HONOLULU – McKinley High School students and faculty honored one of its most accomplished alumni with the dedication of its library to the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, McKinley Class of 1942.
Ken Inouye, son of the late senator, and Jennifer Sabas, former chief of staff and long-time assistant of Senator Inouye, helped to dedicate the library and unveil a memorial display in the library’s foyer. The display contains photos and mementos of Senator Inouye’s time as a McKinley High student, his wartime experiences and his highly successful career in the U.S. Senate where he served the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years.
One of the items on display is Senator Inouye’s high school notebook, which was preserved through the years by his mother and then by the Senator as a treasured keepsake until his passing in December of 2012.
“That kind of allegiance to your roots, that says a lot about how much aloha he had for this place,” said Ken Inouye. “I’m humbled and I know that he would be humbled by all of this, this is an exciting day for our family.”
Also on display are Senator Inouye’s high school diploma, student identification card and his graduation and band photos.
One unique photo included in the display is that of Mrs. Ruth King, one of Senator Inouye’s teachers during his time at McKinley who inspired him to achieve. “For all the students that are here today, the one message [Senator Inouye] would want you to remember is that every one of us has a Mrs. Ruth King,” said Sabas, “the one teacher that makes you dream bigger and think that you can accomplish anything out there.”
The McKinley High School Library is the first Hawaii State Department of Education facility to be dedicated to Senator Inouye.
McKinley High School has produced many notable alumni including former US Senator Daniel K. Inouye (Class of 1942); former US Senator Hiram Fong (1924); US Representative Tammy Duckworth, Illinois’ 8th Congressional District (1985); former Governor George Ariyoshi (1944); Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Leroy Mendonca (1950); former Honolulu Chief of Police Lee Donahue (1960); former principal of Kamehameha Schools and co-founder of the University of Hawaii’s Hawaiian Studies Center, Mrs. Gladys Kamakakuokalani Brandt (1925); olympic gold medalist in swimming (1912 and 1920), Mr. Duke Kahanamoku (1906); former State Adjutant Generals General Robert Louis Stevenson (1933) and Major General Robert G.F. Lee (1966); and many others.
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 256 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii's public school system in 1840. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.