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Volume 10, Issue 3-07/08 - October 2007

MICA (P) 183/08/2007

A Singapore American School community service publication

NewsFlash The Community Library

An SAS parent-centered resource to support “extraordinary care for the welfare of each child.”

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he Community Library is a parent-centered resource located within the Middle School Library (to the immediate right before going through the MS library “turnstiles”). Its purpose is to support the mission of the school, especially to provide “extraordinary care for the welfare of each child.”

The library has a growing collection of books and journals on various aspects of parenting; the holdings were acquired based on suggestions from parents and school officials. Books on ADD, ADHD, autism, giftedness, eating issues, substance abuse, self-esteem and sex education and many others can be found in the collection. All parents are encouraged to drop by the library and to make suggestions for future acquisitions. In addition to these resources, the Community Library, with funding from the SAS Education Foundation, will sponsor an evening Speaker Series again this year. The first event, which took place on October 16, was “Life Smarts: Coaching Your Child for the College Years,” presented by Marjorie Savage, author of You’re on Your Own (but I’m here if you need me). The Community Library also organizes book groups on various parenting issues. They will be announced in the near future. New this year is a parent support program called the Allergy/Asthma Support Network, which met for the first time on September 28. The group is chaired by SAS parent, Barbra Moran. Please email AllergyNetwork@sas.edu.sg if you would like more information. Information about additional programs offered by the Community Library will be available in upcoming issues of NewsFlash and “What’s Happening at SAS.” Parents are welcome to offer suggestions by contacting communitylibrary@sas.edu.sg and visiting the library, where you can write suggestions in the notebook that is kept there. Parent volunteers Denise Knight and Mary Gruman welcome your comments and encourage you to write to them djknight@singnet.com.sg.

Board of Governors Candidates Pg. 5

New SAS Uniform Guidelines

Pg. 12

26th Annual IASAS Volleyball Schedule Pg. 19


Content Page

Regulars 3 - Calendar Highlights 13 - PTA News Brent Mutsch Superintendent of Schools

17 - Booster Club News

SAS Highlights 4 - Board of Governors 11 - “All I want is for my child to be happy” 12 - New SAS Uniform Guidelines 18 - Interim Semester Scholarships Mark Boyer Asst. Superintendent Curriculum and Instruction

Rhonda Norris Asst. Superintendent Business

20 - SACAC 21 - Career and College Day at SAS 22 - Dance Exchange in Taipei

- HS Jazz Exchange at ISKL

23 - Criminal Forensics

David Hoss Principal Primary School

Franke Thomas Principal Middle School

Marian DeGroot Principal Intermediate School

David Norcott Principal High School

NEWSFLASH is published monthly by the Communications Office of the Singapore American School. It is distributed free of charge to parents, faculty members and organizations served by the school.

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Singapore 738547 Tel: 6360-6303 SAS Website: http://www.sas.edu.sg



Editor: Beth Gribbon Staff Editor: Junia Baker Layout Design: Joey Lew SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

- “Character Counts“

Are You Receiving What’s Happening at SAS? We send all parents and guardians a weekly What’s Happening at SAS newsletter by email. If you have not been receiving the weekly email, probably we do not have your correct email address. Send us an email at communications@sas.edu. sg to give us your current email address. The distribution can include both parents’ email addresses. The weekly What’s Happening at SAS will also be posted on the website at http://www.sas.edu.sg.

We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School November NewsFlash Deadline: October 24, 2007 Publication Date: November 13, 2007 December NewsFlash Deadline: November 28, 2007 Publication Date: December 17, 2007 Email Community News Input to bgribbon@sas.edu.sg Email Trading Post Input to trade@sas.edu.sg Trading Post advertising is restricted to non-commercial items only from SAS students, parents and staff


16 17 17-18 18 20 22

* Campus Mosquito Fogging, every Sunday 5:00pm – 7:00pm

PTA Board Meeting 9:30am (PTA Office) Pre-Sch Parent Teacher Conference (No School for Pre-Sch; Pre-K – Grade 5 is in session) PSAT/PLAN Testing (AM) Pre-Sch – Grade 5 Parent Teacher Conferences (No School for Pre-Sch – Grade 5) HS Instrumental Concert 7:00pm (Auditorium) Wish for Kids Soc Hop 6:30pm IS/MS/HS Solo Ensembles Strings/Choir/ Band All Day (Auditorium/Theater Studio/Performing Arts Classrooms) Booster Club Meeting 9:30am (H301) Primary Parent Coffee 8:30am (Primary Faculty Lounge)

24 25 26 27 30 31

Alternate Dress Day IASAS Soccer in Kuala Lumpur IASAS Volleyball in Singapore Pumpkin Patch - Pre-Sch/Pre-K & K IASAS Soccer in Kuala Lumpur IASAS Cross-Country in Singapore IASAS Volleyball in Singapore Pumpkin Patch – Grade 1 & 2 IASAS Soccer in Kuala Lumpur IASAS Cross-Country in Singapore IASAS Volleyball in Singapore HS ACT PTA Pumpkin Sale 9:00am – 12:00pm Annual General meeting of the American School Trust Limited 7:00pm (H301) Holiday Alternate Dress Day PS/IS Halloween Parties 1:30pm

