the eye Singapore American School
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Oct. 7, 2010 / Vol. 30 No. 1
Teams get noisy sendoff in first pep rally Noisy freshmen class gets bump in point totals though still in last overall
CLASS YELL-OFF. Juniors raise their voices to the max for IASAS athletes in the the Friday pep rally’s yelling competition between all four classes. Cross country runner Scott RozenLevy and volleyball team-member Amanda Zakowich lend their voices to the din while Amanda’s volleyball teammates (in blue) and the volleyball boys (in red) enjoy the crowd’s energy and support. Seniors won in the overall point count while sophomores came in last. Photo by Anbita Siregar www.saseye.com • 40 Woodlands St. 41, Singapore 738547 • www.sas.edu.sg/hs • (65) 6363 3405 • MICA (P) 130/04/2010
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
While you were out: New attendance policy, bells, principal, and an ID with benefits Photo illustration by Leo De Velez
Increased absences last year prompt 6-day rule Per-semester absence limits, appeal process misunderstood by students By Sophia Cheng It’s that time of the year when it seems every other person is sniffing and coughing and making paper wontons. Senior Retika Majed is one of the victims of the “SAS flu.” “I knew it was coming when a girl on my bus coughed in my face,” Majed said. With the new six day absence Rule,” students seem reluctant to stay home and rest. The new attendance policy allows six absences per class, per semester. On the seventh absence, students will be penalized 10 percent off their quarter grade.
We are human beings here, not a Stalinist truck factory.
Dr. Michael Clark, English teacher, defending the new absence policy There are only three circumstances when absences will not be counted against students: participating in a school-sponsored activity, like IASAS and MUN; being hospitalized, or going to the funeral of an immediate family member – grandparents, parents, brother or sister. The new policy was drafted last year by a committee of teachers and administrators. The committee reviewed the old attendance policy, which allowed students no more than three absences a semester, and they reviewed those of other IASAS schools as well. The International School, Manila (ISM) policy removes class credit from students who are not present 80 percent of the time in a quarter. Hong Kong International School
requires 85 percent attendance. Deputy Principal Doug Neihart said the policy was implemented to target the outliers – the small percentage of students who missed more than 42 blocks in a semester last year, and students who are extending holidays and vacations. He said that there was a spike in absences last year as families extended Christmas and fall breaks, and as students left for a second round of college tours. Often, parents did not notify the school of their child’s absence. “Azizah ends up having to spend hours each day checking the legitimacy of each absence,” Neihart said. “Extended holidays are not the same as, ‘I have dengue fever’… sort of ethically speaking,” English teacher Dr. Michael Clark said. Administrators hope the new policy will act as a thermometer for students. “If students are ill and running a fever, they should absolutely stay home,” Neihart said. “However, if they are not feeling well, but aren’t running a fever, they should come to school,” Neihart said. “We hope to see that students will choose to miss school for part of a day instead of missing the entire day.” “There’s a difference between being unable to fulfill your responsibilities and choosing not to fulfill your responsibilities,” Dr. Clark said. Teachers feel that students are not learning as much as they should be when they miss debates, discussions or lectures. “Teachers were concerned that a lot of learning that isn’t reflected in the grade is lost when students aren’t in class,” Neihart said. “It’s not the same as being in class where your teacher and classmates
New bells find few fans
“They’re kind of like elevators or just like those really annoying hotel or store bells.” Sophomore Stephanie Slaven “I think at first they were really annoying because they would ring like three times, and they sounded like a doorbell, but now that it’s down to just one ring it’s a lot better.” Senior April Hand
are there sharing their expertise and ideas,” Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach said. When a student misses a class, it makes it more difficult for teachers who have to help the student catch up, whether it’s re-teaching certain materials or making up new quizzes or tests. Junior Will Pazos called the policy “ridiculous.” Pazos broke his foot during volleyball practice, went to the hospital the following morning, came back to school for his afternoon classes and found out he had been marked absent – even though he went to the hospital. Like most students, Pazos is unaware of the appeal process. When a student exceeds the limit of six absences per semester, he or she can file an appeal. “If all absences are verified and don’t include personal trips, appointments, or class cuts, students won’t be penalized 10 percent even if they exceed the allowable limit,” Neihart said. A verified absence is when a parent contacts the school stating the reason for absence. “The new attendance policy is in no way intended to penalize students who are legitimately absent from school,” Neihart said. “We are human beings here, not a Stalinist truck factory,” Dr. Clark said. Administrative assistant Azizah Sultan noticed a sharp decrease in absentees. “Last year there would be about 25 absentees a day; this year, only about ten a day.” Sultan said. Students are taking it seriously as well. “I don’t want to use up my quota,” Majed said. “What if I get even sicker the next time?”
“The new bells are interesting. I like them because they keep you awake and on your toes.” Freshman, Parker Bates “They remind me of an airport.” Junior Bianca Barletta
“Hear the loud alarum bells Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, “I feel like it’s just really annoying. I barely hear it They can only shriek, shriek, sometimes when I’m in the caf because it kind of blends in. It also sounds like when you ring a doorbell.” Out of tune” Poet Edgar Allan Poe, “The Bells” It doesn’t really sound like a proper bell for school.” Junior So Jin Park
Although new IDs were given to students at the start of the year, many are not using it. NETS and EZ-Link cepas are a few of its many extras. Photo by Leo De Velez
An ID card and more
New cards convenient, safe, pretty, but not much used yet By Gretchen Connick A new ID card, the SASCard, promises safety and convenience. It completes the goal of finding easy online ways to keep track of transactions within the school while providing students, teachers and staff a safe, convenient was of managing cash. Teachers played guinea pigs last year when William Scarborough, director of finances and business operations, tested the current card system by giving them cards with a $20 balance to spend on food at Mr. Hoe’s, Subway, Eagle Zone and Campus Signature Pizza. This year, all high and middle school students received an SASCard. Card System Coordinator, William Ng, said that the cards can be used in all cafeteria locations, to check out library books and to pay for printing in the library and computer labs. They can also be used as NETS cards though they must be topped up on a bank ATM. Other features are planned including use as a photocopying card and for the vending machines and buses. One goal of the school’s plan to “go digital” is to reduce the number of cards that students and staff carry. Ng said another benefit is the reduction of cash handled since money is “literally dirty.”
