• 7/3/2017 8:32:18 PM

    Between Nainoa's amazing speech to seeing Ms. LM being honored, I am a wreck! Ms. LM is my favorite teacher/mentor/spiritual guide/coach. I was a small, skinny kid who had never picked up a paddle when I tried out freshman year 1985. I did not make the team but Ms. LM saw that I was comitted and loved the sport. Marion pulled me aside at cuts and told me I had not make the team BUT that she wanted me to come paddle for her that summer at Hui Nalu. Despite living in Kailua, I made it to Hawaii Kai every day for practice.

    Marion made it a point to teach me to steer. She warned me that because of my size I would be overlooked for the bigger, "stronger" girls. I would have to prove my strength over and over. I was feisty and stubborn and didn't like to be underestimated (still don't) so I worked HARD. Learning to steer gave me a talent most of the other girls didn't have.

    Fall of sophomore year came and I tried out again and this time I made it and paddled every season until graduation. In a generation where kids seem to expect to be "handed" success, I have repeatedly told my children Aidan (2023) and Tristan (at Le Jardin 2029), that Ms. LM "handed" me something far more precious. Marion gave me the truth (I was small and inexperienced), knowledge, the oportunity to learn and train and the clear understanding that I would have to work hard, very hard.

    Lastly, Marion gave me her encouragement and unwaivering validation in my efforts. To this day, steering a canoe is one of the most empowering, spirtual experiences I have in my life and every time I sit in a canoe I feel Marion's calm, powerful energy. I hear her calling changes or see her gracefully charging by me in her pink surfski.

    Thank you Marion. Thank you Punahou for nurturing your educators. Mahalo. – Courtney Meagher '89 Sibley


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