Page 1

June 2012

Volume 14, Issue 5-11/12


In This Issue: A Focus on Service Learning

Page 9

Page 30

Page 42

Miracles for Hope

Model United Nations

The Future Looks Bright

Gawad Kalinga: The Swiber Village Chris Strance Grade 8 Teacher

The Middle School Gawad Kalinga (GK) Club may just be in its second year, but it has quickly grown into a dynamic opportunity. Big dreams are blossoming into real change, and the manifestation of a dream is being transformed into the realization of a thriving community where neighbors, near and far, have become one in a journey to break the poverty cycle while creating hope and opportunity. The journey of this year’s student-parent collaboration is rooted in the unwavering

determination of those who were inspired by last year’s experience. This year’s story is the continuation of what began last year. It all began with current ninth graders Bianca Antonio and Justin Peterson and their vision to start a GK middle school club. Through their initiative they organized a group of 24 eighth graders as our journey began. Most of these students continued their service this year with the high school GK Club. One of those members, Gabriel Goh, inspired his family to get Continued on page 8

Editor’s Note



Regular Features

Tamara Black Associate Director of Communications

The weeks leading up to those last few days before summer vacation create an exciting time in a school. For teachers it means squeezing every last drop of learning into quicklydisappearing windows of time. Students are diligently A popular song checking that every assignment from my senior year? Celebrate. is turned in and accounted for, and parents are focused on coordinating complex summer schedules. In our office, we are working with the alumni relations team to create a year-end video for graduating seniors. The video is comprised of photos of the students taken in the year they entered SAS that we morph into their senior portraits. One of the most challenging tasks of this project is finding just the right song to act as the soundtrack. Recent research suggests that music has an important influence on our memories. In searching for songs for the video project, I came across a list of the most popular songs from the year of my high school graduation. The list really is a soundtrack of a transformative time in my life; the songs evoke amazing memories of people and places that had a profound effect upon me. As our students—graduating seniors as well as students who depart before graduation—look back upon their time at SAS, they will have their own memories of amazing people and places. And who they eventually become will be shaped in large part by their experiences as members of our special community. It’s not only students who are changed by their time at SAS. For the two years that I’ve been a member of this community, I‘ve had the honor to work with Dr. Brent Mutsch. I’ve learned from him what it means to be a leader with integrity. And thanks to Dr. Mutsch, SAS is poised to take advantage of all that the future has to offer. I guess it’s somehow fitting that the current Billboard top song is Somebody That I Used to Know. But no matter our destinations for August 2012, the relationships we enjoy with each other at SAS don’t have to end. Instead, let’s add two more current songs to this year’s soundtrack: Payphone and Call Me Maybe.



From the Superintendent

25 PTA News 29 Booster Club News

Highlights 4

Miss You Mutsch


Miracles for Hope

20 Make-A-Wish 22 Food from the Heart 33

Titanic Field Trip


Rethinking History


The Future Looks Bright

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 Crossroads Submissions Tamara Black,

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 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

A Smile in My Heart Brent Mutsch, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss As the Class of 2012 exits the stage at the NUS Auditorium on Saturday afternoon of June 2, I shall share a common thread with each of the graduating seniors; our tenure at Singapore American School will have come to a close. Many among this class were in the early stages of their seventh grade experience when I first stepped on the campus to participate in a series of interviews for the superintendent position. Oh, how quickly the intervening years have passed, a perspective likely shared by many of the parents of the graduates. As I reflect upon what has occurred during this period, I’m aware of so much that has been done to further improve the quality of the learning experiences for our students. As a school we reaffirmed our commitment to providing each student with an American education while acknowledging the importance of developing an international perspective. In celebrating the unique learning opportunities that are created by our presence in Singapore, we’ve embraced and honored differences in a manner that has enabled students to more readily develop an appreciation for, and understanding of, the variety of perspectives that is represented within the SAS community. As our world grows smaller, having an international perspective will be an asset to each of our students. During these years, SAS has been guided by a vision that has challenged us to inspire a passion for learning. To that end SAS has remained committed to providing a breadth and depth of experiences that enable students to identify and actively pursue their passions and interests. Additionally we’ve encouraged both intellectual and emotional vitality, recognizing that matters of the head must be properly balanced with matters of the heart. Finally, the SAS vision has challenged us to empower students with the confidence and courage to contribute to the global community and achieve their dreams. A commitment to service has long been a distinctive element of the SAS experience.

However, our emphasis on service learning has been further deepened and broadened in recent years. Beyond the fundraising and community service programs that are so much a part of what we do, we’ve further developed an approach that actively seeks to connect the service experience with identified learning outcomes in ways that make for more powerful and meaningful experiences for students. SAS, throughout its rich 56 year history, has been a learning community deeply committed to continuous improvement. This has remained true during the entire time I’ve had the pleasure of being of service to SAS. Each and every year we’ve focused on a variety of areas in which to further improve. As I reflect upon the areas of improvement in recent years, they include: • becoming increasingly learningfocused as a school; • remaining dedicated to ensuring greater consistency in the quality of the learning experience provided across grade levels and common courses; • more determination to make assessment for and of learning an agreed upon professional activity for the express purpose of improving the student learning experience; • increasing commitment to creating a world language program that will become a distinctive element of the learning experience at SAS; • serious dedicatation to service learning experiences that provide all students with a base from which to draw upon in their future as they determine how they can further contribute to making the world a better place; • attracting, retaining, and developing an exceptional faculty and staff; • strengthening the financial base of SAS; and • seeking to become increasingly conscientious and responsible in regard to our impact on the environment as a school. So, I won’t cry because it’s over, but rather I will smile because it happened. I shall always reflect upon my years at SAS and have both a smile on my face and in my heart as a result of the truly amazing nature of the experience I’ve been blessed to have at SAS. Thank you to so many who have made the time in this learning community so very special!


Miss You Mutsch Nicholas Muller Grade 11 Student


aithfully awaiting the school buses every morning, Superintendent Dr. Brent Mutsch waves a welcoming hand toward the bus drivers, students, and staff. In June, that welcome changed to a farewell as the school leader of five years left for his new post at the American School of Dubai at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Dr. Mutsch has “continually brought sincerity and honesty to his post [since he started in 2007],” according to English teacher Douglass Mabie. He was appreciated for his drive to push his students to succeed as he strived for achievement in all aspects of the SAS community. “Dr. Mutsch was always proactive in getting everyone involved and setting us up for great careers and education,” teacher Mary Johnson said. Charged with managing and overseeing the largest American-curriculum international school, Dr. Mutsch sustained an organized program while still


allowing room for fun and keeping the SAS values and standards. Under his wing, new ideas such as ID cards, new classes, and updated technology were proposed and initiated. “I appreciated his understanding, willingness to listen, and commitment to education and SAS,” Mabie remarked. As Dr. Mutsch leaves, Dr. Chip Kimball arrives. Formerly of the Lake Washington School District in Washington state, USA, Dr. Kimball has a reputation for being a “dedicated educator and strategic thought leader” as well as an avid water skier, according to the SAS announcement. Eagerly awaiting his instruction and guidance, faculty and students are prepared for his arrival. “I’m very confident Dr. Kimball will do a great job directing our school, although we all will miss Dr. Mutsch and his morning waving!” junior Isabella Boladian exclaimed.

I will never forget Dr. Mutsch.


Connecting Community for Every Child The SAS Annual Fund When we launched the SAS Annual Fund at the beginning of the school year, we had a simple goal—to raise funds that will connect students’ classroom experiences to the community, to Singapore, and to the world. Through your support, we did it. Together we are making a difference in the lives of our children. Your financial support helped change the way our students perceive and understand the world.

Your Gifts Make a Difference in LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Your Gifts Make a Difference in ARTS AND ATHLETICS

Your gifts make a difference through SERVICE LEARNING

As Members of GIN, Students Create Solutions for the Future

SAS Athletes Learn to Work Independently and Collaboratively

Second Grade Gives from the Heart

Next year, students from SAS and United World College will come together to co-host the 2012 Asia Global Issues Network (GIN) conference. The goal of the conference is to inform, inspire, equip, and prepare more than 700 students from 45 participating schools to act on creating sustainable solutions for global issues.

At SAS, we develop the potential of each and every child. One way that we do this is by offering a broad array of performing and visual arts, athletics, and social and service clubs. By recognizing and supporting the unique talents and gifts of every child, we nurture the development of the whole child.

Your gifts provide funding to allow all interested students to participate. In addition, funds will help with the costs associated with hosting the event.

Your gifts provide funding for programs that are vital to our students’ academic, social, emotional, and physical development.

Involvement in GIN empowers our students to build the strong leadership and collaborative skills that are necessary to become positive change-makers in the 21st century. Martha Began High School Science Teacher and Co-Leader of Global Issues Network (Singapore: GINSing) at SAS

Playing a sport at SAS, I’ve gained skills that I will use for the rest of my life. Thanks to the athletics program, I’ve learned to manage time efficiently, developed a strong sense of discipline and a tough work ethic, and gained a great support system.

Service learning begins early at SAS. For example, second graders work with Food from the Heart, a Singapore non-profit organization, to help local families meet their food needs. Along the way, our children learn firsthand how to identify nutritious choices, budget funds, and select items at the store. The project comes full circle when students distribute food baskets to families in need at a local primary school in Singapore. Your gifts fund this and other service learning programs, providing real life experiences that connect our classrooms to the Singapore community. Service learning at SAS is, in a word, contagious! Sarah Farris Grade 2 Teacher

Lauren McMullen Grade 11 Student

For more information on the use of gift funds, to review the SAS Foundation Ltd. Annual Report, or to make your gift today, please visit



Service learning

Gawad Kalinga: The Swiber Village

Continued from cover

involved. Through their collaborative efforts they sponsored the land purchase of what would become known as the Swiber Village. After completion of the first phase of construction and after the original recipients had moved into this community, the 201112 eighth graders were the first school group given the opportunity to serve the Swiber Village. This year’s middle school GK Club student leader was Matthew L. He met with Bianca and Justin to continue with the seeds that had been sown. He grew this year’s club to 28 students, two of whom were seventh graders. They planned, organized, raised money, and implemented a successful experience that will be the beginning of their GK journey. GK is not about building a house; it’s about building a community. Our task is not only to help with the construction of infrastructure, but just as important, nurture the building of relationships with the people of the village. Highlights of this year’s experience included the transformation of an empty room into a vibrant early childhood learning center. Walls were painted with colorful murals and student desks and book shelves were purchased and installed. Other activities included arts and crafts (friendship

bracelets and tie-dye t-shirts), basketball and baseball, and spontaneously playing in the streets. For me, the most important activity, and this was truly a magical moment, was when the room was filled with hundreds of books, most of which were purchased by eighth grader Hanna C. This onceempty room suddenly became a community center where children gathered to feast upon books and to bond with one another in a true celebration of what community really is. In the Filipino language, Gawad Kalinga literally translates to “give care,” and that’s exactly what we did! This experience really is collaboration between the student club and an amazingly dedicated group of parent volunteers. The hardest working advocate whose tireless efforts really made this all happen is Anita Langlois. I can’t say enough about her commitment and organization that made this experience the success that it was and will continue to be. Anita truly embodies the meaning of Gawad Kalinga, to “Give Care!” I must extend a huge thank you to all of our parent volunteers: Mia and Jerry Lorenzo, Jim Stanczak, Johnny Escaler, and Nathaniel and Noelle Chua.

