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JUNE 2013

Outside the bubble

Running to remember

china alive

Radical mathletes

Life-size learning in China’s Yunnan province. pp. 18–20

Alumna runs Boston marathon in teacher's memory. p. 21

Stories from the numerous trips across China. pp. 26-31

Adding up the many accolades of math students. pp. 48–49


On the cover: At the end of a work session at the Microcampus in Yunnan province, grade 8 students Sujin Han and Clara Cheong take a moment to review their progress. Article on pages 18-20. Photo by Craig Tafel. The Eagle is produced by the SAS Communications Office, based on both the Puxi and Pudong campuses. Information in the magazine is primarily about SAS people and organizations. We encourage parents, students, teachers, and administrators to submit stories and photography. All submissions will be edited for style, length, and tone. Articles and stories from the Eagle also appear on our Eagle Online website, at The Eagle Production Team Managing Editor: Zachary Young Eagle Staff: Genevieve Barrons Graphic Designers: Fredrik JĂśnsson, Cindy Wang Advertising Manager: Taylor Hayden Executive Editor: Steven Lane Pudong campus: Shanghai Executive Community, 1600 Lingbai Road, Sanjiagang, Pudong, Shanghai 201201. Tel: 6221-1445. Puxi campus: 258 Jinfeng Road, Huacao Town, Minghang District, Shanghai 201107. Tel: 6221-1445. Email:

4 5 6 10 11 13 16 22 32 34 36 42 47

their Kerry Jacobson

Achieving while flourishing Sascha Heckmann

Good-bye high school, hello college Eric Swan

Moving forward Brian Li and Kendrick Tan

Mr. Colleary’s love for teaching Nina Neumann

Turning a new page Jie Ling Tseng

Administrative news and updates Steven Lane, Genevieve Barrons, and Avegail Vergel

Fiddler on the Roof Todd Sessoms

Getting the hang of it Brian Li

Walking to remember Yvonne Ye

Keep calm and dance on Edna Lau

Fostering hope, nurturing smiles Yeon Jae Kim, Connie Liu, and Carina Seah

Vive la France Armaan Sahgal

Also: 2012-2013 Annual Fund reaches goal; SAS administration departures; PTSA thanks teachers and staff by hosting luncheon; Bringing Passion to the stage; A season to remember; Student skates to victory; Striking success; Serving the community; Joining the food revolution; All that jazz; Finding harmony; and Lights! Camera! Action! Shanghai American School An

Inte r na ti onal

C o m m u n i t y

Class of 2013 graduation By Genevieve Barrons


snow white & the 7 dwarfs


planting seeds for the future


By Eagle Staff and Macrina Wang

By Angella Liu


At Shanghai American School, our mission is to inspire in all students: ƒƒ A lifelong passion for learning ƒƒ A commitment to act with integrity and compassion ƒƒ The courage to live their dreams. I recently asked an audience to select their favorite word from the SAS mission statement. Many chose passion or dreams. Others selected courage or compassion. I then shared my favorite word: their. Students everywhere are under a lot of pressure. While I could list many of the demands made of them, we all know how committed and focused they are as they strive to meet the demands and requests of a multitude of people and activities. Often, we wonder if they even have time to sleep. Despite these pressures and sleep deprivation, I can guarantee you that each student has a dream, a hope for their future. As adults, we all have visions of what the future holds for our children and our students. And we are committed to helping them reach their highest potential. But quite often these are our dreams. At SAS, we have committed to our students that we will inspire in them the courage to live their dreams. Not my dreams, your dreams, or our dreams. Their own dreams.


VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

Achieving while flourishing Connecting hard work to passion

BY Sascha Heckmann, high school principal, Puxi campus


hanghai American School is an incredibly busy place. Everywhere I look I see parents, faculty, and students who are committed to excellence and working diligently to achieve it. All of our efforts ensure that the school and the students are highly successful. The hectic environment is a hallmark of our school culture and is often referenced as a point of pride. Hard work is something that I respect and it is hard to find a person who does not. Yet recently I have begun to notice the flip side of this culture: fatigue. With six weeks left in the school year we appear to be tired. Students are walking around in a near zombie-like state. Teachers are overwhelmed with a never-ending to-do lists. Parents are sharing their concern that their children appear distracted during the most crucial times of their high-school career, especially those seniors suffering from senioritis. I was left questioning: Is there another way to achieve our excellent results and substitute inspiration for fatigue? Or is fatigue a natural byproduct of our collective ambition and hard work? What makes these questions challenging is that anyone who aims to achieve exemplary results has to work hard. Malcolm Gladwell illustrates this point in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, with the rule of 10,000 hours. Gladwell states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice for the most successful people to achieve “outlier” success. However, the formula appears not to be as simple as “work hard.” Gladwell’s own exemplars cause you to question if there is more to it than simply doing something for 10,000 hours. Why would Bill Gates go the University of Washington computer lab at age 13 to practice computer programming at 3:00 in the morning? Why would the Beatles play long sets in small venue after small venue for little pay? I would posit that it takes more than hard work to succeed. To flourish at any craft, the hard work must be connected to


a person’s passionate interest. In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states, “We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like … moments like these are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times … the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” Csikszentmihalyi’s work supports the notion that to “flow” we must be challenged and work hard, but he adds a very important caveat: We must also be engaged in something where we can give what he calls “voluntary effort.” Csikszentmihalyi defines voluntary effort as follows: “It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were. When we choose a goal and invest ourselves in it to the limits of concentration, whatever we do will be enjoyable. And once we have tasted this joy, we will redouble our efforts to taste it again. This is the way the self grows.” If we substitute Csikszentmihalyi’s words “for the sake of action itself ” with a word taken from our mission statement, “passion,” it would be logical to say that only when we connect hard work to a person’s passion will they be in a state of flow. To illustrate the point, let me provide you

with an example from our own community, SAS alumnus Nelson Zhang (class of 2011). Currently a sophomore at University of California at Berkeley, Nelson will drop out of university next year. Most parents at this point are very nervous upon hearing this, but when they learn what Nelson is dropping into, they get very excited. Nelson is one of 20 Thiel Fellowship winners. Entrepreneur Peter Thiel is giving Nelson $100,000 US to pursue his passion: engineering. Nelson has an idea to build a 3D printer for electronics. If you trace Nelson’s path back through SAS you will learn that he designed and manufactured his own solarpowered iPod charger as a student here. Nelson has clearly put in thousands of his own hours beyond the classroom pursuing engineering ideas. He has continued to do so in college, interning at one of the few hardware manufacturers in the Bay Area. This furthers his own passions while he enters into his own flow zone. As Nelson and others demonstrate, it is only when hard work is coupled with the voluntary effort (coming from connecting to your passion) that a natural path to success is found. And that path may look different than we all expect.

“To flourish at any craft, the hard work must be connected to a person’s passionate interest.”


Good-bye high school, hello college! BY Eric Swan, high school counselor, Pudong campus


Counselor’s corner

t’s that time of year — school is nearly out. And with the end of the year comes a mixture of stress (exams!) and excitement. Summer plans are quickly becoming the talk of the hallways: vacations, summer camps, internships, and service trips are all on the agenda. But for our seniors, this summer is special, as they will be moving on to a new stage of their life: college. It’s supposed to be epic, the best years of your life. Newly found freedom. No more mom and dad nagging about homework and curfews. We have all seen college life portrayed on TV as if college is nothing but fun. But, as fun as college may be, few students have the foresight to recognize that there will be academic challenges, social struggles, and cultural adjustments. Aside from graduating, seniors have another major commonality: confidence. The sheer excitement for college sometimes blinds students to the fact that college life is not at all like high school in nearly every aspect. But most students are confident they will breeze through college unscathed. Academically, students will be presented with the challenges of heavy reading assignments (maybe five-plus chapters per week … for each class!) and different grading styles. In many classes, B’s are superior grades. The pace of college classes and the amount of content covered in a short period of time can be overwhelming for freshman students. And who’s to say professors are going to seek out students who are struggling or who have failed to submit homework on time (if they even accept late


work)? Chances are they won’t; students are the ones who need to be proactive and initiate communication with professors. These are all adjustments our students are going to have to make. The routines and comforts of high school are no longer present. Many students often have exceedingly high social expectations as well. After all, this is supposed to be the best four years of their life. The fact is, making close friends takes time — months, semesters, sometimes years. Students should be prepared for the mad dash to make friends at orientation: there will be too many names to remember and phone numbers to keep track of. Many will quickly forget who’s who. But students should enjoy this time and meet as many people as possible. Eventually, close friends will be found and everyone will find their niche within their community. It just takes time. With so much freedom, students tend

about their expectations for the future. College, like life, has its ups and downs; its not all fun and games. Students should be aware that there are major differences in the social and academic structure of high school and college. The more prepared they are for these differences, the more easily they’ll acclimate to their new school. Consider the following before leaving for college: ƒƒ Develop a good time management and study system. There will be a lot of content to digest in a short amount of time. ƒƒ Make it a mission to matter — get involved. Think of what was enjoyable in high school and seek it out in college. ƒƒ Figure out ways to best cope with stress (music, sports, yoga — what works for you?) and know what resources the school offers if help is needed. ƒƒ Avoid being lost in cyberspace. Your

“Balancing a social and academic schedule is one of the major challenges for students.” to forget that they are students first, that academics should be a priority over dinner with friends or a football game. Not that attending a dinner party or sporting event is not an important part of college life, but few students are prepared to say no to their peers in these kind of situations when other responsibilities are in need of attention. Students will feel pressured to hang out with friends rather than studying or going to class. This is bound to happen. How often they will succumb to this pressure is up to them. I encourage all seniors to think hard

computer shouldn’t be your best friend. ƒƒ Set goals, both academically and socially. In the end, like many things in life, college is what you make it. Learn as much as possible, meet as many people as possible, and have fun. Get involved and put yourself out there. And when things get tough, be resilient. College life will not always meet your expectations, but not to worry — good things are always on the horizon (especially in college).

“The more prepared you are for social and academic structure differences, the more easily you’ll acclimate to your new school.”

VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

THAT received Graduates, You have a whole community

that stands behind whatever decision you make.





