Class of 2022: An Upbeat Tribute 


If so much can happen within a minute, or even less, then what kind of fantastic chaos can the class of 2022, of Nanakuli High, ensue in just five years

Structured in a student-created tribute music video are collected videos and pictures from seniors, as well as Ms. Char Watson’s senior album, displaying as gathered memories throughout the years or school year. 

Those being picture taking, random performances, random fun, prom, homecoming, a volleyball tournament, etc., while Faster Car by Loving Caliber plays as the tribute song. 

Interviews were conducted with various school levels of high school students and teachers, for their final thoughts on top of this year’s graduating seniors, initially starting humorously before the collected clips are to display. 

How well did you connect with this class or these seniors? 

“I say I connected very well with the seniors this year,” states Alichia Davis, a junior of NHIS, with the high school’s history teacher, Coach Jeff, agreeing. 

“You guys are one of my favorite classes; it’s so sad to see you graduate!” Mrs. Gronley, the Environmental Science teacher also adds in quite profoundly! Ms. Watson, the class advisor for the graduating class, had also shared a meaningful connection, “It’s been fun, it’s been very…there’s some challenges, but-!” 

In the music video, her statement is to be cut with a senior volleyball clip of cheering. 

Meaning—as well as the statement itself—to imply the toughness of the class of 2022, clarifying their way of getting through these “challenges,” be it personal or educational issues, which are also to be elaborated later on. 

Mr. Chavez, a homeroom teacher, pours in his own thoughts by reflecting the summarized behaviors of the seniors, despite having to miss out on most of the school year due to personal reasons. 

“Well I think it’s good, you know, changes happen and graduation is one of those life changes that everyone has to experience!” he added, while also promoting his advisory students for always coming to class, followed by laughter and more eventful videos. 

As more interviewees are introduced, seniors are then asked about their views of the upcoming graduation day. 

How do you feel about graduating soon? 

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking, not gonna lie,” Kekui Kea feels. 

“Something that I can’t wait to do ‘cause I have a hard time in school as it is,” shares U’ilani Davis-Paishon. 

Class president, Melelene Matautia, also gives her insight with an almost-emotional response, stating her realization that the time to say goodbye is very close in around a couple weeks’ time of shooting the film. 

“When I was younger, I used to always want to just, like, I couldn’t wait for this day, but I think when…as the days get closer, and as, like, probably two more weeks (I guess) ‘til graduation, it’s like very sad and I just know I’m gonna miss everybody,” Matautia says. 

Another senior, Punahele Roman-Baker, adds in a hilarious comment to his similar thoughts, “Even though how much times I said I wanted fo’ leave school, I no like leave now!” 

What made this class more unique compared to other graduates? 

Being an interesting question, other levels had given their own interesting answers. 

“I think…by having students for two years, you are able to develop stronger relationships as a teacher,” Coach Jeff elaborates. 

And in between STAFF interviews are Davis’ own funny insights, “I am devastated, how dare you guys graduate.” 

“Instead of being a class, you’re all such individual people, and there’s such a variety of personalities,” Mrs. Gronley shares, with a memorable video clip of dancing clarifying her statement, followed by a compliment from the interviewed junior. 

As class advisor, Ms. Watson adds in her experience working with the graduating class. 

“I say, ‘Okay, we need help with this,’ and…the participation is just amazing!” she says. 

But not all good times last, at least for the other side. 

How hard was it to balance school and personal lives? 

“It was very hard to balance it out, especially when I wanted to, like, have fun,” shares the class president, with the seeming sense that there is no disagreement to it. 

Aside from the laughter, Kea still advises younger audiences desperately, “Don’t get a job in high school!” 

“It’s sometimes hard for me, and sometimes students, to do the work because we’re so distracted,” says Davis-Paishon, adding in a slightly different, yet similar, angle. 

Although these responses were profound, one answered with an entirely different perspective, possibly out of confusion initially. 

According to a smirking and laughing Roman-Baker, “Oh, it was so simple!” 

How the senior saw it, it was, “Because my house is right down the road!” 

But despite the humorous aura during the interview, Roman-Baker still clarifies his response normally, “It wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t that difficult.” 

He states, “You just had to do your work,” bringing light to the given troubling prompt. 

What trait allowed them (seniors) to rise back up? 

Supporting the last interviewed senior, Mrs. Gronley gives true thought that the seniors are indeed, “resilient.” 

Ms. Watson and Coach Jeff share the same and similar words, as Davis and the science teacher adds “stubborn” to the list. 

Mr. Chavez also provides a slightly more expansive answer, describing the seniors as having the “strive to be better,” while also “having that ‘west-side pride’.” 

Generally, what good came out of your time, or ℅ 2022, here at NHIS? What’s something unique you found in high school? 

Seniors were asked their final questions as they gave singular or simple, but meaningful responses. 

“So much laughter,” Roman-Baker returns. 

Matautia then cuts in with, “friendship,” while Kea, “adventure.” 

Davis-Paishon expands and laughs with, “I get tough skin out of it,” still flowing through the question of balancing lives. 

Now nearing the end of the tribute video, around a few (four) more seniors are gathered for their insights on the last question. 

“The environment,” shares Janet Sua’ava. 

Sammy Kea adds in his friends and teachers, stating that “they actually care.” 

Following the same thoughts is Maximus Adina, who says that “some teachers will actually…care!” 

And ROTC senior, Alic’cia Yiu Lin, includes her “growing close attachment” to “volleyball.” 

As a final response for the video, producer and senior, Minna Budomo, states her unique finding in high school as “gratitude,” as the tribute music video finally closes with external links, a congrats message, and the official class picture of 2022. 

Although some questions, responses, and interviewees (underclassmen Kamoe Cavaco-Johnasen Jr., Jayzel Mendoza, and Sunny Jr. Ramos) didn’t make the cut, all messages remain quite the same for everyone. 

Congratulations to the class of 2022, and may your successes soar high!