Moving Toward Action Laura Arleth and Kathryn Cullen Grade 4 Teachers

In fourth grade, student-generated ideas about how to positively affect the environment are central to the service learning journey. Each classroom decides what direction to take based upon their concerns that evolve from social studies units, such as oceans and rain forests. Having ownership of the resulting actions is essential to acquiring the fundamentals of service. Currently, fourth graders are in various stages of their service learning journeys, and they are sure to have positive impacts on our environment. Updates from a few fourth grade classrooms Ms. Hinton’s Class “We are brainstorming our greatest concerns.”

Ms. Cullen’s Class “We are concerned about plastic and what we, as individuals, can do ” Ms. Baildon’s Class “The great garbage patches concern us most, so we are brainstorming ways we can help.”


service learning

Miracles for Hope Isaac Brown Grade 11 Student

next few days. We represented Miracles in Medan, a service club dedicated to helping SFMA provide poor children with an education. We numbered less than a dozen; we had little to no experience in classroom management; and we did not know a word of Bahasa. As I imagined standing in front of a classroom of 36 young, hyperactive children who couldn’t understand a word I was saying, a cold drop of sweat rolled down my back. This wasn’t going to be easy.

I was seated in a small, bright-red seat clearly designed for kids half my age, holding The Very Hungry Caterpillar out in front of me to a group of eight Indonesian children clustered around the table. I slowly read aloud: “In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.” They followed Eric Carle’s immortal words, some of them mouthing the words silently. I wasn’t sure how much they understood, but I tried to imitate the way my primary school teachers read stories. In other words, I tried to make the story sound like the most fascinating thing in the world. Their enraptured gazes spurred me on as I turned the page: “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and pop! Out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.” Welcome to Medan, the fourth largest city in Indonesia. Despite being a country rich in natural resources, its economy has endured great hardships under unstable governments. On the side of the street were a phalanx of riot police armed with batons, riot shields, tear gas, and water cannons standing idly by their armored vehicles, preparing for a protest that would take place later that day. Today, the country’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Asia. As I looked down the street, I could see Colonel Sanders grinning back at me among the many dilapidated two- or three-story buildings that make up Medan’s central business district. On my right was the cheerful orange and pink of Dunkin’ Donuts. All around us, dozens of men milled about, talking and smoking cigarettes. One of them blew a cloud of acrid smoke into the air and the wind blew it into my face. Trying not to breathe, I continued pushing through the crowd without hitting people with my duffel bag, following the luggage-wheeling club members in front of me. Then, like a mirage on the horizon, we caught sight of Sister Christina, a soft-spoken Korean nun who is the head of the Suore Francescane Missionarie di Assisi (SFMA), the nunnery that would be our home for the

Sister Christina led us toward our transport, a small grey van. Despite my fears that the combined weight of seven passengers and their luggage would buckle the vehicle’s axles, I climbed in. As we settled in, the vehicle gave a small groan of protest, but it held. The diesel engine coughed to life, and we breathed a sigh of relief. Leaving the grey, cement buildings of the central district, we passed through a section of Medan protected by six-foot reinforced walls, wrought-iron gates, and security gantries. We stared in awe at the enormous houses with accompanying manicured lawns and automatic sprinklers. It was as if we had stumbled across a wealthy suburb outside of New York City. Too soon, however, the oasis of Westernized beauty and architecture came to an end, and we returned to the real Indonesia, where many live in one-room houses with thin wooden walls and thatched roofs. Indonesia’s government recently banned people from raising livestock due to improper disposal of animal waste, and forcing people to go into the plastic gathering business. For every kilogram of plastic salvaged, a worker earns 20 cents. Most families live on around two dollars a day. With the parents unable to get proper jobs, Medan’s hope for the future lies with its children. SFMA is an institution that wishes to utilize education to save poor families from being trapped in the poverty cycle, and Miracles in Medan is working alongside to raise money to keep the school running. Since many of the students are unable to pay tuition fees, the school has to subsidize them. It is no small expense, and such extraordinary work requires extraordinary effort. We are a small club of dedicated members who see Indonesia’s potential, the enthusiasm of its youth, the cohesive society of a nation that is poised to become a major economic force in Southeast Asia. We realize that our work comprises a minute part of a vast picture—the efforts a few teenagers are not without their limitations—but this journey of a thousand miles can only begin with a single step.


Service learning

Character Energy Dr. Roopa Dewan K-8 Service Learning Coordinator

The most important component of personality and character development is cultivating the spirit of service. When an individual learns to invest surplus strength, knowledge, and power to serve other people, there develops a new energy resource, namely, character energy. Character energy is a higher human energy resource above both physical and intellectual energy. If we can cultivate the spiritual energy of our students by inculcating a spirit of service from childhood, they will develop as ethical, moral, and humanistic adults. Recent research indicates that happiness is giving to others. When you engage with others socially, that makes you go beyond yourself. If you feel you are making an active difference in the lives of others, you feel a boost of confidence and assertion of empathy. At SAS we initiated our service learning curriculum last year by adapting the National Youth Leadership Service Learning standards. Interested teachers were invited to participate in a pilot plan to encourage all classes to full participation by 2014. We have made significant progress. • Our kindergarten classes have ten sections involved in going to the Adventist Rehab center to play with stroke victims as part of the Caring for Others theme. Last year, we piloted this with one class. Next year we aspire to have all classes actively involved. • From a pilot of three classes last year to all Grade 1 classes this year, students participated in building social capital through understanding what a community is by engaging with buddies from local schools Fu Chun Primary and Seng Kang Primary. Students celebrated festivals, played games, and learned about cultures by interacting regularly with their Singaporean buddies. • Grade 2 classes worked in an integrated curriculum model to feed 75 needy families through Food from the Heart’s school programs through their Make a Difference annual walkathon, an increase of 50% from last year. Additionally, they invited these children to receive books during A Festival of Stories. The needy children walked in tandem with SAS buddies, creating a tremendous sense of empowerment and camaraderie. • Grade 3 expanded its Kids READ service program from two classes last year by adding another three this year. They taught reading


skills to students from Innova Primary School. Additionally, community service projects like Read to Feed are taking place. • Grade 4 is focusing on endangered environments and establishing studentgenerated outcomes. They are preparing for direct contact and implementation next year. • Grade 5 is focusing on elder care with Singaporean oral history as a focus, preparation of hygiene kits, and their regular visits to the Leprosy Home. • Grade 6 has continued its powerful awareness campaign for conservation of fresh water. It has shown that students are capable of generating innovative ideas for action and awareness. • Grade 7 students researched and wrote about how individuals and organizations can intervene in the poverty cycle. They have supported Tabitha’s sustainable selfhelp programs, Wish For Kids, Kiva, and Milaap’s microfinance programs. • Grade 8 has a model of service through service clubs that allows students to create a portfolio of service projects. Student-led projects are currently monitored through home base and will serve as a transition to the High School. We start with the curriculum as the focal point, giving equal value to both learning and service. Our attempt is to redefine school as a real life laboratory and convert concepts into experiential learning based on action and reflection with authentic outcomes and real-life audiences. We look at service learning as a cornerstone and a signature piece for SAS that fulfills three essential criteria: 1. 2.


It is local, making the rewards immediate and tangible, fostering community engagement and responsible citizenship; It involves taking direct action with regular and continual contact with recipients as versus a one-off with community service projects; and

It is sustained over time with sufficient duration and length to foster local partnerships and crosscultural understanding.

We congratulate our teachers for leading this third dimension of spiritual learning, of value-oriented education, of human resource development, and for creating a service ethic that fosters both giving and sharing.

service learning


Grade 3 Students of Susan Walker

Hand in Hand Naina, Nathan, Ethan, Yeonju, and Annaliese After days of practice we were finally on the bus heading to Innova Primary School. We all knew it would be fun to help the Innova kids with their English and reading skills. When the door of the bus finally opened, we rushed out to meet our new buddies, our hands carrying clipboards full of fun activities to do with the kids. Suddenly, we felt a queasy nervousness, some of us thought we would do well, some of us thought we wouldn’t, but when we saw our buddies, we realized that they were as nervous as us. When we started to read, some of our buddies kept running around and some of them stayed, but in the end, we got everyone interested in the books. Amazing Trip to Innova Cooper, Hannah, Jin Hyung, Marcos, and Yaimar We were heading to Innova Primary School to meet the first graders there to teach them to read. We were excitedly looking out of the windows to get a glimpse of what our buddies might look like. As we immediately started chatting with our buddies when we met them, we made our way to the library. It was awkward in the beginning, but soon it got better as we taught them how to read. Soon it was time to go, although it seemed we only started a short time earlier. We felt disappointed to leave. We like all of our field trips, but Innova is one of our favorites.

Indescribable Innova Indraa, Josh, Ian, Simon, Olivia, and Mark During the short bus trip to Innova Primary School, we were psyched to meet our Innova buddies and tried to remember what we had learned in class to teach them. As we pulled into the school, we all had a mixture of emotions; shyness, nervousness, excitement all rolled into one. When we met our buddies it felt like we had butterflies in our tummies. That feeling soon went away as we chatted with our new friends on the way to the luxurious library. While we read with our Innova Grade 1 buddies, we did a couple of activities to help them understand the book better. They were really smart! Innova Primary School is glorious. 60 Minutes at Innova Ginger, Jazmin, Brian, Joshua, Harrison and Yoony Here we go to Innova! Everybody is excited, but nervous on the bus. We finally get to the amazing Innova Primary School. Some of the first graders are excited and some are shy. We walk up to the comfortable library feeling excited. We sit down on the cozy carpet and start reading. It was fun to teach first graders how to read. While we were reading there were some really interesting activities. The time flew by while we were reading and soon we had to say goodbye. It was an epic day at Innova!


