'Iolani School

ʻIolani School
Iolani shield.jpg
563 Kamoku Street


United States
Coordinates21°17.190′N 157°49.474′W / 21.286500°N 157.824567°W / 21.286500; -157.824567Coordinates: 21°17.190′N 157°49.474′W / 21.286500°N 157.824567°W / 21.286500; -157.824567
TypePrivate, independent preparatory school
MottoOne Team, "humble in victory, gracious in defeat"
DenominationEpiscopal Church
Patron saint(s)Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma
FounderKamehameha IV
CEEB code120040
NCES School ID00326634
Head of schoolTimothy R. Cottrell, Ph.D.
Teaching staff162.8 (FTE)
Number of students2170 (2021-22)
Student to teacher ratio11.4
Hours in school day7.3
CampusesLower School (K-6), Upper School(7-12)
Campus typeLarge city
Color(s)Red, Black, and White      
Athletics conferenceInterscholastic League of Honolulu
MascotʻIo (Hawaiian Hawk)
AccrationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges
NewspaperImua ʻIolani
YearbookKa Moʻolelo O ʻIolani
Distinctions4th largest independent school in the United States[1]

ʻIolani School, located at 563 Kamoku Street in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, is a private coeducational college preparatory school serving over 2,020 students with a boarding program for grades 9 - 12 as well as a summer boarding program for middle school grades.[2] Founded in 1863 by Father William R. Scott, it was the principal school of the former Anglican Church of Hawaiʻi. It was patronized by Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma who gave the school its name in 1870. ʻIolani in the Hawaiian language means "heavenly hawk". Today, ʻIolani School is affiliated with the Episcopal Church in the United States. It is administered by a Board of Governors and is one of the largest independent schools in the United States.[3]


Early years[]

On October 11, 1862, Lord Bishop Thomas Nettleship Staley arrived in Hawaiʻi by request of Kamehameha IV and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The following year Kamehameha IV, a devout member of the Church of England, established the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church, also known as the Anglican Church of Hawaiʻi. The school was originally named for Saint Alban.

In 1863, Staley's companion Father Scott purchased land in Lāhaina and established Luaʻehu School, a school for boys. When Father Scott fell ill and returned to Britain, Father George Mason was summoned by Staley to administer the school on Maui. On January 12, 1863, the St. Alban's College was also established in the Pauoa Valley in Honolulu. Mason also seemed to have managed this school as well. Before Staley, too, left the islands for Britain in 1870, Father Mason merged the two schools and relocated it to the St. Alban's campus. Later Bishop Alfred Willis purchased land on Bates Street in Nuʻuanu Valley and moved part of the school there, intending it for students of full or part Hawaiian descent, under the new name of ʻIolani College. The St. Alban's College, intended for white students, separated and continuing operating at Pauoa until 1887.[4][5][6]

With the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and annexation to the United States in 1898, the Anglican Church of Hawaiʻi became part of the Episcopal Church United States (ECUSA). ʻIolani School was moved to Nuʻuanu, transferred back to downtown Honolulu and then moved to Nuʻuanu a second time. It remained in Nuʻuanu from 1927 to 1953, when it was moved to the present Ala Wai site. The elementary school was moved to the Ala Wai site in 1946.

In 1979, the school became co-educational, ending its all-male enrollment policy.


ʻIolani School grew and refined its program offerings with a standard college preparatory curriculum as a foundation for every student. Religion, performing and visual arts, music, and athletics became integral parts of the ʻIolani School education. As such, all students in fourth grade must be involved in performing arts.

Returning to its history of being a boarding school, ʻIolani opened its newly constructed residential dormitories for boarding students in February of 2019.


View of ʻIolani Campus with Diamond Head and Waikiki in the background. Note: this photo is very outdated and is missing a number of newly constructed buildings.

The campus is divided into Upper and Lower School. Buildings include Castle Building, Weinberg Building, the I-Wing, the art building, the Nangaku Building, the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Learning, Boarding Dormitories, the Kaneshiro Science and Innovation Center, and the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Performance Studios and Courtyard. Other facilities include the Upper Gym and the Lower Gym, the Tsuzuki Library, the Dillingham Pool, the FabLab, and St. Alban's Chapel. ʻIolani School also has a stadium (Kozuki Stadium), a baseball field, an outdoor basketball court (the One Team Field house), and several tennis courts. [7]

Upper School[]

The Harold K.L. Castle Building was dedicated in 1980 to the Castle Family which had donated land to 'Iolani School. The Castle Building also contains most classrooms for the 7th and 8th Grade.[8] Orchestra and Choir also use this building for their Performing Arts classes for both Upper and Lower School students.

The Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership was finished at the end of 2012 for the replacement of the Upper School Library. The Sullivan Center was created to emphasize sustainability and includes classrooms, laboratories, an auditorium, and a garden among other facilities. [9]

Lower School[]

The Kaneshiro Science and Innovation Center and the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Performance Studios and Courtyard were both opened for the 2019 school year. These state-of-the-art and eco-conscious facilities allow the K-1 community at ʻIolani School to embrace their creativity with the aid of a number of decorations created in the school's Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership. [10] An interactive organ was installed as well.


ʻIolani School's athletic program was founded in 1932 by Father Kenneth A. Bray. Over 900, or 70%, of the student body, participates in one of over 32 competitive sports. ʻIolani School is a member of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, an athletic conference composed of Honolulu-area private schools.

Since the formation of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, ʻIolani has won over 75 state championships in various sports. It is the only school in Hawaiʻi to have won five consecutive state championships in Boys Basketball from 2002 to 2006.[11] ʻIolani has the most consecutive state championships in Boys Wrestling, and is the first ILH school to win a Girls Wrestling State Championship in 2005.[12] They also have eight consecutive D-II football titles, highest in the nation.[13]


ʻIolani School's campus is divided into two sections: Lower School and Upper School.

Lower School is for elementary students, kindergarten through 6th grade.[14]

Upper School is 7th through 12th grade. The daily schedule has six periods that rotate weekly unless circumstances, such as an assembly or early dismissal, call for eight shorter periods or four extended periods. These schedules are labeled A through D, with special schedules E and F (as well as E and F 1, E and F 2, etc.) for extended periods, assembly schedules, and chapel schedules among others. Each student normally has one study hall or free period and one elective, although new students who do not take a language normally have a second study hall or elective.

Summer school[]

ʻIolani summer school allows students to earn graduation crs; cr courses offered during summer include art, history, science, computers, and language.[15]

Harold Keables[]

Harold Keables was first a teacher in Denver, where he was named the National Teacher of the Year by Life magazine;[16] in 1965 he started teaching at ʻIolani School.[17][18] Each year his legacy is honored via the Keables Chair, which brings "outstanding teachers, writers, and artists to ʻIolani."[19]

Yearly Events[]

There are a number of events that ʻIolani holds every year. These pertain to fundraising, performing arts, and chapel among other topics.

ʻIolani Fair[]

The ʻIolani Fair has been held every year in late April to fundraise for student expenditures. Initially started as the Fun Festival in 1948, it would later become the Carnival, and eventually in 1990, the Fair. Themes for each year were introduced shortly thereafter. The fair typically consists of different sections including food stands, games, rides, a silent auction, a video game center, a white elephant sale, and a marketplace. While the fair was canceled in 2020 and 2021, it is set to return in 2022.[20]

Keables Chair and Scholar[]

May Day[]

Orchestral Performances[]

ʻIolani Dramatic Players Performances[]

Founder's Day[]


Christmas Nativity Chapel[]

Giving Day[]


ʻIolani students are involved in many extracurricular activities from academic to interest-led.

Imua ʻIolani[]

Imua ʻIolani is the school newspaper. It is published monthly,[21] distributed to all students, and is available online. In 2008, Imua ʻIolani was named the best school newspaper in the state.[22]

Math Team[]

The 'Iolani math team has been participating in the Oahu Mathematics League since the mid 1970s (the league was started in the 1968–69 school year). The team has won the league championship in 1977, 1981, 1984, 1990, 1991, and from 1993 to the present. This marks 32 total championships, including the past 27. The JV team has claimed the top spot ever since the inception of the JV division in the 2000–01 school year. Also, 'Iolani holds the record for placing first 18 times in the Hawaii State Math Bowl (which was started in 1978).[23]

Science Olympiad[]

'Iolani has two Science Olympiad Teams, Division B (grades 6–9) and Division C (9-12).