Cards are topped up at three black boxes, one outside the high school office, another in the middle school and a third in the elementary school. Once the money is uploaded, the school will protect it. If a student loses his or her card, the amount remaining on their card will be refunded to them or applied to a new card. While the SASCard can be used as an EZ Link card, you cannot top up the “cafeteria” card at the NETS kiosk and ATM because they are only for the NETS feature. The money from this source is not the school’s responsibility. The ID card team is currently in the process of developing an online card top-up for the convenience of parents. Ng said he hopes this will be completed before the school year ends. N o t everyone made the switch from cash to cards. There is some apprehension towards going digital, but Ng says that kids are usually able to pick up on these technological changes faster than adults. Ng said that despite the apprehension seen from students and some members of faculty, there have been more transactions than he expected.
Newnews high school head wants to talk Dr. Stuart says he wants everyone, students, parents, teachers, administrators talking to each other
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
By Viraj Bindra Each of 1200 students is now carrying laptops, a strict new volleyball coaching. His misfortune, however, opened his eyes to attendance policy has been implemented, and there are over 400 an entirely new field in education: administration. new faces in the high school’s halls. Add to this a new principal, After the injury and career adjustment, Dr. Stuart said he one new to Singapore, but not unfamiliar with this part of the world. began to appreciate the unique perspective administrative Principal of Jakarta International School (JIS) for three years, positions offered, encouraging him to pursue a doctorate on top of Dr. Timothy Stuart joins SAS with both his master’s degree in administration. He went IASAS and South East Asia experiences. on to fill a vacancy as principal of a school on a Arriving in Singapore three weeks before Navajo reservation in New Mexico. students, he was surprised by the city. “It was the third poorest county in the “I was anticipating it would be more United States, and somewhere between 30 and cookie-cutter clean and sterile, but there’s 40 percent of my kids did not have running actually some reality, Dr. Stuart said. water or electricity in their homes,” Dr. Stuart “Under the veneer, you’ve got some realsaid. “But it was a phenomenal educational life city that’s incredibly vibrant.” experience. It did more to shape who I am as an Dr. Stuart was exposed to a multicultural educator than any other experience” perspective as a child, the son of a Native While he said it is too early to talk about American father and a Caucasian-American changing anything, Dr. Stuart said he has mother. recognized the need for a major bridge between Dr. Timothy Stuart He grew up in France, attending local the administration, students and parents. He High school principal French schools until the age of 14, before wants to focus on creating more dialogue moving to Philadelphia, where he began eighth grade with no between all of the stakeholders in SAS. English language skills. His school mistook his language disability “This is your school as much as it is my school,” Dr. Stuart for a developmental one, and he spent that year in special education said, “and I want to make sure that there is ample room for classes. discussion. And if there is an issue, let’s talk about it and make Dr. Stuart went on to complete high school at an international a plan.” school in Germany, which is when he realized he was an international Dr. Stuart’s wife, Mona, is an English teacher by profession kid. but is currently involved with her own grant-writing and Dr. Stuart’s teaching career began in physical education communications business. He has three children currently and included positions at international schools in Turkey and enrolled in SAS - twins Ian and Moriah in eighth grade, and Switzerland. An ACL tear temporarily put a halt to his soccer and Tyler, a sophomore.
It did more to
shape who I am as an educator than any other experience.
Dr. Timothy Stuart, new high school principal, and math teacher Ed Bywater chat during a class break. The former Jakarta International School (JIS) high school principal is a U.S. citizen but lived in France as a child and is fluent in French, his first language. Photo by Leo De Velez
Too early for verdict on one-to-one laptop rule
By Jennie Park Last year, SAS tightened its embrace of technology by going wireless campus-wide. This year, SAS took it one step further by making it mandatory for every student to have a laptop.
class. “In some cases it’s effective. In a math class, no,” she said. “But in a history class or something, yeah.” Cullen said that while laptops can be used as a great learning tool, often, they are just not applicable to the given course. Some students had conflicting views on the new policy. “I think it’s good to like, cut down the usage of paper, but I think it sort of distracts people from class,” Evans said. Senior Frances Young qualified laptop usage in classrooms but questioned its overall efficiency. “In certain classes the laptop initiative has helped,” Young said. But I think it’s The policy was met with both more so to impress other students support and controversy. Teachers and other peers to show how thought it would be a beneficial tool; technologically advanced our school students envisioned classes that is. But, honestly, it’s not helping any were never boring students,” Young said. with distractions “In some cases it’s Ultimately, it is too such as Facebook. effective. In a math early to judge at this The student body stage as students and responded positively class, no,” she said. teachers struggle to to the move, but not “But in a history class adapt. necessarily for the or something, yeah.” “In the beginning right reasons. and it’s going to be Senior Torrey Cullen “The laptops are slow,” Technology great during class Coordinator Jay because you can check Facebook Atwood said. “I don’t expect every but other than that my grades have teacher to have a classroom full of turned to s***,” senior Corbin laptops from day one. What we’re Weber said. just as happy to tell teachers is Teachers are still learning to don’t use laptops. Don’t use them adapt as they move from whiteboard for the sake of using them. I mean and text to small screen and web. sometimes it’s better to write it “Only one of my teachers lets down, or talk about things first,” us use laptops in class,” senior Sam The policy has seen FacebookPark said. abuse aplenty and much more WoW“Most of my teachers still have play than expected, but Atwood is their old ways of teaching but some sure it will work out for the better. of them do use laptops,” senior “It comes down to ownership Ceidlih Evans said. and taking responsibility for your Senior Torrey Cullen questioned actions and how you manage your the idea of using laptops in every time,” he said.
Long queues at new Spago’s challenge Subway dominance Students queue for pasta specials at Spago’s, next door to Subway, now in its 11th year at SAS. Subway staff estimate they serve over 200 sandwiches a day. Photo by Leo De Velez
Domino’s, Burger King, Juice Zone, Nourish, Campus Signature Pizza. What do they have in common? Queue-envy – the daily sight of long lines in front of Subway. Spago’s, Subway’s newest next-door neighbor, just might be an exception as their menu acquires new, queue-creating fans. Despite its misleading name – Spago’s worker say they have never sold any Mediterranean items – their food is quickly gaining popularity among students. “It’s the best bang for your buck,” senior Ian Wu said. “For $4.50, you can get a big chunk of chicken along with one side and a drink.” Senior male Joun Lee said
Spago’s combo set meal has a liberal substitution policy. Instead of having a main course with a side dish and drink, you can request for more food. “If you don’t want a drink, you can ask for two side dishes, instead of just one,” he said. Wu could not even recall the name of the eatery that Spago replaced . Senior Henry Lee said that this was the first time he had seen “a restaurant be just as successful as Subway.” During second break, it is not uncommon to see Spago’s queue for food stretching just as long as Subway’s.