Service learning

GINSING Conference Martha Began High School Science Teacher

time to act

to change singapore

9-11 november 2012 high school singapore american school

middle school uwcsea east campus

Global Issues Network Singapore GINSING Conference, “Time to Act, Time to Change” November 2012 The buzz is building and our students are gearing up, so please mark your school calendars for the sixth annual East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Global Issues Network (GIN) Conference. Affectionately known as GINSING, the conference will be co-hosted by United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) East and Singapore American School (SAS) in November 2012. Our conference theme is, “Time to Act, Time to Change.” The conference will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 9, 10, 11. EARCOS is an organization made up of 112 international schools in Asia with students from all over the world. We are pleased to be inviting more than 800 global citizens, both students and advisors, to join us in this empowering conference. Over the past decade, awareness about global issues has become much more widespread in our schools. GIN aims to take this awareness to the next level. The goal of the GIN conference is to help students realize they can make a difference by empowering them to work with their peers around the world to develop solutions for global issues. There is a growing awareness of the global issues facing humanity, and now is the time for students to take sustainable action to address these issues and to realize the potential and power found in our international communities, collaborating with one another wherever possible. SAS and UWCSEA will inaugurate the first-ever middle school GIN conference to be hosted on the new UWCSEA East Campus. On Friday, November 9, middle school and high school delegates and their sponsors will engage in separate environmental action excursions around Singapore, and then come


together in the afternoon at SAS for the official GINSING conference opening and evening Peace Concert. On Saturday and Sunday, middle school and high school students will hold separate conferences with middle school hosted on UWCSEA East campus and high school hosted on SAS campus. Each school is initially invited to bring one team of up to six middle school and ten high school students as well as two sponsors. Additional students may attend on a space available basis. We plan to invite 250 middle school students, 400 high school students, and up to 100 adult sponsors. This year, in addition to inspiring keynote speakers and interactive NGO workshops, we have added a new element to the conference: student-led Global Action Network groups. Each delegate will be part of a group of 10-20 students from different schools, led by a peer facilitator from SAS or UWCSEA, who will meet together four times to share firsthand action-based initiatives being done in Asia to address humanitarian and environmental problems. Students will share ideas, hopes, and concerns to generate action plans, and then present their actions plans at the end of the conference. We hope that these groups will allow friendships to form across schools and lead to the formation of lasting networks of student change-makers. The GINSING community is both excited and honored to be hosting GIN November 2012 and looks forward to sharing our schools, as well as the many cultural, environmental, and social issues that exist on our doorstep with them. If you would like to become involved in planning for the conference, we welcome your volunteerism with open arms. Don’t be shy, there is plenty of work to be done before November’s GINSING conference. Please contact Martha Began or Treena Casey, SAS GINSING co-leaders to learn how you can become involved. You can reach them via email at

service learning

Eighteen Chefs Linda Sun Grade 9 Student

On March 2, eighteen students with the high school club Youth Community Outreach (YCO) went to Eighteen Chefs, a restaurant run by Chef Benny Teo, a man with a unique story. An ex-gang member and former substance abuser, Chef Teo decided to name his restaurant Eighteen Chefs because it was one of the numbers of the gang. He believes that there are indeed second chances, and that each person deserves an opportunity to change. The students knew little of Chef Teo’s story, but were willing to learn. Upon arrival, he started explaining his life to us. After the story, he invited us to try some of the food at the restaurant, which was unique as it involved the aspect of choice. Each person creates their own pasta by ticking what they want on it. After sampling a wide variety of dishes, everyone agreed that this visit was memorable. Chef Teo (and his way of cooking) taught us that in life, there are many choices to be made, and making the right ones leads to a sweet ending. A visit to Eighteen Chefs was an excellent way for the students to connect with the community.

Club member Gabrielle Leow commented, “I thought that it was a really fun field trip and I would definitely go again. It was nice to see one way of how a former substance abuser is now helping others. I learned that anything is possible if you put your heart to it.” We are indeed fortunate to have talked to Chef Teo and learned from his firsthand experiences. In June, YCO is making a service trip to Zhengzhou, China. We will be teaching skills to teenagers at a local government-sponsored drug rehabilitation institution, and will be using the experiences our brave friend Chef Teo shared with us.

One Singapore, One Day Analu Assis Grade 1 Teacher

One Singapore, One Day, the theme of the service learning project in Grade One, is linked to an idea from the book One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley, that describes a day in the life of children around the world from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. By reading the book, we have a glimpse of the many differences in cultures around the world, and also the many similarities. Our project focuses on engaging with local children from our neighboring schools to share daily routines, games, and celebrations. Just like the book, we compared our daily routines with the ones from our Singapore friends. The project was such a success last year with three classes that this year all 13 first grade classes joined the program. We also added a second school, the Seng Kang Primary School. The focus of our exchange this year was on celebrations, traditional clothing, food, and games. The partner schools visited SAS during our celebration of Valentine’s Day. The SAS teachers shared the meaning of the holiday by reading different books and taught the kids how to make and write Valentine’s Day cards. It was a perfect day to celebrate making new friends and sharing kind words with one another.

During following visits, our neighboring schools shared clothing from their cultural backgrounds, local fruit, and some games. We were even invited to celebrate International Friendship Day with one of the schools where they performed dances from different countries and dressed in their native clothing. Back at SAS for a second visit, our students taught their new friends how to play math games from our Every Day Math program. What fun it was to have the opportunity to teach our friends how to play different games to practice various math skills. We are looking forward to our next visit and the opportunity for our kids and their friends to learn and share the experience of being part of a greater community—the Singapore community.


Service learning

Empty Bowls Megan O’Neal Grade 12 Student

We sit down three times a day, sometimes more, to enjoy our food. Whether it’s spaghetti, french toast, salad, or cereal, we are fortunate enough to have calorie-packed meals at our beck and call. However, for some people this is not the case. When Ms. Levenhagen, the high school ceramics teacher, came to SAS last year, she brought with her a tradition called Empty Bowls, which contributes money to organizations that feed the less fortunate. Started in the US, Ms. Levenhagen took it to Shanghai before finally bringing it to Singapore. She and her students make ceramic bowls to sell with fried rice. Money raised will go to Caring for Cambodia and Food for the Heart. This year the high school students teamed up with Ms. Kaye’s ECC munchkins to create these masterpieces. In April, the four and five year olds marched across the hall and got dirty with the older students. Not only was it enjoyable for the younger kids to hang out with the big kids on the block,

but the high schoolers got to have a taste of what it used to be like to laugh at the silliness of things and not worry about getting clay in every crevice. During the first session, each boy or girl was paired with an older student and was taught how to create a bowl, decorating it with patterned molds. In the second session, the ECC students covered them with glaze to add some color to the bowls. And when the big sales day came in May, the ceramics class turned into sales people to sell as many bowls as possible to help relieve hunger for people who don’t have the money to get a proper meal.

S.A.S. Sports & Dance Camps Events:      

4-­‐Day  Dance,  Soccer  or  Volleyball  Camps  


Led  by  SAS  Varsity  Coaches  and  Faculty  Dance  Instructors  


Open  to  all  students  going  into  grade  6-­‐12;  Limited  spaces  available  

Dates and  Time:    August  6,  7,  8,  10;  4:00  PM  –  6:30  PM   Registra)on:      

Forms  in  HS  Office,  MS  Office,  Ac3vi3es  Office  



Camp Loca)on  and  Contact  Informa)on:  


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service learning

First Hand

Cathy Casey MS/HS Nurse and First Hand Vice President

It all began back in 2007 when a friend and I decided to arrange a house-building trip with Tabitha. Sixteen women with hammers and enough money raised to build eight houses took off for Phnom Penh. Before I left, a good friend asked me if I would take some basic medical supplies to an orphanage where she had adopted her daughter the previous year. Sure, I thought, no worries, a quick stop off won’t be a problem. Little did I know that stop would forever change the way I think and live. I was overwhelmed at the response from all my Singapore friends and family from afar. We arrived with 14 large checked bags of panadol, anti-diarrhoea and nausea tablets, and child vitamins for the orphanage. As I walked around and chatted with the workers I noticed a little girl who looked to be about 5 years old lying in a cot banging her head on the bars and two other children with severe physical disabilities. After a lot of discussion it turned out that the girl was 11 years old and had been living here since she was found on the streets as a young child very badly beaten and raped. Her injuries, they think, are the cause of her disability. Two other disabled children who were eager to show us what they could do, i.e. read and count, were so clever and helpful to the younger babies that I sat mesmerized, trying to comprehend the lives of these children. I left the orphanage that day extremely heavy-hearted and sad that some children’s lives have little value to some people. After a tiring five days we headed back to our oasis of Singapore. I felt happy to be home but angry with the world, angry with myself, angry with my family, just plain old angry. So my friend and I decided we

needed to find places in Phnom Penh for children with disabilities. Months later we were put in contact with Goutte d’eau, which has three centers in Cambodia and one in Phnom Penh that is specifically for physically and mentally challenged children. We headed back and worked closely with them. We wanted people to experience what these children were going through so we asked anybody who wanted to help to come with us and lend a hand. Now we have been instrumental in assisting the transfer of two children to a rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh and work closely with the center in providing care for children with disabilities. We also work closely with the Riverkids foundation, which assists children who have been or are at risk of being trafficked. Being able to spend time with these kids over the years and see them recover slowly and become young adults who go to school are the biggest rewards we could ever expect. We decided to form a group here in Singapore known as First Hand. In doing this we have been able to raise money for a variety of projects such as purchasing of wheelchairs, salaries to pay for physiotherapists and extra staff at the center, and food programs. Our ethos is please don’t just give your money, give your time and love to these kids who are in desperate need of it. What must it be like to never experience the good times, never know what it’s like to get excited about an impending holiday or celebrating a festival. Imagine struggling every day, not knowing if you and your family are going to have food tomorrow. Well, that’s how most of the families in the slums in Cambodia live from day to day, year to year, decade to decade. Learn more at

SAS students volunteered at the First Hands Art Exhibition held at Red Sea gallery.


Service learning

Grade 3 Visits Silra Leprosy Home Noah D. and Young Seo K., Grade 3 Students Danielle Carrier, Grade 3 Teacher

Anticipation built through the week for the day when the third grade volunteers would become friends to the residents of the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association Silra Home. The third graders chattered away with nervous excitement before boarding the bus to the Silra Leprosy Home on December 9, 2011. On two occasions during the school year, our third graders have the opportunity to practice kindness and compassion by playing bingo with the aging residents of the Silra Leprosy Home. Noah D. and Young Seo K., students in Ms. Carrier’s class, had a keen sense of service as they interacted with their residents.

“I was excited to go to the Leprosy Home. When I met one of my residents, he was really happy, so I was happy, too,” explained Noah. Noah’s resident fell asleep while Noah was with him, so he lightly patted his back to try to wake him. Young Seo was nervous at first, but once he met his resident and played bingo with him, they became friends and Young Seo felt happy. These two boys and our other third grade volunteers saw that through sharing their time with others, they had the power to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Connecting the Past Stephanie Herdrich Grade 5 teacher

“I had heard about what happened in World War II in Europe, but I had no idea about what happened here in Singapore!” “I can’t imagine how scary it must have been to see your friends and neighbors taken away to prison by the Japanese...” “How terrible that there wasn’t enough food or medicine for people in Singapore during the war.” The classroom was abuzz with conversation as we finished our unit on the occupation of Singapore during World War II. The room quieted as my class looked up at the words on the white board. Well, what can we do NOW about what happened THEN? Focused conversation began again, with a final outcome of a plan to do some kind of work with elderly Singaporeans—to learn from them about their life experiences during the war and perhaps more importantly to help them now in the present. If anyone has doubts about the future, come spend some time with engaged, compassionate, committed ten year olds! Service learning empowers young people to connect the learning they are doing in classrooms with the world outside the classroom door. In the fifth grade this year,


we are piloting a service-learning project with residents in the SILRA home for leprosy victims. Our first visit will be to meet the residents and interview them about their early life experiences in Singapore. (Some of them were here in Singapore during the war.) On our second visit we will thank our new friends by donating some much-needed hygiene kits. The High School Leprosy Home club has generously agreed to accompany us to act as our translators and mentors. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage in service to our Singaporean community, learn about history firsthand by taking part in an oral history assignment, and give a little back of our many blessings at Singapore American School. Next year we hope to expand our efforts into nursing homes and senior centers so that we can get more fifth grade classrooms involved.

service learning

Kindergarten and ARC Robyn Schwarz Kindergarten Teacher

Our kindergarten has adopted the Adventist Rehabilitation Center as our focus organization for Service Learning. We provide therapy and friendship to clients who have suffered from the effects of strokes. Age and language are not barriers when it comes to providing friendship, understanding, and caring for someone and wanting to help.


