Page 1

Volume 12, Issue 7-09/10 - April 2010

NewsFlash MICA (P) 154/08/2009

A Singapore American School community service publication

Star Appeal Dinner Pages 12-13

IASAS Cultural Convention Pages 15-17

Little kids working with big kids Pages 26-27


April 2010 Volume 12, Issue 7-09/10

NewsFlash 5

Calendar Highlights


Booster Club News


Superintendent of Schools


Asst. Superintendent for Learning

DAVID HOSS Principal Primary School

Marian Graham Principal Intermediate School


Fabulous first grade stories


HS Drinking


Focusing on grammar


Dining in the Dark


SAS Foundation Donations


AMIS Band Festival


Home, belonging and identity


Life’s lessons


Grade 2 Asia Fest


Awesome Apes

Are You Receiving What’s Happening at SAS?

Rhonda Norris Asst. Superintendent for Human Resources

Devin Pratt Principal Middle 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 We welcome input from the community associated with Singapore American School

William Scarborough

Director of Finance and Business Operations

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 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:


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Editor: Beth Gribbon Staff Editor: Junia Baker Layout: Alfi Dino Photography: Karen Cortezano May NewsFlash

Deadline: April 12, 2010 Publication Date: May 3, 2010

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Government applauds water conservation at SAS School saves water in driest month in 140 years By SAS Facilities and Services

The Singapore American School received two accolades from the national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), for its commitment to conserving Singapore’s precious water resources. In January, SAS was awarded a PUB Water Efficient Building certificate. This recognition is given to organizations which monitor their water usage and promote water conservation and efficiency. The month after, PUB inducted SAS into its Friends of Water program which aims to build a community of allies and guardians of Singapore’s water resources. An initiative of Facilities director Anthony Wong and maintenance engineer Jumat Bin Hamid, the SAS water management strategy involves sub-metering, the prompt repair of leaks, the use of a mini weather station to prevent unnecessary irrigation on rainy days, and switching to low-flow fittings. Showers at SAS are now at 5-7 liters per minute; sinks are at 4-6 liters per minute; basins are at 2 liters per minute; and urinals are at 0.5 to 1 liter per flush. The payoff has been enormous. From July 2009 to February 2010, SAS consumed over 54,000 m3 of water. This is a 14-percent reduction from the same time last school year; it also represents over $17,000 in avoided water payments. The water savings of about 9,000 m3 would have been enough to fill 3.6 Olympic-size swimming pools or give nearly 257,000 people 5-minute showers in a SAS locker room with a low-flow shower head. The savings are all the more encouraging coming on the back of the 47-percent reduction of water consumption from school year 2007-2008 to 2008-2009. SAS was able to save water even during the driest month ever recorded in Singapore in 140 years. (According to the National Environment Agency, just 6.3 mm of rain fell in Singapore in February 2010, the lowest monthly rainfall since records began to be kept in 1869.) Water consumption in February 2010 was 316 m3 lower than in February 2009. While this is not enough to fill an Olympic-size pool, it can still provide over 9,000 showers.

Dr. Susan Zhang to be Director of Chinese Language Dr. Susan Zhang has been selected as Director of Chinese Language for the Singapore American School to provide leadership for the Chinese language faculty in preschool through high school starting in the fall of 2010. In addition to a supervisory role, Dr. Zhang will have responsibilities for recruiting of Chinese language faculty, providing professional development, coordinating curriculum and assessment articulation, communicating with parents, and coordinating the out-of-school programs and partnerships that further enhance student and faculty learning. Dr. Zhang’s Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is in administration, curriculum and instruction with specialization in instructional theory, design and technology. She has more than 20 years experience as a classroom teacher in the United States and China in kindergarten through college, as well as having been Director of Chinese Language for the Shanghai American School for seven years. Dr. Zhang is the author of nearly 30 books and journal articles related to Chinese language. She has been a presenter for 20 major conferences and workshops and has been a principal organizer for several large-scale Chinese language events. Of the 25 candidates for this position, Dr. Susan Zhang was the clear choice to provide dynamic leadership for our Chinese language program.

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Focus On Learning: POW + SPACE = Fabulous Stories

By: Pat Quick, grade 1 teacher

The students in Mrs. Quick’s first grade class love to write stories! Last semester, they participated in an action research study focused on improving their story writing skills. Based on current research, students learned concrete strategies that helped them learn how to plan their stories. Over a 13-week period, students learned how POW (Pick your topic; Organize your thoughts; Write) and SPACE (Setting-Purpose-Action-Conclusion-Emotions) could help them plan and write stories during their writers’ workshop. Prior to learning POW and SPACE more than half of the students did not like to write stories. However, after learning how to use these acronyms to write stories, students’ views changed. SPACE is used by students to remember to include the seven story elements in their writing: Who are the characters? When does the story take place? Where does the story take place? What does the main character want to do? What does the main character actually do? How does the story end? How does the main character feel? Students found SPACE helpful when planning their stories:

“SPACE is helpful because it helps me think before I write.” “Helps me write stories better. Keeps me focused on my writing. I used to not focus. SPACE helps me think.”

After receiving instruction on how to use POW and SPACE, the quality of all students’ stories improved not only in length but in the number of story elements used. Students began writing stories at home and bringing them into class to share. Parents noticed a change in their child’s attitude toward writing. It is not surprising, therefore, as a result of students learning a skill that helps them become better writers, that they become more motivated about writing and more self-confident. When you look around our classroom now, you will see students eagerly talking about their writing and writing in their journals. They love to write stories!


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Calendar 8-10

IASAS Badminton & Softball in Bangkok IASAS Track & Field in Singapore


4:30 & 7pm HS Scenes and Monologues Performances (Drama Theater)

12-16 MS Visiting RLA Consultant: Janine King 12

10:00am MS Parent Coffee (MS Library)


10:00am Booster Club meeting (H301)


10:00am Late Start for students AM Preschool is canceled Alternate Dress Day


3:15—6pm Student Council Decathlon

16-18 MS MYMUN Conference 16

3:15pm HS Knowledge Bowl Competition HS Booster Bake Sale 7pm Jazz Night (Am Club)


9pm - 1am Junior/Senior Prom

April 2010 * Campus Mosquito Fogging, every Sunday 5:00pm – 7:00pm 19

8:30am -9:45am Combined ECC & Primary Principal’s Coffee (PS Faculty Lounge) 7pm HS 3rd Season Awards Night (Aud/Drama Theater /Th. Studio/H301/ S204/S208)


PTA Staff Appreciation Day


HS Student Council Class Competition Day 8:10am HS 2010/2011 Executive Council/Class Presidents’ Election Assemblies


HS Earth Day Celebrations


4:30pm MS Dance Performance (Auditorium) 7:00pm MS Dance


ACSIS U-16 Tennis Tournament at UWC 7pm HS Dance Performance (Auditorium)


ALTERNATE DRESS DAY 11:20am HS Booster Honor Roll Recognition Lunch (Aux A Gym)



May 2010 3-14

HS AP exams



8:15am-9:15am IS Parent Coffee 10:00am MS Parent Coffee (M301)

ALTERNATE DRESS DAY 7:00pm MS Band Concert (Auditorium)



MS Tabitha Sale

3:00pm MS Band Awards Pizza Party (Riady Center) 3:15pm Art Opening (Atrium/Gallery) 7pm Theater Arts Drama Production (Drama Theater)


11:30am MS Parent Advisory Committee Meeting (MS Conference Room)


4:30pm MS Dance Show (Auditorium)


8th Grade Tabitha Service Trip To Cambodia


7:00pm MS Dance Show (Auditorium)


10am—12noon PTA Appreciation Tea/ Annual General Mtg.

