About Us About Us Student Life Curriculum For Parents Admissions Home Star of the Sea Early Learning Center logo Star of the Sea Early Learning Center logo
group of kids

Applications are now available. Don't have Acrobat Reader? Get it here.
PDF Application Form


About Us
Sister Christina, co-founder

Sister Christina Trudeau, S.N.D.

Mary, Star of the Sea ELC (referred to as the ELC) began in September 1980 in the former convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The two founding members were Sr. Christina Trudeau, S.N.D. and Sylvia Carey. Their vision was to meet the needs of the families and children of Mary, Star of the Sea Parish. Mary, Star of the Sea ELC was the first Catholic Montessori preschool in Hawaii. The two-story convent with beautiful lava rock walls and open spacious lanais was the perfect place for a newly formed island preschool. In 1980 the children enrolled numbered 33, with ages ranging from three to five years of age with Sylvia Carey serving as director. A year later this grew to 80 students and gradually the enrollment increased.  Today, the ELC enrollment  ranges from 180-200 students.

Today, the ELC remains the pre-primary division of Mary, Star of the Sea School and a leader in the community.
The ELC is a private parochial school under the direction of the Catholic School Department carrying on the tradition in the Montessori method. Currently 180 children ages two to six are enrolled annually. The ELC is licensed by the Department of Human Services.

In 1989, the ELC was first accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Education Programs, a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Academy administers a professionally sponsored, national and voluntary accreditation system for early childhood centers and schools. The ELC continues to maintain its NAEYC Accreditation and is also affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

The Present ELC campus

The new Mary, Star of the Sea ELC campus was built over the same grounds of the original rectory and convent and was completed in December 2003. We opened our doors at our new location in January 2004. The campus was designed to be an aesthetically-pleasing environment with an open-air feel. All areas are spacious and integrate out-doors to in-doors with natural foliage and plants in every area. Each class room is designed for climate control and as an optimal learning environment. Desks or tables and chairs are located in the central part of the room, while educational materials, toys and tasks surround. All classes provide areas for language and reading skills, fine and large motor skills, music, art, language, and self care help. Tasks, educational materials and toys are changed monthly and quarterly. Two out-door playgrounds accommodate both the toddler division and the preschool/kindergarten areas. Each playground features special shade cover and artificial field turf to protect against sun or rain. The playgrounds are spacious and offer age-appropriate swings, jungle gyms and toys. The larger, re-designed preschool/kindergarten playground also features space for running, soccer and other sports play which both the toddler and preschool keiki utilize in afterschool day care.

Throughout the year, with the aide of the children, we decorate our campus appropriately for local and national holidays.


Families whose children are enrolled at the ELC can also have peace of mind as it has been designed with security in mind, featuring a passcode-only entry, a front entrance intercom camera, 40 security cameras located throughout the school, and secure entries and exits for parents and staff. The school also implements the Connect-Ed emergency notification process for parents for weather and island-wide emergencies as well as individual urgent messages.

History of Star of the Sea Parish and Schools

Mary, Star of the Sea schools has a remarkable history dating back to the founding of Mar,y Star of the Sea Parish also known as Mary, Our Lady Star of the Sea. This new church was added to the Diocese by Bishop James J. Sweeney and headed by Father Edward Donze, S.M. and staffed by the Marist Fathers and Brothers. On August 25, 1946 Star of the Sea Parish celebrated with its first mass.

Less than a month later, on September 3, 1946, 

Mary, Star of the Sea School was founded and staffed by the six Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (pictured). The enrollment was 187 students and grades ranged from kindergarten through third grade. By 1948, the number of sisters doubled and the enrollment of students increased to 511. In 1953 the present buildings were completed and expanded for 16 sisters and 600 pupils. Over time the school developed into three separate entities: an elementary school, middle school and high school. Although the schools thrived and grew throughout its history, in 1990 the high school was phased out due to increased costs to run and low enrollment.

Throughout its history, the primary purpose of Mary, Star of the Sea Elc is to educate the whole person, spiritually, intellectually and personally. The curriculum is designed to be sufficiently flexible and varied so as to provide the experience necessary to achieve these ends. The schools exist to supplement the work of the parent in Christian education and to foster in students a love for God and neighbor.

Mary, Star of the Sea School today provides elementary and middle school education. Two-thirds of Star of tje ELC keiki will move on and enroll at Mary, Star of the Sea Elementary Schoo,l and the other one-third go on to attend other private schools on Oahu.

For more information about, Mary, Star of the Sea Elementary School/ Middle School, please contact Principal Margaret Rufo at (808) 734-0208 or by e-mail at star@starofthesea.org.



About Us    Student Life    Curriculum    For Parents    Admissions    Home

© 2015 Star of the Sea Early Learning Center | 4470 Aliikoa Street, Suite 100, Honolulu, HI 96821 | Phone: (808) 734-3840 | Fax: (808) 732-1738
Privacy Policy | info@staroftheseaelc.org  | Contact Us