Tim Lucas ’62
2014 Old School Awardee
By Mari Miyoshi ’08
“Punahou has been a central pillar of my life for over 50 years; I love that I have been able to remain a part of its community,” says Old School awardee Tim Lucas ’62, who served as director of Outdoor Education for 17 of his 43 years at Punahou.
As a teacher, he initiated the fourth-grade trip to Hawai‘i Island, which received such positive feedback from students and parents that it was adopted by the entire grade. Lucas also developed the second-grade nighttime Zoo Walk and the third-grade trip to Kualoa Ranch, and worked with other faculty to develop the seventh- and eighth- grade camps. He served as Castle Hall supervisor for nine years and spent his last eight years at Punahou as one of three Case Middle School supervisors.
Though Lucas retired in 2012, he stays connected with the Outdoor Education faculty, brainstorming and discussing programs with them, and helping with hikes and camps. “The joy I get from sharing nature with kids is still there. It’s what got me into teaching,” he explains.
Born and raised in Wahiawa, Lucas entered Punahou in the fifth grade and “immediately loved it,” in spite of the long bus commute. In college, he decided to join the U.S. Marines, where he learned to scuba dive, swim to shore in the dead of night and jump out of airplanes. “They had me doing things I never thought I could do, but in the Marines you just don’t quit,” he says. Through these experiences, Lucas realized the value of pushing one’s limits – a form of perseverance that is taught in ropes courses and camp activities that gently nudge students out of their comfort zones.
Thanks to Lucas’ leadership and his passion for learning and nature, Punahou students are the beneficiaries of an unparalleled Outdoor Education program.