Division B has been a part of Science Olympiad since 2012.[24] They have qualified for the national tournament twice (in 2012 and 2014).[25][26] For every other year they have competed, they have been the runner-up at the states competition.[25] In the 2012 National Competition, Division B placed 5th in Water Quality.[27]

Division C has been a part of Science Olympiad since 2011.[24] They have qualified for the national tournament every year they have competed, except for 2013 when they placed as runner up.[25] At the 2014 national tournament at the University of Florida, the team was the national champions in the trial event Hydrogeology.[28] At the 2015 national tournament at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Division C was the national champions in both Fossils and Geologic Mapping and placed 2nd in the trial event Science Bowl.[29] In the 2016 National competition, the Division C team was the national champions in Fossils, and placed 3rd in Game On and Anatomy and Physiology, and 4th in Geologic Mapping.[30] They also placed 2nd in Game On and 3rd in Indoor Bottle Rocket at the 2017 National competition.[31]

Speech and Debate[]

ʻIolani has an Intermediate Speech Team (grades 7–8) and a Speech and Debate Team (9-12). Both teams have won numerous competitions. Every February, the school hosts the ʻIolani Debate Tournament, one of three State-Qualifying tournaments of the season.[32]

Real World Design Challenge[]

In 2009, ʻIolani's team "NDC" became the national champions at the U.S. Department of Energy's Real World Design Challenge, out of nine other teams from nine other states.[33][34] In 2010, the ʻIolani ZAMA team took first at the state level. Team members J. Hara, C. Kodama, E. Masutani, M. Muraoka, D. Reiss, T. Van Etten, M. Williams represented the state of Hawaiʻi March 26–29, 2010 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., placing second at the national level.[35][36][37]


ʻIolani School also has several robotics teams which participate in competitions organized by FIRST. Iolani has a FIRST Robotics team, a FIRST Lego League team, and a Junior FIRST Lego League team. Besides FIRST related teams, ʻIolani also has a Botball team and a Vex team. ʻIolani's team number for VEX and FRC is 2438.


In 2008, ʻIolani's Vex team competed in the VEX World Robotics Competition, held at California State University Northridge.[38]

ʻIolani School typically hosts the East Oahu VEX Robotics Competition.

On December 6, 2008, the Vex team competed in the 2008 VEX Pan Pacific Competition, held at the Hawaii Convention Center. The ʻIolani team (2438a) was part of the winning alliance, and qualified for the 2009 VEX World Robotics Competition, to be held at Dallas, Texas. They won the Community award and the Champion award.

In 2010, ʻIolani's VEX team again qualified for the World Competition by being part of the winning alliance at the Kahala VEX Regional. At the 2010 VEX World Robotics Competition, they won the notable CREATE award for design, as well as placing as division semifinalists.

In the 2011 VRC season, ʻIolani's VEX team again was in the winning alliance at the Pan Pacific Competition.


ʻIolani's FIRST Lego League team won the Hawaiʻi State Championships in 2007.[39] They competed at the World Festival in 2008 as the representative for Hawaiʻi.

Two of the FLL teams competed in the Niu Valley qualifier on December 6, 2008; both teams qualified for the Hawaii State Championships to be held in January 2009. The teams took first and second place, and merged to form one team that traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for the US Open Championships. They won third place in Quality Robot Design and first place in the Alliance Rounds along with the Landroids and the ZBots. ʻIolani's FLL team is the only FLL team to win twice at the Hawaii FLL State Championships.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)[]

As of October 2017, ʻIolani has 3 FTC teams.[citation needed]

Economics Challenge[]

Every spring, the Iolani Economics Challenge team led by coach Lance Suzuki competes in the state, regional, and national economics challenge. Iolani has won ten consecutive state championships and has won the national championship in 2005 and 2006 at the A.P. level and in 2007 at the non-A.P. level. In May 2010, the team of Sean Cockey, Andrew Ellison, Jesse Franklin-Murdock, and Mark Grozen-Smith defeated a team from Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, to win another national title. 'Iolani also won the national title in 2013.

Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA)[]

ʻIolani School's Gender-Sexuality Alliance strives to promote inclusivity on campus and allow spaces for discussions on contemporary issues such as gender identity, pronouns, and sexuality through student-submitted questions, in addition to ice breakers for members and media with representation LGBTQIA+ individuals. Furthermore, the club provides website resources for students to utilize if necessary. Every year, the club holds its annual No Name-Calling Week in conjunction with the Chapel Council to bring to light the issue of bullying and discrimination, as well as participating and walking in Oʻahu's annual Pride parade. [40] While originally named the Gay-straight alliance, the club decided to change its name in order to foster greater inclusivity of students and identities.