Not everyone is satisfied with the replacement. “I personally loved Nourish a lot because I always ordered their smoothies,” senior Taylor Baildon said. “I’ve noticed that a lot of [Spago’s] foodstuffs are greasy or fried.” One of the Spago’s workers, who wished to remain anonymous, talked about the competition with Subway. “During breakfast time, Subway is better, but during lunch, Spago’s is better…our chicken sells the best and we’ve been selling out recently.” A Subway employee said that business is still good. “I don’t think Spago’s is competition,” she said.
Cash-strapped frosh council finds gold in office supplies
By Frances Young For the past few years, Senior Councils have failed to uphold a student council tradition of leaving $1500 for the incoming Freshmen Council. Some Senior Councils have even left debt causing that year’s Executive Council to pay for their bills. This year, Freshman Council had to start from ground zero. “Honestly, I didn’t think we’d make any money,” Freshman President Pamela Chan said. “Thank goodness for Mr. Burnett,” Eric Burnett, freshman council advisor, came up with the idea of selling Silly Bandz at Homecoming after seeing its popularity with kids. Burnett bought 10,000 Silly Bandz from a wholesale manufacturer in China. “I thought we would make a pretty good amount with [Silly Bandz], but nowhere near this amount of success,” Xavi DelRosario, the freshmen vice-president said. Long queues at the Silly Bandz table kept freshmen scrambling. The bands were sold out before the Homecoming game was over. “It’s like having a dog stalk you when you have a piece of food,” Janson Lesser, freshman treasurer, said. These lower school children were among Freshmen Council raked in $2,100 dollars in less than three hours. those who exhausted the Freshmen Council’s Homecoming inventory of Silly Bandz in just “We’re still planning on what we want to use it on, but I think it will be on 2014 Night over two hours. Photo by Liz Quick Out,” Chan said.
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
opinion & editorial
An Eye Staff Editorial
Student voice heard on small things, like the bells, but not on really huge ones - like the toilets We complained about the bells. We wrote letters to the administration. We played “describe the sound” in class. Was it elevator music or airplane announcements? By Friday of the first week of school the bell vendor paid a visit to reprogram the two seconds of noise we hear at the end of class. If only this fast response carried over to some of the high school’s arguably bigger problems. Take for example, the restrooms. Barring some act of dehydration or willpower, every person in the high school will use the toilet at least once during the school day. At times this seemingly simple task becomes a feat of fiendish proportions. The smelly restrooms by the library dare desperate highschooler to step inside. In the third floor toilets near the math wing, mystery liquid seeps onto the floor. The locker room showers freeze the flesh of anyone trying to wash off sweat and grime. Out by the fields, athletes keep one arm outstretched towards the lockless door to in a vain attempt to prevent the un-informed from walking into the open stall. For a top-tier institution, SAS has some bottom-rung restrooms. The point is, the toilets seem plagued with problems, yet nothing is being done. We can’t blame the cleaning staff. They work endlessly to keep the toilets as clean as possible. And we can’t blame the administration for not anticipating our complaints. If the blame falls on anyone it is we, the faculty and students who cringe at the thought of using the toilets, but don’t let our complaints travel further than our small radius of friends. Why were we so quick to fix the bells but not the restrooms? Perhaps it is because the difference with the bells was immediate. The change in the state of the restrooms is ongoing and slow. Perhaps it is because we are forced to listen to the bells, but are willing to hike across the high school in search of a clean toilet. Perhaps it is because social convention dictates that we pretend we simply go into the restroom to rest. Or, perhaps it is because many of us can’t imagine the toilets any differently because they’ve been bad since our freshman year. If we want something done about this issue, we can’t just think it, we have to advocate for it like we fought to change the bells.
Singapore American High School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Republic of Singapore 738547 Phone: (65) 6363-3404 Fax: (65) 6363-6443 email@example.com
Editor-in-chief: Sophia Cheng Managing editors-in-chief: Anbita Siregar, Phillip Anderson, Gretchen Connick Op/ed editor: Becky Kruetter A&E editor: Olivia Ngyuen Sports editor: Hannah L’Heureux Layout editor: Jennie Park Photo Editor: Leo De Velez Design Chief: Viraj Bindra Reporters: Phillip Anderson, Sophia Cheng, Anbita Siregar, vGretchen Connick, Becky Kruetter, Olivia Ngyuen, Hannah L’Heureux, Jennie Park, Leo De Velez, Viraj Bindra, Tyler Stuart, Erica Houston, Emily Nelson, Ash Oberoi, Megan Talon, Michael Too, Rachel Jackson, Adviser: Mark Clemens 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 thethe email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.. At the author’s 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.
College clustering effect hits all time high here
With numbers concentrated on fewer colleges, fewer numbers may end up in the colleges of their choice
I panicked as I looked at the title of the email: “Clustering of colleges.” My jaw dropped when I saw the numbers: 71 students showed interest in New York University, 51 in Northwetern, 47 in University of Michigan, 35 in Columbia. Quotas might not exist, but top colleges will definitely not take in 30 students from one school. Most students are aware of it, too. Talks about colleges have become intense, as students scramble to dig out where others are applying. While some are sticking with their long-time dream schools, others are looking around. We are competing against each other, and that’s the harsh reality. SAS enjoys a good reputation
among colleges; we provide a high quality product. We have scholars, athletes, artists, but most importantly, plenty of students who are a combination of all three. Starting off in a school that has a good reputation may seem an advantage, but it might work against us as well. One might get rejected by a school because he or she appears less qualified compared other SAS students applying to the same school. International students are obsessed with brand names. Those who are not planning to work in the U.S. see the name of the school as an entree into prestigious jobs with fat paychecks. It is also a matter of gaining
All suffer for techno-sins of a very few students
Student’s failure to turn off peer-to-peer lands her in techno-trouble where she finds enlightenment, forgiveness
Jennie Park It was September 1, 10:37 a.m. when my Internet first failed. Initially, I thought the connection was just bad that day, and I refreshed my pages and restarted my computer in a futile attempt to restore my Internet. I even tried to connect to sketchy, unsecure networks such as “jungle” and “~oreomonsta~” but without luck. Out of options, I went to seek help from Jay Atwood, head of the tech department. As I sat down in his office and explained my problem, he scrolled through a long list of names until he finally came to mine. My yearbook picture smirked back at me from an email I had been sent five minutes prior to my arrival in the technology lab and had not yet seen. It was my first warning for network abuse and a notice of the consequences—a ban
from the Internet. I was incensed. In my head I started to compile a long list of people I knew who used Bit Torrent clients such as Transmission and Limewire who hadn’t been punished for their peer-to-peer client use. I felt as if the whole situation was being blown out of proportion, and I really, really, needed my Internet back for class work, blackboard, and, most importantly, Facebook. Atwood said the reason why I was stripped of my Internet rights was because the school network’s hyper-sensitive system had picked up a P2P software I had unknowingly been running at school. Atwood opened a file recording a list of IP addresses of other SAS students, myself included. As if “the list” wasn’t enough to
respect. Entrance to a brand-name university means oohs, ahs and approving nods. My counselor once told me that I should be able to talk for at least two minutes when someone asks me why I want to go to a certain college. In other words, we need to do our own research instead of relying on advice from parents and peers. The best colleges are not necessarily the ones ranked in US News’ top 50, but the ones that are the best fit for your personality and intellectual development. Students are limiting themselves. The “Highly ranked colleges with low SAS interest” list on the counseling website is proof. Councelors report that when prestigous schools visit, few students bother to show up. For those of you who plan to apply to any of the schools in that cluster list, try doing a two-minute speech as to why you would like to go there. If you come up short, maybe it’s time to reconsider your choices.
