A Singapore American School community service publication
MICA (P) 056/08/2012 Volume 15, Issue 4-12/13 A Focus on THE ARTS
A Slice of My Life Blog Page 17
VIVA EL ARTE Page 38
Dynamic Duo in Beijing Kristin Symes Middle School Music Teacher
For the first time, selected Middle School students were given a special opportunity to combine the Junior Honor Orchestra and Mixed Honor Choir delegates in the AMIS festival at the International School of Beijing this past January. The Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) advances the education of students and teachers around the world by developing their understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of
music. Through the performance and study of music, young people celebrate cultural diversity, gaining sensitivity to global issues. Maestro Jonathan Mann conducted the Junior Honor Orchestra and Director Darlene Elkins conducted the Mixed Honor Choir. Some of the music repertoire highlights included Youth Dance, Hala Lala Layya, I Got Rhythm, and their finale
commissioned piece, I Chose the Light by Ken Berg, which struck chords in all the talented musicians. â€œThe trip was amazing. I became friends with people from our school that I have never known before. I also became closer with those whom I already know. AMIS taught me to become not only a better musician, but if you want a change, you must be the change. 'If it is to be, it is up to Continued on page 4
EDITOR’S NOTE/CONTENTS SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
the more things change... As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "The only thing that is constant is change." How true, especially for those of us who have chosen to live an expatriate lifestyle. As this school year comes to a close, many in our community have their sights set on how they will spend their summer vacations. For others, the next few weeks will bring big changes as they leave SAS and Singapore for new adventures elsewhere. In my case, I will be leaving Singapore at the end of this academic year as I head to Dubai to take the next step in my career. As I reflect back upon my time at SAS, what stands out is how much this place has influenced and changed the lives of my family. My daughter entered as a middle school student and leaves as a mature high schooler who is thinking about her future. I've gained a greater appreciation for what it means to live in a truly global society with friends and colleagues who represent a myriad of countries and cultures. And my husband has had the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends who live in this part of the world. Of course, he's also enjoyed feeding his obsession with cricket, including making the most of the opportunity to attend the first-ever World Cup held in Bangladesh last year. Over the past three years, I've shared snippets of my life through this column. As I've packed up my office over the past few days and thumbed through back issues of Crossroads and its predecessor NewsFlash, I've collected my top ten impressions about life at SAS—all gathered from my previous columns—to share here with you. 10. There's nothing more important than knowing that you have a family
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Tamara Black Associate Director of Communications
who will stand beside you no matter what obstacles you might face.
highlights Theater Techies Visit London
2013 Mathcounts competitor
High School Mathletes
The Hevey/ Hickman Cancer Awareness Run
7. When passion and "doing" come together in an educational setting, learning happens.
Any Day, Any Time Learning
Double Golds in IASAS Swimming
6. SAS is a third place—some place other than work and home where we fulfill our need to be part of a community.
That Painting Badge
9. It's important to stay connected to friends and colleagues, even when they live halfway around the world. 8. SAS is home to talented people who take their inspirations and transform them into actions.
5. SAS encourages students to find solutions to real-world problems by having them participate in realworld work. 4. At SAS, terrific teachers make learning an adventure. 3. As we prepare our students for the future, technology plays an integral role. However, it's not really about the technology. It's about the ability to think critically and creatively about how to access and process information to solve problems. 2. The international perspective that SAS is developing in our children will make a difference in how they think and behave, and ultimately will safeguard the future for those coming after them. And—as is only fitting for my last Editor's Note—my number one, most favorite insight that I've gained during my time at SAS: 1. The relationships that we enjoy with each other at Singapore American School don't have to end.
Crossroads is published during the academic year by the communications 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.
contacts General Inquiries and Comments firstname.lastname@example.org
Crossroads Submissions Tamara Black, email@example.com 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 +65 6363 3403 • www.sas.edu.sg
Singapore American School CPE Registration Number: 196400340R Registration Period: 22 June 2011 to 21 June 2017 Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT CROSSROADS MAY 2013
LEARNING AND LEADING at sas Dr. Chip Kimball Superintendent of Schools
This time last year I was in the midst of my first international transition. After sixteen years in Lake Washington and entering my 25th year in education, I was saying goodbye to friends and family, packing up my belongings, and preparing to relocate halfway around the world. I knew that it would require hard work and that I would face many challenges along the way, but I was excited about the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. And most of all, I was excited about joining the SAS community. As I approach the end of my first year at SAS, I now understand first hand what so many of our families face as expats in transition. More importantly, I better understand the priorities of the SAS community and how deeply our families care about their children and the future. This has been a year of great learning as I have navigated a new country, learned about a new school, and met new families and colleagues who are now my friends and family abroad. My life will never be the same. Leaving home to relocate to a new country is an experience unique to expat life. It’s exciting and challenging. It forces us to re-examine our attachments, our priorities, our relationships, and we look at the world a little differently. Cheryl and I love Singapore and all that it has to offer. And while there are remnants of home that we still miss (Costco and Pinkabella cupcakes - go figure), Singapore is our new home. I am honored to be here serving families and educating students. Being new to SAS, I had a lot to learn about our culture and priorities, as well as our strengths and where we need to improve. I learned that SAS offers expansive opportunities for students and families. And while we offer a strong academic course of study for our students, we do so much more. We educate our students as individuals with unique interests, passions, and strengths. We offer a broad range of opportunities from the arts to athletics and from service
learning to international travel. We take learning seriously inside and outside of the classroom. SAS is a place where students are challenged and cared for, and it is a place that changes lives. SAS has a tremendous base of support that makes our work possible. We have advocacy from our PTA and Boosters, volunteerism from parents and staff, and financial support from generous parents and donors. We have great events that build community including the Food Fest, County Fair, Pumpkin Sales, Trivia Night, Home Tour, and dozens and dozens of family-oriented student performances and events. SAS is a place where there is always something happening. Our families and students love it, and so do I! Over the past year I have also listened to hundreds of parents, students, and staff as we have talked about the future. While SAS is doing amazing things for students today, we must grapple with what is best for students in the future. There is pervasive agreement among our community that the future is complex, competitive, and rapidly changing; as a result SAS must change to respond to this changing landscape. As a leader, I am relentlessly committed to making sure that we have a school that adequately prepares our students for what is ahead. Through town hall meetings, surveys, focus groups, and private conversations our strategic direction is becoming more clear. This year we have worked to develop a new vision for SAS that will shape our direction moving forward. I am very excited about what this vision will mean to us as we build new programs and opportunities for students. Recently the SAS Board of Governors endorsed our new vision, and has charged me with making this vision real for SAS. What an exciting challenge. Our new vision is: A world leader in education cultivating exceptional thinkers prepared for the future.
In the months ahead we will be unpacking this vision so that it is meaningful to our staff and families. We will also be making deliberate connections to our mission, the vital few, and our desired learning outcomes that will be the focus of study for our WASC accreditation next year. Our goal is to be aspirational, courageous, focused, and results-oriented. This year we also started a research and development process at the high school where we learned from the finest schools in the world. We want to understand their success, their journey, and what we can use to influence SAS. Next year we’ll begin the same process in the middle school and elementary divisions, and at the high school a development team will start making plans for programmatic options for students. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that SAS is one of the finest learning institutions in the world. We already know that SAS is a great school. Now we’re ready to go to the next level. As you begin your summer break, I hope that you will take the rest that you need and deserve, and that you also reflect on what you’ve learned this year. For those of you who are leaving SAS, I hope your experiences have had a positive impact on your lives and the lives of your children. No matter where you go, you’ll always be a member of our community. And if you’ll be joining us back on campus in August 2013, we’ll be ready and waiting for you as we embark upon a year filled with learning, discovery, and opportunity.
THE ARTS SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Continued from cover
me.’ I learned that you have to be the change, you can't rely on others to make the change. I felt a connection with each and every one in AMIS. We were all there because we love music. This connection brought everyone together to make beautiful music. We had wonderful guest conductors and teachers that guided us along our way. AMIS has inspired me to love music, try hard, and to take and face new challenges.” - Sarah Choi (JHO) “MSMHC in Beijing was beyond just 'fun' or 'meaningful.’ The word that is closest to describing it is miraculous. I'm not kidding. These wonderful musicians and singers who came together to create music were miraculous. Being able to persuade two hundred-something middle schoolers to memorize all those songs
was miraculous. The fact that we sounded like angels when we only had three days to polish harmonizing was miraculous. The touring was fabulous and our guide was helpful, but the thing that I remember the most is the final concert, the singers entering the stage, the awed expressions, the concert master playing her first note, and the final song I choose the Light. The majestic feeling that flooded the room was miraculous.” - Yebin Won (MSMHC)
we finally had our finale. The sound created by the combined group blew everyone away. It sounded like a true work of art. And music is just that: art.” - Sarah Lua (JHO)
“Throughout the entire AMIS experience, I not only got to know more about my peers from our school, but also of others from schools all over Asia. All of us at AMIS had something that bonded us as one, and that was our passion for music. After three days of long rehearsals,
“I learned that working doesn’t mean no fun, that the magic will never disappear even when the music stops and that music is more powerful than you think it is.” - Sae Jin Jang (JHO)
“AMIS was a great experience! I got to meet people with similar interests. We all came from different countries and cultures and yet in just three days we were able to pull off a great concert! It was an honor to be able to represent my school.” - Faraaz Quazi (MSMHC)
CREATING Theater IN HIGH SCHOOL Thomas Schulz High School Theater Teacher
The target audience for work by students in the HS theater program is their peer group. They want to do work that their friends find entertaining, engaging, and challenging. I try to give both theater students and their audience a wide range of theatrical experiences over any four year cycle, so we move from the radically experimental (last year’s IASAS piece, We’re Lucky to Have a
Turkey) to a musical standard (Sweet Charity), from social satire (The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World) to the classic American tragedy (The Crucible) that will be next year’s fall production. The theater program is truly cocurricular. Classes are mostly taught in a workshop style with the focus on developing students’ theater
skills rather than public performance. In addition to the core classes of Foundations, Improv, and Advanced Workshop, we are developing new courses to give students a wider range of choices and the ability to continue to develop their acting craft over four full years. This year the new Musical Theater class was offered with vocal music instructor Nanette Devens and will be offered again next
THE ARTS CROSSROADS MAY 2013
year. In this class students not only study the history and evolution of the American musical, but learn the skills and methodology to produce their own, original 3 Song Musical. Next year we are piloting a new course, team-taught with Mark Clemens, The Film/Acting Ensemble. Students in this course will produce a short film for entry in appropriate competitions. We believe that teachers modeling collaboration and a creative devising process are right in line with the SAS movement toward 21st century education.
Although a small minority of students will pursue a career in the theater, the program is designed to give the serious theater student the best possible preparation. Placement of recent graduates in outstanding college theater programs in the US indicates we are successful in this regard. More importantly, the skills that are so essential to creating theater—collaboration, risk-taking, creative problem solving, and presentation—are all considered crucial for students’ success in any and all fields of study on which they may choose to focus.
Theater Techies Visit London Felicity Dunbar and Margaret Perry Grade 12 and Grade 9 Students
which they put in hundreds of hours a year training and working in multiple areas in order to produce amazing shows. With the increased interest in theater work, this year SAS offered an Interim Semester course that traveled to London to see the world of professional technical theater. The trip was geared specifically to students who already had a working knowledge of backstage work and an interest in continuing theater work into university and possibly as a career. It focused in depth on specific interest areas. We visited the Royal Albert Hall to meet with the sound director for Carmen, went backstage with the stage manager for Phantom of the Opera, went behind the scenes and saw the costumes for Les Miserables, and even went to the UK ROSCO lighting facility. Every aspect of theater work was covered, and the students were allowed to talk with and question professional crew members. When a school has four professionalgrade theaters, it also has a need for a professional theater crew—something the High School Technical Theater Club provides. For many techies, working in the theater is not just a high school hobby; it is a passion for
The London: Technical Theater Experience Interim course was a fantastic opportunity for students to see how professional West End crews work and how everything they’ve learned in tech and stagecraft can
be marketable job skills and future career options. The people we met ranged from a lady who had a degree in marketing and designed ROSCO lighting products to crew members with degrees in technical theater and even some who just had lots of onthe-job training. We also saw the wide variety of technical theater related jobs such as graphic designers for lighting effects, costume designers, sound and lighting engineers, marketing people for theater-related companies, consultants for special effects like flying systems, as well as stage crews and stage managers. For many techies, this Interim course was an experience they’ll never forget as it tied a school-driven passion to the real world. For some it may be life changing, as it opened their eyes to career paths and opportunities they never thought existed or would be available. This trip would not have been nearly as incredible if it were not for the hard work and passion that our interim sponsors—Mr. Paul Koebnick and Dr. Frank Olah—have, which was the driving factor behind the development of the Interim course and what made the trip so outstanding and memorable.