Model United Nations (MUN)[]

Originally the 'Iolani School International Affairs Association, or ISIAA, ʻIolani's Model United Nations club has competed in various conferences since its founding in 2011. With the help of coaching by two advisers and student leadership, the numerous delegates who have joined since the club's founding have competed in a number of conferences, amassing a multitude of awards from different committees. Examples include the annual PacMUN conference, as well as international conferences such as AJMUN and VMUN, in addition to national conferences such as SCVMUN. [41] Delegates from ʻIolani, in addition to competing, often help to staff and run conferences held around the island, allowing for a learning experience for all delegates. Many of these delegates have continued to participate in Model UN in college as well. ʻIolani runs its annual conference ʻIoMUNC in autumn, with beginner, intermediate, and advanced committees chaired and staffed by members of ʻIolani's delegation with the participation of schools around the island.

Chamber Music Program[]

The chamber music program at ʻIolani School allows for talented students to be coached weekly by virtuosic musicians from around Hawaiʻi. During the semester, each group practices and prepares a piece to be performed at a recital held in the middle and end of the school year. Pieces from all different periods of classical music are performed and are not restricted to a specific time period or composer. These quartets are possible due to the gracious support of sponsors and continue the musical growth and education of ʻIolani students, allowing for the unique experience of playing in chamber ensembles.

Rubik's Cube Club[]

Established in 2020, the Rubik's Cube Club has provided a space for Rubik's Cube aficionados to hone their skills in Speedcubing. Through multiple members of the World Cube Association's participation, the club has continued to expand and reach up to the standards of competition.

Surf Club[]

The active participation of ʻIolani's surf club in numerous competitions around the island has yielded great achievements to its members. The club's members participate in the annual Hawaiʻi Surf Association's yearly competition, participating in both divisions of the shortboard, longboard, and bodyboard events.[42]

Notable alumni[]


Authors, ors and journalists[]





Notable faculty and coaches[]


Monarchial government[]

Territorial government[]

Federal government[]

State government[]

International government[]