14-19 HS Art Show 14

11:30am Booster Appreciation Lunch 4:30pm Theater Arts Drama Production (Drama Theater) STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES No School for K-Gr.5 Presch/Pre-K are in session

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


I’ll drink to that!

By Jeff Devens, Ph.D. / High School Psychologist For the past four years students in the middle and high schools have worked with educators from Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD). The purpose of FCD is to disseminate accurate age appropriate information to students and parents regarding drug use and its effects. As part of the process to better understand substance use among SAS students and to address perceptions in the community regarding alcohol use, a voluntary survey was undertaken with students in grades 9-12 over the past two years; 707 students (of a population of approximately 1,100) participated in the survey for the 2008-09 school year. Questions ranged from whether students have ever consumed alcohol to amounts and frequency of alcohol use. The table below indicates the percentages and number of students by grade who indicated they have never consumed alcohol. What is glaringly apparent from the data is the change in student responses regarding consumption of alcohol from grade 9 to grade 12. In fairness to the students, the question did not ask how much or frequency of alcohol use but rather if alcohol had ever been consumed. Additional questions on the survey, however, did investigate frequency as well as student perceptions regarding peer alcohol use. Students were asked, “In the past 30 days, have you consumed alcohol,” and “What percentage of your peers do you believed have consumed alcohol during the past 30 days?” Student responses to these questions are noted below. To justify their need or right to drink, teens often resort to perceptions, albeit faulty ones. However, when students were asked to indicate what percentage of their peers they perceive are drinking their responses did not correspond with reality. Perceptions, even faulty ones, are powerful influencers of behavior. Why do teens drink? After hundreds of conversations with students, individually and collectively, all too familiar responses were noted: to “feel good,” fit in, relax, cope with peer pressure and manage emotions. Sadly, the message kids are communicating, if we stop and listen, is that, in order to fit in, feel good, have fun, relax and shut off reality, they need to put drugs in their bodies. This may sound overly simplistic, but most kids drink to cope. Our hope as a society/culture is that adolescents learn to deal with life’s hurts, joys, trials and socially awkward moments without having to rely on a drug, like alcohol, to bridge these gaps. It is presumed that by the time a person reaches the age of 18 (legal drinking age in Singapore) or 21 (U.S. legal drinking age) she or he has gone through enough life experiences without the aid of alcohol and can be responsible regarding its use. Arguments are frequently made by parents to justify the use of alcohol for their teen, noting that “alcohol is an embedded part of their culture and therefore they see no problem with teen drinking.” My response is that alcohol may indeed be a cultural practice, but this doesn’t justify its use. Delaying alcohol use helps fosters healthy social and emotional maturation. Consuming alcohol stifles this process. Another all too common parent comment is that their children are going to drink anyway, so why not teach them how to do this responsibly and simultaneously build up their tolerance while under their supervision. Folks, this is just nutty logic (accept-


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

able psychological term to describe faulty parenting rational). Alcohol is a central nervous system suppressant. When teens drink they lose the ability to think responsibility, regardless of whether they drink with you watching or they drink at a club. Physiologically, alcohol works the same way, irrespective of who is serving it. Your teenagers need all the mental faculties they can muster to think responsibly without taking drugs. Now is not the time to encourage alcohol consumption in an effort to “teach.” Yet another faulty perception shared by some parents is that, “If we don’t teach kids to drink responsibly they will go off the deep end when they get to university.” The kids who go off the proverbial deep end are the same ones who do so as teens. Going off to college doesn’t transform one into a binge drinker. Remember, drinking is about coping. Kids who use alcohol to cope in high school are the same ones who will use it to cope in college ... and beyond. Yes, there are exceptions, but most likely, your child is not one of them. Now, I’m not so naive as to think that kids won’t at some level experiment with alcohol. The reality is that if you have a high school student, he/she WILL be exposed to alcohol, whether they are at SAS, in the U.S., or at another international school. The presence of alcohol is sadly a part of the adolescent culture; however, it doesn’t have to be a part of your teen’s life. Despite teens’ best efforts to make choices, they still need your guidance, accountability, love and support. Stay involved; stay connected. As an academic institution we continue to press the importance of drug awareness by offering health classes, having speakers from Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) on campus and providing parent talks and publications. We by no means accept the mantra that preventing alcohol use among teens is a lost cause or that kids are going to drink regardless of our best efforts; however, the primary responsibility for communicating this information rests with you, the parents. At a recent parent gathering to discuss alcohol use among teens Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach shared with parents some helpful suggestions when discussing the issue of alcohol use with their teens, including: •

Be explicit about your alcohol and drug expectations, rules and consequences.

Share medical information about alcohol and drugs with your child.

Wait up for your child and give the hug and sniff test.

Be your child’s “out” so they can say, “No thanks, my parents will kill me if they smell alcohol on my breath.”

Encourage your child to delay that first encounter with alcohol

If your child says, “But everyone is allowed to drink,” your child may be hanging out with drinkers.

If you think your child might be going to clubs or purchasing alcohol, check his/her wallet for a fake ID.

Ask to see your child’s Facebook page and check out what friends are posting.

Treat yourself to the start of a lovely Mother's Day weekend by joining the Booster Club at the returning Home Tour on Friday May 7th. After several years, the Booster Club is bringing back the Home Tour with a whole new twist. This unique experience will tour only Black & White houses and include a historical or cultural component, snacks at each home, beautiful home decor and plenty of time to enjoy each house. More details will follow, so watch your email. SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Booster Club Booster Club Booster Club

Booster Club Booster Club From the President As the year winds down and people are thinking about graduation, summer vacation, moving and so on, there is still a lot to do to begin planning for the next school year. It may be hard to think about, especially seeing so many begin to feel the burnout towards the end of the school year. As per the Booster Club policies, we advertise our elected board positions along with all of the other board positions. I have been asked why we do this even if I know people plan on continuing in their positions. It is in our policies but, more importantly, we want everyone to feel included and know that they can step forward. Often a position can have more than one person sharing responsibilities and we want to hear from anyone who might like to assist a returning board member as well. If you are interested please read the notice below and contact either Maria or myself. Susan Fay Booster Club Booster Club President Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, April 13 H301, 10 am

2010/11 Nominations to be announced! Everyone is welcome!

Thank you again for your help and support. Please let me know if you have any questions. Cynthia B. Fuller

Booster Club

Booster Club

Booster Club

Friday, April 16 9 am - 12 pm HS Cafe

Booster Club

Booster Bake Sale Featuring Chinese Food

The next Booster Bake Sale is Friday, April 16 on both levels of the high school cafeteria from 9 am - 12 pm. Donations of individually wrapped brownies, rice krispie treats, cookies and cupcakes can be left at the high school office. This sale will include tasty Chinese food prepared by our Chinese mothers. I will be looking for volunteers from our Chinese mothers and friends. The contributions can also be left at the high school office Friday morning as well.