THE ARTS SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
For the Love of Art
Iskander Walen After-school Cartooning, Photography, and Video Teacher When I was very young my grandmother taught me how to draw a stick man. From that day on, I never stopped drawing. Art was the most fulfilling activity in my life until I discovered girls, which in turn inspired me to make even more drawings to impress them. I discovered photography first and then video. This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, so I actually enjoyed developing my own films and printing photographs in a dark room. I edited video on analogue machines! It was only a short time ago, but so much has changed. Today, taking photographs is so easy, with the digital functions on the camera doing most of the work. Of course, most photographs are not very exciting because lighting and focus only go so far. It is the same with video. Anyone can point a camera and press “record,” but the videos are rarely exciting. Drawing cartoons is similar in a way. A pencil and a piece of paper is enough, and basic skills can be picked up quite quickly and easily. The similarity between the three disciplines— drawing (cartoons), photography and video—is that the basic skills can be
learned in a short period. By basic skills I mean the ability to draw a more advanced stick man or to take a photograph that is in focus and welllit, or to shoot a video that is in focus and has proper lighting. Of course, these basic skills do not translate into an exciting work of art. That takes practice and an understanding that comes only with repeated practice. Talent is important, but it means nothing without practice. In the course of my teaching I have discovered that I see things differently from those who do not practice art as often and as intensely as I do. My eye is trained to spot strengths and weaknesses in the visualizations of my students. I see which students are naturally gifted and need little direction, just lots of practice. I can spot the students that need more guidance to develop their artistry. Not every student will be able to create great art, mostly because they don’t have a strong predilection for art itself. The exposure to art, the experience of creating something and being critical of your creation in order to progress and improve, is essential to the general development of every individual. Just as you want your children practice a sport,
not necessarily to become worldclass athletes but to have a certain level of fitness that improves the overall quality of life, so it is with art. Possessing a level of understanding of art based on a period of active practice under the guidance of an art professional is as essential as exposure and practice of sports, math, reading, physics, etc. I have made it a point to experience all forms of art as this is my passion and my career. I have been fortunate (and of course I worked very hard) to have had my cartoons and photographs published in magazines and newspapers; my videos have been shown on television and selected for the Singapore Short Film Festival. My fine art works, paintings, and sculptures have been exhibited in the Institute of Contemporary Art and shown in Asia, Europe, and the US. Art has made my life fulfilling and exciting. It has given my life purpose and direction. Most of my students will do other things with their lives that are not related to art in any way, but I am sure that being in my class has, however briefly, exposed them to a greater universe in which more is possible than they could have imagined.
An Education Funded Through Art jong pil yoon Grade 11 Student
On a typical Singapore Sunday afternoon, taxis clogged the road on Parliament Place as students, parents, and potential bidders hustled to arrive at the Arts House. First a court house and then Parliament House, the Arts House now serves as a venue for art exhibitions and concerts.
NAHS members produce an art work to be showcased at the auction charity. The members also select an SAS service club as the recipient of the proceeds. This year Outreach Vietnam, a club dedicated to aiding impoverished students in Vietnam, had the honor of being selected.
It was here that the SAS National Art Honor Society (NAHS) chose to host its biannual art auction charity.
When the day of the auction finally arrived, eager art enthusiasts rushed to the Arts House. Refreshments and
snacks were served in the lobby as students and parents roamed the auction room, absorbing the aesthetic beauty of the 63 works of art. These works, ranging from drawings of families to scenic views of nature, were based on the universal themes of home, where we belong, and where we expect to find love. After the 90-minute bidding period ended, delighted adults returned
THE ARTS CROSSROADS MAY 2013
to the lobby to pay for their bids. Outreach Vietnam members were stationed at the lobby table, primarily to account and collect the money, while others pleasantly guided the bidders to the location where they could pick up their artworks. In the end, NAHS and Outreach Vietnam raised over $6,000 for charity. This money will go to help students in Vietnam for education, sustenance, and a safe environment in which to grow. As one of the five
officers of Outreach Vietnam, I cannot stress how important this was for the students we help and would like to thank several people who made this all possible. First and foremost, I thank the management office at the Arts House for its warm welcome and hospitality. In addition, I thank Ms. Harvey, the organizer of this event, and all the AP art students who generously donated their art. Last but not least, I thank the SAS community and everyone else who participated in the auction for their energetic support.
Freddie S., Maddie K., Sarah J., and Luke Z. Grade 8 Students Many of us have felt the joy of last blocks on a Friday. Although the lastperiod classes are always amazingly interesting, incredibly thoughtprovoking, and life-changing, your mind wanders elsewhere. You may be thinking of the next soccer game or movie or just how awesome it’ll be to sit at home and do nothing besides being intellectually uninvolved. For a handful of eighth grade students, however, the not-so-subtle ring of the school bell announces a chance to make another person’s day a little bit brighter. Every Friday afternoon, around 20 hardworking and willing eighth graders take a bus to Christalite Methodist Home where we play music for the seniors living there. Life at this assisted-living home is routine and constant, and a little change in this set lifestyle is welcome. We chose to create Crystal Music because we wanted to make a lasting impact, not just a one-time trip. We didn’t want to leave all the planning to the adults but rather to work with them on decisions involving the club. Once the club took off, it was completely student-run, which allowed us to communicate with fellow members easily. Playing music for the elderly is a win-win situation; we get to experience the joy of
helping others, and the seniors get to enjoy some good music. In addition to playing music, we also chat with the residents and improve our Mandarin skills. We organize the activities by ourselves, but we have had some help along the way to make this project happen. While working on our plans during social studies class one day, our teacher, Scott Oskins, offered to serve as our faculty advisor and then put us in touch with Dr. Roopa Dewan who, in turn, connected us with Christalite Methodist Home. Our performing arts teachers have supported our efforts by providing materials, suggesting music, and in the beginning, letting us talk to each class about what we hoped Crystal Music would become. The administration at the home has graciously welcomed us, supplying us with the necessary equipment and helping us get to know the residents. Because of this club, our weekend starts a little differently than that of most middle schoolers. Before we go home to our soccer games, movies, and our life of sitting-at-home-doingnothing-ness, we get to make a difference for someone else. Every day, each one of us has the chance to make someone’s life a little bit more enjoyable; Crystal Music is how
a select group of exceptional eighth graders embraces that idea. When we go to bed each Friday, it’s almost impossible to get those smiling faces of seniors who just got 60 minutes of our undivided attention out of our head. But then again, who would want to?
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Meeting His Holiness Isabelle marie tan Grade 10 Student
diligent student and admitted to goofing off a lot. But he said that once he understood his role, he hit the books. He spent a majority of his time studying and meditating. While meditating, he would deeply analyze his own thoughts as well as the world around him. He learned that the officials surrounding him often sugarcoated things, so he learned to ask the cleaners for the real story. In this way, he also became blind to social status and to love on an equal plane.
When you hear the title “the Dalai Lama,” what probably comes to mind is an image akin to the Pope or Gandhi because His Holiness the Dalai Lama is on that level. He is one of the world’s great spiritual leaders, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and the leader of the nation of Tibet, an icon and teacher to its people, and its figurehead as it struggles beneath Chinese control. But what we learned in Dharamsala over Interim 2013 is that there is much more to His Holiness than the stern diplomacy or meditative calm one might expect. According to Buddhist teachings, the soul is in a constant cycle from body to body until it reaches Enlightenment. The soul of the Dalai Lama, however, has stayed on to serve as a guide and a teacher. Thus, through the opportunity of meeting His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, we essentially got to meet a soul hundreds of years old. Meeting him was a slight detour from our original itinerary but undoubtedly worth it. The hall was modest, decorated with a colorful mural, a large statue of Buddha, and a small stage. The previous day, we had learned about the tense conflict
between China and Tibet, and hours earlier, we had been right in the middle of a Free Tibet protest. So we were buzzing with anticipation to meet the figurehead of the Tibetan cause. To us, he was a huge Globally Important Figure, “the Dalai Lama,” a weighty, capitalized title of authority. But the Dalai Lama is also, in complete honesty, a really chill guy. He exuded an aura of calm, a curious mix of peace, sincerity, and authority. He also has a quick sense of humor and a fantastic laugh. He cracked jokes about weighty issues and laughed along with us, teasing about not going to college and making fun of himself. His extraordinary laugh falls somewhere between sunshine and your favorite flavor of ice cream. As a group, we asked him the following three questions. What can we do to help the cause in Tibet? It is not necessarily liberation from China that is needed, but an end to oppression. Visit Tibet, then return and write about it. Read books about it. Spread the word through stories of your own experiences. What was it like growing up as the Dalai Lama? He joked that he was not the most
What advice do you have for young people like us? The most important thing is to study hard and learn everything you can. To expand the mind, read lots of books and spend a good amount of time thinking about what you are learning. Memorization isn’t important when you cannot analyze your thoughts of the world around you. Work hard so you can be a well-versed, educated leader in the future. The Dalai Lama expressed the importance of loving everything and everyone equally. The value of compassion was emphasized throughout the course of our stay in Dharamsala. The treks to altitudes of about 8,800 feet, various tent-building experiences, and camping in the cold made us gain new respect for one another and created a definite feeling of “getting through it together.” We formed a tight-knit Chapati Club, named after the Indian bread we had at every meal. Other day trips opened our eyes and hearts to the situation of the Tibetan people. We will never forget the visit to the Tibetan Children’s Village, home to Tibetan orphan refugees, as well as audiences with two other Buddhist lamas (monks), including the author and ex-political prisoner Bagdro Lama. With each experience, we learned to appreciate each other, the world around us, and all the people we met along the way.
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
the singapore debate scene
devin kay High School Social Studies Teacher
It always interests me when I hear people discuss the need for SAS students to engage more with local Singaporean schools and their students, especially in the context of our mission statement and desired learning outcomes regarding international perspectives and global citizenry. To what extent do our school programs allow for such engagement, and how truly meaningful are these interactions? I am proud to say that one such program that actually meets the words written on our website and captures the spirit of this philosophy is the high school debate program. In the last couple of years the high school debate program has grown tremendously starting with a format change initiated by the previous head debate coach, Jim Baker. SAS and the other IASAS schools moved away from the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate to World Schools/ Parliamentary style debate in 2011-12. This change in format has not only been well-received among the IASAS schools that participate in our conference debate tournament at the Cultural Convention, but has allowed the SAS debate team to sync with a strong local debate scene in Singapore. In the past year we have held friendly debates against Anglo-Chinese Junior College, National University High School, National Junior College, Temasek Junior College, and Hwa Chong Secondary School. In addition, SAS debaters have trained and debated against the junior National Singapore Team and Team China, which debate in the World School Debate Tournament. Debate coach Bart Millar also set up a Google Hangout debate against a U.S. team in Washington State. All debates center on a motion or a “call to action.” As you read through the following motions that our team members debated this year, ask yourself whether you would affirm or oppose them.
• This house believes that an oppressive
what the other team will argue, especially if that team is not the product of an American educational experience. There have been numerous times over the last couple of years that an SAS debate team has been amazed at how a local Singaporean debate team approached and argued a motion. Despite being thrown an international perspective curveball during an active and intense debate round, SAS debaters have to make adjustments to their cases on the fly, and with more debate experience, students become more culturally savvy. As coaches we have tried hard to provide more debate experiences over these last few years. Part of a successful program is the reliance on student leaders. This year’s captains and IASAS debaters, Prayuj Pushkarna and Sadhana Bala, helped coach the younger debaters and provided adjudication and feedback on our intra-squad debates. They joined in March at Cultural Convention with Ayesha Agarwal, Sonia Parekh, Sky Lalwani, Andrew Gong, and Arjun Malik. Seniors Tanya Kureishi and Nikita Jacobs stepped in to help run practices and train students new to debate while the coaches were busy preparing for upcoming tournaments. Overall, it has been a team effort to help make the debate program a success.
government is better than no government.