  1. ^ "Did You Know?". Iolani School. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
  2. ^ "'Iolani School Report to Colleges Class of 2020" (PDF). iolani.org. Honolulu, HI: ‘Iolani Schoo. 2019-10-16. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  3. ^ Broughman, Stephen P.; Swaim, Nancy L. (July 2013). Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results from the 2011-12 Private School Universe Survey. First Look. NCES 2013-316 (PDF). National Center for Education Statistics.
  4. ^ "History Timeline". ʻIolani School. 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Soong, Irma Tam (1997). "Sun Yat-sen's Christian Schooling in Hawaiʻi". The Hawaiian Journal of History. Honolulu: Hawaiian Historical Society. 31: 151–178. hdl:10524/527. OCLC 60626541.
  6. ^ Restarick, Henry Bond (1924). Hawaii, 1778–1920, from the Viewpoint of a Bishop: Being the Story of English and American Churchmen in Hawaii with Historical Sidelights. Honolulu: Paradise of the Pacific. pp. 116, 127–133, 193–200. OCLC 1337282.
  7. ^ "Campus Maps". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  8. ^ "Castle Building | Iolani School". 'Iolani School. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  9. ^ "SULLIVAN CENTER". 'Iolani School. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  10. ^ "KINDERGARTEN-FIRST GRADE COMMUNITY". 'Iolani School. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  11. ^ Billy Hull. "Boys Basketball All-State Teams 1998-2007". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Billy Hull (March 6, 2005). "Iolani girls, Kamehameha boys win wrestling titles". Star Bulletin. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Football: Raiders win ILH D-II title". October 27, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  14. ^ "Iolani Lower School". ʻIolani School. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "Upper School". ʻIolani School. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "How to Learn to Write". Time. May 23, 1960.
  17. ^ Adam Maruyama (April 7, 2003). "Visiting teacher makes science come alive". Star Bulletin.
  18. ^ "Harold Keables Commemorated Each Year with English Chair". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "Harold Keables Chair of English". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Iolani LibGuides https://iolani.libguides.com/archives/did-you-know. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Imua 'Iolani: Print Issues". Imua 'Iolani. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017.
  22. ^ Pat Gee (April 24, 2008). "Iolani's newspaper named best in state". Star Bulletin. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "Math Bowl Records & Winners | Mathematics Department | Brigham Young University-Hawaii". math.byuh.edu.
  24. ^ a b "Iolani School - Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki". scioly.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  25. ^ a b c "B-Team Wins Science Olympiad". Hawaii State Science Olympiad. February 4, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  26. ^ Kara Marushige (March 5, 2014). "High School Science Olympiad Team Wins Third in State". Eagle Eye. Hawaii Baptist Academy. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  27. ^ "2012 National Tournament | Science Olympiad". www.soinc.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "2014 National Tournament | Science Olympiad". www.soinc.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "2015 National Tournament | Science Olympiad". www.soinc.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "2016 National Tournament | Science Olympiad". www.soinc.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "2017 National Tournament | Science Olympiad". www.soinc.org. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  32. ^ For examples see http://www.iolani.org/wn_usac_031708_cc.htm Archived 2008-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, http://www.iolani.org/wn_0304_08_cc.htm Archived 2008-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, or http://www.iolani.org/wn_usact_042108_cp.htm.
  33. ^ "ʻIolani School from Honolulu, Hawaii Wins U.S. Department of Energy Real World Design Challenge". United States Department of Energy. March 31, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  34. ^ "Iolani team wins national engineering competition". Honolulu Advertiser. March 21, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  35. ^ "RWDC team takes second at Nationals". Imua 'Iolani. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  36. ^ "RWDC ZAMA Design" (PDF). Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  37. ^ "Real World Design Challenge Winner to Compete Nationally — Office of the Governor". archive.lingle.hawaii.gov. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  38. ^ "ʻIobotics compete in Cal". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  39. ^ "2007 Hawai`i FIRST LEGO League Tournament Awards". Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2008.
  40. ^ "GSA Club Makes Presence Felt at Pride Parade". Imua Online. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  41. ^ "<'IOLANI NEWS> All Japan Model U.N." Ameba. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  42. ^ "Letter from Head of School" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. ^ "Iolani soccer star bound for SMU". Iolani Alumni. June 12, 2002.
  44. ^ "Ex-Washington State guard makes trip from Hawaii to see Tony Bennett's Final Four run". Star Tribune. January 2, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  45. ^ "Iolani grad Ta'amu signs with Vikings". The Honolulu Advertiser. July 18, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  46. ^ Go Paolo (July 4, 2018). "Who is Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster?". Toronto Raptors. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  47. ^ Reardon, Dave. "The voice of the Rainbows will likely stay in the family". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2012-09-23. Retrieved 26 Sep 2010.
  48. ^ "Who Is Guy?". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  49. ^ "Fulbright Senior Scholar extends Sac State's reach". CSUS. February 5, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  50. ^ "Class of 1975 Celebrates 'Snake Pit' 35th Reunion". Iolani Bulletin. Winter 2011. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007.
  51. ^ Clyde Kusatsu at IMDb
  52. ^ "Grace Nikae". Pacific Marketing Conference. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  53. ^ "Iolani Bulletin: The Legacy of Eddie Hamada '46". Iolani Bulletin. Spring 2010.
  54. ^ "Introducing New Faculty" (Fall 1967) [Printed Item]. Iolani School Bulletin, Series: vol VIII, no. 1, ID: RG021:9.ISP.ISB, p. 10. Honolulu, Hawai'i: 'Iolani School Archives, 'Iolani School.
  55. ^ a b "Local And General News". The Independent. Honolulu. April 6, 1900. p. 3.
  56. ^ Iaukea, Curtis Piehu; Watson, Lorna Kahilipuaokalani Iaukea (1988). Schweizer, Niklaus R. (ed.). By Royal Command: The Official Life and Personal Reminiscences of Colonel Curtis Piehu Iaukea at the Court of Hawaii's Rulers. Honolulu: Hui Hanai. pp. 8–20. ISBN 978-0-9616738-6-4. OCLC 16006083.
  57. ^ "Two Notable Island Deaths". Saturday Press. Honolulu. March 15, 1884. p. 5.
  58. ^ Ahuimaia (October 21, 1903). "Political Drift Wood – The Leaving of Some of Our Prominent Countrymen". The Independent. Honolulu. p. 3.
  59. ^ Krauss, Bob (1994). Johnny Wilson: First Hawaiian Democrat. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8248-1577-6. OCLC 30398759.
  60. ^ "Iolani grad one of highest ranking Hawaii people in Obama administration". August 17, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  61. ^ "PN1338 — Jill Aiko Otake — The Judiciary". United States Senate. December 21, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  62. ^ Jonathan D. Spence (1999-08-23). "Sun Yat-sen". Time.
  63. ^ "CNN In-Depth Specials - Visions of China - Profiles: Sun Yat-sen". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  64. ^ "The Late Prince". The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Honolulu. April 14, 1877. p. 2.[permanent dead link]
  65. ^ a b At Thy Call We Gather. Honolulu: Iolani School, p. 27.
  66. ^ "Prince Keliiahonui – His Death at an Early Age at Iolani Palace". The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Honolulu. September 22, 1887. p. 3.
  67. ^ "Chelsea Hardin wins Miss Hawaii USA 2016". The Great Pageant Community. 25 November 2015.


External links[]