Page 1

A Singapore American School community service publication

MICA (P) 088/08/2011

April 2012

Volume 14, Issue 4-11/12

Highlights

In This Issue: A Focus on An International Perspective

Page 13

Page 23

Page 36

Celebrating in the ECC

Spotlight: Variety

Middle School Field Day

No One is an Island: The CWW Experience Margaret P. Grade 8 Student

Shrieks of adrenaline-filled excitement echoed across the clear blue horizon, followed by a deafening ker-plunk-splash into rolling waves. A minute passed, then it happened again. Whenever there was a break in the pattern, a hundred voices started to seep up from the ground in a chant of “JUMP...JUMP...JUMP...JUMP...� that propelled the tower jumping to commence once again.

Leaping off the rickety wooden platform ten meters above the water was not only a test of bravery for the eighth graders on our annual Classroom Without Walls (CWW) trip to Telunas, Indonesia; it was an act of trust, building what would become rock-solid friendships with our entire side in a team-building venture spanning an entire week in October. Just thinking about the island trip brings Continued on page 4


Editor’s Note

Contents

Adventure Calls

Regular Features

Tamara Black Associate Director of Communications

Thanks to iTunes, I can easily feed my addiction to American pop culture. A few months ago, I downloaded Pan Am, a television series about a flight crew during the golden age of air travel in the 1960s. The show speaks to me as a child of that Life was a journey for my mother as era, but also because travel has a stewardess. always been a passion of mine. I would even venture to say that travel is in my genes. My mother was a stewardess back in the day, and her two brothers were 747 pilots. When I came along, my parents celebrated my first birthday in Bangkok. (They celebrated without my sister or me, but that’s another story.) One of my fondest memories is playing with my mother’s iconic blue stewardess flight bag. I’d fill the bag with precious possessions—stuffed animals, a favorite pair of white go-go boots, my mother’s old passport—and imagine that I was jetting off to Paris or Istanbul or Hong Kong. Experiencing the world through travel and adventure is simply what my family did. This penchant for seeing the world is shared by my husband and daughter, and it played a major role in our decision to relocate to Singapore. And the commitment of SAS to developing an international perspective in students is a large part of what led us to Singapore American School. I want my daughter to think beyond geographical boundaries, to care about what happens in other places, and to feel a responsibility toward others wherever they may be. You’ll find in this issue of Crossroads a selection of stories that focus on what it takes to cultivate an international perspective. From Classroom Without Walls to celebrating Chinese New Year to Skyping in French with students in Tokyo, the stories provide insight into some of the ways that we help our students become more aware of the wider world, develop respect for and value diversity in others, and contribute to their community on levels ranging from local to global. What an exciting adventure the future holds for our children. The international perspective they are developing will make a difference in how they think and behave. And ultimately, their outlook will safeguard the future for those coming after them. As one Pan Am stewardess said to the other, “Buckle up. Adventure calls.”

2 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

3

From the Superintendent’s Office

16

PTA News

31

Booster Club News

Highlights 10

Making Lokta Paper Bags in Nepal

11

Literacy and Learning in Telunas

12 Mama Mia What A Day 22 15th Annual SAS Music Festival 25

Experimental Theater

30

Service Learning At Its Best

32

2012 Booster Fashion Show Report

Crossroads is published bi-monthly during the academic year by the communications team in the advancement office of Singapore American School. It is distributed free of charge to the parents, faculty members, and organizations served by the school. We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School. Editorial: Tamara Black Design & Layout: Lina Wee

Contacts General Inquiries and Comments communications@sas.edu.sg Crossroads Submissions Tamara Black, tblack@sas.edu.sg

Deadline for Crossroads submissions is the first of the month prior to the proposed month of publication.

Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547 Tel: 6360-6303 www.sas.edu.sg Singapore American School CPE Registration Number: 196400340R Registration Period: 22 June 2011 to 21 June 2017 Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Crossroads is printed on 100% recycled paper.


From the Superintendent’s Office

An International Perspective Brent Mutsch, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Born and raised in a small farming community of 2,500 in southern Minnesota, I now know I didn’t grow up with anything close to an international perspective. The extent of the diversity in my community—and subsequently in my school—was primarily drawn along the lines of religious differences. No, I’m not describing a town with families representing the Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, or Jewish communities. Rather, our community had diversity in the form of the theological differences of Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. Although I might have thought differently, clearly diversity was not the cornerstone of my early life nor did it change much as I moved into adolescence and then young adulthood. As a matter of fact, the first time I traveled overseas to spend a six-week college interim studying in East Germany, my return to the United States could not have come more quickly. As fascinated as I was with the opportunity to study abroad, I missed the comfort of those things that were familiar and helped me to maintain equilibrium in my life and world. Today, students attending Singapore American School are members of a community of learners that is diverse in so many different ways. This diversity not only contributes to the lens through which students can more effectively understand and relate to their world, it also provides for a rich and culturally dynamic interpersonal experience for our students. These experiences serve to shape their perspectives on the world and the manner in which they each directly relate to the world as well.

learn from others who have—as a result of a different set of experiences—the capacity to see the world far differently than we do. Our respect and appreciation for these differences is at the heart of developing an international perspective. SAS parents consistently comment on the value they hold for the international community that has been created by the intersection of our lives in Singapore. Families come to SAS from all across the globe. Through their active participation in life at our school, they create a diverse community that is a trademark of many international schools. At SAS we daily seek to leverage the diversity that is naturally represented by our community to facilitate students developing a global outlook. In doing so, we collectively give them the gift of an international perspective and a lens on the world that will serve them well for a lifetime.

A memory from 2007: A Cub Scout pack visits with Dr. Mutsch.

While we believe we see the world as it is, we in fact see the world as we are, each shaped by our own unique experiences and perspectives. Those experiences and perspectives, when drawn together by the shared experience of SAS, create a very special opportunity for each of us to see the world with a broader and more vibrant outlook. An international perspective is not developed simply by walking on to a campus with students from more than 50 different countries, although that clearly influences the nature of the conversations and interactions made possible each day. An international perspective is developed when each of us are able to look beyond the lens created by our own experiences. We interact and C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  3 


No One is an Island

Continued from cover

back the happiest days of the year for many, filled with unforgettable moments of two kinds: the “Can’t wait to go back!” awesome moments and the “Did that really just happen?” weird moments. Telunas is an island paradise dozens of miles away from any modern convenience that, when combined with city teenagers used to a steady diet of Starbucks and WiFi, made for many “Hey, remember when...” moments to reminisce about through the rest of the year. “Hey, remember when Ethan found out how to toast the perfect marshmallow?” “Yeah, but that wasn’t nearly as cool as when Mr. Cameron’s homebase won the hula hoop contest.” “Yes, but remember when we got those orange welcome drinks when we arrived? Dude, I loved those...” We learned valuable things about our community that we would never have thought of before. For example, our math teacher could rap like a pro and one of our quieter classmates was extremely adept at mystical magic tricks. A tropical wooden dining area, lit against the pitch-black, pure night by the golden glow of a few dusty light bulbs provided the perfect setting for the Hidden Talent show where we realized our side had many quirky talents never normally seen. Helped by the sugary-sweet, crisp taste of the delicious banana crepes we’d had earlier, our talents really blossomed and shone like the golden beach sun. Of course, we had to do something to fill our days besides have unrestrained fun—although that part did restart late at night as we snuck onto each other’s beds and gossiped, our whispers loudly carrying half the night away until the teachers went ballistic. Team-building was the focal point of CWW, and although we were prepared for the mundane, routine activities, our teachers and the Telunas staff had some peculiar games up their sleeve. It takes a true genius to bond a homebase closer together in spirit by playing a game entitled “Gain-points-by-throwing-Honey-Stars-at-yourfriend’s-chocolate-covered-face,” and, judging by all the humongous grins on our messy faces after the bizarre relays were over, they did superbly well. (Even if the smooth, creamy chocolate was suspiciously hard to get out of the hairline area,

4 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

and warranted fifteen precious minutes of hot water and several different kinds of shampoo.) If you ask any two people on B Side what their favorite parts of CWW were, they will answer “the food” and “the free time on the beach” simultaneously, and then begin to argue the merits of both with the food ultimately winning. These highlights, over all the years of Telunas CWW, have become famous among present and former eighth graders. After all, who can forget the best fajitas they’ve ever had? Every night was an exotic delicacy cooked to warm perfection. Every morning was an array of tantalizing cereals and breads accompanied by the calming roar of the sparkling sea. Few of us can go without salivating over the memory of the delectable desserts, and even fewer still can say they actually didn’t like eating them. It seemed like an eon before we voyaged home, most of us sporting darker, sun-kissed complexions and the bright tie-dye shirts we had colored the day before. The two-hour longboat ride back to Batam seemed to take mere minutes as we busily exchanged funny stories over the roar of the outboard motor, getting refreshingly sprayed by cool ocean mists each time the boat broke the crest of a wave. When we arrived in Singapore, feeling exhausted from all the work we’d done, everyone would say their goodbyes and return home for a long, restoring weekend. Something had changed, we realized as the bus full of sweaty, tired kids pulled up to the Middle School. And when we returned on Monday, we witnessed people carrying on cheerful conversations with others who they hadn’t even bothered to greet prior to the trip. We knew more about each other, and felt more like a tight-knit family instead of a loose collection of 13- and 14-year-olds from all over the world.


An International Perspective

Top 10 Comments Overheard about the Sixth Grade CWW Trip to Sedili Besar, Malaysia 1

I will remember the fun times that I had with all my friends and the awesome facts I learned from our biologist!

6

It was so much fun staying in a cabin with my friends.

2

The activities were fun, exciting, enjoyable and helped me learn a lot about Sedili Besar and its people.

7

My favorite things were making that delicious green dessert and the Malay-style dinner where we ate with our fingers off banana leaves.

3

The Rocky Seashore was my favorite experience because it was such a beautiful day and it looked so pretty out in the sun. It was a very memorable experience looking out from the cliff. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how beautiful it was.

8

I will remember having so many adventures during CWW, especially Sedili Idol and my math teacher singing. CWW was very fun! Oh, and I learned a lot too.

4

I really liked how our whole home base worked together on stuff. Everything was great, but what I liked best was just doing stuff with my home base, like making kites and playing takraw.

9

Sedili Idol was my favorite part because I enjoyed watching the clever acts other groups made and I also enjoyed performing.

5

The jungle rocked. It was so cool having a giant millipede crawl up my arm!

10

All of the biologists were awesome, but mine was by far the awesomest!

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  5 


Even now, in the many months after CWW came and passed, people are still talking about it and how they can’t wait until next year.

6 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


An International Perspective

Why I Am Glad I Got to Go to CWW Talen S. Grade 7 Student

My name is Talen and I am a seventh grade student. I have had many wonderful experiences in seventh grade, but there is one that shines above the rest. Classroom Without Walls (CWW).

By this time, everyone was tired, sweaty, dirty, and plain out exhausted. By the time we were back in Singapore and loaded onto the sweet SAS buses, everyone was already sharing stories.

When my fellow classmates and I were just budding seventh graders, we went to Lola, Bintan for our annual CWW trip. Going on this trip was quite, let’s say, eventful. First, we had a boat ride that took around 45 minutes. It was a good time to talk with some people and see if they wanted to bunk with you. Then, once we got past the immigration terminal, we got on some buses and drove for around three hours on very windy roads. It was good practice on how to hold your lunch down.