• This house believes secluded religious
communities should require their members to spend time in broader society
• This house would educate talented
students separately from their peers.
• This house would make environmental protection
and precondition to receiving developmental aide
• This house would make voting compulsory. As challenging as it is to prepare a case with your teammates in an hour, it is also intriguing to prepare for
Our debate program does not end with Cultural Convention. Currently, we have two debate teams competing in large, competitive local tournaments. Competing in the Secondary School Debate Championships are Rohan Singh, Varun Bindra, Brittany Fried, Shiv Subrahmanian, and Sae Hun Jang. In addition, Brandon Lewis, Claire O’Brien, Kitty Lalwani, Granite Adams Unger, and Arjun Malik represented SAS at the Dunman High School Debate tournament in April. Although the SAS school calendar does not always sync with the Singapore school calendar, we are making plans to participate in June tournaments to allow students even more opportunities to hone not only the wide array of debate and speaking skills but to continue with the meaningful and authentic engagement that the high school debate program provides to students at SAS.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Reflections of the 18th Annual Asia Fest lisa hogan Grade 2 Teacher
through the entire extravaganza. It was so much fun traveling Asia within the primary school campus. Each stop on the way brought a different activity and experience for the children and me. Not only do you learn about many different countries but you participate in activities like taekwondo and karate, fan dances, getting henna tattoos, and tasting prata.
This year marked the 18th annual Asia Fest, a community event where SAS second graders experience hands-on learning about the diversity of Asia. It is an afternoon focused on giving our 286 students the opportunity to travel Asia without leaving SAS. In the country booths, parent volunteers share a bit about the vast culture that is found within Asia—the music, games, food, history, clothing, arts and crafts. Asia Fest is remarkable, not only for the students' learning but also for the opportunity that parents have to share information about their native countries. Asia Fest 2013 was blessed by the willingness of parent volunteers, and nearly 100 others, who stepped forward and helped the students learn about the diversity that is found in Asia. Thank you to each of our parent volunteers! Below are reflections on this event from the perspective of those parents. Kathleen Mary Grant: In 2012, I worked at a booth making traditional Korean dolls with two mothers, one Korean the other American. The kids came fast and furious; the room was bursting with activity. Our senses were treated to wonderful colors, smells, and noise. The enthusiasm of the children was instantly infectious. This year, with my son now in second grade, I volunteered for the role of Asia Fest Tour Guide. This involved chaperoning eight excited children
Ito Toshima (Corrado): Given my nationality, it was natural for me to volunteer for the Japan Booth. A friend contacted me to see if I wanted to do it with her, and I texted a few others. Our informal web in the end encompassed Japanese nationals as well as those who had been to Japan or studied there, were married to a Japanese, or just wanted to help out. In the ten days leading up to Asia Fest, we prepared various items to be given out to the students. The task unexpectedly gave me a serene and almost therapeutic time off from electronic gadgetry, sitting at the dining table folding origami paper cranes and ninja stars after I tucked the kiddies in. When I shared this impression with fellow volunteers, a surprising majority agreed that they loved the process, too. Spirits were high with a lot of us clad in yukata, the summer kimono the Japanese wear for festivals. Once the door opened and the first group of students flooded in, we were completely immersed in our activities. The kendama game demonstrated by a daddy inspired much awe. Sushi, now familiar to students and adults alike, was a great hit. Fashion conscious girls tried on the yukata. Those who won the ninjago game went home with ninja stars called shuriken while others took home customized book marks with their names inscribed in Japanese calligraphy. It was a two-hour fun whirlwind. I dare say I had more fun than my second grader.
Jacqueline Smit: When she asked me to help out with the Nepal booth my initial response was, “Mrs. Hogan, to be quite frank what I know about Nepal is dangerous!” She reassured me that one’s country of origin didn’t matter and that all I need do was help the kids with a few innocuous activities (she has definitely mastered the art of understatement). My husband didn’t have too much faith in me either. “Do you even know where Nepal is darling?” On a serious note, I absolutely loved researching Nepal and sharing the information I gleaned with the wonderfully enthusiastic second graders. They knew immediately that Nepal was home to Mount Everest and were fascinated to hear just how high it was—29,002 ft (8,840m). We discussed how the respiratory systems of the sherpas were so much stronger than ours and how hard we would have to train to climb Everest. Most of them decided they’d plunk a Nepalese flag on top of it once they’d conquered it as they found its nonquadrilateral flag fascinating. They weren’t too keen on the equivalent of a McDonald’s takeout in Nepal. The best thing by far was helping the children create a prayer flag. Buddhism is an old religion and one of its many traditions is to create prayer flags, colored rectangular pieces of cloth strung up high in the mountains of the Himalayas. Traditionally the flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The Buddhists believe that the prayers will be spread by the wind, sending compassion and goodwill to others. And so each child received one flag to decorate with one of the elements. We ended up with a superbly long, colorful, and creatively decorated prayer flag. It was a wonderfully rewarding experience, which I highly recommend to any parent.
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Daily Chinese Program Blossoms Sun Shuna Primary School Chinese Teacher
In August 2012, SAS implemented a daily Chinese program in the Primary and Intermediate Schools. As it was the first year with a new curriculum, the PS Chinese teachers were anxious about how much the children could do and where they would be by the end of the year. They taught Chinese using Xiong Laoshi’s fun children’s stories, symbols, cards, books, and songs; Groovi Pauli’s funny songs and videos; and traditional and classic Chinese children stories and songs. They made flip charts of songs and stories. They displayed teaching goals in every lesson. They created a fun, exciting, and inspiring learning environment focusing on oral proficiency. And they shared best teaching strategies during PLCs every Friday. In order to make the content fun and authentic, the Chinese teachers became directors, play-writers, camera men/women, and actors when they videoed a couple of teacher-made stories. These videos became the children’s favorites; they would laugh out loud at their teachers wearing wigs, using props, displaying children’s behavior, and saying children’s lines. They learned Chinese culture and customs through videos and songs. They even learned to sing Chinese opera using the twelve zodiac animals! Groovi Pauli’s signed photos became the top prize. Xiong Laoshi’s stickers became the most precious award. By the end of first semester, the children brought home a couple of Xiong Laoshi’s books: Let’s Talk and Let’s Write. The children proudly flipped through the books and told the stories in Chinese to their parents, even if the parents did not speak Chinese. Happy parents visited the Chinese classrooms and shared emails with the teachers about what their children said in Chinese, at home or outside. After eight months of daily study, the children started to tell stories in
Chinese, re-tell stories, and create their own stories. The children could break down the language, use Chinese conjunctions with ease, and create new sentences and stories with the vocabulary and sentence structures they learned in class. Excited teachers would come to Xiong Laoshi and tell her what their children just did in class. Ten years ago Huali Xiong, or Xiong Laoshi, created simple Chinese songs for the purpose of Chinese teaching and learning. In order to write children’s songs, she learned to play piano and compose. She created 50 songs, wrote lyrics, composed melodies, and made CDs. Her songs became so popular with Chinese teachers that international schools all over the world used her songs—yes, she is world-famous! These songs made Chinese teaching and learning fun and easy, and were also wellreceived by children and parents. Inspired by the great news of implementing a daily Chinese program in PS and IS, Xiong Laoshi began her creation journey again in March 2012. With the focus on stories, within a short period of three months she created 70 children’s stories focusing on daily vocabulary and sentence structures, Chinese culture, customs, and values, as well as traditional
Chinese classic stories. Writing with the correct stroke sequence and distinguishing the four tones of Pin Yin are usually painful for teachers and students. Xiong Laoshi’s stories of Mr. Bihua and Ms. Sisheng vividly described their positions, functions, and importance in Chinese learning. Four tones became a superwoman. Using colors to illustrate the sequence of strokes was one of Xiong Laoshi’s most impressive creations. The children love the color song, which describes the sequence of Mr. Bihua. They love to demonstrate in class how to write a character in the right sequence. Usually it takes a decades to learn this, but the primary children are enjoying doing this right now. What a huge impact Xiong Laoshi’s stories have had. Now, in Chinese classes the children are eager to demonstrate how much they can do with the language. The amazing stories of what the children do in the classrooms make the PS Chinese teachers see the rewards of their hard work. Other than sharing the best strategies, their Friday PLCs now also include sharing the successful stories of children’s Chinese learning. They look forward to seeing how much the children will do with the daily Chinese program after three years.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
SNUGGLE UP AND READ! Lauren L.
Grade 5 Student while it’s still here. Thank you to Mrs. Graham for taking time out of her busy day to come read to us. We loved it! After recess, we got settled back in class and ready for our next special guest, Dr. Kimball. As some of you know, Dr. Kimball really likes to water-ski. So, he read us a picture book about another water sport called Surfer Chick. The book is about a little chicken named Chick whose father is one of the best surfers in town. Chick wants to learn how to surf too, and begs her dad to teach her. Chick tries and tries, but still couldn’t get the hang of it. She gives up, but after a while sees her dad surf a huge wave. Chick is inspired and keeps on trying. She finally gets the hang of it and even manages to do a few new tricks of her own. The moral of the story is to never give up once you've set your mind to something. On Friday, March 22, Mrs. Clayton’s class of fifth graders came to school in their pajamas carrying nothing but a pillow, a stuffed animal, a blanket, and a lot of books! No, they didn’t forget to change before coming to school. Today was the day they had all been waiting for. Today was...Snuggle Up and Read Day! Earlier in the week, our class had taken a survey given by our teacher. One of the questions on the survey asked us to state one realistic wish that we would like to have happen in our class. A lot of us wrote that we would like even more F.A.R.T. (Fun Awesome Reading Time) in class. Mrs. Clayton came up with an amazing idea, Snuggle Up and Read Day. The plan for the Snuggle Up and Read was that we could come to school dressed in our comfiest clothes and spend the whole day reading. We also got to have a few special guests come in to read to us including Mrs. Graham, Mr. L’Heureux, Dr. Kimball, and Mr. Cox, the father of our classmate, Cooper. Once we set foot in class, we immediately began rearranging the classroom, setting up our blankets and pillows and got started reading. What a wonderful coincidence that we had library on that day, too. After reading for a while, our first special guest, Mrs. Graham, came in to read to us. She brought an awesome book with beautiful illustrations titled, The Table Where Rich People Sit. It wouldn’t be fair for Mrs. Graham to start reading to us without getting all comfy and cozy like us, so she sat down on the floor with one of our blankets and began reading. The book is about a girl who thinks her family is really poor, but doesn’t think of all the other ways her family is very rich. Like how they have experienced many things a lot of other people haven’t had the chance to experience. I think the moral of this story is to not take what you have for granted, and to appreciate what you have
After Dr. Kimball read to us, we had a chance to talk with him for a while and ask him questions like, "Where did you live before Singapore?" (Washington); "Do you enjoy your job?" (Definitely!); and "Where did you go to college?" (Whitworth University, Eastern Washington University and USC). Dr. Kimball also told us a little bit about his childhood, and what it was like being a kid. It was really fun to be able to meet our school’s superintendent. Thank you Dr. Kimball! After Dr. Kimball’s visit, we read a bit more before heading down to the library. When we got there, Mrs. Brundage, an amazing storyteller and the librarian, told us a few stories. With the lights off and us under our blankets, we were ready to start. The first story was called 1001 Nights. It was about an Arabian king who would marry one woman every day and have her beheaded the next morning at dawn. This was fueled by his hatred towards his first wife who betrayed him. His opinion of women changed when he marries a daughter of his right-hand man. She escapes death by telling him an unfinished story every night for 1001 nights. The next story Mrs. Brundage told us was a scary one that made us all jump at the end. It was a story about a boy meeting a girl who had died years ago on the way to the prom. He did not believe it until he saw the jacket he had lent her hanging over her tombstone. Mrs. Brundage really caught our attention with her dramatic storytelling skills. She acted out the different parts of the stories. We all jumped at the end of the scary story when Mrs. Brundage lept out of her seat at us with her frightening finale! That thought kept us thinking over lunch. After lunch, Mr. L’Heureux, came in to read a book called The Curse of the Bambino, a book about Babe Ruth. The book was about a curse that the Red Sox fans believed Babe Ruth had left behind when the Red Sox sold him to the New York Yankees. This book is special to Mr. L’Heureux because he can relate to it. He told us that when
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the Red Sox never won a World Series. They believe they were under “the curse of the bambino", a.k.a Babe Ruth. They thought that Babe was watching over them, causing them to lose. Like when a player would try and bat a ball, Babe would “blow” the ball off track causing it to become a foul. Finally, the curse was broken after 86 years when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. It was great to have Mr. L’Heureux spend part of his afternoon sharing his childhood memory. We were able to F.A.R.T. some more before our last special guest of the day, one of our classmate’s dad, Mr. Cox. Mr. Cox had prepared a story he wrote himself called How to Slay a Dragon. It was about four boys called Kong, Hong, Chong, and Fred who think that there is a dragon living in their village in China. But no one believes them, not even their parents. Then one day as they are walking down the road, an old man gives them some advice on how to slay a dragon. They faced their fears and succeeded. While telling us his story, Mr. Cox was out of his seat, really acting out his every word. We were captivated by both his acting and story. His story was really enjoyable, fun, hilarious, and had a good life lesson tied into it as well. he was a kid growing up in Maine, he had the chance to watch a lot of baseball games, especially ones that the Red Sox played in. He gave us a vivid description of the book before reading it to us, so we already had an idea of what the book would be like. After Babe Ruth became a Yankee,
Unfortunately, Snuggle Up and Read has ended, but none of us will forget what an amazing day it was for us. I know all of us were thinking the same thing at the end of the day. Goodbye, Snuggle Up and Read! You’ll be back, we hope, we know.
