Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

‘Sanity Time’ for Principal Dean Cevallos at Keaau High


It’s called ‘sanity time’ for Dean Cevallos, a period of time he sets aside each day to allow himself to rejuvenate.

Cevallos is the principal at Keaau High School and his 12 hour work days leaves little ‘sanity time’ for the hard working administrator.

“I arrive at school by 6:30 am to make sure I am here to greet the students and supervise any students that the parents have dropped off on their way to work,” Cevallos said.  “I don’t get home until after 7 pm everyday and it makes for a long day.”

So where does Cevallos’ sanity time come into play?

“I utilize the schools resources and run the track, work out on the stationary bike and treadmill and I lift weights,” he said.  “I try to make time everyday but do not always get that luxury.”

Cevallos desire to stay healthy and fit began when he was eight years old as he always loved a variety of sports.

“I have done football, baseball, and basketball, track and field, cross country, wrestling, rugby, gymnastics, handball, racket ball, tennis, bicycling, skiing, mountain hiking, bowling, and paddling and have even attempted surfing,” he said.

Growing up in Aurora, Colorado, Cevallos played football, cross country, track and wrestling in high school.

“I have always loved sports and always will,” he said.

In 1996 Cevallos began as a substitute teacher, part time teacher, regular education teacher and special education teacher at Pahoa High & Intermediate before becoming an administrator at Hilo High then later returned to Pahoa as their principal from 2008 to 2011.

While serving at Pahoa, Cevallos filled extracurricular duties at the school as he became the cross country and track & field coach for over five years.

“In 2011 I was assigned to come to Keaau, where I am currently,” Cevallos said.

    Cevallos is a 55 year old hard working person with two sons, Dale, 37, and Ian, 35, who are graduates of Pahoa High.

Cevallos’ sanity time has him running on the treadmill for a minimum of 1 to 3 miles then switches to the stationary bike for 5 to 7 miles.

“Following my cardio workout I will do a strengthening workout for about an hour each day,” Cevallos said.  “I work on a different body part each day starting the week with a heavy chest workout that would include a bench press, dumbbell press, skull crushers, flies and then a variety of triceps exercises.”

Following his heavy chest workout Cevallos will work on his legs on day two and day three is a back and dead lift with cable pulls adding in biceps and abs.

“The fourth day is a light chest and then I finish the week with heavy leg and shoulder workout and abs,” he said.

His daily workouts had me extremely impressed, but just to look at Cevallos you can see that the weight training is paying off as you can’t find an ounce of body fat on the man.   Surely impressive for a busy administrator working 12 hour days.

But Cevallos does have a weakness and that would be his diet.

“My downfall is the late arrival at home and the inability to make sure I eat right at school,” Cevallos said.  “The demands of the job get in the way of honoring myself with a lunch at the time I am supposed to have lunch.”

Many things will get in the way that is vital to the operations of the regular school day and Cevallos knows he is missing out on proper nutrition.

A good breakfast, healthy snacks around mid morning and a nice lunch with a healthy snack in the afternoon is what would be best for Cevallos and he knows it!

“This just does not happen for me,” Cevallos said.  “I know that my fat cells tend to hoard energy and I have my midsection that suffers the weight.”

Cevallos also knows that his evening meal should be consumed no later than 7 pm so that he doesn’t go to bed on a full stomach which will cause the body to run very slowly.

“Sometimes I eat as late as 9 pm,” he said.  “I do make sure I eat healthy meals as I have all the food groups, but it is the consistency of my meal intake that is my down fall.”

Cevallos does have a running career, having finished one marathon (26.2 miles) in Erie, Pennsylvania in an incredible time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.

But since that first marathon Cevallos has never been able to find the extra training time required to make his second marathon.

What he missed on the road running circuit he has made up for in the weight lifting room.

“My lifting has been fun as I have competed in the USAWF that occur on Oahu,” he said.  “I was able to set four records when I was lifting at age 42.”

At age 55 Cevallos still has set goals in running and weight lifting.

“I would like to get back to the weight, strength and ability to run distance that I was when I was 42,” Cevallos said.  “I find it takes twice as long now to get back to what I could do then, but that will not stop me and I am hoping I can dedicate more time to doing that these next few years.”

Dean Cevallos is an outstanding role model for the Department of Education. He is healthy and fit while serving our community and the thousands of young people that come into contact with him.


And someday should you happen to see a retired teacher doing laps in Puna remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

August 1, 2012 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keaau High Showcases Wall Mural

Advisor, Elpidio Calip, stands infront of wall mural at Keaau High

Advisor, Elpidio Calip, stands infront of wall mural at Keaau High

     Keaau High School’s Pihana Na Mamo Program believes in giving back to their school and to their community.

    On Monday advisors Elpidio Calip and Jonathan Peralto held the unveiling of their four week summer program to dozens of people in the community.

    Calip and Peralto took a 12 of their summer programs incoming sophomores and had them create an 8’x32’ wall mural in Building E.