Service learning

Travel and Service

Michael Hsun Grade 12 Student, President of Outreach Vietnam

Living in Singapore allows many of us to share a penchant for travel. Our passports are sources of pride with extra pages and exotic stamps from places far and wide. From the beaches of Nha Trang to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An and Halong Bay, Vietnam would be on anyone’s wish list. But one place that is often forgotten is burgeoning Ho Chi Minh City. Admittedly, Ho Chi Minh City is not entirely a tourist-favorite. However, for 29 members of the High School service club Outreach Vietnam over Spring Break, ir became a platform for a muchneeded wake-up call to the true meaning of service. We were split into two groups to work with a children’s welfare shelter and a local free school that catered to Vietnam’s poorest street children. Over five days, we repainted the entire children’s welfare center with the help of the resident boys. At the Anh Linh Free School, members taught daily English and computer lessons, and five higher education sponsorships were awarded as a result of a phenomenal fundraising exercise that raised US $2,500 dollars in the two weeks prior to the trip. For Outreach Vietnam, the trip was a reflection of the growth the club has experienced. The attempt to break the poverty cycle through education takes a bottom-up approach. Runaway or abandoned kids

are rehabilitated and reunited with their families at the children’s welfare shelter. They are offered the chance to pursue a secondary education in places like the Anh Linh Free School, all for free. Knowing this reminds us of the gift of education that remains a far more impactful determinant in breaking the poverty cycle than money can provide. In the last decade, rapid urbanization has increased the pace of development, but has also left millions of people in poverty in the major cities. The institutions that Outreach Vietnam serve reach out to the street children from backgrounds of imprisonment, abandonment, slavery, abuse, and runaways. Regardless, Outreach Vietnam continues to grow and expand its outreach to share its privilege of education with others in need. Learn more at Thank you, PTA and Booster Club, for your generous donations of books and funds that made this trip a rousing success, and to Bridges to Learning, Inc., for your support in the sponsorship program and in all that we do.

Learning about the World Grade 3 Students and Rosa Shin-Gay, Grade 3 Teacher

Third grade learned that all people have the same basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has their basic needs met. Some countries are still developing and struggling. Heifer International is an organization that is trying to end hunger and poverty. It is a good organization because it helps people in sustainable ways. Instead of just giving money to the poor, Heifer gives people animals. Animals are good because they produce items such as milk or eggs that the people can use for themselves and also sell for money. When the animal has a baby, the people pass on the gift to another needy family. That way, the gift keeps giving. All of third grade participated in the Read to Feed program that is sponsored by Heifer International. We looked for sponsors who would give us money based on how much we read. We read a lot more than we normally would so that we could earn more money.


“I got my mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa, and my mom’s friend to sponsor me.” “I read for 20 hours, which raised 144 dollars.” “I enjoyed Read to Feed a lot because I felt very good that I was making a difference in our world.” “I read for 8 hours and earned 55 dollars.” Everyone in our class read and raised money for Read to Feed. Altogether, third grade students raised about $35,000! That’s a lot of money! We are very happy and proud to be able to help others.

service learning

A Positive Impact on a Global Issue Christopher Emerson Grade 6 Teacher

What happens when you take the disease and water issues curriculum out of the classroom and put it into the world? This is the question we set out to answer when the sixth grade science classes recently tied in their disease unit with the school’s increasing emphasis on social service. Sixth grade students raised $16,194 for various charities that fight water borne disease, educated thousands of people including children and adults, wrote countless books that now grace a number of classroom libraries in the PS and IS, invented water filters, met with business leaders, and saw firsthand the impact they can have on a global issue. Classes prepared for the unit by learning about infectious diseases and the ways that they are transmitted between various organisms on earth. The students honed their skills on the microscope and applied those skills to looking at various live microorganisms. Students created blogs, and took the opportunity to record the creepy crawlies they found under their digital scopes and post videos of their findings. As many of these microorganisms live in water, we began to look regionally and worldwide at diseases that are caused by their presence. Many of the most deadly diseases worldwide, such as cholera, typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, salmonella, e. coli, and dysentery, are caused by contact with untreated water. Students went home to research the specifics of these problems and potential solutions, and they posted these problems and solutions on their blogs. Classes then generated a list of the factors that led to some world regions’ high infection rates such as mismanagement of resources, poverty, lack of education, pollution, overpopulation, sanitation, scarcity and lack of filtration, and used this

list to categorize their problems and solutions. Most students found that their problem crossed many of these categories, as do all of the world’s intractable issues. Students then picked an area in which they wanted to make a difference, and the Water Project began. Over the five weeks of the project, students kept their peers and teachers up-to-date on their progress via their blogs. All told, the 309 students in sixth grade created 185 projects that spanned the globe. However, many students chose to focus their efforts closer to home with much of their hard work going to charities in SE Asia and the South Pacific. On April 19 those efforts were celebrated with an all-day series of events. Students presented their projects to parents and peers in the morning, and in the afternoon we had two speakers who are deeply committed to solving water issues. The first, SAS Board member Joe Anderson who is on the board of the WTO (World Toilet Organization), talked about the importance of getting more people the toilets and sanitation needed to improve global health issues. The second speaker was Chris Wilson, who founded and runs an NGO in Cambodia called Social Capital Venture whose priority is the delivery of clean, safe water to rural communities, with complementary work in the fields of health, education, and farming. Both speakers gave our students a look into what it means to work in the non-profit field and were inundated with questions at the end of their talks. As one student said in response to a survey on the project, “I think this was one of the hardest and best projects I have ever done.” We look forward to continuing and growing this project with future Grade 6 classes, allowing them to see the power they hold in making an impact on global and regional water issues.


Service learning


Sanjana T. and Make-A-Wish Club Members Grade 8 Students

The most amazing feeling in the world is wishing on a star and having it come true. For kids living with a disability or a terminal illness, it can be a childhood highlight. The Make-AWish Foundation helps these kids fulfill their wishes. The Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore kindly granted a wish for SAS eighth grader Chelsea Fairclough. She wished to swim again with her family. On her special day the entire Middle School supported her by wearing red t-shirts to raise awareness about the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After five years out of the water, Chelsea Fairclough swam again. Since that day she has wanted to pay it forward for other kids through the Make-AWish Foundation. And that’s where our group came in. We had the privilege of going to the Make-A-Wish Christmas party to volunteer. It took a lot of work to organize, but it is an experience that will stay with us forever. The Make-A-Wish Christmas party is traditionally designed to gather all the children and the families who have had a wish granted over the last year. We were in charge of two activities, running a bouncy castle and handing out cookies in enchanted forest costumes. Organizing our participation required many steps: obtain permission slips, bake cookies, decorate baskets for the cookies, and gather costumes. To accomplish all this in a rather short amount of time we decided to divide and conquer. Our student organizers had to get permission from our school and parents. We also needed buses. Mr. McDougal, our Middle School activities director, helped us secure a bus to take to the party. We also


had to write permission slips. Once we had all the permission slips signed and returned, our transportation was ready to go. Then, we needed food—cookies! One of the responsibilities we got from the Make-A-Wish organization was to hand out baked goods to the kids as they entered the party. We decided to buy some small woven baskets, ribbon, and decorations. We spent a few afternoons decorating and perfecting the style of the baskets. Then, we baked and baked and baked. Once the cookies were made, we individually wrapped all of them. We needed costumes to turn ourselves into enchanted forest creatures. We went around from teacher to teacher, student to student, and asked if they had any animal costumes we could use for one night. Thanks to Mrs. Fulcher and Mrs. Silverman, we had many costumes. Without them we would not have been able to do this. And finally after a lot of planning and work we were on our way. We met in Mrs. Schult’s room after school on December 16. We laid everything out, organized the food and costumes, and got on the bus. We got to Suntec Plaza and started setting up. Half of us went off to the bouncy castles and the other half ran off to get into our costumes. The kids were coming soon! We were excited. Some of us handed out cookies at the entrance and others supervised the bouncy castle. Some of us played games with the long line of kids waiting in line at the castle. Being kids ourselves, we knew what to do. We played games, tickled kids, and laughed our way through the evening. Unfortunately, it was over too

quickly. Four hours after we got there, we grabbed costumes, gathered gear, and wandered out into the night. It was an experience that will stay with us forever. The Make-A-Wish Christmas Fair was definitely a highlight of the year for all of us. There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing kids and watching their faces light up and knowing we made it happen. A special thank you to our club sponsors Ms. Vaught, Ms. Torpey, Ms. Schult, and Mr. Oskins.

service learning

Escaping the Poverty Cycle Sarah Becker, Douglas Bahse, and Craig Derksen Grade 7 Social Studies Teachers

The following is a rundown on the learning that seventh graders achieved during the course of their Escaping the Poverty Cycle unit. Students: •

Completed a series of web lessons answering four questions: What is poverty? Where is poverty most prevalent? What are the causes of poverty? How can poverty be reduced?

Explored sustainable ways to intervene in the poverty cycle, including inventions that improve the lives of those in need and the programs of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) designed to help people out of the poverty cycle.

Researched and wrote about how individuals and organizations can intervene in the poverty cycle.

Contributed more than S$4000 through their “CHANGE FOR CHANGE” drive to support Tabitha’s sustainable selfhelp programs, Wish For Kids’ education program, as well as Kiva and Milaap’s microfinance programs.

Contributed to our CLOTHING DRIVE, and then sorted and delivered these items to Caring for Cambodia and Wish For Kids.

Used their research, persuasive writing, and presentation skills to convince their classmates to support the business plan of a poor entrepreneur who put a loan request on the nonprofit microfinance website KIVA. (The strongest presentation from each class received $100 to fund this person’s loan request. In future years, 7th grade social studies students will be able to analyze how much of these funds have been repaid and reinvest these funds, bringing hope to yet more people.)

Attended presentations by Mr. Sourabh Sharma the co-founder of microfinance social enterprise Milaap, and, Janne Ritskes, the founder of Tabitha. The talks focused on sustainable solutions to the poverty crisis in India and Cambodia, respectively.

Without exception, students have taken the issue of poverty and the quest for sustainable solutions to heart and have enthusiastically embraced all of the above activities.

Asia Fest 2012 Lisa Hogan and Laura Terrile Grade 2 Teachers

Second grade focused on learning about cultures during the amazing morning of Asia Fest. Over 100 volunteers transformed our second grade area into more than 15 Asian country booths. Classrooms were filled with hands-on experiences, allowing students to sample a bit of the rich culture that is found in Asia. Asia Fest is a highlight of our second grade year, and our community provides our students with authentic opportunities to learn about language, culture, food, clothing, music, games, traditions, customs, and unique facts about various countries. Asia Fest started with a grade level assembly where students were entertained by second grade student Min Jae, who alongside his mother performed a traditional Korean hat dance. A gifted traditional Chinese musician then played a variety of instruments. The assembly concluded with a Bollywood Indian dance troupe.

