Thursday, May 28, 2009

Principal's Message

As I write, the semester is drawing to a close. The awards ceremony has just been completed, the last exams are being done and we are busy preparing for the Baccalaureate and Graduation. Such a time is always one of celebration and reflection.

As I look back over the whole year, it is with a sense of satisfaction. This year has seen our largest intake in history and our largest number of IB candidates, both doing the Diploma and Certificates. We have continued to work within our community in relation to enrollments and have just closed admissions for the next academic year. I would like to thank all members of the community for talking about KIS in such a positive light, as a vast majority of our students come to us as a result of a referral of a current or past parent. In addition, the school has invested in infrastructure, our staff, and wonderfully, managed to purchase Swedish House. So, it is a year of achievement and satisfaction that the whole community can take pride in.

At the Awards Assembly, it was my honor to present the first Ashok Kamte Memorial Award. There are a number of criteria supporting this award, but in summary, the award is given for the sense of selfless leadership within the community, which the first winner, Krishnapriya Balanarayanan, is very worthy of.

I am looking forward to Graduation and bidding au revoir to the Class of 2009. They are, as all graduating classes from KIS, a wonderful group of individuals who I know will face the trials and tribulations and the joys of the life to come with a mixture of fortitude and laughter. We wish them well and look forward to them trekking up the mountain to visit us.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday and to thank all staff, students and parents who have helped in making this such a productive year.

Geoff Fisher


Vacancy for new Principal

seeks a
effective January of 2009/10 school year or earlier if available

Kodaikanal International School is one of the oldest and most distinguished international schools in India, with an educational history going back to its foundation in 1901 as a school for the children of missionaries. It remained predominately a mission school until the 1970s when, as a result of changing demographics in India and within the mission communities, it changed its focus and became an independent, co-educational international residential school. The Christian heritage of the school defined the ethos of the new school, as did its location in India, even as it broadened its focus to recruit an intentionally international, multi-cultural and diverse staff and student body. The curriculum was also redesigned to prepare students from India and other countries for further studies in colleges and universities around the world. The vision and mission of the international school was defined in the “Project Design” of 1974, which was further refined twenty years later in “Design ‘94” and stands today as the statement of the mission, philosophy, goals and objectives of KIS. In addition to having a well-established reputation in India, KIS has a worldwide alumni body that continues to be interested in and supportive of the school.

KIS was the first school in India to introduce the International Baccalaureate and is also accredited by the Association of Indian Universities and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in North America. Seventy five percent of KIS graduates go on to colleges and universities around the world.

Education is offered from KG to grade 12 for approximately 625 students. While the majority of students come from the sub-continent and south Asia, they represent a wide diversity of economic, religious and national origins, normally between 30-35 nationalities are represented in the student body. There are 130-140 professional staff that come from countries around the world including Canada, England, Germany, India, Spain, Sweden, Bhutan, Netherlands, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Tibet and the USA. The student / teacher ratio in the high school is 8 to 1. The majority of teaching staff hold advanced degrees. Even more than the international curriculum, it is the richness of the cultural mix of students and staff that gives KIS its international dimension.

KIS prepares students for college and for life. The School offers a wide range of regular IB and college preparatory courses as well as courses relevant to its distinctive location in India and in response to the interests of its multi-cultural student body. A wide variety of extra curricular activities provide a cultural and social environment where students learn respect for each other and develop a greater appreciation for cultural traditions of their own and others. All KIS graduates go on to college, normally 80-90% continue their higher education in universities outside of India.

For more information on the School, visit the website

Kodaikanal International School is an autonomous residential school with a broad college-oriented curriculum, serving young people from a wide diversity of cultures. The School's academic program is intentionally set within a community life based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and devoted to service in India and the whole human community. (Design ’94, p2)

KIS is located in the town of Kodaikanal at 7,000 ft. in the Palni Hills of South India. It is served by two major airports - Coimbatore (four hours by car) and Madurai (three hours by car). The School has two main campuses - the centrally located campus of 13 acres for the high school and the 30-acre campus for elementary and middle school. Dormitories and staff residences are also located within easy walking distance. There are extensive facilities to enrich the academic and residential programs including dormitories, more than 75 classrooms, well-equipped science and computer laboratories, playing fields, tennis courts, auditoriums, art studies, 2 libraries, a modern health centre, a gymnasium and a 100-acre outdoor education and camping facility forty kilometers from the school.

