theeye Singapore American High School
CRACKDOWN: By Denise Hotta-Moung and Cat Ward In 1987 a new principal walked through the King’s Road campus with a black book under his arm. Dr. Emma used this book to record the names of students who violated dress code. Nineteen years later, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart brought the book back. Some students assume that the new enforcement strategy is one that was proposed by Neihart alone. “I was actually a part of a discussion that resulted in the expectation that we were going to be more stringent this year,” Neihart said. “There was a charge, if you will, for me to uphold those expectations more stringently.” Those in the meeting concluded that a more rigorous implementation of the dress code would promote
SAS as the “prestigious school that it is.” “SAS is the largest international school in the world,” Neihart said. “Not only do we want it to perform sharply, we want to look sharp too.” Students have been reprimanded for violations including logos on clothing and rule-violating colors of undershirts. There was only one new rule added this year, one that made it a violation to wear heels taller than one inch. Administration efforts to strictly enforce this and existing rules are yielding complaints. “I think it’s fair to enforce it, but not to the extreme they have been,” senior Anushka Bharvani said. “There shouldn’t be black or denim, but I don’t see the big deal in a color that is slightly off navy
September 28, 2006 2006/vol. 26 no. 1
Neihart whips out his notorious notebook to record junior Nick Alli-Shaw’s dress code violation. Photo by Brian Riady
New deputy roams halls with little blue book and no-tolerance policy blue.” Bharvani was asked to change after being cited for ‘faded pants.’ Last year, though technically a violation of dress code, faded bottoms were often tolerated. There was a sense of ﬂexibility with dress code that Principal Dave Norcott still hopes to maintain. “We want our student body to feel that there’s some latitude in dress, but we want it to be neat,” Norcott said. “The feeling isn’t to become obsessive.” The latitude Norcott refers to is the ability of students to choose the style of their bottoms. Some students have failed to appreciate that level of tolerance. On one day during the second week of school, Neihart cited over 20 students violating dress code. He said that most students are
respectful when asked to change. Senior Saagar Mehta was asked to cover a shirt that read ‘FCUK,’ the initials of the clothing brand French Connection United Kingdom. “ I understand why I was asked to change,” Mehta said. “I just didn’t think about it. It was the ﬁrst shirt I picked.” Most students claimed that violations are innocent mistakes. Students still have last year’s more ﬂexible dress code on their minds. “If my pants were allowed a few months ago, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be ﬁne now,” Bharvani said. For some students, breaking dress code is related to wanting to express individuality. “There are many avenues in which students can express themselves outside of their dress,”
math teacher David Rops said. In addition to the new enforcement of dress code rules, administrators have cracked down on ‘grooming’ regulations. Junior Michael Howard circulated a petition in hopes of modifying the rule that boys’ hair cannot touch the collar.. “The rules keep students from being who they would be otherwise,” Howard said. Norcott acknowledges students’ needs to express their individuality, but said he has certain expectations regarding the way students dress. “There is a ﬁne line between students’ individual freedom and a schools right to impose regulations,” he said. “But the school’s appearance should be smart and casual. When you come to school you should present yourself properly.”
Injury forces 35-year veteran teacher, coach to retire
Coach Nat Bava bids farewell to students in the caf on Sept. 1, his last day at SAS. Faculty and staff honored Bava in a reception the same day. Photo by Brian Riady
Permit # MICA (P) 234/10/2005
By Kathy Bordwell When Nat Bava fell in a food court early this summer, he did not realize it would force his retirement from teaching. A 35-year-old veteran of SAS and one of its most admired teachers and coaches decided it was time to say goodbye. After two surgeries failed to ﬁx his wrist Bava said that he was left with a permanent injury which would get in the way of his teaching PE. Bava made a tough “personal decision based on [his] doctor’s medical diagnosis.” Bava said that with his injury he would not be able to give his students the quality instruction they deserve since the movement of his wrist was virtually impossible and it would be difﬁcult to instruct students how to play sports like tennis and badminton.
Bava said his favorite class is weight training because those students are new to the activity and he ﬁnds it challenging to motivate them with the though psychological and physical aspects. Students say they will most miss Bava’s sense of humor, his congratulatory “Vundaba” when you do something well and all his “hocus pocus” to help explain the tougher concepts in activities. Junior Tiffany Fan said that not only was Bava a “really good advisor,” but he always “tries to make people laugh.” Bava said one of his proudest moments at SAS was helping to start the IASAS rugby program. He was instrumental in getting other international schools involved. It is “the single achievement that stands out and the highlight in his career
as far as sports,” Bava said. Students who have had him as a sprinting coach highlight how helpful it was to have him train them, as well as students he didn’t personally train. “He wasn’t my coach, but he’d always smile at me, and give me advice,” sophomore Nicole Banister, a track and ﬁeld athlete said. “He was just a really nice guy to be around.” Bava said the death of four student athletes over an Easter break in 1990 was his saddest moment at SAS. He received a fond farewell speech on Sept. 1, his last teaching day, with students taking to a temporary stage in the cafeteria to talk about him and to say goodbye. Though Bava has been at SAS through many changes to the facilities and campus locations, he has taken
them all in stride, claiming he was able to adapt since he was “not only involved, [he] was committed to the cause of education.” Not sure what he will do after leaving except keeping mentally and physically ﬁt, Bava said he is thankful to everyone at SAS, parents, teachers, board members, and the American community for giving him so many opportunities. Being Singaporean he said it “makes a difference coming from a different nationality,” but that he found the American community a “caring and helpful society,” key to making SAS such an “outstanding global institution.” Students say they will remember his always-cheerful humor and his three L’s: “laughter lubricates life.”