I personally think that CWW helped bring out the true nature in all of us. In school, you can kind of pretend, because you are not with the same people all of the time. On CWW however, you are always doing things with your home base and you get to really know what peoples’ interests are. Someone that you thought was mean or weird in the beginning of school may actually turn out to be one of your best friends. Friends you might not have known if you were in school and saw them once every two days for 90 minutes.

Once all of our activities were finished, we loaded onto the buses and drove to the ferry terminal.

I strongly think that all of the kids that went on this trip learned

something from an emotional standpoint. Not only did they learn how to be away from home in a place that they are not used to, but also they learned how to enjoy themselves with these new friends they made. CWW was a fabulous thing to do in seventh grade, especially when kids are still trying to make new friends with the people in their home base or the kids in their daily classes. Without it, I think that almost none of the kids that have some really close friends would exist. Almost none. So, of course, CWW is a topic of conversation, and it most likely will be until the next CWW in eighth grade. Even now, in the many months after CWW came and passed, people are still talking about it and how they can’t wait until next year.

Why I Wish I Got to Go to CWW Elena M. Grade 7 Student

My name is Elena and I am a new Grade 7 student this year. Sadly, I came to SAS in January of the new year. I missed out on one of the greatest events, which happens every year here, CWW. Many students have tried to welcome new students and make them feel like they can find friends and feel happy. They briefly mention CWW at first but then, wherever I go, CWW continues to be spoken of and laughed about. Clearly they all had a great time. When I wanted to learn more about it, I asked about it. Anyone I asked was more than happy to talk about it. I found out that they did activities as a home base. Some of the activities included

building a raft, putting together skits, sailing to an island and playing in the seawaters and the beaches, and boom netting. Boom netting is when the students got to jump off a large boat into the water, which was being supported by bouncy netting. Hence, “boom netting”. Not only did they make many more friends, whom they still hold loyal to this day, they also made an unbreakable bond. As a home base, they each discovered more about themselves and about each other, and how they could all function based off each other’s support and guidance, also known as teamwork. Being new, the teachers and students are so welcoming but I

feel that there is that unbreakable bond still between them. That is what seems to group the new students together. Even though we have friends, we still are on the outer wall of their bond. I came at the wrong time, but some students choose to miss or skip this event and stay home. Hearing about CWW, I thought about why a student would do that. Why? I would want to go more than anything in the world! Yet they skip all the fun, and they too stand with the newer students, all on the outer wall. Next year, then CWW comes again, I shall stand beside my friends and go with them, hopefully being accepted into their CWW bond.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  7 


An International Perspective

Call of the Dragon Angelina S. and Isaac B. Grade 7 Students

Students and teachers paraded, Chinese teachers danced, dragons spewed confetti, and acrobats contorted their bodies in all sorts of seemingly painful shapes. On January 20, for the first time in SAS history, the Primary and Intermediate Schools teamed up to create three spectacular back-to-back shows to bring in the Year of the Dragon, the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac. When I first walked through the doors into the dimly-lit auditorium, I didn’t exactly have high expectations for what I assumed was going to be a dull and unremarkable show. Once the show began I could tell that it wasn’t going to be just any regular performance; the Chinese teachers were taking this year’s Chinese New Year festival to a whole new level. The parading was delightfully entertaining, especially when that little girl joined uninvited next to one of the teachers, kicking off the show with a light-hearted atmosphere. Next, the Chinese teachers appeared on stage, magically transforming from skilled educators to lithe dancers. They performed an elegant dance that combined elements of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, gracefully waving their bright red fans through the air and snapping them open with an explosive crack. Their smooth, yet precise synchronization seemed effortless and beautiful all at once. When they closed their fans, they did so silently and swiftly. The art of fan-dancing is shrouded in mystery, a skill that requires a combination of balance and litheness, and after watching their performance I am still not sure exactly how they managed to close their fans without making a sound. Next were the acrobats, clad in skin-tight leotards, whose jelly-like limbs made it impossible for me to tear my eyes away. Their flexibility was other-worldly, almost certainly obtained from

8 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

intensive training for many years. They bent and twisted swiftly and easily, making it majestic and enthralling. I cringed when one of the acrobats twisted her leg 180 degrees. After watching their performance I have come to the conclusion that I am not cut out for a career as an acrobat. And what would the Year of the Dragon be without a dragon dance? Last but not least was the dragon dance, an energetic explosion of frenzied excitement, with many complex twisting and weaving movements. The brightly-colored dragon followed a ball on a stick carried by one of the performers while the others waved the dragon around. The dragon men threw candy into the crowd and also rolled little oranges to the front row. To finish it off, confetti flew out of the dragon’s mouth with a loud bang and floated slowly back down to the ground. It was an amazing, fun Chinese New Year performance, the perfect way to usher in the year of the dragon.


An International Perspective

Skyping with Tokyo Kishwar Nawaz Grade 11 Student

Our AP French class has been communicating with students from the French school in Tokyo, the Lycée Franco-Japonais de Tokyo (LFJT). Our teacher, Madame Patrick, felt this would be a great way for us to practice our French and get to know other students who are part of a different culture, but yet share many similarities with us as well. So far, we have had two Skype sessions with them. Organizing the Skype sessions was not easy due to the time difference between Singapore and Tokyo, but with careful planning, our teacher made it possible. During our Skype conversations we were able to introduce ourselves and be introduced to the students in Tokyo. We have also discussed current affairs and shared our opinions about various issues. Additionally, we have used a social network called Ning to communicate with the students at LFJT and voice our thoughts on certain topics posted by our teacher on a blog. The use of technology as a means of communication is the future for learning and teaching. We are very lucky to be given so much exposure to the world around us as this really helps make us more thoughtful and open-minded. Moreover, we prepared for an exchange with the students from LFJT. The students from Tokyo came to Singapore at the beginning of March and were housed by students from SAS. When they arrived, we had the chance to show them around our school and they were able to experience a routine similar to that of an SAS student. Then, during our Spring Break, we had the opportunity to visit the students in Tokyo. Several students from SAS traveled to Japan with Madame Patrick for the trip of a lifetime! We learned about Japanese culture while housed with students from LFJT. We also indulged in all that Tokyo has to offer, but we spoke in French the entire time. This was an amazing opportunity for us to immerse ourselves into such a unique and wonderful culture, while also being able to practice and improve our French in a completely different environment.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  9 


An International Perspective

Making Lokta Paper Bags in Nepal Jessica Schult Grade 12 Student

As I sat in the dark, damp room, I heard chattering voices and the shuffle of paper all around me. I looked up to watch as razor blades were exchanged for rulers and a tub of glue was being passed around with a toothbrush in it for putting the glue on the paper’s seams. The five Nepalese women I was working with were busily creasing, gluing, and cutting their lokta paper. In a few short hours they had quickly picked up the ability to make several sizes of paper bags. As I taught them where to measure, cut, and glue the paper, they followed along with me. Although I was the one who showed them how to make the bags, my output was steadily falling behind the number of bags that they were creating with their dexterous fingers and sharp eyes. For the past two years my family and I have gone to Nangi, Nepal, for a few weeks over the summer. The first year we went, we installed two solar water heaters so that the village could raise money for their school by charging hikers for taking showers when they trek through and stay at the new campground. Then this past summer, we helped to install a solar electric panel and battery system for the village’s new medical clinic. The clinic has medical and dental equipment, as well as a computer that has been set up to video conference with larger medical facilities. Since electricity in Nangi is not always reliable, having this source of energy will ensure that the clinic has a steady supply of electricity. Now Lila, Rupa, and Chitra will have the electricity that they need to take care of any illness or injury, no matter the circumstances. Also this past year, as a more personal project, I taught several of the women in Nangi to make paper bags out of the lokta paper that they produce in the village. During our first trip in 2010, we noticed that the women made lots of beautiful paper, but, other than small journal books, there did not seem to be any other finished products to sell. The paper for the bags is made from lokta, a plant that grows locally in the mountains. The women in Nangi harvest the lokta and then shred it into long strips. They then pulp the lokta in a machine

10 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

and pour it onto screens, which they set in the sun to dry. The women can make paper with different thicknesses, different colors, and different patterns. At our home in Singapore, my mother and I sat and brainstormed ways to make their craftwork more easily sellable. One of our first ideas was to make paper bags. I figured out how to put a paper bag together from a piece of paper we had bought while in Nangi the previous summer, and after looking at the finished product, we knew that we had found just what we were looking for. Over the summer, the women from Nangi and I made over 200 bags in three different sizes, which I sold at Food Fest. They made more for me in December, and I sold those during County Fair. I intend to put all of the money I raise from the gift bags toward building safer living quarters for the high school students at the school in Nangi. Most of the high school students have to walk many hours to get to the school from their home, so they live at the school during the week or for extended times. The students have to completely do their own laundry, etc. During the winter, their rooms are very cold because there are gaps between the boards in the walls. Also, they have to cook their food over mud/wood stoves in their rooms. My goal is to build dorm-style buildings with safer cooking facilities, a common, well-lit area for studying, and walls that will keep the winter wind out.


An International Perspective

Yu Sheng Erik Torjesen HS World History Teacher

AP students in Mr. Torjesen’s government and world history classes continued a five-year tradition of Yu Sheng. The prosperity toss salad was developed in Singapore fifty years ago as a Chinese New Year tradition. Families and groups toss the salad together calling out for prosperity, luck , and success. Students shouted loudly for As in class, 5s on their AP exams, and occasionally for prom dates. While the AP statistics class is not ready to certify causation, anecdotally we’ve found that students who do Yu Sheng have also done very well on their AP exams.