Booster Club

BOOSTER NOMINATING COMMITTEE 2010/11 BOOSTER EXECUTIVE BOARD NOMINATIONS The Booster Nominating Committee is seeking nominees for the 2010/11 Booster Executive Board positions – President, Vice President, Treasurer, & Secretary. A slate of candidates will be submitted at the April 13th Booster Board meeting and voted on at the May 24th Booster Board meeting. If you would like to submit your name or nominate someone for consideration please contact Maria Crema, at, Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Booster Club is also seeking volunteers for the 2010/11 academic year to chair or work with the following committees: Bake Sales, Booth Manager, Design, Honor Roll Recognition, Hospitality, Popcorn Day, Publicity, Race Night, Social Fundraisers, Sports Team Coordinator, Uniforms and Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator. To express an interest in volunteering for one of these committees, please contact Booster Club President, Susan Fay by email at

Booster Club

Booster Club

Booster Club

Would you like to help shape a student ’ s future? We would like to enlist your assistance to insure that the students of SAS are given the best opportunity to explore and pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Booster Club

Booster Club

This is the second year for the SAS Eagles Booster Club Mentor for a Day program. This program is designed to ignite our high school students ’ curiosity about possible career opportunities and at the same time help raise money to fund extra-budgetary needs of the high school.

How it would work: Mentors – We are looking for volunteers who are passionate about their careers and who are interested in imparting this passion to a new generation. As a mentor you would agree to guide a high school student ( a ge 13-18) for a day, allowing him or her to shadow you as you perform heart surgery, develop an ad campaign, oversee a construction project, create a work of art, design a building, decorate a cake or whatever it is you do! To enable all students an equal opportunity to enjoy that day with you, watching and learning as you work, we will auction your mentorship off at a private SAS parent social. The prospective date for this auction would be September 2010. All monies raised go back to the high school in many forms that benefit all students. The student would schedule the Mentor Day, at your convenience, within the 2010-2011 school year. If you would be interested in being a Mentor for a Day, please fill out the form on the Booster Website and return it by April 30, 2010 to the High school office, Attn: Janice Chumakov or send the information in an Any questions? Please contact Janice Chumakov at or call 97806105.

Booster Club Booster Club

SAS Booster Club is proud to announce The Third Quarter Honor Roll Luncheon to be held Wednesday, April 28 at 11:20 am in the Auxiliary Gym A

Show your spirit with items from the Booster Booth! Open every school day from 7:45 - 3:15

Booster Club

email to

Booster Club

Booster Club

Focusing on grammar conventions in MS RLA By Scott Riley, grade 6 teacher

Participial phrases, coordinating conjunctions, active verbs and appositives. To some, terms like these sound like a foreign language. As readers and writers, however, we know that they are the building blocks of conventions (i.e. grammar) that enhance understanding of how language works and that influence style and sophistication of writing. As a result of last year’s curriculum review process, one focus of our continuing collaboration this year has been on how we teach conventions. The revised school-wide RLA curriculum retains a separate standard dedicated to these conventions. Through it, teachers draw from clearly articulated grade-level indicators and refer to a comprehensive scope and sequence. When teaching conventions, we may be influenced by a number of factors, including our own schooling, or we may get caught up in teaching a specific term or punctuation mark. In the end, however, we all know that a strong understanding of grammar is evident when a writer writes, and that’s where we hope to see clear growth. With that in mind, we aim to teach the writer, not a specific piece of writing. Consider the following groups of sentences. They all say the same thing, but the level of complex sentence structure increases. (Not surprisingly, the word count decreases as well.) Conventions enable writers to do this. As writers learn how words, phrases, clauses and punctuation work together, they are able to craft more stylistic and sophisticated sentences. 1. Aphrodite entered the market to buy some olives. She walked past the other villagers. Aphrodite was the most beautiful woman in the village. The villagers were captivated by her beauty. They stopped in their tracks. (36) 2, Aphrodite entered the market to buy some olives, and she walked past the other villagers. Aphrodite was the most beautiful woman in the village. The villagers were captivated by her beauty, and they stopped in their tracks. (38) 3. Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman in the village, entered the market to buy some olives. She walked past the other villagers who were captivated by her beauty. They stopped in their tracks. (32) 4, Entering the market to buy some olives, Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman in the village, walked past the other villagers. Captivated by her beauty, they stopped in their tracks. (29)

On a related note, at the MS Parent Coffee on April 12 (10 a.m. in the MS Library), Janine King will discuss RLA developments and conduct an interactive overview of the Writing Workshop.

Through a recent book study, The Power of Grammar, and continued collaboration with RLA Consultant Janine King, we discussed how convention work is reinforced during the editing stage of the writing process. However, we want to emphasize the importance of seeing conventions as more than just a “checking for mistakes.” Instead, once a convention mini-lesson or concept is taught, students need to add that technique to their writing repertoire and apply it when drafting future pieces. This approach also enables us to reinforce previous learning and hold students accountable for it. (See the chart.) Our goal is that grammar not seem like a foreign language to our students. Instead we want them to see it as a relevant component to elevate their craft. For in the end, we learn grammar so that we can understand how it affects us as readers and influences us as writers.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Dining in the Dark By Kate Thome, MS teacher

SAS core value themes of compassion, fairness, honesty, respect and responsibility form the basis of the Middle School homebase program. Activities and discussions build a deeper understanding and support for these values among homebase students. During the second semester, Grade 7 A side students expanded the application of these values as they met two visually handicapped individuals, Junaidh Ramli and Carolyn Toh. For three homebase mornings in January, students ha learned about the challenges faced by Junaidh and Carolyn and quickly developed an awareness of and appreciation for the challenges of their busy and productive lives. Carolyn and Junaidh are long time friends of the SAS community through over a decade of collaboration between the Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped(SAVH) and the High School SAVE Club. At ease with SAS students, Carolyn and Junaidh spoke candidly about their visual impairments and shared with the students that they had been blind from birth. When a student asked what they would like to see first if they were given their sight, both replied “my parents’ faces.” Students were fascinated to learn that they were forced to attend a local boarding school program during the school week from age 7 until finishing primary school. Fluent in Braille, they brought a few Braille books from their SAVH library, and we were amazed by the large and bulky texts. They also demonstrated their many coping strategies, including daily make-up routines with Braille-labeled lipsticks and powder and “techno” gadgets with audio-message service for SMSs. The rapid-fire audio codes for their computer files were a testimony to their excellent memories! During subsequent days, students experienced living without their sense of sight through blindfolded activities in homebase. But the real test to their coping ability came during a voluntary lunch experience called “Dining in the Dark.” Held in a completely darkened room M301, 25 students donned blindfolds, and Carolyn and Junaidh guided them, helped them get seated and oriented toward their lunch plates. “Think of your plate as a clock face” helped organize the position for all the non-sighted participants. Quickly, students learned to pour water into their cups without spilling by hooking their index finger over the rim, and they made tentative stabs at the food! Students switched from relying on vision to using other sensory cues. Since the plates were prepared in advance, the dessert was placed directly onto the plate alongside the spring rolls, fried rice and cut veggies and dip! When someone commented that it was strange to have the food mixed up all at once, Carolyn and Junaidh shared that this is what their food was always like! One student remarked that the brownies for dessert “definitely tasted like they had banana in them,” reflecting her more discerning taste buds in action! Once the meal was finished, everyone gratefully welcomed the lights, even though they were greeted with very messy tables! Carolyn and Junaidh opened students’ eyes to the challenges they face daily. They learned about their white canes and how they are important signals to sighted persons that assistance is needed. Proud that they use public transport independently, both girls admitted that without the assistance of strangers, navigating a bus or MRT station is almost impossible. The stories they related of unhelpful and even dangerous assistance from bystanders enraged students. We hope that through the short time we spent with Carolyn and Junaidh our students will feel a greater sense of respect for the ways they cope and a sense of responsibility to lend a helping hand!