September 28, 2006
Growth prompts upgrades by Jeff Hamilton With an average year-to-year student body increase of 8.5 percent in the high school, the board of governors adopted a plan: redesign, rebuild, refurnish. That plan saw a summer of construction on athletic facilities that ended in the laying of artiﬁcial turf on the south ﬁeld and a refurnished high school gym. Director of Services and Facilities Anthony Wong said that because of the increasing usage of the athletic ﬁelds last year it became difﬁcult to regenerate grass on the South Field. Placement of artiﬁcial turf is the end result of two and a half years of planning according to Wong. The school eventually went with local turf company, TCB Sports. “Since they are a new company trying to get established in Singapore, we got some great deals,” Activities Co-Athletics and Activites Director Brian Combes said. “We were also looking for a company that would maintain the ﬁeld, so we would not have to.” Students such as SACAC football player, senior J.J. Subaiah said they empathize with the administration in their decision and appreciate the softness of the turf. . “I like the astro [artiﬁcial turf] because you do not have to worry about digging up the ﬁeld, and it’s soft,” Subaiha said. “The negative is the heat. It burns when you hit the ground.” The school spent $800,000 laying down the artiﬁcial turf and an additional $3,450,000 in construction costs for the gym and other improvements and upgrades. This price tag includes construction on the bridge between the middle and high school gym, and upgrades of the gym restrooms, stadium grandstand uand toilets by the baseball ﬁelds. The remodeled gym seats 1,137 people with the option of seating another 200 in seats arranged
Rehabilitated Gym. Students inaugurate the redone gym in the year’s ﬁrst assembly. Renovations included better lighting, larger bleachers and a new sound system. Photo by Brian Riady
Tradition Gives Way to . . . Plastic. The newly installed $800,000 artiﬁcial turf on the south ﬁeld backs up to a grass ﬁeld. Photo by Sam Lloyd
in the court area. Girls’ Varsity Volleyball captain, Catherine Ward and Combes agree that the design of the new gym is more appealing and more attractive than the previous design of the gym. “The old facility had horrible lighting, which made it a horrible place to play any sport,” Combes said. “It is a lot nicer with the new lighting and now the bleachers come right up to the court,” Ward said. “It would have been so cool if IASAS basketball were here last year.” The renovated gym boasts a big screen TV, new scoreboards, baskets and sound system. The most noticeable change is the bleachers used in the gym. Combes said the old bleachers were brought from King’s Road and were never meant for the high school gym. A new four-setting light system
solved the issue of lighting in the gym. There are now separate settings for practices, games, assemblies and performances. The new facility is not without its drawbacks though. “Its hard to slide on the new rubbery ﬂoor,” Ward said. “You expect to see wooden ﬂoors when you walk into a gym.” Planners have discussed redesigning the auxiliary gym by taking off the current roof and adding another gym on top. This would help accommodate the increase in students. Students and faculty interviewed said that redesigning the cafeteria is the most pressing issue. “We are really boxed in at the moment,” Wong said. “We may expand into the corridor on the bottom ﬂoor, or onto the patio on the second ﬂoor.”
Superintendant resigns at end of 8 years marked by rapid growth by Barbara Lodwick A small girl walked up to Superintendent Bob Gross at parent night last year and asked him what he did at the school. He smiled, bent Gross’ s next stop will be a Washington D.C. job with the U.S. State Department close and looked her in the eyes. which will send him as far away as “I’m in charge of this whole Western Europe or Africa visiting school,” Gross said. international schools. Gross is a familiar ﬁgure at every Photo by Rohin Dewan “I’m leaning towards Western SAS event. He knows the names of many high school students, and Europe because both of my parents attends their concerts, recitals, and are still alive, but with deteriorating games. Gross creates a sense of health,” he said. “If I need to get home community within the school by quickly it would be easier to get out making sure he stays connected to of western Europe than Africa.” During Gross’s tenure the the school’s activites. On June 6, the board of SAS high school student body grew governors ofﬁcially announced by over 25 percent and took on a more international Gross’s resignation makeup. SAS is and posted a vacancy now the largest announcement on the international website. Gross said school in the that, after eight years world. A new at SAS, he was ready high school, early for a change. education center “I’m 64 years and additions to the old. If there is one three other schools more adventure out Stephen Bonnette added space in the there for me, I better strings teacher last four years. get to it,” he said. “I feel my There is a job waiting for Gross next summer. The U.S. Department greatest accomplishment was the of State offered him one of two construction on the school and the positions in the Ofﬁce of Overseas facilities,” Gross said. “I knew that as long as we kept Schools Gross will act as a liason between State and international building, [Bob] Gross would stay,” schools in either Western Europe or Activities Director Mimi Molchan said, “I told him that. Then a week Africa. “I would love to go to Africa later a notice of his retirement came because it isn’t every day you get to out. I’m glad that he didn’t tell me visit with Americans, living in such while I was standing there.” “Bob Gross has a personable a different culture, he said. “I could book a trip to Western Europe any quality about him,” strings teacher Stephen Bonnette said. “You can start day.” Gross said that, while Africa was a conversation with him, not see him the more attractive option, personal for two months, and pick up where you left off.” matters might affect his choice.
You can start a conversation with him, not see him for two months, and pick up where you left off
ISM board resigns after two-day strike; students back in class by Rhoda Severino On Monday Sept. 4, the International School Manila (ISM) board sacked superintendent David Toze, ordering security guards to escort him from the campus. Toze’s car, and cellphone were conﬁscated, his house locked. The board gave no clear reason for Toze’s removal from his ofﬁce, which came three-and-ahalf months after Toze announced that he would be “rescinding” his contract with ISM. In faculty and parent meetings that took place the next day, teachers made their decision to go out on strike until the board resigned. The board declined to meet with the parents and teachers. The day before the strike, parents began to circulate a petition calling for the board’s removal, which eventually gathered 850 signatures. The school charter requires 800 signatures to legally remove the board members from their positions. On the ﬁrst day of the strike, faculty and staff met and decided to extend the strike an additional
ISM activities director and day. Some faculty, parents and staff former SAS teacher Roy Tomlinson volunteered to make phone calls is in his ﬁrst months at the school. and gather proxies for the required “I’m just happy that kids are number of signatures. back in school,” he said. “I’m more The last of the ten board members concerned resigned with the on the students than second I am with the day of adults.” the strike Senior before the T h ompson petition backed the could be teachers on presented. their decision Classes to strike and resumed believes that on Friday, Tess Thompson the strike was Sept. 8. beneﬁcial to I S M ISM senior the school. senior Tess “ T h e teachers Thompson attended student meetings could not work in an atmosphere where there was such tenseness and before and during the strike. “It got ugly. People got emotional animosity caused by the board,” she on both sides,” Thompson said. said. ISM seniors collected 113 “Now that the whole affair is over, I signatures from high school students think there is not only a lot of relief, who supported teachers and the but also a lot of emotional drain.”
