Track to the future

Summit + Maryknoll School

Date
Oahu K-12 Schools
Place Makiki
Text Will Caron
Thread School of the Future

Rooted in the Catholic faith, Maryknoll School is a nurturing and welcoming community that values academic excellence, lifelong learning, service to others, and the courage to imitate Jesus by word and example. Students at Maryknoll School are welcomed into a small school setting where personal development and scholastic achievement are emphasized equally. Maryknoll School is committed to providing each student with a quality education through cultivation of knowledge, self-discipline, creativity, and spiritual and physical growth.

Imagine you’re strolling down the Dole Street of tomorrow, in the Honolulu neighborhood of Makiki: warm sunlight shines through the leaves of towering trees, dappling shadows on the sidewalk; the vehicles rolling past are self-driving and electric; older buildings from the 20th century are slowly being replaced with new, self-sustaining buildings designed with vertical farms, built-in solar panels and passive cooling systems that utilize Hawaiʻi’s famous tradewinds; and robots tend the aquaponic gardens on the upper floors, busily humming and droning as they sow, harvest and cultivate.

Overhead, a Hawaiian Airlines plane soars across the sky. The pilot is a Hawai‘i-born captain who was inspired to pursue a career in aviation as a high school student participating in a specialized aerospace program at Maryknoll School. Three blocks toward the ocean, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon working at Shriners Hospitals for Children painlessly straightens a spine in minutes using only magnets, with no invasive surgery. This young doctor was similarly inspired by her experience in a medical innovation program at Maryknoll.

This is what the Makiki of the not-too-distant future could look like, and Maryknoll wants to prepare its students to lead the way there with a new suite of programs designed to equip students for the careers of the future. Maryknoll’s Mx Scholar Programs offer four areas of interest for high school students (grades 9–12): STEM & Aerospace, Medical Innovation, Business & Diplomacy and Creative Arts & Expression.

The programs are part of a larger adjustment to curriculum that grew out of rethinking what, exactly, a school’s purpose should be, and how it can best go about preparing students for 21st century realities such as drastic increases in the automation of work in industries like agriculture, medicine and transportation. This retooling extends beyond the high school level, with new elementary and middle school goals as well. Already, these changes have begun to affect the types of opportunities children have at Maryknoll.

“Mx is really exciting,” says Jacelyn Ho (class of 2020), who is part of the first cohort in the Mx Scholar Program for STEM & Aerospace. “The individual attention from my instructors helps me learn, and Maryknoll provides advising and counseling to help me set goals for the future. As the Mx Scholar Programs expand, I’m looking forward to the different classes I’ll get to choose, like engineering, forensics, law and design.”

With the launch of the Mx Scholar Programs, Maryknoll is bringing together six types of resources to equip students to become 21st century learners, leaders and global citizens of character. This includes an advanced curriculum offering individualized learning with guidance from instructors who are professionals in their fields; project-based learning through hands-on studies that bring concepts to life; internships in high school to gain experience and develop professional maturity; mentors who are industry professionals sharing real-world insights and career paths; college excellence as a focus so students are prepared to stand out to top universities; and leadership development, including exemplifying the school’s motto, Noblesse Oblige, which means, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

“We’re building a culture of excellence and lifelong learning so that our students are empowered to thrive in college and beyond,” says Vice President of Academic Affairs and School Principal Shana Tong (class of ’83). “The world is changing rapidly as a result of technology and globalization. At the same time, we want to make sure that current and future students benefit from the same quality Maryknoll education I received, which is the legacy of our founders, the Maryknoll Sisters—an education that is centered on not only preparing students to succeed in academics, but to contribute to their community and their world.”

One of the professional instructors the school has hired to help shape the next generation of tech-savvy leaders is Beverly Inocencio, a specialist with the Mx Scholar Program for Medical Innovation. She has more than 20 years of service in the United States Army Nurse Corps and a diverse background in leadership, managerial, administrative and clinical health care.

“Students in the Mx Scholar Programs will be engaged in active learning enhanced by technology,” says Inocencio. “Instead of dissecting a frog, they’re going to use zSpace computers to learn in 3-D virtual reality. They’re going to design a more efficient Emergency Room. They’re going to invent the next generation of medical devices. We’re not focused on only producing more doctors and nurses; our goal is to inspire future leaders and innovators in the medical field.”

Inocencio’s experience makes her an ideal person to guide students through various labs and case studies that simulate real-world scenarios such as the forensics of a crime scene; organ and tissue monitoring and dissection; and disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Students in the Mx Scholar Program for Medical Innovation will also complete a capstone project addressing a topic of their choosing in public health, biomedical engineering, clinical medicine or physiology.

L–R: Shana Tong ('83), Principal, K­–12/Vice President of Academic Affairs, Mick Panos Jr. ('27), Zoe Nakamura ('23)

The Mx Scholar Program for STEM & Aerospace offers a focus on the sciences, computer technology, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), engineering, aerospace and aeronautics. Students take three AP engineering courses along with a robust digital electronics course, participate in Maryknoll’s Civil Air Patrol squadron and have the option of earning their FAA private pilot’s license in high school.

The Mx Scholar Program for Business & Diplomacy offers studies relevant to law, international procedures and policies, personal finance, microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students also have the option of participating in Maryknoll School’s International Programs through mission trips and home stays in countries including China, the Philippines and the Marshall Islands.

And last, but not least, the Mx Scholar Program for Creative Arts & Expression caters to all creative interests in the making. Courses in fashion design, app development, culinary arts, digital media, studio art, music, dance, drama and more, offer a full spectrum of learning pathways. This program integrates both left-brained and right-brained learning, merging creative innovation with logical thinking and philosophical development to prepare students for a myriad of future careers.


All four areas of programming are open for admission and are accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year.

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