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Volume 11, Issue 9-08/09 - May 2009

MICA (P) 160/08/2008

NewsFlash A Singapore American School community service publication

Magical Moments and People in 2008/2009

Page 3 & 4

Advice on Parenting

Pages 8 & 9

PTA Fund Spending Presentations

Pages 14 & 15


May 2009

Volume 11, Issue 9 -08/09

Board of Governors

BRENT MUTSCH Chairman of the Board


Asst. Superintendent for Learning

DAVID HOSS Principal Primary School

Marian DeGroot Principal Intermediate School

10 Booster Club News 12 PTA President’s Letter


CFC Initiatives

19 Knowledge Bowl


Cyclone Nargis

20 Math Olympiads


Bintan Club

21 Hickman Memorial Run


Leprosy Home

21 JP Morgan

16 Authors Visit SAS

22 Grade 2 Walk-A-Thon

17 Le Grand Concours


18 Habitat Luau

26 Art Honor Society

19 Education Scholarship Rhonda Norris Asst. Superintendent for Human Resources

Devin Pratt Principal Middle School

Are You Receiving What’s Happening at SAS?

William Scarborough

Director of Finance and Business Operations

David Norcott Principal High School

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 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 NEWSFLASH is published monthly by the Communications Office of the Singapore American School. It is distributed free of charge to the 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:


Editor: Beth Gribbon Staff Editor: Junia Baker Layout Design:Alfi Dino

SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School August NewsFlash Deadline: July 6, 2009 Publication Date: August 7, 2009 Email Community News Input to Email Trading Post Input to Trading Post advertising is restricted to non-commercial items only from SAS students, parents and staff

Magical Moments in 2008-2009 SAS and captures many significant events and people who have shaped the history of SAS over its half-century of operation. The Memory Garden reflects the value placed on honoring those who have come before us to make SAS what it is today.

By Brent Mutsch Superintendent of Schools


s the conclusion to yet another year looms on the horizon, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on some of the significant events of the 2008-2009 school year. Marybeth Shay, Bob Comstock and Garth Sheldon concluded their tenures of two, six and ten years, respectively, on the Board of Governors. Marybeth returns to the U.S., and Bob’s and Garth’s youngest children graduate in June. Each of these parents made substantial contributions to SAS during their period of service. Their presence on the campus and engagement in the work of the School Board will be missed. The Memory Garden and Memory Wall project is nearly complete. The vision for capturing the rich history of SAS is unique. This outdoor area adjacent to the Riady Performing Arts Center includes memorial plaques for students who lost their lives while enrolled at

Following the successful Western Association of Schools and Colleges re-accreditation visit in April 2008, a Strategic Plan was developed to provide long-range planning and action support. The areas in which multi-year action plans were developed include Student Learning, Alumni Relations, Board Governance, Communications, Development, Facilities, Finance, Human Resources, Mission/ Vision and Technology. 2008-2009 was the first year of implementation of this continuous improvement plan. Further information will be provided to the entire SAS community through the 2008-2009 Annual Report later this fall. The culture of giving that is embedded in the SAS learning community was in clear evidence throughout 2008-2009. Members of the PTA, Booster Club and Arts Council were on campus daily and worked closely with teachers, staff and administrators to further enrich the quality of experiences provided to students. The Star Appeal Dinner was successfully conducted in support of the Education Foundation, raising $390,000 to support a wide range of programs at each division as

well as financial aid for SAS families. The contributions came from the parent and corporate community. The Khoo Foundation sponsored the dinner, making it possible for all donations to be directed toward the enhancement of the academic and extra-curricular programs at SAS. Of course, many of the significant happenings at SAS are represented by what takes place on a day-to-day basis as an outstanding group of dedicated professional educators and support staff works directly with students and parents to promote learning, growth and development. In the magic of these moments come the connections that serve to further develop knowledge, skills and understanding and that prepare students to experience success in succeeding phases of their individual journeys. The successes of this school year cannot be completely quantified, but we trust that the home/school partnership that has been forged throughout 2008-2009 has contributed to your child growing and developing in ways that you can reflect upon with pride. With your support, SAS faculty and staff will continue to dedicate themselves to unleashing the possibilities that exist for each of our students and for our school as a learning community.

Application procedure for a student pass Who requires a As of September 1, 2008, the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority will student pass? only process SAS student pass applications online. ICA will not process any student pass applications over the counter. Parents need to download the Request for Student • Students whose parents Pass form from the SAS webpage under Admissions/Download Forms and send it by are permanent residents attachment to Upon receiving the request, SAS will initiate the of Singapore. online student pass application, and parents would then need to complete the rest of the • Students who are not sections using the individual confidential code numbers provided by ICA. The student eligible for dependent pass validity period ranges from six months to five years. Upon successful submission of passes (step children). the online student pass application, ICA will revert its decision to SAS within 10 working • Neither parent has an days. employment pass. Important note for students who are permanent residents Student pass applications may only be submitted after the successful cancellation of a student’s Singapore permanent resident status. Some students may experience complications, delays and even rejection of their student pass applications. Approval of a student pass is solely the decision of the ICA. For further clarification of details, please contact the ICA directly.

If you have questions about the student pass application process, please email Farouk at . SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


Garth Sheldon – A Parent with an Extraordinary Commitment to SAS If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams

By Brent Mutsch Superintendent of Schools


n June 4, as the graduating Class of 2009 concludes their time as students at SAS, one of the longest serving members of the SAS Board of Governors will also walk off the stage, concluding a decade of service to SAS. Garth Sheldon, who joined the board in 1999, will leave behind a legacy that few board members can rival in the 53-year history of SAS. Throughout Garth’s tenure on the board, he has consistently been an advocate for actions that were focused on improving the quality of educational experiences provided to each SAS student. His fingerprints are both figuratively and literally across the campus as he graciously brought his unique professional insights, expertise and skills to the building of the High School and the significant remodeling of the current facilities that occurred over the years. Today SAS enjoys a campus that parents, students, faculty, staff and visitors consistently recognize as contributing to a wonderful learning and teaching environment.

However, beyond the nature of the physical side of the operation of SAS, Garth has been even more interested in ensuring that the elements represented in the Vital Few are alive and well on the campus each and every day. The ongoing commitment to academic rigor (defined as every student being appropriately challenged in all curricular areas), extraordinary care for the welfare of each child (defined as the school community being dedicated to recognizing the unique talents and gifts of each and every student) and professional excellence (defined as every staff member being committed to lifelong learning and the demonstration of the “best practices” in his/her work) has been far more important to Garth than the facilities that serve as the backdrop against which the Vital Few may be put into practice daily. Few international schools have the benefit of the tenure, dedication, commitment and sense of purpose that Garth Sheldon brought to his SAS Board responsibilities. Thank you, Garth. Your efforts have indeed inspired us to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. Thank you for your leadership!

Insurance Coverage The school maintains commercial insurance coverage for customary risks, including comprehensive liability, loss of school-owned property and fire insurance. The school does not maintain medical or accident insurance for students, parents or guests or for theft or loss of personal property, such as laptops and mobile phones. Parents are encouraged to arrange such insurance with one of the many carriers in Singapore.


