As we head towards the end of the 2017-18 school year, everyone looks forward to the Stepping Stone ceremony! It’s one of Hanahau‘oli’s earliest traditions, the first Stepping Stone Ceremony held in 1926, and a time when we can, as a school, honor the 6th graders and look forward to excitement when they are able to unveil their stones!
Our Friday Assembly held on April 27, 2018, was a wonderful opportunity to explore the school's tradition of Stepping Stones. Mrs. Baclig and Mrs. Galdeira read some passages in the book by Miss Palmer, Memories of Hanahau'oli. In an article for the school magazine in 1930, there's a passage written by Frank Earle that remains true today: "A stepping stone is one thing that everybody who goes to Hanahau'oli leaves behind. . . . each stone is different from the next and bears the personal trademark of the maker."
We got to see archival photos of the Stepping Stone ceremony from many years ago and compare them to our ceremony today. What was the same? What was different?
The Assembly had 5 invited guests -- all alumna -- Erin Palmer '69 (Neve '21), Stephanie Soll '82 Buck (Ethan '13; Aiden '20), Jodi Shin '83 Yamamoto (Sean '12, Scott '15, Spencer '19), Julie Judd '90 (Mason '23, Leila '25) and our librarian, Gabby Holt '02 (with grandmother (Hanakulani Ferreira '50; father (Daniel Holt '77; brother (Davis Holt '04); and sister, Emily Holt '06) who came to Hanahau'oli).
They each shared why stepping stones were so important to them. Erin shared how the way the stones were made has changed over time. Stephanie's stone design was a springboard diver representing what she loved to do when she was young. She loves coming back to see her stone, her sister's stone, and Ethan's stone and how the stones connect the generations. Jodi's stone has twirling batons in a form of a cross. She had a passion for twirling batons that led to her love of performance and her stepping stone reminders her of how her love for performing came from Hanahau'oli.
Julie's stepping stone has a rose because she loved gardening with her mom and still loves working in the garden today!
Gabby shared the stepping stones of her grandmother, father, and her brother. She thinks the stepping stone helped her with empathy, being able to identify with and understand the same stepping stone experiences as her relatives.
Mrs. Galdeira shared the news about the Kulāiwi book on Hanahau'oli traditions that is being published right now in China for the Centennial! Phoebe Lin shared her research on stepping stones, "Our Stepping Stones tradition is really important for remembering past days . . . it's something you leave behind so other people can remember you and you can show your passion!"