October is my favorite month because my birthday is one week before Halloween! This year we’ve seen the whole range of what October can offer, from snow days to 90 degrees, quarantines to championships, virtual open houses to parades in the stadium. 2020 has challenged us all in many ways, but it has also offered us a number of opportunities.
I see The Independent School as the ultimate opportunity for me and my family. I started at TIS in July, and my family relocated from rural Utah where I had worked at a boarding school for the past 6 years. My son, Haruki, is in Mrs. Bolin’s kindergarten class, and my wife, Chiho, is working in the Early Learning Center part-time as she completes her nursing degree. My position, Director of Strategic Innovation, is a new role that incorporates database management and implementation during these early months, but will evolve to include curriculum development and teacher training.
A few weeks ago, I walked into our lower school workroom and noticed a question written on the whiteboard: “What are you grateful for?” Multiple faculty members had already responded, and it brought tears to my eyes. Here we are in the midst of the most challenging school year in recent history, many feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted—yet, this amazing group of teachers is working to lift each other up, intentionally focusing on the positive. I’d like to share some of their responses and insight:
In the fall of 2015, my husband, Jade, and I started the process of looking at schools for our daughter, Kenley. We looked at two private schools in Wichita and attended an open house at TIS in November. As I walked into the Lower School that fall day, I had my first “magical” experience on this campus. I will never forget the feeling, at the end of our tour, of knowing in my heart that TIS was THE place for Kenley and for our family.
Find below the link to this year's Fall Band Concert. This link goes live at 7PM, and will be good until tomorrow, at which time it will be taken down. Anyone with the link can view the concert, but for legal reasons, we can't leave the link up forever.
Special thanks to Darren Couch for the technical work he did on the video, to our amazing students who worked up this material to present, and to our wonderful parents for sharing the time and talents of those students with me and with The Independent School.
It is great to be back and amid routine this fall. While many middle school students were excited to have an extended Spring Break, they are happy to be back at school and socializing (distanced) with each other.
The return to school has brought many changes, including having the 5th grade join our world. It has been great to get to know our new 5th and 6th-grade students, and they have been finding their way in their new building. I have had the privilege of working with 5th-grade students in science and technology. They have a lot of enthusiasm for each task this year, whether writing and acting in a play with Mr. Walck, reading a novel, or executing an experiment in a science lab.
The fact that it is technically Fall now and we are almost in October caught me by surprise this week. The mornings are suddenly a bit brisk, the sun a bit more hesitant to rise, and the student and staff eyes a bit sleepier as they come into school. One of my daughters this morning stubbornly returned to bed after breakfast, claiming we should not be up since it was still dark outside.
On September 2, 1980, eight children arrived for the first day of school at The Independent School. The eight of them, varying in grade level from Kindergarten to ninth grade, were the first and only students.