Mission, Values, History
The mission of Hawai'i Preparatory Academy is to provide exceptional learning opportunities in a diverse community honoring the traditions of Hawai‘i.
Hawai'i Island offers an ideal learning environment, mirroring the geological, ecological, and human diversity of the globe. This place enables us to provide a unique set of transformational opportunities built upon a rigorous university preparatory program and our dynamic global student population.
Integrity: living honestly and with moral courage
Respect: serving with kindness and responsibility
Pursuit of Excellence: striving for the highest and best result
Wonder: Being curious, appreciative, and content
Hawai'i Preparatory Academy was founded on March 12, 1949, when Episcopal Bishop Harry Kennedy and a group of Big Island citizens signed the Articles of Incorporation for Hawai'i Episcopal Academy. The school has grown from five boarding students in a World War II building in Waimea to about 600 students on two campuses encompassing more than 220 acres in the midst of the world-famous Parker Ranch.
In 1954, James M. Taylor left Choate School in Connecticut to become headmaster, bringing with him strong values and educational ideals. Three years later, two Honolulu firms pledged substantial financial assistance and the church surrendered its direction to a new governing board. The school was then independently incorporated and the name changed to Hawai'i Preparatory Academy.In January 1958, the board of governors purchased from the Territory of Hawai'i 55 acres of land in the foothills of Kamuela and announced their plans to build a new campus. Honolulu architect Vladimir N. Ossipoff was hired to design the campus’s new buildings.
In 1976, HPA acquired the buildings of the Waimea Village Inn and transformed them into HPA’s Village Campus, which now houses HPA’s Lower and Middle Schools, encompassing kindergarten through eighth grade.
With the addition of 30 more acres of Parker Ranch land to the Upper Campus in the 1980s, HPA became a multi-million dollar facility with two campuses, a student body of 400, and a faculty of 50.
In 1998, The Gerry Clark Art Center was completed, offering students classes in a wide range of artistic fields. Then in October 2000, the Davenport Music Center was launched as an expansion of the school’s performing arts program to include many additional musical instruments.
In December 2007, HPA adopted a five-year Sustainability Action Plan, a result of the Go Green initiative launched by Upper School students in a 2006 environmental science class.
On August 14, 2008, HPA broke ground for the new $6.2 million Energy Lab, envisioned as the “catalyst for change.” The 6,112 square foot facility was officially opened on April 16, 2010.
In October 2008, a new eight-lane all-weather track complete with vaulting pit, long jump, and new field was completed and dedicated to the beloved longtime track and cross-country coach, teacher, and administrator, Stanford W. Shutes.
With the 2008 appointment of Lindsay Barnes as HPA’s tenth headmaster, the school continued to grow and expand both in size and reputation. Barnes’ leadership was marked by incredible achievements in sustainability, classroom quality, and increased student activities and programs.
To fortify our commitment to preserving the traditions of Hawai‘i, both Upper School and Lower School campuses have introduced programs in Hawaiian language and culture.
In April 2011, the International Living Building Institute (ILBI) announced that the Energy Lab achieved Living Building Challenge Certification, making it the world’s greenest K-12 school building. The facility also was awarded Platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Schools 2.0 certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In June of 2015 Robert McKendry, former HPA CFO, became the eleventh headmaster.