Graduation 2013 By Genevieve Barrons, Eagle staff


he celebration of the class of 2013, held separately by both the Pudong and the Puxi communities, was an opportunity to remember where these bright and ambitious graduating seniors had come from and to celebrate where they are headed. Both ceremonies were held at the Shanghai Culture Square in the former French Concession. Several hundred guests — faculty, family, alumni, and administrators — packed the theatre, coming together to acknowledge the hard work of our seniors and the people who supported them throughout their educational journey thus far. Both ceremonies began with the traditional class procession to Pomp and Circumstance, reminding us of the universality of this milestone. The Pudong class of 2013 is composed of 150 remarkable students. They are headed to universities across the world. After welcome remarks from Superintendent Dr. Kerry Jacobson, senior class speaker Sze Yin Joyce Siu gave her speech. Class co-valedictorians Wendy Kim and Diana Li presented the farewell address. “I hope you’ll all keep looking to the future,” said Li. “Be excited and terrified and inspired by it, but don’t be afraid to slow down either. Don’t go so fast that you fail to appreciate the simple things. The smell of rain, the way the sunset lights the sky on fire. A stranger’s smile. A hug. A goodbye, a hello.” Justin Wild, high school English teacher, was the faculty speaker. He was introduced by salutatorian Amy Zhao. The ceremony also featured the presentation of awards to five deserving graduates. The Alumni Award for Service and Integrity was presented by alumnus Betty Barr (’49) to Luke Wang. Melissa Juszynski presented the awards for Leadership and Spirit, on behalf of the PTSA, to Elizabeth Lee and Timothy Young, respectively. The Academic Excellence Award was given to Julia Deng and the Eagle Award went to Helena Lin. The Puxi class of 2013 has 177 members. They are a truly impressive group of young people. Highlights of the ceremony included speeches by three students: Valedictorian Sam Wu, salutatorian Fabien Ho Ching Ma, and student speaker Joanne Xue. Wu spoke about his dream for the future, saying “I dream that I will use music to somehow push our generation into doing good, rather than waste away in apathy.” For their faculty speaker, seniors chose departing Vice Principal Michael Sheehan. In addition to speeches, five scholarship award winners were honored on stage. Venus Tse and Jin Jin Xu were both recipients of the Alumni Awards for Service and Integrity. Joanne Xue was recognized with both the SAS PTSA Club Spirit Award and the PTSA Leadership Award. The SAS Faculty Academic Excellence Award was presented to valedictorian Sam Wu. Finally, the Eagle Award went to Tian Zi Anny Hu. In both ceremonies, before the presentation of diplomas by administrators, the audience watched a video featuring photographs of the graduates as small children and as they are now, highlighting how far our seniors have come. Those students who have attended school on either campus for a significant amount of time — some since kindergarten — were recognized. Finally, diplomas were handed out, tassels were moved from left to right, and our seniors headed off with family and friends to celebrate the end of an era. They have come so far, and yet their journey has only just begun.


VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

PHOTOs by Andrew marks and Xing Yangjian



Moving forward

Class of 2017 prepares for transition to high school By Brian Li and Kendrick Tan, Grade 8, Puxi campus


nly three years ago, we can remember standing upon the stage, transitioning from young fifth graders to a new and unexplored universe — middle school. Now, the time has come for a new transition and for the class of 2017 to take another big step onto the much higher and challenging plateau of high school. “I feel that middle school has been both a challenging and fun experience,” said Elisa Xu, grade 8. “I will never forget the past few years I had here.” To commemorate their time in middle school, all grade 8 students will participate in a Transition Ceremony that will mark the end and of their middle school years and the transition into high school. The ceremony allows students to reflect on their memories and experiences in middle school and celebrate their achievements during their time there while simultane-

ously preparing them for the more challenges ahead. The event will take up an entire day. The grade 8 students will begin their big day on campus, where they will put on display their hard work and talents from the past three years in the Performing Arts Center in front of parents, teachers, administrators, and peers. A variety of acts, ranging from rock bands to classical performances, were selected to perform. “I will definitely enjoy myself during these last moments,” said David Zhang, grade 8. “This will be the last time I can share all the fun memories I had with my friends during my time at middle school.” The Transition Ceremony is a studentled, student-run event. Eighth grade students were given a 45-minute Transition Ceremony preparation time block, in place of the usual exploratory block, where students chose to join committees that

worked to produce a memorable event that would add a satisfying last note to their middle school lives. With the guidance of teachers, students worked in five committees that focused on different areas of the final ceremony to create a successful event. Mr. Banaszewski, grade 8 teacher, said, “The SAS mission seeks to put students in situations where they can take more responsibility for their school experience. By allowing students to take an active role in planning and executing the transition ceremony, I think we accomplish this.” As different as every grade 8 student’s experiences in middle school was, one thing all of us can agree on is that we had a blast. With this chance to look back on the challenges we had in middle school we can also look to the future. As proud members of the class of 2017, we are looking forward to a new challenge — high school.

2012-13 Annual Fund reaches goal By Cindy Easton, director of development


he 2012-13 Edge for Excellence Annual Fund, which reached its goal of $250,000 USD, supports many innovative and inquiry-based educational endeavors that create 21st century learning opportunities for our students. One example is the Wuxi Lake Tai Science Field Station. Students launched a long-term ecological study, monitoring the effects of industry and tourism on the area’s ecosystem. This project gives students the chance to do “real science” that contributes to understanding the region in a meaningful way. This year also saw the expansion of the Yunnan Microcampus program, which began last year as a pilot program. This experience provides an


opportunity for our students to discover themselves, their host country, and their place in the world through inquiry-based learning outside of a traditional classroom. This Microcampus is one way we set ourselves apart apart from other international schools — we are leading the way in innovative, inquiry-based learning. The aim of the Microcampus is to adopt an approach to learning that integrates multiple perspectives, where activities are centered on global issues and problem-based learning. Next year we will pilot a new Microcampus in Lushan for grade 9 students that will continue to equip our students with 21st century skills. These new programs are helping our students develop the skills neces-

sary for success. Our development efforts are helping make these programs and projects possible. Some of the funded projects from the 2013 Annual Fund include:

yy yy yy yy yy yy yy

A live-streaming program Lego robotics for middle school students A pilot Lushan Microcampus for grade 9 students Continuation of the Yunnan Microcampus for grade 8 students New elementary school playground equipment Digital music expansion in the elementary music program Dance artists in residence

VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

Mr. Colleary’s love for teaching

Before heading to middle school, student recognizes her principal’s notable career By Nina Neumann, grade 5, Pudong campus


r. Colleary, a former elementary school, middle school, and high school teacher, is completing his 35th year in education as the Pudong campus elementary school principal. Throughout his enviable career there is one thing that he wants for the kids more than anything else. “I want the kids to run toward school instead of away from it,” he said. And seeing him with a smile on his face after he told me that, I realized that no matter what you do in life, you can find joy in it. Mr. Colleary’s deep love for education has never changed. Mr. Colleary found his passion for teaching by tutoring some of his friends in college and finding that he really enjoyed it. He has experienced almost all the possible academic and administrative positions in a school, including assistant principal and director.

I asked some of the elementary school staff what they thought Mr. Colleary’s greatest strength was. They all agreed that it was his sense of humor. After interviewing him I tend to agree. His humorous and friendly personality brought a lot of comfort to me while talking to him — which should have been a nerve-racking experience for any 5th grader. Positivity is another one of Mr. Colleary’s specialties. Staying on the bright side in the face of a hectic schedule is an outstanding quality, highly valued anywhere in the world. In spite of an already crowded schedule, Mr. Colleary still strives to get a good feel for the school and makes sure that he gets to know the parent and teacher community. When asked, Mr. Colleary described his favorite thing about SAS, “the school

is always looking for a way to be better because there is always something you can get better at.”

Elementary school principal Shawn Colleary with Nina Neumann.

PHOTO by Amy Hossack

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Solar education project Classroom technology enhancements

All of these initiatives, and the many others to come, are a part of our commitment to develop innovative programs that support the strategic objectives of SAS and to ensure that we continue to be an outstanding educational institution, both now and in the future.

Students at the Microcampus in Yunnan — one of the many projects funded by donations to the Edge for Excellence Annual Fund.




VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

Turning a new page BY Jie Ling Tseng, grade 5, Pudong campus


s the school year ends, Dr. Kerry Jacobson, SAS superintendent, faces a big life change as he prepares to leave Shanghai and head to a new school. I am also facing a big change: moving from fifth grade into middle school and dealing with the fact that I’m leaving childhood and entering adolescence. This feels like a whole new life that seems so strange and foreign to me. We both have the same concerns — there will be new expectations and new responsibilities for both of us. And we will both have to find a place for ourselves in a new environment. The three years that Dr. Jacobson has spent as the superintendent at Shanghai American School has left a deep impression on our school, one that will be remembered for a long time. Dr. Jacobson leaves soon for Lima, Peru, and we will miss his

presence at SAS — whether it’s visiting our classrooms, sharing advice with teachers, or helping others settle in a new environment. He will continue his role as a superintendent at a Peruvian school called Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Colegio is the Spanish word for college, but in this case, it means the preK-12 school in Lima. Like SAS, Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt is an American school that operates in a foreign country. Dr. Jacobson has been an educator for a long time — more than 35 years. Driven by his interest in math, science, music, and arts, he looked forward to each day of school as a child. Both of his parents were teachers and they showed him the importance of education. Later, he decided that if he went deeper into education he could not only be involved in the areas that he took interest in, he could also pass on the knowledge to students. That’s how he became so capable of achieving the knowledge of educating students today. Having a vast experience in education, Dr. Jacobson has contributed significantly to SAS over the last three years. When asked what he thought were the greatest accomplishments during his time at SAS, he said, “One of the best things has been the development of the new strategic plan with the mission and the definition of our core values and the strategies for how we’re going to achieve the objectives that we are

setting out to educate each child.” Dr. Jacobson thinks the development of the strategic plan has been a very positive undertaking — an influential piece of work that guides our actions and thoughts, and how the teachers and staff conduct school for children. An important element of the plan is our school mission: “SAS inspires in all students a lifelong passion for learning, a commitment to act with integrity and compassion, and the courage to live their dreams.” Dr. Jacobson emphasized this passion for learning when he said, “Learning is something that the student is very much in control of; it isn’t as much directed by a parent, or by a teacher, or by a coach, or by an advisor. It comes from the student and the natural inclination and love that the student has for learning.” Dr. Jacobson has witnessed how education has changed over the years. “I think that teachers have become more knowledgeable about how we all learn,” he explained. “And I’ve seen differences in our teachers in understanding how our brains develop and how learning happens. They have changed the way they teach because of that.” Another major change in education is the introduction of new technology. Nowadays, Apple products have invaded our lives. Back when Dr. Jacobson started school, computers didn’t even exist. Naturally, Dr. Jacobson will have many things that he will miss as he leaves Shanghai. When asked what he will miss most, he replied, “Definitely the people. The staff members that I work with, the students that I get to watch when they are performing all the time, and when they are in classes. I will miss that very much. The parents and the people who have been so kind to us and have been welcoming in so many ways.” Dr. Jacobson will also miss China and the culture, like traditional food and music. Peru holds new secrets and a different path for Dr. Jacobson, with a new culture, new people, and, of course, a new environment. Left: Dr. Jacobson with Jie Ling Tseng.

PHOTO by Amy Hossack



alan knobloch

Debra lane

michael sheehan

SAS administration departures BY genevieve barrons, eagle staff


s the end of the year approaches, the Shanghai American School community prepares to say goodbye to those administrators who are headed off on new adventures in the fall. Their hard work has been appreciated and they will be missed. The SAS community wishes them the best of luck on their future endeavors. Pick up a copy of the August issue of the Eagle to find out more about the new members of the administrative team coming to SAS, as well as the new teachers. Dr. Kerry Jacobson, Superintendent Kerry arrived in Shanghai three years ago. During his time here, he has been instrumental in helping to further define the school and its primary mission. He is headed to Lima, Peru where he will lead the Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt as superintendent. See full article on page 12.

