A "First Class" Experience at Island Pacific Academy

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Independent private school in Hawaii to reach major milestone, with the graduation of its first senior class to take place in May 2010

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My school has given me the opportunity to excel in all aspects of my life. I know I will be able to walk into any college or large corporation and speak with confidence, and I feel ready for anything that might come my way.

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In 2004, Hawaii's Island Pacific Academy (IPA) took the typical model for starting an independent school and threw it out the window. Gone were the norms of small enrollment in leased space and sparse resources and materials. In their place were impressive buildings, ample resources, large opening enrollment and rapid growth--all buttressed by a school culture emphasizing the core values of kindness and generosity of spirit. This innovative model has served the school well, with enrollment today at 650 students and a major milestone--the graduation of the school's first high school class, dubbed "First Class"--scheduled for May 2010.

"We began with 191 students in September, 2004, and grew our enrollment quickly," said Headmaster Dan White. "The students of the Class of 2010 have been real assets, providing great student leadership, during this rapid growth. The Class of 2010 has been a group of pacesetters, collaborating with an outstanding faculty to build a terrific school culture, truly first class."

Organizing around belief in the power of human kindness and generosity of spirit, IPA faculty have built a rigorous academic program in which writing, thinking and framing the right questions are key. The goal is for all IPA graduates to be prepared to thrive at colleges and universities across the country. The core curriculum for all students--English, math, science, world languages and history--includes Fine Arts as well, reflecting the founders' belief in the centrality of the arts in modern life. Computer instruction, Hawaiiana, physical education and interscholastic teams in the ILH, and an array of co-curricular activities round out the offerings at IPA.

"None of us can know all that our students will need to know 20 years from now in order for them to be successful in their work and lives," added White. "We do know that strong character and a genuine sensitivity to others, curiosity, creativity, and knowing how to learn will equip our graduates for the future no matter what it might bring."

IPA's First Class is comprised of 45 students, 14 of whom have attended IPA since the school opened in their 7th grade year. Class of 2010 member Muriah Kayser has been an IPA student since the founding year. She says of her experience at IPA, "My school has given me the opportunity to excel in all aspects of my life. I know I will be able to walk into any college or large corporation and speak with confidence, and I feel ready for anything that might come my way."

The "First Class" graduation ceremony will take place on May 22, 2010 at Lanikuhonua on the island of Oahu.

"Bring tissue," advised White.

Founded in 2003, Island Pacific Academy is an independent, non-profit, non-sectarian, college preparatory co-educational school in the heart of Kapolei. IPA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. For more information, call (808) 674-3523 or visit http://www.islandpacificacademy.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Caroline Witherspoon or
Allison Andrade
Becker Communications
(808) 533-4165

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