* Campus Mosquito Fogging, every Sunday 5:00pm – 7:00pm

1 1-2 2 3 5 5-7

HS Drama Preview 4:15pm (Drama Theater) MS Parent/Teacher Conferences No School for MS Students HS Honor Roll Reception 12:00pm HS Drama Production 7:00pm (Drama Theater) PTA Food Fest 11:00am – 3:00pm (MS/HS Gyms) Kindergarten Family Math Night 6:30pm – 8:30pm MS Parent Coffee 10:00 (M301) First Season Sports Awards Night 7:00pm (Auditorium/Drama Theater/Theater Studio) HS Interim Semester Fee Collection (HS Gallery)

6 7 8 9 9-10 12 13 13-15

Calendar Highlights

October 2007

November 2007

Grade 1 Family Math Night 6:30pm – 8:30pm Financial Aid for US citizens – Senior Parents 7:00pm (H301) HS Chinese Honor Society Induction 3:15pm (H301) DEEPAVALI (NO SCHOOL) Faculty In-Service Day (No School for Students) Hong Kong Honors Band Festival HS PTA Coffee 10:00am (H301) Grade 5 Parent Coffee 8:15am – 9:15am (5th Grade Grouproom, I311) PTA Board Meeting 9:30 (PTA Office) Grade 5 Showcase Concert 10:15am – 11:00am

SAS NewsFlash – October 2007




Message from the Singapore American School Board of Governors

From the Board Chair To: All Members of The American School Trust Limited Those Eligible to be Members The Annual General Meeting of The American School Trust Limited (the “Trust”) will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 7:00pm, in room H301 in the high school. The agenda for the AGM includes:

o o o

o A presentation of the audited accounts of the Singapore American School for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007. The appointment of auditors for the year 2007-08. The election of four Governors of the Board for three-year terms. Town Hall Meeting – Managing School Expansion.

All Trust members are entitled and encouraged to attend the AGM and are eligible to vote in the election. The six candidates standing for election are Masoud Bassira, Kirk Hulse, Devin Kimble, Ashok Lalwani, Marybeth Shay and Sheila Wang and their personal statements appear in this publication. Trust members may cast their ballots for up to four of these candidates by: o o o

Voting personally by attending the AGM on October 30. Voting by absentee ballot. An absentee ballot and instructions on its use will be mailed to all Trust members. Delegating your vote via the use of the proxy form. Any Trust member who desires to delegate their vote by proxy must personally obtain the said serialized proxy form from the Board Secretary, Margaret Yeo, in the Central Administration office.

Please also be aware that in order to vote in this election, you must be a member of the Trust. If you have not yet joined the Trust or if you are unsure about your membership, please contact Margaret Yeo at email Margaret@ sas.edu.sg or call 6360-6314 for assistance. On behalf of the Board, I encourage you to join the Trust, attend the AGM and vote. Sincerely, Garth Sheldon Chairman, Board of Governors

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjkddSsdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajssjld Town Hall The Future of the Singapore American School: Managing School Expansion Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 7:00pm Room H301 (HS Division, 3rd Floor) The topic of the potential school expansion will be addressed in a Town Hall meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting. Please respond to the SAS email invitation for this event or via email to board@sas.edu.sg.

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

MASOUD BASSIRI Occupation: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Consistel Children at SAS: Melad (Grade 9), Maryam (Grade 6) and Mishan (Grade 2) Expected Stay in Singapore: Indefinite Educational Background: BSEE, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN. (1982-1986) MSEE, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN. (1987-1988) Research Assistant Community Involvement: * Guest speaker for several technology events and universities * Member of IEEE, Etta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi * Member of AmCham in Singapore, also on Education Task Force Mr. Bassiri’s Statement: I am running as a candidate for the SAS Board of Governors for the first time. My wife Maria, who frequently substitutes at SAS, and I moved to Singapore in 1991. We are parents of three children enrolled in SAS and are permanent residents living side by side with SAS in Woodlands. As an SAS neighbor, along with many other Americans living in Woodlands, we frequently participate in all sorts of school activities. The entire Woodlands community is proud of the school and that is primarily why we decided to live so close to it. I am an entrepreneur and have worked with multiple MNCs, including Motorola, Nortel, MSI and Marconi. In 2002, I founded Consistel, which consists of a group of investors acquisitioned from Marconi. Consistel is a wireless telecommunication company and has many private and institutional shareholders, such as Intel Corporation. For the past 15 years, I have witnessed the school make the impressive and significant changes that led to its current state. There are more challenges ahead in today’s and tomorrow’s populated world. I believe the Singapore American School provides a direct contribution between American education and jobs. I am running for the Board of Governors in order to assist the school in overcoming challenges forward, utilizing the experience gained during our long stay in Singapore. Some other reasons for my candidacy are below: • • • • •

To participate in matters that help the school to continue its record of achievement in American education in Singapore. To assist the school in its growth plans and ways to simultaneously increase capacity as well as maintain the quality of education. Of course, quality takes the absolute highest priority in my mind. I am against increasing the number of students per classroom or any other measures that compromise the quality of education. To provide the board and school with years of experience gained by living in Singapore for over 15 years and working with many Singapore offices, such as the EDB. To attend thoroughly to the normal matters of the board with applied analysis. To provide as much effort as needed so that the impressive achievements of SAS continue during the years of my service with policies and resolutions that would keep the momentum going.