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

Caring For Cambodia thanks SAS IS and PS Teachers By Kaye Bach, SAS PS teacher on leave in Cambodia


ust six months ago an appeal was sent out to teachers in the Intermediate and Primary Divisions. A small thatched house had been given to the people of Spien Chreav Village in Cambodia to be used as the first preschool center that Caring for Cambodia (CFC) would support. “Modest” would not describe this house; “derelict” would be more appropriate. Yet the family who lived in this home offered

it to CFC as a venue where mothers and their small children could come to learn new parenting skills. An email went out to colleagues at SAS asking if they could shake their pockets of lose change, perhaps sacrifice a cup of coffee that day and give the equivalent money to our appeal to repair this small thatched building. It was estimated it would cost $500 to repair. Given the very generous nature of our teachers and their empathy toward such a project by the end of

the day $5,000 had been collected! With this money CFC was able to completely rebuild the house and supply equipment for the preschool program. On March 31, the dream and vision to create a village preschool became a reality. CFC teachers gathered at the small building for the official opening of the preschool. Amid the excitement of balloons, bubbles, books and building blocks, the children and mothers experienced for the first time the beginnings of preschool guided play. The focus of the preschool is to educate the mothers as the first teachers of their small children. CFC teachers aim to use everyday activities as a means to educate moms and their children. All activities taught during preschool sessions will be able to be replicated in the nearby villages. Judging by the first day’s session this preschool concept is destined to be a huge success, and to make a very positive impact on the lives of the small children within the village of Spien Chreav. Caring for Cambodia would like to thank the teachers of SAS Intermediate and Primary Schools for making this project a reality.

Go for Gold By Robin Schwarz, Kindergarten Teacher


his year the Kindergarten’s community service program decided to raise money to purchase books for five Caring for Cambodia ( CFC ) schools in Siem Reap. The existing SAS relationship with CFC allows children to participate in service projects that help meet the needs of children their own age. The project took place from April 20th to April 30th. Gold coins were earned at home by reading. For every two books a child read to a parent or a parent read to a child, the parent paid a $1 gold coin. The children brought their gold coins to school as they earned them. Each gold coin was exchanged for a small coupon representing two reading books for the children in Cambodia. These coupons were displayed on a bulletin board.

The money will be used for the printing, laminating and binding of readers that are available to SAS through the Reading A–Z website. These readers will be translated into Khmer by the teachers in the CFC schools. Currently in the schools there are no class sets of leveled readers and this project will make a real difference. SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


SAS Donations Still Saving Lives ­One Year after Cyclone Nargis By Scott Oskins, Middle School Teacher

health awareness education, in villages throughout the Irrawaddy Delta Region. The SAS funds donated to HOPE International reached around 5,000 Burmese children across the Irrawaddy Delta Region in the form of medication, meals and malnutrition treatment. The mobile medical teams treated typical ailments in kids, including diarrheal disease, malaria and respiratory infections. The mobile medical teams also found skin infections and significant injuries from hazards that were caused by the cyclone. The photos show the smaller kids (5 and below) being measured for malnutrition,


t has been just over one year since Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta Region of Myanmar, leaving 138,000 Burmese dead or missing and displacing hundreds of communities. Tragically, the U.N. estimates that 2.4 million people were affected by the worst natural disaster in Burmese history.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, the SAS community responded quickly and generously. A committee of faculty, administration and HS students was formed to oversee donations, while fund raisers were established across each division. SAS collected S$67,711 through the Myanmar Cyclone Relief Fund, which was divided evenly between Save

the Children and HOPE International Development Agency. Our contribution to Save the Children reached more than 560,000 children and adults through food and water distribution and health and nutrition clinics. In Yangon, Save the Children reached 7,200 youngsters through 46 temporary schools and delivered school supplies to over 90,000 students in the region. Through HOPE International, donations from SAS were spent on medicines specifically for children as well as on child-health related programs coordinated by the Kwe Ka Baw Health Foundation. Mobile medical teams from the Kwe Ka Baw clinic ran a variety of programs, such as nutritional food for kids and

which is now at a higher level than before the cyclone. Knowing that would be the case, the Kwe Ka Baw Health Foundation decided to provide meals periodically with a portion of the SAS donations. Also included in the photos is the Kwe Ka Baw staff providing dispensaries for syrup as well as pills and shots. This quote from Carol Gowler of HOPE International in Myanmar recaps the generosity of the SAS community: “Thanks again to your wonderful students and families. They still have me awestruck when I think of their diligence, generosity and ability to see beyond themselves – all things that had to come together to raise the huge amount of money they did in such a short time. They really are to be congratulated and so is the school for its ability to instill those things in its students.”


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

Bintan Club Expands Friendship International School Online Learning By Angelo Perucho and Duane Melsom

workshops conducted by SAS students. The online school project was successfully piloted earlier this year with a Batam middle school and due to its success, the high school Indonesian leadership requested the same program for their school. However, they needed a computer lab first.


n May 1, six Bintan Club members awoke early to meet at the Harbor Front Ferry terminal for the final 2009 service trip to the island of Batam. This trip, like many others this year, was focused on enhancing the educational opportunities for students attending one of the underdeveloped Batam island schools. The selected high school consists of approximately 600 students in grades 10-12 and has been a focal point on prior trips,

Upon arriving at the high school we found the computers had already been set up by the local students, making our job a lot easier. The only thing left to do was to install the operating system, drivers and available applications. It was obvious that this project was greatly appreciated as we heard some seniors complain jealously that they would only have a few months to enjoy the machines before they greaduated. which included language and group activities and several building projects, including a health clinic, water tower and natural plant garden. The objective of this trip was to set up a new 20 system computer lab made possible by donations and funds raised throughout the year. A secondary purpose of the trip was to create a new HS branch to our existing online school: Friendship International School (FIS). FIS is an online school aimed to supplement student learning in Batam by engaging in weekly online

After a few technical hick-ups, the computers were set up, and next year’s student FIS leadership team, consisting of Director Angelo Perucho, MS and HS Principals Kristin Skills and Gainya St. Clair and sponsor Duane Melsom met with the English and technology teachers to discuss curriculum objectives and course design for the first workshops in September 2009. A basic plan was developed, which allowed for further development to continue back in Singapore.

High School and Third Grade Visit to Leprosy Home By Jane Dodge, IS Teacher


very Friday afternoon after school, a group of dedicated High School students boards a bus at SAS and goes to the Leprosy Home. The students spend time visiting with the elderly residents and serve them a special meal, paid with funds raised by third grade students. This partnership with the High School began in 1994. The money raised by the third graders is used for gifts to the residents of the form of hong bao in December of each year. Over the past six years the leftover money has been used to buy special meals made by Mr. Hoe, which the High School group delivers on Fridays. On Thursday, April 30, 84 third grade students met High School students at the Leprosy Home. The third graders had donated a part of their earnings from the Read-to-Feed project to support the needs of these special people. After singing songs, each child presented a handmade card to a resident along with a small gift. The smiles on everyone’s faces brought joy to the students and the residents. Although the residents are all cured, the stigma of the disease remains, and SAS students are some of the very few regular visitors to the Leprosy Home. Thankfully there are SAS students with the dedication and compassion to continue visiting the Leprosy Home residents, week after week, year after year. SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


Some Principles on Parenting

By School Psychologist Jeff Devens, Ph.D.


onflict. When it comes to parenting it’s not something we want to dwell on. However, from an early age kids test boundaries striving for increasing independence, which often results in conflict…and this is as it should be. By the time our children leave our care they ought to have acquired the necessary “tools” to handle independence and make responsible choices. These tools are endowed through the refining process of parenting, which can be stressful (at times) for both child and parent. For example, those of you rearing teens know full well the cognitive gymnastics of which they are capable. They will stretch, bend, twist and contort the boundaries, all the while assuring you that you are out of step with the times. In my role as a school psych I have the fortunate pleasure of working with families in conflict. My charge in this regard is to help parents as they navigate the adolescent experience. Based on my work with teens I have formulated some guiding principles that help me keep my bearings when the proverbial waters become choppy, the wind howls and fog sets in. My hope is that you will find these principles helpful as you guide your children to the shores of adulthood.

