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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pessah

13 Years a Senior

13 years don't feel that long, especially if you’ve spent them at Parker! It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on a circle rug, alongside Jenna, Mele, and Jayden, in Kumu Jackie’s kindergarten classroom. The day I stepped foot at Parker School, I knew that I was going to spend the rest of my elementary, middle, and high school experience in the heart of Waimea. With graduation approaching and the memories circling my mind as I walk across campus, I want to take the time to reflect on the best moments I’ve experienced at Parker School.

Lower School Recap:

Till this day, I keep in touch with lower school teachers Kumu Jackie (Kindergarten), Ms. Christian (1st grade), and Mrs. Weiser (5th grade). The lower school possesses such a welcoming, compassionate, and supportive environment.

Attending Dolphin Quest is still my favorite memory from Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade! Watching and petting the dolphins alongside my amazing classmates brought me so much joy. In third grade, I completed three key projects for Earth day, where we created a model of the earth and its 3 layers, to celebrate Native Americans, where we researched a Native American Tribe and built a traditional Native village; and a 3-D project, where I created a robot! In fourth grade, we made solar cars and raced them. My partners for this activity were Jenna and Aislyn, members of the senior class! And finally, in fifth grade, our trip to Volcano’s National Park was the best experience ever because we got to spend the night at the Kilauea Military Camp and go hiking by the craters!

Middle School Recap:

To be honest, middle school was my favorite time at Parker School. 6th grade was the year that my peers and I were first introduced to Buff, one of the best teachers till this day, EVER! Transitioning from classroom to classroom, as well as having my own locker which I could decorate, was really exciting for me. My best memories include campout, bonding games, and dancing the night away! I will never forget the time in 8th grade, where we hiked at Kalopa forest during campout and we got lost in the forest for 2-3 hours… hahaha good times. I also enjoyed play production--a class taught by Mrs. Lilley--where we performed the play “The Little Mermaid” and I played a seagull.

Finally, high school! Freshman year, I joined the debate team, where I learned to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new things. My teammates and I got to travel to Honolulu, Utah, and Washington to compete at tournaments! The late nights spent prepping evidence and laughing too loudly in our hotel rooms will never be forgotten!

As I mentioned earlier, middle school campouts were fun, but high school campouts were even better! I remember spending campouts at Waiki’i Ranch, Anna’s Ranch, and in Kohala getting no sleep because my friends and I were having such a great time. It was second semester junior year where the Covid-19 Pandemic affected the school year. Doing online schooling was a challenge, however, I am so grateful to be back in person now as a senior. Even though, because of the pandemic, campout and other senior traditions couldn’t occur, I’m beyond grateful that I still get to see my friends and teachers everyday!

Throughout 9-12 grade, I learned new things about myself that my younger self would never have expected. Even as a freshman, I could never stop thinking about graduation and my future plans, and I can’t believe that the time has finally come! I thank Parker School, my teachers, friends, the faculty, and staff for the endless support and encouragement that I received. I’m going to miss this place!!

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