Dr. Alan Knobloch, Deputy Superintendent, Puxi campus Alan is leaving SAS after seven years. He was previously the principal of the Puxi campus high school. During his time at SAS he was integrally involved in the creation of the middle school Microcampus, as well as expanding the number of students at the high school level who take IB and AP courses. He is returning to the United States to teach university level courses in New Hampshire. Dr. Debra Lane, Elementary School Principal, Puxi campus Debra has spent three years in her role at SAS. Under her supervision, the elementary school traded in its sterile white walls for a more joyous yellow color, the school hired literary coaches and an early childhood integrated arts teacher, and plans for an urban garden were put into action. She is returning to Virginia, where she was will be the principal of Flint Hill Middle School. When asked what she would most miss about the SAS community, she said the self-motivated students, passionate parents, and hardworking teachers.

We’re getting social@ SAS!


VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

jason robinson

david leung

steven lane

Michael Sheehan, High School Vice Principal, Puxi campus Michael has been a member of the SAS community for five years. Prior to becoming vice principal, he taught high school English and served as the yearbook teacher and AP coordinator. As vice principal, he helped to start the High School Honor Council, whose primary function is to establish a deeper culture of compassion and integrity throughout the community. He is headed to Warsaw, Poland, where he will be the high school principal of the American School of Warsaw. Reflecting on his time at SAS, he says he will most miss the excellent students and world-class faculty.

David Leung, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer David has been employed at SAS since 2007, but he has been a member of the community since his daughter started kindergarten here in 1997. During his tenure, the school paid down its debts by $23 million USD and increased its liquid assets by $28 million USD. He was also involved in the process that allowed for the construction the new Puxi high school building and upcoming Pudong Performing Arts Center without the school having to borrow any money. He is leaving the school to pursue other business opportunities in Shanghai.

Jason Robinson, Elementary School Vice Principal Pudong campus Jason has been a member of the SAS community for eight years. Previously, he was a grade 7 social studies teacher on the Puxi campus. As vice principal, he is particularly proud of his work helping to develop the SAS core values over the past few years. After leaving SAS, he is headed to graduate school to pursue a PhD in urban education policy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Steven Lane, Communications Director Steven has been part of the SAS community for three years, the last two as a full-time employee. During his time here he has helped to revamp the Eagle, improved editorial standards, and centralized many publications and schoolwide communications, as well as begin work on a new SAS website be be launched next school year. He is returning to Fairfax, Virginia, to work in the area of nonprofit communications, governance, and policy.

PTSA thanks teachers and staff by hosting luncheon By Isabelle Sandfelder, PTSA, Puxi campus


ecently the Puxi PTSA hosted the annual Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Teachers and staff were able to have a relaxed lunch in a great environment with good food and nice music. Through the efforts of many wonderful parents, the teachers and staff were able to enjoy a buffet of many different dishes. The dessert area overflowed with a lovely variety of cakes, cookies, fruit, and other sweet treats.


Editor’s note: The Pudong PTSA also hosted a Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week that included a delicious luncheon featuring some adorable We Love SAS cupcakes.


Administrative News and Updates

SAS Core Planning Team reviews strategic plan


t their meeting in late April, the SAS Core Planning Team reaffirmed the school’s mission and core values, and suggested one addition to the set of strategies that form the backbone of the SAS strategic plan. This update meeting was the first formal opportunity to revisit the plan since it was approved in December 2011. Similar meetings will likely be held annually. “The purpose of the update meeting is to keep our strategic plan on the front burner, and to make any tweaks needed to keep it current,” said Superintendent Kerry Jacobson. “The world, and SAS, change quickly these days, and reviewing the plan every year is the best way to keep it focused and relevant.” After reviewing the plan, the core team proposed one new strategy, related to Board governance. A slightly revised strategy - “We will ensure that board governance practices and behaviors are consistently aligned with our mission and core values” - was approved by the Board at its May 27 meeting. The core team suggested some minor revisions to a few of the 37 “results” — the specific goals developed to achieve the strategies — and suggested three new ones. These will be incorporated into the overall plan by the administration. The core team also reviewed all the other elements of the plan, including the mission and core values, but made no additional changes. This is normal for a strategic plan at this point in its life cycle. For the first year of implementation, five results were chosen. Human Resources SAS school personnel understand the school’s core values, mission and strategic objectives and have identified ways they can contribute to achieving them. Marketing/admission/communications All families understand the school mission and core values. Curriculum Students are regularly engaged in real-life learning that ignites a life-long passion for learning. Cross-campus Common courses with common instructors are developed and delivered using (a) videoconference technology and/or (b) blended, online coursework using multicampus teachers. Finance The school has instituted a transparent and efficient evaluation process of both capital and operational spending decisions, such as budgeting, educational resources, facilities, and staffing, in alignment with strategic objectives. For more details, go to the Strategic Plan section of the SAS website: http://www. — By Steven Lane, Strategic Planning Internal Facilitator


VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

Two new SAS Board members elected


oining the SAS Board next school year will be two newly elected members: York-Chi Harder and Alan Yeung. They were elected by SAS parents from a field of seven candidates. The turnout for the election was 54 percent this year, exceeding the Election Committee’s goal of 50 percent. “We are very pleased with the participation rate in the election,” said SAS Election Committee Chair Kristin Hagerstrom. “It shows a real commitment by SAS parents to the school and their role in shaping the future of the institution.” Turnout may have been increased by the number of Meet the Candidates events that were held, organized by the Election Committee and by the PTSAs. Eight separate events allowed large numbers of parents to get to know the candidates by hearing them speak, and by asking them questions in smaller, roundtable settings. In addition, the Election Committee arranged for candidates speeches to be filmed at one of these events, and posted the video on PowerSchool for parents to access. Harder and Yeung will replace David Liu, Board chair, who will be stepping down from the board after nine years, and Stella Chan, Board vice chair, who leaves after a three-year term. Officers for the 2013-14 school year will be elected by the board at its June meeting. Current Board members who will remain on the Board for next year are: Raymond Chang, Candace Cooper, Jay Dong, Adam Juszynski, Kristin Hagerstrom, Eric Pan, and Cindy Qiu.

York-Chi Harder

York-Chi is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University School of Law, and has practiced law for 15 years in Hong Kong and her native New York. She has previously served on the SAS Board, from 2004-2008, including as chair. She is also a long-serving member of the Board of Active Kidz Shanghai. York-Chi has two children at SAS Puxi — Elizabeth, grade 12, and Sam, grade 9 — and her eldest daughter Laura graduated in 2011. Alan Yeung

Alan attended several institutions of higher education in the United States, including UC Berkeley, where he earned his MBA, and Stanford, where he earned a PhD in chemical engineering. He held various executive positions in Fortune 500 companies in the US and China, and holds several US patents. Alan’s two children — Austin, grade 7, and Madison, grade 4 — have attended SAS Puxi since kindergarten.


University visits SAS


n May, SAS was honored to host 55 teachers from East China Normal University (ECNU) as part of our continuing relationship with that institution. During the visit, Superintendent Kerry Jacobson gave a brief history of our school for the visiting teachers, highlighting the school’s growth over the past two decades. Alan Knobloch, Puxi campus deputy superintendent, went on to outline the elements of an American style education highlighting our focus on academic programs based on inquiry, collaboration, and creativity, and our emphasis on working to serve the whole child through the arts, service, and sports. The guests went on a tour of the Puxi campus led by administrators in order to see these elements of American style education in action. The visit was an important part of our partnership with ECNU, providing both schools with the opportunity to better understand other systems of education and insight into how to best serve our own student populations. — By Genevieve Barrons, Eagle staff

Teach the writer, not the writing. Teach the reader, not the reading.


his year, professional development training at the Puxi elementary school for teaching assistants has made a special focus on literacy. Literacy coach Diane Enoka, with the help of Mike Jamias, EAL teacher, developed training to encourage teaching assistants to be more involved in helping teachers facilitate literacy lessons. This includes various reading and writing workshops where students are taught skills and strategies to be independent through reading and writing activities. Through this workshop, the teaching assistants learned to confer with individual students. They talk with them, understand what the students are doing, where they are in their learning, and then individually tailored writing or reading skills. The teaching assistants also learned techniques and strategies for working with reading groups. “It broadens my perspective about teaching different techniques in reading and writing,” said Lourdes Frayco, an art teaching assistant. “What makes the workshop effective is the practical application of the strategies taught in the actual classroom setting,” John Hong, a grade 2 teaching assistant added. This year we’ve seen a strong improvement in supporting our students’ literacy skills and we look forward to continuing the new techniques we have learned, next year. — By Avegail Vergel, academic support TA, Puxi campus


Life-sized lessons fro


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om the unexpected “ Our lives in Shanghai are routine; we’re stuck

in the international community. When friends ask us, ‘what’s China like?’, most of us won’t know what to say because we haven’t experienced ‘real China.’ Microcampus was our opportunity to do so. In Xizhou, we got to interact with the local culture and learn more about what China really is.

Life-sized lessons continues on next page

This spring, two groups of 16 grade 8 students spent a month living and learning in a small village called Xizhou in Yunnan province at the SAS Microcampus. The Microcampus (a program designed specifically for, and by, members of the SAS community) provides a unique learning environment where students have daily interactions with the local village. Students found themselves at the center of the learning process, making important decisions about what to learn and the process of tapping into the wisdom contained in the local population. By stepping outside of their familiar routines and surroundings they are able to connect in unique, powerful ways with China. PHOTOs provided by craig tafel



Life-sized lessons

continued from previous page

BY Ethan Ying-Rui Teo, grade 8, Puxi campus


ne of the goals of Microcampus is to leave a positive, lasting impact on the local community. As part of our Microcampus journey, each of us participated in an activity called service learning. Usually when one thinks of service, thoughts of house building and charitable deeds come up. However, the citizens of the Xizhou village have a sense of pride and dignity, and don’t necessarily need strangers to come fix their village. Service learning is a way of showing appreciation to the villagers for their hospitality by interacting with them and getting to know them better. It is also another way of giving appreciation in return for their hospitality to us. Simply listening to them can be a method of showing appreciation for them. Sometimes, we underestimate the friendliness of the local population. As we started to be more comfortable with talking to them, we realized that they were much friendlier than we thought. Jason Liu, fellow Microcampus student, commented, “It took a while for me to be comfortable with the locals, but by the end of the month we were really close.” “Towards the end, they were more willing to share their story as we shared our stories,” Vicky Hung added. As the days went by, we became closer and closer to our local neighbors. Eventually, we put together videos talking about their lives, their accomplish-

ments and regrets, their ups and downs. We then showed these videos to the local elders who we talked to, which made us all happy. “I felt really happy about showing my work to my service learning partner. It helped spark lots of interaction, and left a good impression,” said Mark Lau. Brandon Wang said that it was “a touching gesture for a lot of them; they laughed at funny parts and became emotional at other times, but in general, made a positive impact on the locals.” Ms. Duan, one of our service learning partners, was nearly in tears when she watched the service learning videos. Other service learning elders laughed and enjoyed their time at the celebration. From this experience, we learned that service isn’t just about physically helping others, but more accurately about being a positive impact on a community. Sometimes, understanding another person’s life can make a difference in your own. According to Armin Ighani, “Microcampus helped me appreciate everything I have, and gave me a glance of what the real world is really like.” Now, when the 16 of us are once again asked about China, we can tell them of our exciting adventures in Xizhou. Find out more about the Microcampus or see more pictures, check out at:

