NHIS Receives Best Accreditation Results in Decade


WASC Visiting team members prepare for their presentation to NHIS faculty and staff in April.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges informed Nanakuli High and Intermediate School that they received a six-year status with a three-year review on their Accreditation.

The results were welcomed news for NHIS as past WASC Accreditation visits were not as positive.

In 2010 NHIS received a two-year limited status; in 2012, NHIS received a one-year status; and in 2013 NHIS received a three-year status.

Principal, Darin Pilialoha, said, “I’m very happy about the results, especially for the work that everybody did.”  

Sandy Suzuki, PE teacher, said, “I’m very happy and I’m surprised that we got such a great result, but it’s very exciting.”

Gerald Lum, Photography teacher, said, “A six year with a third-year review, is not too bad, it could have been worse. It’s a half glass, half full kind of thing. Depending on how you want to look at it, we could have been better, but we could have been way worse.”

Many feel that the results of the WASC were achieved through working together as a team.

“I think it’s a team effort, it was through the hard work of the people was contributing to the results that we got. Focusing on the students, wanting the best, doing their best, and just recognizing everybody. I think WASC recognized everyone’s passion and heart for Nanakuli helped us get the results that we did,” said Ramie Pagaduan, College Career Counselor.

David Kaniaupio, Social Studies teacher, said, “I think the students showed up and impressed them, I don’t really know. But when we saw the students tell the WASC team what’s going on in the school that showed that the teachers cared, and the students want to do better.”

Pilialoha, said, “I think this time there are quite a few teachers on board to help us to become a better school.”

Despite the positive news, some feel that the good representation of NHIS will not last very long.

“I think we put on a good show, I honestly think so. As for WASC, I’m happy, but in the end are our problems at the school going to be fixed?,” said one teacher who wished to remain anonymous.

Robin Kitsu, WASC FOL Coordinator, realized that some might feel that the WASC visit may not be a true reflection of the school, but he feels otherwise.

“I feel that the WASC did see an accurate representation of the school that was based on the report that was submitted. The visitation was to validate what was in the report including data and evidence provided by the faculty, staff, students, and community. The Visiting Team saw that what was in the report was true including what was working and the areas we need to improve on.”

Although NHIS received one of the best results in over a decade, the work does not end.

“Well the work continues, it’s not one of those we put on the side until they come back again. So in three years, they are going to send two people to see where we at. They left some recommendations for us to work on, and they’re just going to see if we are continuing on with the process of improving,” said Pilialoha.

But the recognition is not only for NHIS but the whole Nanakuli Complex as both Nanakuli Elementary and Nanaikapono Elementary received positive status. In fact, the Nanakuli Complex is the first complex in the state to be a WASC accredited complex in Hawaii.