Smells Like Christmas Spirit

First semester is coming to an end, and you know what that means! It’s almost time for Christmas break! What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to listen and sing along to Christmas carols played, sung, and even performed by our very own Saint Francis students?!

Our middle school band, high school band, choir, and even our little elementary students will be performing in our annual Christmas Concert tonight, Friday, December 14 at 6 p.m. Thanks to our coordinators, Ms. Tabali and Ms. Capino, the concert will be held at our Saint Francis gym.

Be there for fun and an entertaining show to get your Christmas season going! 


Battle of the Classes

Here at Saint Francis, we hold pep rallies at the beginning of every season. We use these rallies to recognize the athletes that represent us at every game, race, or meet that they compete in for the upcoming season. The sports teams that we recognized for the Winter season were basketball, paddling, wrestling, soccer, and golf.

What made this pep rally different from the rest was each class competed against each other in short, 5-minute basketball games.

The sophomores were victorious in the first game against the freshmen. In the second game between the juniors and seniors, the juniors were unable to keep up with the seniors, losing 10-0. That left the third game to be between the sophomores and the seniors. The seniors were just no match, losing 10-0.

The champions of the high school, the sophomores, were faced with one more challenge, the faculty. The game between the faculty and sophomores featured an incredible competition. The game even went into double overtime, with the faculty finally winning on a last second shot 10-9!

The competition between classes made the winter pep rally a great one. Some even say that it was the “funnest and peppiest” pep rally yet!


Lady Saints Finish Strong

The Lady Saints volleyball team had a victorious season with eight wins and only two losses. In the ILH playoffs, the Lady Saints played Damien Memorial and University Lab School.  After winning in three sets against  Damien and four sets against UH Lab, our girls challenged La Pietra. Unfortunately, our Saints were defeated by the Lady Panthers of La Pietra in four competitive sets. However, that was not the end for our volleyball team.

In the state championships, on Wednesday, November 5, the Lady Saints beat Kauai High School.  On Thursday, the Lady Saints lost to Kalaheo in four long sets. The next day, the Lady Saints redeemed themselves winning against La Pietra in two sets. Unfortunately, their season ended with a loss on Saturday against Kailua High School, placing 6th in the state.

Congratulations to our Lady Saints volleyball team on a great season!


Aiming for the Top: Isabel Villanueva

Senior Isabel Villanueva excels in and out of class. She is enrolled in AP classes and participates on the Saint Francis Air Rifle Varsity team.
Isabel has been participating in air riflery since her freshman year. She got her start while looking through the list of sports offered at Saint Francis. Isabel was intrigued by the sport because she had never heard of it before and wanted to try it. She was also interested because her father was in the military and she knew he was a pretty good ‘shot’.
After three years of air riflery, it has become more than just a sport to Isabel. Every person has their own way of relieving stress. For Isabel, it became shooting. Villanueva said, “Air riflery has definitely made a huge impact in my life.” Through shooting, Isabel has learned the importance of learning from mistakes and how to move past them.  This is evident in the way she practices and when she shoots during matches.
After she graduates from high school, Isabel wants to continue shooting. Happily, she says, “I would love to shoot in college. I would either like to go to Nevada Reno or Texas Christian University.”
Isabel has appreciated the continuous support of her parents during air riflery.  Her most prized memory remains beating the JV record for precision air rifle. Good luck to all of the air rifle team as they continue to represent Saint Francis well.

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Trending: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

According to the ALS association, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord through their nerve cells. Motor neurons connect the brain to the spinal cord to every muscle throughout the entire body. These motor neurons deteriorate and eventually die. The death of the neurons lead to the brain’s inability to control the muscles in the patient’s body. Some patients become completely paralyzed and eventually die.

Until this summer, not many people were aware of this terrible disease until a challenge was issued: the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Whoever was challenged or “nominated” was to pour a bucket of ice water on their head. Many just decided to do the challenge and help spread awareness. Everyone who did it recorded themselves doing the challenge, sharing it on the internet with the hashtag #ASLIceBucketChallenge The intent is to spread awareness and to raise money for the ALS association.  Of course, a fun part has become challenging friends to do it, too!

One thing that no one expected to get out of this challenge was to see a nun get ice water poured on her.  We are not talking about just any nun either. We’re talking about our very own Sister Joan of Arc Souza. On Tuesday, September 23, Saint Francis football players will be doing the honor of pouring the water on our Head of School. This will be an event for the whole school to watch at 9:15 a.m. in the upper courtyard.

The main purpose of the ALS challenge is to help spread awareness and to raise money to help researchers find a cure. You can donate any amount of money to the association. All you need to do is go to our school website (stfrancis-oahu.org) and click the “DONATE” button under the information about Sister Joan’s challenge.  Let’s support Sister Joan and a cure for ALS!

Acai Bowl

Jess Da Best Acai Bowls

When you think of Acai bowls, you probably do not think of cookie dough or stuffed strawberries. But for Jess Da Best Acai Bowls, that is nothing out of the ordinary.

