ʻ Iolani School , located at 563 Kamoku Street in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, is a private coeducational college preparatory school serving over 1,800 students. [16] 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. ʻ Iolani in the Hawaiian language means "heavenly hawk". Today, ʻ Iolani 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. [17]


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. [19] [21] [23]

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.

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


ʻ Iolani 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 ʻ Iolani School education, i.e., in the sixth grade, all students must be involved in a performing art.


The campus is divided into Upper and Lower School. Buildings include Castle Building, Weinberg Building, the I-Wing, the art building, and the Nangaku Building. Other facilities include the Upper Gym and the Lower Gym, the Ranzman Library, the Dillingham Pool, 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. [25]

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.

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. [26]


ʻ Iolani 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. ʻ Iolani School is a member of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, an athletic conference composed of Honolulu-area private schools.

Since the formation of the Hawai ʻ i High School Athletic Association, ʻ Iolani has won over 75 state championships in various sports. It is the only school in Hawai ʻ i to have won five consecutive state championships in Boys Basketball from 2002 to 2006. ʻ Iolani has the most consecutive state championships in Boys Wrestling, and is the first ILH school to win a Girls Wrestling State Championship in 2005. They also have six consecutive D-II football titles, highest in the nation.


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

Lower School is for elementary students, kindergarten through 6th grade. [28]

Upper School is for 7th through 12th grade. The schedule has eight periods, which rotate weekly. Each student normally has one study hall/free period and one elective, although new students who do not take a language normally have a second study hall or elective. Iolani summer school allows students to earn graduation credits; credit courses offered during summer include art, history, science, computers, and language.

Harold Keables

Harold Keables was first a teacher in Denver, where he was named the National Teacher of the Year by Life magazine ; [30] in 1965 he started teaching at ʻ Iolani School. [32] Each year he is honored by the Keables Chair, which brings "outstanding teachers, writers, and artists to ʻ Iolani." [34]

Other activities

ʻ Iolani students are involved in many extracurricular activities.

Imua ʻ Iolani

Imua ʻ Iolani is the school newspaper. It is published monthly, [14] distributed to all students, and is available online. In 2008, Imua ʻ Iolani was named the best school newspaper in the state. [14]

Speech and debate

ʻ Iolani 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 ʻ Iolani Debate Tournament, one of three State-Qualifying tournaments of the season. [14]

Real World Design Challenge

In 2009, ʻ Iolani'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. [14] In 2010, the ʻ Iolani 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 Hawai ʻ i March 26–29, 2010 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., placing second at the national level. [14] [14] [14] [16]


ʻ Iolani 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, ʻ Iolani also has a Botball team and a Vex team. ʻ Iolani's team number for VEX and FRC is 2438.


In 2008, ʻ Iolani's Vex team competed in the VEX World Robotics Competition, held at California State University Northridge. [16]

ʻ Iolani 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 ʻ Iolani 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, ʻ Iolani'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, ʻ Iolani's VEX team again was in the winning alliance at the Pan Pacific Competition.


ʻ Iolani's FIRST Lego League team won the Hawai ʻ i State Championships in 2007. [16] They competed at the World Festival in 2008 as the representative for Hawai ʻ i.

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. ʻ Iolani's FLL team is the only FLL team to win twice at the Hawaii FLL State Championships.


As of October 2017, ʻ Iolani has 3 FTC teams.

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.

Notable alumni


Authors, editors & journalists





Faculty & coaches


Monarchial government

  • Robert Hoapili Baker (attended St. Alban's; 1860s–1870s), governor of Maui, legislator and friend of King Kalākaua [78]
  • Curtis P. Iaukea (attended St. Alban's; 1863–1871), Hawaiian courtier, diplomat and official of monarchy, republic and territorial governments [17]
  • David Leleo Kinimaka (attended St. Alban's; 1860s–1870s), royal guard captain [81]
  • Samuel Nowlein (attended St. Alban's; 1860s–1870s), royal guard captain and revolutionists [78]
  • William Pūnohu White (attended St. Alban's; 1860s–1870s), lawyer, police sheriff, legislator of monarchy and territory [82]

Territorial government

State government

International government




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