The Oldest High School West of the US Western Rocky Mountains

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“O’ Lahaina Lahainaluna Nani Ka Hoku Hele Oi o Ka Paki Pika, Ipu kukui a’a mau Pi’io ho lei Kamakani Kahua u la”

You may have heard this from one of Maui’s Local music sensations Keali’i Reichel. He sings about his alma mater, the historic Lahainaluna High School. In 1823 when Protestant Missionaries came to Royal Hawaii, they spoke to the Kingdom leaders of the utmost importance of the children’s education and the importance of an education institution for the Kingdom of Hawaii’s young adults.

Built back in 1831 this high school was opened up as the primary Protestant Missionary high school for the Royal Hawaiian children. It’s principal was Lorrin Andrews. It was first named Lahaina Seminary. In 1834 Hale Pa’i (Ha lay Pa Eye) was built on the campus of the Lahaina Seminary and served as the first Hawaii Printing Press. In 1835 the first senior class graduated from Lahaina Seminary. David Malo Hawaii’s first superintendent of schools, Advisor to the Hawaiian royal family was among those first graduates from the Seminary School.

In 1843 the Seminary separated into 2 separate schools, one part of the campus was renamed Lahainaluna High School (Public Secondary School) and the other half was renamed the University of Hawaii. Since it’s first opening in 1831 Lahainaluna High School has been entered in the United States National Register of Historic Places and to this day serves as the Lahaina and West Maui District High School.

Today this high school is known to many as “The Oldest High School West of the US Western Rocky Mountains” and has the largest Alumni base in the state of Hawaii. Lahainaluna High School also has a boarding program where children from all over the United States and the South Pacific can come and learn here in Hawaii. In Early 2010 this boarding program came so close to closing down and has been saved by many organizations saving the young adults that live here to learn.

Lahainaluna High School is perched high on a hill. The multiple classroom buildings are widespread. The grounds are covered with many benches, pathways, grass, plants and trees, the latter allowing easy-to-find shade even on hot, sizzling days. The campus boasts the ceramic sculpture Orbit byToshiko Takaezu. There is also a small stream near the school, past the Agriculture area. The path to view this stream is against a cliff and is therefore challenging to get to. The red rocks and lush scenery here however, eases one’s trepidation while viewing.

Lahainaluna is also situated high enough on this hill to allow breathtaking views of the Pacific and of the islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. It is simply one of the best views from any school in the islands.

Just wanted to blog about a Historic High School here on Maui. When driving in and out of Lahaina you can see the “L” for the High School. Hope you enjoy your stay here on Maui! A Hui Hou!