PHOTOs provided by Yvonne ye


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Running to remember

Alumna participates in Boston Marathon in memory of SAS teacher By Genevieve Barrons, Eagle staff


n May, SAS celebrated teacher appreciation week and took the opportunity to thank our teachers for the impact they have on our lives — as mentors, tutors, teachers, and coaches. But beyond these daily roles, there are some teachers that have an outsize influence on us: they expose us to new ways of thinking about the world and encourage us to dream big dreams. And sometimes this impact requires a bigger memorial — like running 26.2 miles in memory of a beloved teacher. For SAS alumna Stephanie Sun (class of 2011), David Surowski was one such teacher. Surowski taught mathematics at the Puxi campus high school from 20032010. Sun took AP Calculus with him during her junior year. She remembers in particular his talent for making math fun: “He would write problem sets about him roller skating with hot wonton soup and then ask us to calculate the friction on his skates or the temperature of his soup.” AP Calculus is a notoriously difficult class and, according to Sun, Surowski’s creativity “made an otherwise miserable class a lot more bearable.” Beyond academics, Sun was also inspired by Surowski’s positive outlook on life. During his time at SAS, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and “even through his illness, he never let it get in the way of his other passions, whether it was math, teaching, or playing Chinese yo-yo during lunch. That is an attitude I’d love to carry in my own life,” said Sun. Sun’s AP Calculus class was one of the last Surowski taught at SAS. In 2010, he retired and moved to Xi’an. Tragically, shortly thereafter, he passed away from complications associated with his cancer. By her own admission, Sun had a difficult time dealing with Surowski’s death. She remembers being called into the counselor’s office and being handed a lot of tissues, but “besides that, it was all pretty much one big emotional blur.” Two months later Sun graduated from SAS and headed to Boston College where she has recently finished her sophomore year as a nursing major.


Last year, she attended the Boston (mile 21) when two bombs went off at the Marathon to cheer on two friends. “Seeing finish line. The incident would go on to be them challenge themselves to do someknown as the Boston Marathon Bombthing so extraordinary and for such good ing and quickly became an international causes motivated me do the same,” said headline. Sun. At first, police officers allowed them She decided to run the 2013 Bosto continue running, but half an hour later ton Marathon to raise money for cancer they shut down the marathon completely. research in memory of Surowski. She chose Sun made it to mile 25. Even though she the Marc Lustgarten Foundation as it allodidn’t get to finish the race, “knowing that cates all proceeds specifically to pancreatic everyone I knew was safe was a victory in cancer research. and of itself,” she said. Sun spent almost as long training for Does she plan to run another marathe marathon as she did in AP Calculus. thon? “I didn’t get to finish the marathon She noted that her SAS friends might be this year, so I would definitely love to run surprised to hear that she had undertaken another one to get closure and to know such a challenge as “I’ve never been an aththat I can,” she said. “Maybe in a couple letic person, so training for this marathon of years. Maybe in roller skates with hot was really tough, but I got through it by wonton soup.” reminding myself of who I was running for.” To prepare, she ran between three and 10 miles during the week and up to 21 miles on Sundays. In the week leading up the race she remembers feeling nervous. Both Sun and the friend she trained with were suffering from injuries. But the moment she got to the start line it all dissipated. She was excited and ready to run for a teacher who had always had such a passion for life. Most of the race went exactly as planned: she ran at the pace she had hoped for and she and her friend were generally in high spirits. She From left: Dianne Sun, Stephanie Sun (class of 2011), and Timothy was running by sun (class of 2009). PHOTO provided by Dianne Sun Boston College


PHOTOs by Steve carozza


By Todd Sessoms, middle school dram


his spring the Pudong middle school performing arts staff and students undertook the challenge of producing one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, Fiddler on the Roof. The show’s staging and compositions are legendary among musical theater enthusiasts and each reimagining transports us to the village of Anatevka, populated with friends and family. The Anatevka set constructed on stage was heavily populated indeed. It came to life through the hard work and talent of 63 cast members, 28 pit band players, four running set crew students, six make-up/hair stylists, and a production team of six teachers. From the beginning, the production team chose not to undertake a junior production with a truncated storyline and sing-a-long CD. Instead the full adult script and score with all its challenge and length was selected. The team believed that there was great value in engaging our students in the challenging process


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ler on the Roof

ma theater, Pudong campus

of staging a full production and did not want to water down the story or music of the original. It is not the familiar melodies or favorite moments that bring us, the audience, so quickly back to Anatevka. Fiddler on the Roof is a story that speaks to the universality of human experience. A community struggles to maintain its culture and traditions in the face of a changing world. Parents strive to educate and provide a better future for their sons and daughters. And children start writing their own stories — stories that often diverge from those previously written by their parents. These themes speak intuitively to our students. Their experience abroad gives them a unique understanding of what it is like to be living in two communities at once. One is a familial community with its set of traditions and values. The other is the larger community that is foreign from their own, often presenting them with a different set of choices. As students face the daily challenge of constructing their identities, our students must consistently reflect upon who they are and where they come from, remembering that laughter and love are key to resiliency. Though the villagers of Anatevka may lead lives that are quite different from ours, spending time with their traditions on stage helped us to reflect upon our own lives. Without our traditions, whatever they may be, our lives would truly be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof. More photos from Fidder on the Roof can be found on Eagle Online: WWW.EAGLEONLINE.ORG


Snow White By Eagle staff and macrina wang, grade 7, puxi campus


lipping through the DVDs in a local shop, middle school teacher Juanita McGarrigle noticed a trend. Remakes of classic fairy tales like Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, the television series Once Upon a Time, and Grimm caught her attention. “I bought them all and started to think about what story would be best to present, and how I would develop my own idea of the story,” she said. What resulted was the middle school production of Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs. “I instantly liked the idea of Snow


White because of the main concept of innocence overcoming wickedness,” McGarrigle explains. “The story was well known so that it would still translate to audiences even if I changed it.” Perhaps one of the most striking features of the production was the set and costume design. Finding inspiration from images like Paddington Bear cartoons, she designed a set that captured the stark black and white illustrations of classic children’s books. Bringing color to the stage were the characters, their costumes, wigs, masks, and prosthetics, and some of

McGarrigle’s own puppetry creations. The cast was made up of 17 students that played either stiff palace people, “ruff and tuff dwarfs,” or the Innocents. And, of course, there was Snow White, played by talented grade 6 student Sho Sho Leigh Ho. “It had cool effects and the dwarfs were hilarious. I loved every single moment of it,” said Celina Tala, grade 7. Though Snow White is as “white as snow,” the production was colorful and spectacular.

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PHOTOs provided by Juanita McGarrigle



China Alive Each year, students in grades 6 to 10 participate in various China Alive trips. Some trips are more adventurous while others are more cultural, but each trip is designed to help students connect with various parts of China through a non-classroom environment. Trip highlights for each student are different. For Nicholas Liu it’s the hiking and overnight train ride, for Mia Kwon it was waterfalls and water fights. For Sabrina Ku it was simply meeting friends and getting to know people better. One thing is certain, each trip is unique and each student has a story to share. The following pages include some of their numerous stories.

PHOTOs by ben holder, blake brown, chris roules, Erin Mccall, Holly lin, Jan Stanton, Jason Huang, Julia steele, Nola heckmann, Alison Hoeman, and sindy shen


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PHOTOS BY alison ma and david wang



China Alive



We had done six hours of work: plowing and planting, picking tea leaves on the side of the mountain, carrying hundreds of bricks, and assembling finicky ball point pens. After all this work, I only earned 7.55 RMB. I was surprised that it was so little. The money was for dinner that night. I didn’t earn enough money. I thought: I am going to starve. This activity was part of China Alive. I was in Tonglu, a small city near Hangzhou, with my friends on the Challenger trip. We were learning about life as a villager. For dinner that night, we pooled our money together and we ate potatoes, beans, and fried rice. This activity taught me that earning money is very hard. Another activity we did on our trip was spelunking (cave exploring). We all went into the cave together, but on the way out we were challenged to exit one by one. We waited for 30 seconds after the student in front of us left and then walked back along the same path that we had come in on. I almost got lost. The cave was very dark so we had to use our flashlights. At one point, we all turned off our flashlights. There was no light in the cave. We listened to the environment around us. I had never seen darkness like that. — Christopher Shih, grade 6, Puxi campus

On our second and third day, we were introduced to the basics of sailing. We sat quietly as the coach lectured about the various parts of the boat and sailing techniques, but what we really wanted was action. Our wish came true that afternoon but there was no wind so we couldn’t experience the fun and excitement of sailing. Luckily, no one fell off the boat—however a couple people did feel a bit sick. That night, Mr. Cook warned us that tomorrow there would be little or no wind again, so we expected another boring day. The next day, something unexpected happened. As we got in our boats and sailed into the ocean, the wind blew frantically, as if it was waiting for us to come. With the wind came the fun, and the scariness — the boat almost capsized. Then came the race, which wasn’t as entertaining as it could have been if the wind had been stronger. But sailing was still fun. I had the most fun because I was active, and I took part of making the boat run rather than sitting and watching. Later, we realized one of the guides, named Summer, whose Chinese name is Song Xiaoqun, competed for Team China at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She has had six first place finishes in national championships and has placed well in various other international sailing races. I also found out that on another boat their captain is attempting to be the first female from China to sail around the world. — Jun Young Choi, grade 10, Puxi campus

Zhejiang Your task: get yourself from Qiandao Lake on the western edge of Zhejiang province to the town of Ninghai on the eastern edge in the least amount of time and as cheaply as possible. This was the Zhejiang Amazing Race, a new China Alive trip. For the Amazing Race, students had to read maps, interpret bus and train schedules written entirely in Chinese, ask for directions, negotiate prices with drivers, and purchase food — all without help from faculty or guides. It was an exciting, real-life transportation adventure, designed to give students a taste of what millions of Chinese travelers do on a regular basis. The Zhejiang Amazing Race also included outdoor experiences such as kayaking, biking, and backpacking. Students were physically tested by a 75 km cycling trip in 38º C temperatures and a 6-hour uphill trail hike with full backpacks. Students camped, cooked their own dinner, slept in tents, and packed out all their own gear in drizzly conditions. The rain even brought out a few trail leeches, which managed to snack on a few of our ankles. Students took it all in stride and had a fun and memorable outdoor experience. — Blake Brown, high school science teacher, Puxi campus


Yunnan During the Puxi high school’s China Alive, 16 students travelled to Yunnan province in southwest China, to the small town of Xizhou. The town is surrounded by farmland, and is the location of the SAS microcampus. The students were blessed to stay at the Linden Center, a renovated Bai courtyard home. The group enjoyed a wide variety of activities including visiting a local elementary school, hiking along the mountainside, learning traditional indigo tie dying from a local family, practicing tai chi, touring around the lake by horse cart, observing cormorant fishing, baking the traditional local bread, and attempting to play the traditional musical instruments of the area. It was a marvelous opportunity to see, experience, and learn about life and history in China’s Yunnan province. — Chris Roules, high school science teacher, Puxi campus