#1:The The important Principle #1: mostmost important relationship one family relationship is theisonethe between between youspouse. and your spouse. you and your


Mom & Dad, the single most important thing you can do for your children is to cultivate a healthy marriage. It is out of this relationship that the out-workings of parenting take place. I recently read an account of a teenager who was bad-mouthing her mother. The father, listening from the other room, walked into the middle of that conversation and said to their daughter, “I get that you SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

are upset and angry and that’s ok, but you WILL NOT talk to my wife that way!” It was a clear reminder to their daughter, and a wonderful affirmation to his wife, that the marriage took precedence over any other relationship in the home. Now, I commend parents for building relationships with kids, but putting children at the center of families has helped contribute to a self-centered generation. It was you and your spouse before the kids, and it will be you and your spouse after the kids. Take time to cultivate your marriage, and you will have a home where family members feel secure, safe and supported. Principle Without a belief Principle #2:#2: Without a belief system system families will flounder. families will flounder. A belief system is a set of guiding principles for how your family operates. These beliefs include opinions, convictions, morals, values and religion. This isn’t merely a list of rules but rather a communication tool for the family that defines goals, desires and expectations for children, and then backs them up with rules and consequences. Some of these “beliefs” may change with the passage of time, while others are embedded in concrete. These beliefs are communicated in ongoing dialogue and actions. Anticipate conflict over beliefs. The majority of conflicts that occur between parents and kids will take place with respect to beliefs. This doesn’t mean you are necessarily doing something wrong. Kids should question and test boundaries. This is an essential part of what they will need to do in order to develop into confident, independent, assertive and responsible adults. Sadly, many parents today emphasize relationship to the exclusion of parenting, focusing on how their child “feels” instead of being principled and consistent in holding them accountable for their choices. I have also observed with increasing frequency parents who respond to their kids as though they were peers. When parents assume this role they place themselves on equal footing, which has the potential to create stronger relationships but also undermines their position of authority. During adolescence your kids don’t need you to be a peer, they need you to be a parent! They need boundaries and guidance that come from you. While it is essential that parents shift their focus with respect to “how” they parent as their children grow,

it’s important that they remain parents. When it to comes to Principle 3:3: When it comes kidswillwill use emotions discipline, kids use emotions to to manipulate andthemselves extricate manipulate and extricate themselves from consequences. from consequences. By the time kids reach adolescence they have become highly skilled at emotional manipulation. Teens tend to be emotional thinkers and use feelings to elicit emotional responses, typically with highly successful results. See if you can identify with some of the most common emotional responses they employ to extricate themselves from consequences: Badgering: Keeping after you, after you, after you, trying to wear you down with repetition (i.e. why, why, why, please, please, please) until they are freed from consequences. Intimidation: This is an aggressive attack that often involves temper tantrums. The aggravated teen may yell, storm around the house, slam doors and throw things until you change your mind. Threatening: The message is that something bad is going to happen to you unless you cease and desist at once from your ridiculous parental requests, restrictions or discipline. Martyrdom: Crying, pouting and looking sad and teary. The goal is to make the parent feel guilty. Martyrdom is surprisingly effective. Buttering Up: This tactic takes a different approach. Instead of making you feel uncomfortable, the child tries to make you feel good (i.e. Dad, did you lose some weight?). Physical Tactics: The frustrated child physically attacks you, breaks things or runs away. I once worked with parents who were attempting to reinforce some consequences with their child regarding curfew. The teen, in response to the consequences the parents were meriting out (which were talked about ahead of time, with the teen agreeing to them, before the rule was violated), began to pout stating: “I don’t have ANY friends anyway so it doesn’t matter.” In response to this one

of the parents, thankfully, affirmed the “feeling” that the teen expressed about not having friends but let her know that it did not negate the fact that she made a choice to violate the curfew and would be held accountable for this. I was so thankful that these parents saw through this emotional tactic (martyrdom). It’s your consistency on following through with consequences that fosters an environment of predictability, which in turn contributes significantly to stability in the home. When kids become emotional regarding consequences, and they will, it’s important to validate the emotions.

Doing this does not mean we remove the consequences. Validate their feelings all the while holding them accountable for the age appropriate choices. Principle #4: Kids want to be loved, unconditionally. Parenting is a process of degrees. Our kids will make choices that leave us feeling proud, affirmed and encouraged. They will also say and do not-so-good things that will leave us dumbfounded. I am reminded of the mother of triplets who was asked in a weak moment, “If

you had to do it all over again would you?” To which she replied, “Yes, I just wouldn’t have the same ones.” Regardless of what choices kids make they have a need to know, feel and believe that our love for them is unconditional. This is conveyed through our actions and words. While it is true that, at times, we may not like our child’s choices, they have the freedom to make them. Loving our children unconditionally doesn’t mean we disregard the not-so-good choices they make. We lovingly hold them accountable, all the while assuring them that our desire for them is to be independent of us.

Parenting with Love and Logic

By Carmine Filice, Paula Huggins and George Bach, Intermediate School Counselors When the moment comes for a child to merrily make his or her way off to college, all parents wonder if their kids are truly prepared for the “real” world. Most parents take their jobs seriously and would do anything humanly possible to ensure that they raise responsible kids. Why? Because we love our kids, of course. It is all done in the name of love! But have parents ever considered that the way we show this love can get us into trouble? How do parents appropriately equip their children to move from total dependence to independence in a mere 18 years?

It was with these concerns in mind that the counseling team in the Intermediate School elected to present the “Parenting with Love and Logic” workshops, aiming to provide parents with some practical, hands-on skills that they could apply to facilitate a non-confrontational parenting style that achieved the desired outcome: less stress for both parents and children. “Love and Logic” is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. based on their combined experience of over 75 years working with and raising kids. It provides simple and practical techniques to help parents experience less stress and more fun while raising responsible kids. Love and Logic offers many useful techniques that parents can apply within the family setting. The aim is to raise responsible children who make smart choices in life and are resilient and confident in rising to the challenges of adult life, and most importantly, to enable the maintenance of an ongoing positive relationship between parents and offspring. Based on a best-selling book by Cline and Fay, the Love and Logic approach teaches parents: • to share control by offering choices • to use empathy to bond with their child • to set clear limits using enforceable statements rather than threats or lectures • to neutralize arguments before power struggles develop • to encourage the child to develop tools for problem solving • to become a “consultant” parent By using the techniques set out in the program, research has shown that the child’s self-concept is preserved and enhanced, that children learn how to own and solve problems they create or face, share control and decision making with their parents, and that high levels of warmth and empathy build the parent-child relationship. The Intermediate School counselors were quite surprised by the interest this workshop generated. Within two weeks of its announcement, 70 parents were registered, and many more were on a waiting list. Acting as facilitators, the counselors presented the core concepts in four sessions with entertaining video clips, group discussions, practical exercises and weekly readings. The discussions were engaging, heart-felt and enlightening, reflecting the parents’ sincere desire to improve the quality of their daily interactions with their children. From the post-course feedback forms, 95% of the parents indicated that they had gained practical parenting tools they could implement in their homes. The “Love and Logic” workshops offered parents an approach that seeks to develop a positive attitude toward parenting combined with the practical skills needed to raise a responsible child in today’s complex and challenging society. If you would like to learn more about Love and Logic, please visit SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