scare me, Atwood proceeded to open graphs of network activity revealing an unparalleled increase in network use. “We know how much traffic you’re abusing,” he said as he showed me a long list of someone’s P2P downloads. The problem has gotten progressively worse. Last year, a tiny mound marked our school’s network activity, and now in its place is an imposing peak, that signifies the school’s massive amounts of activity, most of which is caused by illegal activity via P2P software such as the one I was caught using. Atwood lamented over the use of P2P software. “Each of the peaks [on the graph] were times where people were downloading torrents,” Atwood said. Atwood’s rationale is simple: You break the rules, you get your Internet taken away. And while my initial reaction was far from pleased, I now understand that it’s a beneficial policy. Extricating illegal downloading from our network will make it faster and stronger and relieve us of laggy Facebook chat.
by Ed Khoo
and Jennie Park
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
F E A T U R I N G J O H N L E G E N D I N “w a k e u p !” by Tyler Stuart The collaboration of John Legend, a soul and R&B icon and The Roots, an experienced American hip-hop band, is a combination of mature and adroit musical artists. This merger will surely be among the greats with Queen and David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson and, of course, Eminem, Drake, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West. Legend began his music career as an R&B artist in 2001. He sprung to global fame when his debut album “Get Lifted” went platinum after selling over two million copies. Legend’s music can range from up-tempo and energetic, to slow and ballad-like, always complemented by his solid, yet smooth vocals. The Roots have been spreading their music and beliefs to a broad audience since 1987. The band was founded by two friends, Black Thought (Tariq
Trotter), and ?uestlove (Amir Khalib Thompson.) Their sound is often an interesting fusion of jazz, soul, and hip hop music. At the base of their sound you hear the raw beats of ?uestlove and the articulate, rhythmic rap of Black Thought. Because The Roots aren’t limited to the hip-hop label, they frequently collaborate with artists of other genres to add a little more flavor. The flavor that The Roots are constantly looking for will be found in the sweet vocals of John Legend. The two artists have already worked together in The Roots recent album “How I Got Over,” and have a sound unmatched by any other band. Legend and The Roots have released a live performance called “Hard Times” on YouTube. When both artists merge their talents, beautiful music is inevitable.
Interim 2011 includes older, revived trips and five new offerrings
Three of 2010 Interim trips that are on again this year: Jordan, New Zealand Island Adventure and South Africa, Cape and Coast. Trips to Germany and Sweden were cancelled because costs exceeded the maximum of $4,000. Photos from The 2010 Islander
By Liz Quick From surviving in the jungles of Thailand to skiing the Swiss slopes, Interim Semester 2010 offers students a number of choices. This year will see the highest number of new locations and previous trips that have made a comeback. New trips to Tanzania, Syria, Portugal, Bhutan and a different Swiss destination have been added to the list of possible places to visit along with six older, returning trips to Hawaii, China, Western Australia, Singapore, Soweto South Africa and Sri Lanka. Interim offerings are teacherdriven, reflecting the interests of faculty members. Consequently, trips that may have been popular with students do not return if
teachers express no interest and do not sign up to sponsor them. No glossy, full color brochure will catalogue this year’s interim trips. To reduce costs and save paper waste, the interim catalog has been moved onto the SAS web page saving the school more than $6000, according to Deputy Principal Doug Neihart. Students can now access it online which provides more convenient features. A link to a trip’s tentative itinerary is just one of the benefits of having an online booklet. This will allow high school students to see more about the trip than just the description. Cost, for interim organizers, has always been a guessing game. This year, for the first time, trips are
nudging the Board of Governors’ maximum of $4,000. Trips have been cut because their expected budget exceeded this limit. Germany and Sweden are examples of trips that did not get approved because of budgeting allowances. When approving trips, the Board tries to make sure there is a range of costs so that students and parents can find a trip that suits their budget. The objective of interim semester has been debated by many. Overall, the administration agrees that all trips must relate to one of three principals: a cultural experience, some type of adventure or a service aspect. “An interim course can include all three aspects or just one. It is really about forming relationships with
other students and teachers,based on a shared experience that cannot be forged within a classroom,” Neihart said. However, finding a balance of trips can be challenging, especially when many parents advocate for the inclusion of more Asian and service-oriented trips. Currently 23 of the 57 course offerings are outside Singapore but in Asia. New service trips to South Africa and Tanzania this year were added to accommodate demands for more service trips. There is a discrepancy, according to Neihart, between what parents want and what students want. “Some people say we should have more service trips, yet they are occasionally the last ones that
fill. This could be because students are already exposed to many service opportunities during the year and feel they are already contributing in that sense.” As for now, there is no quota on the number of service or Asian trips. Regardless of parental demand, Neihart agrees that students should be making the choice on which trip they want to participate in. “High school students are at a point in their lives where they are making decisions more independently from parents and they should be able to choose an interim course based on interest, location, and friends,” he said. However, choices must be made in respect to a parent’s budget”
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
New teachers group includes four from ‘SAS North’
Andrew Donahue Yan Jin
Former graphic designer Michael Petrosino joined the Singapore American School after tartgeting Southeast Asia as the next place he wanted to live. “SAS was the best school that I saw, so it was my first choice,” he said. Originally from Brooklyn, Petrosino has lived and worked in New York City, Hawaii and New Jersey. His desire to travel brought him to this small island. He says Hawaii was his largest culture shock, but SAS is set apart by its students. “The international environment causes the students here to learn to adapt and approach each other in a positive manner, whereas in the States kids seem to keep more to themselves,” he said. Petrosino can be found in the Guided Learning department. He said he has always gravitated toward students who need extra help. He said he finds teaching to be rewarding which is why he left his original job as a graphic designer and earned a masters in education from the College of Staten Island. Enthusiastic about his new career, Petrosino is delving into the experience of a school where students take learning “seriously and with maturity.” “I feel like I’ve seen two sides of the spectrum. Like with SAS and the other schools I’ve taught at where kids come in with their surfboards instead of their books.”