The first semester of the school year runs from July-November and, after a six-week break; the second semester runs from January-May.

The School is a not-for-profit organisation and is registered as an Association under the Companies Act of the Government of India. It is governed by an independent Council of Directors responsible for overall policy, financial matters and strategic planning.

The broader educational context is that of continuing change in private and international education in south India. With globalization and economic growth, more Indian parents are seeking high-quality education and new schools are being built, a number of which are offering international programmes. These schools are often commercial ventures supported by Indian business houses. At this time, therefore, Kodaikanal International School exists in an environment of growing competition in which it both faces challenges but also has significant advantages. The school is well-established, but needs leadership in clearly securing its position in the changing educational market place, in setting up and institutionalizing a strategic planning culture and in building a strong development programme.

In 2004 the Council decided to increase the upper limit of the student body to 600 as part of a strategy to survive in the competitive environment of International School education in India. Over the last four years the school has worked toward achieving this objective and the student numbers have now stabilized at between 600 and 625. There is a high demand for admission to the school from both national and international families. During the same period the financial stability of the school improved significantly.

Staff turnover is at levels that would normally be associated with a school which has a significant number of international staff. The school has a large investment in infrastructure and continues to improve and add to this. In addition, dorm space is planned for on the Ganga Campus and we are awaiting planning approvals. A Master Plan for improving existing facilities is also being prepared.

The position is a very demanding and challenging one that will suit an experienced educator who is able to embrace the distinctive character of this unique institution and give effective leadership. The successful candidate will be able to work with the Council to articulate a clear vision and plan for the future, within the context of Design ’94, communicate it effectively in the school and the wider community, and have the leadership and implementation skills to put plans into action over the coming years. The candidate will have the full support of the Council and the alumni body in this endeavor.

The Principal of the School is the chief executive officer and, under the Council, is responsible for all aspects of the management of the school, including students, programs, staffing, student services, finance and facilities. The Principal serves as Secretary to the Association and Council and is responsible for advising the Council and implementing Council policy. The Principal is assisted by the members of a senior management team of senior administrators consisting of the Dean of Student Services, Academic Vice-Principal, Director – Finance and Administration, and Chaplain.

The Principal will:
- Be responsible for the attainment of excellence in all aspects of the School’s work
- Serve as the educational and administrative leader for the School
- Ensure the smooth and efficient functioning and management of all aspects of the School
- Support and promote the Design’94
- Accept the School’s mission as defined in Design ’94 and successfully communicate it to Council members, parents, staff, students, alumni and the community and based on the strategic plans as approved by the Council of Management.
- Recruit and lead an international and diverse staff in delivering excellent educational, residential and financial programs.
- Be responsible overall for staff recruitment, development and evaluation
- Oversee student recruitment
- Oversee all property matters and legal issues
- Be responsible to the Council of Management for the conduct of his/her work and maintain a strong working relationship with the Council, characterized by open communication, respect, and trust
- Promote, establish and maintain positive relationships with the many groups (parents, alumni, government officials, and community) that are involved in the work of the school.

The successful candidate will possess:
- An advanced degree and experience at a senior level in the educational field
- Excellent proven leadership, administrative and management skills in leading a successful school in an international or cross-cultural environment
- Experience in a residential high school with diverse student body/faculty
- Knowledge and experience of the IB/MYP/PYP programs

Personal Attributes Sought:
- Energy, integrity, creativity, vision, sound judgment
- An effective, accessible and supportive leadership style that serves as a catalyst to discern and capitalize on the strengths of others
- Ability to understand and respect people of various religious and ethnic backgrounds
- Upholding of Christian faith and values
- Respect for children and a commitment to affirm them

The salary, benefits and terms of contract will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

The Search Committee of the KIS Council of Directors has decided to conduct the search. All candidates wishing to apply should send a full letter of application, detailed curriculum vitae, a statement of philosophy and the contact details of three professional referees one of which should be the current direct supervisor. Additionally, open testimonials should be included in the documentation submitted, where possible.

Professional dossiers may also be submitted by the candidate but the school reserves the right to apply directly to the writers of open testimonials for confidential statements.

All enquiries and applications should be addressed to the address given below. Please note that faxed and e-mailed applications can only be considered in the initial stages of processing. A hard copy MUST be mailed by the swiftest possible means.

