Seniors Ally Wada, left, and Matthew Butay, right, were elected Mr. and Miss HBA by their classmates. They were recognized on Monday at the school's yearbook assembly.
Hawaii Baptist Academy has a new Mr. and Miss HBA. Matthew Butay and Ally Wada were elected by their peers for the school's highest honor. The award, which began in 1955, recognizes one male and one female senior who typify the best in HBA students, including their contributions to school life through leadership and extracurricular activities and also in their character.
Butay entered HBA in seventh grade. In high school, he was first chair for the saxophone section and mentored younger students in the band program. He ran for the track and field team and was a member of the National Honor Society, Interact Club, the Filipino Club, the Experiments Club and was a student council representative. In December 2013, Butay traveled with his family to the Philippines to deliver donations to victims of Typhoon Yolanda. He also volunteered for the United Cerebral Palsy Center of Hawaii, and Paepae O Heeia, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the Heeia fish pond. Butay is also known for his interests in kickboxing and scuba diving. This fall, Butay will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara. Butay's older brother, Walden, is a graduate from the class of 2014, and his sister, Katherine-Sophia, is a third grader at HBA.
Wada entered HBA in fourth grade. In high school, she played varsity volleyball and basketball and led her teammates to state championships. She was recognized as player of the year in both sports. While juggling a rigorous academic course load, she served as class treasurer for two years, and was a member of Interact Club and the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she has served as a mentor for young athletes through Hoops For Christ. This fall, Wada will attend the University of San Francisco on a full-scholarship to play volleyball. Wada's father, Darren, is a graduate from the class of 1987, and her mother, Candi (Han), is a graduate from the class of 1988. Wada's older sister, Riley, is a graduate from the class of 2015, and her younger sister, Emi, is an eighth grader at HBA.