I will make every effort to ensure that my service on the Board of Governors will be useful and beneficial for the school, not only during my years of service but also for years after that. For that, I ask for your support for my election to the Board of Governors. Thank you.

SAS NewsFlash – October 2007




Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

Kirk Hulse Occupation: Executive Search – Director Technology Practice; Training and Consulting Employer: DLA Associates; Channel Enablers Children at SAS: Mitch (Grade 10) Expected length of stay in Singapore: Indefinite Educational background: BSSE, Southern Methodist University Community involvement: * The American Club – Vice President; General Committee; Chair Sports and Recreation Committee * AmCham – Co-Chair Information Technology and Communications Committee * Boy Scout Troop 07 – Committee Chair * American Association of Singapore – ex 3rd Vice President * SACAC – ex Coach, Soccer and Baseball Mr. Hulse’s Statement: “To grow, or not to grow: that is the question.” Yes, that is clearly one of the key issues that our Singapore American School Board of Governors must deal with this year. In looking back over previous statements put forward by my Board colleagues, it seems there is always a challenge for the next school year, be it last year’s new superintendent search, a balanced budget with no tuition increase or new curriculum issues. All are key issues that have been and continue to be very important to our school. But none is more important than the growth issue that we now face: to accommodate an increasing demand for the education and experience that SAS provides our students while maintaining the highest-quality curriculum, outstanding faculty and staff and financial well-being. To this effort, our Board must make key decisions for moving forward. While our Woodlands campus has reached a capacity limiting growth, the accelerated demand for new student placement has created a waitlist situation that the Board must address. As a current member of the Board, I am committed to ensuring that we maintain our level of educational excellence in all aspects of our students’ school experiences. I have been most privileged to have worked alongside the existing dedicated Board members over the last year, serving on the Trust Committee, Curriculum Committee and now Finance Committee. The Board’s efforts in its search for a new Superintendent were rewarded with Dr. Mutsch joining SAS to provide his outstanding stewardship for the ensuing years. On a personal note, our family has been in Singapore for 10 years. Our oldest son, Matt, graduated in 2002. Mitch, our youngest son, is now a high school sophomore, having started SAS as a kindergartner. We have shared SAS experiences through all divisions. We consider Singapore our home and plan to stay here for the next several years. The school is truly one of the greatest experiences of our family’s expatriate lives. SAS provides our families with such a fantastic facility, an outstanding, dedicated and caring faculty and administration and a comprehensive yet challenging curriculum and activities program, which provide an exceptionally rewarding educational experience. I would be most honored to have your support to continue to serve on the Board of Governors.



SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

Devin Kimble Occupation: Managing Director Employer: MENU Pte. Ltd. Food & Drinks Group; owners and operators of Brewerkz; Café Iguana & WineGarage Children at SAS: Zelda (Grade 4) Expected Stay in Singapore: For the foreseeable future. Educational Background: Yale, BA 1985 Cornell School of Hotel Admin., MPS 1993 Volunteer Experience: * American Chamber of Commerce treasurer * Restaurant Association of Singapore management committee member * Yale Club of Singapore vice-president * Speaker and panel participant on various business-related topics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, the Singapore American School and INSEAD, where I have also served as chief judge for the Annual Business Plan Competition Outside Interests: Sailing, running, cycling, swimming, triathlons, food, beer and wine. Mr. Kimble’s Statement: Since my arrival in Singapore in 1995, I’ve seen the population grow by 50% and the city change from a place that was considered a hardship posting to one that is increasingly the home of choice for many businesses with regional scope. Infrastructure and entertainment options have multiplied apace, making Singapore a vibrant and exciting place for today and the foreseeable future. Likewise SAS has grown rapidly while maintaining the strength of its educational opportunities and excellence of its facilities. But just as Singapore faces stiff competition from other metropolitan areas for business and talent, SAS will need to continue moving forward. As someone who interviews students for two Ivy League universities, I have a good understanding of the highly competitive nature of college admissions and am acutely aware of how important it is for SAS students to be wellprepared to meet the demands of both the students who are at the school for the long-term as well as those who will be returning to the United States after 3–5 years. And for this reason I feel that it is vitally important to ensure that the quality of staff, facilities and programs at the school maintains a continual course of improvement. I feel honored by the opportunity to serve as a member of the SAS Board of Governors and look forward to the challenges of continuing to provide world-class learning opportunities for families who value a high-caliber, Americanstyle education, particularly at a time when demand for the SAS “brand” has never been higher.