2013 Mathcounts competitor
Congratulations to SAS seventh grader Brian Rhee who represented the U.S. Department of State as a team member at the 2013 MATHCOUNTS National Competition in Washington, DC from May 8-12. Brian earned this honor by being one of the top four scorers from all participating International schools on the 2013 MATHCOUNTS State Competition test. Brian is a member of MATHCOUNTS Club at SAS and was the
top scoring individual at the MATHCOUNTS Tournament held at Jakarta International School in February. The MATHCOUNTS Competition Program is a national middle school competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of contests. The competition includes the top teams from each of the 50 states plus U.S. territories and the Departments of Defense and State schools.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Healthier Home Cooking Cooking and baking for a busy family can sometimes be a chore, although it’s rewarding when everyone enjoys and devours the wonderful food you have prepared! Trying to ensure that your recipes are healthy can also be a challenge, especially when you want to make something sweet and delicious for your little ones. Ingredient substitution, addition, or elimination can help transform many unhealthy recipes into wholesome options for your family, without diminishing the taste or texture of the foods you enjoy. Making a few easy changes to your favorite recipes, particularly with sugar, fat, and salt content, can make a significant nutritional difference. Recipe makeover ideas: 1. Reduce the amount of fat, sugar, and salt • Fat. For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening, or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, or prune puree. Use low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt instead of sour cream in dips. • Sugar. Reduce the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half. Instead, add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, or nutmeg or flavorings such as vanilla extract to boost sweetness. • Salt. Reduce salt by one-half in baked goods that don't require yeast. (Foods that require yeast need the salt for leavening.) For most main dishes, salads, soups, and other foods, reduce the salt by one-half or eliminate it completely. • Beware! Become familiar with how to read food labels. While it is relatively easy to cut back on sugar and fat in foods you make at home, buying low sugar, low fat foods from the supermarket may mean that artificial sweeteners have been used. Check the ingredients list, research the chemicals used, and decide if you want your child to consume them. 2. Make a healthy substitution • Pasta:Try wholegrain pasta or mixing white and wholegrain varieties (remember they need to be cooked for different lengths of time). • Meat: In stews, casseroles, and curries, cut back on the quantity of meat and increase the vegetable content or add some beans or pulses, which will cut back on the total fat content of the dish as well as add extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber. • Rice: Try other varieties, such as brown or wild rice. If your child finds the texture to hard or nutty, try mixing brown and white rice (again remember the cooking times differ) Experiment with other grains like quinoa, bulghur wheat, or lentils as the main carbohydrate in the meal.
Richard Hogan Contract Services Manager • Bread:We found at school that when we introduced wholemeal bread in the sandwiches, using one slice of wholemeal and one slice of white bread went unnoticed by the children. Try this at home if your child is reluctant to make the change, keeping the white slice on the top, so this is what your child sees. Once this is accepted, the transition to using wholemeal bread is a much easier one.
3. Add something to boost the nutrition Add vegetables to sauces, beans to casseroles. In dishes like bolognaise, adding grated carrot and zucchini (just as we do in school recipes) increases your child’s vegetable intake. 4. Invite a foodie friend for dinner You’ll be amazed at what your child will eat and try when he or she sees a best friend tucking into sandwiches made with wholegrain bread with gusto! 5. Cut back on some ingredients • Condiments:Try using a reduced salt soy sauce and using less of it in cooking and at the table. We found that by not automatically offering soy sauce to every child, the amount added to food was reduced significantly. Soy sauce contains a lot of salt, so reducing the amount used lowers your child’s salt intake too. Think about the amount of sauces such as mayonnaise and dressing that you add to foods, especially salads, and reduce them gradually. • Cheese: Use stronger tasting cheeses such as fresh parmesan or strong cheddar and reduce the amount the recipe calls for by half. 6. Portion sizes Try making half a plate vegetables and equally dividing the other half between meat, fish, or other protein and the carbs.
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Meat Free Monday
Lizzie A., Artun E., and Alyssa Z. Grade 5 Students
You probably know what Meatless Monday is but why did it start? How did it start? Why should we do it? Our class has chosen to support the Meatless Monday campaign for our social studies service learning project. Our class is trying to make a difference. We chose this project because it helps the environment in several ways such as reducing deforestation and helping to keep our oceans healthier. Of course, it would be hard for a whole class to write one article so there are other groups doing lots of other activities. Watch out for cook-books, posters,brochures, presentations, comics, and YouTube videos. (The video is called SAS Meatless Monday Debate). Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to eat healthier by not eating meat one day each week. During World War I, Americans were encouraged to eat less meat, fats, sugar, and wheat to support the war effort. Today, Meatless Mondays encourage people to make healthier decisions and to help our environment by eating less meat. It was started back up in 2003 by Sid Lerner. Countries such as Canada, Jamaica, Philippines, Australia, and Israel are now part of the Meatless Monday campaign. You might be wondering why it is on Monday. Monday is typically the beginning of the work week, the day when individuals settle back into their weekly routine.
Meatless Monday has many health benefits. Hundreds of studies show that a diet high in fruit, whole grains, and vegetables can limit cancer risk, reduce heart disease, and fight diabetes. For some people though, it’s hard to go a whole day without meat. Does it HAVE to be a whole day? No! Why not try three meals a week without meat? It also doesn’t have to be Monday. Any day a week is fine. Still, it has to be three (or more) meals a week. This also means you can’t eat more meat than usual on other days to make up for the meat you don’t eat on Monday. So if you aren’t eating as much meat, what can you eat instead? You’ve probably heard of tofu, possibly the most well known meat substitute. But what about tempeh, seitan, quorn, or textured vegetable protein? (Yes, that is the name of a food). Most of these foods are made of soy and grain that you can get protein from and they also taste similar to meat. Textured vegetable protein is even made to mimic meat texture. If you are going to eat less meat you should probably eat more nuts, seeds, legumes, (dried beans, peas, or lentils) soy, grains, and dairy on Monday. Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, what if I don’t like these foods?” Have you tried them? You never know. Our class chose to do this project because we are learning about the environmental impact humans are having on oceans and rainforests. We wanted a project that could help both of these environments. After some research, we found out that eating less meat could do this. When there is less demand for meat there won’t need to be as many farms for cattle. This helps the rainforest because people won’t need to cut down trees to create farmland. Having less farms will help the ocean because it will reduce farm runoff. The fertilizers from farms gets washed into the ocean and kills the animals and coral. The
chemicals that are washed into the ocean is also absorbed by the marine animals. Fishermen then catch the sick animal and sell the to markets for people to eat which can make them sick. If people eat less meat, they’ll be eating less fish. Therefore, it can also help reduce overfishing. Meatless Monday also helps to save water. Did you know it takes 441 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat? Why would you even want to do it? Well, think of it this way. Rainforests are being destroyed, coral is dying and many animals are losing their habitat and being killed. Eating less meat can help prevent this. People will ask, “How can I help?” Simply by participating in Meatless Monday, or just eating less meat, you will be helping. If everybody went meatless one day every week, we could make the world a much better place. Learn more about how meatless monday helps at: http://www. meatlessmonday.com/a-letter-frommeatless-monday-israe
Also try healthy vegetarian recipies at: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_ menus/recipe_slideshows/vegetarian_ recipes_you_must_try Learn more about the environment and health at: http://www. theconsciousdietitian.com/ foodsustainability/minimize-yourimpact-on-meatless-monday And also try the website: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/ why-meatless
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
High School Mathletes
Julie Goode, HS Math teacher, Math Club and Mu Alpha Theta Sponsor Competition in the fall. SISMC is a full day competition with 22 teams. Math Club members Jina Sung and Dee Dee Seow helped run the energizer round written by math club students at SAS. Finishing second overall was the team comprised of Aryaman Tummalapalli, Shreya Shankar, and Ruchi Ahuja. On their way to finishing second they earned a 1st in the passback round, 2nd in the team round, and 4th in the energizer round. Both Aryaman and Ashley Shin finished in the top 10 individually. Other team competitors included Michelle Hahn, Sun Jay Yoo, Kartikye Mittal, Kenneth Fu, and Hyun Do Cha. Eleven new students were inducted into Mu Alpha Theta this past fall. Mu Alpha Theta standards for induction are that the student must have As in all math classes, must be at least a junior, must be active in tutoring, and must have attained the level of AP Calculus. The new inductees were Han Joon Byun, Kevin Chen, Alfred Chin, Edith Enright, Lena Jung, Christina Lee, Jong Ha Lee, Saania Malik, Sonia Parekh, Bharath Srivatsan, and Winston Yoo. Math Club was busy this year with competitions, including NATS Fall Start Up, 100 Questions, Cipher Challenge, and the 5 series Mandelbrot Competition. The students enjoyed the challenges presented by each contest. In addition to competitions, over 50 kids were tutored at the high school and middle school levels by Math Club and Mu Alpha Theta members. Tutoring is the big service element of both organizations. On Pi-Day, members of Mu Alpha Theta and Math Club passed out over 250 slices of pi to students who successfully recited ten digits of the number pi during lunch on March 14, which is Albert Einsteinâ€™s birthday. SISMC: Three teams of three under-age-15 students attended the Singapore International Schools Mathematics
SEAMC: Coached by junior Mu Alpha Theta members Winston Yoo and Bharath Srivatsan, two teams travelled to the South East Asia Mathematics Competition in Bangkok this year. Competitors were Tummalapalli, Hahn, Ashley Shin, Sun, Shankar, and Ahuja. Best finishes were Tummalapalli and Shankar who each had a 4th place finish in an individual round. There were 102 of teams from all over Southeast Asia. The competition is always fierce. Best team finish was 9th place in the team round by Tummalapalli, Shankar, and Ahuja. The teams appreciated Sarah Donavon acting as their sponsor on this trip. IASAS Math: Top math students are selected each year to take the AMC10 and 12. The results of this competition are used to determine IASAS math results. The five man IASAS math team consisting of Yoo, Enright, Han, Kei Yoshikoshi, and Srivatsan placed second in IASAS this year. One qualifies as a member of this prestigious team by finishing in the top five from our school, not an easy task and arguably the hardest way to earn an IASAS bag and patch! SAS has placed secnd for the last two years against Taipei. All five members of the team made the cutoff for the difficult American Invitational Math Exam, which is the next level.
Robotics Program Expands
High School Robotics Teacher The number of robotics students and robotics teams continues to expand at SAS. The club and class are both designed to teach innovation, teamwork, and perseverance. The last week of March, seven students and one instructor gave up their spring break to travel to Toronto, Canada for the FIRST Robotics regional, one of 60 regionals worldwide, each featuring 50-60 robots. From each regional, three robots emerge to go on to the world championship in April. Traveling team members included Kartikye Mittal, Jacob Goldwax, Matt Petersen, Glenn Petersen, Bharath Srivatsan, Maria Dougherty, Don Gi Min, and Winston Yoo. They were accompanied by Coach Bart Millar.