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Fifth Annual Star Appeal Dinner We raised $505,000 for the SAS Foundation at the Star Appeal Dinner on March 13, but the event is more than a fund-raiser – it is an opportunity to showcase our talented students and to celebrate the spirit of giving at SAS as well as an evening for faculty and parents to gather together and have fun. “I’ve never had so much fun at a formal fund raising event. This was my second year at the event, and like last year, I felt that it was an intimate, optimistic and upbeat atmosphere of generosity and celebration. This event exemplifies the spirit of giving that many SAS families stand behind and the student performances reminded us of why it’s so worthwhile to invest in developing the talent and gifts of each and every student at SAS.” Maria Warner Wong, SAS Board of Governors “If one of our goals at SAS is ‘continuous improvement,’ the Star Appeal team has set a new standard of exceeding that goal. You and your team did a spectacular job in creating an exciting, worthwhile and memorable evening.  Everyone at my table had a wonderful time; the food was a hit, and the entertainment provided an outstanding showcase of SAS talent.   I was delighted and proud to be part of the evening.” Margrit Benton, SAS Board of Governors “The SAS Foundation makes a difference today AND tomorrow.” Brent Mutsch, Superintendent of Schools

Thank You •

Khoo Family and the Khoo Teck Puat Foundation for underwriting the evening

Star Appeal Committee: Mae Anderson, Beth Gribbon, Monita Harianto, Andrea Muller, Suzie Nam, Bon Park, Sandra Smith, Jane Sperling, Fae Varinata

Auction and raffle donations from Hano and Monity Maeloa, Devin Kimble, Joy and Raymond Ching, Aman Resorts, Aqua Voyage, AP Art Students

Masters of Ceremony Aisling Leow and Alvi Hasan

High School Jazz Combo

Singer Julia Abueva

Dancers Ben Senneff; Karina Lo, Alistair Chew, Rebecca Tay, Michael Too, Mina Zorilla

Auctioneer Devin Kimble

Hano and Monita Maeloa for donating the wine enjoyed by the guests

Teachers Brian Hill, Tracy van der Linden, Tracy Meyer and Barbara Harvey

Tate Sonnack for SAS Foundation video

Photos by LiveStudios LLP

Flower arrangements by Sebastian Ee

Printing services by Royce Press Pte Ltd

SAS fOUNDATION DONATIONS 2009-2010 Eagle Circle

S$20,000 & above

Richard & Michelle Chen ICAP AP (Singapore) Pte Ltd Khoo Teck Puat Foundation

Tiger Circle Fanny Barki Crocs Asia Pte Ltd Michael & Shelly Dee Dell Global B.V. Singapore Michael & Eva DeNoma GETCO Asia Pte Ltd Ragnar & Joey Horn

Lippo China Resources Ltd Tandean Rustandy & Susan Sujanto Billy Siu & Marianne Chua


William & Lois Lydens Brent & Maggie Mutsch Y.S. & Suzie Nam Mark Nelson & Margrit Benton Janie Ooi Edan & Bon Park Richard & Jacqueline Seow

Gecko Circle


Beecher & Robin Abeles Joe & Mae Anderson Bart & Valerie Broadman Jerome Cohen & Leonie Cohen-Willemsen Michael & Kendall Connors Craig Irvine & Donna Meyer Joosang Kim & Junga Lee KMP Private Ltd

Orchid Circle Ravi & Sunanda Agarwal Nasser Ahmad & Romita Shetty Bill & Jamie Amelio Lars & Nene Amstrup Peng Huat & Swat Ang Jonathan & Jessika Auerbach Sam & Dorothy Baker Richard & Ashley Barry Masoud & Maria Bassiri Shailesh & Jacquelyn Bettadapur Wing Kwong Chan & Vivian Liu Dong Woo Chang & Ah Jung Lee Yi-Jen Chen & Min Yuan Yeh Alrick Cheung Jenny Chiam Jungkiu Choi & Hyesook Cho Kwang Hyuk Choi & Yun Kyung Park Dickon Corrado & Ito Toshima Kenneth & Lauri Coulter Oral & Vida Dawe

John Eric & Christina Advento Mark & Marianne Boyer Brian & Emiko Combes Marian Graham David Hoss Geri Johnson Lands’ End Inc Marc & Heidi L’Heureux Allan & Vicki Mitchell


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Lim Meng Keng Department Store Iwan Sardjono & Ingrid Prasatya SAS PTA Steven & Asa Tucker Phillip & Sandra Widjaja Raymond & Kaori Zage David Zemans & Catherine Poyen


Steven Diamond & Sarah Jeffries Kenneth Fagan Edward & Rachel Farrell Fujiwara Advisory Singapore Pte Ltd Ed & Nao Gilbreath Jim & Beth Gribbon Bryan & Christine Henning Kirk & Janice Hulse Emad & Jasmine Khalil Chris & Elyse Khang Devin Kimble & Amy Sittler Lian Jie & Nina Li Young Rim & Jin Lee Shahryar Mahbub & Shazia Khawaja Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd Meher & Khush Mehta Sanjay & Anjna Motwani Rudy & Andrea Muller Naphtha Information Services Pte Ltd Deepa Pasumarty Adrian & Susan Peh

Traveler’s Palm

Helman Sitohang & Maria Praptanti Gerry & Michelle Smith The Amelio Foundation Soejono & Fae Varinata Ee Lim & Sofina Wee Xu Quan & Xue Qiong Yao

Devin & Dianna Pratt Cameron Poetzscher & Varsha Rao Namuh & Younsoo Rhee Kim & Birgitte Rosenkilde William & Martha Scarborough SCDA Architects Pte Ltd Garth & Roxana Sheldon Jong Seok Shin & So Hyun Park Keum Shik-Jimmy Shin & Seung Hee Lim Brent & Sandra Smith In Jun Song & Joo Hyun Lee Lawrence & Jane Sperling Christopher Tan & Chantal Wong Sadewa Tanudisastro & Sri Affandi United Parcel Services Harrison & Sheila Wang Ellen Wisner White Jun Won & Yoon Hee Choi Chiu Man Wong & Maria Warner Wong


