May 182013

What a crazy overnighter we had to celebrate the end of a successful year for Kapaa Middle School’s Eighth Grade class! Congrats 8th Grade and keep up the great work in High School!!!

Mar 252013

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Officially submitted for printing, the Kapa’a Middle School 2012-2013 Yearbook is now complete! CLICK HERE to scroll through the 60 pages of students’ custom designed layouts, original photographs, captions and stories. 7th grade cover art contest winner, Kirklyn Nishida, created the iPad-inspired design using all original images and text in PhotoShop. Although stressful at times, Yearbook has become one of my favorite classes to teach! Nice job K.M.S. Yearbook Staff!!!

Mar 012013

This was a collaborative effort between two 8th Grade advisory classes at Kapa’a Middle School. Mr. Ryan kicks things off with his dance skills while I had the pleasure of filming/editing the mayhem that ensued.

Be sure to check out Mrs. Sanderl’s version too… CLICK HERE!

Feb 142013

PBS Hawaii – HIKI NO Episode 414: Hosted by Students from Kamehameha Schools from PBS Hawaii

This is Kapa’a Middle School’s debut episode on PBS Hawaii – HIKI NO. Appearing during the intro at 1:08 and featured at 20:42, the instructional video “How to Make a Beaded Bowl” was produced by three students in my Media class. It was an incredible experience working with the production team at PBS Hawaii and we look forward to our next contribution to the show.

As a class project, students worked in teams to create various “How To” videos as an introduction to visual storytelling. After the process of pitching ideas, storyboarding, scheduling, production, editing and re-editing, many great videos were made; however only one could be selected to air on local television. Congratulations to Malina, Mia and Sabrina!

Here is our second addition to Hiki No by K.M.S. Media students Makayla, Emma, Sophia and William. They created an instructional video about making a tie-dyed shirt which was featured on Season 4, Episode 20 of PBS Hawaii’s student news program. Take a look…

PBS Hawaii – HIKI NO Episode 420: Kapaa Middle School: Tie-Dyeing from PBS Hawaii

Dec 022012

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This is the result of Part 2 from our “Stitched Sanctuary” imaging project, an introduction to HDR photography. Students photographed a range of 5 different exposure levels from dark (-2 stops) to light (+2 stops). Using Adobe Bridge for file management, Camera Raw to edit/color correct, and custom settings in the Merge to HDR Pro PhotoShop plugin, students created these outstanding HDR images. Period 2 is above and Period 3 is below. The level of creativity, technical ability and artistic skill continues to impress me!

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Dec 012012

This is the result of Part 1 of our “Stitched Sanctuary” project for Kapaa Middle School’s Gifted and Talented program. Students created these panoramic images from a series of 5 overlapping photographs taken of their personal sanctuary. Each panorama was aligned by hand and blended in PhotoShop to create a unique final image. Behind the lens, students leaned about landscape photography and how to use environmental tripods along with various composition techniques. During post-production, students were introduced to content aware fills, clone stamping, and the liquify tool.

Upon completion of the project, each image was thoughtfully critiqued in a class discussion and then written about in a final self-reflection. Scroll through Period 2 Panoramas above and Period 3 Panoramas below.

Nov 152012

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As Kapaa Middle School gears up for the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA), computer students contributed to a positive and encouraging test-taking environment with their latest class project. In an effort motivate test-takers that frequent the school’s computer labs, these posters have been blown up and displayed in each grade-level’s PC lab. Outstanding 7th grade work is above and below is finished work from 6th grade.

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Using the drawing tool in their Google Drive accounts, students created these colorful posters which included hand drawn designs, customized word clouds, famous motivational quotes, and various text and imagery. My computer classes are taught in the 8th grade computer lab at KMS. Below, you can see the semi-permanent installation that is now making the room a more vibrant learning environment. Great job to all my Computer Wizards!

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Sep 112012

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Here are the results of my first project as a Yearbook Teacher! This collage shows every student’s work from my 6th-8th grade Yearbook Class. Students used Adobe Photoshop to create a Wanted Flier reminiscent of outlaws in the Wild West. The fliers includes five examples of exceptional behaviors or actions that each student is “Wanted For”. Within each example students were required to incorporate theme-specific western language that ties their text to the Western era. Technical requirements for the project involved simulating the look of aged paper with multiple grain enhancing filters, creating burnt edges with different brush techniques, choosing theme-appropriate colors/fonts, and constructing a thoughtful layout to maximize the visual impact of their end result. Leading into the school’s yearbook theme and cover contest, this project served as a great introduction to page layout and theme-related content. Nice work, Yearbookers!

Sep 092012

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Here are the results of my first project as a digital media teacher! These collages show every student’s work from my two classes of 6th-8th grade Gifted and Talented. Students used a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create inspirational posters that included a motivational quote, their digital signature, and stylized photos. Technical requirements for the project involved using multiple gradients for the background, a minimum of two artistic filters applied to one central image, visible blending options on every layer, and a cohesive layout that easily communicates each student’s message. I am incredibly impressed with the outcome!

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Jun 052012

Kapaa Middle School Art students were invited to share their creative talents as part of a “store makeover” at our local neighborhood Menehune Food Mart. We partnered with graphic designer Jackie Kanna through Life’s Choices anti-drug office. Our goal was to express a positive community-friendly message and make a healthy anti-drug proclamation to Kauai’s youth. Click here to view the press release issued by Mayor Carvalho’s office.

Derek Kawakami, State House Representative and part store-owner, jumped in right next to the kids and added his own artistic contribution!

Current statistics report that on average, boys living on Kauai drink alcohol for the first time at age 11 and girls at age 13. More shocking, Kauai County has the highest amount of alcohol-dependant and alcohol-abusing 8th graders in the state. As part of this mural project, all of the students and adults who participated took a pledge for healthy and age-appropriate use of alcohol and sealed it with a hand-print on the wall.

The day concluded with a “store-reopening” ceremony, including speeches by our state senator, county officials and the school district superintendent. There was also a traditional Hawaiian blessing plus lots of media coverage. Please come by when passing through Kapahi and check it out in person!

Scroll through the full mural below…

Dec 142010


Julia’s 2nd annual Art/Elective Night at Kapaa Middle School was a huge success. Students’ ceramic sculpture, drawing, painting, digital art and video were showcased for all parents and family members to see. My favorite part of the night was a doodle wall that Julia set up for anyone to contribute to. It wasn’t long before students made their mark and it became completely full of sketches. A few students continued working on it until everyone left and begged to stay longer. It was incredible to see all the outstanding artwork from the first half of the school year, and watch the creative process of Julia’s students unfold throughout the night. Great work!

Jun 072009


A field trip to Just Live, Kauai’s eco-friendly outdoor adventure park, was a year-end reward for our school’s Junior Police Officers. I was lucky enough to get on the chaperone list of teachers who skipped out on a day at work to supervise the best and brightest fourth and fifth grade students. We cheered them through an awesome ropes course in the forest while trying to sneak in some play time of our own on the lower tight ropes. The students worked in teams to problem solve and complete several challenging tasks that required communication, trust, planning and cooperation. What a great way to learn!