Literacy and Learning in Telunas Emily K. and Jackson C. Grade 5 Students

The weekend of March 3rd, 2012 about 50 fifth graders went on a community service trip to Telunas, Indonesia. We went because we wanted to help kids learn literacy skills. In order to do this we had to prepare games and activities for the kids to keep once we left. First Ms. Xuereb had us come up with a plan for the activity we were going to do with a partner. Next we made sure we had all the supplies and details that we needed, then we put the project together bit by bit every Telunas meeting, which were once a week for six weeks. Once we had colored and cut everything Ms. Vaught helped us laminate everything. A high school teacher also came in to help us learn some Bahasa so we wouldn’t be clueless when we first met the children at the Indonesian fishing village school. Our first stop was the school in the Riau Island province; we were on a small island where all of the people worked as fisherman. We spent about an hour and a half working with the kids teaching them our games and literacy activities, we all worked with a certain age group from 4 yrs to 12 yrs old. The village children showed us their traditional dances, and we feasted on Indonesia food for lunch. Best of all we got to play football, games and hang out with them afterwards. All of the SAS kids really enjoyed meeting the kids and getting to teach them and watch them learn, also making new friendships. We learnt that even though you may not speak the same language you can still communicate. We then went on a longboat to the Telunas Beach and had the time of our lives! We arrived and went over safety rules and then found out which cabin we were in and then went to them. We went

swimming and went low dock jumping. Then we all had dinner and made a skit for the bonfire where we all had S’mores. After that some people told jokes, sung songs, and did magic tricks. We were all tired after that so we went to bed and fell asleep – much to our teacher’s amazement! The next day we woke up at 6.30 for breakfast. We went dock jumping and on a low ropes course in the jungle above Telunas. When we went dock jumping we got to jump off the high dock which was super fun and super high. On the ropes course we hiked for a brutal ten minutes and once we got there we started climbing around. We had lunch and sadly got on the long boats and left for the ferryboat which would take us back to Singapore. Then we found our moms, got our passports, said goodbye to all our friends and left to our homes after an unforgettable weekend of learning and fun. C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  11 


An International Perspective

Mama Mia What A Day Shruti Jayakumar and Anbita Siregar Grade 12 Students

On January 19, 2012, the AP French class, comprising of 14 students, embarked on our exciting journey to the Lycée Francais du Singapour (LFS). As the bus left SAS, we were nerve-wracked. Each of us had been paired with students at the LFS with whom we had been communicating for a while. Still, we didn’t really know what to expect. Could our French even come close to matching that of the fluent students? Could we actually be able to go through a day at a French school? As soon as we got off the bus, our buddies were there to greet us. Immediately, they started speaking French. At first, most of us were taken aback. But as soon as we warmed up to our buddies, we started speaking quite fluently. It was an exciting surprise to see how much our French skills had grown over these years. As Matt Dee said, “Few of us thought we had it in ourselves to speak nothing but French for a whole day, but somehow we did it! It really boosted my confidence with the French language. I had a great time.”

murder, since he had a knife with him. The defendant disputed that the attack was caused by posttraumatic stress disorder, a psychological condition he was affected by due to the war. Though both sides argued well, we, the jury, came to the conclusion that Alberto Martinez was guilty of manslaughter and should be sentenced to ten years of prison. After this encapsulating trial that really got all of us thinking, we took a break for lunch. We had a wonderful time bonding with our buddies. Speaking to my classmates about it afterward, I found that we were able to really connect with them—all in French, too! Not only did the trip give us confidence in our unexpected capabilities in French, but it also helped us get to know the French culture just a bit more by interacting with the French students. We’d like to thank Madame Patrick and Monsieur Talon for being our sponsors for the day and to the Lycée Francais for hosting us. Without them, we wouldn’t have had this unforgettable experience.

The bell rang. Our buddies beckoned us to their morning classes. Most of us had different classes, all of which were taught solely in French. “The philosophy lesson was really interesting! I learned a lot and I was really amazed to see how I could actually understand most of what the teacher was saying in his lecture.” Yihang Zhu said. After our first class, we met in the amphitheater, took our seats, and prepared to be the jury for a mock trial our French buddies had prepared for their English class. Our buddies remade the trial of American soldier Alberto Martinez, who was accused of brutally murdering another soldier, Richard Davis, just days after his return from Iraq. Sitting in our seats, we carefully listened as both the defendant and the state presented their evidence, witnesses, and counterarguments. The state’s lead argument was that Martinez was guilty for pre-planning the

Un jour spectaculaire au Lycée Francais

Knowledge Bowl Erik Torjesen HS World History Teacher

The high school Knowledge Bowl team emerged triumphant in the December 2011 Knowledge Master Open, winning the the international division by more than 150 points. A score of 1573, our highest fall score in five years, earned us an overall ranking of 29th out of 576 schools. The Knowledge Master Open involves students as a group answering 200 curriculum-based questions, with bonus points for speed. The team is excited to try and top this score at the spring competition on April 23. New members as always are welcome, and cookies are always served. Auk Auk!

12 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


Everyone Celebrates in the ECC Geri Johnson PS Deputy Principal, ECC Director

Introducing preschool and prekindergarten students to concepts of global perspectives and diversity begins with celebrations. You may think Early Childhood students are party animals and school is nothing but one celebration after another. And, you may be right. The wide range of holidays and special events celebrated in

Singapore and at SAS provide our youngest students with authentic opportunities to learn that friends and their families come from diverse countries, customs and traditions. As our students develop a sense of the world, the seeds for cultural understanding and harmony are planted through participation in these celebrations.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  13 


A Shaolin Temple Sword for the MS Library Ellen White Director of Admissions

In the Middle School library is a sword from a Shaolin Temple that was given to former SAS Chinese history teacher and current Director of Admissions Ellen White when she was there in December 2011. Mrs. White is the sponsor of the Youth Community Outreach Club. She was in Henan to help prepare a service trip for the High School club in June 2012. Because of its fertile plains surrounding the Yellow River, Henan is the cradle of Chinese civilization. It’s also famous because of its Buddhist heritage sites. The White Horse Temple built in Henan in 68 CE was the first Buddhist temple in China. The monk Bodhidharma arrived from India in 527 CE and taught the monks at Shaolin Temple the martial arts. You can still see the hillside cave where he lived for 11 years until he found a disciple worthy enough to teach. And how did the

monk prove himself to Bodhidharma? He cut off his arm to show he could endure harsh training. That’s why to this day, Shaolin monks greet one another with one hand raised instead of two. The Middle School library’s sword is engraved with the name of the Venerable Abbot Shi Yong Xin who is now the abbot of Shaolin Temple. In addition to supervising the spiritual training of the monks, he guides novices through the rigors of their martial arts routines. He also has a business to run. Shaolin Temple is a tourist attraction. The famed Pagoda Forest of petrified wood is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Swords like the one displayed in the Middle School library are made at a nearby factory also owned by the temple. They are used by martial artists in competitions and given to VIP visitors. In China, teachers are Very Important People.

Thaipusam Erik Torjesen HS World History Teacher

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival honoring Lord Murugan. It is an example of Bhaktic worship, where devotees carry milk offerings between two temples. Some will perform this puja while carrying elaborate kavadis. Students from Mr. Stagg’s History of India class and Mr. Torjesen’s AP World History class attended the festival in early February.

14 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


An International Perspective

Connecting Concepts Culturally Virginia A. Sheridan HS Journalism Teacher

“Splash!” exclaimed the students when they heard the word water. “Ah!” they all cooed at the cue of mountain as the guide told the legend of water dragon Lac Long Quan and mountain fairy Au Co, the mythical ancestors of the Vietnamese people. The third grade students examined the namesake water puppets on display at the Asian Civilizations Museum (ACM), and also learned that Vietnamese farmers performed shows on flooded rice fields in celebration of a good harvest. Yet another watery connection on a tour custom-designed to relate to their social studies curriculum. As lead guide for the Water, Water Everywhere tour, I was privileged to work with a team of enthusiastic third grade teachers. Their social studies unit, A Village Called Earth, had focused on water and its importance to our planet and our bodies. We decided to expand those ideas by showing that water not only nourished people, but also carried people— who brought with them their ideas, myths, celebrations, beliefs and items of trade—from one place to another. And in that way, cultures developed and expanded.

Students learned how a 2,000-year-old bronze-cast drum from Indonesia was used to call rain, and how its similarities to a drum in Vietnam proved that distant societies were in contact long ago. They heard the legend of Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea, and that early immigrants to Singapore set up a temple in her honor on Telok Ayer Street after arriving safely by boat from China. “We thought the red and green monsters who protected the goddess were cool because they had the power to see and hear if anything dangerous was coming. Then the goddess could control what was happening on the water,” Isabelle and Davis said. The multi-cultural learning experience was enhanced by the fact that the volunteer Friends of the Museums guides hailed from different countries including Taiwan, France, India, and Israel. SAS students were deemed by the guides as more attentive and informed than the average school group. “They taught us just as much as we taught them,” said Jo Wright, a guide from England. “Some were telling us about visits to Cambodia, some saw water

puppet shows in Vietnam.” The Singapore River location also allowed the third graders to explore water outside the museum by taking a riverboat tour. Highlights included the old trade warehouses (now Boat Quay restaurants), the iconic mother and baby Merlion, the “skyscraper boat” of the Marina Bay Sands, and the chance to wear the splashy bright orange lifesaving vests required by the school safety code. In April, the entire second grade will experience its own curriculum-connection at the ACM via the Dragons and other Fantastic Creatures tours. “The students get so excited when they find the statues of the little cats and the boys jumping into the water,” said Sue Barber, one of the second grade field trip coordinators. “They get some exercise, hear some stories, learn new facts, eat lunch on the lawn under a big tree. What a wonderful way to learn.” For information on other custom tour possibilities, contact vsheridan@sas.edu. sg. For more information on guiding, family museum memberships, and other activities offered through the Friends of the Museums, log on to www.fom.sg.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  15 


PTA

We Appreciate You! Paula Hollister PTA Treasurer

When my family and I moved to Singapore five years ago, one of the first things I did at SAS was to become involved with the PTA. I first became involved as a PTA Sales volunteer in the uniform shop. Since then I have been a PTA Sales Chair, room mom, and a general volunteer to various committees. I currently serve as treasurer to the PTA. It is a big job, but I have a wonderful team that supports me throughout the year. I want to extend a huge thank you to Subha Kalathur, Assistant Treasurer, who works with me every week and to Cindy Reidy, Events Treasurer, who organizes and coordinates the treasury function at all our fundraisers. I hope everyone enjoyed our wonderful County Fair that was held on February 25, 2012. Jodie Stone and her team did a fantastic job creating a very special community-wide event. We were all entertained throughout the day with terrific live acts, fun games, fabulous food, and super shopping at the used book sale and vendor fair. It takes the County Fair team many months and lots of hours to accomplish such a grand event. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. I would also like to thank the Scholastic Books Committee and especially the chair, Tammy Charter, for another successful order. For every student order, our SAS teachers receive bonus points for free books for the classrooms. Even though the program changed for the spring order and we will no longer be able to order from the US catalogs, it is still a very worthwhile

program to our community and our teachers. The PTA’s next major event is Staff Appreciation Day on April 24. Erma Huston, our Welcoming and Hospitality Chair, as well as our Division Reps Caroline Edds, Maria Luedeke, Tracy Cohen, Monique Hirsch, Sherry Lyons, Jackie Lewis, and Mika Parekh, are working to create a wonderful environment where we can all take time to give a big thank you to all the SAS teachers and staff. After we have thanked our teachers and staff, it is time to give all the dedicated PTA volunteers a big thank you for another terrific year of events and community building at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea on May 15 which will be held at the US Ambassador’s residence. At the event, we will present to the school a check which represents all the hours and hard work of all our volunteers throughout the year. The PTA, in conjunction with the school administration, approves requests for our fund-spending, and we earmark these monies to specific enrichments for the classrooms and experiences for the students. It is a great feeling to know that all our efforts will directly benefit our students, and will help to make SAS the best school in the world! And finally, I want to remind everyone that the last day for uniform sales for this school year will be May 18. The volunteers in the uniform shop do a terrific job all during the school year, selling uniforms, answering phones and questions, and being a constant happy presence in the PTA office. Thank you to the PTA Sales Chairs Kirsten Fitchett, Mei Holt, and Kelly Tan and to the entire sales team.

2011-12 PTA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS & REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEERS The PTA Nominating Committee is seeking nominees for 2012-13 PTA executive committee positions: president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. A slate of candidates will be submitted at the PTA Annual General Meeting on May 15, 2012. Nominations will be accepted until May 1, two weeks prior to the election. If you would like to submit your name or nominate someone, please contact one of the following Nominating Committee members: Shelby Pazos (Committee Chair), shelbypazos@yahoo.com Cindy Reidy, cynthiareidy@gmail.com Tammy Charter, trcharter@mac.com The PTA is also seeking volunteers for the 2011-12 academic year to chair or work with various committees. Detailed descriptions of the committees are available on the PTA website http://www.sas.edu.sg/PTA. To express an interest in volunteering, please contact PTA president Arathi Nilakantan by email at arathi.neel@gmail.com.