After the assembly, students gathered in small groups and traveled through Asia with a tour guide. Students made Chinese dumplings and Japanese sushi, and tasted a variety of food from Dragon Bread Candy to satay and roti prata. Students were astounded by hand-crafted models of Bangladesh sites such as the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, and Cox’s Bazar, the longest beach on earth. Students practiced the ancient arts of yoga and Korean taekwondo. Additionally, students learned about musical instruments from across Asia and played a variety of time-honored games, including the rubber band jump rope from Indonesia. Students were amazed by the Korean Fan Dance performed by SAS parents. Each country booth provided rich opportunities for students be to experience the diversity of Asia. Second grade teachers would like to extend a GIGANTIC thank you to all of the volunteers for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. This event is possible because of your willingness to come together and share your time, knowledge, and passion. It the parent volunteers who make this event a reality, and that in turn makes SAS a remarkable school.


Service learning

Food from the Heart Sarah Farris and Lisa Hogan Grade 2 Teachers

and delivered the hygiene packs to Cambodian students and families. We donated books and wrote persuasive reviews in December and January as part of our “New Year, New Friend, New book” drive. Students from Seng Kang Primary School visited our second grade classrooms and we exchanged books!

Can second grade students make a difference in their community? The answer is YES! With 100% participation by all second grade teachers, students and the entire second grade community, our service learning mission was a year-long project incorporating all areas of the curriculum, culminating in a fundraising walk-a-thon to support Food from the Heart (FFTH), a locally based organization, which helps families in Singapore that lack the resources to meet their food and nutritional needs. This year we were able to build off of last year’s goal of incorporating the curriculum into a monthly service learning activity. Some of the activities were Toys for Treats in October, where students brought in new or gently used toys in exchange for a treat. All toys went towards FFTH’s annual toy drive. In November, we made hygiene packs for Caring for Cambodia. Four second grade teachers traveled to Siem Reap over the Thanksgiving break


A “big idea” of our service learning was learning about healthy food and what families need in order to meet their basic needs. In February, we gave gifts from the “heart.” SAS second grade supports 75 local families through FFTH. FFTH identified 26 needy families, and we set about making “heart” baskets filled with food. We discussed needs versus wants and what types of foods Singaporeans eat, and we compared food prices. Next, students went on a “walking field trip” to a local grocery store. Each student was given $5 from the SAS service learning budget. Equipped with this money, students compared prices and worked on their math skills (making change, estimating, adding, comparing numbers) to purchase food for their “heart” baskets. Students then put the baskets together and wrote letters to each of the families. In March, the Second grade team delivered the “heart” baskets to Seng Kang Primary School and made meaningful connections with the 26 families. In April, we started preparations for our sixth annual walk-a-thon. Students wrote persuasive letters using everything they learned about service learning to solicit sponsors. We talked about why we were fundraising and who the money would benefit. Students were empowered. On April 20th, we had our walk-a-thon and it was a huge success.

service learning

44 Seng Kang Primary School students were able to join us as we walked and ran around the track raising money for Food from the Heart. Having the students from Seng Kang participate was a wonderful culmination to our year of service learning. “Every step makes a difference and that’s what is important,” reflected Ariana Rossuck, a second grade student. All of the donated money goes straight to Food from the Heart. Here’s how the money will be distributed: • A monthly food hamper will be distributed to 50 needy families from Seng Kang Primary School. The food hamper is valued at $55 and includes food staples to help families eat healthily for a month. • 26 of these 50 families from Seng Kang Primary School also received a “heart” food basket in February. • A monthly food hamper will be distributed to 25 needy families from Evergreen Primary School. Ella Reeves, a second grade student, exclaimed at the walk-a-thon, “We are making a difference!” After a year’s worth of service learning our mission to make a difference has been achieved. Thank you to each of our 286 students. Once again they have proved that you CAN make a difference. Keep it up second grade!


Service learning

Pre-K Lemonade Sales Jinny (Woojin) Song Grade 11 Student and Interim Semester Teacher Apprentice, Pre-K

When I first came to SAS, the Early Childhood Center (ECC) was just a place where little children screamed and innocently enjoyed their lives down in the playground below the high school. What changed my perception of this place, though, was my Interim Semester. I was given an opportunity to help out at the ECC, and I took it. Other than seeing Pre-K teachers and children work hard, I was able to learn that even the youngest of students can partake in service opportunities, and it is salient to do this from the earliest years in schooling. L was the alphabet letter of the week during my time in the ECC, and the teachers linked this learning to the experience of making lemonade. Rather than an ordinary lesson with story time and an art session drawing lemons, the week was quite different. The Pre-K teachers helped the students learn the letter L by incorporating kinesthetic and visual aspects to the word lemon. Throughout the week, they painted posters for a real lemonade sale, squeezed lemons for lemonade, and sold the lemonade.

told by the teachers that all proceeds would go to Caring for Cambodia. This money would be used to purchase classroom materials for the Kindergarten children. I thought this was a fabulous idea, as the children were learning two things at the same time: how simple service opportunities can be, and the letter L. Throughout the whole week, the service aspect of selling lemonade was emphasized to the students and customers. This project of selling lemonade and giving the proceeds to Caring for Cambodia involved both physical work and direct service. I believe that this week’s efforts on behalf of SAS Pre-K students was a wonderful start to authentic service learning. As people say, what is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave; I believe that service should be done from the earliest stages of schooling, as it takes up a big portion of our lives. The week of L, or lemonade week, was a great step for Pre-K children to experience service.

Before the week’s end, the children had to practice the skills of pouring lemonade, how to use appropriate courtesies when serving customers, and how to accept the correct money from real life customers. They were instructed to say, "Welcome to the lemonade stand! 50 cents please, and thank you for helping Caring for Cambodia!" Of course, the most emphasized part was Caring for Cambodia. From the beginning of the week, the students were

Roots and Shoots

Sanjana T. and Make-A-Wish Club Members Grade 8 Students

Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light, they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds of thousands of roots & shoots, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls. We CAN change the world. - Dr. Jane Goodall

Desiree and a visually handicapped member of our community walk on the Sensory Trail at Pulau Ubin. Thank you to the high school SAVE Club for organizing the VH outings.


Thank you to our dedicated Middle School Roots & Shoots members for their commitment and care for the human community, the environment, and animals.

to SAS in various ways including $150,000 to the Visiting Authors and Artists in Residence programs.

Shelby Pazos PTA Parliamentarian

It is unbelievable that we are already at the end of the 2011-12 school year. From orientation to Thanksgiving break, the time went by in a flash. Before we knew it, County Fair had come and gone and it was time for Spring Break. Now we have just a few more days left. This year has been particularly dear to me as I fully enjoyed our middle son’s senior year at SAS. That meant truly relishing traveling for the soccer and rugby exchanges, as well as enjoying the thirty year anniversary for IASAS that was hosted at SAS and then going to IASAS rugby in Manila. Having now completed our sixth year here, and despite our school’s large size, SAS has provided us with a wonderful close-knit community. We have had the opportunity to forge lasting relationships with parents, students, administrators, and faculty. I can truly say having graduated two sons from SAS that this class of 2012 is very special and will be missed by all. My daughter, who is entering sixth grade, has no idea what is in store as the only child left at home! We are fortunate to have close working relationships between PTA, Boosters, and the SAS Foundation. The cohesive nature of the relationships creates a fabric whereby we all support one another in building community and raising funds to directly benefit the students. One example of this can be seen in PTA’s fund spending. Approximately $290,000 was donated

PTA Fund Spending 2012

At the end of each school year, after outstanding invoices are paid and start-up money is set aside for the next year, excess funds in the PTA account are donated to the school in the form of fund spending. The administration and principals determine the equipment and programs they would like funded, and they are asked to prioritize and give supporting rationale for each request. A committee of PTA volunteers and faculty representatives considers

These programs set SAS apart from other international schools, and we feel proud to be a part of the process that provides them for our community. At our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea held at the US Ambassador’s residence on May 15, a check of PTA funds was presented to SAS and highlighted all the hours and hard work of our volunteers throughout the year. Thanks to Erma Huston, our Welcoming and Hospitality Chair, for coordinating and organizing this fabulous event. Thanks again to Erma for PTA’s fabulous Staff Appreciation Day on April 24. Division reps Caroline Edds, Maria Luedeke, Tracy Cohen, Monique Hirsch, Sherry Lyons, Jackie Lewis, Mika Parekh, and Heather Hoffman also worked hard to create a wonderful environment where we were all able to give thanks to SAS teachers and staff. Last but not least, a big thank you to Karn Wong for organizing the White Elephant Sale on May 12. The event gave the SAS community a chance to sell gently-used items, have a coffee, chat with neighbors, and enjoy the morning in the spirit of fun and friendship at SAS. To families who are leaving SAS, we wish you a heartfelt goodbye, and to all of our SAS community—enjoy your summer! We will see you back at SAS in August and look forward to getting you involved in the PTA for the 2012-13 school year. the requests and recommends allocation of funds. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of many volunteers, and through the generous support of the SAS community at fundraising events, the PTA was in the fortunate position of being able to grant over $290,000 of divisional and school wide fund spending requests. The funds were presented to the SAS administration at the Volunteer Appreciation Tea and Annual General Meeting on May 15 at the residence of US Ambassador and Mrs. David Adelman.

A sampling of items donated at the divisional level

PTA will fund visiting authors and artists programs.

HS Sony Studio Camera

K -12 Visiting Artists Program

$ 26,000

$ 15,000

MS Homeliving Guest Chefs

$ 3,000

ECC-5 Visual Arts Artists-in-Residence

$ 15,000

MS Art Beautification

$ 9,000


$ 35,000

IS Books, Books and More Books

$ 22,500

MS/HS Dance Artists-in-Residence

$ 15,000

IS Field Trips to Theaters

$ 18,000

MS/HS Theater Artists-in-Residence

$ 15,000

PS Additional Support for Literacy

$ 25,520

MS/HS Visual Arts Artists-in-Residence

$ 15,000

PS Local Theater Participation

$ 26,050

MS Author-in-Residence

$ 35,000

Writers Perspective for HS

$ 15,000




County Fair


Karianne Blackmon Booster Club Treasurer

It is hard to believe that there are only a few more days of school left until summer vacation. It feels like yesterday when last year around this same time, I was asked to become the treasurer for the SAS High School Eagles Booster Club. In this role, I oversee the budget and finances of the Booster Club and support the various activities that occur throughout the year. It has been a great privilege to get involved and I have made many new friends and thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many new students, parents, and staff!

team and helps the various high school clubs fund their activities. This year, we have made monetary donations to Save Club, Door Step, Mate Underwater Robotics, Math Club, Art Club, WinterGuard, and Outreach Vietnam.

This year we have 15 committees who all do a wonderful job at organizing many events throughout the year. One of them is the Donations Committee, which consists of a joint Administration and Boosters

On behalf of the Booster Club, I would like to wish you all a great summer break! If you have a student in high school and would like to get involved next year, please contact us.