It got ugly. People got emotional on both sides.
administration. Not all of the students, though, felt the same way as their peers and teachers. “I do personally know people though, who either did not want to get mixed up in this situation or supported the board,” Thompson said. “I think it is hard to say what the majority of students felt.” ISM senior Travis Voboril supported the teachers because he believed that the board was trying to interfere with the school curriculum. “I pretty much believed [the strike] was mostly for us and for [teachers],” he said. Even after the successful strike, Voboril did not see any signiﬁcant change in the school. “When the board resigned, everything just went back to normal.” Voboril said the single greatest outcome will be the way the board is elected. “I think it really traumatized the school,” he said. “This time [the elections are] going to be more
ofﬁcial.” Tomlinson was more unsure whether the long-term effects of the situation would be good for the school. “That remains to be seen, but I hope so,” he said. “I do feel strongly that this faculty is very professional and genuinely cares about the students.” Tomlinson said that students need to be better informed when it comes to the affairs of the school especially since teachers were not allowed to discuss the strike with the students once school resumed. “I come from a student council background, so I really believe in students’ rights,” he said. “If we don’t trust you with the truth, what can we trust you with?” Elections for an interim board took place on Monday Sep. 18. Board president Randy Johnson announced the next day that the Philippine National Labor Relations Commission has ordered ISM to reinstate Toze. Toze returned to work on Wednesday Sep. 20.
Students fail to see eye to eye with the ‘big guys’ No petitions were circulated in the 2005-2006 school year. It was not that students were wholly content with their lives at SAS, but few had complaints that prompted them to consider a mass movement. Times have changed. In the ﬁrst quarter of school, three petitions were in circulation: one asked for the stereo back in the caf, one for a change in the rule for boys’ hair length, and another requested a schedule change. The petition to get the stereo back was signed by over 100 students but was not approved by the administration. The petition regarding a schedule change was handed over to the student council and Principal Dave Norcott has conﬁrmed that there will be a change in the length of the third break. Perhaps we are moving closer to ﬁnding common ground. Whether or not the administration, teachers and students can ﬁnd common ground depends on the reaction to these petitions. If a petition is rejected without reasonable justiﬁcation, students feel ignored. If a petition is approved, students feel that they have a voice in the SAS community. During the second week of school, a forum was held to discuss ideas on how to help the new schedule. Most of the 20 students present felt that they were not heard. A majority of the suggestions involved changing the schedule completely back to the way it was. Students were left with a solution of ‘controllable lunch lines.’ Senior Kacey Whitaker took initiative and began circulating a petition. If a classroom of students could not make a statement, perhaps a couple hundred signatures would. Conﬂict stems from the no tolerance policy on dress code.
Many students have been asked to change and forced to buy navy blue dye at the Booster Booth if pants are deemed too faded. Enforcement has escalated from an issue of ﬂip ﬂops to one of “faded” navy. The problem is that students and administration’s different opinions cannot seem to reconcile. It is difﬁcult to point ﬁngers and ﬁgure out where this problem lies. Is the administration asking too much of students? It does not seem so. Compared to other schools in Singapore, our uniform is simple and even by some standards, stylish. But is the slight difference in navy blue and ‘faded’ navy blue really that important? Students laughed and groaned about the crackdown on dress code. There were stories about students gettting detention for gray pants and about students being pulled out of class to change. Yet on the ﬁfth alternate dress day, a male student showed up wearing a shirt with an image of a vodka bottle. It seems that even a ‘no tolerance’ attitude is not enough. Do students feel rebellious when they get away with four-inch heels or does the administration feel gratiﬁed when they reach a daily quota? The solution does not involve thinking of the problem as a war; - victory for one side and defeat for the other. Administrators, teachers and students must be able to get along. Administrators and teachers should enforce the rules they write, and students should play by those rules. Administrators and teachers should listen and act on students’ suggestions, and students should be mature enough to compromise. Without this agreement, we will be left with a pile of unapproved petitions, rumors, and growing resentment.
Singapore American High School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Republic of Singapore 738547 Staff: (65) 6363-3404 x537 Adviser: (65) 6363-3404 x539 Fax: (65) 6363-6443 firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors-in-chief: Denise Hotta-Moung, Hot Cat Ward News editor: Sam Lloyd, Rhoda Severino Op/Ed editor: Amanda Tsao, Vicky Cheng Features editor: Jeff Hamilton, Nicole Schmitz Eye In Focus editor: Katrina DeVaney A&E editor: Arunima Kochhar, Kathy Bordwell Sports editor: Michelle Lee, Barbara Lodwick Photo/Layout editor: Rohin Dewan Reporters: Megan Anderson, Alex Boothe, Kathy Bordwell,Vicky Cheng, Katrina DeVaney, Rohin Dewan, Jeff Hamilton, Denise Hotta-Moung, Arunima Kochhar, Michelle Lee, Sam Lloyd, Barbara Lodwick, Enja Reyes, Nicole Schmitz, Rhoda Severino, Ravi Shanmugam, Amanda Tsao, Cat Ward Adviser: Mark Clemens Assistant adviser: Judy Agusti
The Eye is the student newspaper of the Singapore American School. All opinions stated within these pages are those of their respective writers and do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the Singapore American School, its board of governors, PTA, faculty or administration. Comments and suggestions can be sent to the Eye via the Internet at eye@sas. edu.sg. At the authorʼs request, names can be withheld from publication. Letters will be printed as completely as possible. The Eye reserves the right to edit letters for reasons of taste and space.