16 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


PTA

Food Fest was a fantastic day this year because of the hard work and effort of many people. Country Booth Coordinators asked fellow parents to prepare food for thousands, and coordinate the decoration and operation of the beautiful country booths. High School Students took time away from study and activities to operate booths, help run audio visual equipment, take pictures, and managed many other tasks essential to the success of Food Fest. Committee Members organized teams of volunteers to sell drinks, sell coupons, buy food and supplies, obtain sponsors, create theme baskets, organize vendors, coordinate entertainment, put together copy and graphic design for publicity, and much, much more! Many thanks to these people and their committees. Regards - Kim Hamby, Food Fest Chair 2011

THE SAS PTA WARMLY THANKS OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS:

|Yeap Transport (SAS School Bus Co.) |Super Multi Vending |The American Club |Cold Stone Creamery |Asian Tigers KC Dat (S) Pte Ltd |SAS Eagles Booster Club |Dunkin’ Donuts |Margaritas |Quiznos Sub |Santa Fe Relocations Services |Tully’s Coffee |Auntie Anne’s Pretzel |Café Iguana |Co-X Pte Ltd |DKSH Singapore Pte Ltd |Expat Kitchen |Jerry’s BBQ |Kraft Foods |The Mexican Taco Bar |MVO Marketing |Partyworkz

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  17 


PTA

TUESDAY, APRIL 24TH 2012

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” - Voltaire This annual PTA event provides parents with the opportunity to thank SAS staff and faculty for all that they do, by having parents present a feast! Every Division will have a plentiful repast of homemade dishes, with a Halal buffet in the PTA Office. Each SAS staff member will enjoy a day that reflects the community’s deep appreciation for their efforts. Parents are invited to donate food, money and their time to help set-up and serve. Everyone is encouraged to participate to make this special day a huge success. Look out for more information from PTA’s Hospitality Chair, Erma Huston, e.huston@pacific.net.sg, and from your PTA Division Representatives. Please contact them with any questions you might have.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  19 


PTA

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012, 10:00am to 12:00pm Venue: The Residence of the U.S. Ambassador

Graciously hosted by: Ambassador David Adelman & Mrs Caroline Adelman Attendance by RSVP only! Please email Erma Huston at: e.huston@pacific.net.sg

THE SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL

PTA White Elephant Sale 2012 SATURDAY, MAY 12TH, 9AM TILL 1PM PRIMARY SCHOOL FOYER

Over 20 sellers at the SAS Primary School Foyer & Over 40 homes in the Woodlands Neighborhood. Maps to participating homes will be given out at the Primary School Foyer on the day of the Sale. The SAS Primary School side gate leads directly to the Woodlands neighborhood & participating homes. On campus parking for SAS families with registered vehicles only. Offsite parking available in HDB multi-storey carparks in blocks 421A & 426A along Woodlands Street 41.

20 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


STAR

AppeAl 2012 Connecting Community For Every Child

Please join us for an evening of celebration in support of Singapore American School. This yearly event is the signature recognition and fundraising gala of the SAS Foundation. Proceeds of the evening benefit the SAS Annual Fund, which provides essential support for: • Academic enrichment • Extracurricular and experiential activities • Performing and visual arts • Athletic uniforms, equipment, and programs • Community service and service learning • Student financial aid • Visiting authors, artists, and world leaders • Technology initiatives • Travel for cultural, performing arts, and athletic events • The SAS endowment Saturday, April 14, 2012 7:00 p.m. Goodwood Park Hotel, Windsor Ballroom For more information or to purchase your seat or table, please contact the Singapore American School Advancement Office at +65 6360 6334 C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL   21  or sasfoundation@sas.edu.sg.


15th Annual SAS Music Festival Delaena Ganske K-5 Music Teacher

The 15th Annual SAS Music Festival took place from March 5-12, 2012. Four world-class guest conductors worked with all strings, band, and choir ensembles to enhance their musical and technical skills. They also prepared the students for some amazing concerts that took place Friday, March 9; Saturday, March 10; and Monday, March 12. The band students welcomed Mr. Douglas Akey, Director of Bands and Music/Drama Department Chairperson at Hendrix Junior High School in Chandler, Arizona and Mr. Ryan Nelson, Music Director in Residence for the School of Communication at Northwestern University. The strings students were under the expertise of Mr. Franz Krager, Professor of Conducting, Director

22 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

of Orchestras, and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. The choir students raised their voices with Mr. Richard Nace, retired teacher from Governor John Rogers High school and currently an active guest conductor and clinician. The concerts were a huge success and the students were very proud of their performances. The K-12 music faculty of SAS observed these experts while they worked with students. They also participated in professional development opportunities and discussions throughout the week. This was a unique opportunity for SAS musicians and teachers to connect and share their love of music and performance.


Spotlight: Variety Virginia A. Sheridan HS Journalism Teacher

and solo acts, of many shapes, sizes, nationalities and abilities, they gathered with one common goal: to put on a show. Amazingly the disparate, studentinitiated acts morphed in the end into one cohesive performance as if initially conceived that way.

Photo: Amy Chou

It began with a solo ballet tribute to America, and ended with a sparkly trio moon-walking to Michael Jackson music. In the intervening 2 ½ hours there was poetry and puppetry, dancing and singing, pianos and a cello, pom-poms and polka-dots, acting and snapping, a guitar and monsters, a sister act and tap dance, one flute and lots of cute, tae-kwon-do kicks and glow-inthe-dark sticks, Bollywood moves and the Harry Potter crew. Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry, too! Could that be why they call the annual Intermediate School (IS) volunteer-run student performance a variety show? “If a student put thought, preparation and creativity into an act, we considered it,” said IS Variety Show Director Gayle Hall. “We didn’t look for only the most talented acts.” Gayle volunteered to direct the show “at the eleventh hour” after the previous organizer moved, and after her friends Lael Stanczick and Monique Hirsh agreed to help. All three had prior experience with the Variety Show format via their performing offspring. “The directors were there everyday working with the kids, then at home every night working on schedules, then everywhere dealing with parents in between. It’s a huge undertaking,” said parent volunteer Renne Chipman, who guided a singing Grade 5 son and a dancing Grade 3 daughter through three months of Variety Show activity. A fully volunteer-run enterprise, parents took on roles coordinating every aspect of the show—food, t-shirts, programs, tickets, background slides, DVD sales, chaperones, photography and backstage action. But the main spotlight was on the students. Some 43 acts composed of 87 IS performers were selected for the final show from a pool of 200 auditioning students from grades 3, 4 and 5. Some were Variety Show veterans. Others were performing on stage for the very first time. A mix of boys, girls, groups

“The Variety Show definitely demonstrated how multicultural SAS is,” said Vidya Ravikumar, whose son performed a lively dance routine to Hindi music. “It has taught Charan the valuable lesson of appreciating his friends from other countries and has even encouraged him to take pride in his own country’s traditions.” In the rehearsals, lyrics were forgotten, dance cues were missed, props were dropped. The directors patiently guided, coaxed, and encouraged the students into opening night readiness. “We are like a family,” Gayle reminded the cast often. It was clear that the students agreed by the way they cheered for each other and in the way they sang, danced, and recited their favorite acts in the school hallways. “I loved every single second performing on the stage so the rehearsal time was fun for me, too,” said fourth grader Ann H. who sang the ballad “Rolling in the Deep.” “When I watched the other performers, I felt very proud of everyone to be able to get on stage and perform their talent. We all supported each other even when we made mistakes.” That support and pride transferred from auditorium to classroom, according to IS guidance counselor Carmine Felice. “During a guidance lesson, I asked the kids to compliment others for some improvement that was noticeable. Several congratulated other kids for the hard work they’d done in preparing for the Variety Show. They recognized that they had come a long way since they first presented their ideas to the judges. It was so great to see them appreciate the fruits of their labors.” Along the way, personalities bloomed and confidence grew. And if anyone forgot to smile on stage, veteran SAS theater director Paula Silverman was there to remind them, pointing to the bright yellow happy face above the soundboard (in between managing the lights and music and directing her Middle School/High School tech crew.) “To me, the Variety Show is a place where kids can find out that maybe sports or grades are not the only things they can do well. They can do it all, and while doing so, make a new circle of friends,” said Gayle. She admits that during her many months as director she learned “each dance, each song, each skit”—and also learned something about each student performer. C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  23 


24 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


Tracy van der Linden HS Dance Director

The IASAS dance team is an elite group of ten dancers who are given the task to create a 20-minute dance piece that is coherent and that has a clear intention. This year’s team decided to create their piece about our immune system, which is not a typical topic seen at Cultural Convention. The dancers carefully structured the dance piece to tell the story of how a virus affects our healthy cells and how our body responds to kill the virus. The dance piece, titled Infected, was very well received by the other IASAS Schools and by the professional artists who critique each performance.

Experimental Theater IASAS Cultural Convention is a unique opportunity for eight theater students to engage in an intensive rehearsal process and travel to share their work with other theater, dance, and visual arts students, which took place this year in Bangkok. One essential goal of the High School theater program is to provide the students and community with a diverse range of theatrical experiences over any given four-year cycle. The IASAS production allows us to explore more experimental work since the intended audience is our fellow artists. This year we deconstruct Action, a one-act play by American playwright and Pulitzer prize winner Sam Shepard. One female and one male actor combine to play each of the four characters in the play: Jeep (Jisoo Lee & Cameron Noble), Shooter (Jacqui Geday & Justin Smith), Liza (Athelia Paulli & Sid Iyer Sequieria), and Lupe (Kate Penniall & Dalton Bradford). We have immersed this absurdist piece in a Butoh dreamworld. Butoh is a contemporary form of Japanese physical theatre inspired by the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It is also referred to as the dance of darkness.

Elite Dancers Over the seven years that I have been coaching IASAS dance, Infected has to be one of my favorites. It brings to life something that happens to each of us, and the subject lends itself to the creation of some really interesting movement. If you didn’t get a chance to see Infected before we went to Bangkok, you will have one last chance to catch it. The IASAS Dancers will perform one last time at our Second Semester Dance Show in April. They will only perform during the Saturday night performance, April 28.

Thomas Schulz HS Drama Teacher

Thanks to generous funding by the PTA, students had the opportunity to work with visiting artist Mark Hill, who studied for three years with some of the most famous Butoh companies in Japan. The production was very well received in Bangkok. Comments from other drama students included: “Disturbing—and justly so. I will be processing this for a long time to come.” ”I could watch your piece for hours!” “Spine-drilling intensity…” As a director and teacher, I was most pleased with this comment from Melissa Bradford, mother of one of the actors, “It’s exhilarating to see young kids reach into the abyss and pull out handfuls of light.” For a look at the promotional trailer for the piece, please go to http://youtu.be/wWY14ttoUeo.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  25 


A New Eagle Takes to the Skies Nick Stearns, Grade 12 Student and Spencer Long, Grade 11 Student

Nick: The rank of Eagle Scout represents the pinnacle of Scouting achievement and the goal toward which Spencer Long has been working for several years. Only about 4% of Scouts ever achieve the rank of Eagle, and the ceremony awarding this rank is a solemn and joyous occasion. Spencer represents not only the epitome of Scouting achievement, but he also demonstrates its truly global nature. Spencer began his Scouting journey in Cub Scouts in Munich, Germany and achieved his Arrow of Light award with Cub Scout Pack 147 in Munich.

hiking the Alps in Germany to Boy Scout summer camp in Goshen, Virginia, to whitewater rafting in the jungles of Malaysia. All who know Spencer rejoice in his achievement. His position is one of honor and responsibility. He is now a marked man. As an Eagle Scout, Spencer will be a champion to other Scouts and he will be an example to his community. His responsibility goes beyond his fellow Scouts. It extends to his country and its citizens, and to his place as a citizen of the world.