Four times a year we organize Booster Bake Sales which are always a big hit with the students! At each sale, home-baked Western treats are sold as well as a different ethnic food each time. When you come in to school on one of the Bake Sale days, you are sure to be attracted by the wonderful smell of these goodies!

For more about Boosters: | |

It’s Been a Great Year and You Made a Difference! Many volunteers cheerfully greeted students and parents at the Booster booth as they purchased school supplies, HS uniform shirts, P.E. uniforms, school spirit items, & snacks. Some volunteers designed, organized, and publicized events. Other volunteers hosted the events for Booster Bake Sale, Booster Concessions, & BBQs, Honor Roll Luncheon, IASAS sports events, receptions for visual and performing arts, Mentor for a Day luncheon, Popcorn Day, Social Fund Raisers, Spirit Sales Items, and Uniform Sales Items. The time, effort and energy of the Booster Club volunteers have enabled us to give back to the high school students over $112,000 through support of all extracurricular areas, including athletics, visual and performing arts, cultural and scholastic activities, student club donations, interim semester scholarships, senior scholarships, and the senior lunch. The most valuable part of our organization is the time we spend working with the students to help them get the most out of their high school years. As a parent of an SAS high school student, you can be a part of this amazing, rewarding experience. For more information, contact us at: A very special thank you to our 2011-2012 Booster volunteers.


BEIMUN team at the Great Wall, March 2011

High School Model United Nations (MUN) Beth Kramer High School Counselor

In August, when 90 students crowded into H-301 for the first MUN try-out session, many were new to the activity. What’s with this third-person language? “The delegate of France would like to know if the delegate of Mozambique is aware that…” Why do the student chairs bang the gavel while I’m trying to speak? When can I raise my placard? Over the following weeks, the mysteries of MUN unfolded, and three teams, each comprised of 14 to 17 students, were selected. In addition to the JV team that attended MUNOFS IV at Overseas Family School in October, and the varsity team that traveled to Manila for IASAS MUN in November, a third MUN event was added this year: BEIMUN. While MUNOFS and IASAS each involve about 400 delegates, BEIMUN—Beijing Model United Nations—is one of the largest MUN conferences in the world, with over 1000 participants from 85 schools around the world. Fourteen delegates from SAS traveled to Beijing in early March, and before and after the conference, the team squeezed in visits to the Great Wall, the Olympic Park, and Tiananmen Square, as well as enjoying a Peking duck dinner. BEIMUN was an exciting experience for the delegates, and SAS plans to participate again in 2013. Students serve as chairs in MUN, and they organize the weekly practices. The chairs select debate topics


each week, assign delegates to a different country for each debate, and chair the three-hour proceedings each Friday afternoon. Three ninth and tenth graders also assisted the middle school MUN program, and participated in MYMUN in Kuala Lumpur with the MS team as advisory panel members and chair. As delegates hone their public speaking skills in MUN, they also research a wide range of political, economic, human rights, and environmental issues. While it might be easy to represent the USA or the UK, students love the challenge of being assigned to represent Russia, Israel, Syria, China, or North Korea, as they must learn to take on the perspective of leaders of countries with which their home country might be at odds. MUN is addictive—once bitten, students eagerly await the next season. SAS’s MUN guru Staggo and I look forward to it as well.

IASAS Delegates of Russia: Elaine Chiu, Aditya Raikar, and Chris Dee

Harvard Model Congress Asia 2012 Sharmishta (Mishti) Sivaramakrishnan Grade 12 Student

As a three-year veteran of Harvard Model Congress Asia, I will admit that I had high expectations for this year’s conference. I feel fortunate to have been a returning delegate every year since the conference’s inception in Singapore in 2010. The conference is a political simulation that allows students to interact in the sphere of U.S. and international politics. With committees ranging from the Senate and Presidential Cabinet to the WTO and WHO, I’ve found that I enjoy the conference more and more each year. HMCA has given me the opportunity to grow as a delegate, a speaker, and as a leader. This year, as president of the HMCA club here at SAS, I was fortunate to have Sonia Parekh and Prayuj Pushkarna as co-chairs. With their constant dedication, the support of our sponsors (Mr. Fee, Mr. Bisset, and Mr. Torjesen), as well as funding from the SAS office of learning, we led 26 students to a successful conference filled with excellent debates concerning current American and global political issues. After a semester of preparation consisting of weekly practices, each of which was centered around a written bill or resolution, SAS delegates showed tremendous improvement in their respective speaking, writing, and research abilities. In January, we spent three days at the National University of Singapore for the conference itself. During the conference, our team members debated political issues such as the situation in Libya, social topics such as the right to bear arms, and environmental concerns such as offshore wind development. Not only did we develop strong writing skills and gain confidence in public speaking with the help of our excellent Harvardstudent chairs, but we also heard some enriching stories about the chairs’ college experiences and life stories. With schools arriving from all over the region, our SAS delegates were excellent representatives of the school. The following delegates even received special excellence awards: Elaine Chiu, Sachith Siriwardane, Bharath Srivatsan, Tyler Eliot Stuart, and Sharmishta Sivaramakrishnan.

Looking back over the last three years, I’m grateful to have been able to participate in Harvard Model Congress Asia. For me, it has grown from an extracurricular interest to something far greater. As an aspiring diplomat, HMCA has provided me with a venue to refine my debating skills while allowing me to explore the quintessential realm of politics.


Underwater with Robotics Meredith White, HS Science Teacher, Bart Millar, HS Social Studies Teacher, and the SAS HS Robotics

Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The SAS Robotics Team, founded just this year, has learned that the law can be amended to include, “at the most inopportune time.” On April 27, the team, coached by Bart Millar and Meredith White, traveled to Hong Kong for its first contest, the Marine Advanced Technology Education Remote Operated Vehicle (MATE ROV) competition. The engineering team, consisting of seniors Chris Dee, Matt Dee, Ian Go, Alex Leonard, Shreshth Mehrotra, Aayush Sharma, Junko Suzuki, and Julia Zhang, and sophomores Edith Enright and Will WhalenBridge, and assisted by creative artists Cat Andrade and Flick Dunbar, had 12 tasks to complete in 15 feet of water on a simulated shipwreck. The robot had to map and determine the orientation of the wreck, remove a piece of “coral,” and withdraw 100mL of simulated fuel oil from a barrel in 15 minutes. Beginning in January, the team designed a simple frame of PVC pipe with small bilge pumps to propel the ROV, and underwater cameras remotely accessed from the pool deck via tethered monitors. The bilge pumps and cameras were controlled through a system of relays and a joystick, by instructions in the Python and Arduino programming languages. After several weeks of trial and error in the workshop and in the high school and primary


swimming pools, a working vehicle was built. At the competition during the first run, the Arduino microcontroller failed, but Shreshth (pilot) and Matt (co-pilot) quickly came up with a solution: connecting alligator clips to complete the circuits to the pumps. During the break between trial runs, Chris (engineer) devised a more permanent system of tapping wires on screws attached to a control board to complete the circuits to the bilge pumps. Another problem involved surfacing the robot after it performed its tasks. This was solved by Alex (engineer): an empty Ziploc bag, which could be inflated by blowing into it through a hose to create buoyancy. Just like the Apollo 13 astronauts, the team overcame the technical challenges with on-the-spot innovation and ingenuity. The event was hosted by the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong, with fifteen high school teams registered from around the region. At the end of two days of competition, the SAS team finished tenth. We would like to extend special thanks to the SAS science department, the SAS facilities department, Mimi Molchan, Tim Stuart, and enthusiastic supporters Vivian Colvin and Michael Enright.

Bringing the Titanic to Life John Kennedy Grade 3 Teacher

As a culminating activity of a fascinating and exciting nonfiction language arts unit, Mr. Kennedy’s third grade class visited the Titanic Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum of Marina Bay Sands. They were given a one-hour tour by a museum guide as a reward from Mr. Kennedy for their hard work. Prior to this field trip, the kids read books about the tragic sinking of the Titanic, researched facts, and created a timeline. In addition, they wrote an article for the Kennedy Chronicles, their makebelieve newspaper, as New York City reporters who gathered information firsthand from the survivors when they arrived at the harbor on April 18, 1912. Our trip to the museum brought the Titanic to life. As we entered the makeshift ship we each received a passport with a name and a brief bio of someone who had sailed on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, not yet knowing that person’s fate. There was a large 3D model of the Titanic on display and large photographs of the actual Titanic ship, specific parts of it, and of people aboard the ship. We also saw many original artifacts from the Titanic with a brief summary on each item. Heading into the cabin area we saw two cabin mock-ups that showed the difference between first and third class accommodations. Of course, the differences in ticket prices were thousands of dollars as well. First class cost thousands of dollars versus tens of dollars for third class. Afterward we headed

into a room that had a replica of the famous grand staircase. The kids sat on the steps and had their photo taken. We then moved into an area where the atmosphere on that fateful night was re-created with a makeshift deck, stars shining but no moon, water lapping the side of the ship. The student response to this was worth the trip. We felt as if we were actually standing onboard the Titanic, on that moonless night of April 14, with millions of stars shining above and the water below so calm. Exiting from the deck, the kids were able to place their hands on a very large piece of ice. They marveled at how huge, cold, and hard this simulated iceberg was. Finally, everyone entered a room with a memorial wall, which listed the names of all passengers and crew members who were onboard the Titanic. It was here that the kids looked at their passports to discover the fate of their person listed. Emotions were mixed with some kids excited to find they were one of the 705 survivors, while others were saddened to see that they were one of more than 1,500 who perished. In follow-up discussions the next day the whole class agreed that this field trip was truly a wonderful experience and worth going to after a full day of school. The Titanic exhibit was a memorable moment of third grade for each child in Mr. Kennedy’s class.


Rethinking History Matt Elms Grade 6 Teacher

What do ancient Roman glass, the Terracotta Warriors, woman suffragist Alice Paul, the Berlin Airlift, Filipino revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo, Joan of Arc, and the 6888th Central Postal Battalion during WWII all have in common? Yes, it is a strange question. The answer? It's a list of answers that has taken shape since 18 middle school students were asked back in August, “What parts of history encompass the themes of revolution, reaction, and reform in history?” This academic year is the first year that SAS has participated in National History Day (NHD), a highly regarded academic program for middle and high school students. Together with the British International School (BIS) in Jakarta, our school spearheaded the effort to bring this incredible academic experience to the students of Southeast Asia. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers across America Category: Individual Documentary


Title: Ancient Roman Glass:The Perfection of a Craft Sunita S., Grade 7 Student

Category: Group Documentary


Title: Emilio Aguinaldo: A Philippine Revolutionary Fights Western Imperialism Ana C., Armando D., Rishi Guidivaka, Grade 7 Students

Category: Group Exhibit


Title: Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty? Anjali Khanna, Alice Harvey, Grade 6 Students

Category: Group Website

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Title: Roosevelt’s New Deal: The Revolution of Socialist Ideals Arrive in a Capitalist Nation Shayak Bandyopadlyay, Liam Galey, Yuki Yoshioka, Luke Zhang, Grade 7 Students

and internationally, participate in the NHD contest. SAS middle school students choose historical topics related to the theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, our students presented their work websites, exhibits, and documentaries at the first NHD competition in Jakarta on February 29. During the competition, they were evaluated by professional historians and educators. The results for SAS were outstanding. All of the projects placed first or second in their categories, which qualified them to compete in the nationals on June 10-14. Special thanks go to high school teachers James Baker, Nanette Cruther-Ruhter, Clay Burell, and MS teacher Christopher Strance for their guidance and expert knowledge on the various topics. Middle school teachers Scott Riley and Betsy Hall also had a profound influence on guiding the students to the finish line.