Secretary to the Principal
Kodaikanal International School
PB # 25, 7-Roads Junction
Kodaikanal, TN 624101

tel: (91) 4542 247 201

Deadline for receipt of full applications: Tuesday, 30 June 2009



Congratulations to Tara Menon Class of 2005 who has been nominated for membership in Phi Beta Kappa by Colorado College. Phi beta Kappa is the oldest and most distinguished honorary society in the United States and election to its membership is an acknowledgment of outstanding academic and intellectual achievement.

Tara has also received a full scholarship to pursue her postgraduate studies at Yale University.

Congratulations also to Maela Ohana Class of 2007 who has been selected to exhibit art work at the 53rd Biennale of Venice, a major contemporary art exhibition which takes place every 2 years and also includes the Film Festival and is recognized as one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. The exhibition dates back to 1895 and this year's event will be organized by the Swedish curator Daniel Bimbaum.

The formal Biennale is based at the Giardini park that houses 30 permanent national pavilions. The Aperto began as a fringe event for younger artists and artists of a national origin not represented by the permanent national pavilions. This is usually staged in the Arsenale and has become part of the formal biennale program.


Leaving Staff

A big thanks to the following staff who will leave KIS in June 2009:
Celeste Jayakar, Vasu Balakrishnan, Margaret Das, Philip & Mary Philip, Lata Ponodathroy, Lulu VanHaltren, Shreya DeMonte, Billy Yesudian, Prava Rai, Narayan Gopinath, Janet & Martin Hahn, Neil Hutton, Elena Schepan, Mario Schultz, Corey Dickman, Banumathy Gopalakrishnan, Christine Holderness, Jordan Kidder, Benjamin Krause, Rebecca Narayanan, Elaine Olson, Jyoti Pakianathan, Charlotte Haeusler, James Fisher, Chrissy Macauley
Elena and Mario will return to Germany at the end of August....


Margaret Das - High School Coordinator

Margaret Das’ relationship with KIS began in January 1995 when her children Samanthea (Class of 1997) and Ben (Class of 2001) started school here. In 1997 Andrew (Class of 2006) joined the school and in 1998 she joined the faculty as Piano, English and ESL teacher. Between 2001 and 2003 she was HoD of the Music department. She adopted Rebecca (Class of 2004) and Rachel (Class of 2009) in January 2001. From 2003 - 2004 she led the ESL department while retaining her responsibilities in the Music and English departments. She was the Honorary Local Representative for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London, from 1998 - 2005. Her husband Pradip Das joined her at KIS as Vice Principal in 2002 and left in 2005, after a short stint as acting Principal, to set up a new school in Bangalore. Margaret will leave KIS as High School Coordinator as well as the responsibilities she assumed for Professional Development when former Vice Principal Gregg Faddegon left in November 2008.

Her comments on being High School Coordinator: "I assumed the mantle after Ajay Lall and thought to myself, ‘I will never fit his shoes’, but was told by Gregg Faddegon the Vice Principal at the time, “You never need to fit anyone’s shoes. Be yourself!” and that was the most practical advice that has helped me in this role. What I have loved most about it is the time I can give every student and colleague who walks into the office. For me it has been a place of laughter and tears, of enabling the venting of strong emotions but also a place for the art of negotiation!”

About the BOW program, she has this to say, “The BOW program is what I have recently been associated with. The two awards-namely, the Fisher-Das awards for Best Overall House and Best House Captain were instituted to commend positive behavior, character and leadership. I believe the BOW is what makes the KIS values visible and I hope that the program will continue to be refined and our graduates will be men and women who are walking brains with compassionate hearts and ready hands”.

What about her time here at KIS? “Diversity and differences are enriching… every moment of my life here has been exhilarating because of the surprises each day brings….. I feel I have grown as a person as well as professionally in so many ways as I have always risen to accept the challenges offered to me….. I would also like to encourage every parent with my own experience… all our children graduated from KIS with the KIS Diploma which has enabled them to study both in India and overseas and has turned them out as responsible and caring young men and women. They each chose to take IB certificates in the subjects they loved the most rather than the full IB Diploma. This ensured that they could do well in those certificates and get college credits for them, as well as be fully involved in sports, drama and music and community service. This is the uniqueness of the KIS program… all students have a choice to grow and develop in their own special way.”