Math teacher Andrew Donahue comes to the high school faculty from the middle school. His new classroom is only a two-minute walk from his old one, but Donahue said the difference was significant. “It’s a whole new school,” he said. “It’s completely different.” He cites nuances in the grade program, the accessibility of supplies and homework policies as examples. Donahue taught math for 13 years in his hometown of Bellingham, Washington. His wife, Shelly Donahue, cares for over 2,500 kids as the school nurse for the ECC, middle and high schools. His two daughters, eighth-grader Morgan and sophomore McKenna, attend SAS. During high school, Donahue played soccer, took part in the plays “Heaven Can Wait” and “Four Short Melodramas” and played the bass clarinet, bass drum and sousaphone in his high school band. Although he is not sure if they qualify, he is fluent in three languages - English, “Pig Latin and Ubbi Dubbi.” Donahue was not always a math nerd, but acquired an interest in math during the latter part of his college years. It was not solely math that brought him into the world of teaching. “I would say I have more of a passion for students, than I do math,” he said.
New Chinese teacher Yan Jin did not discover the staircase next to her fourth-floor classroom until her second week in the high school. But she easily found the cafeteria, her sense of smell never failing her. Jin first taught in Nanjing, China after receiving her B.S. in foreign language education from Nanjing Normal University. She continued her career and education in Bangkok teaching at Concordia International School while pursuing a third masters degree from Thammasat University. Jin moved to Singapore four years ago teaching first in the intermediate school. This is first year in the high school. “[High school students] are different,” she said. “They learn faster and learn much more. I love having conversations with them.” Swimming, yoga, and eating Chinese food – preferably spicy and sour dishes like Tom Yam – take up the rest of her time. If given a choice between a Blackberry and an iPhone, Jin said she would choose the iPhone because it has “so many uses.” Jin said she has a better idea where everything is on campus, but said it seems that the direction she goes is always the wrong one.
Technology integration specialist Dianna Pratt comes from the “Don’t Mess with Texas” state. Pratt has been a technology coordinator with international schools including the American School of Bombay in Mumbai where she worked until last year. When Pratt first came to SAS with her husband Devin, the middle school principal, there were no technology positions available. She taught 8th grade science last year. “I am kind of now where I really like to be,” Pratt said. As the new high school technology integration specialist, or, “tech coach” as she likes to call herself, Pratt works out of the Tech Help Center with Technology Coordinator Jay Atwood. Pratt’s has one daughter, Dominique, who is a junior at SAS this year and Dagan who graduated from Taipei American School. Pratt was an avid swimmer and briefly a cheerleader in high school but realized that cheering wasn’t her true calling. “I’d rather be cheering for myself than for others,” she said. Pratt kept a clean slate through most of her high school years because her father was the principal. She didn’t break any rules until she made it to the top of the food chain: a senior. The only rule she admitted to breaking was the most common one chewing gum in school.
Ellen Levenhagen Kate Fabianowicz
Emily Leipold (Lee-uh-poled) is a lover of Led Zeppelin, Ohio State’s football team and George Clooney. Prior to teaching in Singapore, she taught in Hawaii and Shanghai. Leipold said that she was an all-round student who acted in musicals, including the “Pajama Game” and “Cabaret.” She played the bassoon in the school band and played varsity soccer. Leipold even experimented with cheerleading after her older sister convinced her that being a cheerleader made her more appealing to potential boyfriends. Leipold said that she has aspired to be a math teacher since the ninth grade, a career path that her father did not approve of. He encouraged her to aim higher and instead become an engineer. Leipold said she contemplated engineering for a long period of time but in the end followed her heart and became a teacher. Both she and her husband, high school English teacher Terry Leipold, moved here from Shanghai American School with their four elementary schoolage children. Leipold hopes to be here ten years down the line to see her eldest daughter graduate from SAS.
English teacher Stacy Jensen is back, returning from a year of powering through coursework for a master’s degree at the National University of Singapore. She is completing requirements for that degree as she teaches a full load at SAS where she began her teaching career 11 years ago. “This is the first place I’ve worked, and the only place I’ve worked,” Jensen said. “I just thought I struck gold when I got hired here.” Jensen taught seventh and eighth-grade English before moving to the high school English Department in 2006. She now teaches freshman and sophomore English and British Literature. She said she loved moving up a division because it allowed her to see former middle-school students evolve into young adults. If she had to choose someone to play her in a movie she would choose either the blond Elizabeth Shue or Courtney Cox because they are both great actors, and she’s been told she resembles both of them. When asked which phone she would choose between the Blackberry and the Iphone, she replied “neither,” preferring a simple phone that she could call and text with.
One of the many teachers coming from Shanghai, or “SAS North” as some call it, is Wisconsin native Ellen Levenhagen. She said her move to Singapore was “nice and easy.” “It was a rather smooth transfer,” she said. Before going to Shanghai American School, Levenhagen taught at the American School in Japan (ASIJ). She has been teaching for a 19 years, the last four as an IB art teacher in Shanghai. Her husband, Mark Kolinski, is an eighth-grade resource teacher. Before she became a teacher, Levenhagen was running her own small business, as well as teaching several small classes in ceramics and foundations. Levenhagen describes her high school self as an “art rat” who was always getting into trouble, but who usually managed to control herself. She said that she intentionally came to school late many times and even played tricks on teachers with her identical twin sister, switching classes with her twin and hoping that no one would notice. She says a lot of the time she was “successful” and “actually made it through the day without getting caught.”
By Gretchen Connick
By Ash Oberoi
By Tyler Stuart
By Hannah L’Heureux
By Leonel De Velez
By Emily Nelson
By Erica Huston
By Michael Too
Guided learning teacher Kate Fabianowicz come to Singapore from Chicago with her husband, third-grade teacher Bart Fabianowicz. She said that their transition to SAS was an easy one. “The school did a really great job of introducing us to everything in Singapore,” she said. “[Our experiences] have been all good and positive.” She characterized SAS as “very, very, very resourceful.” Fabianowicz says that she was an athlete in high school who hung out mostly with other athletes. At one point, she became so caught up with softball that she almost got suspended from the team for having incomplete senior work. A gymnast in her youth, Fabianowicz says she is very flexible, and can still pull off some back bends and back handsprings..” A Mac-user, shge chose the iPhone over the Blackberry. She already has the new iPhone 4. Asked whom she would want to play her in a movie, Fabianowicz quickly replied Jennifer Aniston, “Because she’s nice, real and we have similar hair.”