The second weekend of April the SAS MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) team traveled to Hong Kong and the German Swiss School for a contest featuring 22 high schools and universities from the region. Again, a winner advances to the world championship to be held in June in the USA. In the Hong Kong competition, the robot is controlled on a tether (ROV). The competition takes place underwater where the robots attempt to perform tasks based on real-life marine engineering problems. In this case, they will be repairing and replacing an underwater monitoring
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instrument. At press time, members traveling to Hong Kong were slated to be Goldwax, Will Whalen-Bridge, Felicity (Flick) Dunbar, Edith Enright, Mittal, and coaches Meredith White and Millar. SAS derives advice and assistance from both 3M and Halliburton Corporations for the building of the robots, which takes place at the schoolâ€”often after hours or on weekends.
The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and in many cases has given the edge to the United States in advanced technical manufacturing. The cheapest labor in the world is robotic labor. There is a large, lucrative and expanding field of jobs in the engineering design, manufacture, and maintenance of these robots.
Next year, SAS will offer Advanced Robotics, which will be a competition-based class that will offer students the opportunity to build robots and then compete in local and international competitions.
The robotics team is great for students who are interested in engineering or just in how things work. The robotics team listing on a transcript provides a great edge for college admissions as they have learned how to work as a team on a budget with an irrevocable deadline.
A Slice of My Life Blog
Evelyn Z. Grade 5 Student
Do you have a hard time enjoying writing? I used to until I participated in the 2013 Slice of Life Challenge. It was a blogging challenge that was open to students all around the world. The challenge was for the entire month of March and was hosted by Two Writing Teachers (twowritingteachers. wordpress.com). Our fifth grade class participated in this challenge by writing a daily blog post that was inspired by something that happened that day. This challenge turned me into a completely different writer in a great way.
audience. It was a great feeling that people appreciated and looked forward to my writing.
When I first started, I wondered if typing a blog post everyday would actually make a difference. When I wrote and zoomed into a specific moment that happened in my daily life, it naturally helped me write with more detail and clarity. Plus, I was able to think deeper about what happened during those moments. A great example of learning from the writing challenge would be the incident with the centipede on the ceiling at school. Many of my classmates wrote on the same incident. When I read my classmateâ€™s blogs, I could see the same incident from their points of view.
This blogging challenge was truly inspiring, challenging, and fun. It helped me make progress in my writing by boosting the amount of detail and clarity in my writing. It encouraged me by all the comments I received. Now that I am finished with the challenge, I am inspired to write more. I am also surprised that I finished the 31 days of blogging and enjoyed all the writing.
The opportunity I had to publish my writing on my blog made me proud of the progress I made in my writing life. There were times when it was hard for me to keep blogging, but I still got through it. During Spring Break, I blogged all the way from a beach in Bali! When I posted, other students and teachers from all over the world participating in the challenge freely commented and gave me friendly feedback. Also, the people who were reading my posts were an actual
Lastly, practicing my writing every day made a huge difference in my writing life. My writing became more detailed and clear. During the challenge, I was able to turn something as random as staring at a blank white wall into something that was interesting and poetic. I was able to come up with creative and fun writing ideas.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Jean Maissen-Welker Masters of Early Childhood Education Student picture once seen of an octopus holding onto a crab (with pointy bits, just like the eagle’s talons). She used to think that penguins eat mainly fish, and now she thinks that penguins eat eagles only a little bit, like we eat ice cream for a treat. She now wonders if she had been correct in her thinking about eating fish. Another child’s WOW fact was that cheetahs carry their young in their mouths. He used to think that they carried them with one paw and walked on three legs, and now he thinks that if they use four paws to walk, they can balance better. He now wonders, “How can they carry their young in their mouths when they have such sharp teeth?”
What is thinking? When you tell someone you are thinking, what might actually be going on in your head? Since January, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Pat Quick’s first grade students to explore just that through Visible Thinking (VT) routines developed by Harvard’s Project Zero Investigators. VT routines are tools embedded in the daily classroom curriculum that act in tandem with the teacher’s planned activities to compliment the children’s learning. Researchers of Project Zero developed the VT approach to help broaden children’s range of thinking strategies, increase their awareness of when which strategies would be useful in different scenarios, increase their inclination to use these strategies, and build powerful cultures of thinking where “collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted” (Ritchhart, Turner, & Hadar, 2008). Research has found that VT routines support organizing memory, strategic thinking, and problem solving skills. The approach has been used in children as young as 4 years and in adults, in classrooms and in boardrooms. VT routines support student learning by providing opportunities to practice eight thinking moves that the investigators identified as integral to understanding and supportive of making thinking visible. Throughout children learn to share ideas, make connections, consider different perspectives, and look at how these new ideas challenge thinking or question assumptions. Routines are selected according to the types of thinking they promote and what is needed in a particular discipline and unit of study. There are routines to introduce and explore ideas, others to synthesize and organize ideas, and those to dig a bit deeper by reasoning with evidence, identifying bias, or taking on a different perspective. In “Connect-Extend-Challenge,” Pat’s children used their non-fiction WOW facts to practice making connections, consider how this new information changed their thinking (“I used to think…now I think…), and share their “wonderings” and new questions. One child’s WOW fact was that penguins eat eagles, and the connection made was to a
A favorite routine was “Chalk Talk,” where the chalk or marker does the talking. Small groups silently rotate through four prompts, responding to each prompt as well as to the ideas and comments of others without interruption. The “silent conversation” allows children to choose when they are ready to consider other points of view and make comments. My favorite routine was “The Explanation Game,” where children focused on parts of an image, looked for connections and possible relationships, and worked together to generate theories and explanations between those parts and the whole. It was quite rewarding to see the children learning to work together, to value all ideas, including those different from their own, and to see these as helpful toward building their understanding. Here are some of our answers to what thinking is: • • •
Observing. I was looking so close that I knew I was thinking. It’s like organizing your thoughts in your thinking. And it’s like you go step-by-step in your thinking. Sometimes I think how can I be better at this? Because I don’t want to be like that, I want to be a little bit better. I’m thinking about if I learn more at home, I’m going to be better. I think my Dad [is a good thinker] because he sometimes doesn’t know the answer and he thinks a lot. He’s saying, “How could I figure it out?” Thinking is getting ideas.
• I am deeply grateful to David Hoss and Ken Shunk for their support of this project, to Pat Quick for welcoming me so warmly into her classroom, and to her classroom children and parents for their trust and support. None of this would have been possible without the support from Sarah Absolom-Coole, Mike Ferguson, Kristi Goldhammer, and Debra Joyce in trialing the scoring rubrics for my research. I would also like to thank Kristy Spann, principal of Oakwood Elementary in Ortonville, Michigan, and Jamie Wagner, first grade teacher at Oakwood, for inviting me to witness the power of Visible Thinking in their school.
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
When the Well Runs Dry Ishan B.
Grade 6 Student Water is the key element to all life, providing a tired body with vital minerals to replenish its needs. It determines where valleys form, where crops grow, and where glaciers rise. Water outranks all economic, social, and personal priorities. Ever since the beginning of mankind, humanity has always sought a safe, sustainable source of water. Like African water buffalos, communities and individuals traveled miles in search of water. Yet, today, at a population over 7 billion, mankind struggles to fulfill everyone’s thirst. Salt water makes up 97% of the earth’s water, and it is undrinkable; 2% is frozen in the glaciers, inaccessible, leaving a measly 1% of all water for agricultural, economic, and personal needs.
to the sewage system. The World Bank estimates that around 21% of all transmissible diseases in India are water related. This results in around 1,600 deaths daily and almost 600,000 deaths yearly from diarrhea.
is consumed and evaporated at quite a fast pace. The great banks of the Jordan River used to have lions and hippopotamuses basking in the sun, but now the only lion you can see in Jordan is in their zoo.
In 2008 an astounding 22% of all Indians did not have improved water supply, and 69% did not have access to improved sanitation conditions. More people in India own a mobile phone than have access to a toilet. Health officials believe that even its neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan, hold better sanitation records than India. The Ganges River is 120 times more polluted than safe levels, yet thousands come to it daily, using the grubby water for drinking and washing.
Singapore has been working hard at recycling waste water. NEWater a water company, has been treating sewage water with a membrane technique that cleans the water. Supposedly cleaner than government issued tap water, NEWater provides about 30% of Singapore’s water supply. This is supposed to increase to 55% by 2060. Desalination makes up around 10%, hopefully increasing to 25% by 2060.
Now, with a population growing larger and larger and water depletion going faster and faster, distributing clean fresh water and sanitation to the entire planet will become increasingly difficult. Because of polluted water, water wastage, and the overall scarcity of water, problems are rising and threatening to prevent the access of water and sanitation to all. Despite projects to help distribute water throughout the world, the road is darkening with issues. As a result of dirty water, every 16-20 seconds a child in a developing country dies of a water-borne disease.
Although water pollution affects the community on a large scale, water that is wasted is in another league. The US uses an astonishing 400,000,000,000 gallons of water daily, nearly half of it for thermoelectric power plants. A running toilet in America wastes nearly 200 gallons of water per day. The US Environmental Protection Agency admits that New York City wastes 36 million gallons of water daily from leakage. The average American household uses 100 gallons of water daily, compared to 5 gallons in Africa. Americans consume 127% more water than they did in the 1950s.
With over 1/7 of the world population, India is unable to quench its thirst due to pollution. As said by the Arlington Institute, 45% of New Delhi’s population is not connected
Another major factor is the amount of water that actually exists. Arabia, the land of riches and oil, is not abundant in water. And with temperatures soaring to 50 degrees Celsius, water
All over the world, organizations devoted to distributing water have sprouted everywhere. Tabitha helps construct wells in Cambodia. Water for South Sudan provides wells for villages and constructs schools. Everyone can make a difference to help overcome the water crisis by changing simple things in our daily routines. Turning off the tap when brushing teeth saves enough water for a child in Uganda to survive another day. Taking a shower instead of a bath can save up 50 gallons. Fixing leaks in the house also makes an instant impact. No matter how big or small, everyone can make a difference. As Benjamin Franklin once said “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Water is the one thing that at all costs, must be distributed to everyone in order for humanity to live in harmony.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
The Hevey/Hickman Cancer Awareness Run
Running to Remember Lisette Roy-Filice Middle School Resource Teacher
Josh Symes led students in a dynamic warm-up prior to the run. Students in pink t-shirts and aprons (for Hickman), purple t-shirts (for Hevey), and red t-shirts (for Berggren) lined up by grade level and waited for the official start signal from Dyvan, David Hevey's middle child. Eighth graders led the way around the two-kilometer course and were cheered on and joined by both faculty and parents.
Run, skip, hop, jump. One thousand Middle School students and faculty members came together to honor the memory of friends, colleagues, and former Middle School teachers, and to raise awareness for cancer. Gerri Hickman was the Foods and Nutrition teacher in the SAS Middle School for eight years. She lost her battle with cancer in April 2005. David Hevey passed away in March 2012 after teaching at SAS for 12 years and was best known as the video production teacher. Nils Berggren is an eighth grade student who is currently struggling with cancer.
For the past ten years, the Middle School has come together to remember those who have been touched by this disease and to increase awareness for the fight against cancer. As in years past, Joe Hickman and his son, J.R., attended the event to pay tribute to a wonderful lady. Hickman encouraged students and faculty to get their family members to visit their doctors yearly for early screening checks. Aedan Hevey, David Hevey's eldest son, spoke about the need to protect yourself with sun block and a hat when you are in the sun. PE teacher
The Hevey Award Mr. David Hevey was a dedicated and passionate supporter of Tabitha Housebuilding throughout his years at SAS. His commitment to help those less fortunate was exemplified as a Tabitha Club founder, a house building trip organizer, a teacher chaperone, and a tireless house builder. As with everything he did, David Hevey brought sincerity, compassion, humor, teamwork, and a strong work ethic. David was often the first to bridge the communication barrier in the
local village with his infectious smile, and to encourage students to keep working hard through the heat of mid-day. He could always bring a laugh to someone when they needed it, and would still be one of the last to leave the building site at the end of an exhausting day. In his honor, and in his memory, the participants on future trips will recognize a student who continues where David Hevey left off through their sincerity, compassion, humor, teamwork and work ethic.
The run was the culmination of a week's worth of cancer awareness activities. Activities included watching memorial videos of Gerri Hickman and David Hevey, watching "The Pink Glove Dance" videos, and completing “I’m running for...” posters as reminders that virtually every one of us has been touched by cancer in some way or another. Many students noted that they were running for a cure to help us remember that continued awareness is needed. We hope students were moved by the many personal stories shared in home base and that they had reflected on ways to take care of themselves now and in the future. Overall, this event was a proud moment for our Middle School family.