September 28, 2006
op / ed 3
Crisis warrants revisions to rules The student body is out of control. be put on silent and may not be used Administrators fear that rebellious if keypads are too loud. Motorola behavior will result in deterioration Razrs are recommended. students It is suspected that inmates of students’ are using their caf time for ethics, image, activities other than consumption academics and of meals. Some students have attitudes. been observed socializing, The daily laughing or in conservation. detention Overlords feel an obligation d e m e r i t to prevent ineffective usage records 17 of lunch periods. Controllers students on remind students that it is dress code expected that they assemble in probation and a line precisely perpendicular to 14 for intimate hair contact Denise Hotta-Moung the service area to receive their daily rations. with collar. A Attendance check classroom freshman girl was found with nails painted an angry color, one that does assignments will be posted every not compliment the image of this third Tuesday for even months and school nor match the spirit colors every second Thursday for odd of red, white and blue. Revisions months. These will last for 21 school have been added to the Handbook days. On the 21st day students will of Attitudes and Regulations for be assigned to a new attendance check teacher. Students in High school (HARSH). The increasing number of students Old rules will be modiﬁed in order to ﬁt newer additions to our makes it virtually impossible to code of conduct. Violation #15c. learn every student’s name. Student under “Public Displays of Affection” I.D. numbers will be used in place will be changed. Speciﬁcally, of names. The ﬁrst four digits of a giving a “huge hug” is not longer student’s I.D. number will be printed appropriate. Placing hands gently in large letters across the backs and on another’s shoulders will be fronts of school shirts (dress code permitted, but contact should not will be altered to accommodate this). Student number 17645, formerly exceed 10 seconds. A recent survey notes that noise known as Mary Ellis, will be more can disrupt the processes of chewing, efﬁciently referred to as #7645. swallowing and digesting food. After Dispensing with names and relying masticating this information, SAS on this more scientiﬁc alternative leaders announced that laughing, means teachers will no longer have sneezing and any form of loud noises to struggle to distinguish among seven Kates or four Johns. during break time is forbidden. Transportation will be Grins will be permitted, but should be controlled, subtle and non- monitored. It has been decided that provocative; excessive smiling is bus cards are inadequate. Students discouraged as advertising any form have not regarded the cards with the respect and seriousness that of happiness may trigger laughter. Students will be required to leave they deserve. Every student will be their shoes outside the library. The issued a tracking device that must be noise that shoes make when scraping imbedded under the skin on the right against the carpet is distracting to forearm. Administrators and faculty can students who are trying to work. In addition, asthmatic students track students at all times and will will not be permitted in the library. be able to report any suspicious These students may stand quietly movements or any travel into outside and delegate a surrogate via prohibited areas. Devices will also text message. Naturally, phones must facilitate management of trafﬁc ﬂow
An Undeﬁned Line.
in hallways, cafeteria queues and bus loading zones. Students have expressed frustration with the brevity of the last break. Lists have been posted with ideas on what students can do to pass the time: listen to “Stairway to Heaven” one-and-a-fourth times, almost sit down, count to one or walk really, really slowly to your next class. If these suggestions do not sufﬁciently meet students’ needs, SAS bureaucrats are willing to discuss lengthening the break to twelve minutes. Last week it was found that students were dressing in an inappropriate and sloppy manner. To address this potentially disruptive practice, revisions to dress code required that school shirts be ironed out completely. Faculty members were encouraged to report even the smallest creases. To prevent creasing, overlords advised that students avoid hugging and sit straight and still in seats at all times. This policy has been modiﬁed in light of the discovery that wrinkles cannot be avoided in certain areas of clothing. Wrinkles will be permitted in areas under the arm and around the knees. Any wrinkles outside of this area will result in detention, inschool suspension or out-of-school suspension – appropriate penalty will be assessed based on number, complexity, depth and permanence of creases. Male students with hair that touches their collars will be asked to get a trim. For boys that wish to keep their hair, administrators suggest using curlers. Curls shorten hair length by about an inch. Curling irons can be bought in any supermarket and are useful for quick touch-ups in the mornings. Pharmacies sell numerous brands of hairspray, which will effectively hold curls in place throughout the school day. Perm kits will be available at the Booster Booth by the end of the week. All pupils will be expected to compassion show tolerance for new policies.
By Amanda Tsao
4 features Jason Adkison Western Civ, Modern Asian Prespectives, Economics Adkinson plans to spend his Christmas vacation working in an animal wildlife rehabilitation center in India. He moved here from the Nishimachi International School in Japan. He is on the faculty soccer team and plays the guitar.
“I ﬁnd it really fulﬁlling to do community service.”
Julie Goode Guided Learning Goode did not always plan on being a teacher. She used to be a systems analyst. In high school Goode was involved in many sports including track and swimming. She moved here from the Lindale High school in Lindale, Texas.
“Never give in.”
September 28, 2006
Daniela Blacklaws Indoor Sports, Safety/First Aid Blacklaws previously taught at the Frankfurt International School in Germany. The school there went from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. She said that SAS is much better equipped. She enjoys playing tennis and going to the cinema.
“I’m glad there are no days that get dark at half past three here!”
the Who’s Who of Who’s New
Huang Hua Charbonnet Chinese II, Chinese IV Charbonnet just transferred from the middle mchool. She has a Masters Degree in the Science of Moral Discipline and is working on her second in Chinese Language and Literature. She has two sons, Danny and Paul who attend SAS.
“Do not waste your life”
Sarah Mar Chinese II, Chinese III Mar loves to sing. She enjoys going to karaoke with her friends. Mar moved from the Intermediate School where she taught Chinese.
“Studying without thinking is wasting labor; thinking without studying is perilous.” - Confucious
Phillipe Moineau AP French, Spanish II, Spanish III Moineau studied English in France. He moved to the U.S where he picked up Spanish. Moineua enjoys running and was on the track team in college. He said that stress levels here are higher for both teachers and students.
“If it’s worth doing, do it well.”
Tico Oms Intro to Business, Business & Consumer Law, Entrepreneur Small Businesses Oms previously taught at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, Germany. He loves soccer and enjoyed the World Cup 2006 which was held in Germany. He speaks five languages: Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Thai and English.
“For every complex problem there is a simple solution that is wrong”
Richard Bisset AP European History, Western Civilization, U.S. History
Troy Blacklaws English 10, English 11 Blacklaws taught at the Frankfurt International school with his wife, Daniela Blacklaws. He taught English, creative writing and was the writer in residence. He published a book, Karoo Boy which is being made into a film.
