Behind the Scenes with Mahina Eleneki Hugo
Behind the Scenes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox with guest Mahina Eleneki Hugo
For Mahina Eleneki Hugo, Head of School at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, her experiences playing sports and ultimately winning a national women’s volleyball championship have helped shape her life in so many wonderful ways.
As a member of the 1987 UH women’s NCAA championship volleyball team title, Hugo was in the lineup of the little team that could in its tenacious fight to the top of the NCAA’s women’s volleyball rankings.
A wisp of a hitter at 5’7”, Hugo, had an endearing nickname “Mahina the Magician,” because of her ‘work’ as an outside hitter very effective at hitting around or under the block.
Born and raised in Kailua, she reminisces fondly on her family bonds and mentors. Her grandmothers’ positivity, her parent’s work ethic and support, and her two coaches, whose style of coaching mirrored her parent’s values.
“They have influenced my characteristics such as: loyalty, hard work, passion and drive for what I want, and with all that came lots of love,” Hugo shared.
“After graduating from UH Manoa I was a part-time customs inspector and thought I would eventually go full-time with the K-9 unit,” Hugo recalled. “Then one day a friend called to tell me of an open PE position at La Pietra, AND resumés had to be submitted that day.” She hurried home, quickly typed up a resumé and submitted it with an hour to spare.
“To my surprise I was called in for an interview,” she recalled. “After the interview, the gentleman said they would call all the candidates by 3 p.m. the following day.” At 4 p.m. the next day, with no phone call, Hugo assumed she didn’t get the job, “Then suddenly the phone rang and I was offered the position!”
Behind the Scenes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox
And as they say, the rest is history. The match has stuck. Soon after, Hugo went from teacher/coach to administrator and on to head of school.
“Every day is a gift,” she explained warmly. “I appreciate all the small things. The beauty of this place we call home, my health and the health of my family, a happy and healthy marriage (to Todd Hugo), family and friends to share special moments with, the opportunity to give back and help others less fortunate, and the ability to make a difference in my daily life.”
Hugo was in our studio last week sharing her story. She’ll be a guest of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, airing on Tuesday, August 4.
That’s #BehindTheScenes… at PBS Hawaii.
Leslie Wilcox, on set with Long Story Short guest Mahina Eleneki Hugo