Spencer continued his Scouting journey when he joined Boy Scout Troop 818 in Kuala Lumpur before moving to our troop, Troop 07. He has experienced a broad range of activities from

Spencer has spent the majority of his life living abroad. He has had experiences and opportunities far greater than most young men his age. As he grows, he will remember this good fortune and use his experiences to help make the world a better place.

Spencer: Receiving the Eagle Scout Rank has been one of the most gratifying and most rewarding accomplishments in my life. Although it took me many years full of requirements, paperwork, and the never-ending service project to get here, it was definitely worth it.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now without the help and encouragement of my family, friends, my Scouting community and most importantly, my mom and dad. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them and for that I thank them.

The knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout my journey as a Boy Scout have been invaluable and will continue to aid me throughout my life. However, it has only hit me recently that I am about to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can be awarded. It wasn’t too long ago that I was sitting at a Court of Honor watching someone like me earn the Eagle Badge and hoping to be up there earning that award one day. After all the many memories, good and bad, I have finally earned the right to call myself an Eagle Scout, and I will have that honor forever to come. I can still remember being a young Cub Scout, participating in activities such as the pinewood derby, and also looking up to the older Scouts and wanting to become like them. And here I am. I also fondly remember how fun it was being a Scout; the hiking, white-water-rafting, cooking, sleeping in tents, and numerous other Boy Scout activities will be memories I will treasure for years to come. If you’d like to learn more about what adventures Scouting can offer you, please visit our website at www.bsatroop07.com, or join us on a Tuesday evening from 6:15–7:30 p.m. for a weekly meeting at SAS in room H301. Nick Stearns recently served as Master of Ceremonies during the Boy Scout Court of Honor, where Spencer Long received his Eagle award.

26 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


A Long Journey for Hope Christine (Kipeum) Park, Grade 11 Student and Marietta Tanudisastro, Grade 12 Student

The High School SAS service members have come on a long journey for hope. All of us stand under one roof, hope. Hope to provide lunch for a little girl in India, hope for a possible surgery, and hope to share our warmth. With this one reason, we run to that finish line where the little boy awaits us with the biggest smile on his face. What about the hope we carry everyday in our pockets for a little donation to the Thailand flood? And what about the hope we talk about everyday while we recycle our used papers into the brown box located in every classroom all across the school? These hopes that we have engraved in our hearts are the impetus to our step forward in the preservation and advancement of our society. The process might be tough, unbearable, and painstaking, but the end result is the trophy that awaits us at the end of the track. Currently, 44 service clubs represent our high school service community, with over half of the high school population involved in service. This already shows our willingness as a whole to be a part of the helping hand not because of coercion but because of the will illuminating from the core of our hearts. No matter how big of an impact we make on our society, we try our best just to draw the smile on a leper’s face, or even just to contribute our two-dollar change from a Subway meal. This year, we held multiple fundraising events to raise money for our service clubs that will be used for the good of our society. The Pumpkin Patch was held in October where our service club participants got together to deliver, wash, and sell pumpkins that left us with a great profit. This money we raised was distributed to our high school service clubs to use wisely for their own purposes. We also participated in other events such as County Fair and Food Fest, collaborated with the Booster Club, and raised money for the service clubs. At these events, members earned hours in return for their dedicated efforts. Service hours are defined as the “medals” for our sweat and efforts put into service activities. Service hours are also used for the decoration of our resumes that will be sent off to colleges to show how involved we are in our service community. Yes, it is true that some people get involved in service at our school just for their resumes, but the majority of the service population does service because they actually want to. From baking cookies for a bake sale to traveling on boats to Batam for a house-building event, these service hours are given based on the amount of effort our students put in to contributing to the larger community.

As a freshman in High School, with both anxious and nervous feelings, I joined the club Habitat for Humanity. It is a club that builds houses in Batam for destitute families living under a piece of tin as a roof and walls that look like a tornado just swept over them. I signed up for my first trip in February and when I asked my friends if they wanted to go on this trip, no-one had the interest to do it with me. After hours of swimming in this dilemma, I finally made my decision to go. As D-Day came, I was anxious to go on this house-building trip as the only freshman. As soon as we arrived in Batam, my anxiety and fear were gone. All that was lingering in my brain were the words: hot, time-wasting, want to go home. When we arrived at our destination to build houses, we put our bags down and started mixing cement. Finally, after what felt like my whole life in six hours, it was time to go home. Before we climbed on the bus headed to the ferry terminal, the family came up to us with tears lining their eyes and spoke two words to us: thank you. As soon as I felt the sincerity, as soon as I heard the voices, all I could say to myself was, “I don’t deserve this.” Why would they thank me, I thought. All I’ve been doing is complaining and dipping my shovel in the cement mix and waiting for 4:00 p.m. to come more quickly. I finally realized, THIS is the reason I did service, THIS is the reason I will do service, and THIS is the reason I finally woke up from my utopia that the world can only dream about. As cheesy as this story is, experience is the biggest way of realizing the meaning of service. It isn’t about resumes, nor is it just about feeling good inside, but it’s about sharing. Dr. Stuart, our principal, once said in a conference, “Compassion. It doesn’t mean just giving. It means sharing. Sharing their hurts, loss, and sadness. Sharing. Sharing what we so abundantly have that for some people is like a wish on a star. Sharing. That’s what it’s all about.” C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  27 


Why Alcohol and Teens Don’t Mix Jeff Devens, Ph.D. High School Psychologist

“What happened?” 17-year-old Jeremy* sat in my office bewildered as he fumbled for words to describe the previous weekend events. “The last thing I remember before passing out was being with my friends at Clark Quay.” Waking up in an alley covered in vomit with a sore jaw and several fractured ribs, he figured it was time to talk to someone about his alcohol use, and that someone was me. Sadly, this wasn’t our first conversation regarding alcohol, nor would it be our last. Turns out Jeremy’s friends ditched him figuring they would be in trouble if they returned him home in a drunken state. As far as he could surmise, after his friends left him some thugs jumped him, stole his wallet, and left a few parting kicks to his midsection. Jeremy has since graduated and his family has moved on to another posting. Yet, knowing what I know about teenage alcohol use, I’m certain this wasn’t going to be his last incident involving alcohol. While Jeremy’s story isn’t indicative of the majority of students I work with, it does speak to a continued concern I have regarding the self-reported use of alcohol among our teens. Adolescence presents with a host of new social and emotional experiences that stretch a teen’s limits, particularly when it comes to developing healthy coping mechanisms. To this end, it’s important to understand why teens choose to drink. Among the most commonly noted responses include: to have fun, to unwind, to lower inhibitions, to blow off steam, to relax, to feel good, and to fit in. Essentially, what teens are indicating is that in order to have fun, unwind, lower inhibitions, blow off steam, fit in, etc., they need to put a drug in their bodies that fundamentally alters the way their brains function. To justify their need or right to drink, teens sometimes resort to perceptions, albeit faulty, such as, “Everyone is drinking so it’s not a big deal.” For the past four years as part of our alcohol awareness initiatives at SAS, we have been anonymously surveying students in grades 9-12 regarding their alcohol use and perceptions. One of the questions we ask students is to indicate what percentage of their peers they perceive have consumed alcohol during the past 30 days. Interestingly, throughout all four years of collecting responses to this question, student’s estimations have not squared with reality. Depending on their year in school (freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior), students’ overestimations range from 20% to 50%, with freshmen distorting reality the most. Given

28 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

that perceptions form reality, this is important information for teens, parents, and educators to understand. Unless we challenge perceptions attempts at changing reality will be marginal at best. What we Know Regarding Alcohol: When a drug, such as alcohol, becomes a consistent part of a teen’s developmental process strong pairing associations can occur which may result in unhealthy patterns and choices of behavior (i.e. fun=alcohol, stress=alcohol, lower inhibitions=alcohol). Over time, these patterns can form the basis of habits; however, this formula can’t be distilled down to the simplistic equation: behavior = response, because alcohol has biochemical properties associated with it. Alcohol contains a chemical known as ethyl alcohol, which is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the stomach and carried to the Central Nervous System (CNS) where it acts to depress or slow functioning by binding to various neurons. While most other drugs have specific receptors they bind to, alcohol does not. This means that alcohol affects each of us in slightly different ways. Typically, it first depresses (turns off) areas of the brain that control judgment and inhibition. As more alcohol is consumed it depresses other areas of the CNS. The chemicals in alcohol attach themselves to the brain cells’ receptors and, over time, replace or alter the body’s natural chemicals. It’s a little like using leaded fuel in a car designed for unleaded; it will get you home, but over time it will ruin vital car parts. Sadly, some parents willingly provide alcohol to teens (i.e., pay-parties), or allow their teens to drink, accepting the mantra that, “Kids are going to drink so we might as well teach them to do so responsibly.” Parents accepting this line of reasoning need to understand that alcohol consumption doesn’t foster responsible behavior, it suppresses it! While these parents may have their teen’s welfare at heart (and I believe they do), they may actually be contributing to alcohol-related issues for their children well into adulthood. Results from The National Longitudinal Epidemiologic Survey of 27,616 American youth showed that the lifetime alcohol dependence rates of those kids who initiate alcohol use by age 14 were four times as high as those who start at age 20 years or older. These indeed are sobering statistics. Alcohol may be prevalent in our culture but it does not have to be part of our students’ lives. The more parents and mentors stay involved, the greater the likelihood that teens will make healthy choices. *Jeremy is not the student’s real name. However, the events and circumstances describe herein are real.


Bringing Mythical Creatures to Life Nicole Ashwin Grade 6 Teacher

The Grade 6 RLA classes recently welcomed Caldecott award-winning author, illustrator, and filmmaker Gerald McDermott to work with us on our mythology unit. Through his vivid renderings of timeless tales from around the world, he communicated a deep understanding of the transformative power of a myth. “The experience of being told a story just draws us all in. It’s absolutely compelling. You capture all sorts of people. In a way, time stops when the storyteller begins,” lamented Gerald to the students as he read aloud his trickster tale, Coyote. As resident author and illustrator for two weeks, Gerald inspired and guided us in the creative process of myth writing and telling. Leaving behind traditional pen and paper, our myths evolved through a more novel approach—the adorned, moving appendages of mix-matched creatures. To pique interest, students were randomly assigned a body part to construct. Utilizing video-streaming, Gerald gave tips on extensions for the joints and emphasized shapes, hues, and materials as influences. Letting the materials guide them rather

than having preconceived images, students were immersed in originality. Upon finishing, initial inspiration of story lines emerged through interpretations of feelings and emotions conveyed by their body parts. Thereafter, students worked in collaborative groups to chose divergent body parts and assemble as one. This resulted in jumbled, larger-than-life creatures. Gerald was thrilled with the vibrant variations, as the students were in hysterics. Using Gerald’s book, Raven, as a model to show the thinking, the groups developed an origin of the creature through further inspection of the body parts. Leading to further lines of thought were questions as: Where do certain features come from? What capabilities does this creature have? What is it good or not good at? What is the challenge or task this creature faces? As the students moved into creating stories for their creatures, the addition of myth structure, morals, gods, and language of the time added further depth. Even more dramatic, they incorporated motion, sound, and roles to make the myths come to life. Sticks were added to the creatures’ appendages to provide gestures that conveyed meaning instead of words. The creatures jumped, laughed, stomped, and flew. Final performances brought the entire sixth grade together. In the drama theater, students showcased the mythological aspects of their creatures and their own lives through morals such as self acceptance, determination, friendship, and dealing with challenges. Even more, the combined figure of separate imaginative parts signified the collaborative spirit and core values of SAS. And it was immense fun, too!

