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Fall 2009

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Fall 2009 - Other News | Alumni

The Girls Came Back

Valerie Okemura ’83 accepts a lei during the ‘Iolani first day of school Convocation on August 24.
The first day of school this year was coated with an extra layer of sugar and spice.

The Convocation for Upper School marked the 30th anniversary of co-education at ‘Iolani. Fifteen women were recognized for being among the first girls to enroll in previously all boys ‘Iolani on September 4, 1979. Back then, they were seventh and ninth graders.

‘Iolani School recognized the first girls who entered ‘Iolani. Left to right, Denise (Miyasaki) Wheeler ’83, Valerie (Hedani) Okemura 83, Leona Pang ’83, Esther Kawakami-Williams ’83, Susan (Inouye) Abe ’83, Amy (Barcia) Harpstrite ’83, Meri-Mika Morisada Guillou ’83, Kelly Swartman-Hogan ’83, Susan (Uyeno) Akamine ’85, Virna (Schubert) Castanera ’83, Caroline Chun ’85, Kendis (Kado) Teho ’85, Allison (Ching) Setzler ’85, Joanna (Lee) Seto ’85, Aubrey Hawk ’85.
Headmaster Dr. Val Iwashita addressed students in seventh to twelfth grades followed by alumnae of the Classes of ’83 and ’85 receiving lei from girls in the Class of 2010.

News broadcasts from KGMB marking the first and last days of ‘Iolani’s first co-ed year were shown to the delight of students.

The alumnae then received a tour of campus from Director of Alumni Relations Mike Moses and enjoyed breakfast at the residence of Dr. Iwashita and his wife Cynthia.

While unable to join them, past Headmaster Rev. David P. Coon expressed his sentiment by letter.

Headmaster Dr. Val Iwashita and his wife Cynthia hosted a breakfast at his residence for the first girls reunion.
“You set the tone for what would be a revolution in the history of a school,” Coon wrote. “‘Iolani was a good school prior to your years, but ‘Iolani went through a transition that saw all aspects of the curriculum rise to a level of achievement not anticipated by anyone.”

Several members of the faculty, including David Masunaga ’75 who began teaching the year ‘Iolani went co-ed, greeted the alumnae as well.