■ PCC Maori musician named Kamehameha Schools Kapalama principal: 

A contingency of officers and cultural leaders from the Polynesian Cultural Center recently presented one of our own to the Kamehameha Schools Kapalama (KSK) in Honolulu in an exchange of traditional Polynesian protocol.

sheena-alaiasa72KSK Po’o Kula (president) Earl T. Kim announced in April 2015 that the Kapalama school had named Sheena Fitzgerald Alaiasa as its new po’o kumu (principal), effective June 1. Alaiasa, a New Zealand Maori who still works occasionally as a PCC musician, was most recently principal of Castle High School in Kaneohe and had been named both the Hawaii and the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ “principal of the year” in 2013 for her administrative innovation and progress in the Castle Complex area.

After graduating from Church College of New Zealand, Alaisa first worked on the trading floor of the Sydney, Australia, stock exchange for six years before attending BYU-Hawaii in 1989, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education while working part-time as a PCC musician. She later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Hawaii, and went to work for the State Department of Education.


“We went as representatives of Sheena’s Polynesian ohana [family] to present her to Kamehameha Schools,” said Delsa Moe, PCC Director of Cultural Presentations. “It was similar to how a family presents a daughter to the family of the groom: We were presenting ‘our girl,’ acknowledging their selection of her as the new principal.”

Moe noted that such Polynesian protocol included chants in Hawaiian by retired PCC cultural specialist Cy Bridges and Manu Boyd on behalf of KSK and, of course, the presentation of symbolic gifts from each of the PCC’s island managers.


PCC President & CEO Alfred Grace (left) and his wife, Valerie (right), with Sheena Alaiasa

and her husband, Norris, at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama. (Photo by Delsa Moe)

“Our New Zealand group went last, presenting Sheena,” Moe said. She added that PCC President & CEO Alfred Grace, who comes from the small North Island town of Turangi where Sheena and her younger brother, Seamus Fitzgerald, grew up, also commended KSK’s selection:

“He said how proud the PCC is of her, and how ever since he has known her, Sheena has always stood out and excelled, just as she subsequently did at Church College of New Zealand and BYU-Hawaii. He said, ‘We are giving one of our best to one of the best institutions here in Hawaii. Sheena is Maori, but she represents the best of all of Polynesia.’”

“There was a real feeling of ohana in the ceremony.”

■ Nearby Kahuku High Class of 2015 graduation performance goes viral:

If you’re not among the more than 4.2 million people who have already seen its viral presentation on YouTube, you might enjoy watching all the spirit and talent the graduating Kahuku High Class of 2015 put into their final performance by clicking the picture below:


Video courtesy of MoStreetProductions               

Many of the graduates who celebrated as part of their May 29 ceremony in the BYU-Hawaii Cannon Activities Center, are the children and/or grandchildren of PCC employees. Heck, some of them have worked, currently work, or will work at PCC in the future, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Laie Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Getting Finishing Touches:

A lot of the work on the new Laie Courtyard by Marriott Hotel is not going on inside the building. Grand opening details will be announced later.


 Photo by PCC’s own Jack Baxter and his high flying drone                 


mike_foleyMike Foley, who has worked off-and-on

at the Polynesian Cultural Center since

1968,  has been a full-time freelance

writer and digital media specialist since

2002, and had a long career in marketing

communications and PR before that. He

learned to speak fluent Samoan as a

Mormon missionary before moving to Laie

in 1967 — still does, and he has traveled

extensively over the years throughout

Polynesia and other Pacific islands. Foley

is mostly retired now, but continues to

contribute to various PCC and other media.