President’s letter

Dear SAS parents, My first year as PTA President has been challenging, exhilarating and very humbling. I continue to be amazed at the work ethic of my colleagues on the PTA Board and am impressed by the generous contributions from many parents within our community toward events and services undertaken by the PTA. The PTA has had another record fund-raising year, and before I discuss some of this year’s accomplishments, I would first like to say a huge “thank you” to all of the board members whom I have had the privilege of working with and who have made these achievements possible. Another reason for the PTA’s success is the support that the administration and faculty so readily extend to us. We are deeply grateful to them, as well as to the facilities crew, IT team, security personnel and custodians. The support we enjoy is integral to establishing a positive and productive relationship between the PTA and SAS. It is a pleasure to dedicate time and effort to supporting the school when our efforts are so appreciated. As we come to the end of another school year, we are in the fortunate position of disbursing to the school the proceeds of our fund-raising efforts. If you were not able to attend the Volunteer Appreciation Tea on May 19, please read the related article in this issue that outlines some of the items that will be purchased with the $335,000 that you have helped raise. In addition to the funding for those items, the PTA also provided over $21,000 to the High School Community Service Clubs from proceeds raised at its Annual Pumpkin Sale. We also provided $6,400 to HS Interim Semester Scholarships and $30,000 to PTA Senior Scholarships. Early in the school year, each SAS family received a school calendar and directory published with PTA funds. We also provided each graduating senior a present, gave each staff member a gift on Staff Appreciation Day, sponsored an Ice Cream Social at Open House, will provide a reception after the High School graduation ceremony and will pay for advertisements in the High School Islander and Prism. This year we also gave $5,800 toward the publication of the Middle School’s Tiger Tales, over $4,400 to the 8th grade for their year-end Sentosa Island excursion and donated books to the school libraries to commemorate births, adoptions or deaths within our community through our Celebration Books program. The PTA also facilitated the ordering of books in its Scholastic Book program. The volume of orders we generate allows us to accumulate bonus points with Scholastic Inc., and the points are used to order books that are then donated to the school. This year, Scholastic book purchases allowed us to accumulate enough points to provide over $40,000 worth of books to teachers for their classrooms. We are able to provide such significant support to the school due to your ongoing participation. As with the end of every school year, we unfortunately have to say goodbye to many of you as you move on to new opportunities. For those of you who are leaving us, we thank you for all the support that you have given to both the PTA and the school. We wish you the best of luck in your return home or to wherever you may be heading. For those of you leaving for the summer but returning in August, please enjoy a restful and safe summer break, and we look forward to seeing you back refreshed and ready to start the new school year! Mae Anderson PTA President

CONGRATULATIONS Congratulations to Alyssa San Jose, grade 8 for publishing a lovely piece called “Blue-Skied Thunderstorms” in This I Believe on National Public Radio. To read her story, see

PTA Year End Fund-Spending Presentations at the PTA Volunteer Tea and Annual General Meeting


n May 19, the PTA held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea and Annual General Meeting at the home of Chargé d’Affaires Dan Shields and Mrs. Sangeeta Shields. Mr. and Mrs. Shields spoke to the assembly and warmly welcomed everyone to their home. Mrs. Shields shared some information on the history of the residence as she spoke of the Swettenham Road house being built on the site of a rubber plantation in 1929 and first owned by a Dutchman before the U.S. government bought the property in 1949. Mr. Shields joked that his job as Chargé d’Affaires is so important that it cannot even be said in English! He then went on to explain that during the period of time between ambassadors, the Chargé d’Affaires is the person in charge at the embassy. This year’s event was well attended by over 150 PTA members, SAS administrators and faculty. At the tea, some very exciting presentations were made by the PTA to the school administration. At the end of each school year, the excess funds in the PTA account are donated to the school in the form of Fund Spending. This year, Assistant Superintendent for Learning Mark Boyer, Director of Finance and Business Operations, William Scarborough and the principals of each division presented a list of equipment and programs they would like PTA to fund. A committee made up of PTA volunteers and faculty representatives considered all the requests and recommended how the available funds should be allocated. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of many volunteers and through the generous support of the SAS community at various PTA fund-raising events, the PTA was in the fortunate position of being able to grant $335,000 divisional and school-wide Fund Spending requests. At the tea, the SAS principals were each called to the podium to receive the list of items that students and teachers in their divisions will enjoy next year, courtesy of the PTA. Here is a sampling of some of those items: • Plawayays for the Primary School Library • LCD projectors for the Primary School • A Discovery Garden for the ECC • Lenovo S10 ThinkPad computers • $30,000 to for an ecology environment ( 2 gardens & 1 marine aquarium) • Technology additions to the Intermediate School (LCD projector & integrated whiteboard) • $20,000 to add to classroom & bookroom collections • $47,000 for Middle School RLA book rooms • $20,000 for Middle School classroom library collections • Digital cameras for the High School • Art drawing tablets • $30,000 for a Creative Writers’ Program featuring an author-in-residence The $335,000 granted in Fund Spending was presented in the form of a ceremonial check to SAS Superintendent Brent Mutsch, who thanked the PTA and said “Unexpressed gratitude is like a gift not given.” Dr. Mutsch went on the compliment the PTA for not just contributing funds to the school but for helping build a strong sense of community at SAS.

Mark Boyer accepting the check from PTA President Mae Anderson. Back row: Brent Mutsch, David Norcott, Devin Pratt, Marian DeGroot, David Hoss

At the meeting, PTA’s Nominating Committee Chair, Anne Chan, presented the slate of executive members for the 2009-2010 school year and made a motion to elect the candidates: Mae Anderson - PTA President, Shelby Pazos - PTA Vice President, Judy Byun - PTA Treasurer and Becky Moseley - PTA Secretary. The PTA warmly thanks all volunteers and members of the SAS community for their kind support and participation in the many PTA events throughout the school year that have enabled the PTA to contribute so meaningfully to SAS. The PTA wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable summer and we look forward to another successful year this fall.

Chargé d’Affaires Dan Shields and Sangeeta Shields

PTA Board Members. From left: Susan Fay, Judy Byunn, Mae Anderson, Shelby Pazos (not present, Becky Moseley)

PTA Event Organisers Kate Irani & Abha Kaul

Odd Girl Out author visits SAS by Bonetta Ramsey, Grade 8 Counselor


n April 20-22, Rachel Simmons, internationally recognized expert in the area of aggression and bullying in girl relationships, visited the Singapore American School. Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestseller Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, the first book to explore the phenomenon of bullying among girls. Simmons works with girls, parents and teachers around the world in order to develop strategies to address bullying and to empower girls. During her three day visit to SAS, Simmons met with girls in grades 5 to 8, the MS Peer Counsel, HS and IS Peer Support and K-12 counseling staff, and offered a school-wide parent coffee. In concluding her visit, Simmons provided a presentation for staff and administration. The theme of her presentations was based on Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Specifically, Simmons identified characteristics and sources of aggression and bullying in girls and provided suggestions to students, parents and teachers on how to proactively address issues that they may encounter in school or at home. The students responded enthusiastically to Simmons and her message.The girls were particularly impressed by her ability to relate to them. Student comments included, “She really gets who we are,” and “She knows us.” During her student talks, Simmons offered guidance on how to deal with friend issues, whether they are encountered in a face-to-face context or online. The parent presentation was well-received by over 300 attendees. Simmons message included defining and recognizing aggression and bullying in girls, as well as “Do’s and Don’ts” for parents. Following the presentation, parents were given the opportunity to purchase a book and attend a book signing with Simmons. For parents unable to attend the parent presentation, SAS has provided a podcast at Community members may also purchase a video copy of her parent presentation by contacting the Television Distribution Center at SAS. Simmons is the Founding Director of the Girls’ Leadership Institute, a summer program for middle and high school girls. For more information on this program, please visit her website at Simmons participation was sponsored by the SAS Community Library through funding from the SAS Education Foundation.

