Jana Miyahira-Smith, PCHS ’85

Jul 17, 2013 | Heart and Soul


Every so often, MyPearlCity.com receives an e-mail from a former Pearl City resident, living away from the islands, that has recently found our community web site online. They always express their appreciation for the web site that not only delivers the latest happenings in our Pearl City community, but also helps to keep them in contact with family, friends, schools, etc. who may have been featured or mentioned in a cover story, event, or possibly in a photo gallery.

The one common denominator that bonds each former Pearl City resident is the love they have for their hometown. The neighborhoods where they grew up and played with their friends, they will never forget. Schools and classmates, sports and teammates, memories cherished and bonded forever.

I was recently contacted via e-mail by former Pearl City resident Jana Miyahira-Smith who currently resides in San Marcos, California with her son. She works as a Subject Specialist in Gemology. Jana grew up in Pearl City and is a proud graduate of Pearl City High School’s class of 1985. After recently discovering MyPearlCity.com online, Jana was delighted to read about and reconnect with our Pearl City community and its residents.

Jana wrote, "I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that I just found MyPearlCity.com and I’m enjoying it immensely! I was raised in Pearl City (PCHS class of ’85) but have lived on the mainland for many years now. Your website is helping me feel a little more connected to home."

Jana had a pretty neat childhood while grwoing up in Pearl City. She mentioned catching crayfish and crabbing in Pearl Harbor along the bike path. If you grew up in Pearl City, you most likely spent your summers hanging around Pearl Harbor, fishing and crabbing. The Military doesn't allow that anymore, but it was definitely a lot fun. Jana brought back great memories of doing the same thing as a kid growing up in Pearl City.

While attending Pearl City High School, Jana participated in everything from concert and marching band, where she marched in the Rose Bowl Parade as a sophomore, to student body treasurer in her senior, and an active member of the 4-H club.

She has fond memories of her classmates especially Mark K. Takai who was the PCHS 1985 student body president while she served as treasurer. Takai is currently a state house representative from Aiea. Also, long time PCHS teacher Ms. Mike Ishihara.

Jana also mentioned her classmate Michael Nakasato who is the principal at Pearl City Highlands Elementary School (PEACHES). Jana is a PEACHES alumnus and came across her former PCHS classmate after reading an article that was posted on MyPearlCity.com.  http://tinyurl.com/oshr8go

"I particularly loved this article as a PEACHES alum and classmate of Principal Nakasato!"

Jana is truly the Heart and Soul of our Pearl City community. She has closed the distance, while representing her hometown in another part of the world.

"I love that our paths have almost certainly crossed. It is truly a small world after all!"…..Jana

Crossing paths that continually intersect our past, present, future, and love for our hometown.

Mahalo Jana for spending the time to reconnect and share your memories and spirit with our  MyPearlCity.com ohana!


Q: What are your best experiences growing up in Pearl City? Special friends, people?

A: Soooo many great experiences…My dad and his brothers worked one of the leased

watercress farms on the edge of Pearl Harbor. These were right on the Pearl Harbor

bike path. I'm not even sure if the military is leasing out that land any more. We

(my brother and I, and some cousins) used to go down there and catch crayfish and

guppies, and when we got older, we used to take out a small boat and go crabbing on

the harbor. (Pretty sure the military doesn't allow that any more, do they?)


Q: Schools attended through College?

A: The Children's House, preschool – 2nd grade

    PEACHES, 3rd – 6th grade

    Highlands Intermediate, 7th and 8th grade

    Pearl City High School, 9th – 12th grade (1985 grad.)

    University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, graduated with a Bach. Of Science in Geology

    (1989 grad.)

    Gemological Institute of America – Graduate Gemologist Diploma (The GIA is

    essentially a trade school for the gem and jewelry industry.)


Q: Your years at Pearl High School?

A: I LOVED high school. I was fortunate to be a member of the concert and marching

bands under the direction of Mr. Nakasone. Good years! My sophomore year, we marched

in the Rose Bowl Parade. I was also student body treasurer my Sr. year. That year our

Student Body President was Mark Takai, who is now a state representative. I still consider him

a friend and I still think very fondly of Mike Ishihara…I learned a lot from her…she was a great

teacher and advisor. I was also active in 4-H…that is a GREAT organization!


Q: Your current hometown and profession?

A: I live in San Marcos, CA which is in north San Diego County. I work as a Subject

Specialist in Gemology for the GIA. (And I am NOT a jeweler. I work at an

educational facility. Don't want anyone thinking I carry around a lot of gems or

anything, 'cause I don't!)   ๐Ÿ™‚


Q: Anyone you would like to send a warm Aloha?

A: If I could say "Hello" to anyone, it really would be Mrs. Ishihara and also

Pauline Schmalle who was my drafting teacher.


                                      Photo courtesy of Jana Miyahira-Smith