top of page

MCS students are well-prepared for middle school. They have learned independence and self-direction, and they are oftentimes the best evaluators of their own future school choices.  Many of our graduates receive acceptances to the first schools of their choice.







Maya Lea Portner, 
excerpt from


Cities of wonder
By David A.M. Goldberg / Special to the Star-Advertiser
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2015


Maya Lea Portner offers stencil-and-cutout and wire mapped versions of the stretch of Oahu that runs from Kewalo Basin to the mountains above Makiki Heights, in “Urbanophilia/Urbanophobia|Love and Fear of the City,” on exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art through Sept. 13. (2015). Portner (who is local) has mapped Honolulu from her personal memories and reflections, but these works’ roots in mechanically produced images create skeletons of familiarity that invite viewers to provide their own details. Honored with the Catharine E.B. Cox Award, Portner’s triptych-installation of Honolulu “portraits” marries the privilege of aerial and offshore vantage points with the intimacy of her hand-worked interpretation. The results are simultaneously familiar and alien, and overwhelming in their own right.


Rechung Fujihira, MCS Alum
excerpt from

BoxJelly is the place to be for technological innovation

By Mike Meyer 

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 07, 2013


We started paying attention to BoxJelly, the 307-A Kamani St.-based co-working spot in Kakaako, back in 2011. At the time, Cha­mi­nade grads and co-founders Tony Stanford and Rechung Fuji­hira (both products of Cha­mi­nade’s Hogan Entrepreneurs Program) took a real chance that the demand would be there for these services. They understood that entrepreneurs needed more than “executive centers” where solitary individuals rent sterile cubicles, and Internet cafes, where bandwidth is available but the noisy environment is hardly conducive to work.

They also realized creative people needed a space to meet as well as work. “To be successful,” says Stanford, you need to be around people who are smarter than you.


Proud of Your Alumni – Nick Kennedy
May 2016









Nick: A skill that I learned at MCS that helped me at ‘Iolani School was sharing and being fair.  I learned this when we played kickball and four square in the summer elementary program.  It taught me good sportsmanship.

One of my favorite memories of MCS is running laps — running laps at the Roosevelt track with the summer elementary program and running laps at the Fun Run.

From the May 25, 2016 transcript of the Father Bray Award. The Father Bray Award is an athletic honor awarded to seniors who best exemplify the “Iolani Spirit.”

“Nicholas Kennedy — A quiet and unselfish teammate on the court, on the field, or on the track, Nick Kennedy led by example. He earned respect from his teammates and opponents through his no fear attitude, relentless determination and clutch playmaking. He made it a point to improve as well as make his teammates better and it showed throughout the year. Truly a team first player, Nick was a starter and versatile defender on the basketball court. The senior played the final eight games of the season with a broken bone in his shooting hand, but remained in the starting lineup and played a major role in helping the team capture ILH and State Basketball titles. On the football field, Nick was never one to ask for the spotlight, but his stellar play was recognized by his coaches and peers as he developed a reputation of being dependable, reliable and steady in pressure game situations. — Nick will be attending Seattle University in the fall.”

MCS alumni returned to campus during the 2015 Spring Fling on April 25, 2015

Alumni Profiles

From the 2014 MCS “Perspectives” Annual Report, Alumni Corner

MCS ’13 graduate Nina Pandya is currently in the 8th grade at St. Andrew’s Priory. She was on the Honor Roll last year and will be participating in basketball this year.


Nina relays that, “My favorite memory at MCS was going to camp to bond and spend time with each other. I really enjoyed my time at MCS, and I learned a lot that has helped me here at St. Andrew’s Priory.”

Currently a 10th grader at the Mid-Pacific Institute, Caitlin Wright, MCS ’10, has been on the President’s List (GPA of 3.75 of higher) since the 6th grade and is a past member of the National Junior Honor Society. Caitlin is also part of the Mid-Pacific School of the Arts program (MPSA), dances after school at The Movement Center, and is participating in the Fall Dance Concert this year.


When she’s not studying or dancing, Caitlin is involved in two clubs, the American Red Cross club and The Pacific Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) club, and is also participating in the WorldQuest competition as part of PAAC.


Caitlin shares that her favorite MCS “academic” memory was, “when we made our own books, I think that was my favorite project, and it really helped me to understand how much work goes into writing and illustrating a book.”