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
Shanghai American School supplied math, language, English teachers while rest come from all over; some are new to international teaching, some old hands, some returning to SAS
Yasuyo Taniguchi has been an SAS faculty member since April, when she starting her term as a substitute. “I started teaching Japanese to improve my English teaching, but now I’m enjoying teaching Japanese as a second language,” Yasuyo Taniguchi said. Previously an English teacher in Japanese School in Singapore, Taniguchi is the substitute for Japanese teacher Emiko Enomoto who gave birth to daughter Emma last May and is on maternity leave until December. Taniguchi began teaching at SAS last April and will continue until the end of December. Her husband was relocated to Singapore five years ago after living in Tokyo, Maryland, Seattle and Atlanta. Taniguchi has three boys in third, fifth and seventh grades at SAS. In her previous job, Taniguchi noticed most Japanese students repeated the same mistakes when learning English. Her curiosity drove her to earn a certificate to teach Japanese. “I wanted to apply the knowledge of how to teach Japanese to foreign language speakers, to learning English,” Taniguchi said. Having taught students for four years, it is like Taniguchi never left school. Asked who she was in high school, Taniguchi was hesitant to reply. “I was with everyone,” she said.
New English teacher Terry Leipold called Singapore American School a “carbon copy” of Shanghai American School, where he taught before Singapore. He said teaching in the Shanghai’s SAS was like teaching in a Texas school, and he calls this campus “little Texas.” Having grown up in the States, he said that Asia is a unique experience and that he “loves it.” Leipold came to Singapore with his wife, Emily a high school math teacher, and his four children - a first-grader, third-grader and twins attending preschool. He said that he never imagined how much work it would be to have all four of his children in school at the same time.. Leipold said he was “half-half” in high school, half-nerd and half-jock. He said he never got into much trouble, but added that every kid needs to get into trouble at some point in his or her high school years. Experiences like these are what make a kid a kid, according to Leipold. To keep up with technology, Leipold would pick an iPhone because “they have awesome apps.,” and he “finds them really cool and hip.”
Meredith White is no stranger to SAS. Her twin sons graduated with the class of 2001 and her daughter attended the school for four years. White taught in Austin and at Taipei American School prior to returning to SAS this year. White said she is continuously impressed by the rigor and freedom at SAS which makes SAS seem, “almost like a college campus.” In high school White said, “I was a nerd. I was very bookish and not athletic and a science geek.” White turned her love for science into a career graduating from UT Austin with a bachelor of science in chemistry. She went back to school for her teaching certificate after eight years as a stayat-home mom. She teaches accelerated and regular chemistry, but has taught computer networking, physics and engineering in the past. White had never considered which actress should play her in a movie. “Somebody who talks fast,” White said. “Not an airhead.” When asked who she would love to meet, she had trouble deciding. “There are so many,” she said. After mentioning Einstein, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy as immediate favorites, she added, “I would be fascinated to talk to… a brilliant mind if I could understand them.”
When she moved from “SAS North” (Shanghai American School) to SAS, Hilda Huang’s said her desire to move overseas was fulfilled working in her hometown of Shanghai for seven years. Huang was born in Shanghai and graduated from a local university where she earned her bachelors degree. She then went to the State University of New York where she received her masters in education. Her career history includes teaching in a local school in Shanghai for one year and then moving to Shanghai American School. “I was born in Shanghai, and I had never worked overseas before, so when I heard about an opening in Singapore American School I decided to try for a change,” she said. She said what first struck her about the school was the size. “The people here are very nice, and with the big campus it is easy to lose your way, but because the people are nice, instead of just telling me they actually walked me there,” she said. Huang said she was not a teenager who joined cliques. “I’m not sporty, I’m not nerdy. I just wanted to hang out with my friends,” she said. She does not know many American actors and actresses, but she said that if she were to have someone play her in a movie it would be Zhang Ziyi.
Dan Skimin worked in Mumbai, India, for two years before his move to Singapore. While originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Skimin said he never taught in the U.S., instead teaching at six international schools. Skimin has taught math and economics in the past but says his favorite subject to teach is accounting. He is now apart of the six-person Technology, Education and Careers faculty. Skimin played baseball and soccer in high school, but found himself sitting on the bench during games. His parents were also teachers at the school, so he got to know many of the faculty. Skimin graduated from Heidelberg University, a small liberal arts college in Tiffin, Ohio. When asked which actor he would like to play him in a movie he said Will Farrell because he loves how funny he is. He has just recently switched from a Blackberry to the new iPhone 4 and is happy with his decision, despite a few technical glitches.
Jay Atwood succeeds Jerry Szombathy as technology coordinator. This isn’t his first time overseas, though. Atwood’s other overseas stints include Cairo, Taipei (TAS) and Australia. In his international postings he became acquainted with SAS teachers Dianna Pratt and Bryan Hill. Atwood former jobs include consulting related to computer problems for schools, and teaching the IB psychology programs in Brussels and Taiwan. In his teens, Atwood said he was stereotyped as the “nerdy jock who swam.” His said hs musical taste was not rock like the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, but folk music such as the Mammas and the Pappas. He said along with his smart-jock stereotype, he might have also been classified as the “golden child” with his record of never being in trouble, or at least “getting caught.” Atwood said he sees SAS as a diverse, big school with considerable energy. He said he enjoys working with the tech staff because of the amount of support and innovation going on the room. When asked whether he preferred an iPhone or Blackberry, he said iPhone all the way.
After a three-semester absence, choir director Nanette Devens is back on campus. Devens taught choir from 2002 to 2009, taking a maternity leave and additional time off to be with her two children, Cylas and Cora, in February of 2009. Devens also worked on a masters in music education through Boston University. She said she enjoyed having time to spend with her children, especially because she could spend time with her year-and-half old daughter. “I was very excited to see Cora’s first step,” Devens said. “Cora and I also went all over town, to the zoo, shopping and to socialize with friends. I’ve already got her into shopping.” During her leave, Devens said she thought often about her students. “I missed working and interacting with high school students,” Devens said. “Sometimes I would remember them and think about what the students might be working on. I would think, they must be working on IASAS now, or they must be working on Winter Collage now. Devens stepped right into a large challenge with the staging of the musical “Grease.”
