By Rosana Weldon, PFA Academy Chair
About 1,600 Academy students wound their way through Hemmeter Fieldhouse on the days leading up to the first day of school. Faculty checked students in and processed student IDs while professional photographers took stunning yearbook photos. PFA parent volunteers supported Punahou’s faculty and administration in grades 9 – 12 by helping students transition back to school, assigning locks and handing out planners. It was a busy couple of days filled with excitement for the upcoming school year.
We spoke with a few faculty members, parents and students to learn more about what they did this summer and their hopes for this year. On site were the Class of 2026 Deans, Jonah Ka‘akua ’97 and Wendi Kamiya. Dean Kamiya was formerly the department chair for the Cooke Library Learning Commons and although this is her first year as dean, she and Dean Ka‘akua both expressed how they are eager to meet all of the incoming ninth graders and their families.
Ward Hustace, parent of Hunter ’23 and one of the PFA volunteer helpers, expressed his appreciation for the genuine warmth of the Punahou community and how they have nurtured the students to not only experience academic success, but to become well-rounded and polite individuals. He hopes that his son has a great time with all of his friends for his final year at Punahou.
Student Dawn ’24 feels that this school year is, “a good opportunity to meet new people, have fun and focus on schooling.” She also hopes to try some new things this school year, maybe even the soccer team!
Senior Riley ’23 spent her summer traveling to visit family on the mainland while also completing her college application essays. Riley, who experienced her 13th first day at Punahou (a lifer!), was looking forward to all the senior year privileges including the senior pass, skip day and prom.
It’s clear that all of the students are most excited about seeing their friends at school again. Academy Back to School Days are just the beginning of another fun-filled year at Punahou!