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksaxxjdkasjdasjdkldjsajSSSSSjld “Meet the candidates” Forum Parents and staff are invited to attend a “Meet the Candidates” forum. Hosted by the PTA, the forum is designed to acquaint the SAS community with the individuals who have indicated that they will be seeking a position on the Board of Governors. Each candidate will speak briefly about their background and why they have an interest in serving on the Board of Governors. The session will then be open for questions and answers. Date/Location: Wednesday, October 24 at 3:30pm in room M301

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksaxxjdkasjdasjdkldjsajSSSSSjld SAS NewsFlash – October 2007




Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

ASHOK K. LALWANI Position: Partner (Attorney) Employer: Baker & McKenzie,Wong & Leow Children at SAS: Akshay “Sky” (Grade 7) and Ashna “Kitty” (Grade 5) Expected stay in Singapore: Indefinite Educational background: BA, Michigan State University, 1984 MBA, Michigan State University 1984 J.D., Notre Dame Law School 1989 Certified Public Accountant, 1984 Community involvement: * SACAC – coach basketball team * Act as assistant coach and assist or help out with other teams * Guest speaker for various groups and corporations regarding corporate governance and other topics Organization: * AmCham * American Association * The Indus Entrepreneurs Mr. Lalwani’s statement: My family and I have been in Singapore for five years. We have two children at SAS, “Sky” in Grade 7 and “Kitty” in Grade 5. We chose to locate here in part due to SAS and the vibrant Singapore community. For all of us, parents and kids alike, SAS is an integral part of our lives. It is the fiber that connects the American and other communities that are represented at the school. SAS also has the reputation of being one of the finest international schools. I would like to contribute to the continuing success of SAS and the community. The attractiveness of Singapore as a base and the related infrastructure and the reputation of SAS have resulted in several challenges, including SAS being at capacity, with long waiting lists for admission and the need to expand the school. SAS must also continually keep pace with the needs of its students and the changing and developing educational environment. The school has a stellar reputation but it cannot rest on its laurels. The Board will be required to navigate through these and other challenges while still maintaining the academic and general all-around excellence of the programs at SAS. Paramount to this end will be to serve the needs of not only its student body but to do this in a manner consistent with the goals of the general community and in a financially responsible way. I believe that I have the personal traits, background and experience to add value to the Board and serve the SAS community. I have been an active participant in this community for some time. I have both a finance and legal background. I have attended both public and private schools. I have held varying jobs from paperboy to dishwasher to ad junct professor, tax consultant and now lawyer. Each one has been an invaluable experience. If elected, I would bring all these life experiences to my service on the Board of SAS. I look forward to your support and would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.



SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

Marybeth Shay Occupation: Public Relations/Marketing Manager Employer: Santa Fe Relocations Services Children at SAS: Alexander (Grade 7) and Victoria (Grade 3) Date Arrived in Singapore: June 2001 Expected Length of Stay: Indefinite Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts, Communications, Fordham University Work Experience: Senior Medical Sales Representative; Trainer for American Home Products (Wyeth and Whitehall Labs) Volunteer Experience: * Executive Vice President and Founding Board Member, Caring for Cambodia * Singapore American School: active member/volunteer of the PTA and room parent * Former Cub Scout co-leader and Executive Board Member * SACAC sports * Active Member: American Association, American Chamber of Commerce, American Club, American Women’s Association, PrimeTime Business and Professional Women’s Association, Singapore Oilwives Club, CCD educator at Church of St. Ignatius Outside Interests: Travel, Photography Mrs. Shay’s Statement: Diversity is the mortar that bonds the building blocks of the Singapore American School. With the growth and expansion of our school in both its facilities and student population, I find it to be an exciting and challenging time to be part of this foundation of diversity. The SAS Board of Governors is an integral part of our community and touches all aspects of school life. By being an active member on the Board I contribute valuable insight to our school community, support our children’s educational experiences and offer my personal commitment as one of the many parents who is so passionate about SAS! I have served in a variety of management positions since 1986 with responsibilities in educating and training technical sales associates, as well as marketing, public relations and event management. In addition, I play an active role locally in community activities that benefit the school’s interest as well as that of the supporting business community. Regionally, I am active in establishing schools in Cambodia. As Vice President and a founding Board Member for Caring for Cambodia, we have transformed a vision into an accredited, non-governmental, charitable organization. Through the schools established, along with the teacher training and professional development programs, we now support more than 3,000 children in four communities in the Siem Reap area. I feel these experiences coupled with my desire can and will prove to be of service to the Board of The American School Trust. Presently, I am an active member of the Facilities and Trust Committees. Moreover, I have had the opportunity to establish strong relationships with the teachers and families of SAS as my son and my daughter have been students at SAS for the past seven years. I am committed to working to improve the experiences of all children at SAS by continuing to serve on the Board.

