Welcome Back Assembly 2019

McKinley students join hands during the singing of our alma mater at the end of the assembly.

An Vo and Kelly Cheng

The students and staff participated in the Welcome Back Assembly on Aug. 9 with speeches, games, and songs. The main purpose of this event was to introduce freshmen to the McKinley traditions followed at assemblies and welcome everyone back to the campus and made sure that everyone has an exciting start to the school year.

By Clarise Camacho

While students and staff scrambled to get a seat, the McKinley Band played various songs to hype up the crowd. Rona Lei Duldulao is a sophomore flutist who performed at the assembly. 

“I like playing in the band because we have our own space … I get to play with pride. Playing in a band is fun,” Duldulao said.

To begin, the audience stood as a JROTC quartet marched in with the American flag. The band played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hawaii Pono’i” while everyone showed respect to the flag.

Ron Okamura, McKinley’s principal, welcomed all the students and teachers to the new school year.  He told the upperclassmen to take care of the freshmen because they were once in their shoes. He had a particular message for the seniors. 

“Your job, your responsibility, is to take care of our freshmen because they will represent all of us later over the years,” he said.

He ended his speech on a positive note, welcoming back current students.

“Let’s have a good year. Welcome back, guys!” Okamura said.

Next, a video of students welcoming everyone back was projected on a screen.

Then the cheerleaders performed.

A fashion show advertised McKinley merchandise such as hats, T-shirts, mugs, and other products that can be purchased in room A-001, the student activities center.

After the fashion show, selected students played a game to earn class-level points. The activity consisted of two people from each team, five boxes which were separated from each other to form the sides of a hexagon-like figure, and balloons that stayed near the floor. The two players collaborated to carry balloons into their designated basket using only their legs, one leg strapped onto their partner’s leg. The boxes located in the designated areas represented the teams, which were the teachers and all of the grade levels — while the balloons symbolized resolutions for the new year.

 “It was fun because during the assembly there was a challenge between all the grades and teachers which made it seem so nerve-racking,” freshman Celica Pham said. 

After the game, the student council announced a new system known as “Tiger Time.” It requires students to be on time for classes, which will allow their class to gain points for the class point competition. More information will be given once the foundation of this system has been fully stabilized.

Iain Tucker, a senior, shared his experiences about being a member of a club.

By Clarise Camacho

Being in a club is a way to meet new friends and people and to get involved with the community. The club with the most amount of points is titled “Club of the Year.”

“Last year, I got the chance to be the president of the Photography Club. And I was pretty nervous, though I ended up taking that risk,” Tucker said.

He also shared his opinion on why everyone else should do the same.

“Take that risk; you won’t regret it,” Tucker said.

The student council made sure students knew about co-curricular activities and events for this quarter. They told everyone about the “Lighting of the M,” when a giant M and tiger paw are set on fire which represents the blazing passion for school and tradition during Homecoming on the first week of October.

April Nakamura, student activities coordinator, also spoke during the assembly. She referenced the TMT protest on Mauna Kea to share the importance of humility, aloha, and respect.

“Humility, it means being humble, and what it means is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less,” Nakamura said. “Always have aloha … these lessons we can all take with us every single day. To be humble, to have respect and aloha with each other.”

Finally, the assembly ended with the band playing “Eye of the Tiger” and “Crazy Train” as the audience exited the gym to start the new school year.

“The part of the assembly I liked the most was when the school sang Black and Gold and Alma Mater together,” Junior Stephanie Linn said. “Although we all come from different backgrounds, we can all show our school spirit as one.”

By Clarise Camacho