News & Announcements

Letter from the President

Dear members of the Damien community:

I write to address the rapidly developing concerns about the executive order imposing new travel restrictions on refugees and other immigrants. These concerns are important. Not as political or partisan issues, but as how
they impact our teaching and community values at Damien Memorial School.

For context, the new administration issued an executive order on Friday that, among other things, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. The order also barred entry for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In our home state of Hawai'i, we’re proud of our richly diverse community of immigrants. Understandably, our congressional leaders, governor, attorney general and other officials condemned the travel restrictions. I join them with this letter.

I write today because the young men and women who attend Damien’s middle and high school are watching. We teach our students to live according to their personal faith, morals and values. Our students learn history and the Constitution in the classroom, and now they watch history unfold every day.

Damien students learn Christian teachings, such as: "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2).  Our international consortium of educational institutions, the Edmund Rice School Network, holds advocacy and service to those "marginalized by poverty and injustice" as an essential element of its mission. At Damien, we advocate for peace, justice and global awareness. We prepare students to help create a just society that uplifts the poor and marginalized.

Our students need to know that the executive order and travel restrictions clearly run counter to our teachings at Damien. This is not how we view immigrants, refugees and those marginalized by injustice. These are not the American values our service members defend.

Fortunately, valuable lessons for our students and community emerge during these troubling times. Yesterday amid the crisis, the Pope washed the feet of refugees and served those who are most marginalized. In school, we teach speech, debate and advocacy for those affected by injustice. Now Damien students can witness the wonderful real world lessons taught in airports and other detention centers across the country. Nonprofit organizations, professionals and other caring individuals across the land acted quickly and continue to act on behalf of refugees and families impacted by the executive order. We honor these examples of 21st Century service-learning and advocacy as a tool to combat injustice.

As I said, our students are watching. At Damien, our hope is that we use these events to reinforce our Catholic teachings and community values while recognizing the lessons of service and advocacy around us.

Aloha and God bless!


Wes Reber Porter
President and CEO
Damien Memorial School

Donation totals from Spirit Week

Homecoming spirit week donations by students:

322 cans of spam

144 cans of corned beef hash 

126 cans of corned beef 

373 bottles of shampoo 

373 boxes of toothpaste

66 toothbrushes

Over 30 packed boxes delivered by the Lions Club of Honolulu to the Hawaii Food Bank and the River of Life Missions.

Thank you to everyone who helped by donating and collecting all of the items during the week.  

Kahuku Speech Tournament

Damien participated in the first Speech tournament of the year at Kahuku this past Saturday.  8th graders Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Okoh tried their hand at Humorous Interpretation, while Junior Courtnee Elento moved the audience with her Dramatic Interpretation.  Courtnee's superior performance of a woman's tragic loss during the 9/11 attacks earned her a certificate and recognition at the tournament.  Good job Ryan and Michael and of course, congratulations Courtnee!

Kimono Dress-up Experience

On Thursday, September 22nd, a group of students and professors from four universities in Japan visited Damien to hold a workshop teaching our students about kimono. Kimono is traditional Japanese clothing which is typically worn on special occasions, such as festivals or coming-of-age ceremonies.

After a brief lecture about the history, styles, and parts of a kimono, our professors, Satsumoto-sensei and Kawabata-sensei, and the university students showed our students how to put on their yukata (a casual summer kimono), himo (string), and obi (belt). The students discovered how difficult it is to put on their kimono, but once their obi was tied, they all seemed to enjoy wearing it. The workshop was a wonderful educational experience that we hope to have again someday.

Varsity Girls Soccer Sign ups

If you missed the girls varsity soccer sign up last week, you still can do it online to join. Please clink on the link below to sign up online. Conditioning workouts have already started. Tuesday & Thursday's 3:30pm-4:40pm.

Any questions please contact Coach Eric Mau at

Sign up Online:

Leo Clubbers donate to needy Damien Family

The Damien Leo Club sponsored a needy Damien family who just moved into housing and provided essentials such as binders, slippers, socks, pillows, towels and toiletries.  Each student said they would give up eating one lunch out, going to the movies or buying drinks from Starbucks, Jamba Juice or Tea Time and use that money to purchase the requested items on their own.  Donations totaled over $500.  

2016 Give Aloha

Foodland's "Give Aloha" program will match donations to Damien!