SAS NewsFlash – October 2007




Singapore American School Board of Governors Candidates

SHEILA WANG Occupation: Adjunct Professor, Graduate Business School Employer: National University Singapore Children at SAS: Kevin (started in K now G7), Kendrick (started in G3 now G10) Expected Stay in Singapore: Long-term Educational Background: Doctorate (U of Newcastle), M.S. (Stanford University), B.S. (UC Berkeley) Community Involvement: * Board of Governors, SAS, Chair of Curriculum Committee, member of Finance Committee * Executive Council, Stanford Alumni Club in Singapore * SAS classroom volunteer, field trip, Fighting Fish, band and HS MedExplorer mom Mrs. Wang’s Statement: With your support and encouragement, I was elected to the SAS Board of Governors in 2004. From 2004 to 2007, I served on the Facilities Committee and was pleased that we completed the campus expansion without having to raise facilities fees for SAS families. I worked in the Finance Committee in 2004-2005, and again this year, and I’m pleased that our school has operated with a balanced budget. Starting this school year, I’ve been appointed Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and I am committed to SAS’ continued efforts to provide a top-notch educational experience. I hope to have your vote to be re-elected to another term to continue serving and improving SAS as we meet the challenges ahead. SAS is a wonderful school. With the dedication of an effective administration team, excellent faculty, involved and supportive parents and great kids all working together, we make SAS a very special place. This year is an especially challenging one for SAS as it faces four major issues: 1. Capacity: With over 3,700 students, our school has reached a capacity that has never been higher. I believe it is more important than ever that SAS maintains the care and the personal attention of a small school while it, in fact, has become the largest international school. To uphold the quality of instruction, I also believe that we should not increase the number of students per class. 2. Expansion: The Board has had extensive discussion/debate over this issue. I believe that a successful expansion must meet the following criteria: 1. SAS educational quality cannot be compromised. 2. Financial burdens of expansion should not be passed to current families. 3. Expansion should create synergy to SAS. 3. School Accreditation: This year, SAS’ accreditation by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is up for review. A lot of effort goes into preparing for accreditation evaluation. It is imperative that SAS retains accreditation. I am committed to helping SAS to accomplish this goal. 4. From Good to Great: Are we offering programs and resources to help students realize their fullest potential? Are the students’ interests in science, math, music, language, sports and arts being met? Are our high school graduates, through the help of various programs, getting into their first-choice schools? I believe we should aim to realize the full potential of SAS and our students. I look forward to listening to your ideas and working with you on these important issues, along with a host of other issues that helps SAS to continuously improve. My family and I have been in Singapore for eight years. My husband, Harrison, runs a regional investment fund. I worked for Hewlett-Packard for fifteen years and left a director job to spend more time with my children and SAS. I teach an MBA course once a week; a perfect balance to devote my time, passion and energy to SAS. We are Asian Americans with Singapore permanent residency. We have chosen to live in Singapore with a key factor being our children’s educational experience from SAS. I would be honored to have your support to continue serving on the Board of Governors. Thank you.

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


“All I want is for my child to be happy” By Jeff Devens, PhD, SAS School Psychologist

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hy is it that some kids appear “happier” than others? What is it that promotes happiness? In the realm of school psychology and counseling it is not uncommon to hear from parents that their children are struggling to “find happiness.” Some parents believe that by providing more in the form of material possessions they can foster happiness in their child’s life. Not surprisingly, one of the key factors associated with happiness is affluence. Based on survey response, people in rich countries do tend to be happier than those in poor countries. A note of caution however is in order before concluding that money and material possessions are the keys to happiness. Interestingly, researchers have found that once a society’s level of per capita income crosses the threshold from poverty to adequate subsistence, further increases in wealth and possessions have almost no effect on happiness whatsoever. Barry Schwartz, Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College notes, “We find as many happy people in Japan as we do in Poland, even though the average Japanese is ten times richer than the average Pole. And, Poles are much happier than Hungarians despite similar levels of wealth.” Looking within a nation at different times, researchers have similar findings. For example, in the last forty years, the income of Americans, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled, and yet people do not report higher levels of happiness. If material possessions and affluence do not provide increased happiness then what does? Researchers have found that close social relationships appear to be the most important factors in promoting a sense of happiness. People who are part of a team, people who have intimate friendships, people who are close to family members and people who participate in religious communities are “happier” than those who do not. In a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press, respondents between the ages of 13 and 24 noted that spending time with family was a primary factor in promoting happiness. Given that the average stay for SAS families is approximately three years, it is essential that your children feel, believe and perceive that they are vital parts of the SAS Community. Initiatives such as home-base, peer support, friendship groups, athletics and clubs provide platforms for kids to connect with others with similar interests and build social relationships. As we continue through the 2007-08 school year, I want to encourage all parents to promote involvement (but not over-involvement) in home, school and community activities with your children. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that happiness is not a place of residency. Happiness, like all emotions, waxes and wanes. However, by providing opportunities for their children to build close social relationships, parents can help foster happiness in their lives.

