La Pietra, Obama's sister in inaugural spotlight

Bobbi Jo Katagiri
Bobbi Jo Katagiri
Mahina Hugo
Mahina Hugo

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

DIAMOND HEAD (KHNL) - A lot of pride is beaming from the school where President Barack Obama's sister teaches. Tuesday morning, La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls in East Oahu re-played the inaugural ceremony for students, who lived the historic moment through their teacher's eyes.

La Pietra stands proud. Their thrill is in seeing their teacher, Maya Soetoro Ng, side by side with her half brother, Barack Obama, as he's sworn in.

"We're so proud you know, it's Hawaii and we're just so proud that because here at La Pietra, we're like close with everyone and we're really close with the teachers so she's like our family so just having our own family member go out, it's just really exciting," said La Pietra 9th grader, Bobbi Jo Katagiri.

Five other La Pietrans are also in D.C., blogging their trip so their classmates and teachers can track their experience.

In one blog right before the ceremony, one of them writes:

"As Martin Luther King identified in his 'I Have a Dream' speech, everyone's freedom is inextricably entwined and today we will all become a little more free.

I am so ecstatically happy to be alive right now, to be here right now, and I cannot wait for today!"

"It's really cool for us to see people our age and hear their stories and what they're thinking," said La Pietra 11th grader Marissa Freeman.

Students say the lesson learned within the ceremony is the barriers Obama has broken.

"Now I have a lot more inspiration to go out and do something big, make that difference," said Katagiri.

"Not only is he from Hawaii, we have his half sister here, she's part of La Pietra so I think there was just this intertwining of just, wow, we have a special place in the new President's life," said Mahina Hugo, La Pietra Head of School.

The ladies return from their exciting trip, this week.