When asked if there were any amusing stories she has of her time here she says, “When I first joined KIS, the maid who came to work with me was totally bi-syllabic. She ‘seemed’ to understand what I said in English and would respond with a “Yes, Ma!’ to most things. As I did not know a word of Tamil at that time, I would write out a list of what she had to cook for me. A week later, one of my colleagues asked me in the staff lounge, ‘How was your beef stew last night?’. I was nonplussed, wondering how she knew what I had had for dinner. In the next couple of days I had the same interested query from other members of staff who lived on the same campus. I finally discovered that as the maid had no English whatsoever, she would stand by the gate and accost any staff member and ask them to translate what I had written. So my first ESL challenge was to provide her with more culinary vocabulary in English and the other challenge was to improve my own drawing skills as I then began to draw what she had to cook for me till she acquired the words she needed.”

She also recalls a very effective strategy of identifying same gender identical twins: “Each year there is invariably a set of twins in my class. And I can never tell them apart. I got around this by calling both names rapidly in quick succession and without fail the right twin would always say, I’m Ravi / Raj, etc.”

After 11 years of serving in KIS, Margaret now moves on to Pune to join her husband who is currently the Principal of Indus International School, Pune. Her responsibilities will include, among other things, Headship of the English department, support of the Music program, the challenge of setting up an ESL Center, and publications in an editorial capacity. We wish them both God’s blessings as they team up again as work partners and enrich the base for their family.


Dedications to staff

Dear Celeste, Just a few lines to express my deep appreciation for reaching out a helping hand to me. You have been a good friend and a shoulder to lean on. Thanks for giving me the chance to have a good taste of dorm parenting and for all your advice and assistance. Thanks for being sweet and kind and considerate. I will always remember you and I wish you all the best for the future. God bless.
Margaret, I am so glad to have met you even if it was for such a short period. Thanks for all your patience with me and for answering the many, many questions that I have kept “”bothering” you with, and for trying to guide me through the maze of the IB course, which, largely because of your help, is now beginning to coalesce into an understandable pattern for me. Thanks for giving me the chance to supervise your classes when you were away for a week, for the very helpful data you have given me and for being a well-wisher and friend. Sadie and I wish you all the best for the future. God bless.

Prava, it was nice knowing you and interacting with you in the English Department. Thanks for your help and suggestions and for always finding the time to talk to me even though you were very busy. Colleagues like you are hard to find and I do wish you had stayed longer. However, I wish you all the best for the future and I will remember you and as a kind soul who lent a helping hand to a new comer like me. Sadie and I wish you best of luck for the future. God bless.

Many thanks and well wishes to Chrissy Macaulay as she leaves KIS. She was a crucial team member on Ganga campus, always willing to fill in where and when ever she was needed. She did an outstanding job planning and teaching Art and French. She had the kids,"Parle Vousing" in no time! The kids will miss her smile and the enthusiasm she brought to both French and Art each day. Bon voyage Ms Chrissy!
Brian Nelson

The academic year 2008-2009 is slowly coming to an end, and with it we look back and see a year of accomplishments, achievements and experiences. All of this wouldn't have been possible if not for a combined effort from every member of our school community. It is that time of the year when we express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to colleagues who have made worth every effort.

The residential life at the school this year would not be the same if it had not been for the support, assistance and service in various areas of Celeste Jeyakar, Assistant Dean. Though Celeste has been serving at the school for over 21 years as a dorm parent, this last year she took on the role of Assistant Dean in which she worked enthusiastically for the betterment of the students. Celeste has always been readily available to both students and staff and her interpersonal relationship with the community members has been highly valuable. I thank you on my personal behalf Celeste and wish you every success for the future as you move on from KIS.

Margaret Das, has seen 5 of her children go through the educational system here at KIS; has been piano teacher, English teacher, and presently High School Coordinator. She has been an advisor to many students, shared valuable life lessons to students and staff alike, and has also been one to build bridges and let the love of Christ flow in and through her. Much credit goes to Margaret for the congeniality shared by the academic and residential programs of the school due to her innovative ideas, which have worked well during her tenure. Her contribution to the school as a whole comes without measure; more recently, the BOW program was instituted, given structure and guided by Margaret. Her relentless effort and perseverance to get the system up and running has been exemplary to all. Now as she leaves to join her family, we express our appreciation and thanks for all her various contributions to the school and we pray God's choicest blessings.

