History of Haleakalā Waldorf School

HWS has been a vital part of the Maui community for over 40 years

The sound of joyful children permeates our magical campus situated on the rolling verdant hills of upcountry Kula, Maui. The 100-year-old historical site of the Haleakala Waldorf School campus includes plantation-style classrooms, performance hall, lunch and meeting pavilion, numerous play areas, two athletic fields, organic biodynamic school gardens, and a majestic outdoor amphitheater, Waxman Field.  

The campus of Haleakala Waldorf School has a unique past. It inhabits what was once Kealahou School---a public school which served what was then the village of Waiakoa, mainly Japanese, Chinese, and Portugese farmers. In 1964, Kula School opened and the Kealahou campus was used only by Kula farmers for storage. The long quiet years took their toll—the grass grew tall, and the roofs and eaves began to sag.

Then, in the early 1970’s, a group of parents concerned about the educational needs of their children met to discuss the forming of a private school. In the autumn of 1972, two parents, Madelyn D’Enbeau and Mary Christopher, stepped forward and founded the Haleakala School in the Wailuku Union Church. It was a Waldorf inspired school and opened its doors with about fifty children and four teachers. In the school’s fourth year, a lease was obtained from the State of Hawai’i for the upcountry Kealahou campus in Kula. The teachers and parents rolled up their sleeves and went to work restoring the school to its former beauty. The restoration was so well done that the school won an award in 1991 from the Historical Society of Maui for the preservation of the old buildings. Since August 2013, the Kaluanui Campus hosts the HWS High School, which started with classes for grades nine and ten, and then expanded to include an eleventh and twelfth grade recently, completing the full offering of birth through high school curriculum.