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksaxxjdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld A message from the Board of Governors The Future of the Singapore American School: Managing School Expansion In his letter sent in mid-September, Board of Governors Chairman, Garth Sheldon outlined the school’s plans to carry out a detailed study on how the school could accommodate the growing demand for space at SAS. The school board and administration have dedicated significant time and resources to this process. We remain committed to growth on terms that uphold the standard of the educational program and facilities at SAS and that maintain the sound financial foundation of the school. Subsequent feedback from parents and faculty brought forward a number of concerns and questions. A series of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) will be distributed to address these topics. The first set is available as an insert in this issue and can be found on the SAS website at http:/www.sas.edu.sg/board. Additional questions will be addressed in upcoming FAQs. There will also be a Town Hall meeting about this topic on October 30 at 7:00pm. This will be held in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting. Additional feedback is welcome and may be directed to board@sas.edu.sg.

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New SAS Uniform Guidelines A message from the deputy principals

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n response to community concerns about uniform variability among our student body, SAS administrators from Pre K through 12th grade reviewed all aspects of the existing dress code during the 2006-07 school year. There was a strong desire to establish consistency in dress expectations among all divisions. It was decided that the school would move toward a required uniform bottom in conjunction with the white polo tops already in use. In order to keep costs down, have a direct influence on styles and sizing and make items readily available, a local supplier, Lim Meng Keng, was chosen. Lim’s started selling SAS uniform bottoms at the start of the current school year, and the SAS community has already contributed a number of excellent suggestions to help us improve the product. Parents, students and teachers have all had input in a variety of ways, including the PTA and Student Councils. As a result, we are already addressing several popular concerns, such as the waist/length ratio of the boys’ cargo shorts and the leg circumference of the shorts for both boys and girls. We will also review the number of choices and styles available for middle and high school girls. At the end of the semester we will be surveying parents to get feedback on sizing, styles and value for money. With that information, we will make further modifications on the products for our move from this “phase in” year to implementation next year. Many children in the intermediate and primary schools are already happily sporting their SAS logo blue bottoms. However, as one might expect, many middle and high school students are reluctant to make the change. We encourage these students to “test drive” the products, so we can gather as much data as possible. We hope you will purchase at least one uniform bottom some time between now and the end of the semester. That way, our survey results will be based on a larger sample and will help us to produce a uniform of which the entire SAS community can be proud.

u-ni-form (noun): a distinctive set of clothes worn to identify somebody’s occupation, affiliation, or status u-ni-form (adjective): always the same, conforming to one standard, being the same as others

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


SAS PTA

PTA President’s Letter

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o help bring a little fall to our community here in Singapore, the PTA will be sponsoring a number of seasonal events at SAS. For those of you who have students in the ECC and Primary Division, mark your calendars for Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26 for our annual Pumpkin Patch. Your children will have the opportunity to visit the beautifully decorated Kindergarten Group Room with their class to enjoy a seasonal story, pick out gourds and receive treats compliments of the PTA. Beginning at 9:00am on October 27, we will have our annual Pumpkin Sale. Pumpkins, gourds and decorative corn shipped to us from the United States will be available for purchase at very reasonable prices. Proceeds from this event will be used to support the High School community service clubs. Due to a limited supply and anticipated high demand for these special items, please plan to arrive early for the best selection. We are able to coordinate these two events due to the generous support of APL. It supports this event by purchasing the pumpkins in the United States, crating them for shipment, providing shipping support, clearing the shipment into the country and delivering this precious cargo to SAS. We once again thank APL for its generous support, which benefits so many families at SAS. One week later on Saturday, November 3, join us at our International Food Fest in the Middle and High School gymnasiums from 11:00am to 3:00pm, where you will find a large variety of ethnic food prepared by members of the SAS community. Plan to come and enjoy cuisines from Japan, China, India, France, the Philippines and many other countries. While at Food Fest, do not forget to stop by the High School library to view the gorgeous theme baskets and purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win your favorite basket filled with various delights. These baskets contain a wonderful selection of games, treats and treasures and need to be seen to be believed. For the second time at Food Fest, we will hold a Holiday Vendor Fair outside the High School library on the second floor landing. This will be a wonderful opportunity to make a dent in your holiday shopping needs. October is a very busy month for the PTA and we look forward to seeing you at these events. If you have the time to help at these or any other future events, we would welcome your support. Please contact us with any questions or inquiries at pta@sas.edu.sg. Susan Fay PTA President

SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

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Interim Semester Scholarships By Janine Byrne, Booster Club President

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he PTA, the Booster Club and UPS funded scholarships again this year to help a number of high school students take full advantage of the educational opportunities available through the Interim Semester program. Interim Semester, held in February 2008, is often one of the most memorable experiences for SAS high school students, and both parent organizations are delighted to support the course. The PTA sponsored two full (up to $3,500) scholarships, the Booster Club sponsored five full (up to $3,500) and five partial (up to $1,500) scholarships and UPS sponsored one scholarship. Thanks go to all the adults who read the essays. The PTA had a select group of parents, while Boosters and UPS employed the help of a panel of HS teachers and counselors. Special thanks go to Kristin Tan, secretary HS principal, for her help in organizing all information and keeping it anonymous and confidential. This year’s PTA scholarship recipients were Natalie Teonadi and Chao Dou. Full Booster scholarships were awarded to Aishwarrya Balaji, Maritz Buchholz, Martis Buchholz, Mike Meguid and Erica Ng. Partial Booster scholarships were awarded to and Belal Hakim, Nora Hanagan, Jong Eun (Ellen) Lee, Daniel Ong and Kelly Schuster. The partial UPS scholarship was awarded to Natalie Ong.