“Follow your dreams” “Listen to Eels [an American rock band].”
Doug Neihart Deputy Principal Neihart and his wife, Maureen, have been foster parents in the past. He has taught art and physical education as well as coached track. He moved here from Montana where he sported a ponytail for nine out of the last ten years.
“I want to get to know as many students as I possibly can.”
Betts is back
Betts returned after a year from the Middle School where she worked as a counselour. Betts hopes to help kids with issues outside of college related concerns. She was on the Today show in 1990 with son Braden Betts ‘06. She talked about husband Steve Betts who was stuck in Kuwait.
Kent Knipmeyer Western Civ, History of India, Psychology, History of Malaysia & Singapore
Dawn Betts Counselor
John Johnson Library Media Specialist
Bisset moved from Malaysia where he taught at the International School Kuala Lumpur. He enjoys travelling. His next conquest is Louangphabang, Laos.
Knipmeyer loves to travel and has lived in Africa but considers South East Asia his home. He moved here from the Mont Kiara International School in Malaysia.
Johnson’s previous school had only 400 students. It has taken him about three weeks to adjust to the hot and humid Singapore weather. His hero is Melvin Dewey.
“The bigger you think, the smaller the world gets.”
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll make an exception.”
“The world is my country, and my religion is to do good.”
Ingrid Renneberg Physics Renneberg always wanted to be a pilot, but when she was younger there were no women pilots. Today, she has a pilots license and is a licensed instructor. She moved here from the American School of the Hague, the Netherlands.
Mario Sylvander Guidance Counselor Sylvander is a citizen of both Sweden and the United States. His mother and father are both Swedish. He likes to bike, play golf, ski, and read. He sometimes plays tennis with the Blacklaws and Tico Oms.
“Enjoy in moderation.”
Frans Grimbergen Soccer, Football, Rugby, Racquet Sports, Lifeguard Training, Softball & Field Hockey, Aquatics, Saftey/First Aid Grimbergen previously taught at the Elementary School. He taught at the American College in Egypt and the International School of Amsterdam. He admires his son Sven and Andre Agassi.
“Wat gij niet wilt dat u geschiedt, doet dat ook ander niet.” (Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.)
September 28, 2006
New student adjusts to bells, queues, choices by Katrina DeVaney New students have a lot to get used to: new teachers, counselors, principals, rules, classes, cafeteria, menus, schedules and dress codes. But for freshman Scott Swingle, everything about SAS is an alien experience.
Edwin Bywater Algerbra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 Bywater graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah in December of last year. He has wanted to be a teacher for at least the last ten years. In high school, Bywater played basketball, water polo, was the first chair cellist, and sang in the choir.
“If you don’t shoot, you can’t score.”
Eric Schreiber Japanese I, II. III, IV Schreiber enjoys watching foreign films in his spare time. He moved here from California and discovers something new each week. For the first six weeks Schreiber did not know that he had hot water in his kitchen.
“I’m interested in the concept of getting what you need versus getting what you want.”
Erin Millar Algebra II, Geometry Millar enjoys exploring Singapore and trying new foods in her spare time. She previously taught 5th grade math in the intermediate school. Millar is engaged to chemistry teacher Simon Bright.
“Time outside of school? Does that exist?”
For almost nine years, Swingle has been homeschooled. He attended his ﬁrst day of ‘real’ school midway through the eight grade. “I wanted to try school, but I was still scared,” Swingle said. One of the biggest changes for him was adjusting to the school schedule. “I could sometimes wake up at 10,” he said. Sometimes my parents would get on a pattern where they would Swingle and his younger always wake me up at 6 or brother. He has ﬁve brothers 5:30, and sometimes they and his mother is expecting another sibling soon. would slack off.” Swingle Photo by Sam Lloyd started each day with a list moved to Texas. His parents gave of schoolwork. When he ﬁnished, he was free for the rest of him the choice whether or not to attend school. Scott’s friends who the day. “Sometimes, I would wake up attended school inﬂuenced him with at 3 or 2 a.m. and do all my work their negative comments. “My friends didn’t like it. I before anyone else had woken up.” Swingle’s has ﬁve brothers and thought it [school] was terrible,” he one on the way. The Swingles were said. Swingle said his parents always living in Louisiana when he started school. His parents were concerned intended that he would eventually with the quality of the school system attend a regular school. He studied subjects at home that reﬂected the and decided to home-school him. When Scott was 11, his family public school curriculum. “I still studied evolution, even though my parents disagree. They didn’t want me to be behind,” Swingle said. He was pleasantly surprised when he came to school. “It’s not scary,” he said. “I thought that there would be less freedom. Since I’ve never really been in schools, I thought that the teachers would be more strict, the desks would be lined up in rows.” There were new, unexpected Scott Paul Duncan experiences for Swingle. Western Civ, History of China, “I’ve been surprised at cheating, I Modern Asian Perspectives, English 10 didn’t think cheating would happen,” he said. Duncan was a trial lawyer for Swingle knew that his fellow ten years. He once had a run-in with students would have preconceptions a white supremacist whose closing statement was a book by Dr. Seuss. about homeschoolers. He previously taught at the Mary “I know some people who think Institute Country Day School in home-schoolers are the most idiotic Missouri. people and they don’t know anything. Weirdos. Idiots. Geeks.” One of the biggest changes for “Insist on yourself, never Swingle, was SAS’s size. While imitate.” being home-schooled, Swingle made friends with people from his church or neighborhood. But he said life was sometimes lonely. “I never had very many friends,” said Swingle. His ﬁve brothers were also homeschooled. Because they were much younger and required more attention, Swingle often worked alone. “I was always the oldest, and the only person studying whatever I was studying,” Swingle said. Micha Pavlik Roach The Swingle’s took ﬁeld trips but Art most targeted the younger sons. “We went to ﬁeld trips, like Roach is an artist who moved from children’s museums and zoos, the elementary school. She enjoys mainly for my younger brothers,” spending time with her husband. Swingle said. One of the biggest positives for Swingle has been the large number of course options. “One of the functions of art “I had a lot more choices in is to change the way that school-robotics, Chinese. I don’t think I would have learnt Chinese people think” very easily at home,” he said.