Peter Cuthbert Middle School PE Teacher
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
HONORING MR. hevey
In memory of Mr. David Hevey, a beloved teacher, colleague, and friend at SAS from 2000-2012 Painted by his students
Jeffrey Koltutsky Middle School Arts Teacher The painting that is hanging outside of the Middle School video room is a celebration of everything David Hevey gave to our school. He was an amazing teacher with endless patience and creativity, a helpful colleague, and a beloved friend. After a basic draft was drawn up for a painting, students and former students of Mr. Hevey were invited to interpret the draft and paint in a way that was meaningful and personal for them. Purple was his favorite color so it serves as the background for the painting. The large durians and clapper represent his movie, The Durian King, and his passion for filmmaking. The camera and film canister represent the teaching Mr. Hevey did in his video production classes in the Middle School. The painting is a small way the students were able to give back to and honor a teacher who honored them every day.
the Durian King Premiere In memory of director David Hevey, The Durian King premiered on March 13, 2013 at Golden Village Vivo City in Singapore.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Learning to Serve and Serving to Learn
Dr. Roopa Dewan K-8 Service Learning Coordinator
clothing, and games. They learn skills of interviewing, gathering data, and documenting their work via the writing process. They make “how to” books (for example, how to play a local game or celebrate a festival), drawing Venn diagrams comparing lifestyle and cultures. Building social capital, forming bridges, and crossing boundaries between locals and expatriates, Grade 1 kids contribute to and show how to build an integrated community.
Picture a classroom of rapt sixyear-old children listening to Tomie De Paolo’s First One Foot, Then Another, a picture book about a grandfather teaching his grandson to take his first steps. Then, when the grandfather has a stroke, the grandson helps his grandfather walk again. The cycle of life, of reciprocity, of love comes full circle. These SAS kindergartners visit the Adventist Rehabilitation Centre, where they befriend stroke victims, play games, coax movement exercises, applying and enacting that story. This weekly visit by rotation enables the children to confront feelings they may never have felt or voiced. Respect and empathy for the elderly and disabled are incorporated in the curriculum and create the ability to imagine the world from different perspectives. Grade 1 students buddy with partners from a neighborhood local school to build community and learn what community truly means. They share interest inventories by interviewing one another and celebrate festivals with ethnic food,
Learning how to make a difference in their community becomes second nature for second graders. Their exploration begins with science when they learn about nutritional needs on personal, local, and global levels. In social studies, they learn about socio-economic diversity and how to distinguish between needs and wants. They explore essential questions such as who might need help in our community and how they can help. Each class adopts two needy friends from a local school through the Food From the Heart charity. In January, they write friendly letters about a book that will be given to the friends. Thus the RLA book report becomes meaningful and authentic. In math, they discuss the value and cost of items, read store ads, and compare prices of items. Students are empowered as they apply their math skills to buy food on a field trip and to fill up food bags for their buddies’ families. They assemble these “heart” bags for Valentine’s Day in art class and write personal messages. Two student ambassadors from each class deliver the food bags to Seng Kang Primary School. Having learned persuasive writing in RLA, they make pitches to collect pledges for a walkathon to which they invite their local buddies. Their T-shirts read “SG Cares.” (Second Grade cares/Singapore Cares). This
walkathon is the culmination of their multi-disciplinary learning. They have raised $ 47,000 each year to feed 75 needy families monthly. Grade 3 students teach Primary 2 students at Innova Primary School for an hour every Friday. This is experiential learning at its best. IPS students are lower-achievement kids who benefit from fluent-reader role models. SAS students love the interaction. They provide language enrichment, play language-rich games, and help improve vocabulary comprehension. They develop leadership skills and confront the frustrations of teaching. SAS teachers use these opportunities for authentic assessment of students. Grade 4 students learn about Singapore through partnerships with a local school. They meet four times a semester to learn about one another’s cultures, festivals, food, and games. Education through partnerships is significant for integrating students and teaching tolerance and respect for diversity. How do you help students become more self-aware of their personal responsibilities with choices and consequences? Grade 5 teachers use narrative as a means to reflect on self-awareness and social awareness. They build upon the story and show students that in every moment we have choices, and these choices all have consequences. Each class then visits the Christalite Methodist Home where students experience and broaden their knowledge of homelessness, the elderly, and Singaporean culture. These lessons encourage critical and creative thinking, practical application, and reflection. What happens when disease and water issues in the curriculum move out of the classroom and into the world? This is the question that the
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
Grade 6 science classes confronted. They raised $16,194 for various charities that fight water-borne disease, educated thousands of people (both 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 could have on a global issue. Classes prepared for the unit by learning about infectious diseases and the ways they are transmitted. Students created blogs, recorded the creepy crawlies they found under digital scopes, and posted videos of their findings. In each of these cases, repositioning learning experiences into meaningful contexts gives students opportunities for engagement, expression, and learning. They are empowered to make a difference in their communities and to develop commitment to active citizenship. They do so while learning important research and communication skills as they examine real life problems in their school and community; they analyze possible solutions, formulate
action plans, and present findings and learning. Howard Gardnerâ€™s Five Minds for the Future are best served through service learning. Besides the Disciplined Mind and the Synthesizing Mind, the Creating Mind puts forth new ideas to problems, the Respectful Mind encourages differences between individuals, the Ethical Mind works beyond selfinterest and serves the needs of society at large. When employers were asked by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to outline those skills they wanted high school graduates to possess, they identified social responsibility, work ethic, collaboration, good communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Our service learning initiative serves to enhance these skills while delivering the curriculum. In A Whole New Mind Daniel Pink says the new conceptual age will require a whole new mind that uses both the left-brain qualities of sequential analytical thought and the right-brain qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning.
The fields of the future will be design, story or narrative focused on understanding, symphony, synthesis, empathy, play, and pursuit of meaning. Service learning is best suited to fostering these aptitudes and a new approach to lifeâ€”one that involves the ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in oneâ€™s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning. Tony Wagner, in Creating Innovators, talks about the dichotomy between traditional education and innovative environments. Traditional classrooms emphasize individual achievement, individual academic subjects, extrinsic instruction, risk aversion, and passive consumption of knowledge. Innovating cultures require collaboration, crossing of boundaries, intrinsic instruction, risk taking, and creation of knowledge. Young people desire to be engaged and to contribute. As educators we can use service learning to enhance and deliver the curriculum and create competencies for the 21st century.
PTA SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Another dynamic year for pta
Shelby Pazos PTA Parliamentarian
Here we are at the end of another incredible SAS school year. Once again the year flew by. Despite having completed our seventh year at SAS, I still marvel at the school community, its energy, and the manner in which we embrace change. This year has been no exception as we welcomed our new Superintendant Chip Kimball and his lovely wife Cheryl. The SAS community strived to give them a warm welcome. Hopefully, as the year comes to a close, Asia, Singapore in particular, and the expat experience are all beginning to feel comfortable and routine for them. It’s been another dynamic year for the PTA. We are very fortunate to have close working relationships between the PTA, Boosters, the SAS Foundation and the school administration. Everyone works together to build community and raise funds at SAS that direct benefit the students. One such example of this can be seen in PTA’s fund spending efforts, where funds raised by countless PTA volunteers during the school year are donated back to the school in various manners. Once again we are particularly proud of the funding which is earmarked for the Visiting Authors and Artistsin-Residence
Programs that are utilized schoolwide and set SAS apart from other international schools in their depth and scope. In addition, with great pleasure and pride, the PTA will award S$30,000 in the form of scholarships to outstanding seniors in the Class of 2013. This money goes directly to the university they will attend next year. Thanks to Jodi Jonis and all the grade level representatives for PTA’s fabulously-executed Staff Appreciation Day on April 30. Jodi Jonis as well as our division representatives Caroline Edds, Patricia Sadayasu, Monique Hirsch, Gayle Hall, Kim Hamby and Heather Hoffman, along with many volunteers, worked hard to create a wonderful environment where we were all able to give a big Thank You to all the SAS teachers and staff. Last but not least, we hosted another successful PTA White Elephant Sale on Saturday, May 11. Community members set up tables to sell gently- used items, had coffee and
chatted with neighbors, and enjoyed the morning in the spirit of fun and friendship at SAS. A big thank you to Karn Wong for organizing this event. On May 14 we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea at the US Ambassador’s residence where we will celebrated your efforts and the distribution of PTA’s funds to all divisions at SAS. The check presentation highlighted all the hours and hard work of all our volunteers throughout the year, and we enjoyed a lovely morning with friends in an elegant setting. Jodi Jonis, our Welcoming and Hospitality Chair, coordinated and organized this fabulous event. To all of those families who are leaving SAS, we wish you heart-felt goodbye. To all of our 2013 graduates, we wish you the best of everything. 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 all involved in PTA for 2013-14.
PTA CROSSROADS MAY 2013
PTA SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
BOOSTER CLUB CROSSROADS MAY 2013
BOOSTER CLUB MARIA CREMA Booster Club President
As we approach the end of the school year, I want to express a sincere thank you to all the parents who have given their time and money to support the many activities and events in which the Booster Club has been involved throughout the year. Your positive attitude is inspirational and vital to our continued success. This month your Booster Club will award $10,000 in scholarship money to ten of our senior students ($1,000 per student). Each of these students has submitted an essay on how they have contributed to “SAS spirit” during their years at SAS. These applicants are not just our athletes and drama students, but also students who designed the program for online streaming during our tournaments and students who have spent hours preparing the make-up for our wonderful dance and drama performances. It is amazing to see how
involved all of our students are at the school and how proud they are to be SAS Eagles. The Booster Home Tour was May 10, and I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the morning. We were all really excited about the shop house theme and then finding the “gem” made it even more fun. We are also truly grateful to our parents who kindly supported this event by allowing us into their lovely homes. We would like to wish all of our graduating seniors good luck next year and safe travels to all of you moving away from Singapore. Enjoy your summer, and we look forward to seeing everyone else back at SAS in August. Go Eagles! firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS SAS welcomes your application for substitute teaching positions. • Teaching credential and several years professional teaching experience in a Western educational environment (Preschool through Grade 12) • No teaching credential but teacher certification courses with several years professional teaching experience in a Western educational environment (Preschool through Grade 12) • No teaching credential but several years professional teaching experience in a Western educational environment (Preschool through Grade 12)
The above criteria provide the greatest opportunity for the best match between our classroom needs and our substitute teachers in order to be able to deliver an exemplary educational program for all students. If you find that your qualifications and experience do not match well with the above requirements but you still have an interest in being a part of an SAS classroom, we encourage you to consider applying as a substitute for our instructional assistant positions (please see main "Working at SAS" web page for this position.) Visit our website www.sas.edu.sg/careers to learn more.
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)
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Geri johnson Primary School Deputy Principal and ECC Director Snickers, a faithful and much loved preschool pet, quietly closed his eyes and passed away on March 30. Remarkably, Snickers lived nearly ten years in the ECC and two years in Beth Burnett’s fifth grade class before joining the ECC. Guinea pigs typically have a four to eight year lifespan, depending on their care and the environment in which they live. Snickers was named by Beth Burnett’s fifth grade students (most likely in 2002-03) because of his
chocolate and caramel coloring. During his ECC years, Snickers taught young children the values of responsibility, fairness, compassion, and respect as they took turns feeding, holding, and caring for him. He touched the lives of an estimated 670 preschool students and many an SAS family as he was frequently a weekend or holiday guest in their homes. It seems likely their loving and gentle care enriched Snicker’s life as well.
