By Jan Iwase, Hale Kula Elementary SchoolJuly 25, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Yuki Rhinehart, a former student at Hale Kula Elementary School, here, is using technology to connect Hale Kula alumni.
Rhinehart, who attended Hale Kula Elementary from 1976-78, created a Hale Kula Elementary School group on Facebook.
As a self-proclaimed military brat who moved often, Rhinehart had fond memories of her time spent here, in Hawaii, while attending Hale Kula. She wanted to reconnect with friends she remembered from her school days, here.
Rhinehart searched for Hale Kula students on “The Military Brats Registry,” at www.classmates.com and MySpace, but didn’t have much luck. She decided to create a Hale Kula Elementary School group on Facebook, and the numbers of group members have been increasing.
Members use the group to reminisce about their time at Hale Koa. Reading the posts on the Facebook group page is like going back in time.
“Do you remember” questions evoke memories as members discuss their experiences and share old photos and class pictures.
Members are commenting about teachers they had, like Annette Nishikawa, now a Complex Area superintendent; Sally Omalza, now a vice principal at Leilehua High School; and Lillian Todd, who still teaches at Hale Kula.
Former students are describing where they lived on Schofield and then are learning about others who also lived on that street.
Members are also discussing places like the Polynesian Cultural Center, Matsumoto Shave Ice, Kam Drive-In and the skating rink in Mililani. Others are reminiscing about things that make Hawaii a unique place, like cracked seed, pineapple bugs, “Hawaii 5-0,” “Magnum P.I.,” May Day and trips to the Big Island.
Currently, 177 members have joined the Facebook group; the alumni experience ranges from the 1960s to the present.
“Hawaii is a very, very special place in every way,” Rhinehart said. “We were so lucky to have been there, and what better age to experience all the wonders of Hawaii than your childhood?”
Anyone who has a connection to Hale Kula Elementary can share memories by visiting Facebook (www.facebook.com) and then searching for “Hale Kula Elementary School " Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii.”