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Konawaena's 2017 Welcome Back Assembly

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The 2017 Konawaena welcome back assembly took place on Tuesday the 15th of August at the Ellison Onizuka gymnasium. This year the assembly was put together by KSG and first timer, Ms.Serina. The assembly is put together in order to welcome back the students of Konawaena to the new school year and rekindle the school spirit and wildcat pride. Ronald Crivello-Kahihikolo and Trinity Klawansky were this years hosts and they initiated the assembly with a warm and enthusiastic welcome to all the students. All students then stood and showed respect to sing the National Anthem. First Josiah Vallez sang the National Anthem, followed by Malea Tolentino singing Hawaii Ponoi. This was Josiah Vallez’s first time singing the National Anthem for Konawaena high school. Vallez singing was a last minute decision as this year the designated singer for the National Anthem decided to not perform. KSG was aware of Vallez’s talent had seen him perform at the Konawaena talent show last year and came to the conclusion he was the perfect choice. As KSG proceeded to seek out Vallez he stated “At first I was nervous, but when people began to cheer me on it gave me strength and I wanted to do this for our school and for my class.” Vallez has been singing for as long as he remembers and was very excited to be able to sing the National Anthem for Konawaena. Unlike the years before, the Principal Mr.Suzuki was not able to make it and share his annual speech, but he passed the torch to Konawaenas Vice Principal, Ms.Spencer. Ms.Spencer admitted to being a bit uncomfortable as she isn’t fond of public speaking. Spencer’s main point was the importance of practice, she initiated by quoting Suzukis well known statement “it’s you vs. you”. This led to the expanding on how “you are the only thing in your way”. She spoke about how crucial it is to practice helping our community, school and each other. Spencer stated “practice to be better”, she explained that the only person you should be better than is your past self. Then, Spencer proceeded to challenge the students to get really good at something this year with practice. Spencer concluded with a loud “Go wildcats!”.

“Dial it up.” One of the few things that our athletic director, Kellye Krug, says as she’s giving her speech at the Welcome Back assembly. Krug starts off by saying that not only is she excited for the school year, but she also feels like they’re doing to do amazing things. Being the athletic director, or AD for short, it doesn’t come as a surprise as she takes our sports program very seriously as well as being a huge supporter. “My expectations for sports and everybody else is that we’re going to dial it up and when people come to our campus, they should already know that they’re in trouble.” This followed up with a bunch of “chee-hoo’s” amongst the crowd as you can tell that they’re starting to getting pumped. Krug then proceeded to call upon the fall sports and had asked them to stand up. Telling everybody to look around, she declaimed that these people would be our first set of leaders and will set wonderful examples for us. Miss Krug then said “have a great day Wildcats” to close up her speech.

Our KSG officers introduced themselves in a very entertaining way. It starts off with music playing in the background and you can see people coming to the center. They then started to dance to the music but you can barely hear it because there was so much cheering echoing throughout the whole gym. After their performance was over, we were being introduced to the KSG officers one by one. Our KSG president is Tori Oshiro. Our vice presidents are Sydney Suzuki, Wailana Medeiros, Austin Ewing, and Ruby Jordan. Our secretaries are Ronald Kahihikolo and Dana Sugai. Our historians are Ryan Ogi and Payton Walters. Our treasurer is Jalen Gambee and Melina Ramirez is our clerk. Lastly, our HSSC (Hawaii State Student County) representative is Sydney Suzuki.

Sydney then stepped up and spoke into the microphone as she was beginning to start an energizer. She proceeded to do a “Penguin” dance and had everybody following along. I couldn’t personally bring my inner penguin out but it was a nice energizer to get us going.

“I want to make the best out of this school year and just have a positive attitude” Tori Oshiro quotes. As for being president, Tori states that she wants to do her best and make everybody feel included with also planning the best events. Speaking of events, she liked how they provided new games for the Welcome Back assembly as well as getting teachers and students involved. She also thought that if things hadn’t gotten out of hand at the end, it would’ve gone a lot better but overall she thought that the assembly went well.

Several Konawaena High School teachers and students participated in the lip sync battle and a energetic and highly entertaining relay race during the Welcome Back Assembly. The lip sync battle was judged by Ms. Krug the Atheletic Director, Ms. Kumu Kaehuaea, and Vice Principal Mrs. Spencer. During that said lip sync battle Mr. Curran led the judges to their winning decision with his performance of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. With a solid 30 points Mr. Curran stole the show. Closely behind Mr. Curran was a new teacher being welcomed to the school, Mr. Barbaccia. Being new to the school Mr. Barbaccia is already learning a lot. “It is definitely an eye-opening experience,” said Mr. Barbaccia. “I am looking forward to the rest of the year.” In acknowledging the reason for Mr. Barbaccia’s classic rock performance he said “To honor those before me.”

The premise of the relay race was for the participants to complete the seven station relay race:  Spin around with their head on a yard stick, limbo under that said yard stick, eat a doughnut off of a ‘fishing pole.’ Flip a water bottle two times in a row. Discover a piece of gum in a plate of whip cream and blow a bubble. Wear a hat with a teabag attached and flip it on top. Lastly, the participants had to place an Oreo on their forehead and use their face reflexes to eat the cookie without dropping it and without using their hands.

Sticking to it’s usual tradition, Konawaena students dove right into the spirit competition with promises of bragging rights and the spirit stick. Students first participated in a competition to see who could perform the Konawaena clap the best with Mr. Daugherty judging. The battle came down to a loudness versus precision match with the sophomores against the senior class. According to Mr. Daugherty, the scrubby sophomores took home a victory in the clap competition. When it came to the official spirit match, chaos broke loose. Students from all classes came down from the bleachers prepared to duke it out for the ultimate bragging rights and ‘top dog’ persona. The juniors had first went against the freshman, then against the sophomores. When it was evident that neither side was going to back down due to wanting to be louder, the competition was stopped altogether and the senior class was given the spirit stick; even though they had not participated in the cheer rivalry. When asked how she felt about the spirit competition and who she thought won, freshman Shiloh Nye said “It was definitely loud and overwhelming. I enjoyed it, had fun, and knew the seniors would win. They were the loudest and had the most spirit.” Konawaena’s alma mater was not sung at the conclusion of the assembly, nor did the mascot make an appearance, but the assembly was finalized with the spirit of the Wildcats being clearly displayed with the pride of their school.


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