Newbery Honor Author Kathi Appelt visits with Kindergarten, 5th Grade and Middle School by Kirk Palmer, PS Librarian


ula Hoop Hall in the ECC buzzed with anticipation as visiting author Kathi Appelt, author of well-known counting book Bat Jamboree and Newbery Honor Book, The Underneath, moved to the front of the room on Thursday, April 30 for a special session with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. Appelt, who was in Singapore from College Station, Texas to visit friends, made herself available to meet with SAS students to talk about her writing and her books. Appelt and her husband are from Texas and she has used that setting for her popular picture book series, Bubba and Beau. Appelt met with grade 5 students and middle schoolers in the afternoon to talk about her latest book for older readers, The Underneath. She talked about her recent Newbery Honor Book and the writing process. The Newbery is an award given to an author for outstanding writing, usually for books intended for students in intermediate and middle school levels. The Underneath has been cited for outstanding use of language and as a future classic. Appelt’s visit was funded by the SAS Education Foundation. The SAS librarians are grateful to the parents, corporations and alumni that have donated to the foundation in support of programs such as the visiting author program.


Note: There are still a few signed copies of her Bubba and Beau series and The Underneath available in the PS and IS libraries. Please stop by or email PS librarian Kirk Palmer,, or IS librarian Sally Burk, SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

Le Grand Concours

By Christina Popowski, HS French teacher


uring the week prior to Spring Break, high school students in French 1–4 competed in the 74th annual Le Grand Concours or National French Contest. Le Grand Concours is a 60-minute exam designed, written, financed and disseminated by the members of the American Association of Teachers of French. Its purpose is to identify and reward achievement on the part of both students and teachers, as well as stimulate interest in the teaching and learning of French. The majority of the questions on the exam evaluate a student’s reading and listening comprehension and about one third of the questions evaluate a student’s knowledge of grammar mechanics. Just over 70,000 high school students of French in the United States and at international schools in Singapore, England, Tunisia and Israel competed in this year’s contest. French teachers at SAS were pleased to learn that the scores of 23 SAS students were among the top 10 scores at each level of the contest. Christina Popowski and Laurence Patrick were also pleased to learn that more than half of SAS students in French 1 and 2 scored at or above the average score on their exams; 95% of the French 3 students scored at or above the average score, and just over 80% of the French 4 students scored at or above the average score. All of the participating students and their teachers are to be congratulated for their achievement. Because the National French Contest is an external assessment tool used to see how students score among their peers, the students’ scores reflect well on SAS. The 23 students who scored among the “top 10” will be recognized with a certificate of achievement, a medal and a small but special prize (en français bien sûr!). In Level 1, out of 17,865 competing students, Gretchen Connick placed sixth and Kristin Skill and Marietta Tanudisastro tied for seventh place. In Level 2, out of 18,201 competing students, Serafin Kaldis placed fourth, Elizabeth Mckenna was seventh and Marcin Kedziera and Jane Petty tied for tenth place. In Level 3, out of 16,482 competing students, Katherina Feng was fifth, Kevin Lancon was sixth, Kyle Forgeron and Rebecca were both seventh and Alexis Asselin-Lauzon, Emily Lin and Saachi Subramani were eighth, Michaela Benjamin and Steffi Lee were ninth and Olivia Ding and Vincent Yang were tenth. In Level 4, out of 11,352 competing students, Sarah Mountjoy was seventh, Alexander Kua was eighth, Dennis Chu and Emily Lemaire were ninth and Natasha Anthony was tenth.

SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


Habitat Luau

By Patricia Quick, First Grade Teacher

reports and scripts for Habitat Luau. On April 24 in celebration of their learning, students in these first grade classes held Habitat Luau for their parents and friends. Each student read their own script about an animal or plant they had chosen from the rain forest, desert or ocean. Joyce’s class sang a beautiful song about the rain forest. Quick’s class wowed the audience with a desert performance, and Derksen’s class frolicked onstage in an ocean song and dance.


id you know that a rafflesia flower has no stem, roots or leaves? …a blue whale can weigh as much as 32 elephants? … or a roadrunner can run at speeds of up to 15 miles an hour? These are just some of the fun facts the first graders in Patricia Quick’s, Pamela Derksen’s and Debra Joyce’s classes have learned.

No luau would be complete without the limbo! At the end of the show, students showed their individual personalities During the past few months, these first grade and flexibility as they did the limbo students have learned how to use non-fiction and took final bows in recognition of books to find information about animals and their work. plants. They learned how the table of contents, index, glossary, bold/italic print and photos/captions in a book can be used to help them with their research. When their research was completed they wrote their own animal

INTERIM SCHOLARSHIP Beth Gribbon, Director of Communications and Development, presented Kelly Schuster with an Interim Semester Scholarship, made possible through a $2,000 donation from UPS. Scholarships are awarded through a committee of teachers, administrators, PTA and Booster Club parent representatives who review applications submitted by high school students interested in being considered for a scholarship. This school year, funding for scholarships was also provided by the PTA and the Booster Club.


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

Knowledge Bowl By Bill Rives, HS Teacher

The Spring 2009 Knowledge Bowl results are in. SAS ranked 69 out of 652 teams with a score of 1581, a top 11% finish and up 166 points from a year ago. SAS won the International Division, but, then again, only SAS, Seoul International and the American Community School of Abu Dhabi competed. Usually there are about 10 teams in this section. Our anticipated matchup against Shanghai never materialized because they did not enter this time. Shanghai had been on top of the International Division for five years. We hope to go head-to-head with Shanghai in November. The top five finishers were: Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh, North Carolina, with an impressive 1827; State College Area High School, State College, Pennsylvania, 1811; North Carolina School of Science, Durham, North Carolina, 1792; Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1780; Bellarmine College Prep, San Jose, California, 1773. How did schools in your region do? Visit the “Knowledge Master Open” site. Amit Parekh, Chris Seet, and Nihal Varkey captained the SAS effort and manned the controls. We just might see them on Jeopardy! some day. Knowledge Bowl develops versatility, quick thinking, curiosity and teamwork. And it is plenty of fun. Can the Fall 2009 Team crack the 1600 barrier?