During September, Foodland Maika'i members are invited to make donations up to $249 to their favorite participating Hawaii non-profit organizations at checkout.  So when asked, please select and donate to Damien Memorial School (Organization Code 77030).  The donations will be generously matched by Foodland and the Western Union Foundation.

Share this message with friends and family, and ask them to help support our school!  For more information on the program, click here.

Thank you for your support. 

Kalaupapa Immersion Trip

On October 6th, 2015 a group of Damien Memorial senior students and adult chaperones participated in a first-ever immersion trip to Kalaupapa on Moloka’i. The mission of the group was to be immersed into the experiences of Kalaupapa’s rich history, the ministry of Saints Damien & Marianne Cope, as well as the lives of the settlement’s community affected by Hansen’s disease. The immersion experience involved celebrating Mass each morning with the residents, indoor/outdoor cleaning of two local churches including St. Philomena, the church Fr. Damien help build, along with cleaning the old gravesites of Fr. Damien and others connected to the faith community. They toured the Franciscan women’s convent where St. Marianne Cope and sisters ministered and provided health care to residents and also took a tour of Kalaupapa’s National Historic Park museum. The participants cooked and hosted dinner for some of the residents sharing stories and experience at Kalaupapa, and the hike the pali trail on what is consider the tallest sea cliffs in the world.

         This year we are excited to have another group of Damien Memorial senior students participant in the 2nd Kalaupapa Immersion Trip scheduled (TBA). As in the past trip, we will continue to be immersed into the communal, cultural, historical, and spiritual aspects surrounding this special place of Kalaupapa. We say a sincere “MAHALO” to the wonderful residents of Kalaupapa’s settlement, Fr. Patrick Killilea SS.CC., Mr. Richard Schuman & Makani Kai Air, Damien Administration, and of course the participants and all supporters who make this immersion experience possible. Aloha

For more information or any questions regarding this trip please contact Mr. Jeremiah Carter at

Picture/ID Retake/Makeup Picture Day

House of Photography will be on campus Wednesday - August 31st for make-up/retake photos.  This will be in the library, during 4-5-6 lunch period, 10:15 - 12:25.  Here are the instructions for make-up and retakes:

1.  Check below for the list of students (it's an attachment) in your homeroom to see who needs a retake/makeup photo.  If a student needs to be added, let me know via email, I need to keep track of who takes a retake/makeup for yearbook purposes.  

2.  If your homeroom student is listed on the attachment, you will find in your mailbox a hard copy reminder for the student (will place in mailbox by Friday).  Please give the reminder sheet to the student either Monday or Tuesday next week, this will act as the student's reminder and hall pass.  Students are to go to the library for makeup and retake pics during their lunch period. 

3.  For those students who get their printed photos and want a retake, they need to go to the library during their lunch period.  Students doing a retake must bring their photo packet with them, and this will act as their hall pass from lunch.  

If you have not taken a photo or would like a retake, please feel free to do so.  If any questions/concerns please contact Mr. Pablo at

Scoringlive Male Athlete of the Week: Marcus Faufata-Pedrina, Damien

In each of Damien's three games this football season, Marcus Faufata-Pedrina has rushed for more than 100 yards and averaged nine yards per carry.

Not bad for a quarterback.

The Damien junior did it again Saturday, when he ran for a team-high 114 yards — nearly half of those coming on a 60-yard touchdown run — on just 10 carries. Faufata-Pedrina threw for 232 yards and three other scores for good measure in the Monarchs' 41-7 win over Kealakehe in a non-league game played at Aiea High School.

The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Faufata-Perdina completed 13 of 20 pass attempts and was not intercepted.

"I think he did a good job of executing the offense," Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said. "We're still kind of working on his game and what he needs to do in situations, but for the most part Saturday, he ran the ball and used his legs when he needed to and got the ball out there when the opportunities were there to throw it."

As a team, the Monarchs marched to 526 yards of total offense in a balanced effort (283 yards rushing, 243 pass). Six different players caught a pass, including tight end Shaun Apiki's six receptions for 59 yards. He was on the receiving end of a 4-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and a 13-yard scoring strike in the third, both from Faufata-Pedrina.

"We have a bunch of athletic guys that can run after the catch, so we have certain plays set up for certain people and Marcus is doing a good job of getting it to those guys, although he does have to make some reads," Klaneski said. "Also our guys have been catching the ball well and running after the catch."

