Ancheta lends her expertise


Mina Kohara

Cassandra Ancheta filled the void left by Mr. Akemoto’s passing last year as the guitar, ukulele, polynesian dance, creative dance and orchestra teacher at Kalani High School. She continues this year, but unfortunately had to take a temporary leave on Aug. 31 due to her position in the military.

Mina Kohara and Lin Meyers

Cassandra Ancheta is the new (but not so new) teacher for guitar, ukulele, Polynesian dance, creative dance, and orchestra here at Kalani High School. She acted as a substitute teacher last year, due to the abrupt passing of teacher Daniel Akemoto, but this year will mark her first year as a full-time teacher. 

“The transition has been a little difficult these past few months. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming to try to balance everything because of how much he did and as a first-year teacher it’s hard to manage but I’ve learned to rely on my colleagues here at the school and also the students who have made this transition easy for me.”

Now with Ms. Ancheta becoming a full-time teacher, her responsibilities are larger than last year. But that hasn’t kept her from having an enjoyable start to the year. 

“So far for me, the school year has been great!” Ms. Ancheta said. “Busy, but it’s exciting, and I’m really enjoying working with the students. It’s always so rewarding to come back and see familiar faces while also meeting new ones as an official teacher!” 

Even though the school year just started, Ms. Ancehta already has favorite memories created by her strong bonds with her students. 

“The students and I have bonded over similar music tastes by singing and dancing along to T-Swizzle or all the times I’ve made a really funny joke on the podium with the orchestra kids,” Ms. Ancheta reminisced. 

Her extroverted personality helps her connect with her students from all different artistic backgrounds. 

“I would describe Ms. Ancheta as courageous, friendly, and passionate,” Cayla Low (12) said.

Ms. Ancehta spends almost seven hours at school as a full-time teacher. But outside of school Ancheta enjoys going to the gym, capturing moments in time through video and photography, reading, and playing games. 

Ms. Ancheta is a part of the military, and because of this, she will not be present for the entire school year. Her last official day before she leaves for deployment is Aug 31 and will not be returning for the rest of the year. 

“I want my students to know that regardless of what happens this year, I’m super proud of them and that I can’t wait to see how much they’ll improve and how great they’ll do this school year,” Ancheta leaves as a message to her students. “I can’t wait to see them again next school year. And to my seniors, thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in and are going to put in this year. Do great things this year and I’m always gonna be proud of you guys.