Cooke Foundation Beautification Award Recognizes Three O’ahu Schools

January 23, 2013 by Kailani  
Filed under charities, columns, Life in Hawaii

The Cooke Foundation announced today the three recipients for its 2013 Cooke Beautification Award for Public Schools. This year’s three recipients, Iliahi Elementary School, Washington Middle School and Leilehua High School, all completed significant beautification projects in the past year and will each receive a $5,000 check and koa plaque at an on-campus award ceremony scheduled to take place later this month.

Each year the Cooke Beautification Award recognizes one elementary school, middle school and high school that have completed projects that beautify their school environment and significantly enhance the school’s overall appearance and ambiance. All public schools in the state, including charter schools, are eligible to apply.

“This is the fifth year that the Cooke Foundation has been able to recognize our local public schools and their efforts to enhance and beautify the campuses where our keiki learn and play,” said Greg Wrenn, Cooke Foundation alternate trustee. “We commend Iliahi Elementary School, Washington Middle School and Leilehua High School for their ongoing efforts to engage their students in these beautification activities and their commitment to sustaining a welcoming campus environment.”

Iliahi Elementary School is being honored for the transformation of a bare exterior wall into a colorful mural entitled, “Educating the Whole Child the Iliahi Way.” Students from the school’s after-school art program illustrated extracurricular activities offered at the school, configured in a larger design of a dragon, which is the school’s mascot.

Washington Middle School is being awarded for the installation of an incredible ceramic mosaic, constructed with the help of students. The aloha-themed piece is displayed prominently at the school’s entrance and features the names of students who assisted with the project. The school previously received a Cooke Beautification Award in 2010 for another mural project.

Leilehua High School is being recognized for an ongoing indoor and outdoor beautification project that has engaged hundreds of art students at the school for the past two decades. The project has resulted in approximately 30 murals on interior and exterior walls throughout the campus.

“This award is a tremendous honor for our students and the entire Washington Middle School ‘ohana,” said Michael K. Harano, Washington Middle School principal. “The award will help us continue to reinvest in making our school a great place to learn and an inspiring and attractive environment for our children.”

This is the fifth year the Cooke Foundation has presented the Cooke Beautification Awards. Previous Beautification Award recipients include:

  • Haiku Elementary School and Lahainaluna High School on Maui, and Kaw?nanakoa Middle School on O‘ahu (2011);
  • Mokulele Elementary School, Washington Middle School, and Roosevelt High School on O‘ahu (2010);
  • Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School on O‘ahu, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School on Hawai‘i Island, and West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy also on Hawai‘i Island (2009);
  • and S.W. King Intermediate School on O‘ahu, Lahainaluna High School on Maui, and Innovations Public Charter School on Hawai‘i Island (2008).

The deadline for 2013 Beautification Award nominations is Sept. 3, 2013. The 2013 nomination guidelines will be posted later this month at

Courtesy of The Cooke Foundation

About the Author: Kailani:
Owner of An Island Life. A flight attendant and mother to 3 beautiful girls. . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.
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