I knew almost immediately that I had found what I wanted to do with my life as a junior, in what was at the time one of two high school glass programs in the country
Punahou glass literally set me on my career path. It taught me so much about the importance of patience, attentive observation, introspection and the importance of community
My teachers, Hugh Jenkins (glass) and Carole Iacovelli (ceramics), were pivotal in the foundation of my art career at Punahou School
I took my first glassblowing class when I was a junior at Punahou in 1991 and that opened a door to a medium I had never worked with before; and one I wanted to explore the rest of my life
This past year, I embarked on a 12-day trip to Estelí, Nicaragua, as part of an Operation Smile medical mission team. Surrounded by medical volunteers from over 15 countries, I experienced a unique community comprised of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures. As one of two students within the mainly adult medical team, I was initially intimidated.
Sharon Twigg-Smith is one of Punahou’s valued advisors and most dedicated supporters, which is striking when considering that she was introduced to the School not as a student but through the experiences of her family. “I was not aware of Punahou before we moved here and when my son began attending, I was stunned by his experiences here.
Just a few weeks into her newly appointed position as executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, Ulalia Woodside is busy figuring out where the office supplies are stored and claiming victory when the security code for the front door of the Conservancy’s downtown Honolulu headquarters works.
Big sister Kapua looks Hi‘ilei straight in the eyes and tells her, “You eat too much meat.” With a here-we-go-again look Hi‘ilei responds, “But I love my imported prosciutto.” In unison, they burst into laughter, which makes it obvious that this kind of playful banter is constant between these sisters.

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