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  29 


Service Learning At Its Best Kaye Bach Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Nathaniel Edds, a Grade 10 SAS High School student, exemplifies a true ambassador for service learning at our school. Nathaniel and his family have been very actively involved with the NGO Caring for Cambodia (CfC) since its inception in 2002. The Edds family has been responsible for building preschools within the CfC communities. Nathaniel has traveled to Siem Reap on numerous occasions to be a part of this amazing process. Cambodia has captured Nathaniel’s heart in more ways than one, and this year he initiated a project soon to benefit literally thousands of young Cambodian children growing up in the communities CfC has nurtured and developed. Nathaniel is a Boy Scout and recently completed the biggest step to earn his Eagle Scout award. In preparing for his induction, Nathaniel recently completed his independent service project. This project had to demonstrate leadership skills, and required approval by the Eagle Scout committee of the Boy Scouts of America. With a little soul-searching Nathaniel decided he would raise money for CfC as part of his project. He put his creative skills to work, and decided the way to raise the money was to organize an inaugural dance-a–thon at his home. He issued invitations to friends and fellow supporters of CfC to attend the dance-a–thon on November 19. Much to his delight and relief, on that day 47 children came and danced the night away. The participants all received an orange tee shirt stating I DANCED

30 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

FOR A PLAYGROUND, food and drink was donated for the event, and as a result of of this fun evening Nathaniel raised $3,000 Singapore dollars. The next stage of this project was to follow through and make the construction of the playground happen. During Chinese New Year, a group of 23 CfC supporters, of which Nathaniel was a key member, traveled to Siem Reap to begin construction of the playground and attend the dedication of a new preschool building. Nathaniel and his team worked tirelessly alongside the Cambodian team of workers to build this project. Working together they dug holes for the foundation work, prepared lumber, poured cement, and nailed slats. At the end of the long weekend the playground was complete and Nathaniel’s project was accomplished with great success. As a teacher and keen promoter of service learning within our school community, I hold Nathaniel’s example of giving as a true model for others. The skills involved in initiating and completing such a project are numerous. The ability to lead a project from conception to fruition demonstrates true leadership. Nathaniel has been instrumental in giving something very tangible to the children of CfC communities in Siem Reap, and he has also provided an opportunity for students in the SAS community to look beyond themselves and think of others less fortunate. I am proud to know Nathaniel, and believe he has much to teach others about true service.


Booster Club Mika Parekh Booster Club Parliamentarian

The colorful window that greets you as you walk up the steps to the high school is the Booster Booth, and it has been a part of my life since we moved to Singapore four years ago. As a parent volunteer for the Booster Club Board, initially I handled uniform sales. For the past two years, I have served on the Executive Board, last year as Secretary and this year as Parliamentarian. As I have progressed in the Booster Club, so has my comfort with living in a new country, making new friends, and developing relationships. This is something that I will take with me when my youngest child leaves SAS. Being a high school parent brings both a joy and heartache because our children have left behind their innocent kindergarten years and their vivacious early teen years and are on their way to becoming adults. Volunteering at school allows me to connect with and be a part of my child’s world while contributing to school events that benefit her. The Booster Club provides many opportunities to any parent willing to come in and sign up—from volunteering for booth shifts to organizing major fund raising events that support extracurricular programs at the high school. One program, Mentor for a Day, allows your child to experience a day in a profession that he or she

might consider for the future. Most of the mentors are SAS parents who are senior level professionals, happy to share a day with an SAS student to give them a glimpse into their world. Mentors from a wide range of professions have participated such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, chefs, artists and photographers, and companies such as Google, Disney, and Microsoft. The program is truly an incredible opportunity for your child to spend a day exploring a professional career. Twice a year, right before the semester and final exams, is the much-awaited Booster Club Popcorn Day. Just follow your nose as you enter the high school to the smell of freshly popped kernels from our two machines that provide the students with free popcorn throughout the day. Over 25 Booster volunteers work the machines and hand out popcorn to those tired and stressed high-schoolers. The sight and smell of free popcorn brings a smile to many, even to those students who arrive to school barely awake. We want to see our kids smile as they grab those kernels on their way to class! If I still have not convinced you to become part of Booster Club, just stop by the Booth and those friendly moms (still looking for our first dad to join!) will answer your questions about the Booth and even about the school.

Booster Spirit Who says SAS doesn’t have school spirit? Just look at all these spirit items in the Booster Booth that show we love supporting our EAGLES. If you haven’t stopped by lately, come and see all our new items including our graduation gifts. We think you will find something for yourself and your kids, and some fun items for going-away presents or treasures to share with family and friends back home. You can view more items online at www.sas.edu.sg/page.cfm?p=495.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  31 


Booster Club

2012 FASHION SHOW REPORT

At SAS we are incredibly fortunate to have an organization such as the Booster Club whose aim is to help support students and foster a sense of school spirit. The 2012 Fashion Show embodied this concept by bringing together more than 100 participants who organized, marketed, styled, and modeled for the event. The format of this year’s show was very different from last year’s event as it was held in the more intimate setting of the Drama Theater and used the

32 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

stage instead of the catwalk. Our organizers and stylists were very creative and utilized video to great effect in this arena with fantastic support from the Film Society to supply the effects needed. From the first meeting, enthusiasm and imagination was abounding. The stylists and organizers kept everyone entertained. Emma O’Connell, Elizabeth Creech, Dominique Pratt, and Maddie Hurst did a fantastic job of creating posters and a colorful information board marketing the show, while Eden


Booster Club Livingston and Lindsey Cosgrove generated a buzz around school with their TV features aired on the Morning Show. The scene was set. Our resident hosts Trent Fish and Anbita Siregar were real pros and added to the night with witty comments while Camilla Slazar ran the projection and Tan Kabra showed talent with the music. First up was the Saree and Maori section headed by Octavia Fuller and Nia Thompson who did an amazing job of transforming colorful sarees into gorgeous evening gowns, trendy dresses, and hip tops. They also coordinated with art students to produce the amazing body art that the senior boys sported during a mesmerizing Haka performance. Camilla Salazar and Michaela Sauders suggested the Disney category, which was met with great enthusiasm and showed that many girls still want to be a Princess! Mrs. Silverman supplied the costumes from the amazing theater wardrobe, and Ellie Campbell produced the video clips to introduce the characters. The sight of our handsome boys and beautiful girls brought a tear to the eye. This year’s Trashion section was truly spectacular. It was a tribute to our incredible stylists. A special guest host, Sid Iyer Sequeira, brought a wonderful fun feel to this section. The artistic flair and hard work of Alexandra Oratavetz was demonstrated in nine of the outfits shown on the evening and included magazine dresses, playing card skirts, and a gorgeous evening gown embellished with tissue roses. Asia Hall and Camilla Slazar also contributed beautiful and imaginative outfits from items as diverse as sticky notes to Capri Sun wrappers. Kasirna Goodman and Michelle Varinata modeled their own amazing outfits. The Boosters section was headed by Kaitlyn Han and proved a huge hit with the crowd as they watched the high school girls cheerleading in the newly

transformed Booster clothing items. You can see some of the ideas on display at the Booster Booth. The teachers provided a fun and upbeat section as they wore fabulous costumes from the theater wardrobe and paraded on stage with masks as the audience tried to work out who was behind the disguise. Special thanks to Mrs. Devens, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Hallam, Mr. Hallam, Mr. Oms, Mr. Burnett, and Mrs. Pratt. Special thanks to Dr. Stuart who could be a serious contender for the next MTV Awards host! Continued on next page

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  33 


Booster Club 2012 Fashion Show Report Continued from previous page

The final section was Prom and the hard work of Eden Livingston provided a wonderful before and after view of some of the models. The girls wore gowns provided by Room by Sunny Ang at Mandarin Gallery. These dresses are great value and every girl sparkled in their fabulous outfits. The evening was enhanced by the Grade 8 Dance Team who performed a brilliant Bollywood dance

34 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

and a fantastic Dance through the Decades montage choreographed by Mrs. Rodocker. Special thanks to Mr. Paul Koebnick and his team for the lights and sound that played such an important role on the evening. Also thanks to Julie O’Connell, Gillian Campbell, Susan Chapman, Sue Petyt, Chantal Tan, and Shelby Pazos, and to all those involved who helped produce a great fun evening for the whole school!


Great Swimming at IASAS Marco Martinez and Mel Rice HS Swimming Coaches

Kei Hyogo, Aditya Raikar, Hangil Chung and Kevin Tung celebrate a first place finish and school record in the 400 meter individual medley relay.

The team gathers together before the score is announced on the last night of IASAS competition.

After several months of tough work and long sets, the varsity boys and girls swim teams were ready to tackle IASAS this year at Jakarta International School. A brand new facility provided a great setting for some very impressive swims from members of both teams.

determined to reclaim gold this year. Senior captains Aditya Raikar and Hangil Chung led the boys in a comfortable lead all three days of competition.

