Maui News

St. Anthony School Begins In-Person Learning with New Leadership

August 3, 2021, 11:49 AM HST
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Students return to in-person learning at St. Anthony School in Wailuku, Maui on Monday. PC: SAS Maui

St. Anthony School Maui began the 2021-2022 school year in-person on Monday with its highest enrollment in over a decade, a new Head of School, new church leadership, and is looking forward to unveiling their own Athletic Center on campus.

Students return to in-person learning at St. Anthony School in Wailuku, Maui on Monday. PC: SAS Maui

New Head of School, David Kenney most recently served as a District Educational Specialist supervising school based behavioral health services within Department of Education’s Baldwin, Kekaulike and Maui Complex Area.

Prior to that, he worked as a school psychologist, special education and early childhood administrator.

Kenney says he has unique and valuable experience with knowing “just how varied children are and how they learn in different ways, especially with the challenges they were faced with last year.”

St. Anthony School returned to class a day before public schools were scheduled to start. An estimated 165,000 students and 13,000 teachers and staff went back to school today for in-classroom instruction at 257 schools across the state.

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The return to school comes with layered safety mitigation amid a spike in COVID-19 variant cases across the state.

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“Following the same, successful COVID-19 protocol as last school year, SAS continues to implement strict sanitization precautions, social distancing in place and daily temperature checks upon arrival. All students on campus will be required to wear masks while on campus and will only be allowed to remove them while they are actively eating, drinking or participating in outdoor athletic activities,” said SAS administrators.

Kenney will be working in tandem with Monseigneur Terrence Watanabe – Vicar Forane for the Maui Vicariate and visionary, who helped St. Anthony School complete its unification of K-12 grades into one organization.

Head of School, David Kenney (left) and Monseigneur Terrence Watanabe (right) welcome students on their first day of school at St. Anthony School in Wailuku, Maui. PC: SAS Maui

Msgr. Watanabe will now be pastor at St. Anthony Parish, having transferred from serving St. Theresa’s Church for the past 12 years. Having also participated on the St. Anthony School Foundation Board, Msgr. Watanabe’s goal is seamless collaboration between the parish and the school. In addition, Reverend Ese’ese Tui, better known by his nickname, “Father Ace,” has joined the parish community as the new Parochial Vicar and a newly ordained priest for the Diocese of Honolulu.

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He is originally from American Samoa and was Ordained by Bishop Larry Silva on May 21, 2021 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa on Oʻahu. “We look forward to Father Ace’s youthful energy, tech savvy and deep faith to lead us into this new chapter,” said school administrators.

Msgr. Watanabe is especially excited to move forward with the development of the athletic center at St. Anthony School calling the dedicated Athletic Center on campus a “game-changer.”

This will be a multi-purpose facility that can provide a place where St. Anthony School students and others can practice and play, including multiple types of sports. “It will be so much fun to see ʻohana, parishioners, alumni, and friends alike there who want to cheer for the kids or use for other purposes. This is an opportunity to bring together and help the entire community,” said Msgr. Watanabe.

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