Rajkumar Narayanan & Jaya Rajkumar Doug & Maureen Neihart David Norcott William & Rhonda Norris Hanatha & Louise Perdana James & Heidi Ryan Kathlyn Saich Ken Schunk

Dale Smith & Tracy Meyer Nick & Jennifer Sparrow Paula St. James Sheila Sung Ron Starker & Kate Bucknall Paul Welsh & Lauren Mehrbach Ann Tan Anthony & Rachel Wong

C ul t ural Convention Dance

By Tracy Van Der Linden, HS teacher

What is it like to be deaf? It’s more than not being able to hear. For many, being deaf means belonging to a close-knit, supportive community with a rich history and a beautiful language. However, there are many misconceptions about what it must be like to live in a world without sound. This year’s SAS IASAS dance piece was entitled, “Not a burden.” To gain an understanding of the deaf community the dance team had to do research. The Singapore Deaf Association worked with the team, and it had help from an SAS student who is hard of hearing. The team also drew on the experiences of teachers who had had connections with the deaf community and took the time to learn some sign language. The 20 minute dance piece was very well received both at SAS and at IASAS. As their coach and director, I was incredibly proud not only of the end product but of the process we went through to create this year’s piece. Those who missed our preview will have one last chance to see this year’s IASAS dance piece at our spring show. It will only be performed at the Friday night show on April 23, at 7pm in the auditorium.


By Brian White, MS teacher

Eight talented band students travelled to ISM along with their fellow string, choir, piano and art delegates to participate in Cultural Convention. Three intensive days of band rehearsals, solos and small ensembles culminated in two outstanding performances. The Festival Band consisted of delegates from all six IASAS schools and was conducted by University of Minnesota professor Jerry Luckhardt. Over the course of two days, the band students grew together into a fantastic ensemble. Their hours of rehearsal paid off with an outstanding performance on Friday night. Saturday’s Festival Showcase featured three solos or small ensembles from each school. Senior and four year delegate Sophia Tinger played the Strauss Horn Concerto beautifully. SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


C u l t ural Convention Art

By Momo Ozawa, grade 12

Photo by Alexis Bell,

Cultural Convention 2010 for Art and Music in Manila was a truly memorable experience. Some of my favorite parts of this year’s event include making new friends from IASAS schools, eating my heart’s content of Krispy Kreme donuts (yes, they have Krispy Kreme in Manila!) and attending coffeehouse, a Cultural Convention tradition where students prepare and perform a song of their choice on the last day. I also enjoyed putting up the art show. One of the obligations as an art delegate was to set up a show featuring artwork from all six IASAS schools. I loved seeing the artwork from other schools – I marveled at the different techniques, concepts and styles of these works. While music delegates practiced for their concerts and adjudications, the art delegates had time for workshops with guest artists. My favorite workshop was not actually a workshop, but a field trip to a nearby mall. Our guest artist of the day, Reggie Yuson, happened to be an internationally acclaimed cotemporary sculptor whose works included large scale permanent public art with which you could interact. As soon as we touched down in Singapore, I felt the first pangs of post-IASAS blues, and I had an overwhelming urge to board a plane back to Manila. Needless to say, this year’s Cultural Convention was an amazing experience.


By Tracy Meyer The audience seated … on the stage? Sequins and a half naked statue … on stage? Max Robertson dancing with a dummy, meant to represent his absent mother … on stage? The chai wallah almost gets his girl -- after committing murder? A clown … as a drama critic? Sound outrageous? It all happened during Cultural Convention in Taipei last weekend. The audience did indeed take part in JIS’s Offending the Audience by Peter Heinke. ISKL brought us an abbreviated version of Jean Poiret’s La Cage aux Folles (The Birdcage), and Max was in the middle of a breakdown as he dealt with the likelihood that his parents were never returning in SAS’s Every Seventeen Minutes the Crowd Goes Crazy! by Paul Zindel. ISM had viewers wanting to dance in the aisle during its hilarious Bollywood spoof, Very, Very Dangerous. These were but a few of the highlights of the long weekend, during which drama students attended no less than five workshops (any future clowns in the audience?) led by the energetic Tara Brodin, attended five dramas, six dances, several rehearsals and as many exciting forensics events their schedules allowed. Drama teacher Tracy Meyer and co-director Michael Clark had a ball overseeing the entire five days, and with the incredible organization of administrator-in-charge Paula Silverman, no one missed a beat and a wonderful time was had by all.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Theater Technology By Paula Silverman Carson DeBerry and Cian Leow traveled with the Cultural Convention Dance and Drama productions to Taipei. They had an hour-long tour of the facilities on the arrival at the school, then a 20 minute pre-tech for each show and only an hour to work with each production on the stage. While the dancers and actors strove to gain the feel of the new stage, Carson mastered the conversion of the lighting cues from our stage to theirs, including some makeshift work to get the special effects we wanted.

Cian worked to get correct placement of props and color gels and run the sound tests. Another challenge for them was that the sound and light controls were not in the same room so they communicated by way of headsets, which is something we do at our school all the time for stage communication and cues, but felt different because they were not in the same room looking across for visual cues as well as vocal cues for lights and sound. While not in the theater they supported their peers in the Forensic & Debate events. They are both outstanding young men with excellent theater sense which makes for successful traveling shows.


The debate topic was “Resolved that the right to develop for lesser developed countries ought to take priority over their obligations to the environment.” The four SAS debate participants (Sid Shanker, Ava Mehta, Sejal Singh and Amith Ravindar) were well prepared and gloriously articulate but did not make the finals, a huge disappointment.

C ul t ural Convention Oral Interpretation By Danielle Courtenay and Nanette Ruhter

When we arrived at the Cultural Convention, the practicing continued in practice rooms, in hallways, in borrowed offices, and even in bathrooms. As expected, by the time we entered the first round, we were ready to perform, and if need be, to adjust our performances even further for the new audiences.

Our Olivia Auerbach tied with ISM for the silver medal, with her rendition of Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry. Danielle Courtenay, last year’s bronze medalist, was lauded by many judges AND coaches for her equally superb performance as a bored guest at a dinner party, in Dorothy Parker’s But the One on the Right. New this year to OI was Alex Amstrup, who delivered Saki’s humorous narrative, The Quest. Several judges noted that Alex’s performance was ”Very impressive!” and “his voices were very clearly delineated, with a pleasing narrative voice which contrasted nicely from other characters.” He will surely be someone to watch next year.

This year’s convention was very challenging for all forensic events. Whereas in the past, some schools dominated these events, this year each IASAS school’s respective performances were very good. In Oral Interpretation, the gold medal went to ISB.

