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KS Maui haumāna Kaʻikena Guzman, Lyla Yamashita, Hinatea Kodani, Keiana Tuitele, Ciara Poepoe and Mia Wunder (from left to right) won several awards at the 2024 Student Television Network National Convention.

Maui haumāna dominate national video competition

May 20, 2024

The Kamehameha Schools Maui middle school media program once again showcased its excellence at the 2024 Student Television Network National Convention in Long Beach, California, winning multiple awards and earning recognition among thousands of participants.

The convention brought together more than 6,000 students and teachers from across the country for a whirlwind week of learning and competition. Among the 30 contests, the Maui middle school team stood out, securing gold in two categories and honorable mentions in several others.

Kumu Rob Siarot has been teaching at the ʻAʻapueo campus for over 20 years, founding the māhele luna program to give students a creative outlet to tell the stories of their ‘ohana, community and ʻāina.

“Our ancestors were master storytellers,” Siarot emphasized. “In this day and age with these new tools, why don’t we use that to our advantage and tell these great stories?”

Along with fellow kumu Candis Nishimitsu, he envisions Kaʻikena Productions going beyond building students' technical skills; it nurtures their confidence and independence. At the midpoint between childhood and teendom, these courses ignite their interests and exploration of college and career opportunities.

Eighth-grader Kaʻikena Guzman never considered himself to be an “artsy” person. But upon taking photography and videography studies, he discovered his passion for being behind the camera and directing the visuals of their projects.

“I learned that I love cinematography and color grading,” Guzman said. “When I first started, I never thought I’d be competing among thousands of students now.”

Similarly, for Keiana Tuitele, the media classes honed her confidence and capacity to work with others – a considerable skill needed in any school project or work environment. At the competition, students excelled under the pressure of a strict deadline, requiring the rapid storyboarding, scripting, shooting and editing of a video piece in mere hours.

It’s a stressful tournament but Tuitele says going through it taught her time management and self-direction.

“We can’t have any assistance or even look at our phones, so this experience helped me to build my independence and showcase all that I have learned from my kumu,” Tuitele said.

The team was pleasantly surprised when their names were called for the top spots. With only 6 students, they were a small but mighty hui compared to the other attending school groups.

“At the competition, there are so many talented students,” Guzman said. “It means a lot to me that the judges and professionals recognized our work as something that stands out.”

Weeks later, KS Maui haumāna once again proved their excellence at the local Youth Xchange contest, hosted by ʻŌlelo Community Media, earning top honors in five out of 12 categories. They also took home 6 awards in the STN Spring Nationals, the last student competition of the school year.

The success of KS Maui haumāna at national competitions like STN underscores the school’s commitment to nurturing talent and propelling student achievement. Further, the middle school media program is an example of how Ke Kula ‘o Kamehameha is investing in the future of our haumāna by persistently supporting their success.

2024 Student Television Network National Convention Winners

1st place Public Service announcement - Middle School
“In the Moment”
Kaʻikena Guzman, Lyla Yamashita

1st Place Movie Trailer - Middle School
“The Ones You Trust”
Ciara Poepoe, Keiana Tuitele

4th Place Crazy Eights Short Film - Middle School
Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle

5th Place Nat Package - Middle School
“Chef Oscar”
Hinatea Kodani, Mia Wunder

maui campus,student achievement,ks maui,ʻōiwi leadership,ka 'ikena productions

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