Broadening Our Definition of Success

December 23, 2016

In presenting each Punahou graduating class their diplomas at Commencement, we typically describe their impressive achievement in academics, athletics, the arts and service to the community. The Punahou School Profile that accompanies a student’s transcript to colleges highlights the impressive concentration of academic talent within their graduating class.

However, it is an incomplete definition of success. By implementing the Aims of a Punahou Education, we are broadening our definition of success for students beyond test scores, academic recognition, athletic accomplishment and college matriculation.

Consistent with Punahou’s mission, we seek to provide each student with the academic, social and emotional foundation to reach their full promise and to lead fulfilled and healthy lives, in college and beyond. We want our students to believe that success is ultimately measured not at the end of the semester, but over the course of a lifetime.

The Aims of a Punahou Education include our students’ capacity:

  • To become empathetic and compassionate human beings;
  • To embrace multiple perspectives and to respect diverse views;
  • To think flexibly;
  • To become persistent, resilient and resourceful;
  • To collaborate effectively with others in a spirit of inquiry;
  • To possess self-awareness and effective self-management;
  • To embrace social responsibility and demonstrate ethical decision-making.

These are the social-emotional competencies that educate the heart, inspire and open the mind, and help a student successfully navigate the world today. Together with a challenging academic curriculum that develops keen intellects through critical and creative thinking and effective written and oral communication, our aim is to develop learners who are confident, passionate, independent and self-directed.

By devoting attention to a student’s social-emotional learning, we believe that we can improve and expand the pathways for successful cognitive learning.

With the inspiring leadership of our principals and the Punahou faculty, we are striving to develop a vibrant learning environment and a climate of care in which we are committed to cultivating these qualities and competencies in active partnership with our families.

How is the world better with Punahou in it? Ideally, we are educating engaged citizens and leaders who will lead lives of responsibility and purpose that create a better future.

James K. Scott ’70