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Lahainaluna High School facts for kids

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Lahainaluna High School
980 Lahainaluna Road
Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761
United States
Type Public, Co-educational
Motto "O Ke'ia Ka Kukui Pio Ole I Ka Makani O Kauaula"
Established 1831
School district Maui District
Principal Ms. Joanne Dennis
Faculty 61 (approx.)
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,063 (approx.)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Red and White          
Athletics Maui Interscholastic League
Mascot Lunas
Rival Baldwin High School
Accreditation(s) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Yearbook Ka Lama
Military United States Army JROTC

Lahainaluna High School is a grade 9–12 public 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 in the American style.

A number of the pioneers are buried in a small grave yard. It was the first formal European-American style school founded in Hawaii and has continued to operate.

History and traditions

American William Richards founded the missionary station in Lahaina in 1823. In June 1831 Lorrin Andrews was chosen as first principal of a seminary for boys and young men. The site was named Lahainaluna for "upper Lahaina". On September 5, 1831 classes began in thatched huts with 25 Hawaiian young men as students, including former royal historian David Malo. The second principal was William Patterson Alexander 1843–1856. The school eventually became part of the public school system in Hawaii. The post-secondary program later became developed as 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 very 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. That day a feast is served and the Hawaiiana Club puts on a performance.

Hale Paʻi

Hale Paʻi
Hale Paʻi
Location Lahainaluna High School, Lahainaluna, Hawaii
Built 1834
NRHP reference No. 76000662
Added to NRHP May 13, 1976
Ka Lama Hawaii
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 Bibles, 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. A student was expelled in 1844 for counterfeiting, which resulted in the government re-issuing all the paper money with secret marks.

Hawaii Dollar, 1844
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. Hale Pa'i, also known as Hawaii Site No. 50-03-1596, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.


Lahainaluna High School is located on the side of an extinct volcano. The multiple classroom buildings are widespread. The grounds are covered with many benches, pathways, grass, plants and trees, the latter providing shade. The ceramic sculpture Orbit by Toshiko Takaezu is located here. A small stream runs near the school, past the Agriculture area. 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 considered one of the best views from any school in the islands.

Notable alumni

  • Timothy Haʻalilio, Class of 1835 – Native Hawaiian politician
  • William Kahaiali'i, Class of 1979 – Hawaiian music artist
  • Samuel Kamakau, Class of 1837 – Native Hawaiian historian and scholar
  • Jonah Kapena, Class of 1835 – Native Hawaiian politician
  • Boaz Mahune, Class of 1835 – Native Hawaiian politician
  • David Malo, Class of 1835 – Native Hawaiian scholar, adviser to the Hawaiian royal family
  • Kathy Nakagawa, Class of 1988 – Radio personality
  • Jonatana Napela, Native Hawaiian attorney, judge and LDS convert, helped translate the Book of Mormon into the Hawaiian language
  • Clay Marzo, Class of 2007 – Professional surfer
  • James Jae Lee, Class of 1985 – Activist
  • Michael McCartney, Class of 1980 – Filmmaker, musician and radio personality
  • Keali'i Reichel, Class of 1980 – Hawaiian music artist
  • Russell Yamanoha, Class of 1984 – Television sports director and news anchor


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.
  • Hawaiiana Club - A club that teaches students hula routines that are then showcased during the annual celebration of David Malo Day.
  • 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.
  • Robotics Club – An after school club that participates in FIRST Robotics and VEX Robotics competitions. Students also mentor students at Princess Nahienaena elementary school

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

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