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The city that we arrived in was Guiyang. After meeting up with our guide, we drove to Jichang, an old Han village, to work in a ground opera workshop. The vibrant colors and meticulous choreography awed us to no end. We proceeded to visit a night market in Anshun. There we experienced the native food and products of Guizhou. We also created batiks — a cloth traditionally made using a wax-resist dying method. Each of the students created their own personal batiks with melted wax and colored them. We also learned about other textiles by visiting an embroidery museum that was situated on our way to Maliao. The museum exhibited the needlework of various ethic groups in Guizhou. Those exquisite pieces of work enlightened us about the cultural values of each of these groups. — Holly Lin, high school Chinese teacher, Puxi campus

On the first day, the team walked for 30 minutes up the mountain to a hotel belonging to the Zhuang minority. After the team got up there and rested, we enjoyed doing some team building activities and watching the Zhuang minority’s traditional dance. Some even joined the dancing. The next day, the team hiked down from the mountain the same way as they had come up due to a recent landslide. The team rode bikes from Longsheng to Yangshuo enjoying breathtaking scenery along the route. The uphill stretches were tough, but everyone enjoyed the downhill parts as well as the scenic rest breaks. Our destiny was Yangshuo base camp at our guide Afa’s village. There the team feasted voraciously on one of the best barbecues in the world. That night we built a bonfire and the evening was topped off by our own private fireworks show. — Huntington Wu, grade 10, Puxi campus



China Alive

Inner Mongolia


The ancestral Mongols lived on the great grass plains. There, under the endless sky, they lived nomadic lives, following animal herds across hundreds of miles. Like all people however, they sought enjoyment. In those times, they would challenge each other in horse riding, archery, and wrestling. To experience the native Mongolian culture, the guides brought us to the great grass plains in a 90-minute bus ride, where we too undertook those same challenges: horse riding, archery, and wrestling. Although I have never done any of those activities before, my ancestral Mongolian DNA recognized the land and ignited, lending me great passion and genius to do all those things. I take how my arrows flew over the targets as a special sign that I was destined for greater things — as skill is defined as hitting a target others cannot, true genius is defined as hitting a target no one else can see … and I did plenty of that. My favorite however, was a game of wrestling with Zhen Kai. Over the course of our matches, we suffered pain and hardship, and through it, reinforced our brotherhood by recognizing each other’s worth. — Jason Huang, grade 10, Puxi campus

We truly stepped out of our comfort zones during the trip by engaging in activities such as spreading cow manure on fields as fertilizer, dancing around bonfires, going on scavenger hunts that sent us scampering around Suhe Old Town, and learning how to write characters of the Naxi language. It showed us how fortunate we are and the local people’s positivity and persistence humbled us. Our noses got sunburnt and mud splattered all over our jeans while farming, but it was all worth it. We suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Buddhist monks during a particularly exhilarating game of soccer, but it was also worth it because that was when we all bonded. Every grain of rice we ate during that trip tasted better. Narelle Shen added, “China Alive was an amazing experience because we got to spend time with our friends, teachers, and we got to know the local people.” — Macrina Wang, grade 7, Puxi campus


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Yellow Mountain The Yellow Mountain Hot Springs were amazing. There were more than 40 hot pools, each with a different color and a different taste. Behind every shrub, another hot spring would lurk, waiting to be discovered. That feeling you get as you round a bush, and come across yet another hot spring with another flavor gives you the feeling of Columbus stumbling upon America. All of them had different tangs — from wine, coffee, lemon, rose, jasmine, and others. There was great anticipation as you hurry to read the sign and find out that the pool is the flavor of your favorite drink. Then, you would gingerly dip your toes in the water to test the temperature, and after finding it just right, you would splash into the spring to be enveloped by heat and a fervent flavor. Within just a few minutes, your tired and stiff muscles that conquered Yellow Mountain would feel immediately relaxed. — Ally Zhu, grade 7, Pudong campus


Elementary schools Not only did the middle and high schools participate in China Alive, the elementary school had a piece of the action as well. It was a collaborative project involving all our Chinese teachers and assistants along with homeroom teachers, EAL teachers, academic support teachers, parents, teacher assistants, and student interns. Activities for the pre-K to grade 5 students included Chinese board games, movies, origami, chopsticks, Gongfu performances, Chinese rope jumping, and dressing up in Chinese costumes. There were even field trips to the Urban Planning Center, She Mountain, and Nanxiang Old Town. — Sindy Shen, elementary school Chinese teacher, Pudong campus View more photos from the China Alive trips on the Eagle Online:

My group, the Confucius Travelers, were basically the “sit back and enjoy” trip. However, it was just a prelude to the best part: the Terracotta Warriors. We explored all the three pits and looked each warrior in the eye and realized that none were alike. Each warrior wore a different expression; some seemed angry others were happy. There are so many soldiers that it seemed impossible to count. The sight was amazing. They were all made by hand thousands of years ago. They even figured out how to preserve the warriors well so they would not rot or decay before being found. By chance, we even got to see Yang Xinman, the discoverer of the Terracotta Warriors. — Bridget Lu, grade 6, Puxi campus

On the Puxi campus students from a local kindergarten were invited to participate in the China Alive activities.



Getting the hang of it By Brian Li, grade 8, Puxi campus


rom horizontal to vertical, Kendrick Tan continues to show that anything is possible. Starting with no gardening experience in September, his interest has blossomed this year. His interest in growing started with a science investigation in Mrs. Hundley’s science class, which turned into a vegetable garden of radishes, spinach, and corn. His desire to grow and cultivate continues to blossom in the form of a vertical garden outside the Puxi middle school building. Over the past few months, Kendrick and his team of grade 8 students (who have christened themselves the West Side Green Thumbs) have been showing SAS how to turn a concrete jungle into a more energyefficient and attractive campus. Student inspired and driven, the West Side Green Thumbs started exploring how to create an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and attractive hanging garden. They first collected a range of materials to use for both hanging the garden on the wall and holding the plants and soil. With a prototype (built from recycled two-liter soda bottles and chicken wire) and an artist’s rendering of how the garden will enhance the look of SAS, the team pitched their idea to Mr. Levesque, the new SAS facilities manager. With his approval, West

Side Green Thumbs took on the challenge of creating SAS’s first hanging garden. Now, two months on, the garden is taking shape. As David Wang says, “Once we’re done, it will make our campus much more colorful.” The hanging garden is still a work in progress and will continue to be so as the students move to high school. Kendrick, however, hopes that both of his gardens will inspire others in our community to care for our environment through activities as simple as growing plants to recycling plastic bottles. He hopes to also show that it doesn’t matter if you have grown anything before. Just take the plunge and you’ll be surprised with what comes out. Kendrick said, “I started the hanging garden as an expansion of my garden, as a way to make the project more noticeable to the rest of the community so I could spread the theme of going green to more people.”

PHOTOs by ruby hundley


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Planting seeds for the future BY Angella Liu, grade 11, Pudong campus


o commemorate our school’s 100th anniversary, Roots and Shoots students created the Centennial Garden. Once just an idea, the garden is now a reality through the vision, motivation, and hard work from Roots and Shoots club members. Two years ago, students led by junior Daniel Ruan took initiative, researched, and began developing plans. While the students investigated complex garden designs, from vertical, hanging wall gardens to simple, traditional ones, they also borrowed ideas from the middle school greenhouse. To acquire necessary funds to support this project, Luke Wang, Roots and Shoots club president, submitted a proposal to the Edge for Excellence program, an annual appeal to raise money for extracurricular activities and other programs to improve SAS. “When we were writing the proposal for the garden we really wanted to focus on the multiple benefits it would bring the school,” Wang explained. “We thought about how we can contribute to the cafeteria, how the area can be a live laboratory for environmental or biological sciences, and as a teaching ground for organic farm-


ing.” Armed with his passion and dedication, Luke was able to successfully obtain the grant. With the support of high school principal Jonathan Borden, students decided to locate the garden on land between the swimming pool and the high school building. This location gives maximum space, provides an inviting view, and allows for easy transportation of equipment. They then used their newly developed plans and began ordering the necessary materials, such as the wooden planks, the seeds, and the soil, through Charlotte Yu, treasurer. Doing much more than required, Charlotte communicated with the purchasing office and suppliers to make sure the material ordered was high quality and in the correct measurements. In the garden, a semicircle of raised beds, called the “fertile crescent,” provides space to grow crops. Depending on the season, the organic garden members will be planting vegetables and herbs. Another semicircle of fruit trees, including pear, peach, and cherry, help define a stage for live performances. In the center of the fruit trees, students have built a pergola out of bamboo to support grape vines. To make

the garden more aesthetically pleasing, Charlotte Yu has designed a yin-yangshaped rock garden on southern entrance. The garden also includes a rain collection system to recycle water and make it more efficient when watering the garden. Using three ducts that run through the roof, large ceramic pots will collect the rainwater for the garden. Master gardener Daniel Ruan commented, “The three things we really emphasized was space, flow, and utility.” The Centennial Garden will also be a healthy source of produce for the Pudong community. Currently, the Roots and Shoots club sells crops at a farmer’s market to the SAS community. “Buying healthy greens in Shanghai is always difficult,” says Ashley Cheng, a Pudong student, “but Roots and Shoots makes it easy and I love how I know where my food is coming from.” In the future, Roots & Shoots hopes to supply produce for the cafeteria to ensure that students are eating healthily. Roots & Shoots has taken great strides in developing the Centennial Garden and departing seniors will leave a legacy for all SAS students to enjoy for the next hundred years. 33

Walking to remember

SAS Annual Relay for Life supports the American Cancer Society By Yvonne Ye, grade 10 and Katie Wu, grade 12, Puxi campus


ancer may not discriminate between its victims, but neither do the students of Puxi high school in helping out the community. More than 600 high school students, along with participants from the parents, teachers, and elementary school, united on April 26th to raise nearly 250,000 RMB for cancer research at the annual Relay for Life walk. Relay for Life is a event for the American Cancer Society, which encourages the participants to walk for 24 hours. The motto goes, “cancer never sleeps, but neither do we,” the daylong event represents the continuous struggle which cancer has put people through in the SAS community. The high school alone formed 35 teams of walkers, and each team raised money before the event through furious bake sales and other creative ideas. After a brief assembly in the Performing Arts Center, Relay for life kicked off with the opening lap at 8 a.m., and representatives from each team took the first shift. “This Relay for Life had the best attendance yet,” said Tina Zhu, vice president of the National Honor Society. “We also got the elementary school involved.” 34

Simple but heart-wrenching stories were shared during the Luminaire, as students, teachers, and parents related their own experiences with losing grandfathers and mothers, sons and friends, walls, anchors, and loved ones. “The question I keep asking myself is: why does it have to be my grandfather?” said one a speaker. During the Luminary Walk — after the floodlights were turned off — students, teachers, and parents walked half an hour in silence, guided only by the lights of the luminary bags. Walkers would go out of their way to right fallen bags knocked over by the wind. Some people sat by certain bags, with friends all huddled around them, silent in solidarity and remembrance for those they had lost. “Personally, I attended Relay for Life because my grandfather died of throat cancer,” said sophomore Huntington Wu, a speaker at the Luminaire. “I desire to light a candle for him every year. Also, I want to value the people who are struggling and this is the way I pay them my respects.” All through the night, students trekked on, sometimes singing, sometimes running, but always moving. People who

were off shift tossed balls back and forth to the elementary students, laughing, having fun, but most importantly, coming together as a community. High school senior BC Park spent the best part of the night with a talkative little boy, gleefully pushing him around on a food cart. As Relay for Life wore on, it was obvious that many friendships and unexpected bonds were formed. At about 8:15 the next day, the sleepy teams all roused themselves to walk the final lap before the participants disbanded. Altogether, Puxi managed to walk 16,318 laps — 6,527.2 kilometers — in only 24 hours. While most participants agreed that Relay for Life was a fun event, a time to socialize and bond, the somber purpose of the event was never forgotten. The message of the American Cancer Society echoed through each luminary bag lit, each lap walked: “Celebrate. Remember. Fight back.”

