By Jessica Ainslie '15 and Jordan Virtue '16
Student life at HPA is an ever-active ecosystem, built upon the small moments that add up to the sum of the HPA experience. It takes the founding tenets of the school beyond the walls of the classroom, creating a truly distinctive community and culture.
Students are encouraged and expected to strengthen their academic exploration through extracurricular activities, building character and viewing their world with diverse perspectives. This growth can be found in all facets of HPA life, from kindergarten through senior year. The joy that comes from spirited games of capture-the-flag, flipping pancakes at the swimming pool for fellow varsity teammates, and hours spent studying for final exams with friends from Kazakhstan, Japan, Lithuania, Spain, China, and other countries worldwide all work to define the HPA experience.
It is not uncommon to find a large majority of students on campus seven days a week as activities draw them back. Days consist of morning cooking classes in the dorms, sunrise fishing trips, weekly beach vans, rehearsals, sports games, HPA’s traditional and famous water slide (there are benefits to our hilly campus), afternoon cookie parties in the student union, and finishing the evening with “Lava Lounge”: otherwise known as the open mic night at the Head of School's house. HPA is not a place where students clock in on Monday morning and clock out Friday afternoon, but rather a home alive with the community feeling it fosters.
At HPA, our students find the perfect balance of growing their current interests and trying something new and unexpected in the magnitude of the adventures possible in Hawai'i. Whether it is undertaking the gargantuan task of coordinating class Olympic training or simply sharing a smile with another student, these moments are what shape HPA culture. It is a culture of unity, immersion, laughter, hard work, joy, and 'ohana.