Maui News

Kīhei Charter School Seniors Work on Projects To Embrace Hope in Face of Pandemic Challenges

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Kīhei Charter School teacher Niko Miller, standing, leads a Senior Seminar class during which they work on projects to add value to the Maui Community. Photo Courtesy: Kihei High School

At Kīhei Charter School, 58 seniors are working on capstone projects that add value to the Maui Community as part of the year-long Senior Seminar class. Many of the projects this school year address the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the senior’s projects:

  • Cooking with a sustainable eating recipe guide to make delicious and affordable plant-based meals and put the videos on a YouTube channel.
  • Capture Kūpuna memories through the creation of short stories about everyday life in a unique oral history that will be turned into literature.
  • The “We Love Hawaii Food Project” raises local donations and partners with a local grocery store to provide groceries based on a coupon from the project to families in need.
  • “Love Only Values Everyone” is a stop motion film that asks: “How can I support people who face discrimination and mistreatment?”
  • The “Facemask Headband Holder Donation for Nurses” seeks to find ways to help people at the hospital who have been affected by the pandemic.
  • “Creating a More Agriculturally Sustainable Maui” looks for ways to create a more agriculturally sustainable Maui by reducing the amount of imports needed and also improve soil health.

The Senior Seminar is taught by teacher Niko Miller, who also is a paddling coach known around campus as Coach Niko.

“Throughout the year it is my job to inspire and motivate our seniors to step outside their comfort zone, challenge themselves and strive for greatness in their individual chosen project,” Miller said. “You can relate my duties to that of a project manager for the 58 seniors we currently have enrolled.”


Miller’s students are each required to present a project in a “Senior Showcase” event that will be held prior to graduation. Each student reflects on his or her growth throughout high school in a well-documented 30-45 minute presentation. They share their digital portfolio and highlight their backgrounds, personal anecdotes, various work samples, internship experiences, Senior Capstone project and plans for the future.

“Our seniors were prepared to tackle the challenges presented by the initial school closure,” said Micheal Stubbs, Head of School for Kīhei Charter School. “Regardless of the learning environment, they were able to utilize their 21st-century skills to plan, develop and launch their capstone projects from a virtual setting. A year like the one we have experienced truly demonstrates the resiliency of our students and reinforces the mission of our school.”

Teachers, students, parents, mentors, school board members and the community are invited to attend the presentations, which may also be live streamed for family members and other mentors who are unable to attend in person.


The community is invited to participate in the capstone project graduation presenations and celebrate the senior class of 2021. The schedule of presentations is not yet available. To join in or for more information, contact Niko Miller at [email protected].



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