Why MPUSD » Sia Halai: 'Our students are so positive towards one another'

Sia Halai: 'Our students are so positive towards one another'

Sia Halai
Sia Halai
Senior, ASB President & MPUSD Student Board of Education Member
Students at Monterey High School smile when they see senior and ASB president Sia Halai. She’s a friendly face on campus and says she learned to develop those communication skills from previous leadership students. Sia says a leadership role didn’t come naturally to her at first.

“I think what I really struggled with was kind of an image for myself. I didn’t want to see myself as going out all the time and working. I wanted to live the life of being a regular student. But then I realized that in order to make what I wanted to happen at Monterey High School, then I have to do it myself. So, I got to learn some skills from my prior ASB President Victoria Bautista. I got to learn communication skills, speaking in public,” Sia said.

Sia also serves as one of MPUSD’s Student Board of Education Members for the 2022-2023 school year. She plays volleyball and is active in the Pacific-Islander Club on campus. Her educational journey started at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., School of the Arts in Seaside. She later transferred to a local private school for middle school and came back to Monterey High freshman year.
Sia says she initially enrolled in Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS), one of the school’s three college prep academies. But she soon realized her passion was in the sports industry. Sophomore year, she joined the Sports Professions and Recreation Careers Academy. (SPARC).
“Being a part of the SPARC family, when you sign up as a sophomore, there are other kids that are in your classes, there’s certain things that you get to do in it like internships, team building, growing relationships with your teachers and the more that you grow with your peers the more you’re learning academically and physically, such as sports medicine,” Sia said.
Sia hopes to attend a college with a kinesiology program after high school. She’s hoping that will lead her to a career working as a trainer at the professional sports level. Sia says defining those goals has taken a lot of work on her part, with support from her parents and staff at Monterey High School.
“I feel supported by my SPARC teachers, I feel like I’ve grown with them. Even during COVID. COVID was a really hard time for all of us,” Sia said. “When we came into junior year it felt so rushed to try to be connected. But I felt with all of the classes that we had together, it felt like we already knew each other like in past lives. It felt like we were already family.” 
That family connection is something Sia says she experiences in every corner of the campus. 
“The staff that we have inside of the office, really support us through anything that we’re going through. They’re always reliable for us to talk to, about anything going on at home, going on at school and they’re always willing to change something for us,” Sia said.
Sia lives in Seaside and has a younger sister who also attends Monterey High School. She’s looking forward to making an impact on future students and leaving a positive impact.
“The amount of positivity that our students have, our students are so positive towards one another especially our leadership class,” Sia said.
Sia says she is particularly grateful for MHS Leadership Teacher Steven Pina for his support during her high school career.