He also enjoys the wealth of resources he did not have at home, especially in science. “At home, I never had a chance to do all the labs. My science experiments weren’t that great. We had a jar of water, and two strings, and a needle,” Swingle said. Swingle’s homeschool subjects included math, science, English, penmanship, history, Spanish and typing. Swingle wishes that he could still be homeschooled in some classes, such as math and English. When Swingle came to SAS, he was half-a-year
ahead. “It’s hard to stay at other kids’ levels when I’ve done some of these things before,” said Swingle. He said he was behind in some skills like handwriting and spelling. While being homeschooled, Swingle participated in sports. At the YMCA, he signed up for soccer, basketball and baseball. Swingle is adjusting to the way subjects are taught. He usually taught himself from books and did not receive much instruction from his parents, although both parents were involved in home-schooling. “My mom was the teacher. My dad was the principal. My dad was just there to check everything. If we hadn’t done it, we would be really scared when he came home,” he said. Swingle’s mother is a chemist. “She never trained to be a teacher. She went to home-school conventions, and asked other homeschoolers what they used,” Swingle said. Swingle did not take tests until his last year of home-schooling, including standardized tests administered by the state, such as TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). “I never even got a grade really,” Swingle said. Instead of grades, Swingle’s parents found other ways to penalize him when he did not complete his work. His parents came up with the ‘meal deal.’ “If we didn’t do half our work before noon, we didn’t get lunch,” Swingle said. “If we didn’t do the other half before ﬁve, we didn’t get dinner. We missed a lot of meals. Our parents thought that this would help us to do our work on time, but it didn’t.” Swingle was not used to the concept of homework, which he says is a negative in regular schooling. While being home-schooled, Swingle had much more free time. “I’d play on the computer. I’d catch snakes,” he said. He has few problems ﬁnding friends and ﬁtting in. His homeschooling experience and large family serve as interesting conversation topics. So does Swingle’s love for snakes. “People were interested in me. I did well. It was easy to ﬁt in,” he said.
New Kids on the Block “Singapore’s really clean!”
Avery Shawler, Grade 10 Moved from South Korea. Runs cross-country.
Anna Simpson, Grade 12 Moved from Canada. Plays volleyball, tennis, softball
“The kids here are pretty tight.” Rod Hesh, Grade 11 Moved from California. Is a swimmer, enjoys surﬁng.
“I like the big city feel of Singapore.”
Justin Hill, 11 Moved from Scotland. Runs for cross country, plays tennis and is part of Jazz Band
“The library, dance studio and facilities are amazing. ”
Katie Sarkhosh, 9 Moved from Colorado Dances, sings, is part of “Chess” musical.
September 28, 2006
Sophomore Allison Prendergast gets into character for her audition.
Check, and mate Rock-opera takes on the Cold War
by Amanda Tsao When the rock-opera musical, “Chess,” opens Oct. 27, there will be 214 people working on stage and behind the scenes: 50 cast members, six specialty dancers, 40 musicians, 20 technicians and 98 more in design, sets, costume, posters and programs. “Chess” differs from past musicals in its darkness and morbid humor. During the Cold War, Freddie Trumper (senior Peter Ayer) plays a world championship chess match against Russian, Anatoly Sergievsky (senior Sean McCabe). Freddie’s second and girlfriend Florence Vassey (junior Chelsea Curto) drops
PREP-TIME. Students auditioning for roles in “Chess” are prepped by director-drama teacher Patricia Kuester. Photos by Brian Riady
Freddie and takes up with Anatoly’s playing against each other, live second, Alexander Molokov (senior coverage of the game will be Nathan Choe). projected. During one musical “This year the music is rock- number, “Budapest is Rising,” taped opera oriented,” said senior Sean . “There’s a lot of electric guitar, synthesizer and keyboard.” In another innovation for SAS theatre, video and still images will be projected onto the large screen at the back of the stage. In “Chess” audition judges’ Stephen Bonnet, Londgren, Brian Hill, one, when Molokov Kelly McFadzen, Patricia Keuster and Nannette Devens with and Trumper are Paula Silverman.
Get a Clue: dancers ditch Disney
or innocent. The end of each show by Arunima Kochhar With no Disney soundtrack to A different murderer emerges will have a bit of improv depending work with, the seven chorographers during each performance of “Clue”, on the culprit.” are in charge of ﬁnding music to suit this years dance showcase, a their character. new suspenseful show, based “It has been on the popular board game. hard trying The game is set in a sixto pick the room mansion. The dancers perfect song each represent a character for each scene” who is a guest staying at senior Anushka this house. A scream and a Bharvani who thud later, the guests ﬁnd plays Miss the house owner, Mr. Boddy, Scarlett said. murdered. The suspects “We’ve had to and the Detective attempt to go through so solve the murder by ﬁnding many songs in the murderer, the location order to ﬁnd a and the weapon. good one.” The dancers move from Even though room to room, where they there was a are individually interrogated signiﬁcant loss by the Detective. The of talent at the show climaxes in the last BOARD PLAYERS “Clue” choreographers plan scenes for ﬁrst end of last year, scene when the murderer performance. choreographers is revealed through an are conﬁdent in This performance deviates from improvised dance. the cast. “Each show will have a different its Disney based predecessors. “We really like the new talent “We’ve been doing the same murderer,“ dance teacher Tracy Van this year. The [freshmen and new der Linden said. “Before each show, [Disney based] shows for a while students] have been really creative the seven student choreographers now so as a group we decided and they work really hard,” Bharvani and I will gather around and choose to try something new,” Van der said. “We think it’s going to be a cards stating whether they are guilty Linden said. really fun show.”
war images of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution will ﬂash onto the screen. Lyricist Tim Rice (“Cats”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”) along with former ABBA musicians Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson wrote the lyrics for “Chess.” A number of musicals were considered for production this year by the Visual and Performing Arts department faculty, but performance rights were not released. Several teachers were familiar with the music from “Chess.” “We all decided it was interesting and intricate,” said play director and drama director Patricia
Kuester. “This musical is different from the jolly, light [kind of] musical. It’s extremely dark, there is political exposé and double dealing.” Senior Nathan Choe said the play choice was a poor one because there was an equal number of male and female roles. “It was a poor choice, just because frankly there’s not a lot of guy singers or guy actors at this school and even fewer that can do both.” Choe, a former SAS Singer said. “The music is supposed to be good but a lot of it, I think, is pretty corny,” he said. “But I think we’ll be able to pull it off.”