Running backs Deacon Kapea (5 rushes for 92 yards) and Justice White (10 for 77) came through with complementary performances to Faufata-Pedrina. Kapea's 68-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter closed out the scoring.

For the season, Faufata-Pedrina has completed 61.1 percent (44 of 72) of his passes for 590 yards with 9 TDs to 3 INTs. He has already exceeded his touchdown total from all of last season.

"He studies a lot, he knows the game and he thinks about what he's doing," Klaneski said. "He's still kind of learning the little intricacies of the passing game and reading things pre-snap, but he's getting better at that. He's been doing a good job of being a leader on the field and earning the respect of everyone on the football field."

The Monarchs have rebounded with back-to-back wins after a 46-24 loss at Moanalua, in which Faufata-Pedrina threw for 356 yards and six touchdowns, but was also intercepted three times.

"We made a few mistakes offensively and he made a few decisions that he would take back, but when we'd look back at the tape it wasn't just him making mistakes, but people around him were making mistakes, so it definitely was a learning experience for us and for him," Klaneski said. "It's helped him to develop through the last couple of games and in practice so that when we had those certain play calls again, he knows that he can't make the same mistakes again."

One week later Faufata-Pedrina threw for 220 yards and five TDs — without an interception — and rushed for 132 yards to lead Damien to a 33-0 win over Maui.

Faufata-Pedrina and the Monarchs are 2-1 after playing three Division I opponents in as many weeks and will have a week off before opening up defense of their Interscholastic League of Honolulu D2 title against Saint Francis on Sept. 2.

-Kalani Takase

Fall Sports Try-Out Information

Welcome back to school student-athletes.  Below is a listing of tryout information for all of our fall sports.


Intermediate (Open to grades 7-9) – August 8-10 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Varsity (Open to grades 10-12) – August 8 -10 from 4:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Those interested should meet at the field at the times listed above.


Girl’s Volleyball-

Intermediate (Open to grades 6-9) – August 9 – 11 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Varsity & JV (Open to grades 9-12) – August 9 – 11 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Meet in the gym 15 minutes prior to start time each day.


Cross Country-

There will be a meeting on Monday, August 8 in room 225.  Practice is everyday from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Meet at the track.



August 9 – 11 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Meet in the courtyard near main office.


Bowling -

Tryouts are open to Boys and Girls who are in 9th-12th grade.

Girls:  August 9 – 11

Aug. 9 3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center

Aug. 10 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center

Aug. 11 3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center


Boys:  August 9 – 11

Aug. 10 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center

Aug. 12 3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center

Aug. 15 3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Fort Shafter Bowling Center


* Please note that you will need to have ID, current safety check & registration to access Fort Shafter. 

Damien grad Batalon lands a leading role in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Photo courtesy Jacob Batalon

Photo courtesy Jacob Batalon

Jacob Batalon, appearing at Comic Con in San Diego recently. He'll play Ned Leeds, Peter Parker's best friend, in Marvel's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," opening July 7, 2017. 

For a dude who strummed ukulele in high school and who never acted locally, Jacob Batalon feels stunned and lucky to land a role in Marvel Studio’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” now filming in Atlanta.

“I’m extremely blessed to even just be in the film,” he said in an exclusive interview.

He made his first public appearance, and signed autographs for fans alongside “Spider-Man” creator Stan Lee, at the recent Comic Con in San Diego.

But he doesn’t yet feel like a star. “It’s humbling,” he said. “God has definitely been good to me.”
Batalon, 19, a 2014 graduate of Damien Memorial High School, will portray Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned Leeds, in the reinvented superhero flick, scheduled for release July 7, 2017. The movie is poised to be one of next summer’s sizzlers.

Curiously, he was about 7 when he first saw the original Spidey film which hurled Tobey Maguire into the superhero universe. “What’s really funny about that is it was the first superhero film I remember fully and actually liked. So it’s really crazy how it all came full circle.”

Because Damien had no theater or stage program, he was a late bloomer in theatrical or film training. In May, Batalon graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, learning about the acting craft, in a two-year program.

