17 schools vie for "Be Pono" video contest awards


Windward District's 2nd annual "Be Pono — Be in School" contest is designed to promote school attendance, a component of the Department's Strive HI Performance System. Decreasing chronic absenteeism, defined as missing 15 or more days of school per year, is correlated with greater student and school success. Students and schools vie for prizes while learning about the value of getting to school every day.

​​​About the contest

The Windward District Office is proud to announce that 17 district schools and about 1,700 students participated in the 2nd annual "Be Pono — Be in School" video contest, which produced 49 videos in three categories: Individual (student submitted), Group (multiple students submitted) and School (submission of the whole school). This year, the contest acknowledges entries for primary and secondary schools. Following are a list of winners with their prizes.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 15 or more days of school during the year, and it's one of the strongest predictors of a student's future success in school and life. Schools are evaluated on this effort in the Department's Strive HI Performance System​; chronic absenteeism is a Readiness indicator.

Primary school winners


  1. "Left Behind" - Malakai Holland, Aihaki Elementary, above. Prize: Honolulu Zoo one-year family pass, Waikiki Aquarium day pass for two, two large Papa John's pizza coupons.



  1. "Magic Package" - Sunset Beach Elementary, above. Prize: Pizza Hut Party ($75 in Pizza Hut credit).
  2. "How You Get to School" - Sunset Beach Elementary. Prize: 17 Jamba Juice smoothie coupons.
  3. "Good, Better, Best" - Enchanted Lake Elementary. Prize: Two Sea Life Park day passes for 2, two Large Papa John's pizza coupons.



  1. "This is Bob" - Aikahi Elementary, above. Prize: $300 cash.
  2. "In Order to Be Successful in Life..." - Sunset Beach Elementary. Prize: $200 cash.
  3. "Good Students, They're Always Here" - Keolu Elementary. Prize: $100 cash.

Secondary school winners



  1. TIE: Raleigh Harris, Castle High (top of page), and Isaiah Ruiz, Olomana School, above. Prize: Each student receives a Heather Brown Art beach towel, a $50 iTunes gift card, one Large Papa John's pizza coupon, one dozen malasadas at Agnes' Bakery.
  2. Hayley Ikeda, Kalaheo High School. Prize: $30 certificate for Big City Diner, 1 dozen malasadas at Agnes' Bakery.


  1. "Bored With School" - Castle High School, above. Prize: Whole Foods Pizza Party, four Jamba Juice smoothie coupons, 1 dozen malasadas at Agnes' Bakery.
  2. "When You Ditch" - Kailua Intermediate School. Prize: Four Large Papa John's pizza coupons, Glow Putt Golf passes for 10, 1 dozen malasadas at Agnes' Bakery.
  3. "Saturday School" - Kahuku High & Intermediate. Prize: Polynesian Cultural Center passes for 10, seven coupons for a dozen malasadas from Agnes' Bakery.


No entries.


Windward District staff would like to thank its diverse panel of local judges:

  • Elizabeth Ratliff, Associate Professor and Media Specialist, Windward Community College
  • Irwin Yamamoto, Professor in Digital Media Production Dept., Leeward Community College
  • Mark Nitta, Information Technology Services, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Becky Dunning, Managing Director, Hawaii Theatre for Youth
  • Chesley Cannon, Resident Designer, Hawaii Theatre for Youth
  • Stacy Paris, Communications Freelancer, former KGMB anchor
  • Lisa Higuchi, works for Asylum Entertainment, an award winning television production company
  • Sunny Kharbanda, Animation Instructor, Leeward Community College
  • Cassandra Caldarone, Media Specialist, Le Jardin Academy
  • Rebecca Postema, Media Specialist, Le Jardin Academy

Contact Information

Jorene Barut

Phone: 808-233-5700

Email: Jorene_Barut@hawaiidoe.org

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