Goodbye Mr. Nipps!

2-year Na Pueo Advisor Roland Nipps and his students at the 2024 Hawaii High School Journalism Awards.
2-year Na Pueo Advisor Roland Nipps and his students at the 2024 Hawai’i High School Journalism Awards.
Shane Kaneshiro

The 2023-2024 school year is coming to an end, as is our time with Roland Nipps. He served as Na Pueo’s advisor for the past two years, but his impact didn’t stop there.

With classes filled by crazy stories, fiery jokes, and countless laughs, Mr. Nipps created an environment unlike any other. The dynamic he brought to class is one that no student could ever forget.

He guided so many of us to victory, inspiring his students to always reach for more. Many articles were nearly scrapped and forgotten about, yet they went on to win awards after Mr. Nipps reminded us what we were capable of.

Not only did he act as a mentor for students and their journalistic skills, but he was always willing to listen to any rant or problem we came to him with– and trust us, there were plenty.

His dedication to his students was unwavering, which is how we know we can do it without him… we just never wanted to have to.

It is with heavy hearts and tear-filled eyes that we say goodbye to Roland Nipps: Na Pueo advisor, teacher, and most importantly, unforgettable influence in the lives of our editing staff.

We are excited and eager to discover what next year will bring, and look back on the past two with fondness and warmth.

From the students:

“I will always remember and cherish the laughs Mr. Nipps brought us, and how he had a way of bringing fun to a room no matter what. His belief in me is what made me believe I can do anything, as long as I care enough to keep trying. Mr. Nipps never shied away from gossiping with us, and listened to so many of my long-winded rants. He made me feel like a great writer even when I was doubtful of myself, which is not an easy feat. Every trial and tribulation (including the time he gave me a B) is so special to me, because it got me where I am now. He’s a large reason I want to continue pursuing writing and journalism throughout my life, and also the reason I feel I belong to and deserve my spot in the journalistic world. Every award I won or praise I received on an article was also for him, because he encouraged me throughout the entire process. He always supported me, both academically and personally, and I believe he will continue to; that’s the kind of teacher he is,” Katie Troske, opinion editor of Na Pueo said.

“I am so grateful I was lucky enough to have Mr. Nipps as a teacher. Journalism and Dystopian Lit were classes I was actually eager to attend. He made class fun but also made us work incredibly hard. He taught me to go after what I want, that you just have to put in the effort. I felt incredibly supported and like there could be a solution to every problem. He has left such a big impact on us both as writers and as people. I feel proud to say I was his student,” Jojo Brewer, managing editor.

“It’s hard to put into words how much of an impact Mr. Nipps has had upon me. He taught me so much in regards to journalistic writing; but he also taught me how to fearlessly pursue my goals, ask the tough questions, think critically and independently, and so much more. I have genuinely felt so fortunate to have a mentor as caring, kind, intelligent, and unabashedly honest as Mr. Nipps. Thank you for being the most amazing journalism advisor and mentor I could ever ask for,” Ellie Fink, online editor.

“Mr. Nipps has truly been a blessing. It can be rare to come across teachers who leave a lasting impact on you, and Mr. Nipps is someone I will always treasure. He has taught me how to push myself out of my comfort zone and be an ambitious journalist. I would say it’s the New Yorker in him. Many may find him intimidating with his tall stature and power walk, but I see him as anything but. There isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t crack a joke, engage in the juicy school gossip, and have sassy man syndrome. But most of all, his supportive nature is unmatched. He’s always advocating for Na Pueo, submitting our articles which have become award winning, and scheduling classroom potlucks for everyone to pig out. Next year will be different, but the impression of Mr. Nipps on Na Pueo will be everlasting. Thank you Mr. Nipps,” Carly Kaneshiro, features editor.

“I want to thank Roland Nipps for everything he has done for me. I met him as a freshman, unknowing how to navigate either the high school or journalistic world. While I was intimidated by his firm attitude and strict appearance, I learned that he was funny, sympathetic and genuinely cared about us. Through his class and guidance, I was able to discover my passions, improve my writing and conversational skills and meet many new people. It is because of his influence that I am the person I am today, and I will never take this for granted. We had a great two years together and while I wish for two more, I wish him the best of luck,” Emi Lew, design editor.

“Mr. Robb Dibbs is truly an icon in Na Pueo. His passion for what he does has left a lasting impact on me as an aspiring journalist. I am forever grateful for the times we spent around the table talking about the latest, hottest news around campus and laughing about our goofy inside jokes. His energy truly lights up the room in a fiery way which gets me determined and excited to be a woman in journalism. He makes me feel important, like I can unapologetically be who I want. Mr. Dibbs is the true reason why I stayed in journalism and why I have gained such a loyalty to my work. I am going to miss his “get on it!” and the rocky song that no one paid attention to. He never failed to help to get us ahead and achieve what we thought was impossible. I honor and have gained a great respect towards him that is unmatched compared to any other teacher. Class will never be the same without him taking his time to get to class and the 0’s in the grade book. I’m just joking haha, but anyways he brought a spark to Na Pueo that no one could. I’m going to miss you Mr. Roland Nipps,” Taylor Kim Social Media Editor

“Roland Nipps has been one of my biggest inspirations, but not in the way you’re thinking. Ever since our first issue together, where we went back and forth over my piece, I’ve always felt the deep need to inspire him. This desire only grew when he also became my English teacher, and I was completely challenged by him in a different way. I’ve spent many hours of my life wondering how I could create something which impressed him, which is why I thank him so much for all he’s done for me. A good teacher is one who not only instructs, but motivates. Thank you so much Roland Nipps for all that you’ve done for me, whether consciously or not. You’ve not only shaped me into the person I am today, but continue to shape me as I think back to your lessons and conversations. Mahalo piha,” Pili Gaudiello, Editor-in-Chief.

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