“Singing and (playing) the ukulele really was my thing,” he said, recalling jams with his Damien buddies and performing at family functions. “My mother would make he go up and sing in front of everyone all the time, hahaha, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it so much as a child because I thought it was torture. But in retrospect, I think that’s what helped me get over my fear of being in front of people.”

Not surprisingly, he was startled when his agent called him to inform him of the “Spider-Man” role.

“This was at 10:47 at night, and he said I got a role in the film but he told me the producers weren’t sure what they wanted me to be. But I didn’t care. I was so happy and elated that I had actually passed out for a good two minutes after my agent called me.”

Batalon said he’d been waiting since March, when the buzz started, but it wasn’t till June that he was confirmed to play Ned Leeds.
“It was a week before I flew to Atlanta (when he learned about the character),” so it was somewhat of a grueling period of waiting and wondering.

“When they told me I was gonna be Ned, I was in Bryant Park in New York, just going absolutely crazy,” he said. “I was yelling and screaming and cheering. I’ll never forget that feeling. But the satisfaction made it all worth (the wait).”

Because of privacy issues, he can’t reveal much about Ned Leeds. “He’s Peter Parker’s best friend and he’s a sweet genuine guy and I really believe the fans will love him. I know. I do, hahaha.”

The Ned Leeds character has previously appeared in the comics, as a worker at the Daily Bugle, and in a “Spider-Man” animated series, but as Ned Lee, with Asian surname and ethnicity.

Batalon had to tell someone about his good fortune, and the first person he called was his brother-in-law, who could keep a secret. “I know he doesn’t say anything to anyone, even my sister; he’s in the military, so he knows something about being true to your word. I wanted it to be a surprise for my whole family, and I knew he was gonna be gone for a while, so I just told him first.”

When “Spider-Man” and its cast were introduced at Comic Con, the response was overwhelming, said Batalon. “That’s when I realized the gravity of it all,” he said. “I knew this film was big, but being in front of those fans who really love Marvel in general ... it was so humbling. It made me realize this is a lot bigger than all of us. I just want the fans to be happy, and if they’re happy, I’m happy. And yes, most definitely, I am definitely a fan.”

Perhaps because the actual film is a year from release, Batalon doesn’t yet feel like a budding star. He told Jon Watts, the film’s director, that he feels more like a fan than a movie star, and appreciates the hard work that goes into film production. “I’m just another working actor trying to get his fill,” he said.

He met Tom Holland, the actor tapped to play the next Spidey, in Los Angeles prior to filming, doing an audition together and “he’s been nothing but nice and great. We all love each other a lot now,” he said of his other castmates — Laura Harrier as Liz Allen, Parker’s high school crush; Zendaya as Michelle, presumably Michelle Gonzales, who had a fling with Parker in comic book lore; and Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, who appeared in Sam Raimin’s “Spider-Man.”

“Wemade it a point to hang out and be tight with each other before we started filming. And now that we’re in the throes of it all, there’s no problem with our chemistry. We really do love one another; I don’t think this film would be half as good as it is, if these people weren’t with me. I appreciate them so much; I’m glad they’re in my life now.”

Getting To Know Vice-Principal Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis '75

Stephen Lewis '75

Mr. Stephen Lewis assumed the position of Vice-Principal at Damien Memorial School in January when Mr. Carrasco left for the D.O.E.  The “new” Vice-Principal is certainly not an unfamiliar face to students and faculty.  Most persons affiliated with Damien Memorial School the last three decades know the ubiquitous Mr. Lewis.  But did you know….?  

Mr. Lewis is a proud 1975 graduate of Damien and attended college at University of Hawaii-Manoa, Lewis University in Illinois, and then Chaminade in Honolulu where he received his BA in History and a Masters in Business Administration.  Mr. Lewis started at Damien as a Religion teacher back in 1979 and has held more than a few positions since. 

Mr. Lewis served as Director of Student Activities in the early and mid- ‘80s, advising Student Government, and supervising their activities.  He then served as the Assistant Athletic Director for seven years, handling a plethora of paperwork, scheduling team transportation, and supervising activities in the gym.

“More recently,” said Mr. Lewis in a recent interview, “I served as Dean of Students for 3 years.  I was responsible for working with our faculty and staff on maintaining the discipline that we are known for having here at Damien.  For most of the past 20 years, I have served as Chairman of either the Social Studies or Religion Departments—for a few years I did both.”