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Relay For Life

In 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society. Since, the Relay For Life Project has grown worldwide. Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries take part in Relay for Life to raise funds, cancer awareness and reflect on those affected by the disease.


Team Emma By Emily Wu, Esther Kim, and Rosa Sun, grade 5, Puxi campus


his year Realy for Life hit especially close to home for the Puxi elementary school community. Emma Oldager, a grade 5 student, recently lost a leg to bone cancer. The elementary school students had the opportunity to decorate luminary bags, buy Team Emma shirts, exercise throughout the week, or contribute by walking during the 24-hour relay. “I felt really good because my friends were there to support me,” Emma said. “I think Relay for Life is special because you walk around the track for 24 hours and think about the people who are still fighting cancer. My class and my parents were the ones that supported me the most during hard times.” Reaching out to the people who are still suffering, Emma says to them, “Good luck, it’s hard. And I hope you get through it.” Emma’s mother, Janne Oldager, walked for almost 24 hours for Team Emma. “I think Emma is the strongest girl I know but what got her through the hard months in Singapore were friendships and the thought of coming back to SAS to continue her everyday life,” she said. “We know that a lot of students and teachers were also thinking of loved ones they lost to cancer,” continued Mrs. Oldager. “The high school did a great job organizing this event and I am proud to have my children attend a school where people, even though they are busy with important exams, take time supporting a cause like the fight against cancer.” Mrs. Sweeney, Emma’s grade 5 teacher, commented, “It was a personal thing for us because one of the kids in our class had suffered from cancer. The event was really personal for us. I think that it’s a time when we stop and think about the people who we lost to cancer and remember them and their lives.”

PHOTOs BY Dave Mention, Nancy stevenson, and yvonne ye


Keep Calm and Dance On By Edna Lau, elementary and high school dance director, Pudong campus


his year, 168 students across all Pudong campus divisions showcased their dance skills in a show, spread across two evenings, titled Keep Calm and Dance On. Each evening had a different line up of solos, duos, and trios. Students performed pieces they choreographed themselves in addition to selections choreographed by the campus dance instructors. Audience members were wowed by the creativity and talent


displayed. Highlights included Spring, a beautiful piece where students danced to music composed by Vivaldi that was performed live by our high school orchestra. Bohemian Rhapsody and Beauty and the B-East had the crowd roaring with laughter. And, of course, the finale choreographed by senior student John (DK) Lee had everyone up and dancing at the end. As much as it was an amazing show, it was also a bittersweet as we said good-

bye to our 18 seniors who have shown a lot of dedication and hard work, joy, energy, and passion. Many of them were an inspiration to others, as well as instrumental in making dance a part of our SAS culture. Our favorite motto is now, no matter what happens, Keep Calm and Dance On!

PHOTOs BY Victor Chin and Edna Lau

VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013



Bringing Passion to the stage By Yvonne Ye, Grade 10, Puxi campus


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rom a violinist virtuoso to a pizza delivery girl. From the debut of a K-Pop star to the arrest of a robber crew. Contemporary ballet to magnetic hip-hop. The Puxi dance team’s sixth annual Passion dance showcase explored a theme of careers to the thunderous applause of the audience. Audience turnout for the showcase was bigger than ever, the Friday show filling the entirety of the first floor and overflowing onto the mezzanine. “I chose to go because Passion happens only once a year, and is choreographed by its own dancers, and I think that's really cool and original,” said senior Austin Chan. “Also, I want to appreciate the talent of my fellow classmates and cheer for them.” Passion consisted of nearly two solid hours of dances choreographed by the APAC dance team, with special appearances by guest dancers and a dance-off at the end of the Friday show. Preparation for the showcase began mainly in February as the dancers came up with concepts and choreography. “In regards to choreography, a lot of us base it off a concept — for example, a career,” said senior dancer Emily Zheng. “For my pieces, I based choreography off of the song’s lyrics and created moves from the tune and words.” Some dancers found creating the choreography easy, but others found it the other way

around. “Choreographing a piece is a lot of fun because you get to put your own story and emotions into the piece,” said sophomore Andrea Su. “The difficult thing is putting enough time into choreographing and rehearsing instead of procrastinating.” Sophomore Min Young Lee and freshman Julia Lee agreed, but Zheng noted that the most difficult part for her was “teaching it to everyone and making sure everyone gets it right, because teaching a large group of people and making sure everyone does the moves exactly the same way takes a great deal of practice.” Either way, the audience was highly impressed by the performances. “It was a wonderful performance that truly displayed the talents of our very own SAS dance team,” said sophomore Cici Qi. “The dances were all well choreographed and brought out the symbolic and actual careers of the different people, and the outfits were fantastic.” The dancers also enjoyed putting on Passion for parents and peers to watch. “Passion tells people how hard we worked all year,” said Lee. “I was happy with the final product.” “Hopefully, Passion brings joy and inspiration to the audience and fellow dancers,” said Su. “It’s meant to showcase our talent, but more importantly it’s meant to showcase our passion towards this unique art form.”

View more photos and story about the Passion on the Eagle Online: WWW.EAGLEONLINE.ORG


A season to remember

Pudong girls soccer team wins APAC championship By David Bené, girls soccer coach, Pudong campus


n January 2013 the soccer season officially began. The players were excited and optimistic, but also leery. With a new coach and many new players, there were more questions than answers. When the varsity team was selected, there were many changes. When the players selected team goals, most wanted to finish better in Asia Pacific Athletic Council (APAC) championship than in the previous three years (4th place). The journey for APAC was to Hanoi, Vietnam this spring. The team played two games each day for three days in sweltering heat (30˚-35˚C). The team got off to a fast start with a 3-1 victory against Taejon Christian International School (TCIS). Rachel Kim had all three goals. Next, the team defeated WAB 2-0. The second day SAS defeated the host school, United Nations International School (UNIS), 3-0 in the morning (Avani Verma scored the first two goals) and, after only an hour break, came back to defeat Hong Kong Internatinal School (HKIS) 2-0 (Andy Povedano had the game winner in the 11th minute of play) to ensure an opportunity to play 40

in the finals. On the last day, SAS was scheduled to play Seoul Foreign School (SFS) in the morning and again in the afternoon for the championship. The first game was a 1-0 loss for SAS, but the second game was another story. Both teams played tough, physical soccer but were unable to score until Yuval Tzhori took advantage of a miscommunication between the defender and goalie. It seemed like one goal might be enough but then SFS quickly responded and scored the equalizer. The game ended 1-1 after two 10 minute overtimes. Once again, the game would be decided on penalty kicks. SAS Pudong girls soccer became APAC champions for the first time in school history. The key to a championship season starts with defense and the team only allowed 11 goals all year for a .57 goals against average. The defenders were Xiaobei McKean, Anna Dining, Sophie Groeneveld, Brianna Goulding, Huan Yi Low, Ashley Grillo, and Jessica Zhang. Although Helena Lin was the starting

goalie, Ellie Campbell did an incredible job during two games in APAC and did not allow a goal. Everyone on the team contributed and our substitutes played valuable minutes throughout the season and especially during APAC. Avani Verma and Jessica Moh were invaluable in the midfield and Sofia Rada won many balls as a possession forward. Coach Ben Regan was helpful in many ways providing a link to the past and an objective perspective all season. And Bob Gould who assisted with training the goalkeepers whenever possible. TEAM does actually stand for Together Everyone Achieves More and the 2013 season was a perfect example of how this happens. Everyone will remember the season for a long time and I am sure the stories will get better with age. Most important of all, the players have shared an experience they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. For a complete review of the team’s season visit

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Goal! Student skates to victory By Beatrice Chan, elementary school parent, Puxi campus


ce hockey is an uncommon sport in Bryan Tang’s subtropical hometown, Hong Kong. Regardless, this grade 2 Puxi student does what ever it takes to follow his passion. In the past year, he was on the winning teams at both the Hong Kong Hockey 5 International Ice Hockey Tournament this past May and the Asian Youth Ice Hockey Tournament. He was even awarded the most valuable player recognition in a game against the Beijing Little Wolf team. Bryan has been interested in ice hockey since age four. It is an interest that requires strong curiosity, passion, courage, and a global mind — especially in Shanghai where it is tough to access an ice rink. His committed spirit is part of the reason he is so successful in the sport. Bryan and his parents devote their weekend mornings to regular training. The whole family wakes up very early to catch the hockey training in Songjiang. Bryan also takes advantage of time during school holidays to travel to Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Harbin to practice his skills with professional ice hockey coaches. Needless to say, these experiences can further reinforce his globally minded spirit. The SAS culture that Bryan is immersed in offers an open, dynamic atmosphere to empower all students to develop well-rounded skills and an inquiring mindset — markers of a true champion.

PHOTO provided BY beatrice chan


Striking success By Macrina Wang, grade 7, Puxi campus

Here’s a note: never double-cross David Sun.


avid Sun, a grade 8 student in the Puxi middle school recently won a gold and silver medal at the New York State taekwondo championships in the 12 to 14 year-old division. Although he currently holds a first-degree black belt, he was “nervous” before the contest. But with the support of his coach and his adamance to win spurred him forward. The hard work and dedication he had put in towards the competition helped him acquire a gold and silver medal. He has been learning taekwondo for only two years. Previously, he had only won a few gold and silver medals from local competitions here in China. Taekwondo is a hobby for him, but he will continue to strive to become better at the art. “I feel extremely happy about the victory,” David said. But he does not dwell on what has been obtained, but what he can obtain. He vies for a better title, and, he says, he might be partaking in another competition in Colorado this July. David Sun is another brilliant example of an SAS student with the courage to live his dreams.