     The dozen youngsters involved in the Cougar summer school program decided to do something special during the summer and on Monday unveiled a culturally creative wall mural.

     Special advisors were brought in to help oversee the project which included Sonja Caldwell, Pauline Stamsos-Correa, Bonnie Kim and Kathleen Kam.

   Kam, who served as the project coordinator and consultant for the program was extremely pleased with the outcome.

   “We took the basic idea of taking each student into account in creating this mural,” Kam said.  “The talent they had was apparent when I first saw their sketches early on.  I saw their potential and facilitated them during their discovery on what they wanted to create.”

    Kam is experienced in mural design as she also helped Keaau create an earlier mural set directly onto concrete in Building G.  “The last touch up went on this wall at 10 o’clock this morning and I am very pleased with the outcome,” she said.

    For the Building E mural the group used eight 4’x8’ sheets of plywood which were plastered together and hung onto the wall. 

    Each of the 12 students then created a silhouette of themselves in a story pattern into the mural.  The outcome was a breathtaking relationship between the land and sea created within the Hawaiian culture.

   “We spent two weeks looking for inspiration for this mural,” student/artist, Deann Thornton said.  “We went on field trips to Imiloa, the Lyman Museum, the Tsunami Center and Hawaii Volcano National Park to find that inspiration.”

Student/artist, Deann Thornton, stands infront of her self created silhouette

Student/artist, Deann Thornton, stands infront of her self created silhouette

    Kanani Johnson, a recent Keaau graduate, was the only non-freshmen, invited to paint on the wall by head advisor Calip.

    “Mr. Calip called me and asked if I wanted to come down and help create this mural,” Johnson said.  “I’ve always enjoyed Pihana (Na Mamo) and Mr. Calip helped me out a lot and I wanted to help him.”

    Johnson’s role was to help paint some of the plants and flowers pictured in the mural.  The rest of the mural was created by all 12 incoming sophomores who include, Thornton, sisters Pikake and Pakalana Kaneta-Nobriga, Alea Blaisdell, Cassidy Ramos-Fujimoto, Rosilyn Handy, Maleia Ahchin-Kahakai, RJ Mercado, Annalisa Blas, Malina Johnson, Tia Ohigashi-Silva, and Tabytha Kahihikolo-Yamashita.

     “We still need to put varnish on the wall so that it can’t be ruined,” Calip said.  During the unveiling Calip also announced that funding for the Pihana Na Mamo program had run out and that the program, statewide would stop.

     The budget ax reared its ugly head and has caused the decade old Pihana Na Mamo Program to shut down state wide, according to Calip.

    “We knew this was coming as OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) and the Department of Education ran out of the necessary money to fund us,” he said.

    Undaunted by the bad news Calip continued to advise the final summer class of 12 students in a variety of community enrichment activities.

   “We did a project in Waipio Valley and another at the Liliuokalani Children’s Center in Kona,” he said.  “Now we’re doing a culminating activity for the school as our students painted a wall mural on Building E.”

    “Each of the 12 students was given a section of the wall to leave their legacy to the program as we wanted to do something good for Keaau School,” Calip said.

“This area of the campus was hit with graffiti that left a negative statement, but we wanted to produce something that would provide a positive benefit to the school,” Calip said.

  Pihana Na Mamo means “Gathering of Special Children” and its mission was to deliver educational services to children and youth of Hawaiian ancestry.

    Calip was instrumental in choosing the 20 incoming freshmen that joined his school group during the 2008-09 academic years and from that initial group 12 decided to stay during summer session and create the mural.

    Over the years the Pihana Na Mamo program at Keaau and throughout the state worked to promote positive and varied activities that are rooted in the Hawaiian culture so that the students would learn to become contributing members of society.

    The mural in E Building at Keaau High School has now come to symbolize the last effort of a once thriving program at Keaau and throughout the state.

July 19, 2009 Posted by | Events | , , , , , | 3 Comments

NFL Pros Work with Big Island Youth

Seth Joyner, Timmy Chang, J.D. Runnels, along with other football stars worked at Keaau in the Chade Ikei Performance Football Camp

Seth Joyner, Timmy Chang, J.D. Runnels, along with other football stars worked at Keaau in the Chad Ikei Performance Football Camp

    Super Bowl legend, Seth Joyner, former University of Hawaii quarterback, Timmy Chang, Arizona Cardinal safety, Aaron Francisco, were among some of the greats in football at the Ikei Performance Football Camp held at Keaau.

    Weight lifting giant, Chad Ikei, brought the National Football League stars to the Big Island to participate in a three day football camp.

    Ikei, who is a 1989 graduate of Kaiser High School on Oahu, went on to set 21 national records in power lifting in Colorado Springs while broking eight world records.

    Today Ikei trains some of the best athletes in the world and many of them are in professional football.

    “Our coaches working with the kids over the past three days are Tala Esera, offensive line; Anthony Arceneaux, wide receivers;   J.D. Runnels, running backs; Vaka Manupuna, defensive line;  Aaron Francisco, defensive backs; Timmy Chang, quarterbacks; and Seth Joyner working with the linebackers,” Ikei said.