Dance and Choir Exchange in KL
SAS dancers Devi Wulandari, Shi Yu Liu, Jessica Lin and Cindy Nguyen pose for a calendar photoshoot with nature.
SAS Singers practice back in Singapore after their 2nd annual exchange performance in Kuala Lumpur.
September 28, 2006
Record number help cleanup by Michelle Lee On Saturday, Sept. 9th a record number of 157 SAS students and faculty members, led by Environmental Science teacher Martha Began, participated in the annual International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore. The SAS community picked up 1500 kilograms of trash that day, almost half of the total amount collected. This year marked the 10th anniversary of SAS’ work in the mangroves. 129 bags of debris containing 5,685 items were collected. The top items counted were 2109 plastic bags and 1116 straws. The strangest items ranged from pants, chairs, stuffed animals and syringes to the inside of a car door.
Students relax after cleaning up garbage from the mangroves during the International Coastal Cleanup. Photos by Marissa Leow and Steve Early
Varisty soccer player Taka Miyauchi saves a goal at practice before going to the exchange at JIS. The boys won their game against ISKL and tied with JIS 0-0. The girls defeated JIS with a score of 2-1 and won their game against ISKL 3-0. Photo by Winny Tan
Eagles take three out of four at JIS exchange by Megan Anderson On Saturday Sept. 9th, the boys and girls varsity soccer teams competed against Jakarta International School (JIS) and the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) at a Jakarta exchange. The SAS girls won both of their games with a score of 3-0 against ISKL and 2-1 against JIS. The SAS boys defeated ISKL 1-0 and played a scoreless game against JIS. The girl’s team kicked off at a late starting noon game. Many of the players were grateful for the extra sleep after many hours of traveling the evening before. “It was nice to be able to wake up later for the game and get a good night sleep. It was a disadvantage, though, to have to play in the middle of the day when the sun was strongest and when it was the hottest,” junior midﬁelder Natalie Favati said. The girls controlled the game immediately, and the ball rarely crossed into their defensive half. Though the Eagles had the majority of ball possession, the ISKL defense held strong and made it difﬁcult for the attack to score. Center midﬁelder junior Megan Anderson ﬁnally scored for SAS with a shot from inside the 18-yard box in the 19th minute. Two more goals were scored almost consecutively in the
second half by sophomore Erin Morris to seal the Eagle victory. “Even though we won, we didn’t put forth our best potential,” senior co-captain Crista Favati said. “We usually don’t play well the ﬁrst game but we always come back.” The SAS boy’s team played ISKL after the girls in the same midday heat. The Eagles immediately dominated when senior Marcus Beck delivered a cross from right ﬁeld to the far post. Fellow senior T.J. Son ﬁnished the cross with a volley into the right corner of the goal and put SAS on the scoreboard within the ﬁrst 20 seconds of the game. From here, neither team was able to score. At the ﬁnal whistle the score was still 1-0. “We didn’t play very well,” junior Jordan Reed stated. “None of our passes connected.” Both the girls and boys teams played their ﬁnal games at 7 p.m. against JIS. Coach Adams focused on an attack minded line-up to pressure the Dragon goal. His tactical changes proved successful when Morris scored her third goal of the day in the 14th minute off a perfectly placed cross by junior Alex Shaulis. Sophomore Nora Hanagan later sealed the girls’ lead in the 20th minute and put the Eagles ahead by two. Adams was impressed with his midﬁeld and backline. “SAS dominated the 50 – 50
balls and controlled the center of the pitch. The Eagles managed 23 shots on goal, 12 of them on target,” Adams said. Jakarta did not give up though. The Dragons pressured the Eagles defense at the end of the second half and were rewarded with an own goal. When the ﬁnal whistle blew, the Eagles jogged off the ﬁeld with a 2-1 victory. “We proved strong in the defense once again with another two shut-
outs. Everyone always gives it all they have out there,” senior Aubrey Doyle said. The SAS boys faced an extreme challenge against JIS, playing a close game against opponents of equal ability. “We played really well and we played as a team,” Captain senior Gonzo Carral said. Both teams attempted many shots on goal but they were all unsuccessful. The ﬁnal score was
by Megan Anderson For the ﬁrst time in 12 years an SAS girl’s soccer team clenched gold in the Pesta Sukan Seven-ASide tournament. After a strenuous week of tryouts, 20 players qualiﬁed to play in the Pesta Sukan Women’s Soccer Tournament held on Aug. 20. Coach Don Adams divided the group into two teams, A and B. The Malay word Pesta Sukan literally means “festival of sports.” The Ministry of Culture created the Pesta Sukan, and, according to the Singapore Sports Council, aims to “provide an opportunity for
0-0. Despite the lack of goals, the boys from both teams played a topquality game of soccer. At the end of the day, SAS was satisﬁed with the quality of competition. The boys realized that they have some tough competition this year and that they will have to work hard in order to achieve gold once again. Even though the girls won all of their games, there were no blowouts, and they too will have to work hard to defend their title.
Girls win local tournament for first time in 12 years
sportsmen and women to get together in camaraderie and goodwill, and to raise the standard of sports through friendly competitions.” The B-team kicked off the tournament at 9:15 a.m. at the Jalan Besar Stadium on the ﬁrst Sunday of the school year. The girls on the B-team suffered mostly draws and losses even though they put forth a tremendous amount of effort. “It was hot, but the soccer was great,” said junior Bella Reid. “It was a shame the B-team’s games didn’t go our way because we played quite well.” The A-Team won all of their
round robin games with the exception of a draw and a 3-1 loss against Sporting Westlake FC. SAS went on to defeat the local team in the ﬁnals. The game ended with a score of 20 with goals by junior Alex Shaulis and sophomore Erin Morris. “The tournament win gets us off on the right foot,” Adams said. “We now have a chance of winning two more tournaments to ﬁnally win The Triple which includes the SAF Women’s Cup, and the IASAS tournament in October” The last time the SAS team won The Triple was 1993.
