Monday, November 26, 2007

Moanalua High School: Home of the Monk Seal

Aloha everyone and welcome to Moanalua High School, home of the Monk Seal. Moanalua High School is a public, co-educational college preparatory high school serving grades nine through twelve. Established in 1972 , Moanalua High School is located in suburban Salt Lake near Moanalua in the City & County of Honolulu of the state of Hawaii. It is situated on an extinct volcano hillside overlooking downtown Honolulu.

The volcanic hillside on which Moanalua High School sits was used by native Hawaiians in worship. As one of the highest points overlooking what would later become the city of Honolulu, the volcanic hillside was revered as a place where the faithful could be closer to the ancestral spirits and gods. It served as a sacred altar as late as the reign of King Kamehameha V.

As of 2006, the enrollment at Moanalua High School stands at 2,050 students. Moanalua High School is nationally recognized for its academics, music program and media communications learning center. In 1998, it became the first student orchestra officially invited to play at Carnegie Hall by the governing Carnegie Hall Corporation. The Moanalua High School Marching Band is also widely acclaimed to be one of the best in the state. With the absence of professional sports teams in Hawaiʻi, the popularity of high school athletics is considerably high in the state. Moanalua High School competes in air riflery, baseball, basketball, bowling, canoe paddling, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, judo, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, wrestling and water polo. Moanalua High School has won several state championships and national honors.

Moanalua High School also has the distinction of graduating the most valedictorians each year, in comparison to the other schools of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.

Hawaiian Monk Seals, one of the most endangered species of all seals, became extinct in the 1950s. It is estimated that fewer than 1,400 Hawaiian Monk Seals exist today. The Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi, is Hawaii's only pinniped. It is a species that is considered endemic to the islands. The word endemic means that the species is unique to a region (i.e., is found no where else) and is believed to have evolved there. Many believe monk seals got their name from their monk-like preference for solitude; others think that the loose skin around the seals' neck resembles the hood of a monk's robe.Hawaiian monk seals are genetically tame and easily approached by humans. Unfortunately, this trait has proven to be one of the major factors leading to the population decline of the species

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