By and large, our three representatives showed that they were a team to contend with. They amused many audiences with three well-chosen humorous pieces and gave their best as accomplished, professional story-tellers.

putting into use our coach’s comments and approaches on varying tone, pitch and volume to “communicate the appropriate meaning and mood of the piece.” A few weeks before Cultural Convention, we did readings for different English classes, testing out our pieces for audience appeal and asking for large-group criticism. The rehearsals for Oral Interpretation might seem unnecessary at first – after all, how much practice does it take when the paper is always in front of you? But to tell a story with only the voice and limited facial expression requires hours of work perfecting the nuances of tone, dialect, pacing and much more. In a typical rehearsal with our coach, Mrs. Nanette Ruhter, each of us read anywhere from 1-4 times. Between readings, we provide each other with notes and feedback on everything from the story’s general mood to minute details, such as a certain glance or eyebrow lift,

Extemporaneous Speaking By Clay Burell, HS teacher

While the Extemporaneous Speaking team did not come home with any medals, they put in some solid performances against some very stiff competition. Returning senior Ishan Gupta, first-time senior Nihal Krishan and first-time junior Sagar Kalia contributed to high level of performance in the event, and alternates Avi Talwar and Kabilan Pillay contributed valuable support before the convention. A good time was had by all.


Original Oratory

In Impromptu Speaking the contestant has 60 seconds to chose between a word and a phrase and compose a well-organized speech developing an idea from the phrase or the word chosen.

Aisling Leow, Zac Nelson and Ryan Chan represented SAS in Original Oratory at the Cultural Convention this year. Their topics were varied and definitely original. Aisling spoke on heroes; Zac spoke about the college application process; and Ryan spoke on sharing. All three did very well during the three rounds, and Aisling and Zac made it to the finals. After listening to the finals, the judges gave Aisling an honorable mention, and Zac ended up with the bronze. The students were a bit disappointed, but they did an excellent job, and they represented SAS with dignity and poise. I could not be prouder.

By Rick Silverman, HS teacher

This speech must be at least 3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes, 10 seconds or there is a point deduction. Obviously practice in this event promotes quick thinking and speaking off-the-cuff. This year we took Aisling Leow, Ishan Gupta and Nihal Krishnan, all seniors. The competition was strong but Aisling and Ishan made the finals. At the end of the intense finals round Aisling won the second place silver medal and Ishan tied for third, earning a bronze medal.

By Jeri Kett, HS teacher

SAS has won the gold for Original Oratory for the past two years, and last year we not only won the gold but took two silvers as well. Therefore, no matter what the outcome this year, we were in for a disappointment. This is my last year coaching, and once again, all three of the kids could have been gold winners. All three speeches had the perfect blend of humor, research and depth. SAS NewsFlash – April 2010



The PTA’s annual Staff Appreciation Day will be held on April 20 for our teachers and staff. This event is an opportunity for the community to come together to show our appreciation for the hard-working people who keep SAS running day to day. During Staff Appreciation Day, the PTA not only provides the faculty and staff with meals throughout the day, but also presents each teacher and staff member with a gift. I’d like to extend an early Thank You to Hospitality Chair Erma Huston along with all of the PTA Division Representatives, Grade Level Head Parents and Room Parents for their efforts in organizing the donations and events for Staff Appreciation Day. I would also like to thank those who will work a shift during the day or send in food or money to help SAS staff to enjoy their special day. As always, these types of events could not be held without your support and generosity. On Tuesday May 11, we will hold our Volunteer Appreciation Tea and AGM from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. At this event, we will present the school with a list of approved fund-spending items that the PTA will underwrite in the next school year. E-mail invitations will be sent out soon with all the details, so please watch for them and mark the date on your calendars. This is our opportunity to thank all of you who do so much to help us throughout the year. We welcome everyone to attend, as this event is open to all SAS parents and staff. For those of you who plan to be at SAS for the next school year and would like to get a start on planning your volunteer time, we would appreciate any information that you can provide on where you can help us in the future. There are many events to plan and hold, many committees to staff and a variety of PTA positions that need to be filled. The contribution of your talent, time and commitment will be appreciated by everyone in the SAS community. Please e-mail me to discuss volunteer opportunities with the PTA. Thank you.

Mae Anderson PTA President


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

- Voltaire

ThisannualPTAeventprovidesparentswiththeopportunitytothankSASstaffandfacultyforallthat theydo,byhavingparentspresentadayoffeasting!FromahotbreakfasttoallͲdaysnacksandlunch, eachSASstaffmemberwillenjoyadaythatreflectsthecommunity’sdeepappreciationfortheirefforts. 

Parents are invited to donate food, money and their time to help setͲup and serve. Everyone is encouragedtoparticipatetomakethisspecialdayahugesuccess.Lookoutformoreinformationfrom PTA’sHospitalityChair,ErmaHuston,andfromyourPTADivisionRepresentatives.Pleasecontactthem withanyquestionsyoumighthave.

PTAHospitalityChair&DivisionRepresentatives: HospitalityChair





















Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, 10:00am to 12:00pm Event held at the elegant residence of

Mr. Dan Shields, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Embassy, Singapore Attendance by RSVP only!

Please email Erma Huston at:

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


The SAS PTA held one of its biggest fund raisers, the County Fair on February 27, 2010. It was a very successful event in many dimensions. The event was well attended by the members of the SAS community, who showed their support for the fund raiser by their presence and their contributions of service and talent . We collected more than 19000 books for the used books sale and had over 180 items for the Silent Auction. The Harley Davidson T-shirts were well appreciated . The games were fun and there was a wide variety of food available . The success of the County Fair was a result of team work and dedication. We would like to thank our entire team for their support and helping us learn many different values as we went along . We want to add our deep felt thanks to all the volunteers who came forward to put their hearts together to make this event so special. A special thank you to the Administration, Faculty, Staff, Security and Maintenance team for all the help. Last but not least, a huge thank you to the PTA Executive Committee and the entire board for their support and encouragement. A big THANK YOU to all of you --- SAS Family -a wonderful team for leading us to success in County Fair 2010!!


“The highest reward for a person's work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it.” -- John Ruskin









































Vidya Sambamurthy & Arathi Nilakantan Chairs , County Fair 2010




PTA White Elephant Sale 2010 Saturday, May 15th, 9am till 1pm SAS Primary School Foyer

Asian Tigers K.C. Dat (S) Pte Ltd and the PTA are jointly sponsoring the 4th Annual White Elephant Sale. Here’s a chance to clean out your closets. If you are moving, or simply need more room, this is an opportunity to find new homes for your good quality used items. No vendors please!


Rental for a 8ft x 5 ft space at the Primary School Foyer costs SG $30 | The rental fee also covers the cost of an advertisement in the Straits Times as well as other publicity costs (signs, flyers, etc). | Space is limited (bookings accepted on a first come first served basis) | Interested parties should contact Mae Anderson: / 9735-9181 |


Families in the Woodlands will also be having Yard Sales on Saturday, May 16th. Easy access to the Woodlands Yard Sale is via the SAS pedestrian entrance close to the Primary School that leads to Woodgrove Avenue. SAS families are welcome to park at the Primary/Intermediate parking lots till 4pm. Both the PTA Sale and the Woodlands Sales will be advertised jointly in the Straits Times. Woodlands families interested in participating will be charged a fee of SG$20 that will defray the costs of advertising & publicity (flyers, signs, maps, etc). To register as a participating Woodlands family and for more information, please contact Karrie Rhodes: / 8113-1879


In conjunction with the White Elephant Sale, the PTA will also be holding a Used Books Sale at the Primary School Foyer. Enjoy picking from a wide selection of books at unbeatable prices.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

MS musicians participate in AMIS Honor Band Festival Compiled by Brian White, MS music teacher