Though Greg Faddegon has already left I would like to thank him, Raja Krishnamoorthy, Ganga Cristus and Geoff Fisher for their support in all the various administrative decisions over this academic year.

Dorm parents, another feather in your cap for enduring the challenges and experiences of the year! As we work to give the very best to the students who come under our care for, safety, comfort, discipline and support, we did not grow weary, but pursued with determination! Thank you for your willingness and cooperation. Have a restful vacation.

I would also like to thank Lulu VanHaltren, Secretary to Vice Principal, Dean and Assistant Dean. Your cheerful demeanor and effective secretarial skills have enabled us to move on schedule and meet the different needs. Thank you once again.
Sam Balachandar

" Give your life to God; he can do more with it than you can!
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while,
Leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”

We dedicate this to the Hahn family, Mrs Vasu Balakrishnan, Mrs Elaine Olsen and Mr Billy Yesudian and all others those are leaving the KIS community.

May you always have work for your hands to do
May your pockets hold always a coin or two
May the sun shine bright on your window pane
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain
May the hand of a friend always be near you
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Lovingly from the Paulraj family

I want to offer my sincere thanks and best wishes to Vasu Balakrishnan, or, as I like to call her, Sunshine. She always brightens any room she enters and lifts the spirits of all who are there. She is smart, cheerful, funny, generous and gracious. I have found her to be very supportive and helpful to my efforts here as well as a wonderful role model for me and for her students. All the best!

Shreya, wise beyond your years, capable and competent, reliable and enthusiastic and always cheerful and fun, you have been a great asset to KISCO and a cooperative, charming person to work with. Wherever you go be safe, don’t worry and be happy. God bless. Students and staff alike will miss you lots.

Billy – thanks to your careful attention to design perspective; our branding and imaging statement incorporated into our website, is now well recognized and stands out as one of the major achievements of the last few years. We could never have done it without you. May God bless you every step you take. See you soon...

Martin - Your attention to detail and your conviction in helping KIS to develop its Fund Raising effort has taught a lot to many members of KIS. Your efforts have been much appreciated and have not fallen on deaf ears. Thanks.

Missy Chrissy – if you’re looking for explanations – there are none…… only that our paths were meant to cross! Don’t forget Swamiji – he’ll always be looking out for you through Guruji’s teachings. Come back and assist when you can. Have no fear, trust in your heart….. your mind, as you know, is always ready to trick you. Be safe and happy and never look back.

To all staff
We hope you time at KIS has been happy, best wishes as you move ahead...
Human Resources

Lata joined us over 5 years ago as a Chemistry teacher and her contributions to the school were not limited within the walls of her classroom. She ensured that there was quality teaching with a lasting impact on all her students. Her timely intervention to accommodate last minute reviews and queries have always been appreciated by all her pupils. She has volunteered herself in a variety of other activities and programs, has led groups on Social Experience and Science field trips and made educational trips wholesome!

Lata has also been a friend to many and has offered her advice and support to many. Her God given talents and discerning spirit has been a blessing to many. I wish Lata the very best for her future as she moves on from KIS and joins her family in Kerala.

Christine & Eben Holderness - Thank you for sharing East House and the whole volunteer experience with me – hikes, trip, meals, phone, long conversations and especially our kitty. You wer both a big aprt of this Kodai experience for me. All best wishes for your return trip and your life back in Vermont.
Elaine Olson
Julie Stengele - You have been a great sponsor – lending me things, feeding me, alumni dinners at Hilltop on Sunday evenings and so much more. Thanks you very much!
Elaine Olson

To everyone at the Elementary School - What special days I had as your school nurse! I enjoyed getting to know each of you and will remember you fondly. Thank you for sharing and all best wishes for the 2009 – 2010 school year.
Elaine Olson

Mary and Philip, I have grown to love and respect you for the people you are. Mary, you stand up for your convictions and chose to be silent, not defending yourself. You are a ‘cool’ person as our students would say. I have never seen you perturbed even in the midst of difficult situations. Philip, the valuable counsel I received from you many times has kept me in good stead. You always found time for me. You went the extra mile for me several times. You truly have a pastoral heart. You both never flatter. Your words come from the heart. Only true friends will give honest advice and I consider you to be that for me. I will miss your hospitality and cheer. Our loss of you is the great gain of your new school in Korea!
Navam S. Pakianathan

Our story goes back such a long time Vasu….. we raised our children together and lived and loved in this crazy town surrounded by crazy comings and goings and we survived it all! Congratulations! May your new life as an artist be as happy and fulfilling as that shared with your students and friends around KIS and please invite me to dinner next semester – I promise to come this time!!!!