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

L-R: Dave Norcott (HS Principal), Chao Dou, Mae Anderson (PTA Vice-President), Natalie Teonadi, Doug Neihart (HS Deputy Principal)

L-R: Dave Norcott (HS Principal), Daniel Ong, Maritz Buchholz, Belal Hakim, Martis Buchholz, Nora Hanagan, Mike Meguid, Aishwarrya Balaji, Jong Eun (Ellen) Lee, Kelly Schuster, Erica Ng, Marie Small (Booster 1st Vice President), Doug Neihart (HS Deputy Principal)


isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksaxxjdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld Middle School Musical Auditions - Guys and Dolls, Jr. Heads Up! This year’s Middle School Musical is Guys and Dolls, Jr. (book by Abe Burrows & Jo Swerling, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser) and we’re looking for 6th, 7th and 8th graders who love to sing, dance, and act! For everything you need to know about the auditions, please come to one of the two information meetings, held right after school on Monday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 13 in the MS Drama classroom!

isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksajdkasjdasjdkldjsajssjld SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

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isoaisjkjkjkjkjkjkjksdsoaidoiodsjddddsajdsajdajdlksaxxjdkasjdasjdkldjsajjld A message from the U.S. Embassy Check Your passport! If you are looking to travel over the Christmas holidays, please take the time to check your passport’s expiration date. If your passport is about to expire, now is the time to renew it so as to avoid unnecessary delays. For passport application procedures and other U.S. citizens services, please visit singapore.usembassy.gov. U.S. passports are issued in the United States even though applications are accepted and approved at overseas U.S. consulates and embassies. The processing time for applications at the Singapore office is ten days to two weeks. Applicants must pick up their new passports personally or authorize a representative in writing to do so. We do not mail passports to applicants. Applicants are strongly advised not to make irreversible travel plans until they have their passports in hand. The U.S. Embassy is open to the public and American citizens from 8:30am – 12:00noon, and to American citizens only from 2:00pm - 3:30pm Monday through Friday (2:00pm – 4:30pm, Wednesdays). If you have further questions, please call American Citizen Services at 6476-9251/9038/9314.

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


Career and College Day at SAS By Lisa McMullen

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hat did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor, a teacher or maybe a policeman? Fast forward to high school at SAS today and the choices now available … An Internet network engineer, a pharmacist or a JAG-criminal investigator. These were just a few of the 70 professionals present on Career Day. Earlier in the week students had selected areas they wanted to hear about during the three separate sessions on the morning of Friday, September 21. The speakers were parents, teachers or local Singaporean professionals. This year we were fortunate enough to enlist the help of SAS alumnus Dr. Leonard P e r r y, class of ’85, who is in Singapore for a six month sabbatical from University of San Diego, where he is an engineering professor. Keynote speaker Dr. Mel Gill started the morning in high spirits by talking about the power of positive thinking. Not only did he entertain with his great speaking style but he also made the point repeatedly that with the right attitude nothing is impossible, a powerful message we could all begin to apply today. Dr. Leonard Perry, class of 1985

It was wonderful to walk through the halls and feel the excitement and energy of future SAS leaders as they rushed into the different speakers’ rooms. The biggest question was “How much money do you make?” but many other questions came through as they started thinking “Do I want to do that as a career?” As these young adults dig deeper into prospects for their future, we hope that this brief introduction into the many different areas will help them envision a path where they would enjoy success.

Thank you to all those who gave their time to talk to our students. We are fortunate to have such depth of talent and creativity in our community. If you have a specialty you would like to share with the school at future events, please contact the High School Guidance Department. Communications & Development and the Boosters Club donated gifts for all speakers. Career Day Committee included HS Counselors Mario Sylvander, Nathan Schelble and HS parents Marie Small, Janice Chumakov, Lisa McMullen and Janis Lim. Special thanks to Ylva Bracken for her organizational help.

SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

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Dance Exchange in Taipei By Ahilya Kaul, Grade 11

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ine other dancers and I spent the first long weekend in September at this year’s unforgettable Dance Exchange at the Taipei American School. In a single day, we were exposed to four different genres of dance through 90 minute workshops taught by world class dancers. In the modern/ contemporary workshop, we were instructed in the Limon technique by one of the dancers from the famous Cloud Gate Company and danced to the music of a beautiful live piano and earthy drums. In ballet, we had a passionate ballet instructor who has taught many professional dancers. In pop jazz, we were awed by an incredibly lithe-bodied, male TAS alumnus who taught us an advanced combination. Finally in musical theatre, we learned an adorable 1940s jazz piece that involved cheesy acting and pep! Apart from the workshops, we choreographed performances in small groups with students from other schools and attended a fabulous show by the Bill T. Jones Company at Taipei’s gorgeous and dramatic National Theatre, which was heavy in political content and symbolism. Overall the weekend was an extraordinary experience because we were challenged, exposed to exciting new styles of dance and had a total blast!

