Photo by Courtesy of Denise Tamashiro
Tamashiro’s strive for excellence propels her to top
From running out on the soccer field, to going to piano lessons, to attending church and 4-H meetings, senior Kennedy-Kainoa Tamashiro grew up learning how to balance a busy schedule. Now as a senior, her efforts will be recognized as she graduates as one of four valedictorians of her class.
Aside from her, seniors Hunter Worth, Austin Peters, and Kayla Tuitele were also recognized as valedictorians. Tamashiro said that “[they] are all really good friends who have been together for a long time.”
Tamashiro was raised by Casey and Denise Tamashiro in Wailuku, Maui. She grew up with three sisters who graduated from Kamehameha Schools Maui: Kasey-Kalei (’11), Kalia (’13) and Kalena Tamashiro (’15). Kalia was also the valedictorian for her class.
“I’ve always been encouraged to be the best I can be, and I think that is what motivates me,” Tamashiro said. “I know that nothing comes easy, and in order to reach my goals I need to put in the work and try my best.”
In her high school career, Tamashiro was in student government as class vice president in her freshman year, class treasurer in her sophomore year, and class secretary for both her junior and senior years.
She was involved in the Science Club, Teens Under Construction Christian Service Club, Hawaiian Club, and the Lettermen’s Club. She was also a student-athlete who played girls varsity soccer since her freshman year and ran with the varsity cross country team as a junior.
As an underclassman, she was enrolled in Honors Biology and continued on to Honors Chemistry in her sophomore year. Between her junior and senior year, she took dual credit and advanced placement classes, such as Psychology, AP Biology, Sociology, Advanced Placement Calculus, and English 100.
Tamashiro said that “all the late nights and mental breakdowns were definitely worth it.” She is grateful for her family and friends for being her main supporters.
“This is a goal she set out for herself a long time ago and worked extremely hard to achieve,” her mother said. “It’s a momentous way for our family to say aloha to the KS Maui ʻohana. We extend our sincere mahalo to all who supported our daughters throughout the years. Congratulations to Austin, Kayla, Hunter, and Keni for a job well done!”
After high school, Tamashiro will be attending Crieghton University in Nebraska, where she will be preparing for a career in health care.
You can watch Tamashiro as she says farewell to Kamehameha Schools Maui at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku gymnasium on May 26, 2018.