When asked if any one position that he has held stands out above the rest either personally or professionally, Mr. Lewis answered passionately: “While I have always strived to do my best at all the positions I have held, the one position that always stands out for me is teacher/coach.  There is nothing else quite like it.  To have the opportunity to touch someone’s life in such a potentially profound way is both an awesome responsibility and a tremendous challenge.  That is what keeps me young.  There’s not much to compare with what I call the ‘light bulb moments’; those times when you have worked hard to present a lesson and you begin to see [the students] understand and apply the information.”

As for the his responsibilities and duties as Vice Principal, Mr. Lewis said he will “primarily assist the Principal in the following areas:  faculty development, evaluations, curriculum development, scheduling of classes and exams, strategic planning, and fostering an efficient and cost effective use of technology.”  Mr. Lewis will be serving as the Summer School Coordinator, and assist the Dean of Students in student affairs matters when necessary.

When Mr. Lewis was asked if he is planning to implement any new program, policy, procedure or campaign to enrich or advance the school and the Damien experience.  He answered that “my focus, for now, is on working with all parties involved in our transition to one-to-one technology.  We firmly believe this program will provide our students even greater opportunity for learning, as well as, assist them in developing skills that are essential to success in the 21st century.”

Mr. Lewis reflected on the changes since he was a student at Damien, noting, “While our school is over 50 years old, there are things our students have today that I could never imagine when I was here.  A gym, computer labs, cold water fountains, air conditioned classrooms…the list goes on.  The greatest difference is that we are now co-educational.  The young women at Damien have brought a new spirit and energy to our school.  They are actively involved in all aspects of the school: academics, athletics and other activities.  Their presence and enthusiasm has pushed the young men to higher levels of achievement.  Where the emphasis was once on brotherhood, we are now truly developing a complete Damien ‘ohana.”

But there are things that have remained the same.  Mr. Lewis reported that the curriculum is still demanding, discipline held at a firm, reasonable standard, and that all “students still have the opportunity to develop bonds of friendship that will last for many years to come while developing a variety of skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.”

On the spike in enrollment since going co-ed, Mr. Lewis commented that the increase has had a positive impact on nearly everything done at the school, from utilizing the existing facilities to their full potential, to fundraising, campaigning, and just plain working hard to make the first phase of the E Ho’opa’a Campaign a reality, as well as being blessed with donations from local business and foundations, parents of students, and from past graduates.

Mr. Lewis said, however, that the school still needs help on this ambitious capital campaign.  “I would especially like to reach out to our alumni to consider giving something back to our alma mater.   Many already help, but there’s always room for more.  We who are part of Damien’s first half century have the opportunity to make it possible for Damien to reach out to another half century, and hopefully more, of Hawaii’s youth.”

When asked about Damien’s public image, Mr. Lewis said that it was improving, “sometimes in spite of ourselves.”  He explained that in the past the many accomplishments and achievements gained by the school, students, and faculty at Damien were never really broadcast to the community at large, but rather kept within the confines of the campus.  “Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve begun to be a little more vocal.  We’ve become more proactive when it comes to informing the community about the great things taking place at Damien.”

That great things are taking place at Damien is not only written in words and unfolding before the school, but also seems to be buzzing in the air around the campus.  For example, Mr. Lewis addressed questions about Damien going through another round of accreditation.  He said that a Self-Study and an on-site visit have been completed and an official notice of the school’s term of accreditation will come later in the summer.  Word around the campus is that it was a positive visit and great comments were received from the Accreditation Team.  But these comments were in part the Team’s response to the genuine joy of the students observed on campus (see an accompanying story in the newsletter regarding the accreditation).

But appropriately, he ended with something that gives him joy:  “I would love to see our students continue to make us proud of their achievements, both while they’re here and after they graduate.”

It is clear Mr. Lewis is a young soul, and loves what he is doing.  But did you know....?When he was told that he did not look old enough to have been a teacher for over thirty years, he responded, “Being around the youthful joy, energy, and potential of our young men and women is my fountain of youth.” 

Look into Mr. Lewis’ bright, attentive eyes, listen to his confident and animated diction, and then ponder the subtle exuberance that rhythmically rises up in him when he is teaching, mentoring, counseling, planning, or administering.  And once you have experienced these things, you will recognize the qualities that have made Mr. Lewis, an important member of our Damien ‘ohana.