8 sports Eagle teams take 7 of 8 in KL September 28, 2006
Varsity boys’ volleyball team members Senior Clay Crawford, Junior Kelson Nef and Senior Mitch Samson go up for a block against JIS during the ISKL exchange. Photo by Martha Began
by Alex Boothe What was supposed to be a five-hour bus ride to the Kuala Lumpur volleyball exchange turned into eight hours over wet roads in heavy traffic. The boys and girls teams that left on the bus Friday, Sept. 9, were not the ones that returned Sunday afternoon. “We had a chance to really get to know the team and bond outside of school,” Freshman Max Shaulis said. Girls’ and boys’ Varsity volleyball teams played the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) and the Jakarta International School (JIS), both of which SAS will be going up against during IASAS the first week of October. The boys, last years’ IASAS gold winners, were caught off guard by the rise in the level of competition from last year. “I realized we have to work on overall intensity,” boys’ Varsity captain senior Clay Crawford said. “The biggest thing is getting the guys to have the heart.” The Eagle girls team faced a different set of troubles. Last year
they graduated five seniors and this year they are taking on five new players. “Before exchange we were a team of twelve individuals, but now we are a team that can play together as one,” Varsity captain junior Barbara Lodwick said. At the close of the exchange it was clear to the Eagle boys that ISKL was going to be one of their tougher competitors this year. The girls are looking hard at JIS with its eight returning seniors and their home court advantage for IASAS. Crawford said that the boys will have to work hard for the rest of the season if they want to take gold again this year. The same goes for the girls if they want to replace last years silver with gold. “At the beginning of the season, I was a little nervous about our team this year, but now, after exchange, I think the new girls finally understand how serious and competitive IASAS is,” returning senior Rachel Black said. “I think it has brought us together and helped us all improve.”
New practice put the X in X-Country by Sam Lloyd He had run with the team for most of his high school experience, but he still did not make the new cross-country cut. He had steadily improved his attendance over the years up to coming every day, and had a lot of fun in the sport. However, his mile time was not up to scratch, so he could not join this year. The time-based cut at the end of the ﬁrst week of school was the ﬁrst of its kind for cross-country. In a sport that has traditionally accepted all who could fulﬁll the two A’s, attendance and attitude, a third has been added, ability, that was previously only considered in selection for exchanges. Girls had to run a mile in the Woodlands area in less than eight minutes, boys less than seven minutes, resulting in a cut of ﬁve runners from the ﬁfty-ﬁve who attempted. Coach Paul Terrile said that the cut times were based on the mile times of those with poor attendance last year. A number of reasons contributed to the coaches’ decision to make this change. “The school is just getting too big,” Terrile said. “We’re willing to take runners if they can make the times, but there’s too big of a spread if we have everyone that wants to join.” “We wanted people to treat it more like a sport and less like a running club. [Cuts are] something every sport has to do,” Terrile added. “It wasn’t the numbers, but the range of having 5:30 to 10:30 [mile time] runners all running at once,” Coach Ian Coppell agreed. With only two coaches and long courses, he said, this can become a safety
SAS 3 - JIS 0 SAS 2 - ISKL 1 ISKL 2 - SAS 1 SAS 3 - JIS 0 ISKL 3 - SAS 2
SAS 2 - JIS 1 SAS 2 - ISKL 1 SAS 2 - ISKL 1 JIS 2 - SAS 1 SAS 3 - ISKL 2
SAS 1 - ISKL 0 SAS 0 - JIS 0
SAS 3 - ISKL 0 SAS 2 - JIS 1
CROSS COUNTRY BOYS 1. ISKL - Will Siemer 2. SAS - Evan Shawler 3. ISKL - Tom Boyd 4. SAS - Sam Lloyd 5. SAS - Warren Ho
GIRLS 1. SAS - Renuka Agarwal 2. ISM - Patricia Limacaoco 3. ISM - Moriko Ohmura 4. SAS - Winnie Ma 5. SAS - Devin Hardee
Members of the cross-country team, including senior Sang Ho, junior Sunny Han and freshman Lauren Betts run during practice prior to the ISKL exchange. Photo by Winny Tan
issue. “We don’t feel too guilty about [the cut] because runners don’t rely on others,” he said. “If you want to run, you can go out and run” without the team, whereas other sports may require many participants. Prospective runners were told at the end of the last school year of the decision to cut, so that they would have the opportunity to get in shape by running over summer. Senior Nate Mahoney, who made the cut with a 6:50 time, felt that the cuts were “bad because the spirit of cross-country goes beyond the talent of the team. Cross-country is the same amount of support for each other as
it is individual. Cuts rob the team of its ability to bond and connect.” He did concede that he had known beforehand and had worked out over the summer by hiking and biking to make the cut, unlike the cut runner mentioned above, who preferred to remain anonymous. “I support the coaches’ decision, but it wouldn’t have hurt them any more if we had [those cut] on the team,” Mahoney said. Coppell said he realized that “kids liked that it was all-inclusive.” However, he said that a team with a large range of speed made it difﬁcult to focus on helping the fastest runners improve.
He noted that “the time incentive will make people work harder over summer,” so that runners will come into the season more ﬁt. “The time for the cutoff we think is pretty reasonable,” Terrile said. “We were pleased so many people made it; it shows a lot of people take it seriously.” Terrile said that there had also been a “second round of cuts” because “basically, anyone who’s walking in the third week should be cut.” The cut runner said he didn’t “really have any negative feelings,” as his being cut was “better for the team.” However, he said it was really
fun being on the team, and that he had beneﬁted a lot from it. For Mahoney, “nothing can erase or substitute being part of a team. Being part of a team drives me and helps me run faster than I could” otherwise. He thinks that this is what those cut are being deprived of. Coppell said that even if the coaches were to regret the cuts, there would be no going back on their decision. “If we make a criteria as strict as time, we have to stick to it,” he said.
September 28, 2006
Singapore American High School September 28, 2006/vol. 26 no. 1 Permit # MICA (P) 234/10/2005 Neihart whips out his notorious notebook to re...