2nd 2nd


Title: The Berlin Airlift: Freedom from the Air Pranav R., Grade 7 Student

Title: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion: A Revolution for African-American Women during WWII Cameron E., Jennifer Osborne, Grade 8 Students ** Special Award for Best Project Overall on Women’s History

Title: Terracotta Warriors: Reforming Emperor Qin’s Legacy Jane Li, Janice Ng, Sarah Du, Sarah Choi, Grade 6 Students

Category: Individual Website


Title: Symbol of Revolution: The Legacy of Joan of Arc Tanvi Dutta Gupta, Grade 6 Student

Kevin Spacey Workshop Thomas Schulz High School Drama Teacher

“O, had I but followed the arts!” bemoans the ignorant Sir Andrew Aguecheek of his lack of education in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In April, High School theater students were treated to a special workshop by Jonny Dixon of the Kevin Spacey Foundation. The workshop was generously offered by Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) in conjunction with their production of Twelfth Night at Fort Canning in May. We are working to build stronger connections with local theater companies as well as theater students and teachers from other local and international schools. This workshop was a step in that direction. SRT has also taken sophomore theater student Michal Tolk as an intern this summer. Jonny Dixon has toured extensively throughout Europe and internationally in the fields of physical theater, puppetry, and mask work. Last year he appeared as Caliban in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s critically acclaimed production of The Tempest. Students were engaged, enthused, informed, and inspired by their work with Jonny. He has extensive experience working with Shakespeare and high school students, giving

HS Summer Reading

workshops with SRT and the Kevin Spacey Foundation for last year’s production of Richard III. The Kevin Spacey Foundation works to support young actors, writers, directors, and producers with the passion and potential to succeed in the competitive worlds of film and theater. It offers a range of creative opportunities to help emerging artists reach their full potential, including workshops, master classes, and special events led by industry professionals. It is an exciting time to be in Singapore, which is going through a renaissance in the performing arts. Our theater students are eager to reach out and get involved in this scene, as well as creating some scenes of their own!

Investigate information on using the library’s e-Book collection. Our collection does not yet match our holdngs of “real books,” but it is growing rapidly. http://

Watch the library’s YouTube Channel for instructions on using the library, video tours of the facility, an interview with Principal Tim Stuart, and much more.

Visit or “friend” the library on FaceBook.

John Johnson HS Librarian

Like the rest of SAS, the Khoo Teck Puat High School Library is looking forward to a long, long, long summer break. Please remember, though, that the library is open throughout the holiday, Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 3:00. Of course, the library’s web presence is open for business 24/7/365. Here are some opportunities one can find at :

Peruse this summer’s recommended reading list for students. Each student is required to read at least one book during the summer, then speak and/or write in depth about it in their English classes when school resumes. The library has multiple copies of titles on the list, although students may read other books if they choose. Find instructions to produce a video trailer or book talk based on a book that you have especially enjoyed. http://


Our Dance Experience Abby Quick and Alistair Chew Grade 12 Students


My name is Abby Quick and I have been dancing at SAS since sixth grade. One of the main things the dance program has done is foster my passion and skills as a dancer. When I joined in sixth grade, I was welcomed into the community with no background necessary because everyone was allowed to join dance club. Friendships were made as we bonded over the selection of our dances, becoming excited about the costumes that we got to keep and fixing our hair and makeup before the shows. The friendships I had made continued as we all joined the high school dance club. While at first being a bit intimidated by the amazing senior dancers, I knew that that would be me some day; choreographing for the show and getting more involved. I couldn’t quite let middle school go though, so I decided to choreograph their shows each year. This has been a great way to enhance my teaching skills, and watching the kids perform is something I look forward to each semester. I started off as a Twinkle Toes teacher, teaching the younger students different dances. In Junior year, I ran for president and became the president of Twinkle Toes. I put effort into this program to ensure its growth and success. In junior year, I also made the Junior Varsity dance team, which got me more involved in the dance community as well. However, joining the Dance Performance class my senior years was the best decision I made because of my ability to work more closely with Ms. V and my ability to be more involved in the show process. It has been a pleasure to see my work performed and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Not only do we


get to see our effort pay off, but my choreography and dance skills have improved tremendously. This is what encouraged me to audition for IASAS dance—and I made it! This year we got to travel to Bangkok to perform “Infected.” IASAS has been another rewarding experience for me. The team not only bonded immensely but there was always compromise and respect towards one another. I am so happy I had the opportunity to be a part of this team. The process of creating the dance and then getting to perform it is something I will always remember as one of my favorite parts of SAS. The SAS dance program has not only let me grow as a dancer but also as a person. I couldn’t imagine my time at SAS without having been involved in dance; I think it is what I will miss most about SAS!


My name is Alistair Chew and being on stage for the last time of my high school career is one of those big unforgettable moments. The stage doesn’t just consist of its beautiful floors, amazing lights, and a space that never falls short of inspiration; it has been my home for the last seven years. This stage and the steps I make on it are a representation of all the bruises, cuts, tears, laughs, screams, smiles, friendships, broken bones, improvements in technique, changes in character, and growth I have been through since the sixth grade. Coming into this program at that age, I felt welcomed not only by the lovely teachers, but also by my peers and even the scary high school students. I was told that as long as I had a passion for dance, I would be able to express myself and that’s what I did. I dedicated myself to the program and did all I could to give back to this beautiful community that has done so much for the students at this school. I started choreographing shows, both in the high school and

middle school during my freshman year, working with and assisting friends. Being able to be in such a creative environment made me want to do more and I became a very active member of the high school and middle school dance clubs. I have served as a Middle School Dance Officer, Vice-President and President of the High School Dance Club, because of my love of dance and wanting to help the program thrive. I have been a part of the IASAS dance team for all four years. I got to share amazing experiences with dancers from all six IASAS schools in Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and here in Singapore. I was

also among the first students to be inducted into the National Dance Association Honors Society and have served as Vice-President, President and Historian. I will miss everything about this community from the friendships I have fostered to the thrill of performing. I am so grateful for Ms. Tracy van der Linden, Mrs. Heather Rodocker, Mrs. Paula Silverman, Mr. Paul Koebnick, and all the amazing people who have created in me this need for dance. I know that my last steps on the SAS stage will be tough, but I also know that I have done my best to return to this community the love for dance it has shared with me.

Visiting Dancers in HS Tracy Van der Linden High School Dance Teacher

Thanks to the support of our PTA and the Office of Learning, we were able to have the Artistic Director Darryl Thomas and one of the Principle Dancers, Jessica Evans from Rainbow Dance Theatre come in and work with our high school and middle school dance students for two weeks. This company is well known for its exceptional partnering techniques, contemporary work, and West African dance influences. Darryl Thomas is a well-known figure in the dance world with an extremely impressive resume. Before he started his own company and became a professor of dance at West Oregon University, he toured throughout the world as dancer and artistic collaborator in the world-renowned Pilobolus Dance Theatre, receiving an Emmy for his 1996 Kennedy Center performance of the Pilobolus work “Untitled.” He starred annually in the company’s sold-out New York performances, and performed in the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the highlights of their visit was of course watching Darryl and Jessica perform for the students. The students were delighted to see professional work of that caliber, and they were even more impressed when they discovered that Darryl is 55 years old and still working and performing as a dancer. Darryl and Jessica set modified versions of a couple of their professional pieces on one of the Grade 8 dance classes and the Dance Performance class. Both pieces were performed at the second semester dance shows. The students performed the dance works beautifully and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning the movements. This year’s Artist in Residence Program for dance was an amazing experience for all of our dancers. It was a privilege to watch our students be challenged by and taught by Darryl and Jessica. This experience will be one that these young dancers will remember.


Our Brilliant Grade 2 Scientists Wendy Liddell PS Science Teacher

This year’s Grade 2 Science Fair saw the largest number of participants yet. A total of 70 students presented science projects encompassing a myriad of topics. Many students decided to collaborate and work together to explore a topics of interest and replace their usual play dates with science dates. Children are innate scientists and as an educator I believe it is important to foster instinctive abilities and curiosities, and to encourage students to develop a feeling of ownership for the world that will one day be theirs to care for. Children naturally question, observe, and listen, and most importantly, enjoy sharing their discoveries. The Science Fair gives students a wonderful opportunity to explore a novel interest and collaborate with classmates to research, discover, and present outside the classroom walls. During the days following the science fair I had the opportunity to interview some of the students. Young students are a delight to sit down and talk with and it is fascinating to explore their vision and thoughts on the world in which they live. When I interviewed a group of second graders on what they viewed as the most important things in the whole world, these

are the answers that I received: “Shelter, science, rice, people, nature, life, knowledge, thinking, trees, air, oxygen, sun, plants, family, God, water, and food.” When the same group was questioned on the greatest problems that the world faces, these were the responses: “Destruction of the habitat, extinction of animals, waste, corrupt governments, pollution, bullying, war, tornados, the world ending, the sun exploding, and earthquakes.” I would say from these responses that our young children have a fairly solid insight into the world that will one day be theirs to inherit and in turn to pass on to the next generation. Science teaches children about the world around them and develops the qualities of patience and perseverance. It can also spark in their minds the promise that they too can do something to solve some of the world’s big problems. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents, teachers, brothers, and sisters (and anyone else) who helped these budding young scientists to take part in the Science Fair. Your enthusiasm and support were greatly appreciated.

Nandini, Ava, Sophie and Laura decided to focus on recycling as a theme. They all felt strongly that we need to be more aware of how we can reprocess materials in order to preserve our planets resources, “We need to save the oxygen for people and animals. There is just too much waste. We need to save paper and reuse it as many times as we can, then we will save the trees.” Jimmy is fascinated by animals and the individual roles that they play in the cycle of life. “Animals are precious and many are endangered. We need them in order to survive and learn about our past. It is a chain reaction you know.” Keneechi chose to explore flight and the design of different aircraft. He created and tested several different designs to find out which design would remain airborne for the longest period.


Intermediate School Science Fair John Kimzey IS Science Teacher

On March 15 and 16 over 100 students participated in the Intermediate School Science Fair. The goal of the science fair was to cultivate students’ interest in science. Participation in the fair was voluntary, and it was an opportunity for students to research and share a scientific topic that fascinated them. Students were able to work independently, with a friend or group of friends, or with a parent(s).

Congratulations to all IS students who participated. The science fair was a great success because of you!

Not For A Grade or Extra Credit; For The Love of Science! There was no judging, no trophies, and no ribbons; students took part not for a grade and not for extra credit. They participated for the love of science. Students got involved because science is fun! Space Academy Singapore added to the fun by having representatives at the fair. They shared information about their two-day action-packed program for SAS students aged 8–12 years old. NASA engineer-instructors fly in from Huntsville, Alabama for this special program.