High School Jazz Exchange at ISKL By Andy Szombathy, Grade 12 and Doogie Momberger, Grade 11

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n September 7, 2007, 15 SAS high school jazz band students travelled to Kuala Lumpur for the annual jazz exchange with students from the five other IASAS schools. This jazz exchange began at SAS, when Mr. Hill (HS band director) thought it would be a good idea to have a weekend early in the year that was devoted to teaching jazz skills and techniques. Thus he invited all the schools to come to SAS for improvisation workshops, big band and combo jazz master classes and a jam session at a jazz club downtown. This is only the third such exchange, but we hope it will remain a tradition among the IASAS schools. Under the direction of band teachers from the IASAS schools and local jazz musicians, we played in big bands and combos with students from the other schools. We also had improvisation workshops and sectionals, where we learned different techniques for soloing and playing our instruments. After a full day of rehearsing, we utilized all the skills we had learned at Top Hat, one of KL’s top jazz clubs. There we played our combo songs and listened to an unbelievably good professional jazz quartet. To top the night off, Doogie Momberger, Michael Jeong, Andy Szombathy and musicians from other schools got back on stage for a spirited 10-minute rendition of “Chameleon.” It was PHAAAT!!!

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SAS NewsFlash – October 2007


Criminal Forensics: Our Own SAS CSIs By Lauren Mehrbach, HS Deputy Principal

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hen Principal Dave Norcott addressed the class, the mood was somber. “A student has been stabbed, right here on our campus. He is now en-route to National University Hospital. Anyone with knowledge about this horrible crime should come to my office immediately.” Thus began another fabulous crime scene simulation in Ms. Kim Melsom’s Criminal Forensics class. Jonathan Zaman, the “murder” victim, was laid out on the table. His Broadway standard stab wound and livor mortis were expertly created with make-up. The students snapped on surgical gloves and began processing all of the evidence collected from the crime scene and the body, including his backpack, shoes, bloody t-shirt, fingernail scrapings and hair samples. They worked diligently, using tweezers and regulation evidence collection bags. Members of the self-named “Zombie Squad,” who were former criminal forensics murder victims, coached the teams through the steps in a perfect example of students teaching students. The crime scene investigators spend 4-5 weeks exploring “murder” and learning a variety of scientific tests, such as thin layer chromatography, ninhydrin and iodine crystal tests for fingerprints on paper, DNA analysis and phenolphthalein and luminol tests for blood presence. Some of the experiences include making molds and casts of teeth for odontology analysis, using forensic entomology to determine time of death, amplifying DNA and running DNA fingerprints. The culminating activity involves producing a notebook with a sketch of the crime scene, an evidence list, notes, interviews, lab analysis of various pieces of evidence, an autopsy report, images of the crime scene, reconstruction of events and final conclusions. These represent the investigative report of the crime. Criminal Forensics, now in its third year, employs hands-on engaged learning activities, problem solving strategies and applications of science technology. Who knows, maybe they could work with the film class and pilot “SAS: CSI.”

“Character Counts” By Ian Woodfield, 3rd Grade Teacher

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haracter counts in Third Grade. That was the message at a recent third grade assembly hosted by Mrs. Hayward’s and Mr. Woodfield’s classes. Taking the song “Character Counts,” written by third grade counselor, Mr. Filice, as their theme, the two classes performed songs, poems and skits to illustrate the five SAS character traits of responsibility, fairness, compassion, respect and honesty. After the students had finished their presentations, Principal Ms. DeGroot and Deputy Principal Mr. L’Heureux presented free dress passes to third graders who had observed the character traits or shown significant improvement in their work. Birthdays were celebrated, new students were welcomed and departing students were given a farewell. Teaching assistant, Ms. Salmah, presented the Green Gecko award to Mrs. Mutsch’s class. The recipients of this award are chosen by the Third Grade teaching assistants who monitor the students in the playground, cafeteria and while moving around the school. After the assembly the students invited their parents back to their classrooms and served them cookies and drinks, enthusiastically reviewing their performances. Third grade assemblies are eagerly awaited event on the Third Grade calendar. During the year each class has the opportunity to present an assembly to their classmates. These assemblies boost the confidence of the host classes as they perform for their peers and their parents. At each assembly Mrs. Silverman, Mr. Koebnick, Ms. Chan and Mr. Tan provide technical support and helpful stage advice to the host classes to allow them to make the best use of the wonderful theater facilities at SAS. Character certainly counts in Third Grade. SAS NewsFlash – October 2007

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Singapore American School Newsflash, October 2007  

Newsflash, now Crossroads, was a Singapore American School community service publication. http://www.sas.edu.sg/page.cfm?p=435

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