Hawaii Preparatory Academy

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Hawaii Preparatory Academy
Hawaii Preparatory Academy - Upper Campus.jpg
Upper Campus
65-1274 Kawaihae Rd.
Kamuela, Hawaiʻi 96743
United States
Coordinates 20°1.7695′N 155°42.0606′W / 20.0294917°N 155.7010100°W / 20.0294917; -155.7010100Coordinates: 20°1.7695′N 155°42.0606′W / 20.0294917°N 155.7010100°W / 20.0294917; -155.7010100
Type Private, College-prep, Day & Boarding
Established 1949
Founder Harry S. Kennedy
Headmaster Robert McKendry
Grades K12
Gender Coeducational
Number of students Approx. 600
Campus 2 campuses (Village & Upper)
Campus type Rural
School color(s) Red and White
Athletics conference Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II
Mascot Ka Makani
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Museum Isaacs Art Center

Hawaii Preparatory Academy (also known as HPA) is a coeducational, boarding, independent school in Kamuela, Hawaiʻi teaching kindergarten through the twelfth grade.


Founded in 1949 by The Right Reverend Harry S. Kennedy, Episcopal Bishop of Honolulu, the school came of age under the leadership of James Monroe Taylor II, Headmaster from 1954-1974. Originally the school was located on the grounds of St. James Episcopal Church in Kamuela in buildings that were built as barracks for the United States Marines during World War II.

Currently the nationally recognized high school features four dormitories: Perry-Fiske Hall for boys, Carter Hall for girls, the co-ed Robertson's Hall, and Tooman Hall, the oft forgotten all male dorm.

While the town is known as "Waimea", because there are multiple locations in Hawaii with that name, the term "Kamuela" is used by the USPS to distinguish it from those other locations.

HPA is now divided into a lower school, middle school and upper school. The lower and middle school together compose one campus in the ranch region of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The upper school is located at the foot of the Kohala Mountains. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The upper campus has a weight room, wrestling room, pool, school library, an indoor tennis facility, baseball field, gym, bookstore, as well as a new (2008) softball field, a newly repaired football/soccer field and a new rubber track. The school also is host to a cross country course. Along with classrooms, an art building, multiple Mac equipped computer labs and a theater, and an Energy Lab, the only of its kind in the world.[1] There is also a church on the property built before the school moved to its present site.

The village campus is in the middle of the town of Waimea, and features the only school-owned professional art-gallery in the State, Isaacs Art Center. The village campus also has two soccer fields.

The school also has a successful boys cross country team. Two male champions in the recent years include Mac Crommett (Class of '07) and Emmett Weatherford (Class of '05). Their girls cross country team has also been successful.[citation needed]

The HPA robotics team is the recent state champions of the 2009 Botball competition.

The school colors are red and white. The school's mascot is Ka Makani, which is a specific Hawaiian word for "the wind". (The campus is noteworthy for the steady winds which blow around it at speeds averaging 20 MPH)

There was controversy during the year of 2015-16 over the firing of a beloved faculty member.[2]

In 2015, the Chapel Belltower was taken down for restoration. No progress has been made hence.[3]

In 2015, Robert McKendry succeeded Lindsay Barnes as headmaster.[4] Barnes had been headmaster of HPA for seven years. McKendry has a bachelor's degree in accounting.[4]

Noteworthy alumni[edit]


Olympics, a week-long competition between the four high-school classes, is one of the school's most cherished traditions. It is a bonding opportunity for the whole school that teaches teamwork, competition, rivalry, superiority, chants, cunning, and outright fun, filling students and teachers alike with school spirit.[5][6]



  1. ^ "Hawaii Preparatory Academy - Energy Lab". www.hpa.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  2. ^ "HPA employee fired for inappropriate relationship with student". West Hawaii Today. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  3. ^ "News Hub - Hawaii Preparatory Academy". www.hpa.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Big Island Now: McKendry to Become HPA's Head of School in 2015". Big Island Now | McKendry to Become HPA’s Head of School in 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  5. ^ "News Hub - Hawaii Preparatory Academy". www.hpa.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  6. ^ "HPA Traditions - Hawaii Preparatory Academy". www.hpa.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 

External links[edit]