Based in Kapolei, Jess Da Best Acai Bowls is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Wednesdays and Sundays. When you make your bowl, you have the choice of acai or pitaya and a variety of add-ons. Just like any other acai bowl, it comes with fruit, honey, and granola. What makes this place unique is that its add-ons include almond butter, condensed milk, cookie dough, cookie butter, carob chips, chocolate chips, li hing mui, and vanilla chips.

One dish they specialize in is pitaya bowls.  It may sound unusual, but it is just dragon fruit instead of acai.  Jess Da Best Acai Bowls is so popular that people are willing to wait in line for over half an hour. I suggest you buy two bowls for yourself,  taking one with you to freeze and save for later.  They are just that good!


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Under the Hood: #IBelieve-The Chant that United a School

It started on May 27, 2014.  ESPN released a special FIFA World Cup commercial flashing signs of the likes of Ronaldo, Ghana, Germany, and the U.S. Men’s National Team in the “Group of Death.” It was based on a chant called “I Believe.” The chant soon went viral across the United States, soccer and non-soccer fans, drawing more than a million views in just two days. It made its way into football stadiums and now it has reached Saint Francis School. It was made famous, of course, by myself, former writer and this year’s special contributor, Alexander Tumalip. The idea behind it originated from watching previous years of Saint Francis football.

Tired of seeing hard-fought losses, I decided it was time for a change. I found the commercial on YouTube and sent it to Ms. Tabali the Tuesday before the homecoming game vs. Pac-Five. I pitched the idea to the band before we left in the sweltering heat for Aloha Stadium. Sporting Carolina blue and holding musical instruments, we trudged into Section M and took our seats. Suddenly, something snapped, and the chant took off. The fans suddenly heard:

“I!” (Repeat: “I!”) “I believe!” (Repeat) “I believe that!” (Repeat) “I believe that we!” (Repeat) “I believe that we will win!” (Repeated) The chant caught in the section like wildfire.  Soon, all the students and some of the teachers that made it to the game emphatically joined in. The chant stunned the Pac-Five fans in Aloha Stadium.

Even though the Saints lost 26-21, Ms. Won, the Student Organization president, came to me and said that it was the best support that the football team had ever received. It also reminded me of what former Saint Francis student Ace Diego said two years ago, “If you believe, you can achieve.”

The chant will march to every game this season.  The next opportunity to voice your support for our Saints is Saturday, September 13 versus Punahou. Tell me Saint Francis, “DO YOU BELIEVE?”


Making History Every Field Goal SHE Makes


This varsity football season, Saint Francis School is making history. For the first time ever, we have a female kicker, Chenoa Johnston. I interviewed her to see how she feels to hold such an honor.

When asked what made her want to join the football team she said, “I was at the first game of last year and we were playing Iolani. I heard that they had a girl on their team.  I knew I wanted to play, but I didn’t really think it would happen because I didn’t think I was necessarily good at anything. During soccer season, I realized that I could kick pretty good.  Then, one day, Uncle Kyle told me to try kick the football.  He said I was really good and it just sounded different. After that, I wanted to play because I realized that I could kick and the team didn’t have a kicker.”

Like any other player getting ready to play a game, Chenoa gets nervous, too. I asked her if she gets less nervous with each game she plays.  She said, “After the first kick of my first game I had such an adrenaline rush.  I knew this was something that I loved to do. At the Canada game, I had a sense of what was going to happen.  I was more focused and comfortable, but I still had that amazing feeling after kicking and hearing everyone cheering for me.” Since this is her first year playing football, Chenoa has been faced with some challenges to overcome. She said the most difficult thing about football has been when she first came out to play. She did not know the boys too well and she did not feel like she fit in. At first, she dreaded going to practice.  It felt really awkward and she would have anxiety. Now, she feels like she is in a big family.  They all treat her like she is one of the boys.

Since Chenoa has played soccer, I asked her if football is like any other sport she has ever played.  She said, “Not at all. I feel so much more important.  I finally feel like I found a sport that I truly enjoy playing and I’m sad that I started playing so late. Playing with so many boys is obviously a lot different, but at this point, they are all like brothers to me.”

All the extra points truly help during a game and Chenoa is doing all she can to make history with every single field goal she makes…………………….





The Important Decision Day

May 1, 2014 was a very important day for seniors who will be attending college next fall.  This day was the official deadline for seniors in high school to declare which school they will be attending for the next school year.  Many students have chosen to attend colleges, while others have chosen to remain in Hawaii.

Deciding which college or university to attend was definitely a difficult decision to make.  Some were worried about encountering different cultures in the mainland, financial issues, or simply being homesick.  However after long consideration, seniors feel like they’ve made the correct decision for what college to attend.  Most seniors who are going away for the next four years will be attending college on the west side of the United States.  Many will be attending colleges in Oregon, while others will be spending their college life in California and Colorado.  Students who have decided to say in Hawaii will be attending Chaminade, University of Hawaii, UH West Oahu, Hawaii Pacific, HCC, or KCC.

College decisions were definitely a stressful time for seniors.  Many issues arose in deciding which college or university would be the best fit.  However, seniors have finally made their decisions and will most likely be spending their next four years in colleges that they believe are the best fits for them.

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