Luuuluuu !!! We are going to miss you so much. We just wanted to thank you for all that you have done. Thank you for the support and help through all the different phases we have been through for the past 3 years. When I was only 30%, you wrestled in the 70%. You are an amazing strong woman.

Thank you for protecting me and for all the baby tips. Please come to Kodai often so that we can give you a huuggg !!. We wish you the very best for the future.
God bless.
Praveen, Shekinah and Shifra

To all departing staff - KIS never taught me how to gracefully say goodbye and never prepared me for the numerous partings that would be ahead of me. However, I like the Tamil way of saying "poetavanga" and do hope that you will "go and come" and that our paths will cross again some day soon. You are joining the expanding KIS Alumni Association - a global community of people who have shared a Kodai experience! Welcome to KISAA! If I can be of any assistance to you, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Stay in touch! Till next time,
Julie Nichol Stengele (Class of 1980)
KIS Alumni Officer


List of 2009 Award winning students

Sandy Schoeninger Field Day Cup - Orange House, K Awards - Sherrard Wallang, Pathros Alex, Karma Gyurmey Dechen, Hikaru Takashi, Shreya Mukarji , Sanam Mahmood, Jung-Hyun Kim, Persia Ferdousi, Indian Bank Awards - Sherrard Wallang, Shreya Mukarji,
Perfect Attendance - Geeta Bhambhani, Rukmini Dey, Goldie Jesolit, Sameer Khanna, Pornchanok Kittisurin, Avalokiteswari Kurup, Mehar Malik, Amy Nannan, Krishna Nathwani, Zuben Rikleen, Steffi-Amrita Selvaraj, Yangchen Zam, Walker Cup - Jung-Hyun Kim, Top Music Student - Emi Kakumoto, David Heins Cup, Aaron Chamberlain, Garry Knapp Technical Cup - Leif DeJong, Top Drama Student - Saatvika Kantamneni, Top Art Award - Siddhant Shah, Hiking : Gold Tahr Pin - Alan Alphonse, Jose Selvaraj, Min Gye Lee, Meil Monteiro, Rinzova Rinthlei, Remo Reuben, Sampras Selvaraj, Outstanding Hiker - Steffi-Amrita Selvaraj, Naveena Selvaraj, Yukta Sagar, Senior with Most Academic Improvement - Yangchen Zam, Kodaikanal School Citizenship Award - Gailianglung Panmei, Sylvia Seamonds Cup for Best All-Round Girl - Rachel Laitflang, Ed Montgomery Cup for Best All-Round Boy - Sherrard Wallang, Fisher Das Cup for Best House Captain - Rachel Laitflang, Fisher-Das Shield for Best House - White House, Canada Award - Priyanka Agrawal, Reva Bansal Award - Sabina Shakya / Alys Boucher, Amal Ganesan Award - Aditya Menon, Tracey Manley Cup - Class of 2009, Valedictorian for Class of 2009 - Jung-Hyun Kim, Grade 8 Cup - Mirei Shirai, Grade 10 Cup - Cyril Cherian, Citizenship Award - Grades 7 & 8 - Rinngheta Renthlei, Citizenship Award – Grades 9 & 10 - Remi Jahau, ES Citizenship Awards - Pratiti Navam - Kindergarten, Lydianna Nelson - Grade 1, Anushka Sen - Grade 2, Jane Jaikumar - Grade 3 Pyunghwa Jung - Grade 4, Chanisara Ninnernnon - Grade 5, Grade 5 Cup - Arudra Vavilapalli


Russell DeValois Scholarship Fund

KIS is pleased to announce the first award from the Russell DeValois Scholarship Fund. The fund was created by friends and classmates of Mr DeValois, who graduated from KIS in 1943. He was a brilliant scientist who taught at the University of California in Berkeley and conducted pioneering research on vision and how spatial information is analyzed by the brain.

