Where are They Now? Alumni Edition

by Stephanie Kirkham, Communications on September 25, 2016

Maui Preparatory Academy is entering it’s twelfth year as a school and in the spring of 2017 will be celebrating the 8th graduating class. Being a small school, the faculty and staff can build relationships with students, and one of the most rewarding parts of being a teacher is hearing what they’ve accomplished and who they’ve become.

Maui Prep recently caught up with a few alumni:

Zach Ferguson, class of 2010

Zach Ferguson, class of 2011

Zach Ferguson, Maui Prep class of 2011, graduated from Bentley University in 2015. Zach received a B.S. in Marketing, LSM in Global Perspectives and minored in Management and Law. He is currently living in Boulder, Colorado working as the Business Development Coordinator for Victors & Spoils, an advertising agency. Zach says about his goals, “I have a longing desire to start up a business in the near future.”

Chelsea Shields, class of 2010

Chelsea Shields, class of 2010

Chelsea (Johnson) Shields was a member of the very first graduating class at Maui Prep in 2010. Chelsea joined the Air Force after graduating and obtained her Associates Degree in Business Transportation through the community college there. Currently, she is working on getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and hopes to eventually transfer into Criminal Investigations within the Department of Defense. Chelsea is stationed at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota working as a Traffic Management Technician. She has completed two tours in Afghanistan and will be headed out on a third this fall. During her time in the Air Force, Chelsea has received the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.

“I know I didn’t take the traditional road to college, but I wouldn’t change a thing! I love serving my country, and I love that I am still able to have education goals to strive towards,” says Chelsea.

Serena Motolewski, class of 2012

Serena Motolewski, class of 2012

Serena Motelewski, class of 2012, recently graduated from the University of Oregon where she majored in Public Relations at the School of Journalism and Communication. Serena is interning in Portland at Edelman a public relations firm.

Cali Minami, class of 2012

Cali Minami, class of 2012

Cali Minami, also a member of the class of 2012, graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Health Administrative Services from Weber State University in Utah. While attending school, Cali also completed an internship with Intermountain Healthcare, specifically the McKay-Dee Hospital Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Department. Cali plans to apply to the Masters of Healthcare Administration program at the University of Utah next spring. She recently moved to Park City, Utah to continue her journey in this industry.

Amanda Graham, class of 2012

Amanda Graham, class of 2012


Amanda Graham graduated from Maui Prep in 2012 and from the University of Miami in 2015. She majored in International Studies, with minors in Political Science and Spanish. Amanda’s goals are to work with the United Nations while attending graduate school at Columbia University. Amanda will be doing her Masters in the Human Rights program. “I’m still trying to figure out my thesis,” says Amanda, “I’m in the process of trying to merge my interests and developing my thesis from there.” Click to read a previous post about Amanda’s college journey.

These five are only a snapshot of Maui Prep alumni, and there are many more graduates that are or in the process of achieving their goals and dreams.


It was a Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Ole Time

by Stephanie Kirkham, Communications on September 18, 2016

Caroline ropin' a steer!

Caroline ropin’ a steer!

Boy howdy, Paniolo was a good time! From steer ropin’, to horse ridin’, there was something for every little paniolo in the crowd.

Pure fun and pure sugar

Pure fun and pure sugar

Parents, students and faculty members came together to put on another successful event. Other than a short burst of rain, the weather was perfect, and the food was delicious. “I was in a serious food-coma,” said one Paniolo attendee. Nalu Grindz, No Ka Oi Cinnamon Buns, 808 Grinz, Sweet Aloha Baking, Cool Pops, and Off Grid Grindz provided the delicious eats. There was also plenty of pure spun sugar available as well. “I had two sugar straws, two shave ices, and four cotton candies,” screamed one excited child.

7AM performed on the lower quad for the first time in 2016 as a new band. They performed old favorites such as “Life is a Highway” and “Take Me Home, Country Road,” as well as current songs like, “Torn” and “September.” They played well, played loudly and played until the cows came home (which was 9 p.m.).