PHOTO provided BY hank claassen


Fostering hope, nurturing smiles

Amazing Grace Charity Concert raises money and unites campuses By Yeon Jae Kim and Connie Liu grade 11, Puxi campus, and Carina Seah, grade 10, Pudong campus


wo SAS clubs — Make A Child Smile in Puxi and Operation HOPE in Pudong — worked together to host the Amazing Grace Charity Concert at the Four Seasons Hotel. The concert brought together the best talents from both campuses; the audience was entertained with a cappella singers, photo exhibitions, and orchestra, string quintet, and dance performances. The aim of this concert was to sponsor two children, Han Mu and Ming Ming, at the Hui Xin Orphanage. They each need 2,000 RMB per month for physical therapy sessions. Han Mu is a seven-yearold boy who was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to walk. Ming Ming is a girl who has trouble moving her neck, mouth, and hand muscles due to her cerebral palsy. She is now receiving physical therapy at a treatment center, where she waits for a family to adopt her. Puxi’s Make A Child Smile serves children around the world who are fighting cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia,


and other illnesses. Through craft workshops, club members come together to decorate hand-made crafts and letters to the children in the United Kingdom and the United States. They hope to bring smiles to the children’s faces when they open something sent all the way from Shanghai, China. While reaching out to children overseas, Make A Child Smile also helps out at the Hui Xin Orphanage — a socially funded institute that is home to over 130 special-needs children. Club members visit the orphanage on a regular basis to play with, feed, read to, and dance with the children. Operation HOPE (Helping Orphanages Promote Education) is a student-run and student-founded nonprofit organization at the Pudong campus. With biweekly orphanage visits, fund-raising, and ongoing creative activities, club members strive to encourage and facilitate the necessity and possibility of educating orphans locally and worldwide.

The concert was extraordinary from beginning to end. The process of organizing it began with the Four Seasons Hotel generously giving a huge discount, because of having worked with Hui Xin Orphanage in the past. The concert itself ended with a full house audience applauding the best performers from both campuses. Nearly 15,000 RMB was raised. As Adrienne Hoe, a sophomore from the Puxi campus, said, “Amazing Grace, was, to say the least, amazing. It was possibly one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.” For information about Make A Child Smile visit, or email sasmacs@gmail. com. You can email Operation HOPE at Students performing a cappella at the Four Seasons Hotel. PHOTO provided BY connie liiu

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Serving the community

SAS club changes the local community one project at a time By Chul Ou Lee, grade 11, Puxi campus

你好!大家好!我的名字叫李哲雨! 我是你们的老师! Silence. With my Korean accent, I tried to introduce myself to a room full of third graders for the first time in my life. I tried to sound passionate, zealous. As a freshman officer in the Community Service club, I had to try to pull on a mask of confidence to show the other 12 people who were on the Old Qing Pu trip that I was capable. Though I tried hard, I was faced with silence, neglect, and indifference. This was my first impression of Community Service three years ago. Today, this impression has changed. Community Service Club has truly transformed everyone who has been active members. Spending Thursday afternoons teaching young students, playing with the growing toddlers in Jin Niu Kindergarten, and chatting with the friendly ladies and gents in the retirement center, bring about a renewed sense of community.

SAS students travel all around the world to places ranging from Jacaranda in Africa to Manila in the Philippines, yet when in China we mostly confine ourselves to the comfort of the expat bubble. Our trips to each of the five institutions supported by the Community Service Club (Jin Niu Kindergarten, the Old Qing Pu, Qing Pu, and Hua Bo Li migrant schools, and a retirement center) help Community Service members explore a different side of the place we call home. Members this year have had a chance to draw a picture with the kindergarten, play a game of hangman, and teach different animals from lion to mouse to the students in the migrant schools, and sing patriotic “red songs” with the grandmas and grandpas from the retirement center just 15 minutes away from our school. We also had events on our campus. In the first semester, we donated 400 towels to the retirement center to celebrate Chong Yang Jie, a festival that pays respect to seniors. In November, our 15th annual Thanksgiving dinner brought our teachers

and students together with roasted turkey and homemade entrees and desserts. In a night of celebration, we raised a total of 9,700 RMB from raffle sales with sponsored prizes. Along with the money raised from the International Fair and last year’s Thank You Gram sales, we were able to put together donations worth 45,000 RMB. On top of that, we donated 29,000 RMB worth of school supplies including laptops and electronic dictionaries to the Qing Pu school and the Old Qing Pu school. The Community Service club has not only served our neighboring communities but has taken care of our SAS community itself — we’ve had the brunch for guards in April and brunch for workers in May. We also gave roses for Mother’s Day to thank our ayis. Though the Community Service club cannot help every single member of the local community, we pride ourselves in our desire to help others.

PHOTOs provided BY Chul On Lee



PHOTOs provided BY Amy Smith

Joining the food revolution By Brian Li and Kendrick Tan, grade 8, Puxi campus


ou are what you eat. So make sure you only eat the best food and take care of your body. One organization in Shanghai is defining what it means to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle, spreading the message to our Puxi campus. Sprout, a group advocating healthy living, joined the Puxi middle school grade 8 health classes in May to teach students to adopt healthy habits. Two Sprout representatives and health coaches gave a demonstration to each class on making healthy snacks and foods that would give students a nutritious boost of energy to their day. The demonstration coincided with the second annual Food Revolution Day. On Food Revolution Day, people all around the world hold activities and events to promote healthy living and cooking. Ms. Smith, a health teacher on the Puxi campus, was interested in participating in this event — the SAS event was one of only four official Food Revolution Day events in 44

China. Ms. Smith discovered the organization at a PTSA Spring Bazaar and asked them if they would like to do a demonstration for students on how to make various healthy snacks. Through these healthy demonstrations and workshops, students are learning to take care of themselves and respect their mind, body, and environment with these actually quite simple habits. The four recipes that the students learned to make and tasted were nut milk, a smoothie, goji berry lemonade, and a granola mix. Each of these recipes give the body a variety of powerful nutritional staples that would keep the body healthy and energized. One Sprout representative remarked that eating food that makes you feel great afterwards was what they wanted to share with the students. “I think that the food demonstration was a good opportunity for us to experi-

ence and learn healthy living,” said Steven Park, grade 8. “Because not only did we have the chance to taste it, but we also got to actually watch the whole process and see how to do it right.” Sprout is an organization that inspires people to adopt or “sprout” healthier habits and respect one’s body, mind, and environment. They hold regular educational events and workshops that promote and highlight different healthy lifestyles through doing healthy food demos, teaching the use of wholesome products, giving healthy living talks, and building awareness. Sprout’s goal is to educate people about these foods and helping them sustain a healthy lifestyle. “We make sure we don’t just give people food and these ingredients,” said one Sprout representative and health coach, “we also teach them how to use it in their lives.”

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All that jazz By Mary Siew, director of high school orchestras and IB music, and Helen Hong, grade 11, Puxi campus


azz is a blank musical canvas on which musicians can create freely. It is a genre that allows musicians to boldly interpret and experiment with their own sound, to explore creativity. And that is precisely what we saw with the Medfield High School Jazz Band. They blended the precise ensemble playing of jazz classics with creative solo improvisations. In April, SAS welcomed this talented group from Massachusetts. The Medfield High School Jazz Band performed an eclectic repertoire of music, bringing color to an otherwise gloomy Saturday afternoon.

Embodying the unpredictably of jazz, the ensemble infused Chinese elements into the program with pieces such as Jazz Huagu by Yang Ying. Of course, the hourlong performance also included renowned jazz standards such as Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus and The Wiggle Walk by Benny Carter. These Medfield high school students produced spot-on syncopations and seemed to have the natural ability to manipulate rhythms and melodies. The audience was moved figuratively and literally. I was amazed by how much passion these fellow

high school students were able to put into their playing. They didn’t simply play notes — they told stories. On two of the pieces, three of our very own were featured with the band: William Wu on the trumpet, Jeremy Sandfelder on the tenor saxophone, and Dylan Ley on the Chinese drums. Watching them on stage with the Medfield kids I felt proud to call them my peers. I am sure I am speaking on behalf of all my fellow jazz-cats when I say that the Medfield High School Jazz Band has truly inspired us to be a better musicians.

Finding harmony By E Jen Liu, grade 5, Puxi campus


he thing I love the most about our school is the wonderful opportunities we have. Recently, grades 3, 4, and 5 were presented with the chance to share our music with teachers, parents, and friends. I immediately thought of the wonderful quartet I heard on my holidays while I was in the mountains. I have always wanted to share that song with everyone. This was my chance, and all I had to do was take it. I recruited three other friends (Esther Kim, Poem Lin, and Megan Wang) and we started practicing. We practiced every Tuesday. At first it was hard, we didn’t fit together, the cello was louder than the violins, and we couldn’t hear the melody. We had to rearrange the whole piece ourselves. We spent many hours listening to the music repetitively and discussing how to present the piece. I went home from every practice exhausted, but we kept on trying. Gradually, we got better and everything started to work. Time went fast, and suddenly it was time to audition. That was the first time we had ever played in front of anyone. I felt really proud when Mrs. Lewis said, “Nice job girls, you just set a high bar for the other people.” This made me work harder. I wanted to live up to the expectations.


Finally, the day of the recital came. I felt a jumble of emotions; I was nervous, happy, proud, excited, and scared. “This was the day we had been working for. This was the last day we had to worry about this recital,” said Megan. It was our turn; my heart was pounding. I shakily took out my violin and started walking to the front of the room. People were looking at us expectantly, and the last thing I saw before we started playing was my mother, sitting right in the

front, smiling at me. At first I was really scared and people could hardly hear me, but I started getting more confident. I played louder and louder, and to my surprise, I was enjoying myself. I think I really lived up to everyone’s expectations and did the best I could. What I learned from this experience is that nothing comes easily. You have to work to get what you want. I think that if you have the passion to do something, you can do anything.

Left to right: Megan Wang, Poem Lin, E Jen Liu, and Esther Kim. PHOTO provided BY E Jen Liu


From the elementary schools Lights! Camera! Action!

club, stating, “My favorite part has been eating pizza and getting to use the new This year has seen the formation of a walkie-talkies with ear pieces when we are student led group of grade 5 students working in the PAC.” who were selected to be part of the Puxi Most recently, students were involved elementary school Multi Media Club in the production of a video commissioned (MMC). Nicole Venema, a grade 5 teacher, by Superintendent Kerry Jacobson for the and I sponsor SAS Strategic the group. Planning Our mission Committee. was to engage This video students received rave in creating reviews as multimedia it made its projects indebut at varicluding web, ous commitprint, audio, tee meetings and video around SAS. to docuFor their efment various forts they was The Puxi Multi Media Club that “Will Work for Pizza.” school-related rewarded with activities. a pizza lunch “The elementary school has several provided by SAS administration. The clubs and programs to recognize the many MMC has unofficially adopted “Will Work talents and skills of our students, such as for Pizza!” as its motto. the Eagle Leaders program, the Library I believe kids can do amazing things Pages program, and various athletic clubs when we provide them the tools, the time, and programs,” Nicole reflected. “The and the guidance to do so. The students MMC is a fantastic opportunity for our have taken ownership of the MMC from tech savvy students to shine, whilst exercisthe start and their level of commitment ing responsibility and having a positive and the quality of their work continues to impact on our community.” impress. To date the club has shot assemblies in It is my hope that the MMC, the Eathe Performing Arts Center, assemblies in gle Leaders, and the Library Page program the gym, drama performances, spirit days, serve as the impetus for other student-led, the literacy carnival, and the Chinese New real-life learning opportunities at the SAS Year assembly. elementary school level. The MMC will be MMC club member Isabelle So says, back in 2013-14, accepting applications “It’s exciting to capture all the smiles of for new members in the fall and demolishmany students in action.” ing a few pizzas along the way. Nicky Neppos, another MMC — Jeff Dungan, elementary school member, has enjoyed other aspects of the technology coach, Puxi campus