As the 2013 MCS commencement ceremony’s guest speaker, Brilie Kovaloff’s (MCS ’13) mom Leslie Palmer, relayed that the lessons that the new graduates learned throughout their years at MCS have prepared them in ways they can’t fully appreciate at that moment. It appears that Brilie attained MCS’ enthusiasm for learning and commitment to community.


Brilie is currently an 8th grader at Mid-Pacific Institute (MPI) who has been on the Honor Roll and President’s List and was awarded with the 2013-2014 Mid-Pacific Teachers Association Student of the Year Scholarship award. She is a member of the MPI Executive Council and participates in a community service club. Sports is also a part of Brilie’s interests at MPI that currently includes cross country, and possibly basketball, softball, track and field, or cheerleading. Brilie also notes that “coming up this year, I will be going on a Washington DC (and New York) trip. I am very excited to go on this trip and to be able to room with my friends because no parents are allowed to go on this trip. One of the reasons why is because this trip is helping us with our independent living.”

Brilie recalls, “I think I am the one that brought Knock Out (a basketball game) to MCS. I remember that one day I just asked if anyone knew how to play, and since mostly everyone didn’t know how to play, I taught them, and we all played together.” She also added that her favorite memory of MCS would have to be all of her wonderful teachers and friends she made.

Denton Alvarado, MCS ’10 is currently a Junior at Maryknoll School. He is Junior Class President, student leader in the school’s campus ministry, member of the Civil Air Patrol (a military cadet program), and paddles for the school and also club Hui Nalu.


Denton is also planning his Senior Project, which will focus on dyslexia, an experience he continues to struggle with today. He hopes that by explaining the common symptoms he can encourage parents to do early screening. He would also like to help parents and teachers by educating them on techniques they can use that are effective to a dyslexic student.


Denton notes, “I base all my success on the foundation given to me by Ms. Lisa, Mrs. Lee, and Ms. Bonnie, who were the teachers that impacted me the most at MCS. I am so grateful for what they taught me, and I promise I will carry those teachings throughout my life. I wish MCS good fortune and hope that the school continues to grow and teach the Maria Montessori method.”

Sacred Hearts Academy (SHA) sophomore Mariko Galton, MCS ’10, has many good memories from her time at MCS. Although Mariko notes, “It is hard to pick one,” she says one of her favorite memories was going to the different camps including Camp Timberline, Kilauea Military Camp, and a camp in Maui that included a wonderful visit to the Maui Ocean Center. Mariko states, “I wish I could go back and experience those moments again, but life is about moving forward.”


And moving forward she has. At SHA, Mariko has received Principal’s List and Honor Roll awards, a Perfect Attendance award, a Most Improved award, and a Eucharistic Minister award. She is also a member of the JROTC, which teaches young men and women respect, responsibility and leadership.


Outside of school, Mariko has been dancing hula for Halau O Na Pua Kukui for the past seven years. We’re pretty sure that Mariko’s parents, Ted and Norine Galton, MCS teacher, are very proud of her!

Taea Takagi-Jones 

Taea attended MCS from kindergarten through the 9-12 program, graduating in 1997. Favorite memories include camping at Camp Kalopa on the Big Island and her major research project on King Tutankhamun. MCS and its incredible teachers, like Ms. Lisa and Mr. Mueller, instilled in her a lifetime love of learning, and for that she will always be grateful. Taea graduated from Iolani School, then from Colorado College where she was a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology. After teaching English with the JET Program in Japan for two years, she returned to the islands to join her father in the family business, Takagi & Takagi, where she continues her work as a financial advisor and small business owner. 


Taea attributes much of her success to the unique educational foundation she received from MCS. She firmly believes that its approach sets students up for success by giving them confidence and encouragement to pursue their interests, while equipping them with practical and problem-solving skills. She and her husband Grant are thrilled that their son Orion now attends MCS and looks forward to their younger son Phineas joining the Cottage program when he turns two. 


As a parent, Taea has a new outlook and appreciation for the Montessori philosophy, and the wonderful MCS community. She appreciates the small class sizes, mixed age groups, use of manipulatives, and the emphasis on practical life skills. Taea loves reading books and blogs on the Montessori method, and follows various Instagram accounts featuring children raised in a Montessori home environment. You could say she is a true Montessori believer!

bottom of page