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Hong Kong International School:

Celebrating 40 Years of Learning and Service

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Hong Kong International School

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Edited by Fred Armentrout

A Unique Collaboration This book is the product of a unique collaboration between two of Hong Kong’s most prominent American institutions. A committee of in-house experts at Hong Kong International School worked closely with the Communications Department of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, which provided the creative talent necessary for its development. AmCham’s team included: Saul Lockhart, who wrote most of the book; Jayan Prakash, its graphic designer; Sharmila Gopinath, who conducted extensive preliminary research with school archives and interviews; Alice Fung, who did photo research in SCMP archives; Michael Chau, who oversaw the book’s physical production; and myself as its editor. Fred Armentrout Communications Director AmCham Hong Kong

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is grateful to the South China Morning Post for their permission to reprint their copyrighted photos and articles.

ISBN: 978-988-99751-1-1

Copyright © 2007 Hong Kong International School All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. ISBN 000000000

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Designed and printed in Hong Kong by: Impressions Design & Print Limited

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Foreword

t is my honor to contribute this foreword to Hong Kong International School: Celebrating 40 Years of Learning and Service. I’ve known Hong Kong International School (HKIS) from several perspectives – as a parent, Board member and Board Chair, and as Head of School. Claire and I are deeply appreciative of the wonderful education our sons, Jonathan and Eric, received at the school. The warm and caring HKIS community is supported by a strong team of dedicated professionals. I have always been impressed at how faculty and staff share a deep sense of commitment to the students they educate and the community they serve. It is they and our students who make HKIS so special. This history book is being published to coincide with our 40th anniversary. We left publication until the end of the school year because we wanted to include in the final chapter some of the celebrations that have made this year so special. The printing schedule and the strong desire to distribute the first books in our 40th year mean that later anniversary events are not included. We hope Chapter 6, which is mainly in pictorial form, leaves you with a strong impression of a school and its community in celebration of the past and looking forward to the future. The dramatic front cover picture was taken on December 20, 2006. The photo captures some 3,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents assembled on the Tai Tam field to form the shape and colors of our 40th anniversary logo. The logo itself was designed by alumna, Linne Tsu ’96. Today some 2,600 students and 480 faculty and staff occupy the two separate, state-of-the-art campuses that make up our school. It’s a far cry in size and facilities from that first day of school in September 1966, when the school occupied leased residential buildings on Chung Hom Kok Road. Although HKIS has grown well beyond what the school’s founders would ever have imagined, their central vision to provide an outstanding education serving a broad range of students in a Christian setting remains the same. As you read this history book you will learn that our school’s uncanny ability to respond to changing times and situations, whether internal or external, has always held the school in good stead. As we look to the future, there is one thing I am sure of: we will remain true to our historic mission that guides us in providing a first-rate education for our students. Exactly how we do this and the measures we use to judge our success will evolve over time. Our unique mission of educating the next generation of globally-minded, compassionate leaders will remain unchanged. We hope you enjoy our book! Sincerely,

Richard W. Mueller Head of School

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Acknowledgements

The History Book project has only been possible with the generous financial support of the HKIS Alumni Association. The HKIS Alumni Board is credited as the initial driving force behind this book, while the Board’s Justin Hardman ’99 is singled out for special mention. Justin created a website on the school’s history for Homecoming in 2001, which sparked early interest in producing a book to mark HKIS’ 40th year of educating and serving in Hong Kong. We thank past and present members of our community – faculty, administrators, alumni, parents, students and friends – for their commitment to this project. Without their memories, insights and photographs, this book could not have been written. We also found in the school’s rich archives a tantalizing treasure trove, shedding much light on our history. Here we should mention and thank HKIS’ former Religious Coordinator Lois Voeltz. Lois helped collect and sort the school’s scattered archives in 2000-01. A book of this magnitude is only accomplished with teamwork. The team at the heart of the action that deserves much credit is the HKIS research and editing panel: Alumni Relations Manager Sylvia Evans; past Alumni Coordinator Reena Khubchandani; Associate Head of School Jim Handrich; Communications and Publications Manager James Manning; Religious Education Facilitator Karen Markin; Head of School Richard W. Mueller; Director of Strategic Initiatives Jennifer Sparrow; and former Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, Christina Tung. A special thanks to HKIS’ first headmaster Bob Christian, who helped us thread together the early history of the school. This book is a history of Hong Kong International School on the occasion of its 40th year of educating and serving in Hong Kong. It is not a detailed treatise, but rather a colorful broad-brush view of the School’s first four decades. Please sit back, relax, and enjoy the HKIS story.

June 2007

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Contents Foreword

3

Acknowledgements

4

Chapter 1:

In the Beginning…

6

Chapter 2:

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

24

Chapter 3:

Four Decades of Expansion and Vision

58

Chapter 4:

Alumni – “The Institutional Memory”

80

Chapter 5:

Beyond Academics

104

Chapter 6:

A Year of Celebrations

138

Moments to Remember

152

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I

N the early 1960s, a group of American businessmen who worshipped together foresaw the day when an American-style school would be needed.

In the Beginning...

With 21st century hindsight, we now see that Hong Kong in the latter half of the 20th century was about to take off in an unprecedented three-decade spurt of economic and social growth that only ended in the late 1990s. Not many living in the thenBritish-colony would have predicted the emergence of the Hong Kong we take for granted today. This group of American businessmen and educators not only correctly anticipated the economic growth, but also reasoned that in free-market Hong Kong, an entrepreneurial society if ever there was one, there would be an influx of foreign business and investment to tap into the colony’s well-known manufacturing ability. More foreign businessmen meant more Americans. More Americans meant more American families accompanying the executives, which in turn would increase the need for an American-style educational system, from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Eventually, the weight of the project fell on the shoulders of three men who took on the task of founding an American school in Hong Kong: • Joseph H. Mache, Jr., a Christian Lutheran businessman who was the Far East manager of Rayonier, Inc. He saw the need for American-type education and grasped the vision of such a school sponsored by the Lutheran Church;

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• Reverend Lenard Galster, a Lutheran missionary in Hong Kong who saw the need to minister to the spiritual and educational needs of the growing

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number of American business people and their families working in Hong Kong. He began Englishlanguage Lutheran Church services in the Repulse Bay area, on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The first service, which had 18 worshippers, was held on March 4, 1962 in the now long gone, but then very elegant, Repulse Bay Hotel. • Dr. Melvin Kieschnick, a Lutheran missionary serving as the Supervisor of the Lutheran Schools in Hong Kong. He was also the Co-ordinator of Education for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (Hong Kong). The Lutheran schools in Hong Kong dated back to 1949 and were well respected by the Hong Kong Government, which gave the new Hong Kong International School project a definite advantage. A businessman, a church leader and an educator – the perfect trifecta to battle through the complex rules and regulations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Hong Kong Government and the financial world to raise funds, secure a site, draw physical plans, hire people and, most importantly, create a

The Hong Kong International School was a resounding success from day one, and continues to be so because it has adapted its curricula and visions with the changing views of society, while keeping its timeless core moral values.

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Source: South Chin

a Morning Post

“...it was not just a new school, but a new model for a school in Hong Kong”... HKIS was the first school in the colony permitted to teach a curriculum different from the prevailing local Hong Kong or British curricula...

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IN THE BEGINNING…

vision. It took them more than four years to see their goal become a reality. Were they successful? You need no special insight, four decades after the founding, to answer the question. The Hong Kong International School was a resounding success from day one, and continues to be so because it has adapted its curricula and visions with the changing needs of society, and the Hong Kong setting, while keeping its timeless core mission and moral values. In bygone days, such core values could be summed up by the term, Christian Ministry. Today the basic moral and ethical values behind those words are as true as ever. According to Dr. Kieschnick, who was the point man for the project on all fronts until his departure in 1965, “it was not just a new school, but a new model for a school in Hong Kong.” As he recalled in an interview with the author, HKIS was the first school in the colony permitted to teach a curriculum different from the prevailing local Hong Kong or British curricula, then being taught in Hong Kong’s English and Chinese government-funded schools and subsidized private (mostly religious) schools. In the 1960s, there was no such thing as “an American education” in Hong Kong. It was a foreign idea. During meetings with the American community held at the Repulse Bay Hotel, where the fledgling Repulse Bay Lutheran Church convened, Dr. Kieschnick recalls parents stating quite vociferously that they not only wanted an American school, but they wanted it located in Repulse Bay. They were tired of their children leaving home at 6 a.m. to take a bus to the Star Ferry, then a ferry

across the harbor to take another school bus to the government’s King George V School (KGV). The English Schools Foundation, such a powerhouse in expatriate education today, did not come into existence until 1967 and has since absorbed KGV. In July 1964, a survey of 1,100 (mostly) Americans gleaned from lists of the Repulse Bay Lutheran Church, American Club, American Woman’s Club, American Consulate General, American missionaries listed in the Hong Kong Church Directory and selected names from the Hong Kong Album was conducted. Twelve nationalities took part in the Repulse Bay Lutheran Church and School Project, September 1964 survey, which showed a 22 per cent return. Results indicated: • the vast majority of respondents (225 vs. 8) were in favor of establishing an American school; • the majority of students would be in elementary school (178 out of 273); • the majority of students would be from the American business community and 50 from the Repulse Bay Lutheran Sunday School; • approximately 100 new families would arrive in Hong Kong annually; and • there was “verbal evidence” (anecdotal evidence) that “a number of Chinese and other nationalities not surveyed would be interested in enrolling.” Dr. Kieschnick believes his greatest stroke of good fortune was his unintentional mistake in predicting the school would cater to only “500 students”. He figured two classes of 20 students each for grades 1-12. “Had I said less or more, the Education Department would not have offered us the Repulse Bay site, but a larger or smaller site in another area. Would HKIS have been as successful, so quickly, in another, less convenient site?”

In the 1960s, there was no such thing as “an American education” in Hong Kong. It was a foreign idea.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

HKIS officially opened in its permanent new facilities in Repulse Bay in 1967, with more than 600 students in kindergarten through to grade 12. The selection of Repulse Bay for the site of the new school had unforeseen consequences, never officially touched upon. As former Board member Tom Gorman pointed out, “the placement of the school in Repulse Bay was the anchor for the multi-decade land boom,” first in Repulse Bay itself and its approaches along Repulse Bay Road, followed by the entire south side of Hong Kong Island. Dr. Kieschnick also believes that it was the track record of the Lutherans, who had been educating Chinese students since their arrival in 1949, that caused Hong Kong Government to take notice of their plans for an American school.

...it was the track record of the Lutherans, who had been educating Chinese students since their arrival in 1949, that caused Hong Kong Government to take notice of their plans for an American school.

Below: An early photograph of the then new Church of All Nations at Repulse Bay.

In those long-ago days, there was no compulsory primary education in Hong Kong, as there is now. Illiteracy was rife, particularly among refugees from China moving into resettlement estates. At the time Dr. Kieschnick was negotiating with the Education Department, he notes that the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod was running, “seven elementary schools, one high school and four rooftop ‘clubs’ ”. The latter innovation was their most famous. Run under the auspices of the Social Welfare Department, they turned empty and unused rooftops into battlegrounds against illiteracy with students learning the “3Rs (in Chinese of course) plus social studies, music, art and handicrafts,” according to a 1966 brochure. According to Dr. Kieschnick, the Chinese Lutheran High School, Concordia Kowloon, grabbed the attention of the powers that be in the Education Department when the school sent its entire first graduating class in 1959, all 13 of them, to sit the government’s school leaving exam. They all passed. The tradition in other schools was to hedge their bets and only to send the very best students, so the Hong Kong Government was impressed, with both

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IN THE BEGINNING…

the confidence Lutheran educators showed in their students and by their extraordinary results. This confidence, according to Dr. Kieschnick, spilled over into the planning of HKIS. He is convinced that had the Lutherans, with their excellent reputation in education, not been involved, results would have been very different (had another group proposed establishing an American-style school). To the Education Department, it must have seemed like a natural progression from existing Lutheran Chinese and Anglo-Chinese Schools when Dr. Kieschnick went to them with a proposal to start an international school. “We had three goals: To get a site allocated, to obtain an interest-free loan for construction, and to obtain a government subsidy for on-going operational costs,” he recalls. The other side of the financial picture was with the Board of World Missions of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, in St. Louis, whose members were quite naturally concerned. After all, funding an “American type school overseas” was a new concept to this national church body, and didn’t quite fit in with foreign mission work that would normally be supported. Even in the States, the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod does not financially support Lutheran Elementary or High Schools. Dr. Kieschnick was the dedicated intermediary, in a threesided tussle between the Synod, Hong Kong Government and the American business community. The ever polite and jovial Dr. Kieschnick refused to be drawn into saying which was the hardest sell. He would only say, with a charming smile, that it was a “push-pull situation.” In March 1965, the Board of Missions of the Synod “gave

its blessing to the project.” Just prior to this, on February 25, 1965, the Hong Kong Education Department approved a land grant of 43,000 square feet of land in Repulse Bay and an interest free loan of HK$1,150,000 for the purpose of erecting a “24 classroom, non-profit-making, private, co-educational school,” according to a 1988 Origins of the Hong Kong International School paper. The loan was to be paid back over a period of 11 years. In August 1965, Dr. Kieschnick tried to get the Hong Kong government to provide a capital subsidy of HK$1,150,000 and an interest-free loan of HK$460,000, instead of only an interest-free loan of HK$1,150,000. The Director of Education, W. D. Gregg, emphatically rejected the proposal, in a letter to Kieschnick (September 8, 1965): “Capital subsidies are recommended for private schools only on the clear understanding that the normal pattern of public education will be followed as regards to curricula and with respect to such matters as size of class. Fees are also carefully controlled.” Gregg also nudged Dr. Kieschnick toward an acceptable direction: “(M)any projects for nonprofit-making Chinese and Anglo-Chinese Schools go forward on the basis of government assistance restricted to an interest free loan.” He closed the letter optimistically: “I hope that you will not be unduly disappointed by this response; the efforts of your church body in the educational field

...had the Lutherans, with their excellent reputation in education, not been involved, results would have been very different (had another group proposed establishing an Americanstyle school).

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hkis – celebrating forty years

in Hong Kong are very much appreciated and I wish to assure you of my fullest support for any project you may put forward within the framework of agreed government policy.”

...the final choice of the “Hong Kong International School” as the institution’s name not only reflected a far-flung vision, which has remained constant through to the 21st century, but also reflected the reality of the political situation at the time of its origin.

The superb reputation of the Lutheran Church in education once again came to the fore. In this long, drawn out bureaucratic process, Dr. Kieschnick achieved two of his three goals in dealing with the Hong Kong Government, obtaining both the land grant and interest-free loan, losing out only on the subsidy. In February 1965, the Hong Kong Education Department approved a grant of 43,000 square feet of land in Repulse Bay and an interest free loan of HK$1,800,000. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod matched this with a grant of HK$1,456,875 and a loan of HK$1,748,246. Meanwhile, the American business community in Hong Kong organized itself to raise a further HK$1,112,728. According to the Progress Report to Board of Managers in regard to Building Program, May 1, 1973, the final tally was:

HKIS cost breakdown

HK$

Initial cost for 26 classrooms, 5 special rooms. Library, cafeteria, gym, offices etc

5,382,908

Completion of 7th floor (8/68-8/69) + additional equipment and facilities Total costs (1/66 - 9/69)

A prayer answered   While HKIS waited for government approval for land upon which to build a school, legend has it that Reverend Lenard Galster knelt down and prayed earnestly for the blessing of this land.

His prayers were answered when Mel Kieschnick received news that not only was a land grant of 43,000 sq. ft. approved by the Hong Kong Education Department, but it was that very plot in Repluse Bay where Reverend Galster had prayed. It also came with an interest-free loan from the government.

830,737 6,213,645

Income (1/66-9/69)

HK$

Contribution – Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod

1,456,875

Loans (interest free & interest bearing) – Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod 1,748,246 Contribution – American business firms 1,112,728 Loan (interest free)– HK Government Current funds

1,800,000 95,793

Total capital income (1/66-9/69)

6,213,645

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IN THE BEGINNING…

In March 1966, the Board of Missions extended a “call” to Robert E. (“Bob”) Christian, a Lutheran teacher, principal and headmaster in the Our Saviour Lutheran School in the Bronx, New York City, to serve as the first headmaster. He arrived on August 8, 1966.

in Hong Kong rarely faced any backlash over the Vietnam War, the American business and diplomatic communities had to tread cautiously. Sensitivity to things American was pervasive. Unofficially, names like the “American School in Hong Kong (Sponsored by the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod”, the “Repulse Bay Lutheran School”, or the “Lutheran Church International School of Hong Kong”, and variations thereof, were bantered about and appear regularly in the official correspondence with the Education Department and the Synod, but the final choice of the “Hong Kong International School” as the institution’s name not only reflected a far-flung vision, which has remained constant through to the 21st century, but also reflected the reality of the political situation at the time of its origin.

There was another problem facing the birth of HKIS. Hong Kong of the mid-1960s was very different from the peaceful, international entrepôt of the 21st century. Mao Zedong’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution enveloped the People’s Republic of China and spilled over violently onto the streets of Hong Kong and Macau. Throw in the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and a shortage of water (four hours of water every fourth day on account of China cutting off its water supply to Hong Kong) and you have a snapshot of the incendiary atmosphere of Hong Kong at that time. The left-wing press, the euphemism of the time for Chinese Communist Party-controlled media, and the cadres could call thousands onto the streets almost instantly. In a March, 1970 article for Lutheran Education, Christian, headmaster from 1966 to 1977, wrote: “The ‘Left Wing’ riots in the summer of 1967, though admirably handled by the Hong Kong Police, vividly remind one of the ‘Hong Kong situation’”. He was referring to an oft-used phrase in the Hong Kong of the 1960s: “On Borrowed Time in a Borrowed Place,” originally from novelist Han Suyin’s novel, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, which was later made into a popular film. It came into popular jargon of the time when the well-known Australian journalist, Richard Hughes, used it as the title of a book on Hong Kong. Dr. Kieschnick also recalls those dark days. When the left-wing press got hold of the HKIS story, they railed against the “misplaced priorities” of the Hong Kong government, that the money should be given to Hong Kong’s poor, not Americans. Remember, at this time, the U.S. was fighting China’s ally in Vietnam. U.S. trade with China was also banned at this moment in history. Although individual Americans living

That is not to say that “American” was totally dropped. One large, color brochure published in July, 1967 to introduce the school in advance of its September opening added the tag line, in quotation marks, “The American School in Hong Kong”. Another brochure published in 1968 added, “Education in the American Tradition” to the existing tagline. Interestingly, a later brochure, dated 1972, dropped both taglines. The reference

Although individual Americans living in Hong Kong rarely faced any backlash over the Vietnam War, the American business and diplomatic communities had to tread cautiously. Happily, Hong Kong Government ignored leftwing ranting.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

to an American education may have been dropped, but there was no hiding the “American” aspect as most people in the colony informally called it, “the American School.”

Pressure for a school offering American education was also growing much faster than anticipated in the fastexpanding business and diplomatic communities.

Pressure for a school offering American education was also growing much faster than anticipated in the fast-expanding business and diplomatic communities. Dow Chemical relocated its regional headquarters to Hong Kong in September 1966, bringing a number of American families to the colony. As a result, the company took the lead in pushing for the establishment of an American school. Pressure also came from Pan-American World Airways, America’s international flag carrier at that time. The company had just won a Pentagon contract to fly military personnel from Vietnam to Hong Kong on R&R (Rest and Relaxation leave) and would be

basing pilots and crew in the colony along with family members. To accommodate these newcomers, HKIS’ Board of Managers agreed to establish and open an “HKIS Provisional Elementary School” program for the 1966-1967 school year in a leased apartment building at 43 Chung Hom Kok Road, between Repulse Bay and Stanley, while the new facilities were being built in Repulse Bay. Along with this, in early 1966, as the sense of urgency for providing education for American families grew, the situation became more complicated when it turned out that more than the elementary grades were needed. R.W. Lundeen, Dow Chemical International’s General Manager for the Pacific Area pointed out in a letter dated April 30, 1966 that, “We are now faced with another immediate problem... providing provisional

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IN THE BEGINNING…

(interim) education opportunities for children of Dow families... who will be in grades in advance of the sixth grade”. Lundeen’s innovative temporary solution until the new K-12 school opened was to provide, “at our (Dow’s) expense a qualified US teacher and offer a limited curriculum (without laboratory requirements) pursuant to the American school standards, and upon successful completion of the courses offered, the children will receive full credit from the school system in Midland, Michigan. To accomplish this, Lundeen asked for classroom space in the provisional elementary school on Chung Hom Kok Road, and this was duly allocated.

For the elementary grades, the provisional school program included “all the areas of a standard American curriculum, plus a full program in religion, centered around Bible Studies,” according to one of Bob Christian’s reports to the Board of Managers (May 1, 1973). Thanks to the leadership of Principal Remington and his dedicated staff, the secondary provisional program offered an excellent educational experience for the students in grades 7-11. , 1966

On September 19, 1966, Hong Kong International School, (“The Provisional School”) opened its doors. By the end of that school year, the following June, the elementary department, with Principal Bob Christian and seven qualified teachers (one for each grade plus

a P.E. teacher), had served 195 students in grades 16. The seven teachers for grades 1-6 came together with international educational backgrounds from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the Dow Chemical-sponsored secondary department, with principal P.S. Remington and five full and part-time teachers, had served 40 students in grades 7-11. Added to these staffs were a secretary, an office and building assistant, and a janitor.

Source: H

ong Kong

Standard

Above: Dr. T. F. Nickel, second vice-president of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, U.S.A. and W. D. Gregg, Director of Education, Hong Kong at the groundbreaking ceremony on April 28,

Source: China Mail, 1967

1966.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Despite many troubles, including the water shortage, political turmoil and construction delays... the Hong Kong International School opened its doors to 630 students, Kindergarten through Grade 12, with 20 nationalities being represented, on September 14, 1967.

The original dedication plaque can be found at the entrance to the Upper Primary School.

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IN THE BEGINNING…

Earlier in 1966, (April 28), the groundbreaking ceremony for the permanent school was held. The clock was running. The race was on. The provisional elementary school was planned for just one school year. By the time the 1967/68 school year started in September, there was supposed to be a brand new school awaiting its pupils. Despite many troubles, including the water shortage, political turmoil and construction delays due to left-wing orchestrated labor problems, the Hong Kong International School opened its doors to 630 students, Kindergarten through Grade 12, with 20 nationalities being represented, on September 14, 1967.

Left: China Mail announcing the arrival of Robert Christian and family from Tokyo.

attention to the growth of the American community and the development of the American school in Hong Kong,” according to a 1988 Origins paper. “It might also be added that the name ‘International School’ was chosen (rather than ‘American School’), both due to the political situation and because the school was to be an international school, operating in an international community, and serving an international student body.”

The building was not dedicated until February 22, 1968 on account of “the somewhat tense political situation in Hong Kong in 1967. This political factor seemed to make it wise not to call a great deal of

Faye Butcher

Source: South

China Morni

ng Post, 1967

  Faye (Hung) Butcher – one of the first and the longest-serving employee of HKIS – is still serving HKIS in its 40th year as lower primary senior library assistant. HKIS has been a significant part of Faye’s life. About her colleagues she says, “They are not just friendly, they are my lifetime friends.”

Above: HKIS teachers and their spouses at the first social event organized by the school in July 1967. Left: Administration Board, 1968: Robert Christian, Dr. Eugene Seltz, Joseph Mache, C. S. Hung and Rev. A. K. Boehmke.

Office staff of 1968: Theresa Yuen, Faye Hung, Ainslie Jones and Patricia Tarasewich

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hkis – celebrating forty years

...although 80 per cent of the student body was American, 20 different nationalities made up the rest of the student population. Ninety of the students were ethnic Chinese. Looking back on those times, Christian wrote in a History and Reflection of HKIS (June 19, 2003), which was attached to a family letter from Seattle that, “(h)ere was an opportunity to serve…As a result of (its) positive reputation, the Lutheran Church in Hong Kong received important support from the Education Department for opening an international school. This presented a unique opportunity for Christian ministry. Here would be the only ‘American type school’ in Hong Kong. It would serve a community oriented to United States public school education, but within a Christian school setting.” Christian recognized that sustaining this religious setting was a major challenge: “And this is where the exciting tension began with questions as to how this could be realized among families with huge differences in their cultures, their experiences, their expectations and their religious and non-religious preferences…Clearly the school would have to find ways to be a Christian School and yet to respect the various backgrounds and preferences of its constituency.” He felt that “as long as the school would carefully, but aggressively, deal with this tension, it could continue as a positive and productive ministry.”

When the school facilities were completed in 1967 for the HKIS K-12 program, Church of All Nations also was located on this campus, serving a diverse English speaking community. The subject of religion, and how much religion, was an important one, not least to the American diplomatic corps in Hong Kong which, not surprisingly, was a key backer of the American school project. Christian estimated in a March 1970 article for Lutheran Education that, “140 (students) have fathers who are members of the American Consulate General or employees of other US Government agencies – a significant percentage of the student body from one constituency.” The main cause for concern (among Lutherans and non-Lutherans, plus many non-Christian diplomats) was whether the diplomatic education allowance could be paid for a religious schooling. This harks back to the deeply ingrained American belief in the separation of church and state. Precedents were found, in India of all places, and that problem was eventually overcome. In that same article, Bob Christian noted that, “Dow Chemical has 50 children in the school,

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IN THE BEGINNING…

Caterpillar 20, IBM 21 and Pan Am 35”, so the American Business community was represented in force. Though many business people and their families were Christian, many were not. Thus, there were mixed opinions about religion in the school, especially since many students had previously attended public schools in the States, where religion was not included. Yet, members of the community were united in their need and desire for a school teaching within the framework of an American-style curriculum and approach, and the values found in

Christian education could generally be accepted in keeping with traditional values found among the broader population. Though the Lutheran Church in the U.S. was behind the school and partially paid for it, HKIS was regarded as a community school for Americans and other nationalities. Accordingly, general exposure to the Christian faith might be accepted, but direct proselytising would be unacceptable. Again, in that same 1970 article, Bob Christian indirectly

acknowledged the diversity, writing that “nominally 11 per cent of the students were Lutheran, 22 per cent Roman Catholic, 14 per cent Episcopalian (Church of England in Hong Kong), 38 per cent ‘other Protestants’, and three per cent Jewish. The remaining 12 per cent are other non-Christians or indicate no preference.” He also noted that although 80 per cent of the student body was American, 20 different nationalities made up the rest of the student population. Ninety of the students were ethnic Chinese.

Evolution of the HKIS logo

  A cross reaching outwards equally in all directions was the first HKIS logo used in 1966 with the letters ‘H’, ‘K’, ‘I’ and ‘S’ between the four arms of the cross. The design of the cross symbolized HKIS’ goals to welcome all individuals equally and to ‘respect each person’s personal contributions’, in the words of Mr. Christian. As the urban legend goes, in the 1970s Mr. Christian noticed that the gym floor was showing the first signs of termite damage. Pointing this out to the then art teacher David Kohl, he asked him to design something to cover the damage. Set with the challenge, Mr. Kohl took the existing HKIS logo and gave it an oriental flavor – rounding the logo and increasing the size of the fonts. This covered perfectly the termite damage to the floor and gave HKIS the logo that has represented it ever since.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

“HKIS seeks to offer a challenging educational experience through which each student may develop intellect and imagination, independence and responsibility, and an identity which combines faith and coherent values.”

How to get the correct balance between the religious aims of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and an excellent American-style education was the core question. In that same June 2003 Reflections, Christian analyzed the challenge honestly: “This truth was underscored by various situations that arose within the life of the school, such as working with the significant percentage of students who were members of Jewish families, with students whose parents were followers of other religions of the world, or with students whose parents were not in favor of religious schools and who objected to religion in the school, but still needed the services of an American type education which HKIS could provide….In the first few weeks of the provisional school (1966), a number of parents, opposed to religious instruction in the school, called a parent meeting to protest this instruction. Fortunately, with positive discussion, the intervention of some parents, and some good listening on the part of the school, this crisis was met through positive interaction, setting the stage for the school to continue with a Christian approach, offering a ‘gentle’ exposure to an understanding of God’s love through Jesus Christ. However, it became very clear that the undue pressure for acceptance of what the school stood for as a Christian program, would have negative results.” This early culture clash led to continuing analysis and study of the role and approaches of religion in the

school, and to determining the most appropriate ways to be a ‘Christian School’ while demonstrating and practicing recognition of and respect for the various backgrounds and viewpoints of students and families of the school. This sensitivity to the interests of their stakeholders on the part of the Lutheran Church and the faculty and administration of the school allowed HKIS to grow and service both a diverse American community and a varied international one. It was the keystone for the school’s spectacular expansion over succeeding decades. The dichotomy was best summarized in the 1988 Origins paper that discusses the Character of HKIS: “The Hong Kong International School lives with a paradox: its foundation is in the Christian Gospel, yet it serves a community which is religiously plural. In response, HKIS expresses its Christian commitment formally, through such activities as religious instruction and chapel programs, as well as informally through relationships – choosing to expose students to the teachings and example of Christ while maintaining respect for students’ personal beliefs. “The school is committed to the liberal arts as the best preparation for life and service in a rapidly changing world. Efforts focus on the whole person with an emphasis on academic and character development. Thus, HKIS seeks to offer a challenging educational experience through which each student

The groundbreaking ceremony for what is now the Lower Primary campus.

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IN THE BEGINNING…

may develop intellect and imagination, independence and responsibility, and an identity which combines faith and coherent values.” Back in 1968, an HKIS brochure put it this way: “(T)he program allows for a smooth transition to and from other American schools…and the school does also represent the American Christian ethic and point of view in the overall community in Hong Kong,” These views of the founders are summarized in the six guiding principles evolved out of a formal Strategic Planning Process (1997/98) and are today known as the Student Learning Results: • Academic excellence: Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standard of academic excellence. • Spirituality: Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify and develop their own spiritual identity. • Character Development: Students will demonstrate respectful and caring attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right. • Self-Motivated Learning: Students willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout their learning process. • Contributing to Society: Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our diverse society and to make contributions to our community.

Top: HKIS’ first graduating class of 1968. Above: Kindergarten,

• Chinese Culture: Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of Chinese culture.

1968 with teachers Miss Feil and Mrs. Zimmerman. Left: Members of the Student Council, 1968.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that the balance between the religious and secular has evolved in a way that can be supported by just about everyone.

HKIS’ first graduating class – photo montage from the 1968 Orientale.

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IN THE BEGINNING…

So how did a non-Christian student fare in this “Christian” atmosphere? Robert Dorfman ’72 is a leading member of Hong Kong’s business community, a Trustee of the Jewish Community of Hong Kong, and the chairman of the Vision 2047 Foundation. He attended HKIS from 1970-72, and was the Annual Fund Co-Chair in 2000-01, 2003-04, an Alumni Board member between 2001 and 2005, and is currently an Alumni Board Advisor. In response to a question about what HKIS had done for him “spiritually”, he said: “Well, I was Jewish when I arrived at HKIS and I’m still Jewish, so I guess I might be considered a spiritual disappointment,” said Dorfman with a laugh. “Seriously, I think the Lutheran (Church)-Missouri Synod did succeed in instilling in me a sense of God’s role in our lives. Many kids of all faiths continue to pass through HKIS and it is a tribute to the school that they recognize the value of diversity.”

HKIS’ ability to respond to changing times and situations, whether internal or external, will always hold the school in good stead. “As we look to the future without the benefit of hindsight, there is one thing I am sure of: we will remain true to our historic mission that guides us in providing a first-rate education for our students...”

Richard Mueller predicts that HKIS’ ability to respond to changing times and situations, whether internal or external, will always hold the school in good stead. “As we look to the future without the benefit of hindsight, there is one thing I am sure of: we will remain true to our historic mission that guides us in providing a first-rate education for our students. How we do this and the measures we use to judge our success will evolve over time, but our unique mission will remain unchanged.”

Postscript: From the vantage point of a thriving post1997 Hong Kong, it seems incredible that the subject of the lease running out on June 30, 1997 played no part in deliberations to establish an American school in Hong Kong. As Christian reveals in his June 2003 Reflections, “When the Hong Kong International School was being planned, and when it opened, there was no indication that in about 30 years, Hong Kong would become part of China. It was known that a section to the north of Kowloon, the New Territories, which comprised more than two-thirds of Hong Kong, was on lease from China until 1997, and this would have to be resolved…. At least to my knowledge, this dramatic change never entered the thinking when HKIS was planned and carried out.” n

Headmasters and Boards of Managers built, and continue to build, their collective vision of HKIS as a “world class institution”, as the new Head of School, Richard W. Mueller, succinctly put it in an interview for this book.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that the balance between the religious and secular has evolved in a way that can be supported by just about everyone. More importantly, it has provided the strong foundation on which past and present

Time-line July 1964:

March 1965:

September 1966:

September 1967:

A survey of 1,100 (mostly) Americans on whether an American school is wanted.

The Board of Missions of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod authorizes a grant and a loan.

HKIS opens its doors to 170 students in a renovated apartment building at 43 Chung Hom Kok Road.

HKIS opens a K-12 school in Repulse Bay with 630 students.

May 1963:

February 1965:

April 1966:

May 1967:

June 1968:

Drought which led to severe water rationing.

The Hong Kong Education Department approves a land grant and an interest free loan.

Groundbreaking ceremony in Repulse Bay.

Pro-communist riots in Hong Kong inspired by Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China.

First HKIS graduating class.

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

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Challenging the Intellect, Engaging the Heart, Enriching the Spirit The HKIS Mission Statement is an expression of the school’s ultimate aim; it is the school’s long-term vision of what it is always striving to help students become. It states who the school serves and what it intends to do. The mission answers the questions: What is HKIS’ reason for existing and who is it most concerned about serving?

HKIS’ Mission Statement reads: Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion, and our lives to service and global understanding. An American-style education, grounded in the Christian faith and respecting the spiritual lives of all. The six Student Learning Results are school-wide steps toward the mission. The Student Learning Results answer the question: How will the school know it is successful in its mission?

Student Learning Results: Academic Excellence Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standards of academic excellence.

Spirituality Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify and develop their own spiritual identity.

Character Development Students will demonstrate respectful and

caring attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right.

Self-motivated Learning Students willingly apply a variety of

learning and motivation strategies throughout their learning processes.

Contributing to Society Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our diverse society and to make contributions to our community.

Chinese Culture Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of the Chinese culture.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

The Evolution of the HKIS Mission and SLRs

…even more important than accreditation were the recommendations which provide much material for continued study and for the improvement and development of the programs.

As with the world’s best learning organizations, HKIS has maintained a commitment to ongoing improvement since its founding in 1966. The heritage of the Mission Statement and Student Learning Results (SLRs) can be traced back to the origins of the school itself, even though today’s Mission Statement and SLRs were articulated in their current form in the school year 1997-98. Much of this ongoing improvement has taken place within the framework of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) self-study process and HKIS’ own Strategic Planning Process. HKIS was first WASC accredited in 1971, just five years after its school doors opened. This first selfstudy put into writing the philosophy, objectives and values of the school. These were approved in December, 1970, and have been built upon in all selfstudy exercises since.

WASC Visiting Committee delivering its report at HKIS, 15 March, 1976.

The Headmaster at the time, Bob Christian, described the process of that first WASC evaluation in a letter dated June, 1971, “The first four months of the school year were spent in an intensive self-analysis conducted by faculty, administration, and student body, and a comprehensive self-evaluation report was prepared. “Following this, in March 1971, a team of three American educators, one from California, one from Taipei American School, and one from the International School of Bangkok, spent a week at the school examining the program for themselves. This team then submitted a report which contained both commendations and recommendations.” The Accreditation Commission of WASC then examined the report of the visiting team, and on the basis of this granted a full five-year term accreditation. This meant HKIS was fully recognized by accreditation agencies throughout the United States for the first time.

Parade of flags from the early years.

Founding Headmaster Bob Christian at his desk, pondering building plans.

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However, as Christian notes, even more important than accreditation were the “recommendations which provide much material for continued study and for the improvement and development of the programs.” In accordance with WASC regulations, five years later in February 1976, HKIS handed in its second Selfstudy report. The Annual Report 1975-76 records, “The comprehensive report consists of some 250 statements and 175 specific recommendations…”

An early band rehearsal in full swing.

“…The recommendations particularly encourage the school to further review its philosophy and goals in terms of student needs, to continue to articulate curricula objectives, to re-study the use of teachers as this affects student-teacher ratio, to broaden the counselling program, and to further interpret the program of school to the community.” HKIS was WASC-accredited for the second time in June 1976.

Grace Swoveland and students around the time of second WASC accreditation. Above: Lunch time – has that changed over 40 years? Left: A school information pamphlet from the early 1970s describes HKIS to new and potential parents.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

The Rittmann Era (1981-1996)

In 1992, the Board of Managers completed a yearlong effort to assess HKIS’ future, identify key issues facing the school, and debate appropriate initiatives. The results, Major Strategic Directions, charted HKIS’ development through the decade with regards to “faculty, curriculum, the religious dimension, growth and expansion, finances, admissions policy and HKIS in the community.”

In the 1981-82 school year, ten years after the first WASC Accreditation, a Self-study under the leadership of the then Headmaster David Rittmann was in progress. The report of study recorded that, “HKIS developed and adopted a statement of mission and character as an expression of the school’s philosophy. This one page statement updated the several page philosophy document developed in 1970. Within the statement there is a concise set of six major goals from which the school would develop its program.” These stated goals were the forerunner of today’s Student Learning Results: • Cultivate intellectual abilities in the arts, humanities and sciences. • Learn about the Christian faith and way of life. • Develop attitudes and skills for effective participation in the community. • Become sensitive to cultural, political and economic similarities and differences, and recognize the interdependence of the global community. • Develop skills and motivation to learn independently. • Learn how to meet the demands of a changing world. A decade later, in the early 1990s, “a concise mission statement” appeared in HKIS publications, unfortunately, neither its authorship nor Board approval for the change can be traced.

HKIS Mission [of 1990s] At HKIS, we view each student as a precious gift from God, entrusted to us by his/her parents. Our commitment to Christian stewardship inspires us to educate children and young adults holistically, by providing a challenging program that includes strong academics, sports, art and a variety of extracurricular activities, all of which take place in a caring and nurturing environment. (Source: Viewbook, 1994.)

In 1992, the Board of Managers completed a year-long effort to assess HKIS’ future, identify key issues facing the school, and debate appropriate initiatives. The results, Major Strategic Directions, charted HKIS’ development through the decade with regards to “faculty, curriculum, the religious dimension, growth and expansion, finances, admissions policy and HKIS in the community.” This work was built on in the 1994 WASC Self-Study to, “coordinate staff development activities consistent with major school directions.” The school began with the question: “How should we conceptualize this sort of coordination?” Discussions led back to the Mission Statement of the early 1980s, and its six goals related to student learning. A list of “HKIS Learner Characteristics” was developed intended to answer the question: “What do we have students do which helps them achieve our six major goals?”

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

A New Strategic Plan The arrival of a new Head of School, Charles W “Chuck” Dull (1997-2001), gave impetus to a new strategic plan, this one to be developed in a Hong Kong under Chinese sovereignty and aimed at taking the institution into the 21st Century – two significant milestones. Six weeks after arriving, Dull gathered eighty leaders from the school and the community off-site, for a three-day, “Future Search Conference,” in September 1997. Chuck Dull, Head of School (1997-2001).

According to Dull, the conference was designed to:

This initial list of learner characteristics was further refined in the 1996-97 academic year, with the involvement of a broader group of stakeholders than in the 1994 WASC Self-study. This group finalized a new set of “learner characteristics,” which took the school a step closer to the SLRs of today:

• review the history of HKIS; • identify and debate environmental issues confronting the school; and • set a course for addressing challenges and opportunities identified at that gathering.

• exhibit knowledge and understanding of different disciplines and an ability to extend beyond what is known; • communicate effectively; • articulate the Christian faith; • develop a sense of their own and others’ spiritual selves; • active engagement in the learning process; • understand and are sensitive to peers, staff and others of a variety of cultures; • work both independently and cooperatively; • demonstrate growing understanding and knowledge of Asia with particular emphasis on China; • use a variety of technologies, strategies and resources as tools for learning and work; • demonstrate care and concern for each other; • be responsible individuals, learners and members of communities; • reflect and think critically and creatively. (Source: Strategic Directions for the 1990s, HKIS website)

The goal, as explained by Dull in an interview for this book, was to get “focused on the core values of the HKIS community and, ultimately, put a five year strategic plan in place by the end of that academic school year.” The conference, or retreat as some called it, “identified central themes from the past, trends, ‘prouds’ and ‘sorries’ affecting the present, and scenarios for the future. As a result of the future scenarios, a ‘Common Future Agenda’ was agreed upon. This agenda identified fourteen areas for HKIS to emphasize over the next decade. Input on the ‘Potential Areas of Emphasis’ was received from nearly 300 people. A Strategic Planning Committee distilled the potential areas of emphasis into three strategic results and five strategies. “(The) core values were drafted by the Strategic Planning Committee…Initially, a ‘Value Clarification Exercise’ was completed by the first Future Search Conference. Based on the results of this exercise, a survey of ‘Possible Core Values’ was sent to

stakeholders in HKIS. Using the results of this survey, the Strategic Planning Committee drafted a set of Core Values for HKIS. The draft strategic results, strategies and core values were presented and discussed at a second Future Search Conference, in January 1998.” These were subsequently finalized in the school year 2001-02. Core Values We believe that: • diversity enriches community and strengthens society. • life-long learning is vital for individuals to thrive and contribute to a changing society. • society progresses when individuals strive for excellence and seek challenges. • learning thrives in the presence of shared high expectations and mutually respectful relationships. • integrity is essential to trust and credibility. • each human life has value and purpose. • dialogue about Christianity and other religions is valuable for personal growth and development of spiritual identity.

Deputy Head of School at the time, Jan Westrick, commented in an interview for this book that, “while forging ahead, it was important to honor the founding values of the school, many of which were articulated in the Rittmann era mission statement. In the end, we accomplished that by succinctly stating and elaborating on the objectives as student learning results.” Chuck Dull stressed, “We were blessed to have broad ownership of what we were trying to achieve. That happened because a highly participative process was used to build all the elements of the process… “…Don’t get me wrong, this was not a ‘slam dunk’ affair. There was a lot of debate, and some visits to best practice institutions around Asia and elsewhere which stretched our thinking about what we might do.”

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hkis – celebrating forty years

In Spring 1998, the Board approved the Mission Statement and Student Learning Results we know today and, with the exception of minor wording change to a few of the SLRs, these remain the same today.

“The WASC improvement framework continues to serve us well. It assures our school’s philosophy and SLRs are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational program.”

“What came out of the conference and a series of conversations with the entire HKIS community was a new mission statement, six carefully worded learning results, seven key strategies [core values] and a five year plan,” recalled Chuck Dull. The WASC and strategic plan momentum in pursuit of ongoing improvement continued. A measurement team was formed to develop ways to measure how well students were achieving the SLRs. It drafted a set of indicators for the Academic Excellence SLR. Action planning teams (co-chaired by a faculty member and a parent) were formed for each of the seven strategies. These were approved by the Board in Spring 1998, and implemented from Fall 1998 to Spring 2003. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) was on-scene for “Self-Study 2000”. WASC’s Visiting Committee Report 2000 was laudatory in its official assessment of “Schoolwide Areas of Strength.”

Later, Head of School William B. Wehrenberg writes in a brochure entitled, HKIS Strategic Plan 2003-2008 of, “30 teachers, parents, students, board members and administrators…review(ing) every word (in November 2002) of our last five year Strategic Plan…” Seven additional report meetings were held with parents, faculty and staff in December 2002 and January 2003. “Based on feedback, the Core Planning Team met in March 2003 to finalize Strategic Plan 2003-2008. The Board of Managers approved and endorsed the Plan in May 2003 and charged the administration to follow through and implement (it).” In the 2004-05 school year under the interim leadership of Jim Handrich, a new full time position was created as Director of Strategic Initiatives. This position would work with key stakeholders in establishing systems and structures to facilitate the continual improvement of student learning and to ensure that development initiatives are aligned throughout the school. Under current Head of School, Richard W. Mueller, HKIS is preparing for the latest round of WASC accreditation in 2007. In an interview for this book, he commented, “The WASC improvement framework continues to serve us well. It assures our school’s philosophy and SLRs are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational program.”

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

The HKIS Strategic Plan 2003-2008 reviews accomplishments between August 2002 and December 2003. These included:

WASC’s Visiting Committee Report 2000

• Academic Excellence – Curriculum Reviews for R1-12 in literacy, mathematics, science and social studies.

• The HKIS school community exhibits caring and respectful behavior and attitudes toward themselves and others, which celebrates the unique traditions and diversity of the HKIS community. These characteristics create a positive school climate that fosters student learning.

• Spirituality – A Religious Education Review. • Character Development – Drafted character development standards and benchmarks.

• The faculty, administration, support staff, parents and community members are committed to processes of improvement designed to move to the next level of excellence for the organization and for student learning.

• Self-Motivated Learning – Action research projects at each division for WASC Mid-Term Review and during SARS, students demonstrated a strong commitment of self-motivated learning through Virtual Schooling.

• The administration and faculty are committed to assisting students in the development of their spiritual identities. • The Board of Managers, administration, staff, and parents provide excellent resources, facilities, finances, and personnel which support a world class educational environment for student learning. • The instructional staff provides an excellent academic and co-curricular program that meets the needs of its students who achieve at high levels on standardized measures. • The administration, faculty, parents, and students have integrated technology into learning activities ensuring students are competent in using it as a tool for learning. • The staff communicates very effectively with parents.

• Contributing to Society – More than HK$1 million was raised in the four schools for various charities. • Chinese Culture – Visits to China enhanced cultural exchange.

The High School campus signature artwork, Cross Sections, by American sculptor, Paul Granlund.

Four Decades of WASC and Strategic Planning With so much time, effort and money invested over four decades to improve and continuously redevelop strategic plans, one might ask, “Just what does HKIS gain from all this effort?” To which the school firmly replies:

• The faculty, supported by administration, employs a great variety of learning strategies designed to assist students in achieving the schoolwide learning results.

• A strong commitment to the purpose and goals of the school.

• Parents are highly supportive of HKIS and students as demonstrated by extensive participation in school life beginning in the classroom and extending to various committees, task forces, and board membership.

• A framework for setting future priorities.

(Source: HKIS website)

• A clear focus on high level learning. • A schoolwide commitment and approach to improvement. • Stakeholder consensus on major end results that HKIS is trying to accomplish. (Source: HKIS Strategic Plan 2003-2008)

Today’s leadership now looks to cement and build on the work done over the past four decades. The picture that emerges is of a school moving in a consistent direction since its founding, while refining its strategic direction and mission with changing times and new challenges in educational thinking for student learning needs in this twenty-first century. Constant amid all the strategic planning and WASC related work has been HKIS’ commitment to ongoing improvement. The many policies, systems and processes have done much to facilitate value to students, faculty and the school. Richard Mueller is determined to ensure that as the school celebrates its fortieth year of serving and educating in Hong Kong, it will have in place the right mechanisms to assure a true focus on our student learning and the SLR’s. “Students and student learning must remain at the heart of all we do at HKIS.”

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Source: So

uth China

Morning Po

st, 20 05

hkis – celebrating forty years

Advance Placement (AP) Exams Between 1991 and 2006 the number of high school students taking Advance Placement (AP) exams grew by more than ten times. AP’s replicate college-level courses in various subject areas. HKIS AP Scholars for the 2005-06 school year show HKIS students to be among the very best in their peer groupings throughout the world. What’s more the range of AP exams taken during 15 years is from 192 – 852. That’s an increase of 344%.

The following pages contain a pictorial history of press clippings, photos and other materials evidencing successive generations of teachers and students living out in action and spirit the HKIS mission and SLRs over the past four decades.

n Academic Excellence

rd, 1995

Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standards of academic excellence.

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Source: Junto,

1980

Source:

Studen

t Standa

HKIS expects students to achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standards of academic excellence. To achieve academic excellence, students need to acquire, adapt and apply knowledge. They must reflect and think critically and creatively. Finally, students are required to communicate effectively through the spoken and written word.

The AP results of students passing with 3+ and thus earning credit at some universities ranged from 72%90%. The 15-year average is 83%. Considering the huge increase in the number of exams being taken, the fairly consistent range and average is a plus for effective teaching and diligent students. Source: Young Post, 1995

Four Decades of Challenging the Intellect and Engaging the Heart

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

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Source: Yo

Source: Junto, 1975

ung Post, 19

94

Source: Junt

o, 1982

Source: Junto,

1979

Larry Eichert, High School Science teacher, and his AP Biology class.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

n Academic Excellence

HKIS expects students to achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standards of academic excellence.

Source: So

uth China

Morning Po

st, 20 05

Source: Young

Post, 1995

Source: Student Standard, 1995

Learning continues outside the classroom – students in the High School plaza.

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Source: Junto,

1995

Source: Junto

Source: South

China Morning

Post, 2007

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

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n Spirituality Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify and develop their own spiritual identity. HKIS helps students to understand and respect Christianity and other religions and to identify and develop their own spiritual identity. Evidence of understanding of Christianity can be through describing and explaining the key principles of Christianity and retelling stories. To understand other religions, students are exposed to the holy books, rites of passage, festivals, and rituals. Students demonstrate respect by identifying and discussing diversity. Students develop their personal spiritual identities through inquiry, by engaging in dialogue. HKIS believes all individuals have the capacity to participate in the sacred, something beyond the self. Connections, meaning and purpose are shaped by influences of family, the world, and nature.

Bob Christian speaking at chapel.

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

Respecting the spiritual lives of all – experiencing and understanding others’ beliefs.

HKIS outlines its ‘expectation’s in the Blue Book.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

n Spirituality

“Those of Christian backgrounds will experience nurture and reinforcement for what their family believes, as religious instruction and the chapel program are rooted in Christianity. Those from other faith traditions will find an atmosphere of respect and an invitation to share their backgrounds as part of a rich ‘spiritual conversation.’” – WASC Report 2000

“HKIS’ school program has always included a full program in religion, centered on Biblical Studies and including Chapel. God’s message is communicated informally through relationships – choosing to expose students to Christian teachings while maintaining respect for students’ personal beliefs. Recent curricular work in all divisions allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the other major religions of the world.” – Jim Handrich in an interview for this book

Source: At

70s the Edge, 19

“Over 30 nationalities are represented at HKIS.” Christian’s breakdown of students in those early days has only 11 per cent “as nominally Lutheran,” with another 74 per cent “Roman Catholic,” “Episcopalian,” or “other Protestants”. Of the remaining students, “three per cent are Jewish and 12 per cent are other non-Christians”. – Bob Christian writing in Lutheran Education, March 1970

“Where better to observe global and pluralist phenomena than in the crossroads called Hong Kong, where so many worlds and so many religions come together? And where better to get a close-up view of education and parents dealing creatively with these urgent issues than at the Hong Kong International School.” – Professor Martin E. Marty of University of Chicago, writing in A Christian Century in August 2001

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

“Where better to observe global and pluralist phenomena than in the crossroads called Hong Kong, where so many worlds and so many religions come together?�

Source: Am

Cham Maga

zine

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hkis – celebrating forty years

n Character Development

their pre-conceived notions through discussion and reflection. Here is an example of how:

Students will demonstrate respectful and caring attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right.

“There was a student in grade 9 in my drama class and she was on HKIS Interim in North India. We had been gathering supplies for a rural school that we had been in touch with the years before… When we did the service work this girl was amazed with how bright, cheerful and high-spirited these kids were. Even though materially they had nothing. Literally nothing, I mean they didn’t have windows in their schools and didn’t have walls separating classrooms…” “….This student was so moved that when we shared our experiences back in Hong Kong to my drama class, she just couldn’t stop crying, ‘they have nothing, they have nothing and yet they’re so happy. What’s wrong with us? We walk around the campus we hear people complaining.’ And she was really deeply touched.” – Doug Baker, HS Drama Teacher in an interview for this book

Source: Yo

ung Post, 20

01

HKIS requests students to demonstrate respectful and responsible attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right. To demonstrate caring and respect, students identify others’ needs and look for ways to help. They also need to listen and interact in an appropriate manner and be considerate of materials, facilities and resources. To exhibit integrity, students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in relationships and academics and accept responsibility for their own actions. To display the courage to stand up for what is right, students are required to speak or act in accordance with their values and support others who speak or act with courage.

Source: Junto, 1969

Source: Junt

o, 1972

PEAK Week in Middle School and Interim in High School are designed to challenge the hearts, minds and bodies of HKIS students. These programs expose students to cultural diversity and challenge

“Student government at HKIS was a springboard for many of the activities I’ve become involved in during my post-HKIS years. Besides more obvious benefits like being able to print a title on a resume, there were many lessons about life embedded in our meetings and events… The facilitation skills I’ve developed over the years aren’t necessarily innate, but have instead been shaped and improved by careful guidance from dedicated faculty and staff advisors.” – Joseph Michel Yasso ’03 “I learned from my SFS experience that more important than what you say in big auditorium speeches is what you do on a day to day basis with your friends, colleagues, superiors and strangers.” – George Liao ’99

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“HKIS student government’s affect on me has been profound. It created and showed me, via example, a can-do attitude that I aspire to; that voice and opinion and debate are not only privileges, they are also responsibilities of the individual; that democracy, however small, is a process that is resilient and most effective over the long run.” – Ranjan Goswami ’98

The ultimate cultural experience: HS students on Interim.

ng Kong Sta

ndard

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Source: Junt

o, 1968

Source: So

uth China

Morning Po

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“Everything we do at HKIS is in the context of a larger world, where we take care of one another, of the earth, and of ourselves, and where we teach our students the values and skills to make this a better earth. That’s our job, those of us here today. We are all in this together.” – Richard W. Mueller speaking at All School Gathering in August, 2006

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Source: The Star

hkis – celebrating forty years

n Character Development

Source: Stu

dent Stand

ard, 1994

1 Source: Pulse, 199

“Everything we do at HKIS is in the context of a larger world, where we take care of one another, of the earth, and of ourselves, and where we teach our students the values and skills to make this a better earth. That’s our job, those of us here today. We are all in this together.”

Source: Alumn

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i News, 1991


s CONTENTS

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Source: Studen

t Standard,1994

Source: Da ily 10, 20 05

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Source: Junto, 1985

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

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Source: AmCham Maga

zine, 1975

hkis – celebrating forty years

n Self-motivated Learning Students willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout their learning processes. HKIS promotes self-motivated learning by asking students to willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout their learning process. Self-motivated learning requires students to demonstrate persistence and engagement and exhibit appropriate risk-taking. Students engage in effective thinking about their own thinking (metacognition) and appropriately applying a variety of learning and motivational strategies. Accurate and regular self-assessment and accepting feedback and criticism without defensiveness is also necessary. Most importantly, self-motivated learning requires students to enjoy the process of learning and what they are learning.

Grade 8 Outward Bound in the 1990s. HKIS Interim: Helping to build homes in China with the first “China-Build� for Habitat for Humanity in 2005.

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“…Under the office of the deputy head of school and in collaboration with the administration teams at the four schools, we engaged our first school-wide leader to help our faculty deal even more effectively with students who learned differently and bring leadership with learning specialists in each of the schools.” – Chuck Dull, recalling the genesis of HKIS Special Needs Program in an interview for this book

Source: So

Source: Studen

uth China

t Standard

“A vibrant school is suffused with a passion for learning. Students and adults alike are excited about learning. They look forward to coming to school. They are motivated by curiosity and challenge, not just by grades. They ask hard questions, inconvenient questions”. – Richard W. Mueller speaking at All School Gathering in August, 2006

“One of the great academic leaps of excellence that took place during 1997-2001 years was the renewed attention given to supporting students who learned differently. HKIS has always been blessed with a student body with a high percentage of gifted and motivated learners. However, during the Future Search Conference in 1997, the number one issue we challenged ourselves to address was providing a more intentional and resourced approach to assisting students who learned differently than the high achieving, highly motivated learners who made up the majority of our student body…

st

“HKIS’ American-style curriculum and approach to education has given me the flexibility to select my own courses and, in turn, to set my own academic goals.” – Recipient of the HKIS Scholarship, Andrew Yip ’06

“I think HKIS is a very unique learning community that values the whole person and I really hope the school continues to nourish and nurture those roots.” – George Coombs, HKIS history teacher in an interview for this book

Morning Po

“In the last 7 years, the Interact charity fashion shows have inspired the skill of self-motivated learning. The leaders initiate the event and then it is their job to involve over 100 students to partake in the activity. All the students involved depend on each other to be responsible for their role in order for the event to be a success. Year after year, the shows have been successful, not only in raising funds for charity, but in helping students have an opportunity to lead and grow in self-motivated learning.” – Zella Talbot, Interact Advisor, writing in 2006

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Dr. Martin Marty addresses students in Middle School’s Amphitheatre.

n Self-motivated Learning

“HKIS’ American-style curriculum and approach to education has given me the flexibility to select my own courses and, in turn, to set my own academic goals.”

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

Dr. David Pollock interacts with LP students in 2001 as the School’s Visiting Scholar.

Left: Erik Weihenmayer, Visiting Scholar, in 2006.

“A vibrant school is suffused with a passion for learning. Students and adults alike are excited about learning. They look forward to coming to school. They are motivated by curiosity and challenge, not just by grades. They ask hard questions, inconvenient questions”.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Working in various Asian orphanages, always a popular Interim choice, but what a challenge!

“Some students are also involved in charitable work in the community. In particular, they have undertaken to teach English to Chinese young people at a nearby home for handicapped and to help children at a rehabilitation center.” – Bob Christian writing in Lutheran Education, March 1970

n Contributing to Society Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our diverse society and to make contributions to our community.

Source: Young

Post, 1990s

“So ingrained is the concept of service and giving back to the community at HKIS, that by the time students are in high school more than 70 per cent are doing voluntary service for the school and community.” – Jim Handrich in an interview for this book

Source: Young Post, 2004

Source: Ho

ng Kong Sta

ndard, 1995

Habitat for Humanity: HKIS students participated in the first “Build” in China.

HKIS supports students in developing the skills needed to form genuine relationships in our diverse society and to make contributions to our community. Students are expected to demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills by working well with others, respecting other points of view, and working with others to achieve goals. Students make contributions by voluntarily contributing time, talent or money, often involving a personal sacrifice. Students exhibit global citizenship by being aware of the impact of major global, social and environmental events, confronting discrimination and stereotypes, and developing a multicultural perspective.

“For the past 25 years HKIS has been successful in serving the educational needs of the international community in Hong Kong. Now we would like to become more involved in serving the Hong Kong community by sharing our expertise in American education with students outside of the HKIS community.” – David Rittmann, talking at the launch of the High Achievers Program for talented local students in July 1991

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“‘Humanities I in Action’ has a service component built in so students do their ‘Service on Saturday’ in Hong Kong and they have the opportunity to go to an orphanage in Foshan, China. This gives them more time to reflect and integrate what they’re learning on service.” – George Coombs, HKIS history teacher in an interview for this book

Source: South China Morning Post, 2001

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

“Many personal spiritual development efforts happen day-in and day-out at HKIS, especially in the HKIS service learning work that takes place in Hong Kong and throughout Asia.” – Chuck Dull in an interview for this book

Source: Junto,

1997

Source: Junto

Source: Junt

o, 1968

“Giving has always been a central theme throughout the years of HKIS’ existence. The Day of Giving and Interim are time-honored, triedand-true examples that come shining through amidst the cacophony of change…” – Ken Koo ’79, Vice President, HKIS Alumni Association writing in the alumni magazine, DragonTales, Winter 2001

There are many examples of HKIS alumni leaving the school and continuing down the path of service, though few compare with David “Biff” Begbie ’94.

(David “Biff” Begbie story here)

agon Tales Source: Dr

, 20 07

Caption: Modiatis Ilisit ipsummy nibh eugait veliquam ilisit dolor si eliquat exerosto

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n Contributing to Society

HKIS stud

ing

mp in the

1990s.

Source: Young

Post, 2005

Source: South China Morn

ing Post, 1994

“So ingrained is the concept of service and giving back to the community at HKIS, that by the time students are in high school more than 70 per cent are doing voluntary service for the school and community.”

ents help

gfook Ca o u t at H an

Source: So

uth China

Morning Po

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HKIS Middle School student during a visit to a home for mentally handicapped.

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Source: Sunday

Morning Post,

1995

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

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Source: Dr agon Tales

, 20 04

Source: He

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r, 20 03

Source: Hong Kong Standard, 1993

“Many personal spiritual development efforts happen day-in and day-out at HKIS, especially in the HKIS service learning work that takes place in Hong Kong and throughout Asia.”

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation for the Chinese culture.

1978

HKIS expects students to gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of Chinese culture. To gain understanding of China, students explore Chinese history, geography, politics and current events; philosophy and religion; language, literature and the arts; and Chinese society (such as traditions and lifestyles). Students demonstrate appreciation of Chinese culture by making connections between personal experiences and aspects of Chinese culture, being actively involved in a variety of Chinese cultural experiences, behaving in culturally appropriate ways, and by integrating with the people of Greater China and their communities.

Source: Junto

n Chinese Culture

“Students in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 are taught conversational Cantonese, the local Chinese dialect. In the high school department, Mandarin is taught… “…Integrated into the language programs is Chinese culture, the study of Chinese history, festivals, art, and music. Assemblies offer programs, often by Chinese schools or community clubs. Athletics, debates, and inter-school meetings provide other contacts, and visits are made to places of interest in Hong Kong and the nearby colony of Macao. “Several trips on fishing junks owned and operated by Chinese families who live on the boats have given students insights into the culture. It was interesting to note how at first the fishermen were extremely cautious. Movies and magazines had taught them to have misgivings about American youth, but informal interaction on junks soon led to mutual understanding.” – Bob Christian writing in Lutheran Education in March 1970

Source: Junto

Source: Junto,

Calligraphy being taught by Tammy Hui, long-serving Chinese Studies teacher.

a pens with ew Year o N se . e ce in n h PFO C erforma n dance p o li l a n io tradit

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Source: Junt

o

Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

Source: Junt

o, 1995

Students from K1 - 12 have the opportunity to learn Putonghua.

A traditional Chinese Dragon Dance at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Middle School.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

n Chinese Culture

Students demonstrate appreciation of Chinese culture by making connections between personal experiences and aspects of Chinese culture…

Students studying in the Chinese Language Center in Repulse Bay.

on boat team

at Tai Tam Ba y.

Source: Ho

ng Kong Sta

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The HKIS drag

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Forty Years of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results

Time-line 1971:

Early 1990s:

Spring 1998:

Accredited by WASC for the first time, just five years after the school doors opened.

A concise Mission Statement appeared in HKIS publications.

The Board approved the Mission Statement and Student Learning Results we know today.

December 1970:

June 1976:

January 1998:

May 2003:

First Self-study approved the philosophy, objectives and values of the school.

HKIS WASC-accredited for the second time in June 1976.

Second Future Search Conference – a new set of Core Values formulated for HKIS.

The Board of Managers approved and endorsed the Strategic Plan 2003-08.

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HKIS leaflet produced in 2007 to promote the school’s unique mission.

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“HKIS expanded in each decade of its existence, regardless of the perceived political concerns in Hong Kong.”

T

HE term “campus” is a fine indication of the mindset of the Hong Kong International School. In its American context, it usually refers to tertiary education – the physical plants of the several thousand colleges and universities across the States. Given its association with university environments, the image conjured by the word campus is one of academic freedom, coupled with a spirit of free inquiry. There is a sense of milestone maturity when a student moves onto a college campus, especially after the very structured education students have experienced in elementary and secondary schools. From the beginning, the founders and the leadership community of HKIS have stressed a liberal arts education, tempered by a moral foundation anchored in Christianity. When the doors of the original school at 23 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, opened on September 14, 1967, the term campus was not widely used. Over the years, as school after school was blasted out of mountainous and rocky terrain, campus has been widely used to describe the acreage that is HKIS; even though the two campuses are separated by many kilometers of winding road. It was James A. (“Jim”) Handrich, Associate Head of School, who remarked at a planning meeting that, “HKIS expanded in each decade of its existence, regardless of the perceived political concerns in Hong Kong.” And expansion plans are afoot in this, HKIS’ fifth decade.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

The school’s terraced architecture made

The 1960s

To the uninitiated, the empty hillside site was now occupied by a school building. End of story. But to the professionals, the site, its use, and the building that now was there, were considered unique. In its January, 1967 issue, Architect & Builder magazine profiled the new HKIS campus. Below is an artist’s impression of the new campus.

The 1960s saw the planning, opening and dedication of the “newly-constructed eight-story, HK$5,350,000 building of 32 classrooms, chapel, cafeteria, gymnasium and library,” as the dedication program put it succinctly on February 22, 1968. The Director of Education, The Hon. W.D. Gregg, C.B.E., who was instrumental in getting the Hong Kong Government’s approval for this unique project, had turned the first shovel of earth on April 28, 1966 and returned for the dedication. Exchanging his shovel for the dedication plaque, he dedicated it “To the glory of God and Community Service.” [This plaque can still be seen at the entrance to the Upper Primary campus].

full use of its stunning views of the sea.

To the uninitiated, the empty hillside site was now occupied by a school building. End of story. But to the professionals, the site, its use, and the building that now was there, were considered unique. Far East Architect & Builder, in its January, 1967 issue, profiled the development: “Because of the environment, it was decided that the building should have a strong character to complement the rugged terrain… (It) should…become the predominant edifice in the area…(With) the plaza central to the “administration office, multi-purpose cafeteria and covered play area…(and) the noisy elements such as the music room and the gymnasium separate. All classrooms face north and are shielded from the sun and glare by

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FOUR DECADES OF EXPANSION AND VISION

Source: Th

e Star

a five-foot canopy. Laboratories and the library are on the other side of the corridor facing south…The chapel, used both as a church and by the school, with its striking 145 foot “symbolic bell tower…spatially links that school, plaza and church and becomes the focal point of the design.”

Students carrying flags of their respective countries at the dedication ceremony.

The chapel, used both as a church and by the school, with its striking 145 foot “symbolic bell tower…spatially links that school, plaza and church and becomes the focal point of the design.”

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FOUR DECADES OF EXPANSION AND VISION

The 1970s Though the first HKIS graduating class completed their studies only in 1968, within a few years enrollment topped 1,000, and was growing quickly. In 1971, the “Moving a Mountain” theme was adopted for this second construction project, to expand what was, after all, still a fairly new school. The “Mountain” referred to was the massive rock face beside the existing Repulse Bay School. “Thousands of cubic feet of earth and rock were blasted away to create a platform on which to build,” was the way an undated history entitled, The Reality of Vision, described it. The normally predictable Moving a Mountain Site Dedication on November 12, 1971 took a creative turn when classes came to pose against the backdrop of giant machinery excavations, complete with a sign with a space to insert the class and teacher’s name. Group photographs that have survived show Mrs. Kasala’s 1B and Mrs. Cohen’s Special Education classes. In the latter photograph, row upon row of students, on different levels, are clearly visible in the background.

In 1971, the “Moving a Mountain” theme was adopted. The “Mountain” referred to was the massive rock face beside the existing Repulse Bay School.

Classes came to pose against the backdrop of giant machinery excavations, complete with a sign with a space to

But details of the never-ending battle to finance the project have survived: “Early efforts to raise funds

insert the class and teacher’s name.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

were hampered by the recession brought on by the oil crisis of 1973.” Spiraling prices pushed the cost to HK$25,211,120, “a far cry from the architect’s original estimate of HK$8 million.”

The two buildings had sufficient room and facilities to expand...

To help defray costs, debentures with a face value of HK$24,000 were issued by the Hong Kong International School Association Ltd., on November 1, 1974. The Association, as reported in the Hong Kong Standard (February 10, 1974), does not have share capital and was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on April 24, 1974 to raise funds for HKIS. The Association’s principal purpose is “to manage the financial and business operations of the Hong Kong International School; to handle and direct the assets, assume the liabilities and otherwise control the finances of the school on behalf of its owners, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” At that time, the Association had, “nine members and the articles of association provide for not more than 100.” The Association repaid “the debentures by means of 24 coupons of HK$1,000 each face value,” which were attached to the debentures and could be used against student fees or redeemed in cash. They were registered and transferable at the option of the holder. The student to whom the debenture was assigned was, “guaranteed admission…in the event he or she is qualified in the school’s judgment and there are not sufficient places in the pupil’s class for all qualified applicants.” The fund-raising debentures were a success and, along with other funds, resulted in the new Elementary School, which opened in September, 1975 and was subsequently dedicated on October 29th. Though the spotlight fell on the new school, of equal importance was refurbishment of the original building into a combined Junior and Senior High School. The 1975/76 school year opened with 1,223 students enrolled. Most importantly, the two buildings had sufficient room and facilities to expand, a necessary contingency given the pressure of constant growth of the American population in Hong Kong.

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The 1980s A decade later, in 1985, the Board of Managers decided on a new “cycle of change,” according to The Reality of Vision. Political uncertainty was again in the air. Anxieties began to mount in 1982, following British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Beijing, intended to sort out the future of Hong Kong with China’s paramount leader, Deng-Xiaoping. The visit went badly and negotiations over the next two years were at times acrimonious. The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 contained the terms of Hong Kong’s reversion to the People’s Republic of China at midnight, on June 30, 1997. This was the date the 19th Century lease on the New Territories from China expired, as had been agreed in the 99-year-old Treaty of Peking signed in 1898. The Declaration let the cork out of the bottle. Accusations of betrayal and venting of frustrations by some of the populace of the then British Crown Colony were open and loud. Through the decade, some 50,000 people a year would vote with their feet and emigrate from Hong Kong. It was a disquieting time. Yet HKIS’ Board of Managers had the foresight to look beyond the day-to-day politics and visualize a thriving economic entity well into the future. The same logic held as that of the 1960s: increased trade would inevitably mean an increased American and international presence. At that time, according to HKIS’s On the Move brochure, the American population of Hong Kong was 15,185 and growing, as was US trade with both Hong Kong and China. HKIS needed to expand and that was that. The board wanted a new High School capable of educating 720 students, which would also allow enhancement of the existing Elementary and Middle Schools. Hong Kong Government came through with another land grant, a 140,000-square-foot site in the Red Hill area of Tai Tam, on Hong Kong Island’s south coast. It was not the preferred site, but

HKIS’ Board of Managers had the foresight to look beyond the day-to-day politics and visualize a thriving economic entity well into the future... increased trade would inevitably mean an increased American and international presence.

the best, “considering the choices government allowed,” according to minutes of the Expansion Communications Committee (October 29, 1985). It was felt that the “inherent problems can largely be overcome – with money.” The current Head of School, Richard W. Mueller, who served on the Board of Managers at the time, recalls the deep discussions and rigorous debates about the wisdom of investing so much at a time of much uncertainty. “In the end, confidence in HKIS’ future and excitement about serving a broader student body carried the board – with faith in God and the future – to fund the project,” he recalled. The demographic profile of HKIS as of September 15, 1985 is interesting: 941 Americans, 153 Host (UK and Hong Kong) and 406 third country nationals, for a total of 1,500 students. The children of IBM employees led the way with 54 Americans, 1 host and 33 third country nationals (88 in all), followed by 78 students (73 Americans and five third country) from religious organizations, with the US Government in third place with 69 students (68 Americans + one third country).

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The “who’s who” list of top U.S. firms whose employees’ children attended HKIS was impressive: Bank of America, Exxon, Dow Chemical, Citibank, Caterpillar, Chase Manhattan Bank, Sealand, Mattel, Union Carbide, Dupont, Digital Computer, Kodak, R.J. Reynolds, Security Pacific Bank and First National Bank of Chicago.

HKIS had always been aimed at those in the Hong Kong community desiring an Americanstyle education. Obviously, the majority would be Americans, but on average, 25 to 30 per cent of the school’s population was non-American. These students were a valuable asset toward making HKIS a truly “international” institution.

As the High School was being planned, and the inevitable arguments over money took place, there was an unexpected push by “some in the community…to save on building costs by restricting admission to Americans,” according to The Reality of Vision.

with the Hong Kong Government (pre- and post1997) of an “American only” school could also be negative. The Board rose to the occasion. It led to the Board’s reaffirmation of the school’s international make-up as fundamental to its quality. The Board of Managers at this highly charged time was truly prescient. At about the same time, The Reality of Vision reports that, “the Board also looked ahead at the changes in Hong Kong and decided to extend the school’s Chinese language program, then Grades 7-12, to include primary school, beginning in first grade.”

HKIS had always been aimed at those in the Hong Kong community desiring an Americanstyle education. Obviously, the majority would be Americans, but on average, 25 to 30 per cent of the school’s population was non-American. These students were a valuable asset toward making HKIS a truly “international” institution. Restricting admissions to Americans would change the philosophy of the school. Politically, the repercussions

HKIS Headmaster David Rittmann explains school plans to Hong Kong Chief Secretary, Sir David AkersJones, above. HKIS’ groundbreaking was officiated by U.S. Consul-General Donald M. Anderson and Hong Kong government officials, left.

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Two decades on, hindsight once again proves the wisdom in deciding to invest in Hong Kong’s future, as well as in correctly anticipating the advent of exponential trade growth. There was much debate over whether the spoken Chinese language would be Cantonese or Mandarin. Those who favored Cantonese wanted the local dialect so students could learn and use the language on a daily basis. Those who wanted Mandarin wanted to build on the Mandarin program already being taught in grades 7– 12. In the end, Mandarin was selected for the primary school so the program would be K-12. On November 12, 1986, the groundbreaking ceremony at the high school was held ahead of the arrival of bulldozers to prepare the site. The Hong Kong Standard story headline the following day proved, once again, how prescient the Board was: “US school plan shows sign of confidence in HK”. The South China Morning Post coverage of the same story took another view – its headline exclaimed: “Free site for new $82.7m American school”. But it was indeed a sign of confidence in Hong Kong’s future, as Chief Secretary David Akers-Jones, who shared the groundbreaking honors at the ceremony with the U.S. Consul General, Donald M. Anderson, pointed out in his speech. “The steady growth of American investment in Hong Kong in recent years is another indication of the American community’s determination to play a continuing role in the territory’s further growth and development. The resulting increase in the number of American companies which have established local or regional

offices in Hong Kong helps to explain why HKIS is in need of additional space which this extension will provide.” At that time, only 60 per cent of the 1,515 students were American, with 34 different nationalities being represented in HKIS’ 950 families. David Rittmann, then HKIS Headmaster, stated that: “In 1985, surveys within the international school community and Hong Kong-based American corporations indicated long term growth. American business projections both in Hong Kong and China have further emphasized the need to ensure educational facilities for the future.” Two decades on, hindsight once again proves the wisdom in deciding to invest in Hong Kong’s future, as well as in correctly anticipating the advent of exponential trade growth. Financing of the project was interesting. A brochure, entitled On the Move, states that, “Beginning Fall 1986, every student must be covered by a HK$70,000 debenture or pay an annual capital levy of HK$8,000 which will continue until construction costs are met and debentures redeemed. The Board intends to sell 800-900 debentures.” The brochure emphasizes that the new High School, planned for 720 students, will be HKIS’ first building purpose-designed for the older children with increased facilities for physical education, sports, the arts, computer and other electronic means of education, and student services such as library and counseling. Importantly, it stated the 12:1 student/teacher ratio – which probably ranked as the lowest in Hong Kong – would remain the same. “However, as the enrollment rises and the number of faculty consequently increases, the curriculum can be broadened and individual student needs can be met more effectively – without altering the essential college preparatory nature of the program.”

Brochure explaining the newly introduced debenture capital and levy system in 1986.

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The new High School was the first purpose-built facility for older children.

Earl Westrick, Deputy Head of School, led the expansion project and is leading students on a tour of the High School building project above.

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Of equal importance in this expansion program is the effect the new High School would have on the lower grades. “Confined for years to the upper floors of the secondary building, the Junior High School will become an American-style Middle School (Grades 6-8) designed for its purposes, including library, labs, activities and sports spaces.” In the Elementary School, “renovations are being carried out to enhance the operations of the open space clusters and to improve the facilities for the special programs which have recently been added or enlarged; namely art, music, computers and Chinese language.”

Hong Kong Governor Sir David Wilson officiates at the High School’s dedication on January 9, 1989 with Earl Westrick, Deputy Head of School.

The High School’s Tai Tam Campus opened in time for the 1988/89 school year and was dedicated on January 9, 1989. This time the Governor of Hong Kong, H.E. Sir David Wilson, KCMG, did the honors with the U.S. Consul-General, Donald M. Anderson, back again, this time without a shovel, from his 1986 groundbreaking role. That year, 1,771 students were enrolled in the new high school and at the refurbished Elementary and Middle Schools in Repulse Bay. Once again, the presence of HKIS re-invigorated the stagnant property market on the south side of Hong Kong Island, including that of the adjacent Red Hill development.

George Coombs, who began his HKIS career as a history teacher in 1988 at the newly opened High School, recalls “the school was supposed to be finished in August but was not complete. As a result we had to share the school with the Middle School in Repulse Bay. The Middle School kids used the school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while the High School used the school on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.” The High School was completed in October and they moved in – just in time for a late typhoon which blew out the windows. “Every window in the entire new building leaked. All the glass blew into the swimming pool and we had to close it for the rest of the year. Every office, the library, was under a foot of water. The water just went right down the stairs and into the library.” A very Hong Kong beginning, typhoon and all. Rough start or not, the design of the new Tai Tam Campus sought to combine the best of East and West, a goal quite familiar in Hong Kong architectural and design circles. Jim Handrich recalls the island at the entrance of the new High School was designed as a traditional Oriental garden with rock, water, and plants. “If you look at the island from the top, it is a circle with a yin/yang shape, he notes.” The plants are a

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The island at the entrance of the new High School was designed as a traditional Oriental garden with rock, water, and plants. mixture – some from the east and some from the west. Planted near the bamboo is a Canadian Maple from the class of 2003, in honor of Myles Berry, a High School junior, who died while still a student here. The same class donated the “Senior Rock”. Adds Handrich, “the legacy of the Class of 2003 is a strong statement on the island.” The Oriental theme extends to the pond. Handrich recalls that at first there were no fish, “but Oriental gardens frequently have koi (Japanese carp) and some of our Chinese staff thought they were important. So in the mid-1990s, we acquired some. The koi are now a part of the HKIS scene – and lots of folks like to watch them. They even come up now and let you pet them, and they are certainly prolific breeders.” The atrium is another area which attracts attention. It was part of the architectural design and has become a gathering place to escape sun or the rain. 

The 1990s The decade had just turned, when again, due to enrollment pressures, the question of expansion was the main topic of discussion and soon became the HKIS Expansion Project. In a 1991 briefing paper for the Secretary for Education and Manpower entitled, Completing the Vision of Hong Kong International School; An Overview of Expansion Plans, these goals were outlined: • Short term: To use Kennedy Road School to relieve the current shortage of American school places in elementary grades. • Long term: To erect a new building for lower secondary grades in Tai Tam near our high school which, with correlated changes throughout the school, will raise capacity in all grades and increase schoolwide enrollment… And to enhance further the educational program of HKIS by adding a reception class and by incorporating needed facilities through renovations to existing buildings. The first step was to eliminate the chronic shortage of Elementary School places. Seen as the most acute problem, the waiting lists for entry were causing friction, but there was nothing that could be done since the Elementary School was the smallest HKIS facility. The problem was exacerbated by a general shortage of places in other international schools. To relieve this immediate shortage of early education places, HKIS opened their Early Childhood Center in interim quarters, courtesy of the Hong Kong Government. This was in the former Kennedy Junior School on Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, an English Schools Foundation institution which had moved to Pokfulam. The Center was dedicated on September 12, 1991 and, at a snap of the scissors, waiting lists for the little ones

HKIS Early Childhood Center at Kennedy Road.

disappeared. The ECC served 150 students, aged four through seven years. The Repulse Bay Elementary School campus enrolled 200 students, aged 5-7 years. At the ceremony, Y. T. Li, Director of Education asserted: “I cannot emphasize too much the important role being played by the Hong Kong International School in the provision of education for children of the international community of Hong Kong.”

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“The Kennedy Road School facility is a very gracious old structure. With it we are able to expand our program to reflect the best methods in early childhood education.” Headmaster David Rittmann responded: “Our school is grateful for the support of the Hong Kong Education Department. The Kennedy Road School facility is a very gracious old structure. With it we are able to expand our program to reflect the best methods in early childhood education.” Total student enrollment was just 50 short of the 2,000 figure, and it was only 1991! Then came the conception of an American-styled Middle School (Grades 6-8) for 600-700 students on the Tai Tam campus, on land adjacent to the existing High School. The plan was that as the Junior High, as it was known in Repulse Bay, moved to Tai Tam, primary school Grades 3-5 moved across the street to create the Upper Primary School in that renovated building. And as they vacated their old premises, the early Childhood Center at Kennedy Road would flow back into what would be known as the Lower Primary School, which would include a reception year (4-yearolds) for the first time.

A June 1991 brochure, Growing for Hong Kong’s Future, highlighted the HKIS Expansion Plan for all stakeholders: • A new Middle School for 675 students, to be built in Tai Tam on land supplied by the Hong Kong Government. • The current Middle School will be converted to an Elementary School. • Total student capacity increased from 2,100 to 2,600. • Enhancement at every level. • Elementary School – Early childhood focus with introduction of a pre-primary program. • Middle School – Improved facilities for modern language studies, life skills, and access to high school programs for high achievers. • High School – Shared facilities and resources. The budget for the Expansion Plan was estimated to be about HK$180 million, one-third from debenture sales/upgrades, one-third from an interestfree Hong Kong Government loan and one-third from fundraising. As of December 12, 1991, 711 debentures and upgrades had been sold, according to an Expansion Fund Raising Program memo from Planning Committee member John M. Stitch,

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Vice President-Semiconductors for Texas Instruments Asia Ltd., dated December 16, 1991. In the same brochure, HKIS presented a snapshot of itself: • 25 years of service to Hong Kong’s business, professional, diplomatic and church mission communities. • International student body representing more than 35 countries, including 22 percent ethnic Chinese. • A college prep program comparable in intensity and curriculum scope to that of leading independent schools in the U.S. – virtually all graduates proceed to college in the U.S.. • Student-teacher ratio of 12:1, class sizes vary from 8 to 25. • 65 per cent of teachers have advanced degrees; average career service is 11 years; U.S.-recruited teachers average 6-7 years at the school. • The standardized test results of our students place HKIS between the 95th and 99th percentiles in school-to-school comparisons with the U.S.. • As a church-related school, HKIS emphasizes character and ethical development as well as the study of Asian history, culture, art, and Chinese languages. • A commitment to technology in education. One computer for every six students is available. Four full-time professionals and four staff members are dedicated to the support of our technology program. • Student participation in extra-curricular activities throughout all grade levels is exceptionally high; more than 160 programs are offered.

On January 19, 1994, the Middle School was topped out in a modest ceremony. Representing the United States was the Consul-General, Richard W. Mueller, who a decade later would be back on campus as Head of School. On November 4, 1994, a more formal group gathered to dedicate the completed school. The dedication program called the school “A 21st Century Home for the Mind”. Mrs. Anson Chan, CBE, JP, Chief Secretary, represented the Hong Kong Government, yet another symbol, if one were needed, with how pleased government was with the educational efforts of HKIS and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Richard Mueller once again represented the United States while Mrs. Marie Peters-Terry, Chair of the Board of Managers, represented this current incarnation of directors, whose vision for the future was as perceptive as that of their predecessors. It fell to Headmaster, Dr. David Rittmann, to once again assume the by-then-familiar mantle of officially opening a new building. According to The Reality of Vision, HKIS now served: “2,345 students in four, state-of-the-art buildings on two campuses. Although the basic make-up of the school remains unchanged, with 60 per cent American passport holders, 10 per cent local Chinese and 30 per cent from other countries, the ethnicity beneath the surface is rapidly changing. More and more students of Asian descent carry passports of English-speaking countries. HKIS is quickly becoming an equal blend of Asian and Anglo students…. No matter the size of its enrollment or the grandeur of its buildings, HKIS will continue to measure its success one student at a time.”

“2,345 students in four, state-of-the-art buildings on two campuses... No matter the size of its enrollment or the grandeur of its buildings, HKIS will continue to measure its success one student at a time.”

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The ‘Information Age’ Arrives HKIS is one of the best-equipped schools in the world --- and that includes computers and I.T. technology, for the faculty, staff and of course students of all ages. But how did it get to this point? Inside the well-documented bricks and mortar expansion of HKIS from Repulse Bay to Tai Tam, from one school to four, there is a parallel story of what takes place inside. David Elliott, who teaches Computer Science and is the Technology Coordinator for the High School, believes that HKIS “is a summary of the development of technology for education”. In 1982, one Elementary School teacher started using computers with her students. The school had six TRS80 Model 1 computers that ran off a cassette tape. “If a teacher ever wanted to use one, it was David Elliott. physically rolled into her room and it took about 10 minutes for the tape to run and load a tiny program in white and black dots on a screen so the kids could play,” recalls Elliott. “Then we started a technology program for kids.”

“You have more memory now in your PDA than people had in the entire school in the early 1980s,” Elliott points out. At that time, HKIS had 10Mb of storage for the entire school. In High School children learned BASIC on the same 10 MB that the finance department and everyone else used! About this time, IBM took an interest in microcomputers, which developed over time into the ubiquitous Personal Computer, and Novell Company began to develop networks “so by 198485, we were on a roll,” Elliott recalls: “We put in our first IBM networks and you can imagine my surprise when I started a word-processing program called Professional Write and it just popped up on all the computers around the room in seconds! First time ever. It was just there for teacher and kids to use.” From then on computers got faster. “That was what they called an 8086 computer. Then we had a 286 computer in 1986 and then a 386 and then into the 1990s a 486 and by the end of the 1990s we had Pentium processors,” he remembers.

Elliott was one of the first teachers trained in computer science but, by his own admission, “didn’t do anything with them until small computers became available in 1979 and 1980.” Soon the tech team managed to network the cassette tape computers, which by now had multiplied to sixteen. By 1984-85, Atari was chosen over Acorn and Apple because “of their fantastic little program for children called Logo, that allowed kids to control the computer, as well as a great little word-processing program called Atari Writer,” Elliott explains, emphasizing that this was just in the Elementary School.

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“Where we might have had 30 computers in the school in 1982, today HKIS has 2,400 computers for the faculty staff and students. Right now in the High School, stuck away in a corner, are five IBM electric typewriters. They are used only now and again to type college applications. Little kids don’t even know what a typewriter is,” Elliott notes. So much for the hardware. As is common knowledge, it is really the software that makes the individual computers so personalised and therefore useful. In 1997-98, HKIS had a five year strategic plan. Concurrently, it was at that point in time that interest in the World Wide Web exploded. The strategic plan that emerged from the 1997 Future Search Conference had a section for each of the four divisions of the school, and it had a section for the community, parents, alumni and high school students. “The Dragonnet, for example, was a creation of the high school computer kids who used it to link discussion groups with other schools across Hong Kong,” recalls Elliott. “It started out as an online Bulletin Board System.” Students eventually developed an online parent conference system, an after school activities system and a survey generator system, according to Elliott. About four years ago the Dragonnet, which was a community communication system, developed into an information system called My Dragonnet. “My Dragonnet is an educational tool that combines class management, curriculum management and portfolio management for all the students and teachers in the school,” Elliott notes. It is something that’s for teachers and students to use and it’s recently been in the roll out phase for total use. Already, there are thousands and thousands of resources just for teachers to use. It’s really a big thing – it’s a tremendous tool for allowing education to have its structure and meaning.” Every so often, people and systems and plans are

tested, often without notice. The advent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), in March 2003, is a case in point. As the disease spread, the entire Hong Kong school system was closed. “The announcement was made on a Friday that HKIS would close on Monday,” says Elliott. Overnight, he recalls, bustling, vibrant Hong Kong found itself, in BusinessWeek’s view, “a ghost town”. With schools closed and gatherings of people discouraged to break the spread of the disease, HKIS became a de facto virtual school to keep education flowing. Elliott recalls those challenging times: “If you would have told the teachers we’re going to have an educational environment online, they would have said, ‘we can’t do that – we need at least six months to a year.’” “How do you manage a school when you want to maintain contact with the students and continue school in an authentic way? The teachers, the students and the families responded admirably. There was no complete system live like My Dragonnet, so teachers used web pages. Dragonnet became full of web pages and email was heavily used. Then there was the beginning stage of My Dragonnet and it was in use. Teachers actually put full motion video online, sometimes even mail was used and people still in the Hong Kong area came and picked up packets to study. We did everything that we needed to do to communicate around the world to kids and parents and to actually continue school. It was very successful. Our websites were even used by other schools.” It all came together – the well-resourced school, creativity and ingenuity of the faculty to keep on teaching, and the interest of the parents and students to keep on learning. A great and unpredicted challenge surmounted. HKIS not only passed its “test” with flying colors, it did so with honors.

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“The land will be used to develop a performing arts venue, a science, technology and environmental teaching block, and to achieve full utilization of the existing sports field.”

The 2000s At the beginning of the 2006/07 academic year, HKIS had a total enrollment of 2,593, with 1,234 in the Primary Schools, 592 in the Middle School and 767 in the High School. U.S. citizens accounted for 1,348 students, slightly over half. For all the building in the previous decade, expansion planning never stops because Hong Kong never stops. In December 2002, the Astronomy Dome, a gift from the Parent Faculty Organization, opened its doors. On September 16, 2005, HKIS published its Master Facilities Plan – a peek into the near future of the 21st Century. One glance shows “expansion” remains a key word in the HKIS lexicon. To quote from the Plan’s foreword: “This submission is to seek the policy support of the (Hong Kong Government’s) Education and Manpower Bureau for the HKIS proposal to acquire under permanent lease three sites of government land. The land will be used to develop a performing arts venue, a science, technology and environmental teaching block, and to achieve full utilization of the existing sports field.” In the same Plan, HKIS outlined its strategic educational goals: • To customize education by lowering the student/ faculty ratio and reducing class size • To attain best practice Science and Technology education • To enhance the Performing Arts Program • To achieve a high standard of Student Physical Development • To promote Chinese Studies • To meet enrollment demand HKIS is seeking Hong Kong Government approval and land to build, in Tai Tam, a Performing Arts Venue on a site adjacent to the current sports field, and a Science, Technology and Environmental Teaching Block adjoining the Middle School – this

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particular site also provides an ideal opportunity for HKIS to develop an ecological and environmental teaching center to complement the science and technology center, plus the site’s proximity to the Tai Tam waterfront means that marine ecology could also be studied. A new science building will see the reincarnation of the Astronomy Dome on its roof. The last of the three projects is to fully develop the existing sports field. There are a number of projects within both campuses that do not need additional land. In Repulse Bay, the Lower Primary expansion works is in three phases. The specifics of the redevelopment and expansion work in each phase is expected to evolve with time, and in line with the school’s needs, as is the case with most largescale infrastructure projects. As we go to press, the tentative program of redevelopment work is as follows: • Phase I includes re-developing the swimming pool site adjacent to Lower Primary for the redeveloped Church of All Nations; a Performing Arts Hall; construct an indoor pool to replace the current outdoor pool; build a new gym to replace the current gym, and provide additional classroom teaching space. • Phase II includes building a new block in place of the existing gym at the Lower Primary to provide

HKIS has been blessed, growing in just four decades from humble beginnings with one building and 700 students at its Repulse Bay campus to four buildings on two campuses, with nearly 2,600 students. 

and Chinese at the High School and on the roof of the Middle School. As in the past, work commenced following a groundbreaking ceremony, which took place early July 2006. These structures will address the current serious shortfalls in science, music, art and drama teaching space and, in the long-term, will be used to lower class size. HKIS has been blessed, growing in just four decades from humble beginnings with one building and 700 students at its Repulse Bay campus to four buildings on two campuses, with nearly 2,600 students. 

teaching, faculty, library and additional car parking space. • Phase III includes re-developing the Church of All Nations site adjacent to the Upper Primary School to provide music and drama facilities to accommodate the growth in these programs, and an increased number of Chinese Studies rooms. • Major additions to existing buildings include making alterations within the Upper Primary school to provide an improved entrance, administration space, and future science laboratories. • There will also be major additions to existing buildings on the Tai Tam Campus, in addition to the three grand construction projects mentioned above. As we go to press, work has already started on new structures to add additional floor space for Fine Arts

The Master Facilities Plan commits HKIS to construct numerous new buildings and alteration projects in all four of its schools at an investment of HK$1 billion. Each of the four schools has been examined in detail and opportunities for expanded and improved facilities have been identified. The aim is to ensure that the space for development in each school is fully optimized to directly support an outstanding educational program. MFP looks far enough into the future to appropriately plan for school growth for decades to come, the community's needs, and educational quality. Now all that needs doing is to figure out what to do in the 2020s! n

Time-line February 1968:

November 1986:

January 1989:

November 1994:

HKIS’ new building dedicated.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new High School in Tai Tam takes

The new, HK$85.8 million High School is dedicated.

The Middle School is dedicated with the theme “A 21st Century Home

place.

for the Mind”.

September 1967:

September 1975:

September 1988:

June 2006:

HKIS opens a K-12 school in Repulse Bay with 630 students.

New Elementary School opens its doors to students.

The new High School at Tai Tam opens for its first term.

New classrooms are constructed on the sixth floor of the High School building.

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The ground breaking ceremony before work started on the Master Facilities Plan in July 2006.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Science and Technology Center.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Performing Arts Center.

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Alumni reunion, 1989.

A

lumni. In a US context, the word conjures university and school associations, always active in serving their institutions. HKIS has over 6,000 alumni in over 35 countries, representing four decades of students who attended from one semester to 13 years R1-12. Alumni also include former faculty, administrators and staff. The use of the term “worldwide” would not go amiss in describing the reach of the HKIS Alumni Association’s footprint. An important Association activity is re-connecting people and reliving or reincarnating the camaraderie of “youngsters” thrown together in this far-flung corner of the globe, through no choice of their own. Living, going to school, growing up, having fun, learning first-hand about different countries and cultures, traveling, having experiences their next-door neighbors and schoolmates back home could rarely imagine, bond former students of HKIS together. HKIS was, and still is, an irreplaceable life experience for all students. The Alumni Association is a way of re-connecting with those bygone times. An important purpose of the Association, according to

“HKIS alumni are the institutional memory of the school. They have been witness to every major event in the school’s 40-year life and are a living reminder of the values and vision of the school’s founders.”

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the official HKIS website, is: “…to promote the welfare of Hong Kong International School and to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between Hong Kong International School and its alumni.”

“HKIS was a place that I felt like I belonged. Almost everyone there was like me...from somewhere else. I fit in…. Being different was the norm.”

It helps that students who attended or graduated from HKIS often were among the best and the brightest of their peer groups, wherever in the world those groups happened to be. It also helps that HKIS itself, having emerged into the 21st century after four decades of existence, is recognized as one of the finest international schools in the world. That alumni can assist the school in various ways is an obvious goal and one well worth developing among the far-flung “HKIS diaspora.” HKIS provided a strong identity for students, a stable bulwark for them to adhere to in their exceptional, peripatetic lives. It still does, of course. “HKIS was a place that I felt like I belonged. Almost everyone there was like me... from somewhere else. I fit in…. Being different was the norm,” explains Judith (Porter) Rower ’75 in an interview for this book.  “There are so many (memories), but they all revolve around the people who were there. I don’t remember many adults at all, just kids and a great deal of freedom. We did things that seemed quite ordinary at the time, but on looking back, they were really amazing opportunities. We played basketball against a Communist school as a precursor to President Nixon’s visit to China. We took field trips to candle factories and remote islands and other countries. We sang

Christmas carols from the tops of buildings through bull horns. We rode in limos and swam in sewage. We went camping on the beach of Lantau and swam with snakes.  All of those events were orchestrated by the school and our teachers.” It is those memories that provide the impetus for the Alumni Association and Rower’s participation in it: She was a Class Agent, an Alumni Board member from 2001-2003, and the creator of Dragontrain in 1997, an e-group (listserver) of nearly 300 HKIS alumni (http://www.geocities.com/hkisdragontrain/ index.html ). The island of stability that was HKIS, together with the uniqueness of the Hong Kong experience, has combined to create strong attractions among friends of the school, particularly for expatriate students, many of whom seem to spend their entire lives moving from country to country, state to state, city to city.

Truly International Susan Israel-Schieli ’74 believes she “shared the experience of coming of age in the unique time and temper of Hong Kong in the late 1960s and early 1970s…(it) is certainly a tie that can bind.” Her entry on Dragtontrain says “the experience of growing up in a culturally diverse environment and having the opportunity to travel kept me on the move for 10 years. I lived in London, Wisconsin, Chicago, France, and Los Angeles before finally moving to New York City and subsequently, to my current home in New Jersey.” Another person on the go during her youth was Melissa (Preston) Sansing ’75 “I was in Hong Kong for one year. I was in the Philippines for one year. I was in Virginia for one year. I was in Guam for two years... I’m 42 in my 40th home…I think we took the things we did as a way of keeping a piece of each place to keep the memories alive and get some sense of permanence in an ever-changing world. I don’t think the majority of us live in the past, we just had such a

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Marty Schmidt, Vivian Ip ‘94, Christopher Lok ‘92, Zella Talbot, David Begbie ‘94, Dora Lee and Reena Khubchandani at Homecoming 2002.

terrific time and made such wonderful acquaintances, some life long, that in the busy bustle of some of our lives, something as simple as a ticket or a newspaper clipping can bring forth a flood of memories that can easily be forgotten without that bit of memory stimulant.” R. Eric “Ike” Eichelberger ’78 refers to himself on Dragtontrain as a “tractor brat,” referring to families associated with Caterpillar. “I was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1960, and lived in Montreal, Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Peoria (69-75), and Hong Kong (75-78) before I went off to college. Since then I have lived in six different states in the U.S..…I am quite proud (that I lived in Hong Kong), even if it wasn’t my choice or doing. I consider myself quite lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up (there). Nowhere else could ever be the same. Also, nowhere else could you have had the freedoms we had, and the chances we had.”

Rower ’75 acknowledges the phrase for the itinerant expatriate youth that make up a good percentage of the student body of HKIS at any given time – third culture kids. “It is someone who lives in multiple worlds...a passport culture that they don’t completely belong in, a foreign culture (or cultures) that they understand, but where they also don’t belong, and a kind of third culture that is a blend of all the places they have lived,” she says. “They are at home just about anywhere, but have trouble telling you where home is.  They grow up knowing that talking louder doesn’t make you heard or understood; that sometimes words can’t tell the story; that nothing is black or white. The global lifestyle tends to make third culture kids self-confident.  When the whole world changes every few years (food, home, climate, school, friends, household help, landscape, language...) you start to trust that no matter what comes your way, you can handle it. Because ‘home’ is such a fluid place, third culture kids tend to create their world out of relationships.  I have friends from Hong Kong that I still see and speak to on a regular basis.  Of course it’s easier now that we all have Internet access, but I think it’s a testament to the friendships we created that they survived move after move after move and we are still in touch.”

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Vivian Ip ’94 attended 11 schools and spent her junior and senior years at HKIS. “I am most grateful to my parents for sending me to HKIS – a gift for life, on top of everything in this whole wide world that they have given me…..To this day, I am still in touch with teachers who are still teaching or who have left HKIS. There is no school as special as HKIS is to me!”

s

HKIS provided a strong identity for students, a stable bulwark for them to adhere to in their exceptional, peripatetic lives.

Film/TV make-up artist Mark Shostrum ’74 still reflects fondly on his time at HKIS – particularly his involvement in drama and music (“I played in every band…”). In a June 1999 interview in Alumni News, he talked about how his experiences at HKIS molded his later life: “My HKIS experience taught me two important things: self-education and growth as an individual. The environment and agenda at HKIS in the 1970s was one of personal growth and cross-cultural acceptance. HKIS excelled at providing these two important elements and this importance in life is still ingrained in me to this day.” He used his memories of life in Hong Kong and at HKIS to write a screenplay, Kiss the Lion. According to Shostrum, alumni of HKIS were “blessed to be at one of the finest schools in the Mark Shostrum ‘74 shared some thoughts about his life since HKIS in Alumni News, June 1999.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

world, in a multi-cultural community and in a special place in time and history,” whether they realized it or not. The essence of Hong Kong, and by extension HKIS, is “a magic that stays with you forever. Anyone who has lived there and doesn’t pick up on that has already missed the boat,” he declared.

post-grad studies. I am grateful for the exposure to multiculturalism, religions and races. All this helped me develop an open mind and mental flexibility. I owe gratitude to a number of terrific teachers who had a great impact on me. I am grateful for their care and skill – they were a source of inspiration for me then and now.”

Growing Up at HKIS One theme running through many of these reminiscences is “friendship”. Where did it come from? The answer to that is HKIS itself. A 2001 Alumni Homecoming survey of seniors found that the most common words that came to mind when they thought of HKIS were ‘family’ and ‘friends’.

Alumni reunion, 1989.

Anchor and Senior Reporter at TVB Pearl, Emily Chan ’96, reflects, “HKIS gave me the chance to take a glimpse of the working world while I was going to school, and to this day remains the cornerstone of my professional career.” Emily Chan often returns to school for events such as Career Night to share her experiences with today’s students. Lea Henderson ’81 became a family doctor in rural Canada. In an interview with DragonTales (Winter 2003), Henderson discusses how HKIS pointed her in the direction of her eventual career: “I have a deep appreciation for the high standard of education I received there. I appreciate how it served me in my graduate and

“I am grateful for the exposure to multiculturalism, religions and races. All this helped me develop an open mind and mental flexibility.”

Another group who feel similarly to the expatriate kids is the local Hong Kong students. Hong Kong is their home and they tend to go to HKIS for longer periods – in some cases 12 years. Thus, HKIS also provides an island of stability in their lives in which life-long relationships and friendships grow. HKIS’ four decades mirror the life of Kenneth Koo ’79. He embodies the legacy of HKIS. A Hong Kong resident, he spent 12 years at HKIS as a student starting in 1967 and later, another dozen years as a parent, totaling four decades as student, parent and alumnus. “When I look back at my association with HKIS, I can sum up this wonderful experience in two phrases : Living HKIS and Growing with HKIS.” At the time this book went to press, Koo was the president of the Alumni Board, a position he has held since 2003. “I’ve grown with HKIS. From 1967 when, as a seven-year-old, I first stepped into what was then a spanking new South Bay Close campus (known today as the Upper Primary Building) as a first grader to my graduation from HKIS

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as a member of the Class of 1979, to September 2000 when I joined the Alumni Board, to my eldest daughter’s entry into HKIS and her graduation as a member of the Class of 2006. And there are two more kids following along – my son in Grade 11 and youngest daughter in Grade 7. I’ve watched with pride how, despite, a gap of three decades, what I experienced as an HKIS student and what my children are now experiencing as HKIS students, are, in many ways, the same. How we all experience the same essence of HKIS over the length and breadth of the four decades.” Koo considers himself fortunate to be among “a very small handful of HKIS alums that have this type of a life-long association with HKIS – 84 per cent of my existence has been HKIS in one way or another. To paraphrase Barry Manilow ‘I’ve been alive’ in HKIS, seemingly ‘forever’…. I’m an HKIS product and I continue to write (about) my memories and experiences. My home still lies deep within the annals of HKIS… To experience this lifelong

“My home still lies deep within the annals of HKIS… To experience this lifelong connection with HKIS is really something which has to be lived. No amount of words or emotion can express what I feel in my heart.” Mark Kwok ‘74 receives Alumnus of the Year award from his former French teacher, Sandra Walters, in 2001.

connection with HKIS is really something which has to be lived. No amount of words or emotion can express what I feel in my heart. I love my school and I’m so proud that I’m still part of its growth…. How easy it (was) to take all these wonderful years for granted when we were part of it…as students.” At this juncture in HKIS history, Koo believes, “the past, present and future of HKIS be viewed as one continuous unbroken chain. A synergy must be created from this chain, which (will) harness the strengths of each link…so that we can take the emotion and energy we feel for HKIS in different epochs of the school’s history and bring it into new situations…. Then we (the alumni and HKIS) let those new situations incorporate and homogenize and produce a newly unique entity (which) will be the basis of some future nostalgia. It won’t be ours, but just like raising kids, we give our best input as parents and then celebrate who these new entities become:

unique combinations of what we give them and what they glean from the rest of their own environment. Hopefully, the product incorporates the best of these influences which in turn will serve as a springboard for the new generation of HKIS alums to grow into new situations and challenges.” Mark Kwok ’74 is another Hong Konger whose parents believed an education at HKIS was the answer. “I entered in 1968 for Grade 7, then left in 1974 after finishing Grade 12…. It was the first year the church was fully operational, it smelled of new paint and everything.” Kwok went to a traditional Anglo-Chinese School which was exam-oriented, as the local schools are. “In those days we had a standardized exam in Grade 6 before passing on to Form 1, so we were geared towards cramming for that exam. If you do well in that exam, you chose the school where you wanted to continue… mostly the same school. If not, you got sent to the boonies…So up to Grade 6 , it was (all) cramming. For most students, there was no fun in it. But once I got to HKIS, all of a sudden the pressure was off. You didn’t need to cram…(it) was like being let loose in a toy shop. It is a very, very stark contrast. Some of the best memories are the physical education classes. Because we were so close to Repulse Bay, we were made to run to the beach, swim and run back. And we did these exchange programs at that time

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– we went to the Taipei American School, we flew off to Taiwan for a few days. It was unheard of in local schools.” He is also another example of someone whose life revolves around HKIS because he is not only an alumnus with fond memories, but was a parent and also the first president of the Alumni Association. Why has Kwok chosen to remain part of the HKIS community? “I think it all started back in the days when we came back from having gone overseas for so many years: I was Class of 1974. I left (Hong Kong) and went to college in California, graduating in 1978. I went to work in London for two years, then back to California to do my Masters. By the time I came back (to Hong Kong) it was 1983. In those days there were few students returning, because the nature of HKIS in the early days was to provide an American education mostly for American expats. So sometimes these guys got transferred out and then we would never see them again. In those early days, the feel of the school was very different, because the local community at that time didn’t have a strong, vested interest in the school. I remember when I went in, out of a class of 30, there were maybe three or four Chinese kids. It felt very alien for us, because everybody would be talking about the States – how they went to school, what their experiences were, and most of the time, you know, the local kids wouldn’t know what they were talking about.” After his return to Hong Kong to live, Kwok felt strongly about re-connecting with HKIS because, previously, there was no real connection with HKIS after graduation. “I was quite eager to connect with the school, to say ‘hey, there is life after school.’ We thought we knew everything, but then once you get out of school and into the real world, that’s something

Alumni reunion, 1989.

“...HKIS has given me a sense of belonging to a community, which is important in a transient city like this. I left HKIS 20 years ago, yet it still follows me around. Any time I meet an alumnus, there is a connection. It’s a club!” completely different.” Kwok felt so strongly that alumni should re-connect with the school that he became the very first alumnus to contribute to the school. “I wrote the first check for the school… I sent them a check for $1,000 back in Mr Rittmann’s day, which was around late 1983 or 1984. That started the ball rolling.” Wendy Hsu ’85 spent all her school years, Kindergarten through Grade 12 (1973-1985), at HKIS. After college in the U.S., she returned to Hong Kong and is another alumna who is returning something to the school. She now serves on the Alumni Board (2005-07) and was the chair of the 2005 Annual Fund Ball. In an interview for this book, she asserts her belief that HKIS is a school with “caring teachers, involved parents, (and one) that wants to expand students’ scope and exposure to the world and multicultural understanding.” She recalled in English Literature, “Dr. Goodyear referred to me as Miss Hsu…the first time anyone had not used my first name.” Hsu also feels she belongs to a special community: “Now that I live and work in Hong Kong, HKIS has given me a sense of belonging to a community, which is important in a transient city like this. I left HKIS 20 years ago, yet it still follows me around. Any time I meet an alumnus, there is a connection.  It’s a club!” Hsu reflected on the spiritual aspect of her days at HKIS: “I

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Middle and High Schools and now work here, so it would be fair to say that HKIS has impacted almost all aspects of my life. I would say a common thread of my academic and professional journeys has been the space and encouragement to be an independent and creative thinker. More instrumentally, my extracurricular work as a student with the BBS and DragonNet has had a very direct and causal relationship to what I am working on at the moment.” Hardman is the DragonNet Project Manager. Student, alumnus, family and employee. Both Justin’s parents, Peter and Jeannette Hardman, have been HKIS faculty members for the past 14 years. His sister Rebecca graduated from HKIS in 2001.

Jim Handrich and Ranjan Goswami ‘98 at a reunion in New York City, in February 2002.

never understood why we attended Chapel every Wednesday, or the meaning of Christianity.  Twenty years on.....I finally get it!  It took me a while.” Another 12-year student is Ranjan Goswami ’98, who started at HKIS in 1987. “HKIS has shaped who I am today – I met people from all over the world, which made me appreciate diversity of culture and experience. I engaged in intellectual development through excellent instruction and via a teaching method rooted in promoting questioning and selfderived opinions.” The former, two-term student body president of the high school – in 1997 he was the first junior to be elected and was re-elected in his senior year – has first-hand knowledge of the Alumni Office. He served as a summer intern in 1998. Goswami has another attachment to HKIS. His mother Leela worked at HKIS for about five years, in the elementary school. And his brothers Bijoy Goswami ’91 and Shoumito Goswami ’93 were also HKIS Senate Presidents.   Another with family connections to HKIS is Justin Hardman ’99. “My family has a long-term connection to the school. I was a student in the

Keith Bradsher ’82 has been the Hong Kong bureau chief of The New York Times since 2002, covering Asian business, economic, political and science news. He has won the George Polk Award for national reporting, for his coverage of sport utility vehicles in 1997, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize the same year. Public Affairs published his book on SUVs, High and Mighty, in September 2002 and it won the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award. He won the Society of Publishers in Asia Award for explanatory reporting in 2006, as part of a threereporter team that covered avian influenza in Asia.

In an article in DragonTales (Winter 2005), Bradsher credits HKIS for putting him on “the long road to becoming a journalist, a road that finally led me full circle back to Hong Kong as Bureau Chief for The New York Times.” In another coincidence, Bradsher’s father was the Asia correspondent based in Hong Kong for the Washington Star, in the early 1970s. He attended Grades 2,3,4 and the first half of 5 between 1971 and 1975. He has particularly fond memories of the library: “Reading was my favorite pastime, and I always used to check books out of the HKIS library, plowing through the whole Black Stallion series and other wonderful volumes…” As early as Grade 4, he loved writing reports, “a love” that has stayed with him all his life. Bradsher has also taken a strong interest in HKIS. On January 24, 2005, he introduced the then U.S. Consul General James R. Keith ’75, also an HKIS alumnus, at an “Evening with….” function. James R. Keith ’75 also had a childhood on the go, having lived in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Taipei. He attended HKIS between 1968 and 1971 (Grades 6, 7 and 8). His family returned to Virginia for two years before moving to Taipei, where he finished high school in their American school. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980 and, as luck would have it, became U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong between

Jan Westrick, Gregg Westrick ‘73, Rebecca Hardman ‘01 and Justin Hardman ‘99.

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“I am still in touch with several alumni from my year…all of them are doing very well in their own careers which shows that HKIS trains students well for the necessary skills in today’s working environment.”

Right: Michael Wu ‘88 before senior prom. Below: Training at Starbucks.

August 2002 and April 2005, after postings in Beijing, Jakarta and Seoul. So Keith became one of the rare expat alumni, normally residing outside Hong Kong, whose offspring followed in his early educational footsteps – the three youngest of his six children attended HKIS. He later became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in Washington, responsible for American policy toward China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia: “I supervise all aspects of our political, economic, security, and cultural interaction in U.S. foreign policy...including five meetings (in 2006) between President Bush and (China’s) President Hu Jintao, as well as more meetings than we can count at the cabinet and sub-cabinet level with our Chinese counterparts, aiming especially to strengthen the foundation for our trade relationship.” He was also a member of the National Security Council under President Bush in the early 1990s and President Clinton in the late 1990s. Keith reminisced about his time at HKIS in Alumni News (Winter 2002): “The experience of being a third culture kid broadened my horizons and helped me look at life from other’s point of view,” which must have been excellent training for the NSC’s White House turf battles and on-going diplomacy at the highest level with China. Surprisingly, his fondest memories of life in HKIS were the long bus rides to Repulse Bay, from his home in Pokfulam. “Students of all ages were bused together and all the students were (taught) in one building – that gave us an opportunity to interact with both younger and older students from differing backgrounds.” Michael Wu ’88, the man credited with bringing the Starbucks franchise to Hong Kong, started HKIS in 1980. His most memorable experience was his first day of school in 1980, in Grade 4. “My teacher, Larry Newman, introduced me…I also enjoyed the interim program where I went to Kunming during my sophomore year and the golf interim in my senior year. I am still in touch with several alumni from my year…all of them are doing very well in their own careers which shows that HKIS trains students

California reunion, 1990.

Senior High School faculty and administration (Nancy Kroonenberg, Ruth Letcher, Sarah Todd, Janet Taylor and David Rittmann).

well for the necessary skills in today’s working environment.” Many alumni look back at their time at HKIS as an adventure, giving them freedom and experience they would not have had in other circumstances, which in turn gave them a unique foundation for the trials of later life. It did not happen by accident.

Adventure Lives James A. (Jim) Handrich, Associate Head of School, values HKIS’ adventure learning program emphasis. “Physical education as a curriculum embraced adventure learning in the 1990s – including rock climbing and sea kayaking, and games that teach skills like courage and team building. I think some of that came out of our Student Learning Results where we asked, ‘how do you teach kids to have courage?’

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“Physical education as a curriculum embraced adventure learning in the 1990s – including rock climbing and sea kayaking, and games that teach skills like courage and team building. come to HKIS and we took them to McDonald’s for the first time in their lives. It was awesome. They were so incredibly happy. Other than the guards who came with them, it was like they were free for a day to be kids with us kids.”

Heather O’Brien ’87 became a U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia, Croatia and East Timor and held international posts in Hong Kong, New York and Bangkok. In East Timor, her job was to reconstruct the country’s national communications infrastructure. HKIS’ most powerful contribution to O’Brien’s personal and professional growth was the Day of Giving. In an interview in Alumni News (Summer 2001) she explained: “The Day of Giving is a great part of HKIS and part of my best memories. I arranged for kids from a closed Vietnamese boat (refugee) camp to

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Erik Weihenmayer ’87 is another alumnus who could be termed an adventurer, but not the ordinary kind – if there is an “ordinary kind” of adventurer.

Derek Kwik ’86 is more of the traditional adventurer. Kwik attended HKIS for Grades 5 through 12. He has a soft spot for his French teacher of six years, Nancy Kroonenberg, and his Grade 7 homeroom teacher, Jan Westrick (then Ms. Schalk). It is doubtful that anyone in the HKIS family realised their education and ambience was preparing Kwik for adventure racing – charging across deserts and

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and ‘how do you teach kids to work together as a team?’ The PE departments from all four divisions took that on and I think it’s made a big difference in terms of kids’ understanding. How do you work well together with someone else? How do you take risks in ways that push you, but still doing so in a way that’s healthy risk-taking?” A trio of alumni found that their lives became adventures:

These children of strife had a glimpse of life outside the barbed wire as they waited in cramped conditions for Hong Kong Government to process them as either economic or political refugees. “Surprisingly, I was able to visit them again on my own a few times,” she said, pointing out that it was normally impossible to visit people in the closed camps. “That’s probably when I realised that no door is ever truly closed if you have good intentions.”

other inhospitable terrain to raise money for charity. He has participated in two Eco-Challenge Races – 10day, 500-kilometer, non-stop races over the harshest environment: Eco-Challenge Saban in 2000 and Eco-Challenge New Zealand in 2001. On October 1, 2005, Kwik completed a week-long, 237- kilometer, self-supported ultra-marathon in the Sahara Desert, the world’s hottest, in Egypt. He’s also completed a seven day, 246-kilometer marathon in the middle of the world’s driest wasteland, Chile’s formidable Atacama Desert. If that wasn’t enough, he has also raced though Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. His most recent run was 250 kilometers through the world’s coldest desert, Antartica, in January 2006.The object of these exercises is to raise money for charity and he has raised more than HK$500,000 for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong). Kwik’s philosophy is something that should be kept in mind by everyone: “No man was ever beaten by being knocked down. A man is beaten because he doesn’t get up.” (From DragonTales, Winter 04 & Winter 05)

Weihenmayer has been blind since age thirteen. So when he reached the peak of Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, on May 25, 2001, he was the first

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blind person to have ever done so. It took him seven years, but he climbed the Seven Summits, the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents. And then there is his propensity to jump out of airplanes as an acrobatic skydiver. Here are a couple more adventure nouns that fit him: long-distance biker, marathon runner, paraglider, skier, ice climber, rock climber. In September, 2003, Erik joined 320 stellar athletes from 17 countries to compete in the Primal Quest, the richest and toughest multi-sport adventure race in the world: 457 miles through the Sierra Nevadas over nine days with no time-outs. Averaging only two hours of sleep a night, Erik and his No Boundaries team, surged past the finish line on Lake Tahoe, becoming one of only 42 teams to cross the finish line out of the 80 teams that began.

Eric Weihenmayer ‘87 is an accomplished acrobatic skydiver.

If that isn’t enough, the former middle school teacher and wrestling coach is also an author (To Touch the Top of the World) and a film-maker, (the award-winning, Farther Than the Eye Can See). He won Time’s ESPY in 2001 for sporting achievements and, it is probably safe to say, he is the only member of the HKIS family in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was even honored with a Helen Keller Lifetime Achievement Award and the Freedom Foundation’s Free Spirit Award. He has also carried the Olympic Torch, for both the Summer and Winter 2000 Olympic Games. Weihenmayer attended HKIS from Grades 2 through 6 (l9751980). He described himself in a 2004 interview in DragonTales as “a skinny kid with really thick lenses on my glasses.” In describing his days at HKIS, he said, “I took away a sense of diversity. My friends were from all over

the world and formed into one tight community. When I moved back to the U.S., things seemed pretty bland and boring,” a view with which many alumni concur. “It was a good growing experience. I thought the teachers were very kind and accommodating, especially since I wore thick glasses and needed special assistance.”

Erik Weihenmayer ’87 and Jim Handrich share a joke in May 2006. Erik returned to HKIS as a Visiting Scholar.

Between April 26 and May 2, 2006, Weihenmayer visited HKIS sponsored by the HKIS Annual Fund’s Charles W. Dull Visiting Scholar Series. While here, he was able to meet up with his second grade teacher, Tina Adams, who retired in 2005. His talk (“Challenge & Character”) and his very presence, was an inspiration to the students, faculty and staff alike.

Giving Spirits Rohini Balani Chotirmal ’89 attended HKIS for an even dozen years – Grades 1 through 12. She believes, “HKIS is a truly special community. The concern, special attention, and focus of the teachers is unrivalled. I feel privileged having studied there. Even after I graduated, the manner in which my teachers and principals have touched my life, remained with me – it’s the kind of thing one remembers at special times and thinks, ‘I’m so glad I had him or her in my life’.” Chotirmal has given something back to HKIS through her service on the Alumni Board, where she has been a member since 2003 and Vice President

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“…HKIS gave me the tools with which to understand and appreciate other avenues of spirituality. HKIS celebrates other religions while remaining Christian in character. It’s a great thing to give a kid…” since 2004. She has worked on the Annual Fund and other projects in the Community and Resource Development Office in 2001-2002. Her view on the spiritual and religious side of HKIS is interesting. Asked what HKIS has done for her spiritually, she replied, “It’s grounded me. I’m Hindu, but HKIS gave me the tools with which to understand and appreciate other avenues of spirituality. HKIS celebrates other religions while remaining Christian in character. It’s a great thing to give a kid; I appreciate it better.” Robert Dorfman ’72 is a successful businessman and long-time resident in Hong Kong. His service toward his high school alma mater is shown in the positions he has held: Annual Fund Co-Chair 2001, Alumni Board Member 2001-2005 and Alumni Board Advisor 2005-2007. His most “treasured memories” of his time at HKIS are, “the many great friendships I made…I’m still in regular contact with several HKIS friends and see some of them quite frequently.” This includes teachers too: “I also see Sandra Walters who was my French teacher…. (and) when…Victor Lee, our music teacher was back in Hong Kong – and I hadn’t seen him for 22 years!”

to 2,500 students is indicative of the crucial role the school plays in providing an American curriculum education to the Hong Kong community.” Giving back into HKIS is what it is all about. In addition to his Annual Fund and Board positions, Dorfman helped plan the Reunion of the Century, in 1997, which took place in Hong Kong just prior to the Handover, and brought back and reunited alumni from the 1970s. Dorfman says in an interview for the Winter 2001 Alumni News, “HKIS alumni are the institutional memory of the school. They have been witness to every major event in the school’s 40-year life and are a living reminder of the values and vision of the school’s founders.”

Chuck Dull, Sheri Dorfman, Andy Chworowsky ‘81, Trina Dingler Ebert ‘72, Miltinnie Yih and Robert Dorfman ‘72 at Fat Angelo’s in December 2001.

The spirit of service and giving back is so ingrained at HKIS, that it is not surprising the school finds alumni returning to give their free time to serve the school. Anel Kirsten ’98, for example, volunteered her time to a Grade 3/4 cluster. Five mornings a week for a semester in 2004 she was there from 7:45 to 11:30, helping the children develop their reading and writing skills as well as their math proficiency. “Ms. Anel”, as she was called by her students, also found time to join them on the playground for a game of tetherball or four square. To coalesce the diaspora of HKIS alumni, and to focus activities beyond reunions and the various gatherings and parties, particularly in the direction of fund-raising, a formal organization was established. Alumni activities began in the External Relations Office in the 1980s. The HKIS Alumni Association was incorporated in October 1984 by alumni

Wendy Hsu ‘85 with Ronald Arculli.

Alumnus and former U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong James Keith ’75 and his wife Jan (middle) at an HKIS Chairman’s Council dinner in 2004. Also pictured are Council members Rosanna Wong (right) and Moses Tsang (left).

Dorfman credits HKIS for his continuing passion for music and world affairs: “HKIS continues to mean a great deal to me. The two years that I was there were among the most formative of my life. My passion for music and world affairs evolved there. The fact that the school has grown from 600 students (in 1972)

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of Vandana Hari in Alumni Affairs, the first alumni directory was published.  Taking advantage of the historic year, the five-day Reunion of the Century proved to be the biggest alumni event up to that point with alumni and spouses, faculty and staff, attending. It is expected that the 40th reunion, set for June 14-19 2007 in Hong Kong, will surpass this figure.

The Alumni Association held a five-day Reunion of the Century in May 1997.

in Hong Kong. The alumni program began in earnest in 1986 under Joan L. Erisman, then Director of External Affairs.  The first Alumni News was published in the spring of 1987.  Between 1986 and 1993, the December alumni receptions, which later became known as “homecoming”, attracted between 59 and 165 alumni each year. The Alumni Association was instituted in July 1987. The constitution and Alumni Board were established under the first Alumni Board President, Mark Kwok ’74. The definition of an alumnus was also officially accepted: The HKIS Alumni Association considers as an alumnus any student that has been at HKIS for one semester or more.  The Alumni Board organized several events including wine-tastings and dinners.  In 1994, with the help

In 1998, Miltinnie Yih, Director of the Community and Resource Development Department (formerly called External Affairs) started an Alumni Office with activities coordinated by an Alumni Officer, Yuk Lynn Woo. The office created a list of alumni and their contact details, held reunions, sponsored an essay contest and began work on an alumni website. In 1999, Spencer Chiu ’93 took over as Alumni Officer and developed the alumni website. This allowed the Alumni Office to actively solicit names and addresses of alumni worldwide, by putting up an online alumni directory – one of the first of its kind in any school in Asia.  It was on Yih’s watch that the HKIS Annual Fund was started in 1999. The idea behind the new alumni office, according to Yih, was “to find them” (the alumni) and “bring their interest back to HKIS – find something that would interest them and get them involved.” Reunions, for example, “help alumni find out about each other so we started to publish something called the Alumni News (later rechristened DragonTales).” Charles (Chuck) W. Dull, Head of School (19972001) saw another potential in the establishment of the Alumni Office. “During the last years of the 1990’s and the first years of the 21st century, Hong Kong was experiencing the negative impact of the Asian financial crisis and its deflationary impact on the economy. It soon became very evident that HKIS could not continue to raise tuition to address its needs to fund future academic excellence at the school. Tough choices needed to be made with regards to reallocation of limited resources and consideration needed to be made to find other sources of revenue to fund innovation and excellence at the

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database has now grown to over 6,000 alumni.

Chuck Dull addresses alumni at Homecoming 2000.

school. This issue was clearly identified in the Future Search Conference, in the fall of 1997, and a strategy was crafted to address the growing concern. During the 1998-99 school year, the Office of Community and Resource Development was established. It also included the communications function.” The Alumni Office increased communications, formal and informal, with the far-flung HKIS alumni, helping to plan overseas reunions and an art show at the December 1999 Homecoming. An Annual Alumni Reception was held when recent HKIS graduates returned to HKIS from their colleges over the holidays.  That coincided with a very popular interschool basketball game – the Christmas Basketball Tournament at the High School.  From 1999, it became a tradition for visiting alumni to play against faculty after this tournament.   With more and more people visiting the alumni website and staying in contact with HKIS, the

An enduring tradition – Jim Handrich calls the homecoming alumni vs. faculty basketball game.

In 2000, Reena Khubchandani was hired as Alumni Coordinator from UNC Charlotte. The Alumni Board expanded its membership from just four officers to include local alumni, overseas alumni in an EBoard, a faculty representative and current student representatives.  The Board now totaled 18 and the growing alumni base went from organizing two events a year to 24 overseas and local reunions.  Homecoming 2001 had an HKIS Alumni ECommerce Conference, with alumni and other guest speakers, as well as a conference on post-1997 Hong Kong addressed by Frank Martin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce and Martin Lee, Chairman of the Democratic Party. In August 2001, Mark Kwok ’74 handed over the presidency of the Alumni Board to his long-time Vice President, Thomas Wong ’78. Mark received the first Alumnus of the Year Award for his loyalty, commitment and dedication to the school. That same year, the Annual Alumni Reception and basketball game evolved into a US college style homecoming, with seven to eight events in a single, fun-filled day.  Local Hong Kong Happy Hours and monthly reunions became more frequent as the Association’s chief goals were to maintain interest and

involvement with the school while building a database of local and overseas alumni. Events included overseas reunions planned by Class Agents and by the Alumni Office.  Day and weekend reunions took place in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Portland. In 2002, Christina Tung became head of the Community and Resource Development Office and in June, the Alumni Office moved from the Middle School to its permanent home in the High School. The first Alumni Scholarship program was

Thomas Wong ‘78, counseling at an annual College & Career Night.

Alumni vs. Faculty Basketball Challenge winning team in January 2003.

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inaugurated. October of that same year saw the Repulse Bay Bridge open, linking the Lower Primary and Upper Primary Schools along with the first HK$1 million gift from parents of an alum.

Kenneth Koo ‘79 at Homecoming 2001 reception.

Kenneth Koo ’79 took over the presidency of the Alumni Board in Summer of 2003. By September, his Board held a goal-setting meeting to define the direction the Association would head and as a result, the Association became more involved with the school. New events were created in addition to reunions and parties: Head of School lunches  to get to know the needs of the school and how alumni could enhance academic programs; the creation of an Alumni Resource Network offering advice, jobs and referrals to young HKIS graduates worldwide; alumni speakers offering their expertise in face to face classroom meetings; Parent Coffees so alumni who are (or were) HKIS parents could welcome new parents and speak about their experiences as parents, and as HKIS students; and they contributed to the

funding of this HKIS history book that you are now reading. The Alumni Board drew up a proposal to solicit alumni for funds to document the history of HKIS. That proposal was approved in the fall of 2001 and became an Annual Fund project in 2002. In 2005, the all-important alumni database topped 5,000, and was more reliable. Class Agents now represented every class year. The new professionalism showed. The Community and Resource  Development Office, which includes the Alumni Office, was visited by several International schools and held up as an example. The Alumni Office is responsible for many services, which are free to the over 6,000 alumni in its database: • Biannual newsletter (The newsletter was called the Alumni Newsletter and Alumni News in the 1980s and 1990s. It became DragonTales in the Summer of 2003. The name DragonTales was selected from those submitted by alumni and faculty. The HKIS mascot, the Dragon, inspired art teacher Dave Kohl to send in the winning entry.) • Alumni website • Worldwide reunions, reunion support, homecomings, and other special events • Alumni Resource Network

Evolution of DragonTales – transition from a black-andwhite tabloid format in the late 1980s to today’s colorful magazine format.

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“I think the school has come a long way in terms of understanding that you can understand other faiths and grow from other faiths, as opposed to a more narrow focus that says that the only faith you study is the Christian faith.” • Alumni Office in the High School with full-time professional staff • Online Directory • College and Career Nights The main work of the Association is carried out by committees of the Alumni Board. These committees cover such areas as events, communications and nominations. The Board holds at least two meetings per year, but usually over five. At these meetings, in addition to the transaction of the business of the Association, the Directors are informed about school programs, facilities and concerns. They participate in discussions with students, administrators, and faculty members. Alumni and staff see eye to eye on the changing times and HKIS’ need to change with it. Jim Handrich, in an interview for this book, noted that HKIS, “is certainly more Asian…there used to be more Caucasian expats from the U.S.. More of the expats that come here now are Chinese from the U.S. or Canada, so the composition of the student body has changed. The world’s changed too and the kids realize that. (Before they) didn’t have to deal with the terrorism in the same way. Another way the school has changed is in its spiritual identity. It has always been a Christian school and it still is Christian, but it has been more open to understanding other faiths; having that dialogue and communication among people of other faiths….We have always had kids from many

different faiths, but I don’t think the faculty was ever so attuned to that as they are now. I think the school has come a long way in terms of understanding that you can understand other faiths and grow from other faiths, as opposed to a more narrow focus that says that the only faith you study is the Christian faith. That’s a change too that has occurred over the years.”

alumni is their connecting with those of us still at HKIS. Not only are we interested in our alums and how they are doing with their career and lives, but also we are interested in their maturing perspective on their HKIS experience. What did they value of their education? What are their most enduring memories of their learning and of people? What did HKIS do well for you? What could it have done better? Thanks, alums, for staying connected with us.”

Handrich says, “One of the best things I get from Faye Butcher is HKIS’ longest serving employee. She joined the school in October 1966, just a month after the school opened. At the 2007 AllSchool Chinese New Year Assembly, Faye was presented an HKIS Medallion in recognition of her commitment and service to the school. She delivered the following remarks at the annual Chinese New Year staff party in 2007. Dear colleagues, administration and AC members, A small church was developed by an American family, a Hong Kong family and a pastor family over 40 years ago. One of the first four Sunday school students is standing in front of you today. At that time, we learnt of Jesus’ love for us. Also, we learnt that God is the potter, and we are the clay pots which He has molded. A few years later, I started working for HKIS. When people get married, pastors often use the following Bible verses to teach the newlyweds. That is, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. It says that Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable, or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. I suppose that this also applies to work relationships. Honestly, without God’s love in me, I would not be able to work well with my colleagues.

Faye Butcher being congratulated by her husband after delivering her remarks at the Chinese New year staff party.

Also, without the love and help of some of those colleagues, I don’t think that I could do my job very well. So, my dear friends, thank you so much for all your love and support. People asked me how could I work for one organization for 40 years? In fact, I had never planned it this way. The answer is God used His potter’s skill to batter and shape me into what I am today. So, my 40 years of accomplishment were actually richly blessed by God’s love. My dear colleagues, you can also work for HKIS for 40 years easily and loyally if you follow His words. I had the honor to receive a medal this year from HKIS for working forty years and I would like to share this honor with all of you. May God also richly bless you. Thank you very much. Faye

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Carol Eichert with her cookies at Homecoming 2003. ‘Cookies with Carol’ was an endearing homecoming tradition.

Homecoming 2003.

Above: Gregg Westrick ‘73 and Victor Tsang ‘83 at Homecoming 2002. Left: Alumni welcome Bill and Jane Wehrenberg (seated in the middle) at the Furama Hotel.

Above: Class of ‘98 reunion in Boston in 1999. Right: Alumni Happy Hour at Jimmy’s Kitchen in Hong Kong, July 2004.

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Homecoming 2001. The Alumni Board decided to celebrate two Homecomings to coincide with college vacations in December 2001.

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Boston reunion 2002.

Homecoming 1994. Below: Physics students with their teacher. (L to R): Rahul Pushkarna ‘97, Jason Wang ‘97, Joel Klammer (HKIS Physics teacher on sabbatical at Columbia in ‘97-’98), Philip Chen ‘97 and Jon Chen ‘96.

Timothy Hui ‘82 Corporate Lawyer and Michelle Wu ‘90 Law Graduate Recruiter at College and Career Night 2003.

Tom Warden ‘79 volunteering at College and Career night.

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Chuck Dull addresses alumni at the Homecoming 2000 speakers’ forum. Seated on his left are AmCham’s President, Frank Martin, and legislator Martin Lee. Below: Roy Bas ‘94 conseling at an annual College & Career Night.

Jim Handrich addressing alumni at the Homecoming 2001 reception. Below: Bill Wehrenberg, Miltinnie Yih, Thomas Wong ‘78, and Jan Westrick cutting the HKIS 35th birthday cake on May 21, 2002.

A senior adds finishing touches to the ‘rock’ in the high school plaza in preparation for Homecoming 2003. Below: Alumni celebration for class of 2000.

Time-line December 1986:

May 1997:

January 2000:

May 2002:

The first Alumni Christmas Reception held at the HKIS campus.

Alumni Association holds a five-day Reunion of the Century.

The Alumni website debuts with online update form.

Alumni News takes on a new name – Dragontales – and a new format.

October 1984:

Spring 1987:

December 1998:

February 2001:

August 2006:

Alumni Association incorporated.

First Alumni News published. Alumni Board instituted and constitution published.

The first Alumni/Faculty Basketball Challenge.

First annual College & Career Night.

HKIS’ 40th Anniversary celebrations launched.

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1995

Alumni Milestones

April: Launch of project “Career Pursuit” where alumni speak to prospective students about their various professions.

September 14, 1967: HKIS opens a Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Repulse Bay with 630 students. February 22, 1968: The school is dedicated. June 1968: First graduating class.

October 1984: Alumni Association incorporated.

1986 The inaugural Alumni Program commences under Joan L. Erisman, Director of the External Affairs Department and Carole A. Edwards. Alumni Affairs Secretary. December: The first Alumni Christmas Reception is held at the HKIS campus.

1987 Spring: First Alumni News published.

July: Alumni Board instituted and new constitution published under President Mark Kwok ’74. Wine-tastings and dinners held.

December 21: 10th Alumni Christmas Cocktail Reception, HKIS campus. Alumni Christmas Reunion, December 27 1990.

1996

1990

December: 11th Annual Alumni Christmas Reception in the Black Box theatre.

May 19: Pre-graduation party for class of 1990 hosted by Alumni of 1980. June: Reunion at Emerald Garden, Redondo Beach, with 72 alumni. December 27: Alumni Christmas Reunion at the Tai Tam campus, 147 alumni attend.

1991 April 26: 25th Anniversary Celebrations at the Conrad Hotel. May 24-27: Class of ’81 celebrates its 10-year reunion in San Francisco.

1993

October 30: Halloween Carnival for both students and alumni, HKIS campus.

December 27: 8th Alumni Christmas Reception, 82 alumni attend.

December 18: Alumni gathering at Graffiti in the Hong Kong Hotel.

1994

December 27: Second Annual Alumni Christmas Reception at the Hong Kong Country Club, with 165 alumni in attendance.

September 3-5: Class of ’84 celebrates its 10-year reunion in San Francisco.

1988 June 11: HKIS Summer Alumni Reunion.

August 30: The new high school at Tai Tam opens for its first term and the school mascot and logo changes from Crusaders to Dragons.

1997 May: Alumni Association holds a five-day Reunion of the Century in this magic, 30th anniversary year, attracting alumni, guests and faculty. The first HKIS Speaker Series is held concurrently. The HKIS Annual Fund is inaugurated. A dedicated Alumni Office is opened under the Community and Resource Development Department (formerly External Affairs Department). Director Miltinnie Yih opens with activities co-coordinated by an Alumni Officer, Yuk Lynn Woo. Events and services include a contact directory, reunions and an essay contest; work also begins on an alumni website.

First Alumni Directory published.

October 22: Sneak Preview of the new Middle School Campus in Tai Tam. November 19: Class of ’74 has its 20 year reunion in Glendale, CA. December 29: 9th Alumni Christmas Reception at Tai Tam campus library.

Class of ‘74 at its 20-year Reunion in Glendale, CA, 1994.

At the 2nd Annual Alumni vs. Faculty Basketball Challenge and Art Show 1999.

The first graduating class of June 1968.

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1998

July 12: Alumni Brunch with new Head of School Bill Wehrenberg at the Furama Hotel, HK.

December 17: The first Alumni/Faculty Basketball Challenge and farewell for retiring coaches Karl Ostheller and Mary Duncan-Laird.

August 17-19: Class of ’81 holds a 20-year reunion in Los Angeles, while the Class of ’86 holds their 15-year reunion in San Francisco.

February: Alumni get-together in Las Vegas.

Homecoming 2001 culminated with a dinner at Fat Angelo’s.

November 13: Last fling at the Furama – Alumni party at the Hong Kong landmark for the last time before it’s torn down.

1999 June 26: 10 Year Reunion for classes of ’88 and ’89 held in San Francisco.

Fall 2001: Alumni Board proposes to raise funds for a history of HKIS.

July 29: Mile High Reunion for classes of ’68 and ’79.

December 18: Homecoming. The Alumni Board decides to celebrate two homecomings to coincide with the college vacations of returning alumni. These are filled with 14 events over two days, the two homecomings draw overseas and local alumni.

October 8-11: Class of ’84 gathers in New York City. December 22: 2nd Annual Alumni vs. Faculty Basketball Challenge and Art Show.

2000 January: New Website debuts with online update form. March: New Alumni Coordinator Reena Khubchandani is appointed and the Alumni Board expands to 18, including both Hong Kong-based and overseas alumni, plus faculty and student representatives. The traditional board morphs into a modern e-Board with overseas alumni and faculty and student participation. The annual Alumni Reception and basketball game event evolves into a US-style college homecoming celebration, with more than half-a-dozen events on that day. High School seniors are introduced to the concept of alumni relations. Spring: New York Reunion

March: First Alumni College Fair, High School, Tai Tam. June 23-25: Class of ’90, 10-year Reunion in Las Vegas.

June: Alumni serve at Foshan orphanage.

June 30-July 2: Alumni Reunion for all classes is held in Washington, D.C.. July 18: First time ever – Alumni Association welcomes the graduating class (2000) at Uptown by Fukui – Mark Kwok’s (’74) restaurant in Hong Kong. October: Pennsylvania Reunion with Jim Handrich.

October 10: Alumni Board swells from 5 members to 13, with Mark Kwok ’74 as President. August: Classes of ’96 and ’97 reunion in Myrtle Beach.

Portland Reunion, July 2002.

2001

January 8: Homecoming events culminate with a reception, dinner and a Wanchai Crawl.

January 4: Homecoming features 200 alumni attending a full day of events with an Alumni Speakers Forum with alumni, faculty and local politicians, “Cookies with Carol” reception, Alumni vs. Faculty basketball, culminating with a reception on campus and and dinner at Fat Angelo’s, which is owned by Andy Chworowsky ’81. February 9: Alumni Dinner with David Pollock

February 27: First annual College & Career Night. June 14: Alumni welcome for class of 2001 at the Boathouse Restaurant, Stanley.

The Alumni Association welcomes the graduating class of 2000 at Uptown by Fukui, July 2000.

July 6: Alumni gathering at Jaspas in Soho, Hong Kong. A record number of alumni attend despite the Typhoon 8 signal. Head of School Chuck Dull and his wife Joanne celebrate their wedding anniversary with alumni.

2002 February: Boston Reunion with alumni, Bill Wehrenberg, Jan Westrick, Jim Handrich and guest, Richard Mueller. February 26: College & Career Night.

May 21: HKIS 35th Anniversary celebrated by alumni at INX in Hong Kong. Faculty, alumni and students attend. Fritz Voeltz wins the “Who knows HKIS?” contest announced by Robert Dorfman ’72. June 2002: Alumni Office moves from the Middle School to the High School. July 4-7: Portland Reunion.

July 11-14: Class of ’82 celebrates its 20th year with a reunion in Las Vegas.

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Alumni Milestones

2004

continued

January 5: 150 returning alumni celebrate Homecoming. The day includes cookies with the counsellors, a barbecue lunch, tent reunion with teachers, basketball game, happy-hour in Soho and dinner at Jaspas in Hong Kong. Ed Flanagan ’00 organized a successful rugby game.

July 26-28: Classes of ’91 and ’92 celebrate their 10-year Reunion at a joint event in New York City. September 21: Head of School luncheon with alumni, HK. October 10: Ex-faculty Reunion with Alumni, Fat Angelo’s , HK. October 25: Hong Kong Area Alumni Happy Hour at STIX – Park Lane Hotel, owned by Joseph Chan ’79. December 17: Homecoming.

Class of ‘73 at its 30-year Reunion in San Francisco, May 2003.

May: Alumni News switches from a newsletter to a magazine format and Dragontales is launched.

2003 January 7: Homecoming.

February: Chinese New Year Reunion, Chinatown, New York City. February: New York Reunion at Dragonfly Restaurant. Over 50 alumni from the tri-state area dine with HKIS visitors Jim Handrich, Bill Wehrenberg and Chuck Steinbach. February 21- 23: Class of ’93 celebrate their 10year reunion in Las Vegas. March 3: College and Career Fair.

March 14: Alumni Board Roundtable with HKIS administrators and faculty at the Park Lane hotel Hong Kong. March 29: HKSAR Government closes schools due to SARS and HKIS’ Virtual School is launched April 23: HKIS reopens.

May 15: Alumni farewell for Fritz and Lois Voeltz after a 14-year career, in two stints, at HKIS. Secret revealed: Fritz’s real moniker is “Bruce”. May 20: Alumni Association Welcomes the class of 2003 in Tai Tam. May 24-26: Class of ’73 holds 30-year Reunion in San Francisco. June: Alumni Association President Kenneth Koo ’79 speaks at Middle School graduation. Under Koo, the association hosts lunches with the Head of School Bill Wehrenberg, establishes the Alumni Resource Network (a network of alumni offering advice, jobs and referrals to graduates), an Alumni Speaker’s Program, Parent Coffee hours and other services. August: Ken Rohrs celebrates 30 years of teaching math and science to Middle School students (Grades 7 & 8).

Homecoming, January 2004.

February 6: Boston Alumni Reunion with Head of School Bill Wehrenberg, High School Principal, Jim Handrich, and Community and Resource Development Department Director, Miltinnie Yih, in Boston’s Chinatown. February 8: 40 alumni attend a reunion in New York City with Head of School Bill Wehrenberg, High School Principal, Jim Handrich and Middle School Principal, Dr Wil Chan. February 10: Mini Reunion – Class of 2001 has a mini-reunion in Philadelphia.

August 8 – 9: Class of ’72 Reunion in Northern Virginia. September: Class of ’98 Reunion at the Mercer Kitchen in New York City. November 18: Alumni help Associate Head of School Jim Handrich celebrate his 60th birthday in style, with speeches by Kenneth Koo ’79, Tim Chen ’92, Sunny Tan ’91 and Rob Hsuing ’98, while teacher David Elliot emcees.

Class of ’98 reunite at the Mercer Kitchen in New York City, September 2003.

Class of 2001 at a mini-reunion in Philadelphia in February 2004.

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March 5: Senior Spring Dance organized by Alumni Board with student representative Cindy Chou ’04. March: College & Career Night.

April 1: Alumni gathering with Head of School, Bill Wehrenberg at Dragon I in Hong Kong. April 15: Class of ’74 holds their 30-year Reunion in Hong Kong. May 8: Aiiyaaah! It’s a Prom – alumni relive the prom tradition. July 2-5: 150 alumni and ex-faculty attend an All Year Reunion in San Francisco. July 3: Class of ’84 celebrates their 20-year Reunion in San Francisco. July 29: Alumni Happy Hour at Jimmy’s Kitchen in Hong Kong. September 25: New York City Happy Hour. Over 50 alumni reunite when George Coombs, High School Humanities teacher, travels to New York.

2005 Alumni base now surpasses 5,000 worldwide, with class agents representing every class. January 5: 117 Alumni return for Homecoming.

James Keith ‘75, U.S. Consul General at HKIS, January 2005.

Development Department Director, Miltinnie Yih, and Upper Primary Principal, Bruce Kelsh. February 17: Happy Hour for local Hong Kong alumni at Scirocco. Spring: Class of ’85’s 20-year Reunion.

Spring: HKIS students, teachers, parents and alumni raise funds for Tsunami relief – teachers color and shave their hair, get pierced and shave beards to raise funds. March 1: College & Career Night.

May 26: Farewell to Carol and Larry Eichert at the Fringe Club. Larry joined the Science Department in 1988, teaching Biology and Advance Placement Biology. Carol joined the HKIS staff in 1991, as College Counselor. Summer: Class of ’95, 10-year Reunion in Las Vegas.

September 22: Alumni reception with new Head of School, Richard Mueller, and new faculty.

November 11-14: Class of ’75 holds 30-year Reunion in Los Angeles. December 15: Homecoming is celebrated with a School Assembly, lunch and Christmas movies. December 28: HKIS teachers’ Christmas Reunion in California.

Class of ’96, 10-year Reunion in Las Vegas, June 2006.

August: HKIS’ 40th year celebrations launched August 18 – 20: Class of ’81, 25th Reunion in Boston.

September: Alumni Scholarship announced in honor of David Rittmann, who passed away in July. September 30 – October 1: Class of ’86, 20-year Reunion in Las Vegas. October: Mini 70’s Reunion in Fort Myers, Florida. October 26: Alumni Welcome New Faculty at the China Tee Club, HK. October 20: Alumni Homecoming, All-School Christmas Assembly, and aerial photo.

2007 June: The History Project comes to fruition with the publication of Hong Kong International School: 40 Years of Learning and Service. June 14 – 19: Alumni Association’s 40th Anniversary Reunion is held in Hong Kong.

2006 117 Alumni return for Homecoming, January 2005.

January 24: James Keith ’75, U.S. Consul General, speaks at HKIS on “America and Asia: From Commerce & Visas to Geopolitics & Terrorism”. He is the first Consul General to be an alumnus. The speaker was introduced by Keith Bradsher ’82, The New York Times Bureau Chief in Hong Kong. Both speakers took questions at the evening’s end. March 1: Alumni College and Career Night.

February 15: Another successful Boston alumni dinner with visiting Interim Head of School, Jim Handrich, former Community and Resource

Alumni Association’s base now tops 6,000, spread throughout 35 countries. The Alumni Association continues to provide a biannual newsletter – DragonTales, a website with an online membership directory and magazine, reunions, events and homecomings (with appropriate support) in cities around the world. It offers an Alumni Resource Network, and a dedicated Alumni Office in the High School staffed full time. January 4: Alumni Celebrate at Homecoming, with 80 participants. April 13: Class of ’74 Reunion in Hong Kong.

June 16 – 18: Class of ’96, 10-year Reunion in Las Vegas.

HKIS’ 40th anniversary celebrations launched August 9, 2006.

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N

ow we come to the end of this extraordinary tale of American education and international perseverance. This chapter looks at three remaining groups whose interest and participation throughout these past four decades was vital to the success of HKIS…and will be vital to future excellence. These three stakeholders, to use the official vernacular, are the parents, the faculty (teaching and staff), and of course the students themselves.

n Parents and the Parent Faculty Organization The parents of HKIS students have been supporting and partnering with the school from the start. The parents, or to be more specific potential parents, were active even before the doors opened to admit the first students. Though records are sparse, the current PFO had its origins in the Fall of 1969, when June T. Obayashi and Madeleine Tang convened the First Mothers’ Club, as a way to, “utilize the services of mothers during the day and at the same time generate their interest and involvement in the school.” Early activities included the Mothers’ Club assisting at the 1969 East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools Conference, which was held in Hong Kong. They organized a fun fair in summer 1970, which over the decades has metamorphosed into the PFO’s World’s Fair. Those energetic ladies also held several fora to help parents understand the process of learning at HKIS.

John Black, Middle School Band Director.

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The first recorded fund-raising effort of the Mothers’ Club dates back to May 4, 1972, when the president handed over a cheque for HK$11,000 towards the purchase of an intercom system for the school. With that small step, the more ambitious fund-raising efforts of the PFO began. What started as a small voluntary effort by pioneering mothers has today emerged as a major movement. The current PFO’s structure dates from 1987, when it was registered with the Hong Kong Government Registrar of Societies as a “non-commercial, nonsectarian and non-partisan organization”. In other words, a social service organization. The PFO is governed by a constitution with both elected and appointed board positions.   The PFO raises funds through sponsorships, donations and admission tickets to its festivals and programs. The inaugural Annual General Meeting was held on 19th May, 1987.

In the words of 2006-2007 President Melanie Blandon, in her letter to parents: “The PFO supports the school, fosters partnership between school and home, builds a sense of community, and raises funds for school-related purposes and special charitable projects.” How the organization goes about achieving this goal, year after year, is down to hard work – from office holders, committee coordinators, and most of all parent volunteers. One thing is certain: donations do not flow into the PFO on their own. It takes the expenditure of thousands of hours donated by hundreds of parents to stage an event which raises funds for the school. Or to quote the PFO website: “The PFO is a voluntary organization run entirely by parents who work with great energy and enthusiasm.” That tried and true formula has worked

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Source: Pulse, 198

3

Source: Junto,

1972

Mothers’ Club donated generously towards the purchase of an intercom system for the school in 1972. Earl Westrick, High School Principal, tests out the system.

Today the PFO’s key goal is to help HKIS achieve its mission.

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Source: Pulse, 1983

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around the world, but has been refined here at HKIS through the professionalism of the PFO’s team.

Source: Junt

o, 1980

The primary goal of the PFO is to create an environment of fellowship and cultivate a partnership between school and family. Research has shown a student’s education is enhanced when parents are actively involved in their children’s school.

The four current major PFO-sponsored events include: the Harvest/Halloween-oriented Pumpkin Festival, the Chinese New Year Celebration, World’s Fair and Book Fairs (one for each school). The World’s Fair, according to past president Becky Hsu (2005-06), in an interview for this book, is the most successful event if, “we are measuring success in terms of how many people are touched, benefited or brought together at one time…This event, however, requires the most amount of effort and the greatest number of volunteers. World’s Fair typically brings

Gay Smith (left), Chairman of the Mothers’ Club presents a cheque – proceeds of the School’s Halloween Party – to Community Chest.

Source: Junto, 1980

PFO programs and news clippings from the early 1980s.

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The primary goal of the PFO is to create an environment of fellowship and cultivate a partnership between school and family. Research has shown a student’s education is enhanced when parents actively volunteer in their school.

Mothers’ Club World’s Fair 2003. Fair Chairman Gaye Izzard has a busy day running the show.

together approximately 3,000 people and requires approximately 500 to run the event, including our dedicated operations and maintenance staff.” A lot of sweat and tears are expended by parent volunteers for all the various fairs, but the end result of doing something worthwhile and useful for the HKIS children brings great joy. And think of all the new friends parents make, as well as renewing friendships with old hands, while planning one of these mammoth events, or even the smaller ones. However, there is more to parent involvement than these grand PFO events. The Parent Advisory Groups for each division meet regularly to offer support and advice for each division of HKIS. New parent welcoming events are held each September and January. These dovetail with New Parent Coffee Meetings (organized by the Parent-toParent Committee) which flow into semi-annual Grade-Level Coffee Meetings to foster home-school communication. The Hospitality Committee organizes Back to School Nights for each division, another popular PFO event, so that parents have an opportunity to meet their children’s teachers each autumn. Through these useful fora, a parent can get to know the developments in a child’s class/grade/ division, raise concerns, interact with other parents and teachers. Parents new to Hong Kong and HKIS find these points of contact a good way to network and make new friends, and to keep active.

International themes and food are the highlights of these celebrations.

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“World’s Fair typically brings together approximately 3,000 people and requires approximately 500 to run the event…”

Two popular and obvious items that raise funds that require a vast amount of behind the scenes volunteer work are the School Directory and School Calendar. Again, a specialized committee makes these possible. Along with the PFO website, both of these publications play a significant role in communications and connecting the HKIS community. Funds raised by the PFO help support the previously mentioned activities in addition to bringing in valued speakers, supporting Presidential and Merit Scholarships, and purchasing resources for the school specifically requested by faculty, parents and students. The PFO has helped fund the Language Lab at the High School, media items and band equipment for the Middle School, stage lighting and sound equipment at the LP/UP campus, and items for the library. The PFO also show their appreciation of the faculty annually during Teacher Appreciation Week. Right: Senior HKIS staff member, Ken Rohrs, at far right, doing traffic duty at the World’s Fair 2004. Below: Some Halloween carnival costumes for the “Pumpkin Fest.”

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How PFO-raised money is allocated All Divisions • Astronomy Dome • Dragon Math Traveling Trophies • Story Telling Program • Pool Bleachers – Tai Tam Lower Primary School • Art Room Clay Recycling Machine • Chinese Studies Support • Classroom Play Carpets • Digital Piano • Library Shelving • Music Lab Workstations • Playground Bikes, Trikes and Helmets • Playground Picnic Tables • Story Sacks and Books • Math Magna Tiles

Middle School • Art Dept Printing Press • Art Display – Glass • Concert, Jazz Band Instruments • Library Sofas • Strings and Handbells Musical Equipment • Partial Funding of Science Professional Development • Audio and Video Equipment for Classroom Use High School • Band Instruments • Library Study Area • Annual Merit Scholarship Awards (for seniors off to university) • Annual Presidential Classroom Scholarships to Washington D.C. (for juniors) • Digital SLR Cameras Source: PFO website

Source: Junto

Upper Primary School • CD Tower Copiers • Music Lab Workstations • Music Workshop • Speakers • Stage Upgrade: Lighting, Sound, Curtains and Stage Extension

• Visiting Author • Stage for use in CAN (Church of All Nations)

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n The Teachers “There is a heart and soul to HKIS that is unique. Part of that heart and soul is the fact that we care about people. We care about students as individuals – we don’t treat them as robots. We don’t try to force them into a particular mold. The diverse human face (of HKIS)…is central in everything we do…”

Without teachers, there would be neither school nor schooling. Obvious perhaps, but not always fully appreciated. When HKIS was founded four decades ago, about 60 per cent of the teachers were from the U.S. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. As time went on and the school needed many more faculty, the percentage of teachers from the Synod declined. HKIS itself also evolved to become a more community-oriented school, which was its original mandate with the Hong Kong Government that had provided the land gratis and an interestfree start-up loan. Meetings can be held with all and sundry, goals voted upon and posted high for all to see, but when everything settles down on a Monday morning, it is up to the teachers, the front line of HKIS’ education, to both teach and create an atmosphere in which children have a great learning experience. Head of School Richard W. Mueller calls it, “a culture of passion because any school has to make sure its students enjoy learning, (that) they want to come to

“(We must) maintain and never forget, the humanity of this place...There is a heart and soul to HKIS that is unique. Part of that heart and soul is the fact that we care about people. We care about students as individuals – we don’t treat them as robots. We don’t try to force them into a particular mold. The human face (of HKIS)…is central in everything we do.…” Academically, it is obvious that HKIS has not only achieved excellence throughout its four decades of teaching, but has continually improved upon teaching methods and subject matter as time progressed and the world changed.

agon Tales Source: Dr

, 20 04

“I hope that my students will contribute positively to the world, and that I have provided a nourishing environment to prepare them for that.”

school, that they are passionate about coming to their school. Ultimately, it has to come from within the students themselves. Teachers and Heads of School cannot command that students be passionate about their own education. The same applies to teachers, it applies to the staff, and it applies to the Head of School. But what is true is that great teachers can inspire that passion in their students and in their colleagues.”

– Ken Rohrs

“HKIS is a community, the kind of learning community you read about but is very hard to achieve in reality.”

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“I am convinced that HKIS is one of the finest schools in the world. The students are first rate and the staff is truly committed to providing the best education possible to their students. It is our hope and prayer that HKIS will continue to be a very special place for students parents and staff.” – Bob Welch (Middle School principal 1995-1997)

The Al Feddersen Day – the teachers dressed up like the principal, who was known for his outlandish clothes. Back row: Barbara Johnson, Dennis Wetjen, Bob Dow and Ken Rohrs; front row: Peter Ogden and Diane Greenwald.

HKIS’ (and Dow Chemicals’) first High School teachers outside the school’s interim premises in Chung Hom Kok Road, 1966-67 school year.

The alumni know they were given a fine education – they have only to look at their own success – but many also remember their time at HKIS with two key words: “friends” and “family”. And this is where the teachers of HKIS excelled, and still excel. Over the decades they’ve taught and taught, passing on knowledge and creating habits of mind in such a way that students were able to absorb the subject, pass the tests, and be rewarded with a

university education and a worthwhile future. On the surface, that’s what it is all about. Teaching. Tests. Learning. Progress. On to university. But at HKIS there is much more and this is what sets an education at HKIS apart from other schools. It teaches more than mere subject matter. It imbues its charges with a moral spirit, a sense of right and wrong, a sense of service and a sense of intellectual independence.

Even though HKIS has evolved into a cultural and religious melting pot, accurately reflecting the international community of Hong Kong in which it is situated, it has retained its moral goals and a spiritual focus.

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“The parents who enroll their children here are interested in the development of the whole person. We want to provide the kind of understanding, encouragement and expertise that will help the people in our community claim all the gifts they have.”

In a 1999 Viewbook interview, Charles “Chuck” Dull, Head of School 1997-2001, revealed that “the parents who enroll their children here are interested in the development of the whole person. We want to provide the kind of understanding, encouragement and expertise that will help the people in our community claim all the gifts they have.” The results of this unique education are easily observed in students and alumni. The intangible “family” spoken of in the 2001 Homecoming survey

of seniors is part of it. Being part of the HKIS family is important to them, possibly for a lifetime. These aims have also been translated into the practical. In an effort to show the privileged students of HKIS how the other half live, if only for a brief, but memorable period of time, special programs like Interim have been created. Zella Talbot has taught full-time in the Humanities department for 22 years, starting out teaching History in 1983 and progressing to department head and counselor. She is also unique in that when the words “HKIS family” are used, she is the living embodiment of the term: Her husband, Marty Schmidt, is also an HKIS teacher and their daughter, Christa, attends the school. When asked in an interview for this book why she has stayed for so long, she replied: “I really enjoyed working at the school. My primary interest has always been the kids…being with the students…their company, their intellectual stimulation keeps me going here.”

e Star, 1967

In the 1990s, under Zella’s leadership the school started one of the most popular of the non-academic service programs, Service on Saturdays (SOS). “I was doing Interact first (a school program affiliated with Rotary International) and there was great impetus to move from just one day of giving.

Source: Th

The School’s first day – September 14, 1967. A teacher plays with her young pupils in the kindergarten class.

Many have called this the Christian spirit that comes directly from the founders, the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. Even though HKIS has evolved into a cultural and religious melting pot, accurately reflecting the international community of Hong Kong in which it is situated, it has retained its moral goals and a spiritual focus.

Karen Fish, High School Art teacher, working with AP Studio Art students. “I love teaching, it is who and what I am,

I’m proud to be a teacher. Coming to that understanding was a very important turning point. It set me on the path to meeting Earl Westrick and making the move to HKIS.” – Karen Fish High School Art teacher

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Zella Talbot taught History in the early years of her 22year career with HKIS. Below: Nancy Kronnenberg, French Teacher and administrator in the 1980s and 1990s.

Teacher Bill Jordan entertaining students at a local school in China.

agon Tales Source: Dr

, 20 03

So we sat down and started brainstorming for a way to get kids more involved, and came up with the idea Service on Saturdays. Even though, at that time, I was a full-time counselor and Humanities teacher and had my young daughter, we decided to go ahead with this…giving up Saturdays to reach out to the local community. About six organizations became involved that first year, which meant a lot more teachers also became involved. We split Interact away from Service on Saturdays and made them two separate programs.  In the 1990s, HKIS started service learning trips to Foshan, a city in the Pearl River Delta area adjacent to Hong Kong in neighboring Guangdong Province. Talbot believes it is important for HKIS students to have contact with children in need. “The kids have

Karen Markin, HKIS Religious Education Facilitator, conducting a devotion at a local (Lutheran) kindergarten.

Dennis Oetting cutting turkey at a street sleeper Christmas party in Kowloon.

“HKIS curriculum is now woven in with service activities, because you don’t want kids to just do service without a basic educational understanding of why poverty exists, why there are slums, why there is such great disparity between the haves and have-nots.”

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“Teachers realize they’re like farmers. They plant seeds and always work on the soil, fertilizing it and watering it. But the difference is that teachers are not harvesters. They don’t get to see the results until the kids come back.”

Dave Christian ‘69 with half of his middle school teachers, in 2002. L-R: Dave Christian, Lois Voeltz, Ken Rohrs, Mrs. Chan, Fritz Voeltz and Dave Landdeck.

a three-day experience working with abandoned children in a Foshan orphanage. Through this experience, HKIS kids – who are in Grade 9 – gain an understanding about China’s one-child policy and the challenges that these mothers and fathers have to face in surrendering their babies because they cannot afford to keep them. These are decisions that our kids probably will not have to make in life. But a lot of poor people do have to make them. Some of our kids get attached (to the babies) and so they have an understanding of how hard it is for the mother…It’s rewarding.” Why start this program with ninth graders? Talbot explains: “So we could cultivate compassion at an early age. This HKIS curriculum is now woven in with service activities, because you don’t want kids to just do service without a basic educational understanding of why poverty exists, why there are slums, why there is such great disparity between the haves and havenots.” Service Learning – to give it its official title – is now an integral part of the official HKIS curriculum, and goes a long way into making both caring and inquiring students, who carry over those feelings and ideals as alumni. Later in life, as adults, these same alumni come to cherish the ideals of serving others.

An HKIS “simulated” refugee community built by “Slum Survivor” volunteers on grounds of Crossroads International.

Former UN peacekeeper, Heather O’Brien ’87, remembers The Day of Giving, which brought her into direct contact with the Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong, as one of her best HKIS memories. She wishes there were more days of giving because the experience was so powerful. David “Biff” Begbie ’94, is now an NGO leader here in Hong Kong. In 1993, he went to Calcutta on an Interim. Because of that experience, he had a better understanding of what he wanted out of life and “Biff” Begbie. consequently helped form Crossroads International, a charity based in Hong Kong, which was started by his family. He has been involved with service ever since and works closely with HKIS, particularly through the “Slum Survivor” experience program. Vivian Ip ’94 attended HKIS for Grades 11 and 12. Even that short two-year span was sufficient to influence the direction of her life. She worked for Mother’s Choice as an HKIS volunteer and is now their Supervisor of Adoption Services in charge of inter-country adoptions and adoption support. She and her colleagues recruit adoptive families in America for children with special needs, who are unable to find families in Hong Kong. Locally, she runs Adoption Parenting Classes, Support Groups, Seminars and Workshops for prospective and/or adoptive parents. Ip credits HKIS for putting her on the road to her profession. “There is no school as special as HKIS is to me!” She attended 11 schools in her life, so her high praise for HKIS is not only unique, but based on experience. When interviewed, Ip was also studying for a Masters of Social Work at The University of Hong Kong. In an interview with Alumni News (Winter 2002), Lois Voeltz, who retired after a 14-year career at HKIS in 2003, expressed her belief that “teachers realize they’re

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agon Tales Source: Dr

, 20 00

like farmers. They plant seeds and always work on the soil, fertilizing it and watering it. But the difference is that teachers are not harvesters. They don’t get to see the results until the kids come back.” The Humanities in Action program was designed by Marty Schmidt. This program educates students about global situations, giving them a better understanding of why certain communities are the way they are. Service on Saturdays is also integrated with it. Humanities I in Action has a service component that the kids have built into their class Service on Saturday. They also have an opportunity to go to the Foshan orphanage. While in China, it gives students more time to reflect and integrate their learning about doing service. Coombs adds: “We have placed an emphasis on service learning rather than just service, which a lot of kids already do at school. You don’t have to take the course to do service – half the school does Service on Saturdays. But the kids taking Humanities I in Action have the advantage because they can reflect and learn more from service because it’s integrated as part of the course.” These service programs affect the teachers as well as the students. One of Schmidt’s most treasured memories of his time at HKIS, “has been in working with orphans…being able to bring together HKIS people with these people has been a great joy… I still hear from alumni and oftentimes the connecting point is (the orphanage in) Foshan.” In June 2000, Schmidt (and his family) led another group to the orphanage, including 25 students and three alumni from the class of 1997, Andy Koehneke, Bethany Wetjen and Vickie Lui. For most of the group, this was their second visit.

Andy Koehneke

In an article in Alumni News (Winter 2000), Wetjen calls the trip the most “poignant week of the summer….For me, returning to the orphanage after four years transposed my way of thinking about service. I realized the prevalent need for service and

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“HKIS encourages selfexploration and that to me is what makes HKIS unique. We relate to the children in a very special way. We take seriously the notion that they are whole people, not just brains...They’re people of faith, of spirituality...” Visiting scholarship winners’ homes in Guangdong Province.

1970

1980

1990

Tammy Hui through the decades. Tammy is still teaching Chinese Studies to Lower primary students.

Tiffany Chan at Nanhai Orphanage.

Elderly Home at Foshan – Bill Jordan (clown) and Marty Schmidt. At a Foshan Orphanage.

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“The greatest challenge for me has always been to make stuff relevant. Kids have grown up today with a whole new set of tools to learn with – technology, computers, the Internet – I think that’s been my biggest challenge to try to integrate that whole approach to learning, to my practice.” the bittersweet heartache and joy that comes from partaking in it…The week I spend with these HKIS students, faculty and alumni is something that I never want to forget…Service scars you in the most beautiful possible way.” George Coombs explains: “HKIS encourages selfexploration and that to me is what makes HKIS

BEYOND ACADEMICS

unique. We relate to the children in a very special way. We take seriously the notion that they are whole people, not just brains...They’re people of faith, of spirituality... So for me, it’s just a joy to be in the kind of environment that encourages people to grow in a holistic way where kids are critical and thoughtful.” Jan Westrick was at HKIS from 1978 to 2004. Westrick’s doctoral work examines the influence of service-learning on the levels of intercultural sensitivity of high school students at an international school in Hong Kong. Scholars in the field of servicelearning have been searching for convincing evidence to support claims about the outcomes of servicelearning.

Geroldene Tsui at Foshan orphanage.

Westrick’s conclusions show differences in how this program affects students. Qualitative data analysis found that international school students have many formal and informal opportunities to experience difference; that service-learning can influence the development of intercultural sensitivity along with a variety of life experiences.

“What I enjoy most about HKIS is the fantastic facilities and the community where most people, both faculty and students, are striving to be the best that they can be.” – Pip Simpkin Former PE teacher

Mary Chen ‘98 taught General Biology and Principles of Science as an intern at HKIS in 2003.

“I’ve had an incredible year and learned a tremendous amount…I’ve enjoyed my students, the faculty, and the teaching itself very much. It is one of the most challenging things I’ve done but by far the most rewarding.”

agon Tales Source: Dr

, 20 03

– Mary Chen ’98

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Teachers explain… Most of the teachers interviewed for this book stated they have grown, been challenged and have been changed by their time at HKIS:

agon Tales Source: Dr

Ted, Jackie, and Yung Ting Engelbrecht, former teacher and LCMS human care worker in Hanoi, Vietnam. Left: Larry Eichert and Jane Goodall.

Marty Schmidt (Humanities) On a personal level, I have become an adult, a teacher, a husband, a father, a Cantonese speaker, etc., all at HKIS.  It’s been so much a part of my life that I don’t know who I would have become if I wouldn’t have to come to HKIS.  That doesn’t mean it’s a perfect place, but it does mean that I’ve been forever changed by the opportunities I’ve had here…. And I am very grateful for these opportunities. Eric MacDonald (PE) The best part about HKIS? The people. I’ve been able to grow. I haven’t been pigeon-holed. I’ve really been able to spread my wings here. George Coombs (History/ Humanities) It’s the opportunity to continue to grow as a professional. HKIS has an environment to work in, to grow in, to support professional growth. It’s not just the school’s encouragement for professional growth and growth in collaboration, but I think it’s a willingness to experiment with new approaches to learning. For example, interdisciplinary studies at HKIS in 1990 was way before anybody else. HKIS is not afraid to try new things  It encourages a great deal of entrepreneurial potential for  teachers to develop new things. That’s what‘s kept me here for so long. Jan Westrick (French/Deputy Head) My greatest challenge? The strategic plan – first,

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David Elliott (Computer Science/High School Technology Coordinator) My greatest challenge as a teacher is getting done all the things I want to do. We have so many ideas, and the teachers and the kids come up with new projects to do, I just never have the time to do them all. What’s really important is that you maintain the sense of community and relationship – building while you go about improving your sense of excellence, of being more precise in how you manage things.

Chuck Dull (Head of School 1997-2001) A time filled with opportunities and challenges. Everyone seemed to look at what they did as a calling (and) much of that was grounded in their faith journey. Everyone was a volunteer, in the sense that there were few limits to what one would do to help a child grow and become whatever he or she might be. It was and still is a place where high touch and high expectations rule the day. (Source: Viewbook 1999)

The Elliotts.

Mary Jane Elliott (Lower Primary Reception I) Applying what I learned in University: Every child is different. There is no such thing as a child that’s a

David Chaveriat (seated second from left) with his 8th Grade Broadcast Technology Class. 02

Ken Rohrs (Maths and Science – 30+ year career, beginning in 1973) Teaching is a calling, not a job. I am continually inspired to incorporate new ideas into my teaching. Whether the students were from days gone by or are current, all have benefited from the high value HKIS places on professional growth for faculty. (Source: Dragon Tales, Vol 3. Summer 2004)

ni News, 20

Doug Baker (Drama) My great challenge is to stay focused on the classroom. The spirit (of HKIS) is engagement, learning of all levels. HKIS is a great place. (Its) resilience is evidence to the quality of foundational resolve that the school has, both as an institution, and with and among individuals working here.

half-full milk bottle or a milk bottle that’s empty. A four-year old child is a complete four-year old child…Listen to children. They have so much to tell you and so many questions to raise.

Source: Alum

getting it done successfully, and then making it happen. I remember waking up in the middle of the night sometime in 1997-1998, realizing that failure was NOT an option! I enjoyed the diversity at HKIS and the challenge of going from good to great. And my colleagues, of course.

Amy Coombs,Vijay Sathyaraj, Marty Schmidt and Zella Talbot. Vijay was ordained as a Lutheran pastor at the Church of All Nations.

“Teaching is a calling, not a job. I am continually inspired to incorporate new ideas into my teaching. Whether the students were from days gone by or are current, all have benefited from the high value HKIS places on professional growth for faculty.”

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Memories of HKIS When I started at HKIS it was as a substitute primary teacher in the spring of 1975, when we were all still together in one building. Little did I realize that I would continue on for 24 years…Most of all I remember the feeling of love, care and concern surrounding the children and faculty. HKIS was the best place to be both a teacher and a parent. How I miss it!

My prayer is that HKIS continue in its Mission Statement serving students and families sharing the Christian faith and respecting each one for who they are. Lester Zimmerman Mesquite, Texas USA 1967-1973

“How you understand something, generally depends upon your point of reference.”

Carol Thomas Sunriver, Oregon, USA 1975-1999

At 28, I was the oldest teacher in the Junior High School, older than the principal. HKIS had around 1,100 students from K-12 at 6 South Bay Close. All Junior High teachers drove motorcycles. Study groups moved into the halls. 33 students were in each of my six science classes. When our principal held a confidential meeting, his secretary rolled her typing table into the hall...

As world travelers we encounter poverty, suffering and evil on a global scale and are especially sensitive to needs and causes beyond political boundaries. May the Christian instruction we experienced and the Christian modeling we observed at HKIS awaken and empower us to strike boldly at the heart of darkness, not with righteous anger and flaming sword of retribution but with the love we received and learned at HKIS, calling us to do what the Lord requires of us, “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Alan Feddersen Sherman Oaks, California, USA 1972-75, 1978-81 Grade 6 teacher 1981 – 1990 Middle School Principal

After the K-12 Thanksgiving or Christmas assemblies, all students participated in the Day of Giving. Weekly Junior High chapels filled Church of All Nations with enthusiastic singing. HKIS was full of youth, energy and motivation. HKIS’ 2,500 students are no longer the Crusaders, but now the Dragons and attend four divisions. From HKIS’ formative years, faculty and student body have diversified, worship experiences are less energetic and students rarely ride public buses to school. In 1976, I and three other teachers became the first non-Lutherans to receive overseas contracts. Ken Rohrs Repulse Bay, Hong Kong SAR 1973 to present

Choosing Gratitude From 1982 to 2002, Hong Kong was my city. HKIS provided my community, my job and my church. I loved them all; city, job, community, church, talented and caring colleagues with whom I worked, worshipped and played. I had, what few would dispute to be, an extraordinary life. Mary Hoff HKIS teacher and administrator 1982-2002 Texas, USA

I will always think of HKIS as synonymous with multiculture, because of so many varied memories of teaching in the elementary school. While students spoke varieties of English, many spoke another language as well which they would use at recess, lunch and some unlikely times.... “I remember the students bringing so much of their cultures to the classroom in the form of stories, art, games, and ways they made friends. The teachers also brought many ideas of how to present lessons and intriguing mini-lessons. Teachers being educated and having taught all over the world brought many stimulating viewpoints of education… The diversity of HKIS has affected me ever since. Carole Feddersen Sherman Oaks, California, USA 1972-75; 1978-90

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Full Circle There is much to celebrate in this 40th Anniversary – but especially the celebration rests in the many graduates who go on faithfully to serve the Lord in their adult world. Jan Yung, Principal Lutheran South Academy, Lower School Houston, Texas, USA HKIS – 1984-1996

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. I can’t help but think of the hundreds – maybe thousands – of students and faculty/ staff that crossed my path during our 14 years at Hong Kong International School. My prayers are often full of memories of people and personalities, experiences of happiness and tragedy, celebrations and drying each other’s tears. Being in Hong Kong from 1973-1980 and then again from 1996-2003 also provided a glimpse of two different times but with a common ground – a place where one would have their spiritual life nurtured… One of the biggest surprises during the recent experience was teaching children of students I taught in 1973-74, as well as the privilege of being on the Alumni Board with students of that era! Years pass and changes occur but the people of HKIS still deeply care and help each other enjoy the international experience. We learned how to respect people of all cultures and religions as well as stretch our personal worldviews to include those different from ourselves. We were reminded to deepen our

relationship with God and people as well as ways to be responsible compassionate world citizens. Lois Voeltz Woodland Park, Colorado, USA 1973-80; 1996-2003

… and global understanding. I believe one of the lasting benefits of being at HKIS is a sense of global understanding. A while back, I applied for a position with one of the listed qualifications being experience with diverse cultural environments. I likely scared them away when I stated that I had firsthand experience with employees/students from over 25 nations... Those interactions, and conversations, between students, faculty, and staff from all over the world are remarkable. I trust they will continue, and even get better, in the years to come. Fritz Voeltz Woodland Park, Colorado, USA 1973-1980; 1996-2003

Day of Giving Day of Giving, usually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, was one of the two times per year that the entire student body, full faculty and staff gathered for an assembly. Asked to organize the Day of Giving assembly for November of 1982, I enlisted Pastor Paul Tuchardt from Church of All Nations – Lutheran to give the message, and asked high school art teacher, Steven Nesheim, to prepare a project for the entire school that could be constructed during the assembly. The week before the assembly each elementary classroom, junior high home room, and high school advisee group received a piece of paper, markers, and a small abstract drawing to blow up and color – to bring to the assembly. During the message, representatives from each group brought their piece of art to the stage to place on a large board. (This was when the entire school could fit into the gym at 6 South Bay Close!) As pieces were added, it became clear that a picture was forming - an enlargement of Sadao Watanabe’s Jesus Washing the Disciples’ Feet. What a wonderful image for the day as students and staff of HKIS prepared to go all over Hong Kong helping at a Vietnamese refugee camp, with mentally handicapped children, or in often forgotten old folks homes. My hope is that each of us who were touched by HKIS continues to give to those in need – each of our acts or gifts small, seemingly insignificant pieces of a larger picture of Christ’s love. What a grand image for the world! William Kuhn, Ed.D. Seward, Nebraska, USA 1980-1993

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The 80’s and 90’s – A Time of Opportunity My family came to HKIS in August 1979 on a three-year contract to see what overseas teaching would be like. Twenty years later, we retired back to the USA after experiencing a lifetime of adventures and the making of unforgettable memories and friends. The power of the HKIS community is in the people, both faculty and students, you continue to connect with even after you are gone….

September 25th They say you don’t know what you have till it’s gone, but we knew all along. It was a new decade and most of us were only fifteen or sixteen. We were young, but so much had already happened in our lifetimes. There was the Gulf War, the Handover and of course, the Millennium. Fall semester started out fabulous – we were Juniors, and we were going to rock 2001. On September 11th of that year, families all over the world sat in front of their televisions watching the Twin Towers. The next morning, we exchanged stories, as well as tears.

The BEST 20 years of my life happened at HKIS and I thank all of those wonderful students I got to work with, those dedicated faculty friends (too many to name), a wonderful group of teachers in the math department, and to Headmaster David Rittmann who hired and inspired me. God bless all of you at HKIS and I wish you continued success.

While the world watched as New York picked up the pieces, we were thrown another curveball. Gossip circled the school faster than Mr. Handrich could even begin to make the announcement. To this day, I still don’t know exactly what happened. We knew Myles fell and that it was pretty serious. But it was Myles, he’d be okay. As days passed the rumors got worse, but we knew better. So we did what HKIS’ers do, we hiked “Miles for Myles”. We reminisced and we laughed, and when a friend cried, we carved We love you Myles into the chalky

Dr. Karl Ostheller (Doc O.) Poulsbo, Washington, USA 1979-1999 Mathematics Department

Pathways One of my favorite activities while working in third grade at HKIS was our annual hike through the Aberdeen Country Park. The sounds of the road behind us faded and disappeared as we delved deeper into Hong Kong’s natural world. We were alone in the trees. The only sounds were those we brought with us.

It was always a shock when, near the end of the hike, we rounded the bend of a hill and saw Aberdeen spread out before us. We were too far above it to hear any of the noises associated with a busy city, but we could see the cars and buses streaming in and out of the city, and boats moving in and out of the harbor. It was a reminder that we hadn’t left Hong Kong behind at all. It was there waiting for us all the time.

hillside to lift her spirits, because we knew we’d hike there again with him and he’d laugh at how silly we were to worry. We couldn’t wait for our big strong Canadian to come back. Drinking it up with him at Beer Castle, partying till the sun came up, and most importantly, returning those polar bear hugs. I could feel it in my gut, and as our class filed into the gym, I knew they could feel it too. The tears fell before the news hit. Anger, sadness, disbelief, shock, you name it, we felt it. We couldn’t move. But when the tears subsided, what was left was us. We looked to each other for comfort and strength. Some days were worse than others, but through laughter and great memories, we made it through. I can’t help but think that he’s proud of us. It’s been four years, and if you take a look on the island, you’ll find a young maple tree in the midst of bamboo stalks. Myles will always be in our hearts and in our minds. And how many people can say they’ve partied with an angel? Name: Class of 2003 Current City/Country: The World 1991-2003

traveled track and I felt alone in the midst of my wanderings. But Jesus was always there, holding my hand, guiding me, though I had no idea where we were going. And sure enough, one day, we rounded the bend of the path, and there was a more normal life spreading out before me once again. Sandie Fischer 1989 – 1999 teacher California, USA

Our lives with God are like that hike. I can remember a time when ill health took me on a less

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Would Jesus have been a typical middle schooler at HKIS? Jesus demonstrated real middle school behaviors when he left his parents to spend three days on His own running around Jerusalem. One can only imagine how worried and upset His parents must have been as they searched for Him. I wonder if Jesus had been at HKIS’s Middle School if He would have demonstrated more caring and respectful attitudes towards His parents and the community. This is really a tongue-in-cheek statement but it relates to the challenge that parents and educators have to develop students that will demonstrate positive attitudes and become contributing members of society…. I am convinced that few if any schools provide as many opportunities or as positive environment for character development as does HKIS. In my three short years as Principal of the Middle School I found an educational community very open and supportive of involving their children in Christian based character development activities. We began each week with a morning

chapel where students would gather in the Amphitheater for a welcome, announcements, an entertaining activity, a thought for the week, (usually a spiritual/moral type of message), and closing. The staff was composed of individuals that truly enjoyed working with these young adolescents and many easily shared their Christian faith while understanding and respecting other religions. It was commonplace to see faculty talking with groups of students during break or joining them at lunch. They were excellent role models for their students. The vast majority of HKIS students are very gifted and talented students with terrific work ethics. They are the kind of students that educators say will succeed in spite of us. The academics must be most important but I pray that HKIS will never lose the emphasis on community and character development. Robert Welch Burlingame, California, USA Middle School Principal 1995 - 1998

The Only Constant in My Life is Change. During ten years of contemplative and meditative reminiscing, I realize how life as pastor of the Church of All Nations and a board member of Hong Kong International School has broadened my understanding of God’s wonderful world, especially the crown of God’s creation – human beings. To worship and work with Christians from so many different cultures strengthened my faith in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit in creating the communion of saints. How many of us expats in our younger days expected to be a messenger of God in Hong Kong? Not too many. It is a transformational experience. The constant changes reaffirmed our faith in the Word of God : “For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29,11. We loved Hong Kong for its excitement and its surprises. We loved CAN and HKIS for its warmth, the flexibility of its members and staff, and their combined goals to do everything well. In His Name, Rev. Hubert Temme New Port Richey, Florida, USA 1991-1996

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n The Students Students have an elected student government and representation on various committees. They have a say in their own education.

Richard W. Mueller, Head of School, emphasized in an interview for this book that HKIS “puts student learning at the center of all we do and offers excellent, liberal arts education, which is broad and deep. There is no stereotypical HKIS graduate. We want them to think for themselves, learn how to question, learn how to analyze and reason, speak well, write well.”

HKIS cheerleaders from the 1980s.

HKIS students range from four-year old pre-schoolers in their first solo journey outside the home, to teenagers, young adults, on the cusp of heading out into the world, via university. A full 14 years at HKIS for some, a semester or two for others, but all are part of the HKIS family. More than that, they are the center of that family’s attention. It is for students’ well-being and education that HKIS was founded. They are always in mind when meetings are held – from Board level to one-on-one, parentteacher conferences. That started the ball rolling four decades ago – American parents, mostly business people and diplomats in those early days, wanted an American-style education for their children.

Upper Primary students on the way to school. Below: High School Badminton club members, 2003.

Today, parents serve on the HKIS Board and on all committees. Students have an elected student government and representation on various committees. They have a say in their own education. It has already been noted how computer science students assisted in creating the networks (from Bulletin Boards to MyDragonnet) that many in the HKIS community now take for granted. Schooling is more than going to class – learning takes place on the sports field, in the swimming pool, on field trips in Hong Kong and abroad, during charity work on Saturday, on stage in a play or participating in a band or orchestra, or debating colleagues in the “Model United Nations”.

At the same time, Mueller talks about the “human face” of HKIS being “central in everything that we are doing…There is nothing inconsistent with having high standards, and being a school that is a Christian school that cares about broad questions of religion and spirituality, and ethical and moral issues.” From various alumni comments, it is clear that these goals have turned out very well-educated and wellrounded individuals, of whom HKIS can be very proud. Students of today concur.

Christopher Cheong 16, Grade 10 “HKIS is different because it has good ethnic diversity. Interim is a part of the curriculum that is not seen in many other schools. The school promotes getting to know others who haven’t had the same experiences as you, and learning about different cultures. I went to a private school in the U.S., and I have also talked to family and local teenagers about the differences between the schools. Many have said that this school has been harder academically than the previous schools they attended, and that it offers more academic choices. Interim has been a very positive experience, I went to Australia for freshmen year and helped out at an orphanage in China this year. I have gotten to know people in the school that I otherwise would have never spoken to. I haven’t really had any negative experiences that relate to the actual school itself. I definitely recognized the ‘difference’ when I first came to the school (in 4th grade). It was very different from my previous school.”

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Post, 1967

Source: South

China Morning

Post, 1967

Source: South

China Morning

BEYOND ACADEMICS

Matchmaker, was performed on November 29 and 30 that same year. Current High School Drama Teacher Doug Baker, who has put on his fair share of shows dating back to his time in High School, describes his students as “overall continually smart, challenging, funny, caring and stimulating to work with.” Quite a kudo from a teacher who has also taught English and American Studies over the years.

Current High School Drama Teacher Doug Baker… describes his students as “overall continually smart, challenging, funny, caring and stimulating to work with.” Source: Hong Kong Standard, 1968

The earliest clipping about an HKIS activity dates from December 20, 1967. That brief SCMP story talks about “last night’s” performance of Christmas International, a presentation, “written, designed and performed by 200 school children.” The review went on to say, “narrators and carol singers took part in turn in the performance which told the Christmas story as it began in the East and moved through Europe, on to the New World and then the Far East. Brilliant costumes worn by actors miming traditional scenes and a tableaux (with) background music by school musicians added to the seasonal atmosphere. Giving authenticity to the international theme was the use of different voices of people of different nationalities.” Not to be outdone, the 365 primary school students presented a two-part program the following night. This pair of inaugural Christmas events set the stage for HKIS’ annual Christmas events, and they are still among the most popular activities on the school calendar. The following year, 1968, was full of non-academic activities, to judge from the newspaper articles. In March, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town was performed, at about the same time 60 third-graders visited Aberdeen Police Station. Wilder must have been a hit or perhaps a favorite of the director, Mr. F. Eshback (who was also the advisor to the HKIS Drama Club which produced the play), because Wilder’s play, The

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“I always thought the headmaster’s life would be a pretty easy one, but I have been so busy all day checking on teachers and students and hearing complaints… I’m quite glad the day is finished.”

In April, to coincide with Human Rights Week (April 21-28), the first Model U.N. Assembly took place, inaugurating an event which sometimes gets very heated, that is still continued annually. That year, so long ago, 95 countries were represented by 129 students, which included some from St. Stephen Boys College in Stanley. The U.S. Consul-General, Edwin Martin, attended, but there is no report how he handled, or defended, one of the key debates: “Should the People’s Republic of China be admitted to the U.N.?” Apartheid in South Africa was also discussed. Many nationalities had a chance to sing, complete with costumes, at the end, which naturally evolved into an international food fest, thanks to the hardcooking moms.

Sports have been the traditional way for students to excel outside the classroom and HKIS is no exception. Back in August 1968, then athletic director Ed Brackman described the fledgling athletic program in the Lutheran Layman as, “a bit different in Hong Kong….Although the school has probably the best gym in Hong Kong, there is no athletic field and the athletes must use the beach or travel two miles by bus to a high school field. There’s no seasonal sports here either. Rather two or three sports go all year round which meant that with a high school enrolment of less than 200, many boys doubled on two teams. Basketball took two nights a week, track two nights and softball one. Some sports end in mid-March so students can prepare for big exams.” Athletics, and the HKIS athletic facilities, have improved greatly, on both campuses, since that article was written.

Source: Junt

o, 1970

A mock U.N. General Assembly was held on April 25 and 26, 1968. Mr. Edwin Martin, U.S. Consul-General, opens the Assembly.

Morning Po uth China Source: So

The “headmaster” that day, four decades ago, was 18-year-old Peter Fishel ’68, who declared to a SCM Post reporter that he did not want the job. “I had no idea it was such hard work,” he said. “All the running around to keep check on people really wore me out. I always thought the headmaster’s life would be pretty easy one, but I have been so busy all day checking on teachers and students and hearing complaints…I’m quite glad the day is finished.”

st, 1969

Two more April events were of interest to Hong Kong’s newspapers: a Popfol (a pop-folk music festival), and the traditional day when 30 Grade 12 students took over the running of HKIS, becoming the head of school and teachers, if only for a day.

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Source: The China Mail, 1969

Source: Junto,

1971

BEYOND ACADEMICS

Anne Christian ‘71 (left) clears hurdles in the girls’ “A” Grade 80 meters event at the Inter-Schools’ Athletics Championship in March 1969.

An SCMP headline on March 14, 1968 sums everything up: “Athletes of new school serve a warning.” And that’s pretty much what it has been like these past decades, with HKIS taking more than its share of medals in inter-school competitions.

Source: Hong Kon

g Standard, 196

8

Jean Kirk and her horse, Hyperion, at the first-ever horse show in Hong Kong, held on the first weekend of October, 1971.

Probably the first HKIS student to bring athletic honors to the school, according to the Hong Kong Standard of January 7, 1968, was 20-year old Ronnie Lau Chung ’68 who won his first tennis title, the South China Boys Singles, on January 6. By February 1968, HKIS was participating in Hong Kong’s Festival of Sport and a photo in the SCMP of February 26, 1968 shows Ann Christian ’71 in full stride. (Alas, no results are given.)

In the beginning, it was mostly HKIS’ nascent track team that brought home gold and silver. Brackman proudly details the medal tally at Hong Kong School Sports Association crosscountry competitions (in February 1968) in the Layman: “Alex Koperberg ’70 won A Division (3½ miles) with team-mate David Christian ’69 who won B Division (2¾ miles).”

Photos and stories of HKIS’ athletic prowess in Hong Kong sporting events appeared on the weekend of September 28-29, 1968, as Hong Kong’s four English-language papers detailed the 1968-69 Amateur Athletic Association season. Koperberg was singled out in the China Mail (September 28) as being close to the 800-meter junior record, while that same day’s Hong Kong

Standard mentioned Koperberg in the same vein along with Ann Christian and Jody Saunders ’72. The September 29 edition of the now defunct Sunday Star showed Saunders being pipped in the 80 meter dash, but mentioned she won the 150 meter event. Koperberg was running against a 27-year-old Swiss, the holder of several Colony records, and a Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) runner who was stationed in Hong Kong. The HKIS girls fought back. On November 17, 1968, the Sunday Post-Herald announced the Hong Kong School Girls track title was claimed by HKIS at HKU’s Novices’ Meeting. There is no doubt that HKIS’ (and Hong Kong’s) male track superstars were Koperberg and Christian, the latter setting a junior record for the 5,000 meter race at a Colony event, according to the Sunday Post-Herald of November 24, 1968. The winner, who set the Colony record, was a 36 year old British paratrooper stationed in Hong Kong. That’s a type of competition most high school students in the U.S. never encounter.

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Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (Hkssf)

Championships Won by Hong Kong International School, 1967-2006 YEAR 1967-1968 1968-1969 1969-1970 1970-1971 1971-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1975 1975-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979 1979-1980 1982-1983 1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987

SPORT Athletics Athletics Athletics Athletics Cross Country Athletics Cross Country Swimming Swimming Athletics Cross Country Cross Country Basketball Cross Country Cross Country Swimming Cross Country Cross Country Cross Country Cross Country Cross Country Athletics Athletics Athletics Athletics Swimming Athletics Basketball Swimming Cross Country Hockey Basketball Hockey Basketball Basketball Swimming Swimming Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country

GENDER Girls Girls Girls Girls Boys Girls Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Girls Girls Boys Girls Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Girls Boys

GRADE B C A B A C A A A A A A A A B B A Open A Open Open A A B C C A A A A Junior B Senior B C B C B C A B

DIVISION I I I I I I I I I I I I Tournament I I I I I I I I II II II II I II Tournament II II I III II III III I I II II II II

YEAR 1987-1988 1988-1989 1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993

SPORT Hockey Swimming Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country Hockey Hockey Swimming Basketball Cross Country Cross Country Hockey Tennis Tennis Athletics Basketball Basketball Cross Country Hockey Hockey Rugby Swimming Athletics Athletics Athletics Basketball Basketball Basketball Hockey Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country Cross Country Cross Country Basketball Basketball Basketball

GENDER Girls Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Girls Girls Girls Boys Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls

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GRADE Junior C A C A A Senior Senior A C A/B C Junior Open Open A A C C Senior Senior Open A A A B A B C Senior A B C Overall A B C Overall C Overall A

DIVISION Tournament II I I I II II III I I II II II II II III I I II II Tournament I I II II II I I I II I I I I I II II II I I I


BEYOND ACADEMICS

SPORT Soccer Soccer Soccer Hockey Hockey Hockey Rugby Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Soccer Soccer Basketball Basketball Basketball Soccer Soccer Soccer Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Soccer Basketball Tennis Athletics Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country Cross Country Rugby Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country Swimming Table Tennis

GENDER Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys

GRADE A B Overall A C C A B C Overall A A A Overall B Overall C A C Overall B C Overall A A C C Overall C A Open A Overall A Overall A/B A A C A C A/B B B

DIVISION III III III League League Tournament League I I I I Tournament III III I I I III III III I I I I Tournament I I I I I I II I I I II III I I I I II II III

YEAR 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007

SPORT Basketball Basketball Basketball Cross Country Basketball Cross Country Cross Country Swimming Swimming Swimming Basketball Basketball Table Tennis Badminton Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Rugby Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Hockey Tennis Badminton Cross Country Cross Country Soccer Hockey Hockey Swimming Bowling Soccer Swimming Swimming Swimming Soccer

GENDER Boys Boys Girls Girls Girls Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Girls Girls Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys

GRADE B Overall C A/B C A/B Overall A C Overall C Overall A A A C Overall A A A B C Overall Senior Open A A C C Junior Junior B Open A A B Overall B

DIVISION I I I II I II II II II II I I III II I I I I I I I I I III II II III III III League Tournament II I III II II II III

HKIS has won 164 championships in the HKSSF league Basketball: 62, Cross Country: 28, Swimming: 18, Athletics:16, Hockey: 15, Soccer: 12, Rugby: 4, Tennis: 4, Badminton: 2, Table Tennis: 2, Bowling: 1

Omega Bowl – HKIS won the Omega Bowl championship five times: 1991-92, 1992-93, 1996-97, 1997-98, and 2003-04.

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YEAR 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000

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hkis – celebrating forty years

This trip foreshadowed the dozens of trips over the decades to play against various international schools in Asia, and of course host countries’ teams in Hong Kong for home competitions.

By February 1969, Koperberg, HKIS’ “star middle and long-distance runner,” according to the SCM Post, broke the “5,000-meter record in the Junior Championships.” (Koperberg already had the 800 and 1,500 meter records in his pocket.) For HKIS, it was one-two, because hot on Koperberg’s heels was David Christian. Not to be outdone, Ann Christian, who broke the 800-meter record four days before this event, blasted home in the 400 to bring additional gold to Repulse Bay.

The sports program has now evolved to include such clubs as adventure rock climbing, sea kayaking, sailing, swimming and fitness themed “adventure learning,” according to High School Physical Education teacher Eric MacDonald. These sports exist side-by-side with the more traditional basketball, softball, baseball, basketball, track and rugby. Adventure learning goes international with treks in Nepal and ski trips in Japan.

Never wasting a travel opportunity, February 1969 saw the piggy-backing of an inter-school athletic meeting in Taiwan with student government talks. Students from Taipei American School, Morrison Academy (Taichung) and Wainwright Academy (Tainan), plus Bangkok and Seoul, gathered for the events.

It wasn’t long before HKIS – “the American school” in Hong Kong’s local vernacular – began to appear notably different. One can be amused at the puzzlement in schools and homes throughout Hong Kong with a March 1, 1968 story on HKIS’ first Sadie Hawkins Day. The Star showed Brenda Oliver ’69 attired appropriately in full L’il Abner costume, complete with pigtails, tackling and standing over

Parties, Politics, Arts

Source: Th

e Star, 1969

Source: Ho

ng Kong Sta

ndard, 1968

Source: Post Herald, 1969

The sports program has now evolved to include such clubs as adventure rock climbing, sea kayaking, sailing, swimming and fitness themed “adventure learning”…These sports exist side-by-side with the more traditional basketball, softball, baseball, basketball, track and rugby.

By the time the 4th annual Omega Athletic Meeting came around in December 1968, HKIS shared the champion title with South China Athletic Association and brought home the women’s Rose Bowl.

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track star Koperberg, who presumably she dragged to the Hillbilly Dinner that night, where the Yellow Railroad performed. What was the superstitious population of Hong Kong to make of the Black Friday party of September 14, 1968, given wide pictorial coverage (of a pair of students crowding under a ladder) in The Star?

Back in those bygone days, much of the musical energy was concentrated on Christmas concerts. December 15, 1968 saw a massive effort with three full choirs – the Elementary School, Junior High School and High School (the latter sub-divided into Girls and Mixed) – plus a band and singers. More than 100 students took part in this effort under direction of Werner von Behren (Elementary and

Source: Th

e Star, 1968

Source: The Star, 1968

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e Star, 1968

How right the students were in November 1968 at their first Mock U.S. Presidential election, when Richard M. Nixon won the Repulse Bay election with 169 votes to Hubert Humphrey’s 127 and George Wallace’s 18. This interest in American presidential politics spills over into the quadrennial election party,

Source: Th

Source: The Star, 1968

sponsored by the American Woman’s Association, American Chamber of Commerce and League of Women Voters for the entire community. HKIS students are always prevalent at these affairs, doing everything from helping out with mock ballots, to providing music or learning about U.S. elections.

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Source: Orientale, 1968

Music of course plays an important part in HKIS’ education and extracurricular program. Its jazz bands play for the huge election day gathering and the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Competition, to name but two public events. Senior choirs), Valerie Kasala (Junior High choir) and Mary Parr (the band). The professionalism of HKIS’ musical education was so evident that a choir from HKIS performed with the Hong Kong Concert Orchestra in their Christmas Promenade Concert. Von Behren’s professional expertise was so valued that he directed the 100-strong Hong Kong Oratorio Society Christmas concert that same year, in City Hall’s Concert Hall.

‘Popfol,’ a combination pop and folk music concert, was held in the gym in April 1968.

Music of course plays an important part in HKIS’ education and extra-curricular program. Its jazz bands play for the huge election day gathering and the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Competition, to name but two public events.

Student Press The SCMP of February 6, 1969 carried a story of a student, who preferred to remain anonymous, campaigning against the HKIS No Long Hair policy – presumably that policy was directed at boys not girls. He complained to the student newspaper Junto about Article 61 under the Regulations in the Student

Handbook. The pupil did point out that long hair is not as dangerous to health (a reference, presumably, to Article 61) as the cigarettes smoked by the faculty. The results of this fracas are lost to history. Student publications, which at times can annoy any school’s hierarchy, have nonetheless been important outlets for student voices. Junto is the official student publication, but there were others in competition, some underground. The earliest surviving ones appear to have been mimeographed. The Chronicle of September 29, 1969 touts a contest for the “most disliked teacher”, takes potshots at the food and the audibility of the speaker at the seventh period assembly. Its lead was the “arrest” of two sophomores by the “dreaded Student Court”, one for the crime of not having a school badge on his shirt and the other for eating a popsie outside the cafeteria. The first student “received a pardon” while the second “defiantly did not appear at her trial.” The story did not report whether she was found guilty. The paper did find a few lines to give an obituary to Mr. Fats, a popular hamster owned by a contributor.

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The paper continues its attack on the food (calling hamburgers “steak tartare”), the “boredom” of chapel and the “fink system” (the Student Court), while praising the humor of a biology teacher, “who brightens up her class with witty statements.” The Chronicle seems to have morphed into The New Horizon, which does not appear to have lasted very long. A copy of the first edition (Edition 1, Volume 1) of the Advocate, dated December 13, 1974, has stood the test of time and life in an office archive. The paper calls itself the HKIS Underground and its introduction sets the tone: “It’s time for the students of the International School to come out of their shells and to express what they feel needs improvement (sic) and what needs to stay. This is the proposed plan of the Advocate. If you don’t like

it buddy, start your own.” Though the cafeteria and the food seem to have been spared, the paper takes aim at the Student Lounge on the third floor: “What a laugh! What a joke!” More seriously, it took aim at the HKIS policy toward student smoking, which was banned of course. Calling the rules against student smoking in the Handbook outdated, it states “the administration knows very well that a large portion of high school students smoke at school. They know that these rules aren’t enforced to any significant extent. Several teachers don’t even take notice of students smoking on school property, not to mention ‘catching’ them. My hat is off to those teachers. It would be pointless to try and stop kids from smoking and they seem to realise it. It would probably cause discipline problems and result in half of the senior high being suspended or expelled.” How times have changed, but it still took some gumption to take on the administration over this particular subject. There’s no information as to what the reaction of the administration was to the smoking article or how long the Advocate lasted, but giving students – especially creative and intelligent students who are being taught how to think, who are treated

Being responsible enough to publish a school newspaper, above or below ground, is part of learning responsibility. Another area where this “responsibility” is traditionally imparted is through student government. It is clear that though some of the students at HKIS are at times rambunctious, even rebellious here and there, they are on the whole responsible, studious and above all caring individuals. The vast majority accept the bond of trust of which Head of School Richard W. Mueller is so proud. The “spiritual nature”, which Mueller has singled out as an important aspect of the HKIS community, shines through as a result of HKIS itself, its educational programs and future goals, the teachers and of course the students, the ultimate recipients of this cornucopia of educational blessings.

Source: So

uth China

Morning Po

Sampling the numerous dishes prepared by mothers of students which comprised an “international” luncheon on the second day of International Menu Program, 1968.

as individuals not rote-learning robots – the means to blow off steam and voice opinions is an important part of life at HKIS.

st, 1969

The Chronicle of October 13, 1969 took on the subject of racial discrimination in its lead, blasting a “senior white girl” who shoved a “senior Chinese girl…declaring ‘this is my spot.’” The paper condemns the altercation in a mature way, reflecting once again the uniqueness of HKIS students: “We can’t change human nature. It is up to the individual whether he or she wants to change. Trouble is, not too many people care enough to change. But there is always time for change. Now seems to be as good a time as any.”

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What the little ones say… Compiled over 28 years at HKIS by Mary Jane Elliott, Lower Primary Reception I   Tommy’s glass was filled to the brim with juice so I said: “It looks like your cup got too full.” “No,” he replied.  “My pitcher poured too fast.”   “Baby Jesus was born on Christmas.  He was very excited to be at his birthday party!”   A young boy’s family recently adopted a Chinese baby whose parents couldn’t afford to take care of her.  The following is the prayer the boy prayed from his heart: “Dear God, I hope all the people in China lose their teeth so the tooth fairy can give them lots of money and then they can keep their own kids. Amen.”   “If God is in heaven and God is in my heart, then heaven is in my heart.”   “A vegetarian is a person with brown skin who has a dot on her forehead.”   Sitting on the bus looking at the cemetery across from the Happy Valley Race Course a boy said: “That’s a really big Halloween!”

I told the children that on December 25th we were going to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  One child raised her hand and asked: “How can we do that?  He died last year.”   Two girls wanted to talk at the same time.  I asked the class how I should decide who should talk first. • One said: “Take turns.”  But immediately that was vetoed. • Another piped up with: “Ask the principal what to do.”  Everyone nodded NO! • But the winning response was: “Let’s cancel school!”  Everyone laughed and agreed.   “First came the dinosaurs.  Then came the humans.  What will come after that?”   “Children have to teach teachers what they don’t know.”   “Bad people must think that good people are bad.  That’s why good people sometimes get hurt.”   One little girl was eating with her mouth wide open.  I told her that it was polite to eat with your mouth shut. She agreed and said: “because if you eat with your mouth open, someone might snatch your food!” n

Former HKIS administrators, Louise Weber and Charlene Schneiter, with a Kindergarten class.

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Interim at the Taj Mahal.

Upper Primary camp.

Service Interim in India.

Middle School Chess Club.

Interim on the Silk Road.

Matilda Hospital Charity Race.

Visiting Scholar, Errol Lee, a magnet for students. Left: Upper Primary Adventure Learning classes in PE. Right: Hong Kong Dancers (HKIS dance troupe) perform at the Annual Fund Ball.

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A

S this book went to print, this final chapter featuring some of our anniversary celebrations during the first six months of our 40th year of educating and serving in Hong Kong was signed off. Our strong desire to distribute the first books in our 40th year means that later anniversary events are not included. But we hope the following pages leave you with a strong impression of a school and its community in celebration of the past and looking forward to the future.

A Year of Celebrations

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Our first celebration was on the first day of the school year – the All School Gathering.

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All School Gathering – Celebrating 40 years of educating students On Wednesday, August 9, 2006, employees assembled at the Tai Tam high school gym for the annual All School Gathering. One topic of conversation that day was how both the High and Middle Schools had grown two stories taller over the summer recess. This was the result of building work commencing at a rapid pace at the end of June on the first stage of the Master Facilities Plan.

Opening faculty/staff gathering in the HS gym for the 40th Anniversary Year. Head of School, Richard Mueller addresses the crowd.

The contractors’ momentum was fueled by the requirement that they finish the noisy jackhammering work before classes commenced in mid-August. They

met their deadline. Their success manifested itself that August morning in the gleaming steel frames outlining where new floors on the school buildings will stand. It seemed appropriate that those returning that first day were treated to a glimpse into the school’s future, while preparing to celebrate its past. Head of School Richard W. Mueller opened the Gathering by offering a perspective on HKIS relative to the World and the Universe. His presentation showed a picture of Earth, called the Pale Blue Dot, taken by the spacecraft Voyager 1 from four billion miles away. He quoted astronomer Carl Sagan’s description of the Earth pictured as “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

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Above: August faculty/staff picture in 40th Anniversary red/white/blue logo shirts. The picture was also used (with Christmas trees added) as our holiday greetings to HKIS families. Left: Faculty and staff honored for ten, fifteen or twenty years of service in August 2006.

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Next he showed a photo of Earth taken by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972. Mr. Mueller said he liked this photo because it shows Earth as a whole, and one can dream of a peaceful, unified Earth. “Now, with the help of Google Earth, let’s take a look at some photos closer to home, as we zoom in on Asia, Hong Kong, and HKIS at Tai Tam. That’s our campus and the gymnasium where we are meeting right now. “The next picture is of our students, and now our newly designed 40th anniversary logo,” he said.

Amy Lai with Head of School, Richard Mueller, receives her award for twenty-five years of service.

those of us here today. We are all in this together,” said Mr. Mueller. The All School Gathering marked the start of the HKIS 40th year and was the first of many planned celebrations. Following the gathering, faculty and staff made their way to the Middle School Amphitheater where each collected a polo shirt embossed with the 40th Anniversary logo designed by alumna, Linne Tsu ’96. An all-faculty and -staff group photo followed this on the Amphitheater bleachers before lunch.

This section of the presentation served to remind faculty and staff that everything they do at HKIS is in the context of a larger world, a world where we take care of one another, of the Earth and ourselves, and a world where we teach our students the values and skills to make this a better world. “That’s our job,

Jim Handrich addresses the All-School Gathering “It’s most appropriate as everyone returns today that we kick off our celebration of our 40th Anniversary by honoring faculty and staff…

always with the people – teachers, admin and staff who have led and built this place over the past 40 years...

“…40 is a very Biblical number: 40 days of rain for the flood; 40 years wandering in the wilderness with the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt; 40 days of temptation in the desert for Jesus. All of these ‘40’s’ were difficult challenges, but each also signaled a new beginning. After the flood came the rainbow and with it God’s promise; the children of Israel entered the Promised Land after their 40 years of wandering; Jesus began his public ministry of teaching and healing after his 40 days of temptation in the desert. I’m sure there were times we can all realize during the 40 years of HKIS that there were temptations, confusion and wandering and probably even tears of rain. At the same time, there have been rainbows, new beginnings, and so many blessings HKIS has experienced, particularly

“…We celebrate each one of you currently on our faculty and staff and those good colleagues from our past who have served before us and with us. We’ve invited back today some of those names from the past who live here in Hong Kong and are part of our history to join with us and to be symbolic of the many others from our history who couldn’t be here today... “…We recognize that we ‘stand on the shoulders’ of those who have served at HKIS before us, to help this school be where it is today. I want to introduce and welcome back our former colleagues who have come back to join us today. Hopefully you’ll get time to reconnect with them and hear about HKIS during their years…”

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A YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS

Mrs. Lydia Kho, former HS faculty member and designer of the “Anniversary Dragon” receives the first medallion to honor all former faculty who led HKIS during these 40 years.

At the All School Gathering, Lydia Kho and her family were thanked for countless hours of work over the summer producing HKIS’ Anniversary Dragon. The Dragon is an artwork containing pictures of people and events from HKIS’ history. The dragon is being continually updated with pictures of anniversary events as they are celebrated throughout our 40th year. Upper Primary teaching assistant Tom Woo helped with the artistic design. As a token of our appreciation, Lydia was presented with the first 40th Anniversary Medallion. Overleaf is a list of 40th Anniversary Medallion recipients up until this book went to print.

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40th Anniversary Medallion Recipients (Up until April 21, 2007) HKIS parents Bill and Jacque Connor for their generous support of student learning through the Annual Fund The Fullerton family, at Tai Tam Tens Rugby Tournament, in recognition of their continuous support of the tournament through the Fullerton Cup. Pastor Dale Koehneke, at Education Sunday, for his years of service to school and Parish.

Christina Tung, at the Christmas Assembly, for building the HKIS Annual Fund program.

Assembly, in recognition as the two longest serving members on HKIS’ staff. Faye has served the school for 40 years and Joseph for 38 years. Bijoy Goswami ’91, Senate President, to thank and honor all HKIS student leaders. Andrew Chworowsky ’81, for his contributions to drama at HKIS and continued interest and support of the theater in Hong Kong. Peter Fishel ’68, at the Christmas Assembly, as a member of HKIS’ first graduating class and in honor of all alumni.

Dr. Carl Schalk, at the International Choral and Strings Festival Concert, for composing the HKIS 40th Anniversary anthem.

Melanie Blandon and Leslie Pilcher to thank and honor all parent volunteers at HKIS.

Rev. Mitri Raheb, from Bethlehem, Palestine, HKIS’ Visiting Scholar in November, for his love and passion for peace and justice.

Faye Butcher and Joseph Kung, at the All-School Chinese New Year

Bijoy Goswami ’91 was invited back to HKIS in September to explain how in the modern-age we are missing the human touch in our organizations. A packed library listened as Bijoy explained his success in life and answered questions from the audience.

Sally, Malcom, David ’94 and Josh ’96 Begbie for their dedication and commitment to service through Crossroads International.

Linne Tsu ’96, at the Christmas Assembly, for designing the 40th Anniversary logo.

Lydia Kho, at the All School Assembly, on behalf of former faculty, and for her volunteer work in producing the HKIS 40th Anniversary Dragon.

Celebrating Student Leadership

St. Mary’s International School (Japan), at the 37th Holiday Basketball Tournament, for participating in the tournament in each of the past 37 years. Loyal competitors make good tournaments.

Bijoy is the co-founder and CEO of Aviri, a company that aims to bring people-centered innovation to entrepreneurs and organizations. He was HKIS Senate President 199091. His presentation helped HKIS celebrate 40 years of exceptional student leadership.

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Education Sunday – Celebrating 40 years of service together at the Church of All Nations Education Sunday at the Church of All Nations (CAN) in September brought a large number of educators together to pledge support for our students and their education, the Board of Managers, and the Head of School. Education Sunday is nearly as old as the school itself. In his sermon, Pastor Dale Koehneke recalled that it was exactly 39 years ago to the day (Sept 10, 1967) that Pastor Karl Boehmke moved his congregation from its temporary home at the Repulse Bay Hotel to the newly built CAN building, located at today’s Upper Primary school. However, that day of worship was held in the library, because Tropical Storm Kate delayed the completion of the chapel until October. We do not know if the tradition of Education Sunday started that year in the school library or the next year in the chapel. But for most of the past 40 years, Education Sunday has marked the formal start to the school year in the context of worship.

Some of the faculty at the Education Sunday reception following the worship service.

Dr. Loretta Giorcelli – Celebrating our history of serving special needs students On September 26, the Annual Fund presented Dr. Loretta Giorcelli, who discussed how parents can create a culture of non-indulgence and resilience in children and teenagers. Parents and teachers who attended the presentation came away with renewed energy to meet the challenges of raising and educating young people today.

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International Choral & Strings Festival Concert The 40th Anniversary International Choral & Strings Festival Concert was held on September 25 at City Hall, Hong Kong. The evening was the culmination of many hours of rehearsals, and brought together students of the Annual Fund Strings Program to perform alongside HKIS’ choral singers. The concert featured student musicians from HKIS, the American School in Japan, American International School in Guangzhou, Taipei American School, and the International Christian School. The highlight of the evening was the world premier of Carl Schalk’s Five Anthems from Exodus. The anthem was composed in honor of HKIS’ 40th Anniversary.

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A YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS

Guest orchestra director, Dr. Thomas Lowenheim, from the University of Indiana, conducting the Strings.

Carl Schalk receiving the 40th Anniversary Medallion from Head of School, Richard Mueller.

Guest choral director, Dr. Christopher Cock, from Valparaiso University, conducting Carl Schalk’s 40th Anniversary Anthem.

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Charles W. Dull Visiting Scholar Series: Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb In November, the Annual Fund Charles W. Dull Visiting Scholar Series welcomed Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb. Born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb is the General Director of the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB) and the founder of Dar al-Kalima School and Academy in Bethlehem, Palestine. His vision and leadership have earned him acclaim at both local and international levels.

Tai Tam Tens Rugby Tournament – Celebrating 40 years of sporting excellence

His thought-provoking presentation was entitled “Building Bridges: Stories from Bethlehem”, after which he joined a panel discussion with Imam Arshad from the Kowloon Mosque; Rabbi David Kopstein, United Jewish Center; and Mr. Marty Schmidt, HKIS High School Faculty.

The 14th annual Tai Tam Tens Rugby Tournament was held on the second Saturday of November. Ten teams, including three from overseas international schools, took part in the tournament for a day of keen competition for the Fullerton Cup.

37th Annual Basketball Tournament

The Fullerton Cup was named in the memory of Jody Fullerton ’92 who was killed on New Year’s Eve 1993 in Lan Kwai Fong. Jody was a recognized member of the Dragons rugby team. Each year since his death, a member of the Fullerton family has returned to HKIS to personally award the Fullerton Cup to the winning team. This 40th anniversary school year, the entire Fullerton family returned from London to HKIS to present the cup to the winner, the Beijing American School.

In the last week of November, the 37th Annual Holiday Tournament provided an excellent weekend of competition. Aside from the on-court action, there was an opportunity to recognize former coaches and players who have contributed to basketball excellence at HKIS.

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Christmas Assembly, Alumni Homecoming, and Flyover The school-wide Christmas Assembly, Alumni Homecoming, and Flyover and Aerial Photograph to celebrate our 40th Anniversary marked the last day of school in 2006 on 20 December. For the photo, which adorns the front cover of this book, some 3,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents assembled on the Tai Tam field to form the shape and colors of our 40th anniversary logo.

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Chinese New Year Assembly The Parent Faculty Organization (PFO), in collaboration with the HKIS Chinese Studies program, presented the 40th Anniversary Chinese New Year (CNY) Celebration Assembly on 9 February. Each division performed traditional New Year songs, dances and skits. To add to the fun, this year the PFO sponsored traditional Chinese entertainment, including an acrobatic performance and a Chinese face-changing artist. The assembly proved to be an excellent opportunity for the entire community to get into the CNY spirit. Once again, as it has near-on 40 years, the occasion provided HKIS and its community with an opportunity to celebrate our closeness to and appreciation for Chinese culture.

40th Anniversary Committee A special thanks to the members of our 40th Anniversary Planning Committee, chaired by Associate Head of School Jim Handrich. Collectively and individually they have spent many hours organizing the celebrations that have made this year most special for our school. The Committee members are: Chair Jim Handrich Associate Head of School Members Richard Mueller Head of School Melanie Blandon PFO President Juana Cheung Upper Primary School Sylvia Evans Acting Director OIA/Alumni Relations Manager Mary Ewing Admission Office Tammy Hui/Linda Chan Lower Primary School Lydia Kho Former Faculty Kenneth Koo ’79 Alumnus and Parent Erica Li ’79 Alumna and Parent Karen Li Public Relations Manager Dennis Oetting Middle School Mary Lou Thompson Parent of Alumni/Dragon Shop Clara Wong High School

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n Early Days

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n Leadership

Carole and Bill Boyd

Robert E. Christian, Headmaster 1966-67.

Lester H. Zimmerman, Elementary School Principal 1968.

Werner Von Behren, Music and Religion teacher 1968.

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Left: Earl Westwick enjoys a performance with Middle School students.

Janet Taylor.

Jan Westrick and Zella Talbot.

Carole Boyd.

Allan Fedderson, Middle School Principal in a “white shirt” no less!

Shelly Suzuki.

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Bill Mahlke, English teacher.

Dennis Morrow, High School Principal – Is this a HS Principal costume?

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n Leadership

High School Principal, Arnie Holtberg on the move to Tai Tam. Athletic Directors over the years – Mary Duncan Laird, Bill Driskill, Fritz Voeltz and Mike Baker.

Elementary Administration Rosie Wakefield, Steve Gustin and Chorlene Schneiter. Right: World’s Fair – “Soak the Sucker.”

Board members Frank Martin and Rick Johanneson at Rick’s 40th birthday.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Elementary Administration 1980s on Book Character Day.

Grade 2 teachers Pauline Ostheller, Judith Mould and David Chaveriet.

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Elementary Administration in the 1990s – Rosie Barrett, Tim Messick and Jan Hall. Admission Directors over the years – Caroline Tuchardt, Denita Connor, Kathy Messick and Vicky Seehafer.

HS Administration 1990s – Jim Handrich and Ruth Letcher.

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n Leadership

Doris and David Rittmann.

1990s’ Business Administrator Garry Rasmussen with his wife Joyce.

High School Principal Arnold Holtberg and family.

Chuck and Joanne Dull.

Board Member Jim Robinson with Head of School Bill Wehrenberg.

Administrative Council members (from right) Bruce Kelsh (UP Principal), Wil Chan (MS Principal), Madeleine Heidi (LP Principal) with past Head of School Chuck Dull at the annual Chinese New Year party

Carol Eichert, then U.S. Consul General Richard Mueller and Victor Yeung ’97.

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Right: High School Principal Denny Morrow and family. Below: Earl Westrick and Terry Thomas, former Board Chair (in retirement in Sun River, Oregon) with Richard and Claire Mueller and Jim Handrich.

Lou Weber, Ruth Chang and Mike Weber – Elementary School leaders.

Middle School Principal Bob Welch and Elementary School Principal Mary Hoff.

Middle School Principal Phil Woodall and family.

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n Leadership

Greg Sawyer, High School Principal 2004-06.

Lower Primary Adminitration 2006-07 – Lori May, Madeleine Heide and Bruce Ueland. Below: Upper Primary Administration 2006-07 – John Eric Advento, Bruce Kelsh and Gary Woodford.

Glen Gerber, Middle School Principal.

High School Administration 2006-07 – Courtney Lowe, Mary Kay Hoffman (seated, front), Sue Harvey and Pat Klekamp. Below: High School Associate Principal Bert Lobe and Marie Peters, Board Chair.

Chris Reimer.

Terry Anderson.

Lucy Wong.

Laura Cowan and Adrian Price chaperoning the prom.

Zita Thompson.

Mrs. Chan retires.

Nanette Carreon.

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End of Year Toast with David Rittmann, Philip Ng, Carol Thomas, Ruth Ann Wong. Left: Linda Dunoye and Deirdre Lam. Right: Middle School Greek and Roman Day with Dennis Wetjen, Peter Ogden, Jeanette Black, Barbara Johnson.

Donna Oetting, Gayle Timken and Deninis Oetting.

Doris and Otto Wirgau.

Paul Kan, Josephus Kwan and staff.

David Elliott, Bill Kuhn, Kris Kuhn and Doug Baker performing at the Chinese New Year party.

The Lambert family and Daphne Chan

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n Interim

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n Annual Celebration Ball

The Ball is usually held in May and serves to build school spirit and raise funds for students through the Annual Fund.

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n Students – Activities and Achievements

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Junto 19

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n News, Views and More

Dow got special mention in the HKIS Annual Report 1966-67.

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n News, Views and More

Right: A most memorable senior prank.

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n Fashion and Trends

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n Sports

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Junto 1975

n Food and Fun

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n Technology

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n Over the Years Parent Handbook

1979-80

Student Handb

Student

Handboo

k 1993-9

ook 2006-07

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HKIS 35th Birthday card signed by faculty and alumni.

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n Class of ’07

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hkis – celebrating forty years

Milestones 1949 – First Lutheran schools established in Hong Kong. 1959 – Concordia Kowloon, the Lutheran High School, arouses the attention of officials in the Education Department when it sends its entire first graduating class in 1959, all 13 of them, to sit the government’s school leaving exam. All pass. March 4, 1962 – Reverend Lenard Galster, a Lutheran missionary in Hong Kong, conducts the first English-language Lutheran Church service, with 18 worshippers, at the now defunct, but then very elegant, Repulse Bay Hotel. 1962-1965 – Dr. Melvin Kieschnick, a Lutheran missionary serving as the Supervisor of the Lutheran Schools in Hong Kong [and Co-ordinator of Education for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (Hong Kong)], Reverend Lenard Galster and Joseph H. Mache, Jr., a Lutheran businessman who was the Manager, Far East of Rayonier Inc, see the need for American-type education, grasping the vision of such a school sponsored by the Lutheran Church.

September 8, 1965 – The Director of Education, W.D. Gregg, rejects the change.

renovated apartment building at 43 Chung Hom Kok Road, on the south side of Hong Kong Island.

March 1966 – The Board of Missions extended a “call” to Robert E. Christian, a Lutheran teacher, principal and headmaster in the Our Saviour Lutheran School in the Bronx, New York City, to serve as the first headmaster.

July 1967 – A large, color brochure published in advance of its September opening, adds the tag line “The American School in Hong Kong”.

July 1964 – A survey is conducted of 1,100 (mostly) Americans on whether an American school is wanted.

April 28, 1966 – The groundbreaking ceremony in Repulse Bay is held.

February 25, 1965 – The Hong Kong Education Department approves a land grant of 43,000 square feet of land in Repulse Bay and an interest free loan of HK$1,150,000.

April 30, 1966 – R.W. Lundeen, Dow Chemical International’s General Manager for the Pacific Area writes of the immediate need for a high school. His innovative interim solution until the new school opens is to fund a provisional school.

March 1965 – The Board of Missions of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod gives its blessing to the HKIS project, authorizing a grant of HK$1,456,875 and loans of HK$1,748,246. August 1965 – Dr. Melvin Kieschnick tries to get the Hong Kong Government to provide a capital subsidy of HK$1,150,000 and an interest-free loan of HK$460,000, instead of an interest-free loan of HK$1,150,000.

May-June 1966 – The Board of Management agrees that HKIS should establish “a provisional elementary school program for the 1966/67 school year” in a leased apartment building until the new school is built. August 8, 1966 – The first headmaster, Robert E. Christian arrives. September 19, 1966 – HKIS opens its doors to 170 students, 37 of whom were in Grades 7-11, in a

1968 – Another HKIS brochure adds, “Education in the American Tradition” to the existing tagline. September 14, 1967 – HKIS opens a K-12 school in Repulse Bay, with 630 students. February 22, 1968 – HKIS’ new building dedicated. June 1968 – First HKIS graduating class. Fall 1969 – Mothers’ Club, the forerunner of the Parent Faculty Organization, is launched by Mrs. June T. Obayashi and Mrs. Madeleine Tang as a way to “utilize the services of mothers during the day and at the same time generate their interest and involvement in the school.” 1969 – Mothers’ Club assisted at the East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools conference in Hong Kong.

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1970 – HKIS undergoes its first Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Self-Study. Mothers’ Club organises its first fun fair and several fora to help parents understand the process of learning at school. 1971 – HKIS is accredited by WASC. “Moving a Mountain” theme adopted for HKIS’ first expansion, new Elementary School in Repulse Bay. April 24, 1974 – Hong Kong International School Association Ltd. was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee to raise funds for HKIS. May 4, 1972 – First recorded fund-raising effort of the Mothers’ Club raises HK$11,000 towards the purchase of an intercom system. November 1, 1974 – First debentures with a face value of HK$24,000 issued by the HKIS Association to raise funds for the new Elementary School and the refurbishment of the original building into a combined Junior and Senior High School.

December 19, 1984 – “An Agreement (called the Joint Declaration) between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Future of Hong Kong is signed,” returning sovereignty to China at midnight, June 30, 1997.

October 29, 1985 – The Expansion Communications Committee accepts the Hong Kong Government’s land grant, a 140,000-square foot site in the Red Hill area of Tai Tam. It was not the preferred site, but the best “considering the choices government allowed.”

Mid-1985 – The Board of Managers reaffirms the vision and philosophy of HKIS as an international school after an unexpected push by “some in the community…(to)…save on (building) costs by restricting admission to Americans.” About the same time, the Board also decides to extend the school’s Chinese language program, then Grades 6-12, to include primary school, beginning (in) first grade.”

1986 – The Alumni Program begins in the External Affairs Department. December Alumni Receptions begin.

September 15, 1985 – The demographic profile of HKIS includes 941 Americans, 153 Host (U.K. and Hong Kong) and 406 third country nationals for a total of 1,500 students.

Fall 1986 – from this term, “every student most be covered by a HK$70,000 debenture or pay an annual capital levy of HK$8,000 which will continue until construction costs are met and debentures redeemed. The Board intends to sell 800-900 debentures.” November 12, 1986 – The groundbreaking ceremony for the new high school in Tai Tam takes place.

October  29, 1975 – New Elementary School is dedicated.  The start of the 1975/76 school year sees 1,223 students enrolled. 1982 – Another WASC Self-Study Program is undertaken. 1982 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visits Beijing, and subsequently Hong Kong, and the clock starts ticking off the years to the 1997 handover when the 99-year Treaty of Peking expires. April 20, 1984 – Sir Geoffrey Howe, Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, spoke in Hong Kong following a visit to Beijing “on the approach of Her Majesty’s Government to the negotiations”. He stated that “an agreement on the future of Hong Kong must be acceptable to the people of Hong Kong as well as to Parliament” and “that the people of Hong Kong would need to have time to express their views on the agreement, before it was debated by Parliament.” October 1984 – HKIS Alumni Association incorporated.

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Milestones

continued

Spring 1987 – First Alumni News published May 19, 1987 – The new Parent Faculty Organization, the successor to the original Mother’s Club, holds its first AGM, having been registered as a Social Service Organization earlier in the year. July 1987 – The Alumni Board instituted events like wine-tastings and dinners. August 30, 1988 – The new high school at Tai Tam opens for its first term. January 9, 1989 – The new, HK$85.8 million High School is dedicated. 1989 – The Hong Kong Institute of Architects awards a Certificate of Merit for the design of the new High School in Tai Tam. 1990 – The American Association of School Administrators recognizes the worth of the High School’s design by awarding it a 1990 Citation Award and displaying a model at its exhibition of school architecture in San Francisco. Early 1990s – A concise mission statement appears in HKIS publications. June 1991 – HKIS publishes its latest Expansion Plans, which include a new Middle School for 675 students at Tai Tam with the current middle school in Repulse Bay converted to an elementary School. Total student population will be increased to 2,900, from 2,100.

1992 – The Board of Managers completes a year-long effort to look at HKIS’ future, identifying key issues facing the school and arguing through appropriate initiatives, resulting in a set of major strategic directions that will chart HKIS’ development through the decade. January 19, 1994 – The Middle School is topped out. November 4, 1994 – The Middle School is dedicated with the theme “A 21st Century Home for the Mind”. 1994 – A WASC Self-Study to “coordinate staff development activities consistent with major school directions.” First Alumni Directory published. 1994-1995 – The 1994 Self-Study is implemented. 1997-1997 – Administration affirms school moving in right direction. 1997 – WASC Mid-Term Visiting Committee Report 1997 is laudatory.

September 12, 1991 – The Early Childhood Center, in interim quarters courtesy of the Hong Kong Government, opens its doors to 150 students (aged 4-7) in the former Kennedy Junior School in Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, ending the waiting lists for elementary school.

1997 – The Alumni Association holds a five-day Reunion of the Century in this magic year.

December 12, 1991 – 711 debentures and upgrades sold to raise money for the HK$180 million Expansion Plan.

September 1997 – A three-day, Future Search Conference is held off campus to develop a strategic plan for HKIS’ future.

June 30, 1997 – At the stroke of midnight, the People’s Republic of China resumes sovereignty over Hong Kong after 1½ centuries of British rule.

1998 – A dedicated Alumni Office is opened in the Community and Resource Department (formerly the External Affairs Department) with activities coordinated by an Alumni Officer. Events included a contact directory, reunions, an essay contest and work began on a website. January 1998 – Future Search Conference II is held to study the draft strategic results, strategies and core values that came from the first conference. Spring 1998 – The Board of Managers approves the Mission Statement, Student Learning Results (SLRs) and seven strategies. It is also decided that because the Core Values are embedded in the Mission Statement and SLRs, they need not be listed as a separate document. 2000 – Another Self-Study by WASC, which submits a Visiting Committee Report, again very laudatory. 2000 – New Alumni Coordinator is appointed and the Alumni Board expands to 18, including both Hong Kong-based and overseas alumni, plus faculty and student representatives. The traditional board morphs into a modern e-Board. The annual Alumni Reception and basketball game event evolves into a U.S.-style college homecoming celebration, with more than a half-a-dozen events on the single day. Fall 2001 – Alumni Board proposes to raise funds for a history of HKIS. A Homecoming survey of seniors discovers the most popular word to describe

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the school experience is “family” with “friends” coming second. November 2002 – A Core Team of students, parents, faculty, administrators and board members meet for three days for the purpose of reviewing the strategic plan and developing strategies for the next phase of implementation. Subsequently, presentations are given to the Board of Managers, faculty and parent advisory groups in all four divisions, Parent Faculty Organization Board, Tai Tam Campus Community and Repulse Bay Campus Community.  December 2002 – The Astronomy Dome is built with funds donated by the Parent Faculty Organization. April 2003 – The Core Team meets again to examine the feedback and make revisions. No changes were made to the Mission Statement or SLRs; changes made to the Core Values and strategies. The Board reaffirms the Mission Statement and SLRs, and approves core values and strategies. March-April 2003 – HKIS goes virtual as the Hong Kong Government closes down the schools in response to the SARS epidemic. Summer 2003 – First edition of DragonTales, the new publication to be published twice yearly, which replaces the Alumni Newsletter and Alumni News. Spring 2004 – The Strategic Plan Accreditation Leadership Team (SPALT) is formed. 2005 – Alumni base now surpasses 5,000 world-wide with class agents representing every class. June 2006 – New classrooms are constructed on the sixth floor of the high school building. 2006 – Future plans for the Tai Tam campus, still in the process of development, include an Arts Centre and a Maths/Science Building. June 2007 – Alumni Association’s 40th Anniversary Reunion is held in Hong Kong.

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“In between the pages of history are the stories of many more boys and girls, young people, teachers and parents, affected by the Christian witness and program of HKIS. There are stories of joys and sorrow, of life and death, of development of programs of service to the community, and of the constant attempt to articulate and reach a Christian philosophy of education in this setting. God has been good, and His Presence has always been in evidence. At the same time, one is filled with awe at the challenge and the opportunity in becoming involved in the lives of so many persons, in their bodies, minds and souls. May the Lord continue to add His Blessings, and may the school continue to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit in showing the love of Christ and leading individuals to find their joy, their guide in life, and their eternal destiny in Him.” – Bob Christian, May 1, 1973

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HKIS History Book