Teacher Education Fund By Duane Melsom, HS Teacher

Several years ago the Teacher Education Scholarship was created by SAS staff members to provide financial support to an SAS graduate intending to pursue a degree leading to employment in the education field. Each year the Pre-K through 12 staff contribute toward this scholarship. The funds are sent to the selected student’s university to assist in the payment of tuition fees. Last year the SAS Education Foundation became an annual donor, and funds from the foundation combined with staff contributions make this year’s $6,000 scholarship one of the top scholarships available. John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefits for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” The selection committee takes these words to heart as they review each student’s application. Past recipients have been active in developing individual abilities in leadership, community service, sports and performing arts. Their essays expressed a desire to give students the same or similar opportunities they had experienced at SAS. The 2006 recipient, Cloe Woodfield, is in her final year for a bachelor’s in teaching at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand. She states, “I still firmly believe that I have made the right career choice and I wish to thank SAS for helping me with this. I look forward to entering the big wide (albeit scary) world of teaching next year when a class of thirty plus children of my own will be a challenge!” Past scholarship recipients were Brian Linton (2005), Casey DeFord (2007) and Emily Woodfield (2008). All applicants must meet the following criteria: be a senior with a minimum 3.0 gpa, submit a list of extracurricular and community activities, hobbies and accomplishments and complete a 500-word essay that answers the question, “Why I believe that teaching is the right major for me.” All applications were due May 8 with a committee decision by May 22. The selected student will be announced on May 29 at the Academic/Service/Athletic Awards program. The Teacher Education Scholarship committee would like to thank the SAS staff for their generous contributions and support for this scholarship. Additionally, the committee is grateful to the parents and corporate donors that contribute to the SAS Education Foundation, as their donations made the foundation’s grant possible. SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


Math Olympiads in the Intermediate School by Susan Shaw , IS GAT Advisor

Math Olympiads is a problem-solving math program where students are challenged through practice contests and then real contests to improve their problem-solving skills. The Intermediate Division Math Olympiad Team competed in five contests from November through to March. More than 5,000 teams took part with over 150,000 students participating worldwide. The goals of the Math Olympiads program are: • To stimulate enthusiasm and a love for mathematics • To introduce important mathematical concepts • To teach major strategies for problem solving • To develop mathematical flexibility in solving problems • To strengthen mathematical intuition • To foster mathematical creativity and ingenuity • To provide the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting challenges This year’s team score was 150 points, which put the IS Division Math Olympiad team in the top 20% of all teams participating and earned it a Certificate of High Achievement. Congratulations to the team’s highest scorers, Ashley Bang and Milla Shin, who will each receive a Math Olympiad trophy. Congratulations also to Jae Won Kim, Jennifer Vu, Nicole Cook, Salil Mitra, Se Hwan Jeon and Thomas Choi who will receive silver pins.

Fifth grade Math Olympiad team: (front) Katie Wilson, Jeane Khang, Nicole Cook, Diane Smith; (middle) Xavier Negron, Se Hwan Jeon, Olli Massala, Jae Yong Ju, Thomas Choi, Alex Conrad; (back) Tia Abdi, Milla Shin, Salil Mirta, Ashley Shin, Ashley Bang, Drew Burd. Fourth grade participants were Angie Lin, Eric Cho, Jae Won Kim, Jennifer Vu, Kyuzo Kelly, Lydia Smith, Neill McComb, Toorno Mishra.

SAS reduces its carbon footprint By Anthony Wong, Director of Facilities


he Facilities and Services Office developed an energy efficiency plan in July 2008 in urgent response to the spike in the price of electricity and have been actively initiating, evaluating and implementing multiple energy conservation measures throughout 2008/09. We are confidently projecting that our total energy conservation efforts will result in a cumulative reduction of 1,540,000 KWh, an operational savings of $454,000 and an elimination of CO2 emission of 1,212 tons, a fitting closure to this eventful school year. Stating this differently, by the end of this school year, we will


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

have reduced our electrical consumption to 12,070,000 KWh from the previous year’s consumption of 12,366,000 KWh. This level of success speaks volumes for the powerful synergy of faculty, staff and students working together to affect change positively. Indeed, every member of SAS, when called upon to provide ideas or to cooperate in implementing new ideas, took ownership of the many transformational opportunities. This entire school responsiveness to the call for energy conservation bodes well for our learning community. Complementing the implementation of these projects and initiatives was an equally successful

communication campaign to raise awareness of and reminders to the SAS community of how individual behavior assists energy conservation. We know that this is only the beginning, and we expect more savings to come. We have undertaken an energy audit and are in the process of implementing measures as appropriate. We know we can achieve greater cost efficiencies in our mechanical and electrical operations and in our efforts to reduce the school’s impact on the environment. We aim to provide a model of efficiency and sustainable practices for our students. The School Board’s Facilities Committee will continue to monitor the school’s efforts and progress. We have set a new and more ambitious goal to reduce SAS use of electricity by a further 1,000,000 KWh over the next three years. In other words, going forward, we aim to reduce and cap the SAS annual electricity consumption at 11,000,000 KWh. At this level, we would be operating at an Energy Efficiency Index of about 110 KWh/m2, the operating equivalent of using three modern 400-ton chillers in lieu of the existing three 14-year-old 400-ton chillers.

Teachers win big in JP Morgan Corporate Challenge by Mark Forgeron What a tremendous turnout we had from our SAS community – both in terms of participants and spectators! Thank you, everyone, for your involvement as a serious runner, as a jogger, as a walker or as a helper, especially our timers and photographers – Paul Welsh, Hayley Mitchell, Anne Dodge Carroll, Frank Olah and Audrey Forgeron – and our organizers – Lauren Mehrbach, Carmine Filice, Crystal Madsen, Audrey Forgeron and Mark Forgeron. A HUGE congratulations to Andrew Hallam, this year’s overall winner of the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge! Fantastic, Andrew! The mixed team of Andrew Hallam, Ian Coppell, Jeneane Paxson, Crystal Madsen came in first; the women’s team of Becky Green, Pele Hallam-Young, Lauren Mehrbach, Stacey Jensen took third place; and the men’s team of Mark Forgeron, Paul Terrile, Nathan Schelbe, Greg Reynen placed fourth.

Middle School Students and Faculty Run to Remember By Amanda Wood

April marked the fourth anniversary of the loss of our Middle School friend and colleague – Gerri Hickman. Gerri was a foods and nutrition teacher at SAS for eight years and spent the last five years of her time with us battling breast cancer. Throughout her battle, she continued to teach and encourage students to improve their skills in the kitchen. To honor her brave fight and celebrate her life, the entire MS community came together on April 24 for the fourth annual Gerri Hickman Memorial Run. Both Joe Hickman (Gerri’s husband) and JR Hickman (Gerri’s son) attended the event, and reminded all students and faculty members to tell our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to get screened for breast cancer early. As Joe Hickman pointed out, “early detection saves lives.” After a warm-up with teacher Peter Cuthbert, the Hickmans to officially started the run. Students in pink tops, aprons and even a few with kitchen utensils ran around the 2-km course and were cheered on by parent marshals, security personel and SAS staff members. At the end of the run, a few students were asked why it was important to honor a teacher who many students did not know. Jake, an 8th grader, said the run meant “she would not be forgotten.” Another student, Andrew, commented that the run helped us to “remember cancer victims everywhere.” Middle School cooking students also helped to raise awareness for the fight against cancer by selling freshly baked bread. Students in both Amy Ferguson’s and Natalie Grimbergen’s international cooking classes made, cooked and sold hot loaves of braided Greek Easter Bread. Each loaf was sold for $10 and over two days the students raised almost $1000! All the money raised was donated to The Breast Cancer Research Fund in memory of Gerri. SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


2nd Grade has a New Way to Walk! by Barb Osterhout and Sarah Farris

All grade two students put on their walking shoes and celebrated the third annual Second Grade Walk-A-Thon on Friday, April 17. Students walked around the SAS High School Track from 8:00 – 9:30 am in “Hope” of raising awareness for Kampung Kids in Indonesia and our adopted elephant “Hope” in Thailand. This Community Service Project was hosted by all grade two teachers and parent volunteers as well as Principal David Hoss and Vice Principal Ken Schunk. Many younger siblings of the students were also in attendance. The students ran, hopped, skipped and walked with friends, parents and teachers to make a difference. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, a bigger parent turn-out or happier students. They had so much fun that this year was dubbed the “TalkA-Thon!” The monies raised (a whopping S$33,300) will help support underprivileged school children in Jakarta ( and orphaned elephants in Chiang Mai ( Thank you to everyone who put on their walking shoes and helped to make our Walk-A-Thon a success. A big thank you also goes to the SAS Education Foundation for contributing $2,000! This is the third year the SAS Education Foundation has donated funds for this community service project, and students, parents and faculty can’t thank the enough for its continued support and generosity. We definitely found a new way to walk that CAN make a difference!


