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Governor David Ige Commemorates 'Appreciation Day for Hawaii Catholic Schools'

February 4, 2021


By Suzanne Carlos
Secretary, Diocesan Board of Education

On behalf of the State of Hawaii, Governor David Y. Ige issued a commemorative message, recognizing February 5, 2021 as 'Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools'.  Hawaii Catholic institutions are educating almost 9,000 students this school year, from preschool through college.  With a long tradition of producing strong citizens, good neighbors and leaders in our communities within our state and beyond, Hawaii Catholic Schools continue to thrive.  Governor Ige shared, "Aloha and mahalo to everyone who helped organize the many activities for this celebration.  You are taking us in the right direction for the right reasons to build a better life for present and future generations in Hawaii."  Governor Ige's signed commemorative message will be officially presented to Bishop Larry Silva by Hawaii Catholic Schools Associate Superintendent Betsey Gunderson on February 5th, following a Mass for Hawaii's Catholic school educators.

A total of 33 Catholic schools in Hawaii currently provide instruction to 6,726 preschool through grade 12 students statewide.  ALL Catholic schools in Hawaii are currently offering in-person/on-campus learning, with some also offering a virtual learning option.  A large majority of families have chosen the in-person/on-campus option for their children.  In Hawaii, 1 in 4 private school students receive a Catholic education.  Hawaii Catholic schools employ over 1,050 educators and administrators statewide. 

Chaminade University of Honolulu's current university-wide enrollment is 2,203 undergraduate and graduate students.  All full-time, day undergraduate students are currently attending classes in-person/on-campus, with the option to attend online.  Chaminade University offers 23 majors and 28 minors, all designed to provide their students with the technical and experiential expertise to succeed in a career.  Their small class sizes and 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensure that their students get the one-on-one attention they need to succeed and thrive.

Catholic schools statewide are celebrating their annual 'Catholic Schools Week' this week.  Schools observe the annual celebration with Masses, community service projects, fun activities and special initiatives.  This year's theme is 'Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.'  Holy Family Catholic Academy (HFCA) and Early Learning Center (ELC) partners with the American Heart Association every year for their Kids Heart Challenge--a fun and exciting event where students learn about whole body wellness while helping others by raising money for the American Heart Association.  This year HFCA & ELC raised $18,666 for the American Heart Association.  Over the years, HFCA & ELC have raised $224,332 to help kids facing heart-health issues.  In Kaimuki, students at St. Patrick School are celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a Spelling Bee, Field Day, an innovative Wellness Program, a snack fundraiser to benefit a religious mission in Fiji, Trivial Pursuit playoffs, and a do-it-yourself ice cream sundae kit for all their students.  In Waialua, St. Michael School is celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a Read-a-Thon where students are encouraged and challenged to meet reading goals while also raising money for their school.  Additionally, St. Michael School has teamed up with Mary, Star of the Sea School to create 'Bags of Blessings' for those in need.  Students at St. Anthony School in Wailuku, Maui are celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a canned food drive to support the Maui Food Bank, various themed dress-up days including Career Day, Red, White & Blue Day, and School Colors Day, a K-12 prayer service, and the Chaminade Challenge--a virtual bible trivia game among St. Anthony School and two other Marianist schools.

A hallmark of Hawaii Catholic Schools is their philosophy of developing the whole child, which includes emotional, physical, spiritual, social and cognitive development.  Catholic schools immerse their students in rigorous academics and structure as well as award-winning athletic and extracurricular programs, encouraging young minds to explore the world around them and pursue their passions.  To achieve a 21st century learning environment, Hawaii Catholic schools implement innovative strategies and teaching methods while leveraging state-of-the-art technology.

The Hawaii Catholic Schools office works to foster the Catholic identity, networking and collaboration, leadership development, academic excellence and operational vitality of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Honolulu.  All Hawaii Catholic Schools accept applications and enroll new students year-round, based on space availability.  For more information, visit www.CatholicSchoolsHawaii.org or call 808-203-6761.

See Governor Ige's letter for the Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools HERE.