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
Questioning Faith Jeff Devens, Ph.D. High School Psychologist
Our journeys abroad expose us to unique people groups and to differing religious and spiritual practices. A greater understanding and appreciation of faith, both within and across cultures, are benefits of living abroad. Ultimately, it’s from the outworking of one’s faith and beliefs that character attributes are derived. I include atheism and agnosticism, as both are forms of faith and both shape morals and values. Readers may object to a school psychologist writing on the topic of faith, noting that this should be left for parents to discuss with their children. I couldn’t agree more! The purpose of this article is to encourage parents to have those conversations with their children. Some parents neglect this responsibility, delegating it to educators or distilling faith to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” While this is a powerful message, it does little to answer the deeper questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. How these questions are understood shapes much of a child’s worldview, and parents are the first in a series of adults to whom these questions are posed. This process begins early in your child’s life as you communicate and live out what you believe. This shouldn’t be thought of as a oneoff formalized discussion. Rather, conversations should happen around the dinner table, in the car, at bedtime, etc. Think of this as a lifelong conversation that becomes increasingly richer and meaningful through the years of parenting. All faiths attempt to answer the following four fundamental questions. 1. Origin: This has to do with answering the question: “Where did we come from?” Faiths have differing answers. Hinduism (generally speaking) teaches that the universe undergoes cycles of creation,
preservation, and dissolution. Islam and Christianity hold to the idea of a monotheistic God (not the same God) who created the universe. Atheistic evolution holds that life came from non-life. Each perspective lays a foundation upon which the following questions are answered.
They need your guidance in order to do this. Whether you’re a person of devout faith or you embrace aspects of several, be prepared for their questions. Growing up internationally, children are exposed to several faiths simultaneously and will have questions.
2. Meaning: What is the purpose or meaning of life? Why are we here? Meaning is vitally important. It gives purpose and direction to one’s life.
My kid is only interested in stating objections to my faith or others. How do I teach him to do this in a way that is critical and not cynical? I would encourage you to help your kids understand what critical thinking looks like. Try to understand rather than cast aspersions. What’s important to note is that for every question they ask, an answer needs to be provided by them. You see, they too have a reference point they are using to judge the responses they hear. When they say they are being open-minded, this isn’t a critical thinking response. Open mindedness would mean they are unable to pass judgment. In order to seek understanding they need a reference point. When you provide an answer, what sorts of criteria are they using to determine the “truth” of your response.
3. Morality: How do we determine what’s right and what's wrong? Is morality based on culture, emotions, feelings, or some combination of these? Often, it means adherence to a certain set of standards outside of oneself, which may include the laws of one’s country, religious practices, or expectations in the home. 4. Destiny: What happens when we die? Is it fade to black, reincarnation based on how I lived my life, or standing in final judgment before a god or gods? What do I do when my child/teen declares, “I don’t believe what you believe, nor am I interested in going to church, mosque, or the temple, anymore?” First, try to understand what it is, specifically, that your child finds objectionable. Most likely the objections will fall under the headings of: hypocrisy, a moral objection, exclusivism, lack of application to life, or evidence. Their objections may be valid questions that deserve answers. Be honest about questions you have when it comes to your own faith and don’t pretend to have all the answers. My teenager needs to figure out her beliefs on her own; I did. Adolescence is a time of increased need for parental support (via listening and guiding), not less. Kids ask questions not necessarily because they’re rejecting faith or your beliefs. Rather, they are trying to create a framework of understanding that they can own.
It doesn’t matter what my children believe as long as they are passionate and sincere about it. Sometimes kids, and even some adults, assume that all that matters when it comes to faith is sincerity and devotion. Yet, this sort of thinking has led, historically and presently, to some atrocious actions by individuals and groups. Helping your kids understand how you have come to believe what you believe is more (I hope) than “I feel” statements. Helping them understand the logical consistencies, empirical supports, and experiential relevance is essential. Such thinking goes beyond passion and sincerity. Ultimately, kids will live out what they believe. My hope is that parents will shape, mold, and inform the decisions their children are making when it comes to faith.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Awesome Apes Climb On and Onward! Laura Schuster Primary School PE teacher
The fourth annual Intermediate School Awesome Ape climbing contest was held on Friday, February 22. Eighteen excited finalists bravely climbed across the bouldering traverse wall showing skill, speed, control, and sportsmanship. The event was recorded and can be seen via the QR code video link located at the end of this article. Although there are only six finalist names that will go on the Awesome Ape plaque outside the gym, all students learned and experienced the challenge of timed climbing on the bouldering wall in PE class. As an extension of the PE curriculum, each of the five PE teachers held qualifying rounds. The fastest climbers
advanced to grade-level semi-finals. On the day of the final, 18 excited students and family supporters from grades 3, 4, and 5 assembled at 7:30 a.m. in Gym B. It was hard to tell whose adrenaline was pumping fastest: parents, teachers, or students. We all cheered in relief when students touched the wall upon completion. All finalists were awarded a certificate, and the top climber for each grade-level boy and girl will have their names placed on the Awesome Ape plaque outside of Gyms B and C. Principals Marian Graham and Marc Lâ€™Heureux witnessed the excitement and congratulated the students on their exemplary sportsmanship and efforts.
More than 250 IS students experience the traverse climb in PE twice a year, and each year, more students seem interested in testing their skills in the Awesome Ape event. One fifth grade climber deserves special recognition. Anjali Patel has the honor of winning three years in a row! Congratulations to everyone who competed in this yearâ€™s Awesome Ape event. Keep climbing and search for the many opportunities outside of school to hone your climbing skills and make it a fun family event.
Awesome ape finalists 3rd Grade Girls Champion Nicole Cheng. (Hoss) 23.0secs 1st Runner-up Sarah Leonard. (Carrier) 2nd Runner-up Ashley Entwistle. (Balshaw)
5th Grade Girls Champion Anjali Patel. (Xuereb)14.16 secs. 1st Runner-up Callie Elms. (Hooykaas) 2nd Runner-up Emily Blakeman. (Smith)
4th Grade Boys Champion Alex Beurle. (Redlin)16.0secs 1st Runner-up Luke Henry. (Gaskell) 2nd Runner-up Cal Miguel Galiciaul. (Gaskell)
4th Grade Girls Champion Sora Aikawa. (Scott)19.13 secs 1st Runner-up Raine Florendo. (Hopkins) 2nd Runner-up Maddy Park. (Redlin)
3rd Grade Boys Champion Dhilan Patel. (Burnett)17.66 secs 1st Runner-up Aedan Hevey. (Kennedy) 2nd Runner-up Allen Ryu. (Hoss)
5th Grade Boys Champion Aidan Kaiser-Bulmash.17.18 secs. (Hooykaas) 1st Runner-up Jacob Raineri. (Smith) 2nd Runner-up David Blankenship. (Curnett)
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
Any Day, Any Time Learning
Geri johnson PS Deputy Principal and ECC Director
It’s not about what you do; it’s about how you do it. In the Early Childhood Center, we celebrate learning and the joy of being three- and four-years-old every day. Capturing the innate drive in children to be playful and curious, early learning is best with dynamic experiences that are multisensory and hands-on. Below, we share a few ECC learning moments from 2012-13.
Chinese New Year
Tree ornaments included pictures of students reading and mini book-covers featuring the 100 recommended books to read before Kindergarten. Students also brought books to share with Santa so he could give them to children in need.
Preschool and Pre-K students experienced Chinese New Year with a lion dance and received treats from “Da Tou Ren” (lucky man). ECC students learned what to say, what songs to sing, what to wear, and what to eat during this special time of year. They paraded with drums and shakers to bring in a good new year.
Laura Vaccaro Seeger had young students laughing and asking for more tales of Dog and Bear. Author Rosemary Wells shared her Max & Ruby books as well as how to illustrate Max .
Pre-kindergarten students followed a recipe, squeezed, mixed, and stirred to make lemonade. They practiced what to say to a customer when selling a product and how to give change when given $1.00 for a 50¢ cup of lemonade. They made signs to advertise the sale, decorated a lemonade stand, and then opened for business. We appreciate the IASAS students, SAS teachers, and parents who drank cups and cups of lemonade. As a result, the Pre-K students also raised $750 for Caring for Cambodia.
Zero the Hero
Zero the Hero zoomed into the ECC on the 100th day of school to help students celebrate the magical Zero. He led them in counting to 100 by doing 10 exercises 10 times. Pre-K students also put 100 legs on our “worm,” pasted 10 different shapes 10 times on a chart. They decorated a 100th day cake with 100 M&M’s and then ate it.
Dance Performance and Lessons
Learning Letters & Letter-Sounds:
Buckle your Seat Belts
Not just hands-on experiences…
Few will forget the letter U after walking in the rain with their umbrellas.
Preschool pilots are off to new adventures and new locales.
Riccardo Cocchi, a world champion Latin dancer, and his dance partner, Astrid Salim who is the mother of Pre-K student Reika Taira, performed and provided a dance session for ECC students.
Yep, water is wet. And now we know what “soapy" means.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Varsity girls bring back the GOLD Tom Beams Assistant Girls Basketball Coach
took down ISM by 20 points and figured to run through ISB easily, as the Panthers were 0-3. Surprisingly, our girls were staring at an 8-point deficit at the half. They came out of the intermission and played with purpose, outscoring ISB by 29 points in the second half to win 64-43. In their final round robin game against TAS , the girls were a little sluggish but they rallied and won a closely contested match 68-64.
The 2013 varsity girls basketball team had an exciting and successful season, compiling a 25-6 record and collecting some significant hardware. As the season began in October, Coach Skimin was looking forward to the fact that his team from last year had lost only one graduating senior, which meant that many players from a squad that had won the silver medal at IASAS would be returning. The team was able to â€œhit the ground runningâ€? as his system and philosophy were already known by most of the players. The biggest question was how to replace the 25 points per game he lost to graduation. The answer was no one. While junior Chris Shindele stepped up big in many games and was often the leading scorer, the 2013 Lady Eagles presented a much more balanced attack and were able to get scoring production from many different players on any given night. Highlights of the year included the annual Hong Kong Invitational, where the girls went through the round robin with a 4-1 record. The biggest non-IASAS highlight was back-toback wins against a good UWC Dover squad. The girls won the first
game 64-58. However, in the second match-up, the girls found themselves down by ten points after the first quarter. The visitors stands were again filled with many SAS students and parents and their support was greatly appreciated. The girls kept calm and clawed back into the game, eventually winning it 61-54, scoring 56 of their 61 points in the last three quarters. It was great preparation for IASAS, and a bit of redemption after losing twice to UWC the previous season by a combined 3 points. Aside from a few niggling injuries the girls were able to manage with the help of our fabulous athletic trainer Tomo, the team headed into IASAS with everyone healthy and ready to go. The girls came out of the gate and jumped on their first opponent, posting a 67-30 victory over ISKL and serving notice that they would be a team to reckon with. They then took revenge on the JIS team that beat them in the gold medal game last season, putting up 71 points and only allowing JIS to score 39. This 71-point effort would only be eclipsed by the barrage of buckets the girls would pour in during the final game two days later. The girls then
As the final against TAS began, the girls came out firing on all cylinders. Scoring came from everyone. The second team was asked to hold an 8-point lead at the beginning of the second quarter and instead played five extra minutes more than planned and doubled the lead to 16 points! To say the Taipei girls never even knew what hit them is an understatement. The lead would eventually balloon to 27 points before TAS made a bit of a run in the second half, knocking the lead down to 16 points. They never got any closer. The Lady Eagles won 75-56 and took home the gold medal. All-IASAS honors went to Chris Shindele, Tess Nelligan, and Allena Ferguson, all of whom were in the top ten point scorers in the tournament. Steph Chang and Vanessa Vargo were also honored with the Most Improved and Coaches' Choice awards, respectively. Coaches Skimin and Beams would like to thank the girls for their positive attitude and hard work and hope they came away with a great sense of accomplishment for what they achieved. As always, they represented the team and SAS with great aplomb. Lastly, a big thanks to all the parents and students who came to the games and supported the team and to Kim Criens, Mimi Molchan, and Tomo Tanabe for everything they do for the program. Well done on bringing the gold back to Singapore and good luck next year, ladies!