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

American Football Blazes in the Tropics By Craig Derksen Rams Coach and American League Commissioner

Football has since become one of the highlights of the year for our family. SAFL football is the real thing: full contact football with pads, intense practices and exciting games complete with refs, announcers, cameramen, cheerleaders and water girls. The SAFL program teaches skills, toughness and core values. As the program depends on volunteers, it also provides parents with wonderful opportunities to share this special experience with their sons. The SAFL football program has four leagues: the Flag Football League for 2nd through 4th graders, the American League for 5th and 6th graders, the National League for 7th and 8th graders and the World League for high school students. Students of all skill levels are encouraged to join and are My wife and I are teachers at SAS. Our decision to work guaranteed playing time. At $350, I think it’s the best deal in and live overseas has provided our sons, Jake and Cole, with town. Sign up for the 2009 football season (August 17-October many wonderful opportunities such as travel and exposure to 31) at the SACAC office today! Contact Phil at a variety of cultures. At the same time, the boys have missed sg or 6363-6454. out on many of the traditions they would find in a school back in the States. When we decided to leave our last post For more information please check out this video on Youtube in Indonesia, we asked our sons what they wanted most in a created by parent Lisa Hogan: new location. Without hesitation, they said they wanted to be in a place where they could play American football. When watch?v=qUknlmX6OSM we applied for jobs at SAS, we were happy to learn that the TESTIMONIALS community organization, SACAC, offers an American footSAFL gave my boys a love for the game. The unexpected ball program, which is played on SAS fields. We were fortuand pleasant surprise was that it helped them become nate to be offered positions at this excellent school, and the young men. I could never repay that debt. – Rod Jahner boys were thrilled to know their dream had become a reality. SACAC Youth Non-contact Football Camp for grades 5-8 June 8 to 12, 9 am – 12 noon $250 for SACAC members and $275 for non-members Includes T-shirt and training binder Contact Phil at or 6363-6465 or Mike Little at

SAFL football has done some great things for my son It has put him in good physical condition, helped him focus on his studies, and given him some lifelong friends. – Phil Morris SAFL eased my son’s transition into Singapore more than any other single thing. As parents it helped us tremendously as well. Thanks SAFL. – John Devins

SAS volunteers step up to the plate to co-host IASAS Softball with ISB Bob Connor (International School of Bangkok Activities/Athletic Director) and Mimi Molchan (SAS Activities / Athletic Director) would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all within the SAS community who helped make the IASAS Softball Tournament a success. The tournament, originally scheduled to be in Bangkok, was moved to Singapore four days before the event was to take place. The housing of 120 particpants was completed in a mere 10 hours after an emergency plea went out by email to all HS families. The Boosters quickly banned together and organized an able-bodied group to provided food and drinks at the concession stand, which added greatly to the upbeat atmosphere at the tournament. Thanks to the many who flipped burgers and stuffed hot dogs. Many people came to our rescue and assisted in umpiring the 36 games that were played over the three day period. It’s fair to say that many, many people “stepped up to the plate” to cover all aspects of the tournament. “We batted a thousand” on this one. Thank you!!! SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


IASAS Track Champions!

By Jim Baker, Coach


he SAS boys and girls track teams emerged victorious in the IASAS competition in Jakarta. The boys extended a winning streak that dates from 1998, and the girls won their tenth championship in the last 12 years.

On the girls team, every athlete scored. The standout performers were Annie Lydens in the middle distance race and Tolley St Clair in the sprints. Both the 4 x 800 and medley relay teams set new IASAS and school records. On the boys team, Brian Robertson and Alexis Lauzon scored big time in the middle distance race, and Max Shaulis led the way in the sprints.

A year of firsts but not medals By Gordon Cyr, Coach


here were many “firsts” for the boy’s badminton team this year. This was the first year that the boy’s and girl’s teams trained separately. This was the first time that we hosted a mini-tournament with local schools, as well as participating in one at United World College. We also hosted an international “friendly” against Garden International School from Malaysia. Finally, our IASAS selection was complicated by the depth of our team. For the first time, we had to hold a playoff to determine who would be the alternate player to travel to IASAS. The fact that there were four boys involved in this playoff was a testament to the depth of our squad. The “first” that we were really after, though, was the IASAS championship, which was held in Taipei. In the 11 years that badminton has been an IASAS sport, SAS has only once made it into the finals. Despite our best efforts, 2009 was not our year. History will show that we placed fifth with a 1W-4L record. The intensity of the competition, and the parity among the IASAS teams was such that we were literally 2-3 points away from the medal round. The fifth place finish did not do us justice! There were some outstanding SAS performances. Calvin Lo finished with a 4W-1L record in the alternate position, which was a fantastic rookie debut. Ben Charoenwong and Josh Wolf also finished with an excellent 4-1 record in first doubles, and they can make a strong claim to being one of the finest doubles teams to ever play for SAS. Both Shen Wei Lai and Kyle Carbon gained many fans at IASAS for their tenacious play and indomitable spirit. Overall, the entire team battled for every point and played to its maximum.

The girls placed 3rd and the boys team were 5th in IASAS badminton

Although we were all disappointed with our finish at IASAS, there was much to be proud of. The boys showed the kind of effort, commitment and team spirit that will only help them in their future endeavors. The boys gave their all, represented SAS with distinction and had fun doing it. It was a pleasure coaching this group of young men.


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

Softball GIRLS CELEBRATE 8th IASAS WIN By Mark Swarstad, Coach

we had a strong team this season – strong in talent as well as in TEAM – thanks to the work and personalities of cocaptains Erica Padgett and Vanessa Peck. IASAS in Singapore gave us a home field advantage with fans young and old and an opportunity to demonstrate the girls’ skills. While losing to ISB 10-9 in an error-laden extra-inning game, our team dominated in the other four games, and the girls really showcased their softball talents!


ur SAS Eagles girls’ softball team rested with music and air conditioning while outside in the heat, three teams sweated through two sets of a special round robin playoff to determine who would face us in the final game. Our girls had made the passage to the championship for the eighth year running by beating a stubborn TAS Tigers team 7-1 earlier in the day. It took a seven-run sixth inning for us to finally get on the scoreboard and into “safety.”

