School: Punahou School
Location: Honolulu, Hawai`i
No. of Students in School: 3,700 in grades K-12
Teacher: BJ Namba
No. of Years Teaching: 20
Grade: 3rd Grade
Subject: Language Arts
No. of Students in the Classroom: 25
Located in Honolulu, Punahou School is the largest independent
school in the United States. Its 3,700 students in grades K-12
reflect Hawai`i's ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity.
Founded in 1841 by Congregational missionaries, Punahou is
nonsectarian but retains its Christian heritage. The 76-acre
campus includes nearly 30 school buildings and numerous playing
Punahou School is divided into a Junior School (grades K through
8) and an Academy (grades 9 through 12). The Junior School
is composed of four smaller, self-contained sections, each
designed to meet the special needs of the different ages of
the children it serves. An outdoor education program offers
nature study and camp experiences throughout the Junior School.
Throughout the Junior School, but especially in the third grade, students study Hawaiian language, history, and culture. They plan and prepare a traditional luau, including roasting a pig in a rock lined pit called an imu. They learn Hawaiian songs and hulas. Ms. Namba and her students begin the school day with a chant asking for learning and knowledge.