Toshiyuki Nakasone
1399th Engineer Construction Battalion

Teacher and Coach: Waialua High School

Toshiyuki, beginning in 1949, teaches at Waialua High School. His teaching schedule includes: mathematics, social studies, general business, and P.E. classes. He also metes out discipline when necessary.

As coach, he is responsible for football, basketball, baseball, and track. His coaching salary: $225 a year.

To shift into school administration, he enters the Administrative Intern Program.

In 1959, he is appointed vice principal.

[I moved from Kahuku to Waialua in 1949.]

Teaching Schedule

[I taught] several courses. You see, they had a sixth period there. The first two periods I think I taught seventh grade math, eighth grade math. I taught tenth grade social studies. I taught high school general business. Then, the third period was seventh grade P.E., fourth period was eighth grade P.E., fifth period was ninth grade P.E., sixth period was high school P.E.

But you know I used to have a full schedule. Then we didn’t have any vice principal so the old man used to make me take care of discipline for the school and I wasn’t even a vice principal [yet]. So finally, I didn’t have to teach first two periods but he used me in the office.

I went to school about 7:30 and I took care of attendance, tardy kids and so forth. And whenever a teacher had a problem with any student he would assign me to take care of the discipline work. So I stayed in the office for two periods.

Then I went to teach my P.E. classes and coach. Then whenever a teacher had a problem during their third period or the fourth period or the fifth or sixth period, the old man would send the kid to me while I’m teaching P.E.

I had to stop and tend to the discipline and try to resolve the problem. So I had experience being a vice principal in that regard, you know, take care of the discipline.

I didn’t have any major in math or science but my major was in social studies, health and P.E. So those days you just teach a class. Like general business, I just had to read the book ahead of the kids in class. I taught general business for two years, I think. I taught social studies for two years, too. Then for three or four years I taught seventh- and eighth-grade math. But math was easy because I had four years of science and four years of math at high school, so that was no problem. But general business I had no idea as to what it was. Social studies, no problem.

Toshiyuki Nakasone crowning Homecoming Queen, Waialua High School.
Toshiyuki Nakasone crowning Homecoming Queen, Waialua High School.

Coaching

When I went [to Waialua] the principal told me, “You coach.” So I knew already that if I’m going to be coach then I’m going to coach all the sports.

But the thing was, you teach regular class, first and second period, then you teach P.E., then you go on the football field or basketball court or whatever.

I leave the house at seven o’clock in the morning. I’m not home until after six. That’s really time-consuming.

And my salary for coaching was $225 for the year. Coach football, basketball, baseball, track and even JV [junior varsity] basketball.

Waialua High School Football Team. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone.
Waialua High School Football Team. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone.

So that’s what I did. Start football practice about the second week of August because you have pre-season games at the end of August or early September. Then you had championship doubleheader at Honolulu Stadium, Thanksgiving weekend.

Then Monday, start basketball practice throughout the Christmas holidays throughout the end of February. Then Monday, start baseball practice and after two or three weeks [after you] select your baseball team, you call track practice. So you know, you coaching all year-round and you are the only coach.

Waialua High School Basketball Team. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone.
Waialua High School Basketball Team. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone.

I think after coaching for five years, finally I said, “I need help.” So he said, “Well, if you can find somebody on the faculty, go ahead.”

Ken Oda used to live in Wahiawa. He used to travel to and from Wahiawa to Castle [High School], he was coaching baseball [at Castle], see. And in those days, only had the [Nuuanu] Pali, yeah, that winding road up Pali. So it took him about hour and a half every morning and every afternoon. And if he leave from Wahiawa to Waialua, it’s only ten, fifteen minutes. So he said, “Oh yeah.”

So he came, so he helped me in football. He took over the JV basketball. Then came baseball season, he took over baseball and I had track. So that kind of relieved me, so I only coached football and basketball for ten years.

I really enjoyed my coaching because, you work closely with your kids for years. Not only in the athletic arena, but also in the classroom.

Waialua High School Football Team Captains. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone standing.
Waialua High School Football Team Captains. Coach Toshiyuki Nakasone standing.

Administrative Intern Program

My wife tells me, “You coach all the kids in Waialua, from seventh grade on up.” And at that time [my son] Ken was just about seven, eight years old and he was beginning to play Little League Baseball. She says, “You don’t have time for your son but you spend so much time for the other kids.”

And I told myself, well maybe I better start thinking because I’ve been urged to go into administration. So at that point I told her, “Yeah, okay, I’ll take some administration courses during the summer.”

And I did that and I went into what they call — at that time they used to call it administrative intern program, AIP. I passed the written exam. Then I passed the oral exam and the oral exam was so — they had about eight or ten people from the [territorial] office.

The AIP students were around in a circle. They would pass out a sheet of paper, they said, “Okay, read that, front and back.” After they took that away they said, “Okay, discuss.” So they observed us discussing. Then after about half an hour we all went out and they take one at a time and in front of the panel, you sit right there and they would ask questions. And whether you pass or not, depending upon how well you did.

So anyway, I passed that one then finally they send out a questionnaire to the school, like me when I was in Waialua. They sent a questionnaire out to some of the faculty members on the campus. And one or two of them said, “Toshi, what’s this?” I said, “Oh, I’m planning to enter administration and that was the questionnaire.” That was supposed to be (chuckles) independent they send to you, not my giving you a list of people to send to. They would just give a teacher [a form] and the teacher would respond and then send that in.

So they said, “Oh you’re going to administration, oh good.” So they going to give me good recommendations. So that’s how I got involved and got into the AIP program.

I finally was appointed as vice principal in September of 1959 [at Waialua]. My master’s [M.Ed.] I got several years later in school administration.

Toshiyuki Nakasone's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Toshiyuki Nakasone.

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