Several IASAS, school, and pool records were set in a very exciting meet that ended with the boys taking first place and the girls taking second place. Both teams exemplified great team spirit, support for one another, and overall determination to swim their best at IASAS. The girls team, led by captains Maya Kale and Carolyn Koh, proved once again to be a powerful force in our region. The girls saw many great performances from many swimmers on the team. Senior Maya Kale finished first in the 400 meter individual medley, 200 meter individual medley, and 100 meter butterfly. She also set a school record in the 50 meter butterfly in a time of 30.77. Other top performances included Tanvi Ahuja who placed third in the 400 and 800 meter freestyle events, Mackenzie Hirsch who placed second in the 400 meter individual medley and 200 meter breaststroke, and Saki Mihori who finished third in the 200 backstroke. In the relay events, the team of Mihori, Hirsch, Kale, and Carolyn Koh took first in the 400 meter medley relay and a second place finish occurred in the 400 meter freestyle relay with members Cassandra Mailet, Koh, Sophia Eristoff, and Ahuja. On the boys’ side, a powerful, young team was

Sophomore Kei Hyogo took first in all of his individual events and set two new IASAS records in both the 400 and 800 meter freestyle events. Junior Kevin Tung also commanded the field placing first in all of his individual events. Tung set two new IASAS records in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke events respectively. Additional great swims came from sophomore Ankit Das who placed third in the 400 and 800 meter freestyle events and Raikar who finished third overall in the 100 meter breaststroke. In the relays, the team of Connor Barnes, David Ho, Frankie Hearne, and JiHo Lee placed second in the 200 meter freestyle relay. In addition, a first place finish as well as a school record in the time of 4:08.21 was set in the 400 meter medley relay swum by Tung, Raikar, Hyogo, and Chung. IASAS once again proved to be an intense and exciting meet for all the swimmers involved. The team was incredibly successful this year and holds strong promise for years to come. The varsity team would like to recognize our seniors for their incredible commitment and the strong leadership they have provided for the team. We wish Aditya Raikar, Hangil Chung, Matthew Dee, Lucy Howard, Missa Stratton, Maya Kale, and Carolyn Koh the best as they move on to college next year. The team wishes to express their deep gratitude for their participation on the varsity Eagles swim team.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  35 


Middle School Field Day 2012 Peter Clark PE Teacher

In a sea of red, blue, green, and yellow the entire Middle School descended upon the stadium field on Thursday, February 16 for the annual MS Field Day. With painted faces, wacky hair, brightly-colored team outfits, and music pumping, the students took to the bleachers with the expectations of a great day ahead. The day kicked off with the Grade 6 kilometer race and Grades 7 and 8 mile races. To the cheers of a very vocal crowd, the winners of these events were Bailey D. and Zachary T. (Grade 6), Hannah M. and Oscar N. (Grade 7) and Sydney C. and Brett I. (Grade 8). A big shout out goes to these runners and all students who participated in the races. Under the guidance of the effervescent and energetic Mrs. Rodocker, the luminous lime green MS PE team then led the student body through a dynamic dance warm-up before heading off for the first team activities of the day. Some 960 plus students representing four teams moved through three sessions that incorporated all of the magnificent SAS sporting facilities. The students participated in a wide and varied list of 22 fun-filled activities that included activities such as track and field events, traditional team sports, dance, dodge ball, random relays and obstacle courses, co-operative games, rock climbing, water polo and many more. After lunchtime the students returned to their color areas in the bleachers to cheer on their respective teams in the 4 x 100m relay races. Each color had two teams represent them in each grade division, and this year saw some extremely close races take place. It was then left to the teachers to take to the track to participate in the highly-anticipated teachers relay. To the sounds of bones creaking and hamstrings straining, the faculty put on a great performance with many of the students left gasping at the blistering speed displayed by the likes of Mrs. Madsen and Mr. Beams. With the winning team announced—The Mighty Green Machine—the day was completed with popsicles for all before the students dragged their tired but happy bodies off the field. If the measure for the success of this day was the amount of smiles, encouraging words and fantastic team work that was on show, then it can certainly be regarded as a resounding success. As the Grade 8 students head off the High School in the very near future, they take with them some very fond MS memories, and Field Day is sure to be one of them. The sixth and seventh graders get to do it all again next year. The anticipation is palpable.

36 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  37 


An Incredible Season Bill Hanagan Girls Touch Rugby Coach

The 2011-12 high school girls touch rugby program recently completed their season. The program involved 48 girls on four teams. The teams were: freshman, under-16, under-18 and Select Side. All of the teams played in the ACSIS League that involves other international schools in Singapore. The teams also participated in two weekend tournaments. Only the Select Side played in the IASAS Tournament that was held in Manila this year. On the flight back from Manila, each player from the Select Side was asked to write a response to three questions, and below are some of their responses. This 2011-12 touch rugby season has been: Isabella Shaulis, senior and co-captain This touch season has been so incredible because I have learned so much about myself as a player, athlete and leader. Monica Scieszka, senior I’ve never felt quite so welcomed by a team or group of people as I did by the coaches and players this year. Being a new player to the sport, I had more than enough to learn and get used to, but I never once felt like a burden to the team because of all the support everyone gave me. Katia Tanner, junior I have learned so much about playing rugby and trusting my teammates, which will not only help me during next year’s season but also in my everyday life. The IASAS tournament was an unforgettable experience. It was a special opportunity that not many people are able to have, so I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it.

Your experience at the IASAS Tournament was: Rin Okumura, senior Although it would have been great to have been the champions and been able to bring the gold back to Singapore, I am more than happy to have been able to end the tournament with two such well-played games both against ISB and JIS. It really reflected the famous motto “All for one, one for all”. Playing with this team made me proud to be an eagle! Atikah Scott, junior This IASAS tournament was filled with unforgettable moments, emotional highs and lows, and bursts of EXTREME determination. Going into the tournament, I was confident that my team and I would be able to fight through anything that came our way. Sydney Lay, freshman The IASAS tournament is something I will never forget. I must say, I have never been so nervous, but excited in my entire life. Walking onto the field for the first game was honestly one of the most nerve racking times I have experienced in a long time. As only a small freshman, looking up to these older and talented players throughout this tournament has inspired and taught me so much.

My experience playing touch rugby at SAS has been: Alison Barrett, freshman Playing on this team has taught me so much. Being able play alongside girls who are so passionate about rugby has inspired me to someday play with the talent and grace they have. Christina Yoh, sophomore Ever since middle school, I have been in love with touch rugby. My experience of being a touch rugby player at SAS is definitely a memory that I will remember to share in the future! Dominique Pratt, senior and co-captain Deciding to try out for touch when I moved to Singapore in my sophomore year was the best decision of my high school career. I really think that because of touch I have learned how to be more confident and calm in situations that can make you frantic. I love the community that touch creates. I have played other sports at SAS and for some reason no other sport compares to the team building that touch rugby brings to the girls who play.

38 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


Boys Basketball Undefeated at IASAS Alex Schindele Grade 12 Student, Varsity Boys Basketball Captain

The SAS boys varsity basketball team went undefeated in the IASAS tournament held in Bangkok, earning gold for the fifth year in a row. The team fought hard through some initial uneasiness before getting into a solid rhythm, racking up wins against ISM (65-63), ISKL (8937), ISB (55-40), JIS (76-42), and TAS (62-49) during the round-robin phase of the tournament. This year’s IASAS championship game proved to be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking finals in recent years. Both teams struggled for dominance in the first half, but ISB managed to open up a seven-point lead by the middle of the second quarter. However, our Eagles fought back with

ferocious defensive intensity, with important blocks and charges allowing us to mount a comeback. In the last quarter of the game, a critical offensive rebound and basket followed by a stunning threepointer at the shot clock buzzer by co-captain Andrew Blackmon gave the Eagles a decisive lead of seven points with a minute left on the clock. The Eagles held on to the lead, winning 70-63. Andrew Blackmon, Brendan Bieker, and Alex Schindele were chosen as the all-tournament players for SAS. The IASAS tournament concluded another successful year for the boys varsity basketball team, which also placed third in the Hong Kong Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Winning Season for Girls Tennis Tim Thompson PE Teacher and Girls Tennis Coach

The varsity girls tennis team with six returning players added the final six to the team at tryouts and played through the fall season. They went undefeated in matches against new challengers such as Raffles Girls School and Nanyang Secondary. Co-captains Sonia Parekh and Margaret Anne Smith were appointed to lead the 2011-12 team.

Stephanie Slaven, who played the number one singles position, received a Coaches Award for an undefeated season of matches along with Margaret Anne for her outstanding play throughout the year. The team also bid goodbye to seniors Amy Yuan, Natassja Suri, and Bailey Wood.

Old rivals UWC and Tanglin Trust also clashed in ACSIS matches, which SAS won with every individual match by an 8-0 margin. All ACSIS games are pro-set scoring formats. At the end of the semester, the team lost left-handed singles player Ria Vaidya for the season, but welcomed back junior Lianne Adamopoulos, an IASAS singles and doubles player for the last two seasons. After a continuing undefeated January season with local teams and a successful winning exchange in Jakarta, the team went into the IASAS tournament in KL well prepared. Going into the final day against Manila (ISM), the team was 3-1 after a close loss to ISB at 3-2. Losing to ISM 3-2 put the Eagles into a consolation game with Taipei American School, who they had previously defeated. Unfortunately, the momentum turned against the Eagles and they lost to TAS for the bronze medal. Number two singles player Margaret-Anne Smith went undefeated throughout the tournament and received an all tournament distinction along with the IASAS Spirit Award for sportsmanship. C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  39 


Rugby Gold David Dixon Boys Touch Rugby Coach

There are many ways to gauge the success of a rugby season: results, improvement, effort, and camaraderie. Having recently completed the rugby season, the SAS Eagles rugby team can be said to have been successful in all of these ways. After just one week of practice, SAS entered two teams in the Saint Andrews 7’s tournament. The season began in disappointing fashion as the A team lost its first game of the season 5-0. However, in the following eight games, the A team went undefeated, allowing no points and ended up winning the tournament. Perhaps more impressive, the runnersup at the tournament were the SAS B team, which shows the depth of the SAS rugby program. Quickly adapting to ten-a-side rugby, the team defeated LFS 33-7 to kick off our ACSIS campaign in style. Next, we flew to Bangkok to play in a sixteam tournament involving four of the other IASAS schools. Again, the improvement over the course of the tournament was phenomenal as the team scored 151 points, allowed 0, and sealed the tournament with a 28-0 victory over rivals JIS in the final. Upon returning to Singapore, the team played three more games, including a 44-5 victory over UWC at Homecoming. By defeating UWC, SAS secured first place in our ACSIS pool, booking a spot in the finals against Tanglin Trust School in the new year. The team bonded off the field as well as on it, even before the big games of 2012. Team sleepovers and thanksgiving dinners display the close relationship between all the players, leading to the nicknameof the team “The Rugbros.” Riding a 17-game winning streak, the season was clearly off to an exceptionally successful start. Inevitably, the new year brought new obstacles. After just one week of training following the winter holiday, SAS took on Tanglin in the ACSIS final. A strong second half erased a 12 point deficit and the result came down to a final kick as time expired. With the ball rocking the post and falling short, Tanglin edged SAS out 19-17. The next day the U16 team exacted some revenge beating Tanglin Trust in the U16 ACSIS final 35-33, and winning the ACSIS Gold medal. One final tuneup game was played against UWC before the end-of-the-year IASAS tournament. Winning easily in both 10-a-side and 7-a-side games, morale was high as the Eagles flew to Manila. At IASAS, SAS quickly established itself as the powerhouse favorites, the “IASAS Juggernauts” as

40 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

the commentator likened us. Beating hosts Manila 27-5 and Taipei, runners up a year ago, 48-0, that first Thursday had the team off to a good start. On day 2, the team once again defeated defending champions Jakarta, this time 24-5, and finished the round robin games with a perfect 5-0 record by Saturday morning. Scoring over 220 points and conceding only 10, SAS was the clear favorite heading into the final match against JIS. However, Jakarta had not won three consecutive titles for no reason and an early try by JIS put the Eagles behind for the first time at IASAS. By halftime, the Eagles had gone to a narrow 10-5 lead. The second half continued the way the first ended with the Eagles pressing Jakarta’s defenses, but more penalties allowed JIS to score again and Jakarta led 12-10 with five minutes remaining. Five minutes of intense pressure put the Eagles back near the JIS goal line and with less than 60 seconds remaining, captain of two years Andrew Milne scored the decisive try. Shortly after, the full time whistle was blown and parents, supporters and players erupted into a frenzy celebrating SAS’ first rugby gold in six years. Winning three gold medals, SAS rugby has undoubtedly risen to new heights. The growth of the players, coaches, and team as a whole has been phenomenal, and four years of waiting by the seniors has paid off. Returners Matt Conklin and Thomas Milne, and the great showing by the SAS U16s, will keep the growing dynasty alive and bring home even more gold medals in the future. To all the players, parents and fans, thank you for an amazing season and a spectacular four seasons. EAGLES RUGBY CAPTAINS Andrew Milne (C), Richard Vargo (vc), Will Pazos (vc), Ciaran Ross (vc), and Scott Rozen-Levy (vc) 2012 IASAS Team Forwards: Ciarin Ross, Aaron Yappert, Scott RozenLevy, Aidan Hanley, Stephen Long , Chris Dee, Matt Conklin, Jack McCabe, and Dylan Goulding Backs: Bo Hamby, Jake Eisenberg, Will Pazos, Owen Sperling, Richard Vargo, Andrew Milne, and Thomas Milne