This tournament, which was moved from Bangkok to Singapore because of political unrest, came as the culmination of a rewarding season that saw the team travel to ISKL for an early season exchange and play weekly games against a middle school coed team coached by Mark Forgeron and a Lady Eagles team managed by Moni McCoy. These weeks of play left coaches Devin Kay and Mark Swarstad knowing that

The championship game versus ISM brought SAS on the field against a talent-laden but young team, and two seven-hit innings gave the Eagles confidence on defense as well as a good lead. The game ended 15-5 and our fun season had closed. At the awards ceremony four of our teammates made All Tournament – pitcher Vanessa Peck, outfielder Erica Padgett, shortstop Brooke McManigal and outfielder Natalie Muller. Natalie, by the way, led all players in hitting with 15 hits in 21 times at bat. The 2009 softball season is over, but many cool memories will remain for a long time to come.

Boys’ Softball – What should have been… By Keith Hynes, Coach


his Boys’ Varsity Softball team looked ready and was certainly willing to make a run for the gold at IASAS this year. Once again we played weekend games in the men’s league, but due to Interim, Spring Break and Easter that was limited to just 7 games. We, however, thanks to Jason Peck and other men from the league, were able to organize Wednesday games. As the season progressed the boys slowly improved their fielding and hitting. We traveled to Bangkok in early April for our mid-season exchange. It allowed us a chance to play all the others teams that would be at IASAS in the host city. We swept the exchange and returned to Singapore feeling good about our chances of winning IASAS. We finished our season with a Wednesday game against a very talented men’s team. The boys hit and fielded well, and we easily defeated the men. We had peaked and were ready for IASAS. Because of civil unrest in Bangkok the tournament was relocated to Singapore.

Now we felt even better knowing we would have home crowds supporting us and familiarity with our field. We entered Sunday, the first day of IASAS feeling strong and relaxed. That Sunday is now better known as, “the day that shall not be mentioned” as we lost both our games; 0-1 to Bangkok and 0-2 to Jakarta. Bangkok would eventually win the tournament, entering the final with the same record that we had but winning head-to-head. Although losing on Sunday was the talk of the tournament, I think that what I will take away from this whole season were

the attitudes of the boys. They played hard all season, were supportive of each other and had fun doing so; beat box line-ups and throw back Tuesday come to mind. After Sunday’s losses they could have easily given up but instead they went on to win the rest of their games and took third in the tournament, missing the finals by one run. They developed and showed character that will last a lifetime, longer than any memory of finishing 1st or 3rd at IASAS. Everyone at the tournament knew what should have been but still was… a victory. I am proud of them. SAS NewsFlash – May 2009



ts ng Art i z e n i d t u n S g r o Hono Re c

n Tuesday April 28 SAS held its fourth induction ceremony for National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and National Junior Art Honor Society (NJAHS) members. Our chapter president Annie Lydens was the master of ceremonies for the event, and Board Chairman Garth Sheldon gave an inspiring key note address to the young artists and guests. Middle school art teacher Jeff Koltutsky presented certificates to all NJAHS inductees and encouraged them to maintain their artistic excellence


SAS NewsFlash – May 2009

By Jeff Koltutsky, MS Art Teacher Photos by Zul Mansoor in high school. High school visual art teacher Barbara Harvey introduced the chapter’s officers: Annie Lydens (president) Kari Nagasaki (Vice President), Calin Brown (Treasurer), Emma Sheldon (Communication Director), and Elle Rava (Secretary). Current members of the NAHS gave personal welcomes to selected new members, and Barbara Harvey recognized the seniors who will wear NAHS honor

cords at graduation and extended her congratulations to all members for their outstanding achievements in art. After a group photo on the Riady Performing Arts Center steps, members and guests enjoyed refreshments while viewing the art show. It was an enjoyable event and a perfect way to celebrate the successes of SAS art students this year. As always a big thank you goes to the Arts Council for all their help planning and running the induction ceremony.

National Art Honor Society Members April 2009 Grade 10

Debra Chan* Christy Chiu* Aditi Gang* Kaho Hashimoto* Soklyda Long* Alix Ryan* Helen Sohn*

Grade 11

Carol Baicy Cindy Cherng Virginia Cucchi Jennifer Ho Marjhan Kauser* Sung Yeon Kim Aisling Leow

Francesca Lieow Kirsten Miranda Khyber McHugh* Tatiana Nasr Momo Ozawa Ellie Rava Kathryn Tinker*

*April 2008 Inductee

Grade 12

Calin Brown Shreya Chohan Tulsi Desai Anna Downs Kimberly Dunbar Chloe Dunderdale Tatiana Gerbtzaff Hillary Go Jae Hur Mili Kale

You Na Kim Tun Tun Khaing Ashley Lau Ellen Lee Annie Lyden Robbie Mehring Kari Nagasaki Nanami Oki Aye Nye In Pyu Raehanna Reed

Victoria Rushton Emma Sheldon Malavika Singh Danielle Selby Natalie Tan Julia Tan Adrienne Wilson Eugene Wong

National Junior Art Honor Society Members April 2009 Grade 8

Jonathan Chan Juhee Lee Felicity Dunbar Annika Hvide Sarah Choo Erika Nagasaki Niloofar Farzaneh Katelyn Leong Tanvi Ahuja

Murray Livingston Job Lau Teresa Lo Renata Lumanau Rathana Pen-Amelio Alexandria Soybel Isabella Speciale Laken Sylvander Cherry Veoun-Amelio

Rathana Pen-Amelio

Darren Wong Allison Davis Lorraine De Velez Rachael Hyde Chelsea Lin Julia Marcou Angela Wang

Erika Nagasaki Katelyn Leong

Juhee Lee

Murray Livingston

Felicity Dunbar

SAS NewsFlash – May 2009


SAS Open House

Saturday, August 15 9 am to 1pm

Singapore American School families are invited to attend Open House on Saturday, August 15. Students and parents will find class lists posted and be able to visit classrooms, meet teachers and pick up schedules. School uniforms will be available for purchase from the Booster Booth in the High School, from the PTA in the Elementary Gymnasium and from Lim’s Department Store in the Elementary Theater. Vehicle registration and bus information will be available. Lenovo will be set up to provide product information and sales. Community organizations such as SACAC, Scouts and EASA will be at the Open House. Cafeterias will be open as well as Subway, Campus Signature Pizza and The Eagle Zone in the High School. Before you head home, don’t forget to visit the IS/MS Cafeteria where the PTA will be hosting an Ice Cream Social. Stop by to meet other families and enjoy ice cream compliments of the PTA.

Saturday, August 15 Open House 9 am-1pm

Monday, August 17

First Day of School for Grades 3 – 12

Monday/Tuesday, August 17-18

Orientation for ECC and Primary School Kindergarten through grade 2 will hold individual student/parent/teacher orientations. Teachers will call the week before to set up the individual appointment times. Preschool and pre-kindergarten will hold student/parent/teacher orientations. Parents will be contacted the week of August 10 regarding an orientation time.

Wednesday, August 19

First Day of School for Pre-K – Grade 2

Wednesday, August 19 and Thursday, August 20 Preschool students attend with their parents

Parents of preschool students are invited to attend the first day of preschool with their children. Half of the preschool classes will begin on August 19 and the other half will start on August 20. During the orientation, parents will receive their child’s schedule.

Friday, August 21

All preschool students attend school Address : 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547 Tel: 6363 3403 Fax: 6363 3408 Email : Website:

Singapore American School Newsflash, May 2009  

Newsflash, now Crossroads, was a Singapore American School community service publication.