Russ died in September 2003 as a result of a car accident that occurred during his return to California from the 60th anniversary reunion of his KIS graduation.

The award from the DeValois Scholarship Fund will go to Neema Tsering, who will be entering grade 12. This award is in recognition of Neema’s academic performance, her leadership qualities in co-curricular activites and her commitment to the character building values of KIS as expressed in our BOW program.

Congratulations Neema!


Alumni Survey response from KIS

Can I make a donation online using my credit card? What currencies does the online service accept?
You may make a secure online donation at
You may select your preferred currency of Canadian Dollars, US Dollars, Indian Rupees, Australian Dollars, British Pounds, Euros, Swiss Francs, New Zealand Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, Korean Won or Japanese Yen.

Can I make a gift to KIS sending a non-Indian currency cheque?
Yes, if you are making a donation from the US, you may send your US Dollar cheque to:
Executive Director
Kodai Friends International (KFI)
PO Box 6121 Bloomington, IN47404-6121 USA.

All other currency cheques may be mailed to:
Foundation Officer
Kodaikanal International School
Seven Roads Junction, PO Box 25
Kodaikanal 624 101 Tamil Nadu, India

All foreign currency will be exchanged at the current Indian rupee rate.

If I make a gift to Kodai Friends International, does it get sent to KIS?
Kodai Friends International provides on going support to KIS through grants and funding for educational and facility improvements and to meet the current needs of the school.

What is the best way for me to let the KIS alumni office know if I’ve changed my address or other personal information?
First update your information on the online KISAA directory, located at: If you need additional help, send an email with your information to

Does KIS have an official Facebook page?
Yes, click here to go to the page and become a fan.

Where can I get information on working or volunteering at KIS?
Click here for further information on our website.

Is it worth it to make a small gift to KIS?
Gifts of all sizes make a difference and help us continue the work we do at KIS.

What is the best way for me to learn how KIS spends donations?
Updates from the Foundation Officer in the Alumni and Principal’s Newsletter every month include information on how donations are being spent at KIS. If you have specific questions, email

What content am I likely to find in the different sections of the alumni newsletter (recent happenings, KIS giving, current events etc)?
Monthly sections include:
• Principal’s update – a message from the Principal
• Recent happenings – reflects recent events, visitors and alumni initiatives from the perspective of the Alumni office
• Update from Judy Redder, Foundation Officer – status of current fundraising campaigns, how KIS is using donated funds, acknowledgements, Wish List, KIS Profiles – bios of the students and staff that are benefiting from the gifts made to KIS, contact information.
• Additional submissions are always welcome and can be sent to

Why do I have to download different sections of the alumni news? Can’t you send it as one document?
The current newsletter feature of the online KIS Alumni Directory stipulates a maximum file size of under 1mb. In order to use photos with the articles, smaller files are necessary.

Who do I contact if I want to donate something other than money, ie a painting or real estate?
Judy Redder, Foundation Officer @

I’m a Canadian. Can I receive a tax deduction for my gift to KIS?
No. Tax exemption certificates are issued within India and the USA only.

How do I go about giving a gift in memory of someone who has died, or in honor of someone who is living?
The Annual Fund reply card and online KIS donation form includes a section for you to make your gift in memory / in honor of a special person. KIS will acknowledge the person you have recognized in the Annual Report.


KIS Giving

In addition to being the Foundation Officer for KIS, I am also a parent with 2 daughters studying in KIS. My oldest daughter Lulu is graduating with the Class of 2009 and naturally this gives me reason to reflect on the time we’ve spent in Kodai. From the start it has been one adjustment after the next in adapting to a new country, a new school, new friends, new foods….the list goes on. But seeing Lulu walk down the aisle in cap & gown with a beaming smile on her face, I was assured that her time here, although not always easy, was a very enriching experience that she will cherish for a lifetime. KIS truly is a special place.


KIS 2008 - 2009 Annual Fund

Why give to the Annual Fund? Because your support promises to serve the students and
staff of KIS in the way it has for over 100 years.

If you have not yet made a contribution to the 2008 – 2009 Annual Fund, please join your fellow KIS alumni and parents to help us reach our goal. Remember that gifts of any size make a difference.

Thank you to all who have made donations to the 2008 – 2009 KIS Annual Fund. To date, we have reached approximately 60% of this year’s Annual Fund goal of $100,000.

