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Lower School Spelling Bee Winner

Our Spelling Bee Winner

Our 2015-16 Lower School Spelling Bee winner is Milana Camilon.  She is a 6th grader who has attended our school since Kindergarten.   She is a straight “A” student whose favorite subjects are Literature and Math, and she also enjoys playing the piano, swimming, and dancing hula.  When asked why she loves Hanalani, she stated, “because the teachers and students are nice, and I can learn more about God.”  While winning the school spelling bee was one of her goals, later in life she would like to pursue becoming a doctor, but the thought of acting isn’t too far behind.  In February, Milana will go on to compete in the District Spelling Bee. 

spelling bee

The winning word was “octopus”

We are so proud of Milana for all her hard work and committment to accomplishing her goals and dreams!

Athletes of the Year

2015 Athletes of the Year

Each year, the Athletic Department at Hanalani Schools honors several varsity athletes who display excellence in athletics, academics, and Christian character. These Athletes of the Year are recognized by their coaches as top performers, by their teachers as excellent students, and by their teammates as leaders.

Madison Tsuruda, Pac-5 Athlete of the Year
Pac-5 athletes face unique challenges that athletes that participate on Hanalani's own sports teams don't normally encounter. In addition to balancing practices and games with academic responsibilities, Pac-5 athletes have the added challenges of highly competitive tryouts, greater distances to travel for practice, and more scheduled events on weekends. Senior Madison Tsuruda tackled all of these aspects and more as a forward for Pac-5's Girls' Varsity Soccer team. While Madi only played with Pac-5 for one year, she's played organized soccer since the age of nine in different community leagues. Madi was able to earn a starting forward position on the Pac-5 team just three games into the winter season. "She was relentless on the field," Coach Les Gusman said, "and provided bursts of energy and enthusiasm, encouraging teammates by example." Madi's ability to play excellent defense garnered her a starting position, but her ability to also play excellent offense solidified her as a key player that her coaches and team could rely on. Assistant Coach Britta Bourne said, "We always counted on Madi being around the goal to finish in the net." Head Coach Les Gusman recalled a "signature goal" that the Hanalani senior scored during the second half of their game against Mid-Pacific Institute, remembering this as the moment that gave him incredible confidence in her abilities, especially as Pac-5 entered state tournament competition. Madi sustained injuries at the end of the season that kept her away from practices and games for a couple of weeks. She worked diligently with the Pac-5 trainer, however, and was able to return to play in time for most of the HHSAA state tournament where Pac-5 placed third overall. Madi was voted Most Inspirational Player by her team and coaches after the soccer season. She was also listed as an ILH All-Star Honorable Mention for the 2014-2015 winter season.

Monica Chu, Scholar Athlete of the Year
Balancing sports with academics and other extra-curricular activities can be difficult. Performing well across all arenas requires constant adjustment as well as excellent time management. Of the nearly 200 Upper School athletes that participated in sports during the 2014-2015 sports season, over half of these athletes maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or higher. Junior Monica Chu topped the charts of scholar athletes with a GPA of 4.46. Monica has been a swimmer at Hanalani Schools for two years. She participated in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events this past season. Swimming at Hanalani is a highly individual sport, and like all Hanalani swimmers must do, Monica carved out her own practice times in order to prepare for her swim meets. Hanalani's swim coach Rachel Conner admires her commitment, saying that Monica "embodies 'student-athlete' by having really high grades, yet still taking the time to practice." In addition to the swim team, Monica is also a member of the National Honor Society. Monica was also recognized with a Coaches' Award at the 2015 Athletic Banquet.

Ryllen Abeshima, Male Athlete of the Year
The 2014-2015 sports season was also the inaugural year of the Hanalani baseball program. The varsity team dove head first into the ILH season as one of five schools competing in Division II. Most of the athletes that fielded Hanalani's first varsity baseball team, however, were veteran players, including senior Ryllen Abeshima. Ryllen has played baseball at the varsity level for four years. Prior to Hanalani starting its own team, Ryllen was a captain on the Pac-5 Varsity Baseball team and their starting catcher. The transition to Hanalani's new program from Pac-5's well-established team during his senior year was difficult in the beginning. "At first I was skeptical," Ryllen admitted in an interview with Hawaii Prep World. "It was a really hard transition, but I accepted it." The skepticism he mentioned, however, never affected Ryllen's on-field performance or his attitude. "What is most telling about his character to me," said Head Coach Brian Tsutsui, "is how Ryllen dealt with new circumstances this season. Ryllen had to adjust to new coaches, teammates, and philosophies during his senior year. . . . He did not pout. He did not display negativity. He has been a consummate professional and unselfish teammate." Coach Brian Tsutsui commended Ryllen for his positivity, crediting him as a major source of the team's good spirit. Coach Tstusui described Ryllen as a "natural-born leader" and a key to the success that the varsity team achieved during their first year. Ryllen also participated on the Varsity Bowling team for which he received one of two Coaches' Awards at the 2015 Athletic Banquet. He was also named as a First Team ILH All-Star for Division II Baseball.