This past January, 17 Tiger Band students along with music directors Brian White and Rebecca Davidson participated in the annual Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) Asian Middle School Honor Band Festival in Shanghai. Students who were accepted to this festival had to complete a rigorous audition process judged by an independent panel in London. An 86-member group was selected out of 400 auditions. “Everyone should audition it’s a good experience and it will make you grow as a musician.” Lanz Puno. Alto Sax All 17 students were enthusiastic about their AMIS experiences, including the audition process, guest conductor and making new friends. A few of their comments are below: Guest conductor Peter Lutowski from the American School of London “I have been fortunate to work with many great conductors in my three years of participation in the AMIS Honor Band festival. However, Mr. Peter Lutowski was by far my favorite. His conducting skills and sprightly personality were second to none. Although his strange yoga warm ups freaked me out a little at first, they helped settle down and wake up the band at the same time.” - Oliver Jung, Clarinet “ I learned many things about music from him; how we should try to express our feelings through the music and work together as a band to produce the best sound possible.” Derek Cho, Tenor Sax The special piece commissioned for the band “Mr. Travis Cross, a new composer, wrote a special piece just for our group. I thought it was so neat that we were the only people to have ever played the music; what an honor. I loved the song, “Looking at the Stars;” it has some challenging French horn parts, and I enjoyed learning how Mr. Cross wanted us to play it, a chance of a lifetime to have a composer teach you a song he wrote.” Brent Johnston, French Horn What I learned “In the AMIS festival, I learned that music’s not just about notes and dynamics but about putting your emotion into it and imagining what the composer was trying to describe behind the notes.” - Jimmy Shin, Clarinet Making friends “Every day when I woke up, I had the energy and the motivation to go to practice because I was excited to meet new people. Those friendships led to an AWESOME and GREAT time in Shanghai. It was a great experience and I wish to do it next year.” Jennifer Morris, Clarinet When we arrived in Shanghai, I noticed that we were the biggest group of kids from one school. It would be easy for us to just hang out together and exclude everyone else in the band. On the first day of rehearsals that’s exactly what happened. On the second day, things began to change. Because we had rehearsals for about eight hours a day, we began to talk to the kids who sat next to us or were in our sections in the band. All the SAS kids soon made new friends from other schools, and we began hanging out with them. Once we started meeting new people, things got a lot more fun. Stephanie Chang, Percussion SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Home, belonging and identity SAS Alumna Brittani Sonnenberg will meet with students, parents and faculty on April 2729 to explore the third culture differences that set expatriates apart from their peers. “Third culture” people, according to the U.S. Department of State, are those who have spent time in a foreign country and experience a sense of not belonging in their passport countries when they return home. This is especially true for third culture kids (TCKs). Brittani grew up as a TCK in Germany, England, America, China and Singapore, graduating from SAS in 1999. In college she began to write and publish fiction and nonfiction about her foreign experiences. She worked as a travel writer and newspaper reporter in Southeast Asia, before pursuing an MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her writings have appeared in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2009, Ploughshares, Time Magazine, the Associated Press, NPR, and elsewhere. She is currently a European Journalism Fellow at the Freie Universität in Berlin. Brittani has led writing workshops at the Brandenburg International School in Berlin, taught a course based on notions of home and belonging for freshman students at the University of Michigan, begun work on a TCK-themed curriculum for high school students, and gave a presentation on TCK themes at the March 2010 CEESA (Central and Eastern European Schools Association) conference in Estonia. During her visit to SAS, Brittani will hold workshops for MS and HS students on third culture kids and how to make their experiences and differences work for them. She will discuss using their international backgrounds to produce powerful writing in college application essays, travel articles and stories. She will also meet with parents and faculty to discuss issues of diversity, displacement and cross-cultural communication and ways in which these themes can be addressed at home and in the classroom before students are confronted by them in their home countries. Details of Brittani’s workshops and talks will be published in What’s Happening.

Mr. Azmee, our responsible publisher By Enzo Esguerra and Vishal Sundaram, grade 4

Charity Soccer Game: Teachers vs Varsity Boys! Mr. Azmee, our school printer, has been helping our class this school year. He has printed our newspapers and our adventure books. So far he’s printed 264 copies of our work. Other than our newspapers and books, he also prints our homework and other teachers’ materials. We wrote this article so we could show our appreciation for him because he has done a beautiful job on our newspapers and adventure books. Mr. Azmee has been working for this school for about 14 years before our entire class was born. When we asked why he likes his job, he said, “I enjoy meeting new people and doing new things each day.” When he was a child he didn’t want to deliver papers to classes and teachers. He wanted to work and meet other people and do different things. He chose this job because he wanted to have a job that is computer related. Now you know that Mr. Azmee is a very important person in our school.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

By Mark Forgeron, MS teacher At 3:15 pm on Thursday, April 29, the SAS men’s staff and the SAS boy’s varsity soccer team will play in the fourth annual Kamal Cup soccer game in memory of Mohamed Kamal. Kamal was a humble, dedicated and loving friend and father. He was actively involved in sports during his school days, and soccer was his favorite. Upon joining the SAS staff in 1997, he was delighted to learn that it had a soccer team, which he joined without hesitation. Although he left SAS in 2001, Kamal was active as goalie with the SAS staff team until shortly before he passed away in 2005. Please join us as a donor and as a fan, in this special fund-raising event for Kamal’s wife and four young children. The match will be held on the stadium soccer field. The boy’s team won the first Kamal Cup; the teachers won the second; and last year’s game ended in a 2-2 draw, with the teachers retaining the cup on the “away goals” rule. A collection will be taken up at the game. Donations may also be given to the HS, MS or IS secretaries. Any questions may be directed to Mark Forgeron, room M217.

Life lessons from Interim Semester skiing trip By Lauren Felice, grade 12

The varsity boys’ rugby team often hassles the touch rugby girls, claiming “touch” is not legitimate. But once a season, they scrimmage with us, lose and leave the field panting and sweating. I once heard the comment, “Anyone who makes fun of touch rugby just needs to play it.” I think this is also the case for the Winter Sports in Switzerland interim semester trip. Skiing may be perceived as a luxury sport, linked to images of ski bunnies, expensive resorts and kicking up your feet with a mug of hot cocoa. These images should not detract from the challenge and legitimacy of the sport. Just like an interim to scuba dive, kayak, trek or climb, the Switzerland trip focuses on a single extreme sport that is not accessible on a regular basis for most students, providing them with a unique opportunity. New skiers and boarders are exposed to a completely new skill and experience, while veterans have the rare opportunity to improve their skills, keeping their talent from becoming stagnant. And unlike some of the other more physical interim trips, skiing is a lifelong sport. I ski with my 53-year-old parents every winter, and plan ski with my kids when I am 53. Perhaps students on the Switzerland trip do not rough it as much as students trekking in Nepal, but that does not mean they do not challenge themselves in similar ways. Standing at 3300 meters, staring down at the steep mogul field dropping off in front of me, I knew the Mont Fort run was more challenging than any mogul run I had ever done. With every sharp turn, legs burning, I pushed myself to swallow my fear of falling and to finish that run. Every student on the trip was forced to overcome fears and challenges, whether they were beginners afraid of gaining any speed or advanced riders, setting new personal standards. Any person who has skied can attest to the idea that the transcendentalist moments often attributed to the trekking trips exist in abundance while skiing. Feeling completely isolated on the mountain, skiing is one experience where you feel connected with nature. In Verbier, I stared at the single most beautiful view I have ever seen, overcome with inspiration. Like hiking through mountains or swimming in the sea, skiing places you in the midst of true natural beauty. We were exposed to an entirely different region and culture, and while it may not be in a third world country and there were no museum visits, no one can deny the value of trying new foods, learning new languages and absorbing new values. We bought snacks for a bus ride using French, drove two hours across the country and stopped at a rest stop where they only spoke German. We visited a historic medieval castle, and some saw snow for the very first time. This interim trip to Switzerland holds all the ingredients for an incredible experience – a new opportunity, a valuable life skill, a way to challenge yourself, a need to push aside fear, a deepened cultural understanding and a chance to meet and interact with other students. The value is there. Like any interim trip, whether a student gleans that value is up to them.

