Homecoming 2019: tuxedoes and dresses replace center-court games as school returns to tradition.

Abigail Yagi, Staff Writer

Students and faculty cheered as the homecoming court walked down the gym once again after a one-year hiatus.

Instead of last year’s center court games, the pep rally on Jan. 11 returned to tradition with elected students in tuxedos and gowns. Students in grades 6 through 12 chose representatives for their grade level.

The chosen representatives exchanged bouquets and leis in the middle of the court while student government officers read out the representative’s hobbies and favorite things. Julian Kiyabu, grade 12 attendee, said that the court is something for both students and alumni to enjoy.

“I think alumni really appreciated that the court came back, and it probably brought back good memories for them,” said Kiyabu.

Jennifer Grems, Assistant Principal for Student Life, said she loved how excited all the students were to see their athletes honored.

“It was also really cool to see the grade level representatives dressed up and honored in that way,” said Grems.

The director of student activities, Bill Wheeler, and Grems said they decided last year to suspend the homecoming court due to a large amount of unanswered questions.

“We were unsure of what we were planning, so there was no plan to begin with,” said Wheeler in a recent Na Pueo interview.

The decision contained many facets to stop the court including lack of time and planning but also because of gender issues and the traditional outlook, said Wheeler.

“Yes, we want it to look like how it was 30 years ago, but schools on the Mainland as well as Hawaii are moving away from the traditional boy-girl couple type of court,” said Wheeler in a recent Na Pueo interview.

A Na Pueo survey of 280 students reported that 67 percent of students wanted the homecoming court to come back, while just 7 percent said they did not want a court.

Emily Lin, 6th grade,  said she felt surprised that there was no homecoming court last year.

“The court adds so much character and so much more excitement,” said Lin.

This year, following tradition in years past, the homecoming court also walked during halftime of the Varsity Boys Basketball homecoming game against  St. Francis on Jan. 12. Kira Morimoto, homecoming queen, said that it was fun to represent her class on the court.

“I enjoyed it because I got to bond with students from other grades as well,” Morimoto said.