It was a wonderful evening. A huge mahalo goes to Corie Bluh, Michele Pupunu and Lynne Twigg for putting in hours of work to make Maui Prep’s 10th Annual Paniolo Event such a success.

7AM band

A few of the band members

Thank you to Valerie Leon for the photos, they are breathtaking as always. Thank you to all the volunteers for coming out and supporting the school and of course, to all that came to enjoy the event. It is one of our most important fundraisers, and more importantly, it is an opportunity to bring the community up to the school and enjoy a fun evening together.


Mioh Wakasa – Boarding Edition

September 11, 2016

“I love Maui Prep because it is small and I feel like we are all a big family, and there are kind teachers with warm hearts,” says Maui Prep boarding student Mioh Wakasa. Mioh, a junior, is in her third year as a Maui Prep boarding student, and her excitement at being a part of [...]

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It’s Time to Get Back in the Saddle!

September 4, 2016

The school year is in full swing and September is upon us. This Saturday, September 10, from 4-9 p.m. is the 10th Annual Paniolo event. Paniolo is one of Maui Prep’s premier events and geared to draw the Maui community up to Maui Prep to experience a small piece of the school. Paniolo Day originally [...]

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Maui Preparatory Academy Honored with G. N. Wilcox Trust Tuition Aid Grant Three Years Running

August 30, 2016

Maui Preparatory Academy has been awarded a grant of $4,500 from the G. N. Wilcox Trust to support Maui Prep’s Tuition Aid program that provides opportunities for academic achievement and enrichment for motivated and often under-resourced West Maui students and their families. Maui Prep’s tuition aid program is committed to providing financial assistance to deserving [...]

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Maui Prep Announces 10th Anniversary Scholarship Recipient

August 27, 2016

Maui Preparatory Academy is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016-2017 10th Anniversary Scholarship – 10th grade student Heidi Zee Mahan. In celebration of Maui Prep’s 10th year, this full-tuition scholarship was awarded to a deserving high school student who was new to Maui Prep. Heidi and her family join the Maui Prep ‘Ohana [...]

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An Exciting Start to the School Year – Boarding Edition

August 18, 2016

Maui Preparatory Academy is putting itself on the world map. The school is already situated in a premier location and is entering its twelfth successful year as a day school. With the vision to continue expanding the school outside our Maui community the boarding program was introduced. Ms. Susie Jones, Director of Residential Life, has [...]

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Pursuing Excellence

June 20, 2016

“At the end of each semester a student achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the semester with no effort and behavior grades of N or U in any subject will be placed on the Honor Roll. Students with a GPA of 4.0 or higher for the semester with no effort or behavior grades of N or [...]

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The Graduating Class of 2016

June 4, 2016

The weather forecast was for rain, but on Friday evening, May 27, on one of the most memorable moments in their young lives, twelve members of the Maui Preparatory Academy class of 2016 graduated in our dry little pocket of paradise. Maui Prep’s 7AM Band and Tessa Chin (class of 2023) welcomed friends and family [...]

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Accolades and Accomplishments

May 22, 2016

It is hard to believe another year is almost done. The 2015-2016 was a special year in so many ways and in particular celebrating our 10th anniversary. As we watched our children and students step-up to the next grade this past Friday, we were reminded of the reason we have worked so hard. Some highlights [...]

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Cherished Memories May Day 2016

May 8, 2016

It was a spectacular 10th Anniversary May Day celebration. The event, usually held during the school day, was held Friday evening, May 6, on a flower-bedecked campus overflowing with ‘Ohana. Maui Prep’s 7AM Band and Na Pua o Kapiolani Hula Studio performed during the pupu reception.   Students in Preschool through 8th grade each performed [...]

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Pueo Athletes Head to States

May 1, 2016

Pueo athletes performed with excellence across the board with top competitors in all four of the spring sports: tennis, golf, surfing and track & field. Junior Sophia Johnston won the MIL title in girls’ shortboard and took second in bodyboard at the Maui Interscholastic League Surf Championships on Saturday, April 23 at Ho’okipa. Sophomore Dante Silva also took [...]

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