This is math teacher Andrew Tewsley’s first time working outside of his home country, Canada. Tewsley says he loves Singapore’s predictable weather and enjoys telling friends and relatives who call from Canada and ask about the weather that it is warm and sunny outside. Before moving to Singapore, Tewsley taught for several years at Trinity College School, a boarding school in Port Hope, Ontario. Over half of the student body lived in dorms on campus, but Tewsley did not. He moved to Singapore with his wife, Erin, and two year-old son, Oscar. Erin Tewsley is an eighth grade RLA teacher. Tewsley played football in high school - the American variety, no soccer. He said that he was a good student, and never got into trouble. If he could meet any famous person he said he would choose the Dalai Lama. If he had to choose someone to play him in a movie, he said Jack Nicholson would be the best choice to play Mr. Tewsley. Tewsley said that he would not miss Canada’s cold weather, but that he would miss the space, space for driving and space for parking.
By Anbita Siregar
By Rachel Jackson
By Emily Nelson
By Olivia Nguyen
By Becky Kreutter
By Sharon Yoo
* See the Eye Online for the full article
By Gretchen Connick
By Megan Talon
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
Student council officers say they are ready, willing to serve
Executive Council President
“When I was in my class cabinet during my freshmen year, I thought it would be a lot of fun to try being an officer,” Amstrup said. He ran for sophomore president and won. For the next two years, he kept the position of class president, and won the post of Executive Council president for his senior year. Amstrup said planning Prom was a difficult task because the hotel constantly changed plans and requirements. The hard work paid off, and Amstrup said the best student council moment of the year was seeing how successful Prom went. The lesson learned? “Don’t have your heart set out from the start. Be willing to adapt,” Amstrup said.
“When I was a freshman, I didn’t want to run [for student council] because I was still trying to figure out high school,” Kreutter said. After experiencing her first student council events though, Kreutter wanted to go backstage and help plan them. She became the Sophomore Council treasurer and continued in that post the next year. This was not her first time being involved in student council. Kreutter has attended SAS since Pre-Kindergarten and spent one year of elementary school and one year of middle school involved in Student Council as well. One of the most important lessons she has learned from being in student council this year was to consider all the “nit-picky” details while planning events.
“The biggest thing I learned in being in Student Council is that in order to run successful events, you and the council need to work well together,” Goode said. Goode has been working alongside Kreutter and Amstrup for the past two years, and together, they Prom-inered “A Red Carpet Affair” for last year’s prom. This is her fourth year attending SAS. Goode decided to run for sophomore secretary because she likes bringing new ideas to the events. Next year, she wants to keep the traditional events and create new ones that the whole school can participate in. “Everyone elected gets along well, and I know we’re excited to work together and have an awesome year,” Goode said.
Executive Council Vice President
Executive Council Secretary
Last year was Bindra’s first at SAS, but he jumped into the culture quickly, joining Design Club and Math Club in which he is an officer. He was elected president of National Honor Society for this school year and is a member of Peer Support, Spanish Honor Society, Honor Code Committee and the Eye . He is a globetrotter, having already moved three times during his high school years. He was an officer in his class council last year in the American Embassy School in India where he planned dances and spirit events. He helped plan prom last year, designing the tickets and posters. “I like working with people, and I like having responsibilities,” Bindra said. “I feel like I can usually live up to the challenge, and this was a way for me to do that.”
Joining his class cabinet during freshmen and sophomore years, Sitohang decided to run for communications director his junior year. “I waned to gain experience for the real world, and I wanted to help plan prom,” Sitohang said. He said he would rather not talk about some mistakes he has made as a student council officer, but he has tried to learn from them and make sure it never happens again. As an IASAS athlete, one of his goals was to make pep rallies more enjoyable to not only the audience, but the teams as well. “My favorite moment in Student Council was making up the prom sign-slash-marquee that said ‘now Prom-iering a Red Carpet Affair,’” Sitohang said.
Executive Council Treasurer
Senior Council President
Young’s student council career began when she was in 7th grade. She became the middle school Executive Council vice president at Taipei American School. In 8th grade, she was promoted to the president’s position. This is her third year in SAS, and next school year will be her second year in student council. She was Junior Council’s vice president this year. Young wants to take ideas from her grade school days and apply them next year. She wants to plan more spirit weeks and include days like Nerd Day and Pairs Day. “I want to focus on bringing our class together and beat the juniors in spirit points,” Young said.
Executive Council Communications Director
Bo Hamby Junior Council President
Hamby has attended SAS for seven years, and this one, his eighth, is his third consecutive year as class president. He was also the president of Middle School Student Council when he was in 6th grade. When he got to high school, he decided to run for Freshman President. “Why not?” Hamby said. “It’s been fun, and I think I’m a pretty good leader.” He finds planning big events a challenge because he wants to appeal to everyone’s tastes. He has learned how to make these events run smoothly, and he is confident about this junior council’s ability to handle prom planning.
Megan Cosgrove Sophomore Council President
“I thought of something I wanted to change for next year, and I found out a lot of people wanted to change it too,” Cosgrove said. This was one of the reasons she decided to run for sophomore president. Cosgrove has been at SAS since 6th grade, but this year will be her first year doing anything student council related. She considers herself a shy person, but she thinks student council is a good opportunity to get to know people. Cosgrove wants to organize more after school class-bonding activities and see more gradelevel spirit. She enjoys pep rallies because she likes to see the whole High School together decked out in class colors, and there’s also the extra bonus of shorter classes.
Pamela Chan Freshman Council President
Pamela Chan said that originally she wanted to run for secretary, but her friends were adamant about her running for president. “I thought they were crazy, like I didn’t think I even had any of the qualities needed,” Chan said. Joining high school did not intimidate her or keep her from getting involved in activities. Chan will apply to Peer Support in December, and until then she is busy with Wish 4 Kids, International Thespians Society and Glee Club. She is a singer in Chorale and enjoys drama. Chan’s goal for this year is to unify her class. She said that right now everyone seems “really secluded” and split into their own groups, and she wants to create more unity within her grade. “I’m really liking the job so far,” she said.
