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Destination Kailua

Explore the shops, restaurants, schools and businesses that make Kailua an alluring piece of paradise.


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Family Matters

If there is one element that remains constant in Kailua, it’s the ohana spirit. With its small-town friendliness, safe neighborhoods, world-class schools and exceptional healthcare, Kailua offers opportunities for all families to learn, grow and flourish.

Dr. Sean Holliday of Holliday Orthodontics.

Even a trip to the orthodontist can be a family affair in Kailua.  Step into Dr. Sean Holliday’s office at Holliday Orthodontics and you’ll find a bright, modern room boasting the latest in orthodontic technology, including digital radiography, imaging, and state-of-the-art sterilization techniques. Dr. Holliday was also the first in Hawaii to use all-digital impressions (meaning that pink goop is a thing of the past). While you’re waiting,  patients can tap away on new iPads, browse braces-friendly recipes, or play games and contests posted around the office. “We try to engage patients,” says Dr. Holliday. “It’s a professional atmosphere, but, at the same time, we like to have fun. There’s a lot of celebration when a patient gets their braces off.”

Along with Kailua’s top-notch healthcare, parents can also find some of the best schools on the island, just minutes away. On a stunning campus overlooking the Kawainui wetlands lies Le Jardin Academy, which has offered students a top-quality education since 1961. As an International Baccalaureate World School, Le Jardin emphasizes critical thinking, active learning and creative problem solving. Le Jardin was the first school in Hawaii to offer this prestigious program from preschool through high school, and last year the first graduating class to complete the full program received their diplomas. New to the school this year will be the installation of solar panels to help fund scholarships. “It’s a gift that will keep on giving,” says headmaster Adrian Allan. He also points to new sustainability projects such as a farm complete with goats, chickens, fish and aquaponics, plus mini solar and wind power systems that all students have hands-on access to; just a few of the additions that round out the outstanding programs in music, foreign languages and athletics that Le Jardin is known for.

Le Jardin Academy offers a wide range of activities, including hula.

Photo: courtesy Le Jardin Academy

Students at Trinity Christian School.

Photo: courtesy trinity christian school

Just across the Pali in Maunawili Valley is Trinity Christian School, Hawaii’s only classical Christian school. Its Christ-centered curriculum uses classical methods that teach to the developmental stages of the child, from pre-kindergarten through high school. All students receive instruction in art, music, physical education, swimming and foreign language, and beginning in second grade, students also learn Latin. The ultimate goal is to create a lifelong love of learning, in and out of the classroom.  “Our students know their education is a gift that is designed purposefully to serve God and others,” says Head of School Nancy Shaw. “It is rewarding to see these young people use their gifts in a way that impacts others.”

Learning also takes place beyond classroom walls at St. Anthony School.

photo: courtesy st. anthony school

At St. Anthony School, the oldest private school in Kailua, new tools are giving students new skills. Last year, all middle school students received iPads, and seven classrooms were outfitted with high-tech, interactive Promethean boards.  A new upcoming school-wide activity to remove micro-plastic from Kailua beach, however, will depend on good old-fashioned student power.  “At the core of our education are Catholic values,” says Vince Lowell, St. Anthony School Board chair. “The curriculum and technology may change, but our mission to help young minds develop into outstanding citizens will never change.”







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Honolulu Magazine May 2019
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