   The list of high profile coaches is a who’s who in the sport of football and all of them were trained in strength and conditioning by Ikei.

   “This is the second camp I’ve done with Chad,” Seth Joyner said.  “I like to come out and do these things, when my schedule permits.  I used to train with Chad after I got out of the game.  He is a phenomenal product and I’m willing to help anytime I can.”

   Joyner played linebacker for a number of NFL teams during his 13 professional seasons and ended his career with the Denver Broncos and a Super Bowl ring.

   “The year before joining the Broncos I played with the Packers (Green Bay) and we just missed winning the Super Bowl.  Winning the Super Bowl was the cherry on the top of my career,” he said.

   Joyner now heads the Joyner-Walker Foundation a non-profit organization that gives back to the community and he is working on becoming a transitional/motivation speaker.

   Aaron Francisco, safety for the Arizona Cardinals and a former Kahuku Red Raider, also enjoyed the spot light playing in the Super Bowl.

   “Making it to the Super Bowl was a dream come true, something that doesn’t happen to most players in their lifetime,” Francisco said.

    “I’ve been helping Chad do these camps for the past three years and I’m happy to share my experiences with them.  I hope the kids learned some basic fundamental skills as Chad has a unique skill and knowledge to pass on to them.”

    Ceci and Ty Kahooilihala were instrumental in bringing Ikei and his coaching crew to the Big Island.  “I went on the internet and looked for football camps that would help kids from our island,” Ceci Kahooilihala said.

    The three day two night camp offered everything from running technique, to weight training, and included nutrition and supplement training.

    “I came to this camp because I wanted to learn ways to train at a higher level, so that I can play in college,” Keli’I Kekuewa a soon to be senior offensive lineman from Kamehameha-Hawaii.

   “I found everything that they taught us to be helpful.  The agility and cone drills were difficult, but they taught me a lot.  If you’re really serious about football this camp will get you to the next level,” Kekuewa said.

    Blake McCormick, a center on the Konawaena football team, was equally impressed with his three days of camp.

    “I spent the past three years playing center because I weighed 260 pounds, but because of my height I knew that I needed to lose weight and change position,” McCormick said.

   Over the past year McCormick dropped his weight to 199 and is now looking at becoming a linebacker for the Wildcats.  “I needed to come to this camp and learn to make the transition to a different position,” he said.  “I’ll be a senior this year and I’d like to be able to play at the college level next year.”

   Tyrone Kahooilihala, Jr., echoed the same praise for the Ikei Camp.  “I’ve been to the Maui Just Win Camp and the two camps held at Kamehameha, but this one was tougher and more challenging,” he said.

    “We spend eight hours each day working on weight and drills and we got a lot of individual, one-on-one help,” he said.

   Kahooilihala was also impressed with the healthful food served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  “They fed us well and they gave us healthy snacks throughout the day.  I also got to work on my footwork so that I can be faster and quicker,” he said.

    According to Keaau athletic director, Iris McGuire, the student/athletes were asked to pay $200 for the three day camp, but on Oahu the camp typically cost between $400 and $500 per athlete.

    “We had several kids that couldn’t afford to pay so our Booster Club picked up the balance for them,” McGuire said.  “We will be doing a lot of fundraising during the year to cover our expenses, but it is all worth it.”

    “I’d like to see more kids, from other schools, come and participate in this camp.  We’re giving these kids a positive activity and hoping that they will learn to enjoy the comradraire with players from other schools.”

    “We’re hoping to do this as an annual event and we need to find the help of some sponsors,” McGuire said.

    “This is more than just a football camp,” Ikei said. “We teach these young people how to become successful in real life.”

   “We are all volunteers and we only ask for the cost of travel arrangements,” Ikei said. 

    At the end of the final day of camp Ikei gathered the athletes around and was heard saying, “Someday I hope you can give back to your school and to your community.”

Keaau Athlete Director Iris McGuire

Keaau Athlete Director Iris McGuire Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, provides campers with words of wisdom

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, shares words of wisdom with camp participants

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chad Ikei, shares words of wisdom with camp participants

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scholarship 5K run/walk on Sunday

Members of the Big Island Road Runners pose for a photo

Members of the Big Island Road Runners pose for a photo

SCHOLARSHIP 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, June 7

       The Big Island Road Runners will play host to the Fourth Annual Scholarship 5K run/walk on Sunday, June 7 in the parking area of Moku Ola, Coconut Island in Hilo.

     Starting time is 7 am; with a sign-up fee of $2 to non BIRR members and post race refreshments and scholarship award ceremony to follow the run/walk.

      BIRR is awarding a $1000 college scholarship to Keaau’s Amy Eriksson and Waiakea’s Bryce Harada.

      Both Eriksson and Harada are their schools valedictorians and will be on hand to receive their awards.

     For more information call 969-7400.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , | Leave a comment