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Working with the big kids

By Matthew Steuer, preschool teacher

Preschool recently culminated two fabulous fine arts collaborations with older students. The morning classes had the special privilege of working with Ms. Barbara Harvey’s high school Studio Art classes on an Eric Carle-inspired illustration exploration. The students worked together to paint tissue paper and then create collages. At the grand opening of the Eric Carle Exhibition, collage illustrations were undoubtedly rare jewels to be cherished by teacher, parent, and student alike. More impressive still were the rich connections and meaningful communication shared among the youngest and oldest students at SAS during this collaborative process. Eric Carle would be proud! The afternoon preschool classes had the equal honor of collaborating with Ms. Heather Rodocker’s

grade 7 dance students. The seventh graders choreographed a wild animal dance, which they taught to the preschoolers over three sessions. The project culminated in a dance session with preschool parents in which the preschoolers and middle schoolers taught the adults the moves. While it was extraordinary watching the parents dance, most impressive of all was seeing the three age groups working so closely and so beautifully together. The communication, the sharing, the sense of connection and accomplishment in our preschoolers and middle schoolers was so deep it was a gift to witness. Special thanks go out to Ms. Harvey and Ms. Rodocker and their absolutely awesome students who are now friends of the preschoolers!

Asia Fest 2010: Grade 2 celebrates Asia!

By Pearl Morris and Sarah Farris, grade 2 teachers

Passport to learning! On Friday, February 26, all grade 2 students were treated to a taste of Asian culture at SAS. They study the diversity of Asia as part of their social studies curriculum, and teachers, parents and instructional assistants transformed the classrooms into different Asian countries. To kick-off this year’s Asia Fest, students were treated to a cool Bollywood dance, a fascinating Korean hat dance and an awesome Japanese drum performance, all courtesy of our fabulous Intermediate School students. Also at the opening was a troupe of colorful lion dancers. After these performances in the Primary Theater, students divided into 30 different groups, each representing a different Asian country, and for two hours the students studied the cultures of Asia through a variety of first-hand learning experiences. Tour guides, aka parent volunteers, graciously donated their time and expertise to lead each group through a multi-sensory experience of the continent of Asia and show the students a bit about their home cultures. The experiences varied from arts and crafts, such as calligraphy, brush painting and origami, to learning how to cook Chinese dumplings and Japanese sushi. Children also tried on Korean costumes, had their hands painted with henna and tasted satay, roti prata and dragon beard candy. They played an Indonesian shell game, performed a Filipino dance and experienced the awesome Singapore/Malaysia booth. Our parents are a wonderful resource and truly love sharing their talents with the children. Nothing brings the curriculum more alive than a hands-on experience where students can taste Asian foods, play Asian games and try on Asian costumes, learning first-hand what they have read and studied in books. The children’s enthusiasm at Asia Fest is a true testimony that they were excited about learning! After the end of a very enriching and fun morning, students put another stamp on their passports to learning!

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Championships Four SAS teachers competed in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Championships in Johannesburg on March 4 along with seven other representatives from Singapore. Shown here are Crystal Madsen (MS), Ian Coppell (HS), Mark Forgeron (MS) and Jeneane Paxson (IS) with fellow Singapore competitors Adrian Ng, Melvin Wong, Wille Loo and Chung Tan from Bikelabz and Kai Fen Ong, Jasmine Wong and Chui Chin Tan from the Singapore Armed Forces.


SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

Save the Date!


Singapore American School’s First Ever



5th Grade Parents

Registration and sign-up letters for the 2010/2011 Arts Council Program

That Dance Thing

for rising 6th graders will be sent via e-mail in April. Responding immediately is no guarantee of placement, but is the best way to avoid disappointment. Any questions? Contact Viki Zulkoski at the Arts Council at

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010


Awesome Apes show their stuff! By Laura Schuster and Adam Miller, PS teachers

Teachers in group photo: Adam Miller, Laura Schuster, Jim Goode, Anne Wenstrom, Jasper Lawrence, Cath Wheeler Over 250 wall climbers made their way across the PE gym wall, but only 45 boys and girls made it to the semi finals. The 2nd annual bouldering Awesome Ape contest for grades 3-5 was held in February. Students must navigate the climbing wall using a three point climbing technique and move efficiently and quickly to make the finals. Qualifying for the contest occurred in the regular PE classes during the climbing unit in the curriculum. Students learned the route and had multiple practice times. The top fastest three boys and three girls in each grade and each class qualified for February’s Awesome Ape contest. From February 9 to 11, 3rd 4th and 5th graders competed to be among the top 15 speed climbers their grades and move on to the finals. On Friday, February 12 the qualifying finalists gathered in Gym B, and teachers, families, Principal Graham and Principal L’Heureux witnessed skill and sportsmanship at its finest. By 8:00 the Awesome Apes of 2010 were determined. Their names will be engraved on the plaque outside the Gym B climbing wall. Since the route is different each year, the times are not included on the plaque. Congratulations to all participants! You are awesome climbers!


Zachary Turman’s entire family came to support his efforts.

3rd grade girls: Champion: Toto Majewski 2nd place- Meg DeNoma 3rd place- Eva Rudajev

4th grade girls: Champion: Libby Stein 2nd place- Hannah Moore 3rd place- Sabrina G. Russi

5th grade girls: Champion: Hannah Mallard 2nd place-Savannah Beyer 3rd place-Emily Fisher

3rd grade boys: Champion: Parker Clark 2nd place-Oscar Garcia Velasco 3rd place- Sam Bryan

4th grade boys: Champion: Zachary Turman 2nd place- Lucas Speciale 3rd place- Ilari Pajula

5th grade boys: Champion: Daelen Deneberg 2nd place-Patrick Koopmans 3rd place-Jonathan Gabert

SAS NewsFlash – April 2010

SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL High School Visual Arts Department Proudly Presents:

Featuring the artwork of the AP art students

Drawing, 2D Design, 3D Design April 2nd - 11th

Riady Performing Arts Center Grand opening on April 1st 7:00 - 9:00PM

Dress: Semi-formal

Singapore American School Newsflash, April 2010  

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