Bands. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble plays at 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 spring of 2004 and winter of 2006 where they represented the United States in the All-Japan Band Festival in Hamamatsu, Japan. The wind ensemble has most recently represented Hawaii during the 2015 Music For All National Festival in Indiana.



A homecoming parade marches down Ala ʻIlima Street with a floorshow competition between the four graduating classes. The homecoming football game kicks off the active athletic season.


Moanalua High School is the first in the state to graduate its students. Graduation and commencement ceremonies are held at the athletic field and stadium. It is attended by the school superintendents, state legislators, city council members and sometimes the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of Hawaiʻi. A high-profile media event, portions of the ceremonies are broadcast throughout the state by the major Honolulu-based network affiliates: KFVE, KGMB, KHNL, KHON-TV and KITV. The event attracts large crowds and often results in confusion among those trying to give lei to the graduates.

Moanalua High School has many valedictorians each year, in comparison to the other schools of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.[citation needed] As many as one dozen or more students graduate with the honor in a single class, with 20 in 1998.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Moanalua High School Athletics Homepage". Moanalua High School Athletics Department. 
  2. ^ "School Status and Improvement Report". Accountability and Resource Center Hawaii. Hawaii State Department of Education. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Moanalua High School Status and Improvement Report School Year 2012-13" (PDF). Hawaii State Department of Education. 
  4. ^[dead link] 2012
  5. ^ . Moanalua High School  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  6. ^ . MidAmerica Productions  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  7. ^ Vorsino, Mary (21 March 2005). "Moanalua hits high note on trip". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 

External links[edit]