Digging Up the Past Students in the Puxi elementary school made a variety of Chinese artifacts including weapons, paintings, masks, coins, pillows, instruments, statues, pottery, calligraphy, clothing, and seals. Many students used clay, paper, wood, paint, cardboard, and foil to make their unique artifacts. “There were many different things and many were creative. I did a drawing, it was simple but, it was very elegant,” said Annie from 4SR. Vienna from 4JE said, “I think we should do it next year because we can learn more about the long history of where we live and get more experience. I learned that I made the longest buried artifact in China, a Jade Dragon.” — Allison Rohrbeck, Cynthia Daguin, and Elisa Daguin, grade 4, Puxi campus

Grade 1 activity day This past May, grade 1 students participated in an activity day when students had the opportunity to learn or experience something new. Some activity choices included badminton, cooking, science experiments, origami, board games, Lego Technix, clay creations, paper airplanes, dance, digital photography, and sock puppets. It was a great day reminding us all why grade 1 is so much fun. — Elaine Voge, Christal Nicolai, and Cindy Harder, Grade 1 Teachers, Pudong campus

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Vive la France By Armaan Sahgal, Grade 8, Puxi campus


hat would happen if you take 18 students, two teachers, and a French tour guide, and send them to the greatest city in the world? The answer is great fun, tasty food, and rich history in the city of Paris. When we arrived in Paris we met our tour guide, Stephan, the coolest tour guide ever. He had a really unique accent, treated us on the Champs Elysées, and knew everything about Paris. We learned about his-

tory, such as the French Revolution, world wars, and that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier may actually contain parts of German soldiers who fought against France. Of the many historic sites we visited, we arrived at the famous Notre Dame cathedral on Easter Sunday. There were huge crowds and everyone wanted to see the inside and the beautiful stained glass. We toured la Rive Gauche (Left Bank), where

there are great schools and universities. Other highlights included studying art history at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. One day we went to the Palace of Versailles. Even though it was cold, the gardens were fun and it was great to tour and wander around the paths and mazes. The crowded Parisian metro was one of the many highlights of the trip. We also saw a lot of advertisements, including one for McVities biscuits that said “McVities, c’est anglais mais c’est bon!” (“McVities, it’s British but it’s good.”) One day, when there was a football match with Paris Saint-Germain playing against FC Barçelona, everyone in Paris was really excited, including one fellow who was playing Spanish music in the metro. Stephan tipped him, even though they were cheering for different teams. Paris was the best school trip ever ... it was so much fun. Left: The best part about French food is the Nutella crêpes. Bottom: At Disneyland Paris where we rode the roller coaster based on the theme of the early French film La Voyage dans la Lune. PHOTOs provided BY Michelle murray



A formula for success By Hanna Kim, grade 8, Pudong campus


here was no sound in the room except for the feverish scratching of pencils. Tiny beads of sweat slid down foreheads that were creased with fierce concentration and effort. You could almost hear the sounds of gears turning in brains and you could almost see smoke rising from heads. The 2013 Math Olympiad had begun. Along with 11 other middle school students, I traveled to SCIS Hongqiao to compete in the annual Math Olympiad competition. We were three teams of radical students that were looking for some friendly mathematical competition. The first round of the Olympiad was the sprint round. It consisted of 30 questions and we were given 40 minutes to solve as many problems as we could. The tension in the room was almost palpable and I remember being desperately pressed for time.

After a short break, we returned to the gym for the target round, which is made up of eight questions that were presented to us in pairs. This round was more problem-solving and reasoning oriented and the questions required many steps to complete. Next came the team round in which we worked on 10 problems as a team. This was my favorite round because it required cooperation and communication. We were able to ask each other for guidance and I was glad to share the effort of problem solving with other SAS Mathletes. Last, but definitely not least, was the countdown round, a rapid, oral competition for the top 13 scoring individuals based on their target and sprint round scores. Six of the 13 competitors were from our school. I managed to place 13th, but fellow SAS Mathlete Michael Cheng, who had placed

12th, quickly defeated me. Amy Yang finished in ninth place, and Rachel Yan placed fifth. In the final countdown round, Emily Jung and Xing Chen Huang were second and first place respectively, and Xing Chen Huang emerged victorious, becoming the overall champion of the Math Olympiad. To sum it all up SAS Team 1 placed first and my team, Team 2, placed second, earning us two team trophies. Xing Chen and Emily Jung went home struggling to hold three large trophies each, which attracted a lot of envious stares from passersby. SAS definitely swept the competition, which is a sign (or sine) of how mathematically wonderful we are. The Math Olympiad was an irrational amount of fun, and I hope SAS sees many more mathematical pioneers in the future.

Left to right: Emily Jung (2nd place overall), Yi Chen Cao, Amy Yang, and Xing Chen Huang (1st place overall).


PHOTO BY Bob gould

VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

PHOTO BY bob gould

SAS math accolades add up By Rosemary Yuen, high school math teacher, Puxi campus


ach year, SAS high school students whip out their no. 2 pencils and scratch paper for the long-awaited math contests. The math contests offered at SAS challenge students to apply skills learned in the classroom in novel ways and view problems from different perspectives. The contests come in all shapes and sizes. Some are multiple choice, while others are free response; for example, the American Scholastic Mathematics Association (ASMA) competition is divided into six papers spread out over the course of the school year, whereas the rest are completed in single sittings. They cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from geometry to probability, trigonometry to sequences. Yet, the different math contests ultimately serve a common purpose. They are a measure of one’s intellectual growth, as well as a reflection of individual aptitude. Moreover, they are a display of the robust academic culture at SAS, and an endorsement of the technical skill that is increasingly important in today’s world. “Participating in math contests lets me


use problem solving skills that I normally wouldn’t use in the classroom. Most of these contests present complex challenges that are interesting to overcome,” said grade 10 student Lexing Tong. Tong placed highest of all Puxi students competing in the ASMA, and won a silver medal as a second time American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) qualifier. In the ASMA competition alone a special merit plaque is awarded to schools who place in the top 5 percent of all entries — SAS was one such school. In addition to Lexing Tong, the students rounding out the top 10 from SAS are: Ji Hun Yang, Woo Chang Yoon, Kiffa Conroy, Alex Bi, Jason Jeong, Alex Zhao, Cheng Song Hua, Hiroo Aoyama, and Tommy Zhang. Besides the ASMA competitions, there are also American Math Contests (AMC 10 or 12). Even though calculators are not allowed, SAS had two winners, AMC 10 winner Jun Ho Park and AMC 12 winner Lexing Tong. Those awarded AMC Young Student Certificate of Achievement (for grade 10 and below) are Min Young Lee, Hong Yue Zhang, and Jun Ho Park.

Depending on performance on certain contests, some competitors are invited to participate in the AIME — SAS had 11 students qualify. They were: Lexing Tong, Kiffa Conroy, Jun Ho Park, Cheng Song Hua, Woo Chang Yoon, Jae Seok Jeong, Hong Yue Zhang, Wei Ning Liao, Min Young Lee, Seong Hun Moon, and Alex Bi. Also worth noting are the Canadian Math contests where 75 SAS students were awarded Certificates of Distinction for being in the top 25 percent of contestants. The following students received medals for the highest score in their category: Yi Han Sim, Andrea Si, Geon Woo Kim, and Lexing Tong. The numbers of SAS students gathering math accolades adds up. But for Alex Bi math contests are more than just numbers. “They provide an opportunity for students to apply ideas in creative and innovative ways,” he said. “They are useful in that the critical thinking and analytical skills they cultivate are relevant to many disciplines.” Top: Yi Chen Cao (left) and Xing Chen Huang take part in the target round at the Math Olympiad.



Let your pain float away Utilizing swimming to reduce low back pain BY Dr. Ryan Pfeifer


ummer is approaching, weather is changing, and the Shanghai sweat is starting to settle in. This usually means one thing: mass exodus of expat families out of China to enjoy travels either back home or abroad. Quite a daunting task to take on, even in the best of health. When you live with back pain, simple tasks become difficult, quick errands require more time, and taking road trips with your family is a challenge. From sitting on planes, trains, and automobiles for hours at a time to lugging heavy suitcases from city to city, travelling can be irritating to both your stress levels and to back pain. One of the best ways you can keep your back healthy and strong over the summer is by maintaining an aerobic exercise routine. And one of the best forms of aerobic exercise is swimming.

In nearly every consultation that comes into my office for low back pain, I will review forms of exercise that can be used to reduce pain. The number one exercise I always recommend is swimming. There are multiple reasons why most physicians favor swimming as one of the best forms of exercise. First, because your body is floating on water, there are very low impact forces being transmitted through your body. Therefore, virtually no pressure is placed on the spine, reducing the chances of re-injury. Second, swimming is a form of active stretching; using proper technique will ensure full range of motion for your limbs and trunk. Third, the water provides just enough resistance to create sustained aerobic conditioning, which will allow a person to achieve a good workout while continuing rehabilitation. In addition to all these, there are the general benefits of aerobic exercise for pain: increased release of natural pain relieving chemicals in your body, improved blood flow, increased flexibility, improved sleep and mood, etc. However, while swimming can be a great form of exercise, it can also be an easy way for people to re-injure themselves when being too aggressive or using poor technique. Here are a few simple tips to keep you safe while swimming: ƒƒ Consider side strokes or backstroke as an alternative to front strokes, as these will reduce stress on the spine ƒƒ During front strokes, roll your body and keep your chin tucked in when taking breaths instead of jerking your head backwards ƒƒ Use a snorkel while swimming to reduce stress to the neck and low back with breathing


ƒƒ Consider the use of flotation devices to maintain proper form when swimming ƒƒ Maintain smooth, even strokes throughout to keep your body properly afloat ƒƒ If your doctor has diagnosed you with a disc injury, avoid freestyle stroke as this will create excessive stress across the disc ƒƒ If your doctor has diagnosed you with pain coming from the small joints in the spine (facet joints), avoid the breaststroke, as this will place more pressure through the joints ƒƒ Perhaps you don’t enjoy swimming. That’s ok, even just walking in the pool can have significant effects towards improving your pain. In a 2009 study published in Spine, Turkish researchers found that patients with chronic low back pain benefited more from aquatic-based exercise than land-based therapy. In the end, any form of exercise will likely provide some relief of pain, whether it is swimming, cycling, elliptical machine use, etc. But with the heat upon us and the beach calling, why not take a dip, cool off, and swim away from your pain.

Dr. Ryan Pfeifer is a spine, joint, and pain management specialist at IWS in Shanghai, and also director of the IWS Concussion Clinic. For more information about Dr. Pfeifer visit For information on topics related to active living, visit activeliving.

VOL 4, NUMBER 9: JUNE 2013

SAS has a partnership with the Institute of Western Surgery (IWS) through the services it receives from Caleb Lott and Joe Panchella, two US-trained and certified athletic trainers who work with SAS as part of the IWS athletic training program. WWW.EAGLEONLINE.ORG

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- Joshua Barnett, SAS Pudong




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