Habitat Luau Pat Quick, Debra Joyce and Pamela Derksen Grade 1 Teachers

Did you know that a black widow spider that lives in the desert can grow a new leg if it loses one? An eagle that lives in the rain forest can see through its eyelids? A dolphin that lives in the ocean has 100 teeth? These are just some of the fun facts the first graders in Mrs. Quick’s, Mrs. Derksen’s, and Mrs. Joyce’s classes have learned. During the past few months during Reading Workshop, first grade students learned how to use nonfiction books to find information about nonfiction topics they were interested in. They learned the purpose and how to use nonfiction features, such as Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, Bold/Italic Print, and Photos/Captions. In Writing Workshop, students learned about nonfiction writing. They wrote how to books and all about books that they were already experts on. As a culminating project to the nonfiction reading and writing units, each student selected an animal they were interested in learning more about from the ocean, desert, or rain forest. Students went to the library and used what they learned about reading

nonfiction books to gather facts about the animal they chose. When their research was completed, they learned how to write their own animal reports. On April 13, in celebration of what they learned, students in Mrs. Quick’s, Mrs. Derksen’s, and Mrs. Joyce’s class held a Habitat Luau for their parents and friends. Each student read his/her own animal report. Mrs. Joyce’s class used sign language motions while they sang a song about the rain forest. Mrs. Quick’s class sang and danced about the desert. Mrs. Derksen’s class sang and danced about the ocean. No luau would be complete without the limbo! At the end of the show, students participated in a limbo and took their final bow in recognition of all their hard work and what they learned about reading and writing nonfiction.


Boy Scouts Brave Borneo Jacob H. Grade 7 Student and Boy Scout

For Spring Break 2012, the Boy Scouts of Troop 07 headed to Borneo, Malaysia, for a six-day camping and trekking trip. To get to Borneo, we took a short plane ride to Kuching Airport, Malaysia. On our way to Permai Rainforest Resort we took a short bus trip to the Orangutan Sanctuary, where we got to see the orangutans being fed. After our first night of camping, we went on a trek up Mount Santubong. It may not have been the tallest mountain at 811 meters, but it sure was difficult. The whole trail was about three kilometers each way. Most of the trail was straight up, requiring several “ladders” at the steeper points to make it a bit easier to climb. These ladders were just a few wooden poles at three foot intervals, tied together with rope so they were difficult to climb. One of the rewards when we got to the top was the beautiful view of Malaysia from the top. This hike felt a lot longer than three kilometers, but I guess that is because it was all uphill. The lunch on the trek was interesting. It consisted of an apple, a brownie and a piece of fried chicken. One thing that we found out was that the chicken was like rubber; it snapped back and bounced when you pulled it. We then named it “rubber chicken,” and the name stuck. On the day after the trek, we did a transect in the morning and then broke camp to go to Bako National Park, our second destination where we were staying. On the way to Bako, we stopped at a grocery store and a cat museum. The cat museum reminded me of an old lady’s house because it contained things about domesticated cats, not wild cats like many people thought it would. There were pictures of cats everywhere and I was surprised that there weren’t any interactive exhibits. After the cat museum, we got back on the bus and headed to a pier where we hopped on a boat to the campground. Because the tide was high, the waves were really big so several


of our bags got wet. One of the boats even got swamped! The ride was like a roller coaster because we were going up and down all over the place. The boat ride was like surfing in a tiny boat. When we started setting up the tents, we got some surprising news: we had to take down the tents every morning and put them back up every night. We had to do this because of the macaques. The park ranger said that if we left the tents up, the macaques would try to break into our tents looking for food. If the monkeys couldn’t unzip the tents to open them, they would try to bite through. The rangers also told us to carry a stick around because they said the macaques would attack you if they thought you had food. According to the rangers, the macaques respect the stick most of the time, meaning they won’t come near you if you have a stick big enough to scare them. Our Scoutmaster had a close encounter with the leader of the monkeys. It’s a good thing he had a big stick! On the day after we arrived, we went for a short hike to the beach. The beach was small but it had several large rocks that were fun to climb on. The beach also had lots of hermit crabs that came in all different shapes and sizes. We found two with spiral shells which everyone thought was cool. When we got back from the beach, we stopped at an intersection for where the beach trail started. At this point we got on another trail for a hike that was 5.8 km and supposedly contained the short loop. When we were about one third of the way through this hike it started to rain, so we all got our ponchos on and continued. When we got to the half-way point of the trail, we stopped to have lunch. After lunch it still hadn’t stopped raining, but we kept going. At some point in the hike, I noticed the trail was going to flood and that it was already starting. A few minutes later another one of scouts accidentally stepped in a puddle that looked shallow but the water went all the way to his knee. Now the hike had turned into a swimming trip! Several hours later, we got back to the camp, soaked and exhausted, but we all had fun. On the final day, after a beach clean up and an awesome game of ultimate Frisbee with the adults, we had barbequed chicken, baked potatoes, and grilled fish for dinner. All of the food was really good. That night we had our final campfire program, where we told jokes, did skits, and played hot potato. Then we went into the storage shed to sleep, since the ground was soaked from the rain. Overall, the trip was extremely fun, exciting and a huge adventure. I would definitely go again and I encourage more people who didn’t go, to go next time this campout comes up.

Girl Scouts Go Bronze Girl Scouts from Troup 74 and Mindy Lobb, Troop 74 Leader

USAGSO Singapore Troop 74 wants to thank the SAS community for helping us have a successful fundraising drive to earn our Bronze Award supporting the Andrew and Grace Home for Girls. In October of last year, Girl Scout Troop 74, which consists of Olivia C., Megan G., Rio I., Maggie L., Katy O., Grace P., and Olivia S., made posters asking the people of SAS to donate used purses, toiletries, and other beauty items. We collected items for two months. During that time, we received hundreds of donated items which were deposited in brightly covered holiday boxes set up around the Primary and Intermediate Schools. We also collected donations at our Annual Father Daughter dance in November. After sorting and grouping all of the donations, and a shopping trip of our own, we were able to fill more than 40 purses with all sorts of beauty products and girl-friendly gifts. We gift wrapped the purses and then headed to the Andrew and Grace Home for Girls to play Santa for a day. Andrew and Grace Home is a sanctuary for troubled and abused teenage girls. The home acts as a temporary residence and shelter for girls who are trying to rebuild their lives. Troop 74, led by Mae Preston, Mindy Lobb, and Amy Chuang, then planned a party with games, prizes, food, and plenty of presents. When the A&G Home Girls opened their gifts, it not only brought smiles to their faces, but also to ours. “I made some really good friends there. One of the girls remembered me from one of our previous visits and gave me a big hug,” said Megan. “One girl was jumping up and down and screaming yay, all happy. It made me smile,” said Katy. The Bronze Award, which is the highest award you can earn as a Girl Scout Junior, is achieved only after meeting certain prerequisites and completing a culminating project. All in all it took us more than a year and countless hours to complete from beginning to end but it was all worth it. “The hardest part was sorting everything out and trying to make sure every girl had something teriffic in her bag. The best part was their happy faces when they opened their gifts,” said Olivia. A special thanks to the Sembawang Spouses Association, Wendy Naugton, and Mary Kuo, for their donations of $100 or more to help in our Bronze Award project.


The Future Looks Bright Keith Hynes High School Boys Softball Coach

This year the boys varsity softball team was meant to be in a rebuilding year. Or at least that is what I thought. At any other school in IASAS, if you were to lose 8 out of your 12 players from the previous year, that would be called a rebuilding year. But apparently at SAS, with a strong JV program and a well-established baseball program, that is not necessarily the case. We took our three returning players, one of whom was our only senior, and set out to build a team around them. During try-outs we quickly saw that we had potential and also saw we had work to do. The boys, mostly baseball players, struggled early on with the swing of softball. With the help of an iPad app we were able to video, review and analyze swings. This app clearly helped the boys see what changes had to be made and improvements started to show quickly. We became a strong hitting team. Fielding took longer to improve this year. With a young team it became clear that we would make errors during our games but would cancel those out by how well we were hitting. We were going to live and die by the sword this year, be an offensive team, hit well, be aggressive on the bases. If our defense held up then that would be icing on the cake. The strategy held through to form and during the regular season we started to out-hit the men’s league teams and ran the bases hard. If we won or lost a game it came down to our defense rather than a lack of hitting. We went to our exchange in Bangkok feeling curious where we would rank against the other teams with this new group of ours.


At the exchange we won our first two games but lost the last two. This provided us with a lot of valuable information. We could compete and be successful, we knew who the other top teams were, and we had scouted their players. The only drawback to the exchange was that the other teams scouted us, too. They were able to recognize that as a young team we made errors, and as a young team most of our players had only one place to hit; usually a player has two places to hit to keep the fielders honest in their position. This observation became clear in IASAS as a lot of teams stacked one side of the field against us. Going into IASAS week we felt if we continued to hit well we would do well. Our fielding was improving and our base running began to click on all cylinders. It was fun to watch the kids run the bases and entertaining for the home crowd. IASAS saw us easily go through the round robin games. Yes, we continued to make errors, but we continued to hit and run the bases aggressively. We fell behind on a couple of teams but knew our hitting would carry us through. We entered the finals against Bangkok as the undefeated, favorite team to win. The “team to beat” label is not always the best to have when you have such a young team. This proved to be correct in the final where we fell behind early but slowly we managed to work ourselves back into the game. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the season, we did not have one final breakout inning. This year we will be losing one player from the team. Next year, with another year of maturing and hard work, the future looks bright for the boys varsity softball team. I would like to thank all those who have helped out throughout the season to get us to the finals. Without your continued support we would not have been so successful.

Boys Varsity Badminton Gordon Cyr High School Boys Varsity Badminton Coach

The 2012 boys varsity badminton team made an excellent showing at this year’s IASAS showpiece in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After two days of the tournament, the SAS boys boasted a 3-1 record, defeating International School Manila, Jakarta International School, and International School Kuala Lumpur, while losing narrowly to Taipei American School. On the final day of the tournament, SAS needed to beat International School Bangkok to make the final, but lost 2-3 in a very tense and exciting match.

In the end, the boys lost to Jakarta in the consolation match to finish fourth. There were many positives, however. Stanzin Namgyal was All Tournament with a record of 4-1 in the alternate position, and Jason Li and Kevin Chen also took the All Tournament gong at second doubles with a 4-1 record. In the end, every player gave their maximum, played with intensity and sportsmanship, and ultimately represented SAS with distinction.

This was the strongest team that SAS has fielded in 12 years, and the boys were extremely close to making a breakthrough in a tournament that has not been particularly kind to us over the years. The fact that the boys expected to be in the final speaks volumes for their development as players. Not making the final was a big blow, and the disappointment was palpable.

The SAS boys and girls track and field teams after winning both championships in Taipei. Outstanding performers for the girls were MVP Emma Graddy in the throws and hurdles and fellow captain Ruby Hohensee in the girls distance. For the boys,Luke Abdelnoor was the standout,winning the 110 hurdles, the 400 hurdles and the 400 meters. Michael James also had an impressive performance in the distance which included a school record in the 3000. Missing in the picture is coach Ian Coppel.


Congratulations to the SAS Class of


Crossroads June 2012  

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