An Exciting Season for Girls Basketball Tom Beams Girls Basketball Coach

The 2012 SAS varsity girls basketball team had an exciting and successful season, compiling a 17-9 record to go with a silver medal at the IASAS tournament in Bangkok. As with any IASAS season, there were ups and downs for our team this year. We entered the season with six players returning from last year’s varsity team, but three of them were on the mend from injuries sustained over the summer or in first season sports. Fortunately for us, we had girls who stepped in and took up the slack. Our team this year was a young one, being led by lone senior, four-year IASAS participant, and team captain Emma Graddy. We also had five juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen to round out the squad. We were fortunate enough to get two move-ins, Allena Ferguson and Tess Nelligan, and a returning student, Stephanie Chang, who all proved vital to our IASAS success. One of the highlights of the season was our trip to UWC to try and avenge an earlier season home loss. In that first home game with only ten seconds left, UWC’s point guard drove the length of the floor and gave up the ball to a teammate on the wing who hit a jump shot with four seconds left to win the game 74-72. While this was heartbreaking for us, it was a good learning experience so early in the season. Unfortunately, the result came out the same in the second game at UWC as they scored again in the final ten seconds to pull out the victory by only one point this time. However, all who attended agreed that the atmosphere and the competitiveness of the game was great preparation for IASAS. Special thanks to Eric Burnett for organizing the buses to have a bunch of SAS students there to cheer us on. Everyone was treated to a great game! With those two heartbreaking last second losses to UWC and a fourth place finish at the Hong Kong Invitational over the Thanksgiving weekend behind them, the girls headed off to IASAS in Bangkok. The tournament started out well, with the SAS girls having to play against Taipei American School, a team they had played and beaten by seven points in the Hong Kong tournament. Many believed that the tournament was going to be won by SAS, TAS, or JIS, so this was to be an important game. The SAS girls came out on fire and proved to be too strong for TAS, posting an impressive 27-point victory to start the tournament. The girls continued to play well, winning each of the next three games by 20+ points. It was clear that our deep bench and ability to play all ten

of our players made it difficult for other teams to compete as the tournament wore on. Then came the final test in round robin play, a Saturday morning encounter with seniorladen Jakarta who was one of the three favorites. The contest stayed close for most of the game, but the SAS girls were able to hang on down the stretch and win by 10, finishing off a perfect 5-0 record in the round robin. Our opponent for the championship was not decided until the final game of the round robin, as Jakarta had also lost to Taipei and Taipei had been beaten by Manila. This left both with a 3-2 record, and the somewhat confusing tie-breaker rules were needed. It came down to the ISM versus host ISB game to see who we would play in the final. As it turned out, ISM was able to beat ISB, which meant Jakarta would play us in the championship. The final proved to be a tough one, as Jakarta and their three four-year IASAS players came out hitting their first three shots and six of their first eight on their way to a 12-2 lead. Even though this was a situation our girls had found themselves in before during the season, it was a lead the girls unfortunately could not overcome, losing the game by eight points in the end and finishing with the silver. Emma Graddy was honored, along with sophomore Allena Ferguson, as All-IASAS participants. Emma was again honored at our season-ending banquet as the most valuable player, while Vanessa Vargo was chosen as the Coaches Choice award recipient for her hard work and effort during the course of the season. The coaching staff would like to thank the girls for their hard work and dedication during the season. Considering this is the third coaching staff in three years, the girls came together at the right time, and represented themselves and SAS with great pride and spirit. Also, we would like to thank all the parents and family members who attended the games and made the trips to Hong Kong and Bangkok in support of the girls. Lastly, a big thanks to Kim Kriens, Mimi Molchan, and Tomo for their help and support throughout the season. With having such a young team and coming through with a 5-0 round robin record and a silver medal at IASAS, the future certainly looks bright for the SAS girls basketball team. We are looking forward to next year and all the excitement—and hopefully a return to gold—that it will bring. C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  41 


The Hard Fight Latham Cameron Varsity Tennis Coach

The men’s varsity tennis team at SAS began the year with the motto that it wasn’t about how well you played when you stepped onto the tennis court, but it was about how hard you fought. In Kuala Lumpur for IASAS, that fighting spirit was on display from the opening match to the last shot of the tournament. In the first match of round robin play against TAS, SAS prevailed 4-1 with freshman Stefan Kingsley saving four match points en route to a tiebreak victory. The freshman standout would go on to finish his first IASAS with a 5-1 record at #3 singles. After the team dropped a tough 3-2 decision to ISKL to round out day one, they faced a couple of mustwin matches against ISB and ISM on day two. The ISB match was never in doubt as the Eagles came out on fire, winning the first four matches. Standing tall for the Eagles—in this match and throughout the tournament—were the two doubles teams of Hanson Cho and James Lunsford at #1, and Spencer Koh and Cillian Leow at #2. They would go on to finish IASAS with a combined record of 10-2, earning both pairs All Tournament recognition. The win against ISB set the stage for a dramatic night match against previously undefeated and dominant ISM. SAS played inspired tennis, perhaps best symbolized by the play of the top two singles players Sasha Kingsley and Thierry Bouchard. Although both players lost to ISM’s All Tournament #1 and #2, their fearless, fighting performances led the way for the team to a 3-2 upset victory. This victory vaulted the Eagles into a three-way tie at the top of the standings. Saturday morning saw the Eagles build on the momentum from the previous night’s victory as they beat JIS 4-1 to secure a rematch with ISM in the championship match. Stefan

Kingsley opened play in the championship with a powerful 8-4 victory. Three of the next four matches would end up being decided by a small handful of points to decide the gold medal. The two teams traded blows and the Eagles attempted to withstand a ferocious early onslaught from an ISM team thirsty for revenge. With senior captain Scott Smith willing his teammates to a higher level of play, the Eagles continuously fought back in the individual matches. At #2 singles, Bouchard fought back valiantly to break serve at the end of the match and force a tiebreaker. Although he ultimately fell in the tiebreaker, Bouchard had competed in one of the highest quality IASAS matches in recent memory. Displaying equally remarkable perseverance, Koh and Leow repeatedly clawed their way back into their #2 doubles match, but still found themselves down 7-6 with their opponents serving for the match. In a game for the ages, the pair fought to earn seven breakpoints while saving three match points, before ultimately falling and losing 8-6. ISM secured the gold medal with a win at #1 singles, but that didn’t stop Lunsford and Cho from battling as they finished up their match at #1 doubles. In another inspired performance for the ages, the pair continually fought back after falling behind, and pushed their opponents to a tiebreaker where the Eagles duo went on to pull out the win. Although the team was crushed by coming within a handful of points of reaching their goal of gold, they wore their silver medals as if they were platinum, knowing that they had fought with the heart of the champion and turned in a performance that everyone involved will remember for the rest of their lives.

An Equestrian in Singapore As you know, not every sport is offered through SAS or SACAC. What is it like to participate in one of these sports? Ask ninth grader Annika Yappert, who is an equestrian. She has been riding horses since she was four years old, and jumping them since she was six. Riding has been an Olympic sport in its current format since 1912, but to find it as a high school sport is a little more difficult. In the US at the high school level, it is usually found only at equestrian boarding schools. At the college level there are 19 NCAA Division I universities with competing

42 

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL


equestrian teams but there are many other colleges that have it as a club sport. Moving to another country can make it even more difficult to ride, but fortunately in Singapore there are four riding stables. Annika rides at the Bukit Timah Saddle Club. Annika can tell you that if your sport is not at school, it takes more effort to get to where you’ll need to be after school. There’s never a home crowd as there are at SAS competitions, and you’ll never get to compete in IASAS in the sport. But she will tell you it’s all worth it because you are still around students who are passionate about the same thing that you are. They may not go to your school, but

meeting other kids from other schools can be a good thing. The parents and coaching staff are just as supportive and encouraging as in school sports. Due to the shorter sports seasons at SAS, Annika is able to participate in soccer and rugby for her school and still concentrate on riding. She tries to ride four to five times a week. That means sometimes she goes from the SAS field straight to the saddle club and then on to homework, which is not always easy. Don’t give up if your sport isn’t at SAS or with SACAC. With a little work you can have a quality experience in Singapore that you enjoy just as much.

Awesome Ape is a Climbing Success Meredith Bell PE Teacher

Climber ready? GO! This year’s Awesome Ape Contest was a great competition. Awesome Ape is a timed traverse along the rock climbing wall in the elementary gym. Student in grades 3, 4, and 5 learn and practice how to navigate safely on the wall during their climbing units in PE. They are given multiple practices during class to improve their ability traversing across the wall using a three-point climb. Over the six-class unit they gain more efficiency and speed. Some even take it upon themselves to study and memorize the most expedient pattern to travel. Time trials are done in class, and the top three boys and girls from each PE teacher’s grade level move on to the preliminary round; 45 boys and 45 girls in total compete to make it to the finals. From February 14-16, parents, siblings, and teachers came in before school to watch the climbers in action. Each day featured a different grade level, and each day we saw exciting climbs along with amazing core values of compassion and respect for all climbers.

The top three girls and boys from each grade level advanced to the finals, which was held on February 17. The finals proved to be another exciting event as climbers came in prepared for the challenge. Principal Marian Graham was pleased to see skills and sportsmanship, and was equally happy to congratulate and hand out the awards to all of the finalists. The champions from each class will have their names engraved and added to the Awesome Ape plaque outside the gym. Big thanks to the PE teachers and all of the competitors for a job well done.

3rd Grade Girls

4th Grade Girls

5th Grade Girls

Champion: Jada L.

Champion: Anjali P.

Champion: Bryanna E.

2nd Place: Raine F.

2nd Place: Anna S.

2nd Place: Aisling M.

3rd Place: Maddy P.

3rd Place: Apsara M.

3rd Place: Angelina S.

3rd Grade Boys

4th Grade Boys

5th Grade Boys

Champion: Ben M.

Champion: Nicky C.

Champion: Jackson C.

2nd Place: Gaayan S.

2nd Place: Naren M.

2nd Place: Jackson R.

3rd Place: Nathan D.

3rd Place: David B.

3rd Place: Matthew F.

C rossroads | S INGAPORE A MERICAN S CHOOL

  43 


Scenes from Interim Semester 2012

Crossroads April 2012  

Crossroads is published bi-monthly during the academic year by the communications office of Singapore American School. It is distributed fre...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you