Ruby Massey, Female Athlete of the Year
The Hanalani Athletics program has grown significantly over the past several years. Almost 200 athletes from Hanalani Schools competed in interscholastic sports during the 2014-2015 season. More than a third of these athletes competed on more than one sports team. Such growth often demands improvement in both performance and organization, so it's not surprising that this past season included several firsts for Hanalani Athletics. Sophomore Ruby Massey was a part of two of these history-making moments. Ruby has run for Hanalani's cross country team for four years. She started off the fall season running at the JV level and rapidly improved as the season progressed. Ruby consistently finished as one of the top ten racers in the JV meets and improved her official race times by nearly three minutes. Sensing an opportunity, her coaches moved her up to the Varsity level for her final race, where she became Hanlani's first female runner to qualify for the HHSAA statewide meet. Immediately after finishing the cross country season, Ruby jumped into the winter season, participating through Pac-5 as the first female wrestler from Hanalani Schools. She trained for months at the varsity level with Pac-5 and made it to competition before a major dislocation injury took her out for the season. Not to be deterred by setbacks, Ruby still returned post-injury to participate as part of the track & field team during the spring. Coach Jeremy Honold recalled her persistence several times during the 2015 Athletic Banquet and emphasized that, through her consistent effort, Ruby overcame each obstacle she faced throughout the season time and time again. "She rose to the occasion," Coach Jeremy said, "and ended up making history for Hanalani as the first state qualifier for cross country." Ruby Massey was also recognized with the History Maker Award at the 2015 Athletic Banquet for qualifying for the HHSAA state cross-country meet.

Nate Wasson - A Strongman.

An intelligent leader in an unassuming package is a great way to characterize Nate Wasson.  

Nate has established himself on our campus as a leader in many different roles.  He is indispensable in our Fine Arts program by playing bass with the String Orchestra. He is also the President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and is in charge of completely running the society and taking care of every aspect of keeping the Tri-M society afloat and alive.  Nate is in charge of bringing in new members along with scheduling and organizing the outreach performances that Tri-M does in the community.

As a student leader and Student Body Officer Nate exemplifies Christian character. He has courageously delivered Chapel messages to our entire student body. Nate also models Servant Leadership in his daily life. He is always one of the first ones to arrive at an event and lend a hand and one of the last ones to leave, ensuring that everything is taken care of.  

Hanalani Christian School Fine Arts Music StudentNate started a non-profit organization with a childhood friend that weekly feeds and provides essential items to the homeless in the economically disadvantaged Wahiawa community.  His efforts have an extremely positive impact on those that he is serving, yet he chooses to internalize his commitment to the service of others without the need for external accolades or acknowledgement.

Nate’s hard-work also extends into the classroom.  Tackling 4 Advanced Placement courses in his Senior year being Study Body Vice  President, Nate takes it all in stride.

Nate Wasson is the epitome of the Hanalani Royal.  A Strongman. A well rounded student in the classroom and in the community, and that’s why he has earned this spot in the Student Spotlight. 

Play SMART Hawaii Champs!

Game Show Champions!
Championship Elementary Students Hawaii

Hanalani's 5th Grade team win Play SMART Hawaii TV Game Show's 7th Season and have earned their way into the Student Spotlight!

Coached by Teacher Miss Kim Myrmel, the 5th Grade Team bested 15 other Oahu Schools to come away with the title and a brand new SMART Board for their classroom.

Each match of Play SMART Hawaii consists of two teams of 5th grade students using SMART Board technology. The students are challenged in a variety of ways. Students use collaboration and critical thinking skills as well as correct spelling and legible writing to provide correct answers. Answers are often written, drawn, matched, or dragged and dropped in proper order. A maximum of two players can be at the board at any time, but the whole team may contribute to the answers.

Miss Myrmel said of the experience: "Collaboration and strategy were the two biggest takeaways for the team. It took practice and experience to find each other's strengths; but over time, they started to work like a well-oiled machine. Students enjoyed the experience so much that they were willing to give up some recess time to practice."


Tristan - Golfer Extraordinaire


Tristan the Natural

Hawaii Christian School students

Tristan is a 2nd Grade student here at Hanalani Schools and is a natural when it comes to golf.  His parents first discovered his natural talent when he received toy golf clubs
at the age of two!  Tiger Woods videos inspired Tristan who said "I would like to be like Tiger one day!".

Hanalani Student Spotlight  

 Professional golf instructors balked at his age and refused to give him lessons because he was "too young". Enter dad  Christopher Bayot who began  coaching him on courses and driving ranges close to their home. Three times per week  he worked with Tristan, but his studies always came first.  Christopher said "Our motto has always been study first, then
we'll take you golfing."  This recipe has proven successful for Tristan both on the golf course and in the classroom.

At the age of 4, Tristan took 1st Place in the under 6 year old division for juniors. He was the youngest entry. Tristan continues to excel in golf, playing in various 
organizations such as US KIDS Golf and the Honolulu Junior Golf Association.  He has a host of tournament wins in both organizations and has competed here in Hawaii
and even the mainland U.S.  Regardless of where he competes, you can always count on Tristan to be competitive.

So keep an eye on Tristan. You can find YouTube videos showcasing his talent from the age of 3, just search for "Tristan The Natural". He can be found at local golf courses where he often draws a crowd of spectators taking pictures and asking his age. His goal is to someday be the world champion.  He is certainly destined to do great things both on and off the golf course, which is why he was selected for Hanalani's Student Spotlight.     Hanalani golfer

Hanalani Schools

94-294 Anania Drive
Mililani, HI 96789 USA
Phone: (808) 625-0737
Admissions Hours: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm