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MISSION The International School of Kuala Lumpur provides an exceptional education that challenges each student to develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge and understanding to become a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen.

June 2013

Hornbill

June 2013 • Volume 17 • Number 3

End of the Year Celebrations! Goodbye to a Great Leader p. 3 Class of 2013 Graduation

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Circus Arts at Melawati

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MS / HS Dance Performance p.19 Amazing Malaysia Week and more. . .

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

Looking Ahead to a New ISKL By Gary Foulis, ISKL Board

At the Extraordinary General Meeting on April 11th, the ISKL Board presented plans for a new ISKL campus to the members of the ISKL Society. After many questions and much discussion, the Society members passed the Board’s motion granting the Board authority to continue and conclude the negotiations for the lease of land and buildings on a site in the Ampang Hilir area. As we are still negotiating contracts and completing a due diligence process, we are limited in what we can disclose at this point. That said, we are receiving positive feedback from the Government of Malaysia (a partner in the project) and other groups working to make this new campus a reality. Public announcements are possible over summer, and these should reinforce the forward movement of the project. Given the positive momentum, the Board awarded the architectural design contract to the international firm, HoK, who will work in partnership with local architects Veritas. After a full tender process, the Board concluded that these two partners had the expertise and experience needed to complete our complex project. Note that

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we did choose to enter into the design process before the final lease contract was completed to avoid delaying the entire project. While this decision carries a degree of financial risk, the Board decided that the risk of potential delays was greater. The architects were given a design brief, based on the school’s strategic plan and a detailed list of requirements for the new campus. They then used this brief as a basis for a series of design workshops run during the week of April 8th with different groups in the ISKL community, including the Board, Administration, department heads, faculty and parents. The goal of the workshops was to gather ideas and concerns from multiple constituents to inform the design. Those who attended the workshops will have noted the huge array of cards filled with ideas that quickly filled the choir room walls. From this work, the architects have generated a basic layout and design for the new campus. As intended, this design has generated another series of questions for the community. To resolve these questions, the architects returned to ISKL on May 31 to host another series of workshops over that weekend, again with a diverse group of community members. The consensus achieved in those workshops will help the architects to further refine the design. This iterative

process does not end there, however: we are expecting the architects to use the summer break to be creative, and then to come back to the community for further input in August. We hope to have some more detailed design views for the Annual General Meeting on September 10th. The project remains motivating, but carries a heavy workload. We are engaging additional consultants to help evaluate contracts and ensure the due diligence is done to a high standard. I would highlight that our current Project Manager, John Hollenbach, will be departing this summer; Liam Eaton has joined the ISKL team as a replacement to continue work on the design and implementation. We thank John for his experience, expertise and enormous efforts over the past two and a half years. He has provided fantastic support in getting us to the point where we have a project, a timeline and some early designs. A BIG thank you, and a warning to Liam ‌ he has big shoes to fill!


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ISKL's Annual Fund Update   In the 2012-2013 school year contributions to the ISKL Annual Fund supported a variety of areas: Scholarships, Community Service, Music, Technology, Green Initiatives, Theatre, and the Arts.   With the support of Parents, Corporations, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni, the ISKL Annual Fund was able to fund the following projects: • • • • • • •

Music Recording Studio (RM 60,000) - funded by Annual Fund and PTA Grant support IPADs for the Elementary Tech Team (RM12,800) Green Project - Waste Recycling (RM 32,000) NXT Mindstorm Robotics (RM25,000) Tables and Chairs at Melawati Canteen (RM 8,900) Theatre Stage Platform Set (RM 70,000) - funded by Annual Fund and Theatre Chinese Lion Dance Costumes (RM 8,000)

  In addition to the above mentioned projects, the ISKL Annual Fund raised money for Scholarships and Community Service Grants. Of the funding for community service grants, we supported three groups: Habitat for Humanity for their builds in Malaysia, Key Club for their work teaching English to children, and the Kids 4 Kids Club for their yearly party celebrating the children of the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur Pediatric Ward.   Thank you to all of our generous donors, including our corporate sponsors/ underwriters. We would like to extend special thanks to our lead donors, Exxon Mobil, for supporting Green Project and Community Service and Citibank for supporting our General Fund. The Citibank funds were utilized for finalizing the funding of several projects this year. In addition, we wish to thank our Ampang Society donors (RM 30,000 - RM 39,999), the ISKL Board of Trustees, and our 1965 Society donors (RM 10,000 - RM 19,999), Tan Sri and Puan Sri Law.   A full detailed listing of Annual Fund donors will be provided in the ISKL 20122013 Annual Report. The Report will be available in August. At that time it can also be found online at: http://www.iskl.edu.my/giving/2012-2013-donors/   Thank you once again to all the members of the ISKL Community who have helped to provide these wonderful opportunities for our students.

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

Goodbye to a Great Leader

By Valerie Scane, ISKL Board

  The School community will soon be saying a sad goodbye to our Head of School, Paul Chmelik, as he moves to the American Embassy School in Delhi after seven years of service at ISKL.   Paul has truly been the heart of ISKL, the exemplar of all that is great about

our school. He embodies the Schoolwide Learning Results (SLRs) like no other. He lives ethically: honesty and integrity are his hallmarks. He is an excellent collaborator, able to build on other’s strengths, smooth over their differences, and build consensus. His critical reasoning skills are excellent. His creativity in finding solutions grows from his willingness to consider any new idea, however off-the-wall; indeed, I always think Paul’s creativity is best shown by his humor, which often shows a whacky,

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sideways view of the world that can only come from a madly percolating brain.   Perhaps his two most defining strengths, though, are his ability to communicate and his enthusiasm for learning and personal growth. We have all watched Paul on stage or addressing a gathering in his role of Head of School, and know that he is an engaging, concise, amusing and confident speaker. However, truly great communicators are first and foremost great listeners, and Paul is world-class. In conversation he is warm, engaged and deeply respectful; he may not agree with you or grant your request, but you cannot help but walk away feeling valued and listened to. It is that warmth that gives him his almost folksy speaking style that in many ways sets the tone for ISKL: it’s all about care, connection and community.   Paul is also an enthusiastic student of the world and life. The Board has set many development goals for Paul over the years, and it is inspiring to see how he takes them on: willingly, persistently, determinedly, and generally successfully. His openness to learning stems from his humility: this is not a man who crows his success from the top of a hill while ignoring the mountain ranges behind him. Instead, Paul is

someone whose eyes light up because there are more mountains to climb, because there is more to see, do and experience. While he has lived around the world, he is never jaded and always eager to find a new adventure; equally, though, he seems to find joy in returning again and again to favorite spots. Perhaps this is the sign of a true learner: he has both the courage to venture into the new, and the patience and curiosity to delve deeply into the familiar.   If you have ever wondered about the importance of our Mission to students, you need only look to Paul as living proof of its value. Paul is the epitome of a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen. Because he embodies all that we value here at ISKL, he has been able to create for us living proof of our Vision: a harmonious environment where care follows closely behind, learning is stimulated, curiosity is sparked, vision is cultivated and action is inspired. For this, the Board and the ISKL community will be forever in your debt, Paul.   Terima Kasih dan selamat jalan.


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Farewell & Thank you!   The impeccable dress, the laconic smile, and the calm exterior are the things that will remain deeply ingrained in my memories of Paul Chmelik, departing head of ISKL. Known throughout the international circuit as ‘the’ consummate professional, Paul has led ISKL for seven very successful year overseeing change on many fronts. Paul, more than anyone I know, is a true ‘people person’, someone who is genuinely concerned for the well being of all - students, staff, parents and faculty alike. In many ways, Paul is a quiet shy person who often shuns the limelight, but his manner is characterized by sincerity, thoughtfulness, and a deep desire to make a difference to the lives of children. On more occasions than I dare to remember, he has begun his response to a question, “is it in the best interest of the kids?” “ How will it make it better for them?” This is the filter through which he shapes his decisions and this marks him as a true educator.   In his first headship, Paul faced significant challenges transitioning from his high school principal position at Singapore American School, to head of a large and well respected international school. He took to his new position with clarity of vision, self belief, strength and incredible perseverance, and resilience. He confronted these challenges in the manner of a life long learner by establishing clear goals and plans, exploring and sharing ideas with others, researching new trends, seeking out appropriate resources, and then reflecting on progress and achievements to shape future directions. As part of the administrative team I have had the privilege of working with Paul for the past seven years - we have worked side by side on so many large and small matters; navigated through sensitive and complex issues; travelled and recruited together; and shared many lighter and serious moments. In all that time, I have never seen Paul miss an opportunity to relieve the tension with a funny quip, or a well timed but good natured jibe at one of his colleagues. Beneath the polished exterior there lies a very funny man who always manages to keep things in perspective. He is without doubt one of the most unflappable people I have ever met and it is this quality that has certainly served him well in a position which carries enormous responsibilities. I'm sure there have been times where his indomitable patience and calm have been tested to the full, but one would never know it as an observer. His quest for the new site on which to build our new K-12 facility has met with considerable challenge and disappointment and Paul has continued to pursue this goal with enormous tenacity and belief. As his tenure draws to a close, I sincerely hope that he can hold this aloft as his crowning achievement, as it will be this act that will position ISKL to move into its next 50 years as a leading world-class centre of learning.   As we say farewell to Paul, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge his incredible contribution to this school, its programs, its people, and its future. He has led this school with dignity, consistency, sensitivity, and genuine care for all members of the community. I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the administration, faculty, and students, to congratulate him on his successes and achievements, and to wish him and Betsy every success in their next posting in New Delhi and reassure them that they will always be fondly remembered at ISKL. Good luck Paul and Betsy. - Grant Millard, HS Principal -

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

ISKL is Well Poised For a Successful Future

Paul Chmelik, Head of School

  This will be my last Hornbill article. In a few days I will leave Malaysia and ISKL and return to the United States for a few weeks before taking on my new duties as Director of the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. I leave knowing that ISKL is well poised for the future.   My personal journey with ISKL began in November 2005 when I accepted the position of ISKL’s Head of School beginning in July 2006. I accepted the position with enthusiasm as ISKL had a stellar reputation among international schools, and as a member of another IASAS school (SAS), I was familiar with a number of the ISKL faculty and had observed ISKL students on numerous occasions. I was consistently impressed with the pleasant manner of the students and the strong sense of community that generated from the school. In short, I was quickly sold on the idea of coming to ISKL and considered it a privilege to join the ISKL community.

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  I have not been disappointed. The ISKL student body has regularly shown up as pleasant, motivated and respectful, and the commitment to quality and community has proven to be strong. Importantly, the focus on individual students and the intense desire to improve were quickly evident.   I leave ISKL thankful for the opportunity to be part of this community for seven years and highly confident about the future of ISKL. This past school year was characterized by high enrollment (1672); significant campus improvements such as those to the Melawati Studio and Ampang’s Blue Top; highly positive feedback from the Parent Climate Survey and the CIS/WASC 5-Year Accreditation Visit Report; the hiring of Bob Busk as the new Melawati Principal for 2013-2014, and the smooth leadership transition to the new Head of School, Dr. Norma Hudson, a smooth transition that will be solidified this July.   Of major importance was the significant progress on the procurement of land for a new campus. If all goes well, and the Board and Administration now believe that will be the case, a lease for new land is imminent. There is reason to be truly excited about the new campus as every effort will be made to create a truly state-of-the-art facility that will enhance learning in every way. Frankly, I can’t wait to see this new beautiful campus, and I look forward to coming back to Malaysia to see it when it is completed.   Mainly, however, the quality of any school year is about people, and here ISKL came through big time. The principals are delighted with the performance of this year’s new hires, and equally delighted with the new faculty hires for this coming school year. These new educators represent I S K L’s o n - g o i n g commitment to hiring

truly excellent educators from around the world.   Our students came through for us, too, in so very many ways. They were hardworking, cooperative students on our major fieldtrips such as GAP, Malaysia Week and the Grade 5 Malacca Trip. They scored well on external examinations and performed with impressive talent and energy in a variety of extracurricular activities from dance to rugby and from service to Model United Nations. (Congratulations once again, Boys Rugby team, for your IASAS Gold!) They indicated interest and investment in our School-wide Learning Results of Think Creatively, Reason Critically, Communicate Effectively, Collaborate Constructively, Learn Enthusiastically, and Live Ethically, and our Seniors earned acceptances to dozens of excellent colleges and universities around the globe.   Extending my comments to incorporate the past seven years, I am very pleased to say that as we have grown quite dramatically in size, we have also provided much evidence of improvements in the key areas of people, place and program.   Some of you may not even remember that just a few years ago, ISKL overseas hired faculty were limited to a maximum of ten years of work at ISKL. For several years now the Immigration Office has reassured us that our requests for extensions will be honored – and that has proven to be the case. This has been but one way that we have strengthened the overall quality of ISKL personnel.   Our faculty and staff are stronger than ever and remain characterized by instructional knowledge, passion for their subject matter and care for each of their students. Our commitment to the environment has been hugely


strengthened and personified in the position of a full-time Sustainability and Service Coordinator. We also created a new Korean Liaison position that has served us well, and have added many Learning Resource teachers to strengthen our commitment to a broad range of students. We have also added curriculum personnel, who have ensured we keep our commitments to curricular and instructional best practices such as differentiation, balanced inquiry, collaboration, and common and formative assessment.   We have also been committed to improving the look and feel of Melawati and Ampang; almost every aspect of both campuses has undergone positive changes. Seven years ago there was no artificial turf field at Ampang or playground at Melawati. The Ampang Theatre needed major changes, as did the Melawati Studio. The campuses were not wirelessly connected and there were no Smart Boards. There was no

Melawati Community Room or newly re-furbished canteens and offices. The list could go on and on.   In terms of program, some major additions have been the addition of Chinese language to the Elementary School and Middle School and a muchenhanced Strings program for our Ampang campus students. The number of students in our IB Diploma program has grown dramatically. The High School experiential learning program (GAP), Middle School Student Led Conferences and 1 to 1 Laptops in the Middle School are additional examples of major changes.   Along the way, we greatly expanded our extracurricular offerings to Elementary and Middle School students. Communication-wise, PowerSchool and Panther Apps have revolutionized the electronic communication available to families. Outside of the immediate ISKL community, a new ISKL website has improved our look to the world.

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  Importantly, during these past seven years we have also honed and strengthened our Mission and Schoolwide Learning Results and have created a new and unique Vision for our Students. At the same time our Board and the Administrative Team have thoroughly reviewed and streamlined Board policies and Admin regulations that now represent best practice among international schools.   In brief, it has been seven years of rather dramatic improvement. On the cusp of leaving ISKL, I urge all faculty, staff, parents and students to value community and remain true to our foundational principles: our Mission, our SLRs and the Vision for Our Students. Faculty, in particular, please keep thinking “challenge and care.” You and they – make the difference. Doing so will ensure many years of exceptional education for ISKL students and their families. All best wishes to the entire ISKL community.

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

A Farewell Hug For Our Big "Teddy Bear" Principal   When you meet Anthony Barrington Harduar for the first time what strikes you is that you are in the presence of a man of great stature. As time goes by you learn that the biggest part of Tony is his heart, filled with an endless capacity to give. He is truly a Gentle Man.   When Tony arrived at ISKL, six years ago he said that if he was offered the job he would, “Take it in a heartbeat.” Fortunately for our community Tony was as good as his word and chose Melawati and Malaysia as his new adventure. Tony was an excellent match for the mission, vision and SLR’s of ISKL. He seeks to live by those ideals every day of his life.   The job of a Principal is to maximize learning outcomes for all students and Tony set about doing that by leading by example. Nobody worked longer hours or was more committed than Tony. He is an inspiring educational leader. Not all Tony’s contributions to the school are visible. However, a few that can be clearly seen are: the musical instrument hire program, the start of the Mandarin program, the upgrading of the library, the art frieze in the corridor walls and the “better than like schools” assessment results shown in the annual report. Tony would be the first to say that Faculty and Staff did those things and that is also true. Effective leaders have vision, they build capacity in others and influence the plans and budgets that make great things happen for kids. A colleague says, “Tony has had a tremendously positive impact on Melawati.”   Recently, someone asked, “What do you think Tony’s favorite day at school would be?” The answer is obvious. Tony would come to school early and greet the children from the buses, “Hi, how are you? I am so glad to see you.” Next he would head to the playground and play foursquare, shoot a few baskets, play soccer and take quiet time out to chat with kids as he sat on the swing or at a picnic table. At lunchtime he would circulate around the Canteen making hundreds of students feel important, visible and cared for. The close of the day would be story time. Tony is passionate about children learning to read and loving books. Tony would sit in a hushed Studio and perform a story in his warm, rich-toned voice and have every child hanging on the turn of the page. As students depart for the day Tony could be seen wriggling his little finger in a pinky wave or giving an encouraging hi-five. Tony deeply cares for kids and treasures his time with each and everyone one of them. No wonder so many of them love to hug their big, teddy bear of a Principal.   Tony knows that it takes a village to raise a child and that with community support kids get the best deal. With his friendly manner and commitment to hard work Tony has made a contribution to all areas of the school and collaborated constructively with the Board and the Admin Council. One of his greatest collaborations at Melawati has been with Lyn Thompson the ES Curriculum Coordinator. Lyn has been an inspiration to many, a shoulder to lean on and a stalwart supporter of Tony. She has worked tirelessly on curriculum, assessment, resource provision and all the myriad things that assist teachers to perform at their best and students to attain their highest potential.   Tony has reached out into all parts of the ISKL community and the wider community of Kuala Lumpur. He gives generously of his time and energy with one goal, making a positive difference in the lives of others. Throughout his life Tony has been supported by his mother, Muriel, and it is easy to see where his strength, energy and love of humanity comes from. Linda, Tony’s talented and supportive wife, Linda, is no small part of Tony’s success, she is the wind beneath his wings. Tony is a good son and a devoted husband, father and grandfather.   Some people were brought into this world to make the world a better place for others. Tony is one of those people. He goes forth to bring his unique blend of talent and dedication to Cebu, as District Superintendent. . He will be greatly missed at ISKL. All the best Tony, Malaysia’s loss is the Philippines gain. We know that you will never forget a single one of us.

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

The ISKL Class of 2013 Graduation Remarks of 2013 Graduation Speaker, Richard Martin, HS Social Studies   It’s a great honor to be able to speak to the graduating class of 2013. I have a dual theme for you graduates, this evening, which revolve around concepts of time and meaning in life. As in my daily classes I usually find it beneficial to start things off with an inspirational video, to get everyone into the mood. So, please give your attention to the screen.   Time. Your graduation marks a rite of passage, a transition from adolescence into the world of adulthood. The question before you now is what to do with your time? Often in graduation speeches older folks like myself kindly seek to offer sage advice, provide definitions of who you are, and issue challenges for your futures. I won’t seek to define you and will refrain from issuing a battle cry to action. Those are your tasks. However, perhaps I can assist with the sage advice part.   First, there are certain dangers in dealing with Time; past, present and future. Being young, you no doubt are focused on what lies ahead in your lives. It’s hazardous, however, to overemphasize what will be and neglect what is happening now. Thinking you’ll attain some kind of ideal state in the future can be misleading. People sometimes go around believing “ when I graduate college then I’ll be happy, when I find my soul- mate, then I’ll be happy, when I make a million dollars, then I’ll be happy”. Such thinking is often a mirage; when you attain that thing you have been seeking it is somehow not what you expected and doesn’t provide the anticipated satisfaction. If you don’t achieve the desire disillusion may cast a long shadow over your life. Keep your expectations measured and nuanced, and when the milestones occur you’ll be able to celebrate all the more fully.

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  Similarly living excessively in the past is also a mistake; we tend to romanticize and cast a golden glow over our favored memories, which often distort the reality of that time. More importantly dwelling overly on the past may prevent us from moving forward. Living in the present, an existential now, entails pitfalls as well, as the memory of things past and possibilities for the future can be lost. It is best to maintain a comfortable balance between the three aspects of time as you strive for meaning in your lives – Remember the past, enjoy the present, prepare for the future in equal measure.   Meaning. Your job is to provide meaning to your life. It’s unwise to overly rely on others to supply the answers. Be the author of your own destiny. As Anais Nin declared, “ There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we give each to our life, an individual meaning ”   Decide what is truly important for you. Have goals and dreams. As JRR Tolkien surmised, “ A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”   However, don’t let the pursuit of dreams overwhelm and diminish your enjoyment of life in the here and now. Remember to relish the small pleasures of living, whatever they may be for you, and take the time to pause and see the beauty of the world around you. Learn from mistakes and blunders (and they will happen) but don’t let them sink you into a pit of depression or prevent future leaps of faith.


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Shockingly Hagar finds herself moved to tears and an epiphany dawns on her consciousness “ I must always, always have wanted that – simply to rejoice. How is it I never could ?”   For 90 years Hagar had denied herself the right to be happy and realizes the senselessness of this denial. Therefore, I say to you, graduating class of 2013, however you define yourselves, whatever goals and dreams you pursue, always remember to be happy. Ridiculously simple but nonetheless true! Revel in the miraculous wonder of life and make the most of it you can. It’s all we know and given your uniqueness you owe it to yourself to live life to the fullest.   Congratulations, take care of yourselves, all the best, enjoy your lives, and be happy.

  Always realize and understand your amazing uniqueness. You are one of a kind; in this school, in the world, in the galaxy, in the universe, there will only ever be one of you. Your job is to be the best you possible; what Abraham Maslow calls the process of ‘Self-Actualization’. Strive for excellence, if not greatness, in all your pursuits, and stay true to your life’s vision, values and beliefs. Compromise and accommodation are often necessary, even desirable, but don’t sacrifice your principles on the alter of greed or ambition. Know your strengths and weaknesses and accept that sometimes there are limitations; none of us can have everything we want out of life. There is great injustice on our good planet, and suffering, and death, but do not let the darkness obscure the light. To quote Tolkien again, “The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”    Stay positive and optimistic; you’ll live longer! There is no sense in going around being miserable and angry at the world. Remember the importance of friendship and love; much of the meaning of life comes from time spent with loved ones and you never know how much time you have in this regard. The years pass so very quickly - don’t let them slip away without meaning.   My most important advice I’ve left for last and hopefully follows from all I’ve said. Make the most of the time you are given. The great Canadian author Margaret Laurence once created a character called Hager Shipley in the novel the Stone Angel. On her deathbed Hagar, proud and defiant to the end, is annoyed to be paid a visit by a clergyman. Unable to pierce her emotional armor the padre in desperation tries singing her a hymn. The song extols the vital importance of celebrating joy in life.

Remarks to the Class of 2013, By Grant Millard, High School Principal   Graduations traditionally are a time of celebration, optimism, with parting words of hope and that is certainly my intention tonight.  As I began thinking about what to say to you, I consulted a number of people including one of your class, Kar-Jin.  Kar-Jin is a bright and well-informed young man and after a bit he came back to me with the suggestion that I read an article in the most recent Time Magazine entitled, ‘The New Greatest Generation’ - Why the Millenials will save us all. According to American journalist Joel Stein, you are, ”the most threatening and exciting generation since the baby boomers, not because you are trying to take over the establishment but because you are growing up without one.”   Millennial’s consist, depending on whom you ask, of people

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Inter nationa l School of Kua l a Lumpur

born from 1980 to 2000.  “To put it more simply  -  the generation that grew up not having to do a lot of math in their heads, thanks to computers.” As we all know, old people have always looked at the younger generation and despaired. As noted in this quote from the magazine article in “The Atlantic … “Veteran teachers are saying that never in their experience were young people so thirstily avid of pleasure as now... so selfish.”     My remarks will briefly explore this theme as it relates to your graduating class. As with any generation, young people may have their flaws, but as I see you all, there is great hope and optimism that you will do truly amazing things in the 21st century.   Joel Stein begins his article looking at negative perceptions.  In fact he doesn’t just offer quotes from respected academics, but he also offers cold hard data. One example he cites is the the incidence of narcissistic personality disorder, which he claims is nearly 3 times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older. Much of this narcissism Stein attributes to the information revolution with the emergence of new and powerful technology. He says, ”Young people are fixated on turning themselves into brands with friends,  and following tallies that serve as popularity ratings which boost personal confidence and acceptance which are seen as indicative of success.”   The rapid development of cell phones allows today’s young people to socialize at every hour of the day -  according to one source you send and receive an average of 88 texts a day. There is even a newly labelled iDisorder evidenced by data indicating that 70% of young people experience ‘phantom vibration syndrome’ - an anxiety behaviour brought on by a constant desire to be recognised or connected and to find out what you are missing out on.   You’re living under the constant influence of your   friends, and never before in history have any group of young people been so dominated by their peers. You are also said to be continually inflating yourselves like balloons on Facebook pages, and that you’re constantly searching for acknowledgment and recognition. It’s also said, that you are so comfortable in front of the camera that ‘the average teenager has more images of themselves than a 17th century French king’.   You have grown up in a society where it's possible to be famous for no reason - a society of reality TV, where people, just like you, are recognised and even paid to do, well, nothing really. The advancements of technology give you all you need, and you embrace it totally - that is what threatens us old people - we just don’t know how to do it, and what’s more, we can’t keep up with you.   Thankfully the author does present an even more compelling case

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for why this generation will be the next ‘Greatest Generation’, largely due to the information technology age, and its positive impact on the qualities, skills, and attitudes of today’s youth. He presents the case that the information revolution and the Internet have democratized opportunity for young people that was previously confined to the wealthy. It has removed the barriers and ‘flattened’ the world in such a way that young people have been empowered by technology. It allows you to compete against huge organizations:  bloggers versus newspapers; YouTube directors versus studios; app. makers versus entire industries; online boutiques versus huge department stores, to cite just a few examples. With this empowerment has come self belief in your ability to innovate and a willingness to try new things. “This generation is characterized by thinking, and thinking carefully before taking the next step. You are often 3 to 4 steps ahead in your thinking.” You come up saying, “ I want to do this, then when I’m done, I want to do that.” Says Gary Steitler, a 15-year US army recruiter.   Here is something that even all the psychologists who fret over their narcissism studies agree about:  millennials are nice, and your positivism is surprising even given the state of world. You are more accepting of differences, not just amongst minority groups, but in everyone. You have a social conscience that is real and tangible and the tools to cross geographical and cultural divides to forge connections and relationships across the globe. You, as our GAP pioneers, have demonstrated this in the most remarkable, consistent, and caring manner, and in a recent survey, you overwhelmingly recognised the importance and value of respecting your selves and


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Remarks By 2013 Senior Class President, Sabrina Chong   Good afternoon board members, faculty, distinguished guests, families and friends, and fellow graduates. As Class President, I have the honour and pleasure of representing the exceptional and talented people seated on stage today.   Graduation is one of the major milestones in a person’s life, because it marks the day we are introduced to adulthood. We grew up watching our favorite TV characters experience high school and celebrate graduation – Raven, Lizzie McGuire, and others. Interestingly you are also known as the ‘Wary’ Generation’, let's not forget the stars of High and one researcher attributes this cautiousness in life decisions as a School Musical, to name a smart response to the world in its current state. Your great mantra is few. And it is surreal that now to challenge convention, and to find new and better ways of doing we are graduating ourselves. things.  You are earnest and optimistic, you are pragmatic idealists, It is difficult to imagine how tinkerers more than dreamers, and you want new experiences, long it’s been since we were because experiences are more important to you than material goods.  young children with aspirations   So what does this mean for you graduates and the part that you will of becoming princesses, play in the future. How will you be judged in history? As I look at the astronauts, and movie stars. characters within this group, I see so many of the positive skills and Now we have the same dreams, we’re just less cute.   This new qualities formed by living in this wonderful age of technology and chapter in life brings even more responsibilities, and more challenges connectivity in our ‘flattened world’. I see an enormous tolerance, – but that does not mean we have to grow up instantly. As children acceptance, optimism, and energy. You are skilled, you are thoughtful, become teenagers, and teenagers become adults, they seem to lose but you are wary and measured in your actions when its needed. valuable parts of their characters. Being driven by curiosity, being Amongst your qualities, I do see pragmatism and idealism, and yes, fearless, the hunger for spontaneity and the spirit of adventure are all a healthy narcissism associated with youth and the excitement of a key characteristics that tend to fade as we are forced to mature with full life ahead. I see niceness, characterized by tolerance, acceptance each stage in our lives. But I believe that these are just as important and inclusivity forged in our multicultural community. So with this, to facing the world as a “grown-up” as they are in childhood. These I am confident that you will make your mark on history in the most attributes continue to excite us. These attributes continue to inspire positive and constructive way.  I support Stein’s view of you as the us. These attributes continue to drive us. And I believe this high‘The New Greatest Generation’. spirited class of 2013 has the ability to harness these qualities - as   I also know that I have enjoyed my opportunity to so closely get demonstrated by our zealous effort in redecorating the school on to know many of you. I have valued your contributions to the life senior prank day. of the school, I have admired your skills as performers and sports   Today is bittersweet – we’re happy because today is a day of people, I have witnessed your academic prowess, your perseverance liberation and independence. But graduation is both a beginning and and energy, and your engagement with the broader community. You ending. Today is also a day of goodbyes, and the closing of a chapter. will scatter to the four corners of the world over the next few days and Personally, I have to confess that I did not expect to already be so weeks and I would like to conclude by saying, Class of 2013, thank nostalgic about high school. But I could not work on this speech you for the memories. It has been an honor to be part of your lives. without tearing up. And that’s what the Class of 2013 does. Not make

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people cry. But bring people together and support you, and bring you great memories you will continue to reminisce about. High school is when you form some of the strongest bonds of friendship, and our Class of 2013 has given each other that.   Take GAP, for example: you leave with people you know only as acquaintances, travel to countries all over Asia, such as Nepal, China, Vietnam, and India, and you return with stronger friendships and extended networks. We have learned to live with each other’s peculiarities and idiosyncrasies – perhaps it’s their snoring, or their toilet habits. There’s something about working together to push a brokendown bus up a hill in the middle of the night, or sleeping in the lowest class carriage of an inter-city train in India, that bonds people. All these experiences that we shared outside our comfort zones have brought us closer together. And since we were the pioneering class for GAP, I think the Class of 2013 embodies the spirit of adventure that is at the core of GAP.   Each student in this graduating class is weaved together into a beautiful tapestry of diversity – a diversity of races, cultures, talents, and personalities. Despite this heterogeneity, we come together to form a seamless community, which is the very spirit of ISKL. A place is only as good as the people in it, and I would like to thank the Class of 2013 for making this a place we are all happy to call home. My four and a half years at ISKL have been the best four and a half years of school so far. It is not just the students that have made the ISKL environment “home.” I am sure I speak on behalf of the entire class when I say that the support and guidance of the many wonderful and inspiring teachers here at ISKL have established a foundational platform for each of us. You have challenged us to embrace the unknown and develop our intellectual capabilities. We are thankful for your support through some of the most stressful years of our lives (so far). There are many other “thank yous” that need to be made as well. Thank you to the administration, especially our principals Mr. Millard and Mr. Petersen, who have managed to deal with us throughout high school and keep us in line. Truthfully, your direction and your always being there to help have guided all of us. And finally, to our parents, thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made; for your patience throughout our angsty teenage years; and for always being there for us. You have always been role models, and we are truly grateful that you have been our pillars. All of you – teachers, administration, and families – have shaped our high school experience.   Many, if not all of us, feel our senior year went by much too fast – it

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honestly feels as if our last year of high school was only one week long. And, as the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Although we’ve been counting down the days in anticipation of graduation, it would have been great if everything just slowed down, especially after our last exams, for us to truly accept the reality that we are leaving high school. It is difficult to stand on the brink of the end of high school and imagine that we will soon be completely independent adults. But I suppose it’s the same as standing on the brink of the beginning of kindergarten all those years ago and imagining our graduation today. And time will probably move as quickly as it did the past twelve years. The future, whilst exciting, is also scary and uncertain – we’re moving to new countries, meeting new people, and, sadly, leaving the nest. Endless opportunities will be presented to us and we will be forced into the “great unknown.” But we, the Class of 2013, have the tenacity and excitement to face challenges and explore foreign grounds and make them familiar.   Completing high school is an achievement that we should all be proud of. We have worked our way to the top of the food chain for 12 long years… Only to become freshers again. As we move forward today, we should remember to never lose the passion to learn. The most important thing an ISKL education instills is that we should always maintain the spirit of being a student – in the sense of striving to discover, and to continue to hunger for knowledge. Because graduation does not mean the end of such a spirit; rather it is a springboard that leads us into further developing this attitude. And I hope that we will continue to exude the ISKL spirit of optimism in tackling challenges.   I have been looking for a quote as an appropriate send-off, but I could not find one that seemed as suited to graduation as the quote I used for the early graduates. So I will share it again today. This is a Dr. Seuss quote I read many years ago, which especially embodies the decisions we have to make that will shape our own futures after graduation: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”   With that, I wish our Class of 2013 all the best, and genuinely believe that we will all face everything with strength and poise. Let us embrace our futures with the excitement and fearlessness as that of a child. Thank you, and Congratulations, Class of 2013!


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Alumni Spotlight on Sohail Inayatullah ‘75   Sohail Inayatullah ‘75 came to ISKL as a student from Lahore, Pakistan. His brother, Noman ‘79 and sister, Sarah ‘88, also attended ISKL. Sohail currently is an adjunct professor at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is also a professor at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan and an associate of Mt. Eliza Executive Education at Melbourne Business School. Sohail lives in Mooloolaba, Australia with his wife, Ivana Milojevi, and their children, Saim and Mariyam.   Sohail was back in Kuala Lumpur this March as a keynote speaker for the IB Asia Pacific Annual Conference where he was introduced at the conference by ISKL IB Student, Maggie Casey ‘14. Below Sohail discusses his first exposure to his further studies and his career of future studies while a student at ISKL.   My first exposure to futures studies or foresight studies came from a class by Dr. Frank Shephard. I believe it was in 11th grade. He showed us a short film by Alvin Toffler. In it a couple walk romantically through a forest. The music is soft, serene. We are unable to see them, until suddenly at the end they turn around and we see/discover that they are robots.   As a high school student in 1974, I had no idea that I would end up moving to Honolulu to study Futures Studies and indeed work at the Hawaii Judiciary from 1981-1991 as a planner/ futurist, and among other topics (mediation, the federal constitutional convention), write on the legal rights of robots. Our past does certainly influence our future. And, intriguingly, the next time I heard about Futures Studies was in the Malay Mail in 1975, when Herman Khan and James Dator were in Kuala Lumpur speaking at a conference on Malaysia 2000. A year later, I would become a freshman in Professor Dator’s course on theories of social change at the University of Hawaii.   These days I return consistently to Malaysia, working

on transforming Malaysian Universities. This has included taking leading Malaysian deans and deputy vice-chancellors through a five day foresight course in Putrajaya via the Higher Education Leadership Academy. Our intent is to challenge the current paradigm of education – physical, vertical, rigid and lecturer based – and move toward a system that is far more personalized, virtual (plus face to face) with curriculum designed through a dialogue between the Ministry, the Professor and the student. The goal is to move away from the “force-feed” model of higher education to either a “all you can eat buffet” or more appropriately, given the ubiquity of junk food, “nutritious buffet.” No one should be surprised that scenarios in Malaysia use analogies from food!   In March this year, I presented to the Asia-Pacific International Baccalaureate conference on similar themes. At the conference we wrestled with many questions, including: how might education change in the next twenty years given changes in peer-to-peer learning, given the spread of new tailored educational apps, given research into the science of the brain, and given evidence of the power of meditation to enhance learning and IQ. Could high-school education also become more personalized, more global, and more culturally sensitive? Would educational systems derived from the model of the factory – straight rows, tight discipline, rote-learning – move to the far more knowledge economy “theme park” model? Are students, teachers, principals, and most critically parents able to adapt and invent alternative futures? I certainly hope you are!

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I Inntteerrnnaatti ioonnaall SScchhooooll ooff KKuuaallaa LLuummppuurr

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"Dance; What You Don't See", A Great Year of Collaboration By Karen Palko, Dance Director    At the End of Year Dance Show, senior Carmen Kromhout grabbed the microphone at the end of the performance and explained to the audience, ”You always see what’s going on on-stage. Dancers are working to entertain you. But what you don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes...a group of people who are working hard backstage and in the light booth doing everything they can to make the dancers on stage look good!”   So who, exactly, are those people behind the scenes? Of course, there are the directors, Karen Palko and Maria Sarnacki. They are the ones working directly with the dancers, helping them to stay on task and explore their artistic voice. With so many dances and so many dancers, it can be hard to keep track of the status of each dance. This year Karen Palko focused on the IASAS and MS dance shows and Maria Sarnacki focused on the JV IASAS dancers to keep them moving along getting ‘performance ready.’   The behind the scenes role that takes on a crucial task for a dance show is costuming. Donna Lyon hails from Nova Scotia and has been with ISKL as the costume coordinator since 2002, costuming every production from Drama to Dance ever since. Donna originally came to Malaysia to visit her daughter's family and when they were transferred, Donna stayed on and has become a familiar figure in the ISKL community. She is the driving force behind all the beautiful costumes that our children parade across the stage. Her favorite production from a costumer perspective was Kiss Me Kate because of the juxtaposition of the Shakespearean costumes and the 1940’s period costumes. She also loved Peter Pan because of the mermaids, lost boys and native costumes. For dance, however, her favorite costuming has been from the IASAS Dance production of AWE, where Donna created amazing rainforest costumes including butterflies, beetles and dragonflies. For this year's dance production she thought the Strawberry costumes were the standout costume

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of the night. Donna’s special gift in terms of costuming is her ability to create something from nothing. Whether she buys the material and creates her own pattern or whether she takes an old, dated costume and modifies it, Donna makes every child on stage look and ‘feel’ good about their costume, which, in turn, helps the performers to feel good about themselves, ultimately making the audience feel good. It is her attention to detail that is so amazing.   Another crucial behind the scenes role is the backstage manager. Katie Milton is from Newcastle, England and has worn many hats in the ISKL community from being a board member to the PTA president. But Katie has found her passion in the theater...backstage, not on-stage. Her sons asks, ‘How can a woman with two left feet be involved in the dance show?” The answer is that when Katie worked on the MS production of Nightmare Before Christmas, she was hooked. It’s the students who bring her back to each subsequent production, whether it’s dance or drama. Katie feels that the backstage drama eclipses the on stage drama in many respects. Katie is often the first one who gets to see the sheer joy, excitement, panic and thrill as students enter the stage to perform and then leave the stage afterwards. She loves troubleshooting and problem solving and loves it when a plan comes together. She is in awe of the dancers who learn 7 or so different dances and can remember all the steps. The technical aspects of the show, including lighting, set, sound and special effects are the behind the scenes roles that really enhance the performance on stage. Mohd Shuki , Fadzil Saad, Vincent Periasamy and Melissa Yip worked tirelessly creating stunning lighting effects, an amazing set and creative posters to round out the evening's entertainment. The technical team included a number of High School students as well. But alas, it is the dancers who make the night. Their tireless effort, energy and enthusiasm make the year end dance show an event not to be missed.


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High School Musical Celebrations

By Kate Meininger, HS Chior Music Director   We concluded the school year with two beautiful concerts. The first featured the ISKL Singers, both in live performance as well as their music videos, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Players, and String Ensemble. The students performed a wide variety of music, from Mozart to a staged Les Miserables medley.   The second concert was a time to acknowledge our award winners, IASAS delegates, Varsity Letter recipients, and to hear chamber music from the underclassmen in the high school ensembles.   For many, these performances are more than the end of another year in music. They are the end of an era. As we say goodbye to our seniors, we also say goodbye to our wonderful band teacher of 13 years, Mr. Jeff Taylor. A musical tribute, “Thank You for the Music”, was performed by many band members, singers, and teachers

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at the concert on April 30th.   In our May concert, Jeff Taylor was also awarded the Lucy Chan Patron Award. This award is given to someone who has supported the music program above and beyond what is typical.   Throughout Mr. Taylor’s 13 years at ISKL, he has made tremendous contributions both in and out of the classroom. He has put in countless hours, travels, tech support, and performances on top of the already demanding schedule of a high school band teacher. This award first began when the music department was looking for a way to award John Smith, the previous Athletic and Activities Director, who was extremely supportive of the arts. The name of this award was modified to honor one recipient, Lucy Chan, who passed away. Mrs. Chan was a mother of 3 children in the ISKL Music Department and an avid supporter of the Arts. One of her children, Mike, went on to major in music, and continues to work with the ISKL Performing


Arts Department. This award is a beautiful tribute to Mrs. Chan, Mr. Taylor, and all of the people who continue to do so much to support the arts.   It is always impressive to hear the students’ improvement over the course of the year. They are different musicians, singers, players, PEOPLE, than they were at the beginning. Through music, these students learn much more than how to play an instrument. They learn to think and perform creatively. They learn to collaborate constructively and to work as a respectful, cohesive team. They learn how to communicate effectively, in many languages, and often with no words at all. They learn how to present to a large audience when they are nervous, when they are in character, when they are in the spotlight, and when they’re not. And none of this comes without enthusiasm. These ISKL musicians publicly put our school-wide learning results into action, and should be commended for their hard work and the risks that they take to improve.   To those students who are moving to another school, the graduating seniors who are starting their adult lives all

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over the world, to those who are going on to study music, to those who aren’t, and to Mr. Taylor who is starting a new adventure in Korea - May music always keep ISKL in your heart.

Jeff Taylor receiving the well deserved 2013 "Lucy Chan Patron Award" from her son Mike Chan '06

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Earth Week 2013: Bringing Nature Inside & Educating Students Outside Laurence Myers, Sustainability & Service Learning Coordinator   As the week of April 20-27 – ISKL’s Earth Week - wound down one can look back on the plethora of events that took place and realize how engaged a place like ISKL really is. In one short week, ISKL was the hub of activity related to our Eco Schools themes of Waste and Biodiversity, some of which is described below: • Over 400 students, teachers, staff and parents visited the various natural wonders of our host country as part of our Malaysia Week program, the flagship learning experience of the ISKL Middle School and worthy of recognition for its adventure education in natural areas. For several Middle Schoole site groups this was also a great chance to do sustainable service for the communities and natural spaces they were visiting! • Nearly the entire community participated in ISKL’s version of Earth Hour with many teachers taking their students outdoors to discuss, read, etc. • More than 600 students attended the High School Earth Week Assembly, featuring Kenny Peavy (representing Reef Check Malaysia) and our Green Council and high school Earth Club members. • The entire elementary school viewed an excellent Grade 2 presentation on “Celebrations Speak to Who We Are”, with a final act focusing on the Earth and the positive power of reducing our collective environmental impact. • A new small “Malaysian Garden” was planted on the Ampang campus by Hana Iskandar’13 and Ameera Izaham’13 as “phase 1” of the plan to bring nature onto our campus. • Many students participated in a variety of weeklong activities such as the Facebook page ”like” lucky draw and the inaugural HS Can Crushing competition. • Community members initiated and participated in an array of outdoor service, enjoyment or challenge-based experiences such as local cleanup, hikes, rock climbing, and uniform swaps. • All our teachers and students participated in conversations and assignments related to the environment, to our Education for Sustainable Development standards and to global issues • HS students organized and enjoyed our “Mini” Rockin’ 4 the Reefs concert - featuring future Hall of Famers Dante Cerron’14, Set 5 and The Milkmen - all organized by Juno Balu’14 and Patrick Wilson’14. The proceeds went to Reef Check Malaysia     Post Earth Week we hosted a delegation from Eco Schools and WWF in consideration of ISKL as the first Eco Schools Green Flag recipient in Malaysia. They were particularly impressed with ISKL’s “green feel”, our community compost program and our green spaces. The ISKL Green Council and HS Earth Club representatives - Alysha Alizan’14, Deanna Anuar’14 and Diksha Srishyla’13 - found the experience hugely rewarding and represented ISKL extremely well.   All in all this was a week filled with activity and celebration. It was a week that, as a whole, was literally packed with sustainability awareness and education. Some was formal, some not. But it was all great education! Earth Week has been a successful experiment in student initiative, teacher planning, staff engagement, parental involvement and total community building. What a great Earth Week! Finally, we are delighted to have the privilege of having been chosen as Malaysia's first Eco-Schools Green Flag school. We were notivies just after Earch Week, and the award ceremony will take place in August. A big big thank you to the entire community and particularly the leadership of the Green Council."

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alaysia Week is one of those programs that, when looked at from different perspectives, really highlights the amazing experiences that students, parents, teachers and administrators gain from this experience. It is truly a 360 experience for the Middle School community. For students, stepping outside of their comfort zones physically, mentally and emotionally helps them to make new friends, embrace new experiences and appreciate the lives they live on a daily basis. For parents, the anxiety of sending their children off to the wilds of Malaysia can be unnerving, especially for the first time. But the child that comes home to them has gained amazing experiences and perspectives and although it can be a nail biting week, parents are always appreciative of the extraordinary opportunities ISKL creates for their children. From the teacher perspective, Malaysia Week goes hand in hand with the job. Although ‘on-duty’ for the entire week, teachers also experience what the children go through and the studentteacher relationships after Malaysia Week are golden. From an Administrator’s perspective, Malaysia Week is a flagship program for ISKL. Although programs of this nature have declined across the world, ISKL stands firm in the belief that the experiential education students gain from programs like Malaysia Week and GAP are immeasurable in their value. A 360 perspective demonstrates this beautifully. Perhaps no other family has this perspective better than the Casey family, who had four participants this year.   "Malaysia Week is a family affair for us Caseys. Peter, Lily, Liam and I went in four different directions on Malaysia Week and Maggie was left at home with her grandma to keep the home fires burning so to speak. The true impact of Malaysia Week can be felt at our house as each member returns from their own site with their unique experiences. The excitement mounts as each person arrives home and the energy is palpable as we fight for opportunities to tell one more crazy Malaysia Week tale or challenge each other with who had the most fun, most leeches, greatest impact, and ultimately who had the best site. Malaysia Week changes for Peter and me quickly from a teacher’s perspective to a parent/participant perspective and it means even more because of that. We are like the kids as we tell our tales and we are parents again when we hear about the cuts, scratches and close calls of our

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kids. And through it all, on that reunion Thursday night, Maggie and Grandma sit breathlessly shaking their heads. And with tears in my mom’s eyes she says, “ I can’t believe the experiences you all have here at ISKL. It just blows my mind.” Malaysia Week is breathtaking for all: parents, teachers, students and grandmas alike." Tina Casey

The Parent Perspective: “I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all of the work that you and the MS staff put into the Malaysia Week program. My daughter has now been twice, once to a rainforest site and once to an ocean site, and both were by far the best experiences of her school life. She was able to make friends with students from other grades and classes that she would have never been able to do otherwise. Also, her self confidence

and level of independence has greatly increased due to her experience with Malaysia Week. I hope the Middle School enjoys this program for many years to come.” Tanya Ferguson


new friends, tried new foods, spent time outdoors in a beautiful environment, and experienced the independence of being away from home for a week, all within the care of trusted adults. Confirming our trust in the school, Mr. Whiting sent us a note after the kids returned about Harry’s accomplishments and actions on Malaysia week that showed us that he truly had seen and understood our son. We could not ask for more." Cheryl Dodson

"We are extremely grateful for the opportunity our middle schoolers have to participate in Malaysia week, and for all of the work that goes into creating a challenging, stimulating, safe and life changing experience for each of them. Because we have faith in ISKL, and in particular in the teachers who accompanied Harry on his trip, we were not concerned or apprehensive about Harry getting on a bus to head off to an island we’ve never been to. I felt excited as he packed and as we talked about Gemia and what he would do there, and also a sense of anticipation and curiosity: How would Harry find the experience? How would he grow? How would it change him? What would he find out about himself that he didn’t know before? When Harry returned from his trip, he was happy, tired and grounded. We loved that he had tested his limits kayaking, tried yoga, met

“We are new to the school and this is the first Malaysia Week my son has participated in. I just want to say how terrific the team leaders were on this trip and all the people involved in putting this on. My son was very nervous about going on this trip but with the help from the group leaders and help from his counsellor beforehand he was able to have a fantastic and memorable trip. The trip has taught my son increased self confidence and a sense of accomplishment.” Jenny Thompson “Just a note to pass on things about Malaysia Week. When Tatyana got off the bus, the only thing she had to say was ”I hate nature and Nature hates me!” But then later wanted to book a family vacation to Gopeng because she had such a good time there with wonderful guides. She really wanted to dive again this year, but I think Gopeng was a great experience for her!” Sheryl Evans

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The Adminstrative Lens: "It all starts at 4:00am on Sunday morning. The Blue Top is a buzz of excitement as everyone gathers to board the buses. Students wave goodbye to their parents as their Malaysia Week adventure begins. As the last bus pulls away I head home to await the arrival texts and it’s always a relief when the last site checks in. Communication this year was enhanced by the use of the Middle School Parent page. Updates and estimated arrival times were posted here because text messages have not always been reliable or timely. The highlight of the week for me each year is welcoming the students home and seeing the hundreds of happy faces on their return. As both a parent and a counselor I believe Malaysia Week is an amazing experience for our Middle Schoolers!" Jane Thompson, MW Acting Administrator in Charge "Looking at Malaysia Week through an administrator’s lens, I realize that some may think taking over 400 kids to 24 relatively remote sites throughout Malaysia is insane. Yes, there is risk, but it’s well managed risk and the payoffs are enormous. The amount and depth of learning that occurs before, during and after is truly remarkable. Students are knee deep in this learning experience and use the SLRs as survival tools. They enthusiastically do everything we encourage them to do in their classroom learning. They takes risks. When confronted with a problem they figure it out. They work effectively with others

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and come away a little more tired but a lot more proud of what they have learned and accomplished. I have seen it year after year and am absolutely convinced that these are lessons that they will carry with them throughout their lives." Michael Callan, MS Principal

The Teacher View: "This year’s Malaysia Week experience turned out to be a highly enjoyable one. The first pleasant surprise was the professionalism of the dive staff at Redang Kelong Dive Resort on Pulau Redang. I was impressed with the way they spoke to the kids and the high expectations they set for them both above and underneath the water. The lead dive master prepared the divers thoroughly before setting them loose on a range of projects involving the conservation of the local coral reefs and fish population. This was my second positive experience. The students conducted themselves in an exemplary manner, asking intelligent questions and behaving in a mature fashion, especially whilst hovering inches above live coral! Each dive was different and challenging in a different way for all of us, and it was perfect having 2 dives in the morning and then the afternoon free for other projects. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in diving and reef/coral conservation." Matt Whiting, MS PE Teacher "The Malaysia Week experience is the most eagerly awaited event on my annual ISKL calendar. First and foremost it offers me the chance to take a much needed break from the technology trappings of the 21st century, catch my breath and reconnect with the people around me. Given the direction that we are headed with communication I relish the opportunity to talk face to face with students, teachers and parents alike. It’s also a time to reconnect with our surroundings and there is nothing more rewarding than joining a group of excited kids under a cascading waterfall, or examining a centipede nest, following a trail of oversized ants, or standing exhausted but exhilarated at the summit of a mountain surveying the vast expanse of palm plantations, rivers, padi fields and villages laid out far below us. But most important of all is the reconnect with yourself - your fears, concerns, accomplishments, abilities. Knowing that you can still carry a pack up a mountain or cycle 150km, remembering the smell of

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a campfire or the feel of a freshwater river bath, learning that your back does not take kindly to tent accommodation any more! That’s my Malaysia Week. And the best part isn’t sitting on a river rock as dawn breaks (while the kids are still asleep) or hanging back on the trek so that you have the whole silent forest to yourself for a moment, or even lying in a tent (on your air mattress) listening to the rain. The best part is the constant chatter of 15 middle school kids who are working to put up a tent that won’t cooperate, or arguing over the best football player, or exclaiming over the size of an ant or a centipede or a wasp nest, or complaining about how far they’ve hiked / biked / rafted and how exhausted they are, practicing their basic Bahasa or asking questions about the history of the war in Malaysia. The best part is knowing that I am helping to give these 15 students an experience that they are not likely to forget.” Lynne Smith, MS PE Teacher “I am in the enviable position that during Malaysia Week I wear two hats; as a site leader and also as a parent. I feel so privileged that I can take part in this amazing initiative each year. I’ve experienced camping near the water fall featured in the movie South Pacific, hiked the dragon peaks in Tioman Island, enjoyed the tranquility of the flooded valleys in Belum and had the amazing opportunity to sit with students and gain Eco-Diver certification in Pulau

Perhentian. I’ve listened to my daughters and students excitedly share their stories on their return from Malaysia Week, the first day back at school the hallways filled with laughter and tale swapping. I am truly blessed.” Bronwen Narsiman, MS Humanities Teacher ”When you get to crawl on your belly in the tunnel is the best part!” Were the words from a teacher on a different


so it was that I played my role and cajoled them to overcome their fears and take the plunge. The first part was not too bad only crouching needed, but soon enough we were on all fours then belly and the void above was reduced to millimeters. At this point of concentrated breathing, the guide stopped us all to follow her torchlight to the blind scorpions and other similarly disgusting creatures that were all around us. Not adding to my controlled panic at all. On exiting, the guide asked of me whether I enjoyed the experience now that I had overcome my fear. ”Really - no - my home is on the ocean out in the open.” However not one of the students knew that I was scared, so at least I am good at faking it when I need to." Alexandra Smith, Gr 8 Hum Teacher

The Student Reflection: "I really liked the Kelong experience in many ways. First I got very close with my friends, since we spent 4 days together in Kelong at the middle of the ocean. And we did everything together, cleaning, eating, fishing, swimming, etc. Second I got to fish better. Since we at least spend 2 days fishing we got to learn lots about fishing like throwing fishing lines tying knots, getting fish off the hook, etc."Seongje, Korea, Grade 8

Malaysia Week site to my group as we waited to be engulfed by the cave mouth. Best for who I thought - I was facing one of my biggest fears - being trapped in a dark, small space with only one way out. The climb inside was difficult for one student and so I was thankfully distracted guiding and encouraging her to climb up and down the endless steps. The knowledge of not having to take part in the cave/river crawl (so said the guide) was sitting guiltily in my thoughts. At the point of no return, I was faced with half the group showing similar concerns and leaning towards retracing their steps. And

"I really liked the Pulau Acheh Survivor Island experience because it showed me that I should be very thankful for what I have and for people who do so much for me. I learned this because on Survivor Island, we had to do everything on our own: we had to cook every meal for ourselves (and for the teachers), we had to keep the fire going throughout the night, and we had to start the fires to cook on. I learned many things from this experience, such as starting fires, cooking food, how to tie knots with rope, how to cut a chicken, and how to put up a tent. My favorite skill that I learned was how to make tinder from bamboo, because I had never even heard of tinder before I went to Survivor Island. Survivor Island was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!" Sophia, Canada, Grade 6 "I really enjoyed Pulau Perhentian Discovery Dive. I was able to learn the

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basics of diving and I had a really fun time snorkeling and riding on the speedboats. I ate lots and lots of bread and watermelon! Another thing we did was clean up our rooms, which was a big event what with all the sand that got onto the floors. I also really liked it when we just hung out with all the dive masters. It was really fun for everyone to get to know each other over some hot milo! When we were organizing our room, I feel that I became better as both a leader and a teammate when we were cleaning. This was my last Malaysia Week, and I’m really glad I got to go on the best one!" Lauren, Grade 7 "Since we started the Pulau Perhentian Eco Diver course I’ve realized how important the reef is and why we need to save it. I have learned the reasons like global warming and some fishing that are affecting the reef. These problems are becoming so out of hand, that people need to start taking action to save the rainforests of the sea. To do this I’ve become much more aware of my surroundings whilst diving and learned how to stop destroying the coral reefs. I also plan to volunteer for reef check surveys on other dive sites to help track the change in the underwater ecosystem. Overall, my diving has really improved and I think that we will make an impact in the future." Micah, Canada, Grade 8 "The highlight of my trip was definitely all the beautiful sea creatures that I saw while snorkeling in Pulau Redang. We got to snorkel two times a day; I always saw something different. It was my first time seeing a sea turtle, and I even saw 4 of them! I saw some cute baby black-tip reef sharks and also saw some huge ones that were quite scary. Apart from those, I saw angelfish, bump head wrasse, bat fish and so many other fish that were amazing. I just can’t believe that I saw so many cool sea creatures in 4 days! My roommates were awesome and we had great time together in the room. We played card games, did each others hair, talk and so many fun things together that I would never forget our time together. I LOVED this year’s Malaysia Week trip to Redang, and I will NEVER forget it." Melodie, Korea, Gr. 8 "I really liked Pulau Redang Diver’s Den because we did a lot of things to keep us busy with fun, I loved our free time to get to know each other. At the Beginning of Malaysia Week I only knew a few people on my site, but now I know and love

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everyone. I loved that we all got along and had a lot of fun, I am glad I was on this site because we didn’t have anyone that I disliked and we did lots of things. Our teachers were amazing, I loved that they were so funny and cool. I am happy Ms. Palko put us on this site, I loved everything about it. Jessica, UK, Grade 8 "Pulau Sibu was my last Malaysia Week, and honestly it was a great ending to a great journey. There were many challenges yet it was also greatly enjoyable. There were so many events that happened that will be very memorable throughout my life. One of those events was gutting a fish, or watching someone gut a fish. It was disgusting. Another memorable event is when we were ending out the week, and we created a video which was based on our experiences and our Sea Gypsy leaders. That was so much fun! It was challenging initially to come up with the lyrics and dance moves, but in the end it all came together, like a jigsaw puzzle. Another key event that really touched me was when we went to the local school. It was so different to see how these children lived and had school compared to us. One of the best things about this Malaysia Week is the eating and sleeping arrangements. The food was amazing!. It was some of the best food I have had in a while. I was so sad to go back because I wouldn’t get to eat the food anymore. It was an amazing week; very memorable. I don’t think I will ever forget it." Shannon, Grade 8 "The highlight of my Belum Malaysia Week trip was seeing the rafflesia, going bamboo-rafting, and meeting the Orang Asli people. This was the first time I saw an actual rafflesia, the first time I went rafting on bamboo, and the first time I met Orang Asli people. I really liked this experience because I met new people as

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well as hung out with my own friends and I went on interesting hikes through the rainforest. Some of the things I learned were how to make a fire, how to set up a tent, and how to cook good meals when in survival. Some of the challenges I faced were coming down in the rafflesia hike because it had just rained, it was muddy and slippery, and it was very steep. I am most proud of the fact that I was able to cope with the program, especially the many hikes we went on. I enjoyed this Malaysia Week very much as we did many fun activities and it was very interesting." Sahana, Gr. 7 "I really liked Gopeng because of all the different variety of activities. I know that some sites they did just one or two activities for the whole week, but our site we did, caving, low ropes courses, white water rafting, swift water rescue, climbing, high ropes, leap of faith, flying fox, hiking, absailing, and the amazing race. We did tons of activities. Some were really challenging while some were easy, but they were all fun. Gopeng was a good experience for me." Julia, Finland & Holland, Gr 7 "Malaysia Week Langkawi is probably the most difficult, tough, informative activities I have ever done. But it is also the best experience I have had in a long time. We did so many things that were inspiring and made us look at life in a new perspective. Well, I know I did. When we visited the local school children and played games with them, although we could not communicate through words, we could through actions and gestures. It was very nice to be able to talk to someone without actually talking (nor

typing). We visited some of the local student’s houses, and after seeing what they call home, I realized that we are lucky that we live in a more fortunate accommodations. The visit made me realize that although they live in humble settings, they are used to it, and happy. I feel happy for them because they are happy too, despite that others have more than them. I am grateful for having my home, school, family, and friends. From that visit on, I look at things in a slightly different perspective from what I used to. I can’t believe what I learned and accomplished. I was able to complete what I thought only professionals unlike myself could achieve. Not only that, I made some new friends I hope to keep. We had managed to trek through the jungle to the highest point in Pulau Tuba, which is 256 meters, in one hour, instead of two, as the instructors had expected. Not only that, we abseiled down 80 meters, with a phenomenal view of the one side of the island, and the islands beyond. When I first saw the place we were going to start abseiling from, I was about to quit. I think some other people on the site felt the same way as me when they saw the place. But when an instructor demonstrated how to abseil, it took quite a while for her to disappear from view,


so I was happy to see that the cliff wasn’t as steep as it looked. I was willing to try, and I was happy I had done so. I felt like I could accomplish anything. That is one of the reasons why I was enthusiastic about kayaking the next day. We kayaked for two hours on the first day, and about 2 and a half hours the next day. That second day of kayaking made me feel worn out, but once we reached shore, I was grateful for my experience I had been given in Malaysia Week, and I still am. I can’t wait for the next Malaysia Week!" Ilona, South Africa, Gr. 6 "I really liked Sungai Kampar because of the challenges it offered. All the activities really push my mental strength to it’s limit and expanded it. But I learned that as long as you could keep a smile on your face, (by thinking of the next meal) you could push through it. Also, when you overcame the challenge, if it was a big one, it was the best moment of your life. To realize that you just did something amazing." Evan, USA, Gr 6 "The highlight of Tanjoung Rambutan was making new friends and having so much fun on my Malaysia Week, I knew none of the people on my trip. Now

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I’ve become such good friends with my roommates, people I never met or talk to. And we had so many different activities like caving. I had never ever been caving. I was scared in the start but it was so much fun, and in the end I felt like I achieved something really great. Overall I really enjoyed my time there -- it was probably one of my best experiences. " Athina, Argentina, Gr. 6 "The highlight of Ulu Perak was most definitely the rafting experience. From the lowest class rapids to the highest, the time I had rafting was a blast. The thing that made the rafting experience a good one was the risk and danger factor that it had. I loved going down huge rapids not knowing if I was going to stay in the boat or not, it was a crazy, yet exciting feeling. Ulu Perak was an overall scary, fun and memorable experience." Indy, Australia, Gr 7 All of the above student reflections were randomly selected. There are hundreds more available to read on our website. Along with over 10,000 photographs and dozens of projects, one could take a virtual trip all over Malaysia! From parents, teachers, administrators and students, we would all collectively like to thank our beautiful host country Malaysia for the amazing opportunities and experiences that allow our students the perfect setting to live and breathe ISKL's mission statement. Karen Palko, Malaysia Week Coordinator

Challenge Based Learning in Action By Alex Smith, MS Humanities Faculty   Grade 8 humanities students have just completed a challenge based learning unit of study which put them in the driving seat. Some classes focused on human right issues in Malaysia - in particular human trafficking and the abuse of domestic workers. In groups, they devised solutions to help raise awareness, raise resources or change policy. The organisation Change Your World was selected to be the recipient of the 3,776RM that was raised through fundraising activities that included T-shirt and bracelet campaigns, a mini carnival, proceeds from a juicebar and collection boxes. Kelvin Lim the co-founder of Change Your World visited the school to receive the cheque and share what the organisation hopes are in addition to giving his personal thanks. CYW is ‘a social enterprise that empowers the millenial generation to change their world by engaging their creativity to save lives’. Listening to Kelvin, ‘made me feel proud of myself and my class mates. He encouraged me to change who I am and help others.’ remarked Deeban '17.

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Upcoming ISKL Alumni Events 2013 & Beyond Houston, Texas Alumni Gathering Join other alumni for an informal gathering at the home of alumnus, David Watson ‘75. All years of student, faculty, and staff alumni, as well as current parents in Texas over the summer, are invited to attend this event on Saturday, June 22, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. To RSVP contact: alumni@iskl.edu.my. Directions to David’s home will be sent following your RSVP. 1999 ISKL Reunion The ISKL Class of 1999 will be holding an alumni reunion this summer in Dallas, Texas at the end of June. Join your fellow ‘99 alumni at the Belmont Hotel, Dallas from June 28-30, 2013, with the main event happening Saturday evening. For more information on this event, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/223435751131057/

Here is a photo of Anna Orrnert '93 visiting ISKL in May with ISKL Teacher Karen Palko and former teacher, Elsa Leong.

Save these dates for ISKL’s 50th Reunion! ISKL’s 50th Reunion will be held from April 9 - 12, 2015 here in Kuala Lumpur. If you have ideas on programming or would like to be involved with our 50th Anniversary Committee or Sub-Committees, please contact us at: alumni@iskl.edu.my 2013-2014 Alumni Programs Stay tuned for information on alumni events taking place during the coming year in Seoul, London, Sydney and more. To find out about updates on fall programming and events happening at ISKL, please like us on Facebook at The Official ISKL Alumni Fan Page or Twitter @isklalumni.

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June 2013, Vol. 17 Number 3

The Hornbill is a publication of the Board of Directors of the Society for the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), the organization composed of all parents of ISKL students. All families with students enrolled at ISKL receive it free of charge.

Board of Directors: Martin Rushworth (Chairman Emeritus) Valerie Scane (Chairman), Andrew Davis (Vice-Chairman), Henk Poerink (Treasurer), Sherry Joslin (Secretary), Andy Chong, Manny Fernandez, Gary Foulis, Lim Beng Guan, Jeff Rathke, Paul Rusch, Muge Saygi, Hélène Seiler, David Thomas

Congratulations to the Class of 2013, and Welcome to the ISKL Alumni Community!

Printed by: Akitara Corp. Sdn. Bhd., Lot 1&3, Jalan TPP1/3, Taman Industri Puchong, 47000 Selangor, Malaysia

The International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia P.O. Box 12645, 50784 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Telephone Numbers: (603) 4259 5600 (Ampang) (603) 4104 3000 (Melawati) E-mail: iskl@iskl.edu.my Website: www.iskl.edu.my Fax: (603) 4257 9044 (Ampang) Head of School • Paul B. Chmelik Marketing Director • Hilda Alposilva Editor & Designer • Paul S. Ubl Production • Paul S. Ubl Copy Editor • Betsy Chmelik


Hornbill June 2013