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
Homecoming 2010 focuses on volleyball, class competitions
Varsity Boys played an after-school game against ISKL’s Panthers winning those sets. Juniors Alex SchindeleMurayama, Ed Thome, Scott Smith and Max Rossinsky warm the plastic, waiting their turns. Photo by Anbita Siregar
Senior Hannah Goode, Executive Council secretary, records class scores. Goode was crowned Homecoming Queen. Photo by Phil Anderson
Senior Viraj Bindra accept boquet and crown of Homecoming King. Photo by Anbita Siregar
Senior Matt Crema prepares to serve in the game against ISKL’s Panthers. Photo by Anbita Siregar
Juniors Bryan Lee, Bo Hamby and Carolyn Koh cheer fellow juniors during the Sundae contest. Photo by Frances Young
The Eagle girls fell to the ISB Panthers in their evening Homecoming game. The game had to be moved in the final minutes when the lights went out in the gym. Photo by Tan Kabra
The Eagle paces the floor, his eyes focused, eagle-like, on the scoreboard as the seconds fly away. Photo by Anbita Siregar
Executive Council President Alex Amstrup analyzes point totals on the during a spirit activity. Photo by Phil Anderson Tan
the eye • www.saseye.com Oct. 7, 2010
Barefoot running gets a revival this season in Boys Cross Country By Becky Kreutter The first time Dan Bourgeois tried his Vibram shoes he could only wear them for five minutes before he had to switch to traditional sneakers. “I was actually using my calves,” Bourgeois said, which he attributed to the tough adjustment. It took about six weeks before he could run in his Vibrams full time. Vibram shoes resemble toe socks dipped in rubber. They simulate barefoot running while protecting the runner’s feet from the toughest of terrains. The shoes attracted attention last year as new studies published research on the benefits of running without traditional sneakers. But while the Vibram is new, running barefoot is not. “A lot of runners have always incorporated barefoot running into their training regime,” said ten-year cross-country coach Ian Coppell. Coppell named Abebe Bikila, Bruce Tulloh, Zola Budd and Ron Hill as some notable barefoot runners. Coppell said one or two SAS students run barefoot each year.
Senior Rodrigo Zorrilla and junior co-captains Dan Bourgeois and Peter Hunt are the latest to adopt the style here by running barefoot and in Vibrams. Zorrilla was the first of the three to pick up the trend. “We weren’t born with shoes; we’re not meant to run with shoes,” Zorrilla said. Runners say benefits include greater comfort, less stress on knees, and the ability to feel and adjust to changing terrain. All agreed the main benefit is how running form improves while wearing the shoes. “People who run in heavy training shoes strike on the ground with their heel,” Hunt said. “When you wear Vibrams, you tend to land more on the front of your foot and on the balls of your feet. It shortens your stride a little bit…You’re supposed to get about five percent more oxygen to your legs striding that way. It just feels a lot better when you are running in bare feet…I don’t really know how to describe it.” Running in Vibrams is not
wholly beneficial though. “You have to dry them after you wear them or else they smell really bad,” Bourgeois said. Zorrilla dislikes the way his shoes overheat while he runs while Hunt didn’t have anything negative
to say about the shoes but did mention that some rocky terrains are painful to run on barefoot. Bourgeois once found a two-inch thorn stuck through his Vibrams after using them while paintballing. Though the shoes look odd, none
of the guys feel awkward walking around in them. They may get some strange stares at their feet, but “mostly people don’t say anything,” Hunt said. All three are satisfied with their new way of running and have no intention of switching back to sneakers. But Bourgeois and Hunt were cautious about suggesting Vibrams to others. Hunt would recommend the shoes only “if [the runner] were willing to put all the effort into it.” Bourgeois said if a runner’s form is already good the runner shouldn’t switch. “You don’t need to fix a problem that’s not there.” “[Running barefoot] is a preference in the same way some runners have heavy, more supportive shoes and some like to train in racing flats,” Coach Coppell said. “If it helps more people run, and run fast, Junior boys captain Peter relaxes after and enjoy their running, then that’s the Admiralty Park 5K intersquad. Junior boys captain Peter relaxes after the Admiralty Park 5K good.” intersquad. Hunt sped to second place in his vibrams. Photo courtesy of Holly Kruetter
Hunt sped to second place in his vibrams. Photo courtesy of Holly Kruetter
Senior Kelsey LaBranche protects sophomore goalie Rachel Furlton from flying ball Photo courtesy of Heidi L’Heureux
IASAS IS THE GOAL
‘Empty spots’ strategy offers JV girls shot at Varsity play, increases level of play
The Girl’s Varsity Soccer team won two games and lost one under senior captain Heather Erdman’s leadership. Photo by Heidi L’Heureux
Senior Liz Conklin steals the ball from a JIS player. Photo by Heidi L’Heureux
By Hannah L’Heureux As you walk down the hall you can identify the soccer girls by the short, sock and shirts tans that are refreshed daily during their grueling two-hour soccer practices. This year there were 58 girls trying out, making it the largest turnout Don Adams, the head varsity coach, has seen in his 23 years of coaching. With 10 varsity players gone, the huge selection of players was necessary to replace the loss of more than half of the former varsity team. By the end of the first week of school “Dadams”, as many of the girls call him, managed to put together Varsity, Junior Varsity (coached by Ian Page) and Freshman teams (coached by Mark Forgeron). With the large turnout, this is the first year that a freshman team has been made. “The freshmen were very strong, and we don’t want to lose them,” Adams said. In a strategy change, Adam’s chose only 14 varsity players to start the year. IASAS requires 16 players
on tournament teams. Last year both the Junior Varsity and Varsity had spots in one of the woman’s soccer leagues. Once a player was put into a league, she couldn’t move from team to team. Since only one team is represented in the Singapore Woman’s Soccer league this year, Adams has the flexibility to bring as many players up from the JV to play with the Varsity in games as he wants. For every game Adams has used JV players whom he thinks have earned the priviliege of playing with Varsity. “Before I had to decide by the very first week who played on the Varsity and who played on the JV,” Adams said. “Now we get a chance to look at people over several weeks and see who really has the talent to move up. Not only that but I think it creates lots of competition.” With this new system Adams said he hopes that the JV players will learn how important their part is in the program and will work harder knowing they have a shot at IASAS.
“It will give the JV a taste of what to expect and our Varsity team gets to practice against girls who want our positions and play their best against us, making it mandatory that we work harder also.” Kelsey LaBranche, a returning Varsity said. Hoping to be hard competition at IASAS, the girls are already working their hardest for a shot at the gold. “I like the way we look defensively and the personnel we have,” Adams said. “There’s a lot of people on the JV that can play varsity, and I think we are going to be a very wellrounded team.” In her last year on the team, Captain Heather Erdman thinks that despite the loss of some great players from last year, the team is looking good. “We have several new girls who are really skilled, and I think many players from last year’s JV and Varsity teams are stepping up and will make our team very competitive at IASAS in October.”