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Summer 2009

Ordinary people and their extraordinary acts
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Summer 2009 - Department | Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Kirk-uejio

Kirk Uejio ’98 meets with students in the student activities office in the center of ‘Iolani’s Upper School. Also pictured is Bailey Fischer ’10.

Kirk Uejio ’98

  • Position:
    Director of Student Activities
  • Education:
    BA in mathematics Claremont McKenna College
  • Family:
    Wife Ruth; parents Glenn and Constance Uejio; brother Steven ’96; sister Rebecca
  • Pasttimes:
    Racquetball, reading, traveling, eating, singing in the shower
  • Years at ‘Iolani:
    6
By Tate Brown ’86

I fondly remember the first day I met Kirk Uejio ’98. I was sitting across from a shy, tiny sixth grader with a full head of hair eager to please me during his ‘Iolani admissions interview. His good-natured father was in tow, cracking jokes and telling me how much Kirk’s older brother, Steven ’96, was enjoying the school. Kirk would follow his brother’s footsteps into ‘Iolani’s seventh grade, but by the time he graduated he had shaved his head and blazed his own trail.

Kirk developed his leadership skills at ‘Iolani. On the basketball court, he led the Raiders in the 1998 state championship game against Kalaheo. Kirk’s clutch 3-pointer at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime, gave the Raiders the win, and earned him the prestigious Mr. Basketball title. The Star-Bulletin likened Kirk to a Navy SEALS platoon leader hitting the beach, dribbling with one hand and positioning his teammates with the other.

Kirk had full command of the school off the court as well. In his junior year he ran for proconsul. Taking a page out of former proconsul Sam Cropsey’s ’84 campaign book, he endlessly repeated his name during his speech. By the time he graduated, everyone knew his name. Kirk’s term as proconsul was filled with wacky ideas, lots of fun, and a leadership style that drew younger students into school service. Not much has changed.
3-students-talk-to-kirk-uejio-1

Laurel Higa ’10, Matt Murayama ’09 and Solomon Wechsler ’11 gather in the student activities office.
Kirk graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2002 and decided it was time to give back to the educational community. After a brief stint teaching mathematics at St. Andrew’s Priory, he returned to ‘Iolani to become the Director of Student Activities.

Since his return, Kirk has led a revival of spirit on campus and helped to identify and cultivate future leaders. You will find him dressed in mismatched clothes during homecoming, giving away free food in the morning, riding around in golf carts promoting the day’s activities, and escorting students and teachers under umbrellas during rainy days.

He also redefined the role of the senior prefects, a body of seniors serving as a liaison between the students and administration. The prefects have since identified areas of improvement on campus and presented the school with real world solutions – solutions that they often personally carry out.

Kirk-uejio-at-homecoming

At a recent Homecoming, Uejio, right, coordinates an eating contest for faculty.

In the curricular area, Kirk developed a program to identify ninth graders who might assume leadership roles in the future. This has evolved into a full semester course on leadership open to tenth graders – the only one of its kind on campus.

One need only attend a school-wide assembly or athletic event to see Kirk’s influence on the student body. They don their red, black and white and proudly shout, Go Raiders!
 

Tate Brown ’86 is ‘Iolani’s Dean of Students.



Comments from Readers

  1. D41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
    Matt Gabe on 7/24/2009 at 7:54am

    Kirk - he's the man! His positive attitude is contagious and he makes a difference.

  2. F12f2caca0c5c81279972e6ae7011507
    Kay Fukunaga on 6/23/2011 at 9:51am

    Second. Kirk rocks!