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
SEAYBST 2013 at SAS over Spring Break Over spring break, SAS was host to the 2013 Southeast Asia Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament (SEAYBST). This highly competitive, annual tournament rotates among the participating cities of Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Perth, and Singapore. The vast majority of Singapore players are from SAS. Therefore, the SAS Administration kindly allowed the organizing committee, led by Tournament Directors Chris Hogan and Kim Conyers, to host a majority of the games at SAS. Over 450 baseball and softball players competed in the four-day, 89-game, tournament. There were three boys’ baseball divisions (Seniors, Majors, Minors) and two girls’ softball divisions (Seniors, Majors). In addition to the individual and team play awards, there is also the “Country Award,” a rotating trophy that goes to the city/country with the highest placing teams. On Saturday, the final day of the tournament, the most widely attended game was the Boys Seniors semi-final, which pitted last year’s champion (Perth All Stars) against the top-ranked Singapore Lions, led by Coach Jeff LaBranche. Perth jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but the home crowd never lost hope, and doubles by Dan Brundage, Bart West, Jared Broadman, and Sam Devine closed the gap. Perth then took a 10-9 lead into the last inning. And, in storybook fashion—with 2 outs, 2 balls, and 2 strikes, Broadman drove a single to left field to drive in Dan McConaghy and Tucker Erdmann for an 11-10 “walk-off” victory. Meanwhile, the Singapore Tigers, led by Coach Oscar, upset Manila 4-3 with a double off the fence by Jake Hall, while Riku Sato silenced the Manila bats to lead them into the finals against the Lions. The Seniors final saw the Lions beat the Tigers, while Majors baseball was won by Perth in a final game victory over Manila. In Minors baseball, the
Singapore Wolfpack, led by Coach Chris Hogan, entered the tournament as the “team to beat.” The Wolfpack proved their reputation was well deserved as they rolled over Jakarta 15-1 in the championship game. Trying something different this year, the tournament directors invited the Singapore Baseball and Softball Association to enter a team in each division. That worked out well for them as the SBSA teams won both the Seniors and Majors girl softball championship games, overcoming Manila and Perth, respectively. At a festive closing banquet at the Orchid Country Club, team awards were presented along with a number of individual awards. The evening culminated with the presentation of the Country Award to the 2013 Champion—Singapore! SEAYBST 2103 involved hundreds of volunteers and many generous sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor Cold Storage and Gold Sponsor Momentum Sports, which donated all the game balls. Next year’s tournament will be in Manila, where the Singapore teams will look to
defend the Country Award. Congratulations to graduating seniors Katie Blakeman, Alex McConaghy, Larissa Schot, Brendan Beiker, Jared Broadman, and Kwang Oh, and all the best to Jack Hogan who will be attending The Hill Boarding School in Pennsylvania next semester. All of you will be missed! Awards won by Singapore players included this year include: • Seniors MVP Jared Broadman (Lions) • Seniors Best Pitcher Riku Sato (Tigers) • Majors Gold Glove Zack Atlas (Slam) • Minors MVP Ben Zamboldi (Wolfpack) • Minors Best Pitcher Charlie Hogan (Wolfpack) • Minors Best Hitter JJ Chou (Wolfpack) • Seniors Softball Best Pitcher Miranda Schot (Unicorns) • Seniors Softball Best Hitter Allena Ferguson (Unicorns)
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
boys softball iasas champions kent knipmeyer Varsity Boys Softball Coach
2013 was a very successful year for the Varsity Boys. Despite having practices and games canceled constantly due to the never-ending rain, we managed to piece together enough playing time to field a very strong team heading into IASAS. Having only lost a single friendly match at the exchange in Bangkok to the hosts, SAS was definitely considered one of the favorites as the IASAS Tournament started in Taipei. The Eagles didnâ€™t disappoint. They sent a clear message to the only team we had lost to during the exchange by defeating the Bangkok Panthers 25-1.
Later that first cold and rainy night of the tournament, the boys suffered a come-from-behind loss to the host Taipei Tigers 18-17. There were many instances in that game in which fate could have gone the way of SAS, but that never happened. The Tigers pulled out a squeaker in the bottom of the seventh inning. This created a hunger in the Eagles that could only be satisfied by taking home the gold. The following games were exciting, and SAS was able to be victorious against Kuala Lumpur 18-14, Jakarta 29-9, and Manila 12-10 to set up a rematch against Taipei in the final.
The final game was initially a see-saw affair with the Eagles scoring five runs in the top of the first. A crushing homerun to straight-away centerfield by Sam Devine was followed by Taipei equaling the score at five in the bottom of the first. Taipei kept it close and was down 9-6 up until the sixth inning when the Eagles broke it open with ten runs in the last two innings, pulling away and winning 19-11. The SAS Eagles are the IASAS Champions for 2013.
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
Double Golds in IASAS Swimming
Marco Martinez and Mel Rice High School Varsity Swimming Coaches
After several months of tough work and long sets, the varsity boys and girls swim teams were ready to tackle the IASAS athletes at Taipei American School. Swimming at the indoor facility at TAS creates an amazing atmosphere for the swimmers. Throughout the meet, several IASAS, school, and pool records were broken as the action was covered on a live stream in Olympic Games fashion. Both teams exemplified great team spirit, support for one another, and overall determination to swim their best. The boys team, led by Kevin Tung and JiHo Lee, were prepared to continue with their gold winning streak this year. With many of the same members returning, the boys felt strong coming into the meet. Some top performances came from junior Kei Hyogo, who placed first in most of his events, scoring a total of 60 points for the team. Tung placed in the top three in all of his events and compiled 57 points, and rounding up our top scorers, Jan Hagemeister helped the team with 56 points. A highlight of the boys team came with a first place finish in a time of 4:01.86 in the 4 X 100 medley relay. Overall, the boys team dominated the field this year and brought home a well-deserved gold!
The girls team, led by captains Monica Chritton and Saki Mihori, had redemption planted deep in their minds. After a close finish last year, with a point difference of only .5 separating them from first, the girls were back and ready to claim the gold at IASAS. Top scorers on the girls side came from freshman Kaitlyn Ritchey, freshman Caitlin Loi, and sophomore Michaela Santillo. All first-time IASAS swimmers, these three girls compiled a total of 164 points for their team. A highlight was the 4 X 100 medley relay in a time of 4:50.01. The girls had that gold by day three! IASAS once again proved to be an intense and exciting meet for the swimmers. The team was incredibly successful this year and holds strong promise for next year. The varsity teams would like to recognize our seniors for their incredible commitment and the strong leadership they provided for the team. We wish Alex Roche, Kevin Tung, Monica Chritton, Saki Mihori, and Tanvi Ahuja the best as they move on to college. The teams wish to express their deep gratitude for their participation on the varsity Eagles swim team. Good luck seniors. We will miss you!
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
Two New Eagles Spread Their Wings lead 23 volunteers to Siem Reap to build the playground for the Little Orchard School.
Nathaniel Edds Joins the Eagle’s Nest Patricia Sadayasu Boy Scouts of Troop 07
An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was convened at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on December 13, 2012 to confer on Nathaniel Edds, a junior at SAS, the highest rank in scouting. Gathered to witness and mark this special event were proud family and friends, many of whom had traveled the path to the eagle summit with Nathaniel and supported him in his quest to achieve what only 5% of all Scouts attain. Although I have not known Nathaniel for as long as many of those who were in attendance, I felt proud and in awe of his achievement. It has been evident that he displays the character values of the Scout Law—trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent— in his scouting endeavors as well as in his daily life. Nathaniel joined Scouts in first grade as a Tiger and was a Scout in both Hong Kong and Singapore. These eleven years of earning merit badges and skill awards culminated in the completion of his Eagle Project in February 2012. Nathaniel’s service project was the funding, planning, and building of a children’s playground for one of the Caring for Cambodia facilities in Siem Reap. Nathaniel raised the funds through an inaugural dance-a-thon in which 47 children danced for eight hours. This first-ever event for CfC raised S$3,000 and allowed Nathaniel to
As satisfying and rewarding as it was to see to fruition his service project and ultimately achieve Eagle rank, Nathaniel was urged by his father, Teall Edds, to regard the achievement as a beginning and to continue the momentum in all future endeavors, always striving for excellence. Nathaniel’s attainment of Eagle rank is a lifetime achievement that has an importance beyond just him.All Scouts are expected to affect positive changes in their communities, and Nathaniel’s success is an inspiration to younger Scouts. Nathaniel’s brother Andrew, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the special occasion, poignantly said that Nathaniel was not only his older brother and best friend, but his mentor and inspiration. As the mother of a first year Scout, I was pleased when my son announced, “Mommy, I think I can do it too.” BSA Troop 07 Honors its Third Eagle Scout Kieran Graham Life Scout
Troop 07 has produced its newest BSA Eagle Scout this year. Alistair Graham, an 18-year-old SAS student, proudly received his BSA Eagle Scout award at a ceremony in March. The Eagle rank is the highest award in Boy Scouts. A Scout must progress through six lower ranks and earn at least 21 merit badges to attain it. Alistair earned 30 merit badges and is one of the 5% of all Boy Scouts to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout award. It requires not only a sharp mind, but a determined body. From designing and implementing a service project to planning a budget for it, the Eagle rank challenges body, mind, and soul. Alistair started his journey as a Tiger in Topeka, Kansas and ended it
nine years later in Singapore. He is known to enjoy hiking and the rough nature of camping. He even hiked 65 miles over 12 days at the legendary BSA Camp Philmont in New Mexico to view the summit of the Tooth of Time. Twice, he was a summer camp counselor at BSA Camp Jayhawk in Topeka. He has enjoyed campouts in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Current River, Arkansas, Taman Negara, Malaysia, and Boundary Waters, Minnesota. As his brother, I can vouch that he has been a role model with his attention to grades and academic achievements. At home he is always fair, even when it comes to the Xbox and stereo! At school, Alistair is the captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team and has participated in SACAC bowling since he was a sophomore. Since his junior year he has been honing his dance performance skills and has participated in the annual SAS Winter and Spring Dance shows. One of the things a Scout needs to do to complete his Eagle Rank is his Eagle project. Alistair’s project was restoring the SAS Ecology pond to its original state. Over the course of the years, the plants in the pond had died and the original fish that occupied it were replaced by “foreign” fish that passersby had dropped in it. The pond had become ridden with dirt and algae. He replanted the original plant species and cleaned out the dirt and algae. He replaced the foreign fish with an eco-friendly species of fish called Tilapia that eat mosquitoes and bugs trying to nest in the pond, and refilled it with clean water.
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
That Painting Badge Claire Frechette Brownie Girl Scout leader, Troop 39
When is the last time you shared a personal talent with your daughter in front of her peers? Recently, I had that opportunity, and it was a daunting task. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to teach the highlights of the Brownie Painting badge with much success. We have spent many Brownie meetings enjoying arts and crafts, but this session was mine to lead because painting is what I do. Luckily, the new Brownie Handbook outlines the badge requirements. We started by rolling out a big piece of corrugated cardboard and taping it to the floor in the condo clubhouse. Next we read step 5: “Paint a mural about Girl Scout fun.” The girls took this on effortlessly. Though tempura would have been the best painting medium, our troop was the beneficiary of a huge bag of watercolor paints from another troop, so we used what we had available. The girls persevered— giggling with one another and painting while their leaders discussed plans for the next meeting. This next meeting was a game changer. We combined the Painting
badge with the Dancing badge. My strategic planning was in doubt, but we had already bought the badges and didn’t have many meetings left to complete them. We started the meeting at the dining room table. It was a small group, as our troop has dwindled in numbers due to the nature of an expat troop, and the three girls sat at the table with fancy watercolor paper, brushes, and paints. I told them I was in fact, an artist. I shared my favorite book of watercolors from John Singer Sargent. I have an art history degree and have been painting for 20 years, but I don’t think I have talked about painting with more enthusiasm than in those 15 minutes. I started making dinner while the girls painted the still life that we had created from a basket of fruits and vegetables. My co-leader was quick to point out that the leftover potato ends would be useful for step 4: Paint without brushes. The potatoes made great stamps that we used as coconuts. When my daughter got a bit huffy, we started step 3: Paint
a mood. She said today felt like the color red. I agreed. The meeting continued with more painting, dancing, and some questions for me about being an artist. I was so flattered. It was a wonderful experience to share with our troop, and I will always treasure it. I offered to be a troop leader so that my daughter and I could do all the fun badges that the girls try to earn. I am so glad I did. USA Girl Scouts Overseas – Singapore is always looking for volunteers. Currently, we are seeking volunteers to fill the following positions on our 2013-14 Overseas Management Team: Secretary, Treasurer, SAS School Representative, and Event Coordinator. If you are looking for ways to add to your resume, share your interests with others, or just have some fun seeing girls explore life through Girl Scouting, please contact Chairperson Kathleen Borsh at email@example.com.
SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL
VIVA EL ARTE high school ap art show April 19, Riady Performing Arts Center
CROSSROADS MAY 2013
STAR APPEAL 2013 April 13, 2013, Goodwood Park Hotel
Published on May 28, 2013
A Singapore American School community service publication, Crossroads is published bi-monthly during the academic year by the communications...