Funds for the 2008 – 2009 Annual Fund has contributed to:
• Making major IT improvements which include new computers for the Study Hall, projectors for the new “Smartboards”, projector upgrade for the Media Room and upgrades for the Elementary School server room
• Royalty fees for the All School Musical “BIG”
• Loch End Fitness Center additional equipment

The 2008 - 2009 Annual Fund campaign will continue until 30 June 2009.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Mother Teresa


Appreciation and Accomplishments

The Class of 1958 Commemorative Gift to KIS
Last summer the Class of 1958 celebrated their class reunion in Cyprus. At their reunion it was decided that they would make a class gift to the KIS Drama Endowment Fund in memory of Les Finley, School Chaplain and class sponsor.

Drama as we recall has always been an integral part of the KIS experience.”
Mark Garrison, Class of 1958

To date, the Class of 1958 appeal has raised $7300. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this effort, and to the following, for your generous gifts.

Ross Austin, Susan Dalton, Robert De Vries, Julian Donahue, Mark Garrison, Frank Manley, John Naumann, Lewis Scudder


KIS Profiles

Annual Giving Supports KIS People
The Annual Fund gives KIS the means to develop and continue programs that make this school a truly outstanding place. The Fund creates opportunities for KIS students to achieve all kinds of excellence and has a direct impact on KIS ability to attract exceptional teachers and tomorrow’s leaders. In this month’s profile, the Class of 2009 .

KIS Class of 2009
"KIS has given me wonderful opportunities!"
Amy Kim, 2009 Valedictorian

Homes: Bhutan, Uganda, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Seoul, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Germany, UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka, UAE

Years at KIS: From 12 years to only 1 year

Organizations: National Honor Society, Student Government, Band, Orchestra, PEER group, SoEX, Green Team….

Sports: Badminton, volleyball, field hockey, track & field, soccer, gymnastics, basketball, rowing, tennis, skiing, swimming, windsurfing, ultimate frisbee, Indian dance, cricket, American football, dodgeball, ice hockey…

Hobbies: Relaxing, watching TV, hiking, frisbee, listening to music, theatre, art, yoga, writing, surfing the net, sleeping, talking with friends, dining out, watching movies, reading, horseback riding, dog walking, bike riding, collecting sports cards, camping, golf, fishing, blogging, fashion, walking…

Music: Flute, guitar, bassoon, saxophone, violin, viola, bass, piano, trumpet, choir, whistling, euphonium, karaoke…

Languages: Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, French, English, Spanish, Oriya, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Assamese, Korean, Japanese, Dzongkha, German,


Class Gift ideas

Many alumni classes choose to make a gift to KIS by setting special giving goals or choosing a project to fund in honor of their reunion. I would like to give those classes with upcoming reunions some ideas to consider if you chose to make a gift to KIS. Please do not feel constrained by these ideas if class members are interested in supporting a different project. We would be happy to consider your ideas as well.

Examples of recent Class Gifts include:

Scudder Scholarship Fund, Class of '56
Drama Endowment Fund, Class of '58
KIS Archives, Class of '61

Class Reunion gift ideas:

1) Music Department: continue the tradition of excellence and purchase new instruments, primarily for the middle school students. Estimated cost $10,000.

2) Improve the stage at Alumni Hall. Estimated cost, $7,500.

3) Refurbish Bendy Field facilities. Estimated cost, $10,000.

4) Connect a classroom with laptop computers. Estimated cost, $14,000.

5) Construction of quiet study rooms in KIS Library. Estimated cost, $8,000.

6) High school Art department equipment. Estimated cost, $5,000.

7) Tents for Poondi Outdoor Education program. Estimated cost, $2,500.

8) Gift to KIS Excellence in Education Scholarship Fund. Estimated cost, $1 to $100,000.

KIS will recognize gifts in a permanent memorial on campus and in our publications.


To Give or Contact

Your support helps protect the programs, the places and the people that KIS has so carefully invested in for over 100 years. To make a gift, please go to
If you would like more information about KIS initiatives or making a donation, please contact:

Judy Redder
Foundation Officer

Jerry Nichols
KFI Executive Director


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

July calendar dates

21 July - First day of classes
24 - 26 July - Grade 12A camp
26 July - PEER retreat
31 - 2 Grade 12B camp