Junior prom “Just South of Heaven”


Photo by Brianne Reformina

Sophomore Ezekiel Weber and junior Kaelyn Kato stroll from the valet parking area to check in for Junior Prom with Lexi Pruse and Leeana Kanemitsu behind. Kamehameha Schools Maui’s elementary dining hall was the site of the prom for the Class of 2019 on April 14. The theme: A Little South of Heaven.

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Nāmāhana dining hall echoed with orders and instructions about where the curtains must be hung and how many chairs and pouches of Kisses were needed at each table, and junior Brennan Mendez bustled from table to table making sure the decorations were just so.

Gasps and laughter came from the fridge where Mendez found pints of ice cream “soup.” With freezers locked, the ice cream had been put in refrigerators for storage — refrigerators that weren’t actually turned on; some are doubtful that the cabinets were even refrigerators at all. Even with soupy ice cream and an emergency dry ice run, Mendez said that Junior Prom couldn’t have turned out any better.

Brennan “Ikaika” Mendez and the rest of the class of 2019 added another memorable moment to their high school experiences with Junior Prom, April 14, at KSM’s elementary dining hall.

It was certainly memorable for Prom Queen Seana Lanias and Prom King Henry Miguel.
Prom King Henry Miguel and Prom Queen Seana Lanias smile together before they take the first slow dance of the night.
Photo by Courtesy of Seana Lanias
Prom King Henry Miguel and Prom Queen Seana Lanias smile together before they take the first slow dance of the night.
There were other not-to-be-forgotten moments as the year’s dubious achievement awards were given out:
Class Clown – Chandler Watson
Best Dancer – McKenna Kanekoa
Best Singer – Ikaika Mendez
Mama Duck – Leeana Kanemitsu
Social Butterfly – Puili Villanueva
Selfie Queen – Arley Coelho
Trouble Maker – Taj Falconer
Best Smile – Lihaumaikalani Keahi
Best Bromance – Kayden “Lanakila” Choda-Kowalski and Ty Tau-a
Friendliest – Sari “Kahea” Poepoe
Geek Charming – Chase Fevella
Most Creative – Jillian Ikehara
Most Athletic – Tristan Catan
Nicest Eyes – Kona Rodrigues

This year’s theme was “Just South of Heaven” with countryside, rustic decor and a variety of food and desserts. Mendez joked about the theme and said that “everyone knows just south of Heaven is Hell, but [the class government] wanted to make the theme seem like [the students] were in Heaven.”

There were games to play outside while students filed in from the valet parking area. The waiting area had a s’mores bar set up with a beautiful wooden background decorated with flowers for picture-taking.

Junior Healani Tolentino said that she “enjoyed seeing everyone dressed up and beautiful” at her first prom.

The setup process for prom was “crazy but an amazing experience” for Mendez and the prom committee.

A porcelain-colored dance floor lay in front of the stage with the DJ table on the side. Next Level Entertainment provided a “great way to get down and enjoy the night,” Mendez said.

Four Sisters catered for the 120 students and around 20 chaperones with prime rib, shrimp noodles, and salmon, and poi mochi was part of the many desserts offered.

Mendez said that preparing for the whole night was stressful, but “in the end, everything turned out better than [he] imagined.”