Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Principal's message

You have all heard about the terrible accident involving Keon Hee Lee. As you know Keon Hee died on the morning of Thursday 19 November 2009.

Keon Hee’s parents, who were at his bedside, decided to return to Korea with his body in order to hold a funeral and memorial services there. They left Madurai on the evening of the 19th having completed all formalities and arrived in Seoul on the evening of Saturday the 21st. A simple and very moving memorial service managed by the Korean students was held in the school chapel on the evening of the 19th and on Sunday the 22nd of November the entire school gathered at a Memorial Service on the covered courts. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Mr & Mrs Lee and their family at this tragic time.

Our response has been, as expected, of great sadness but huge support. As this was review week we have allowed students to manage their own time on campus with all staff available to support and be supported by the community. In addition we have altered the last week of semester by:
• rearranging examination timings
• putting in place systems to allow for the recognition and compensation of a lowered level of performance in these exams
• cancelling the Christmas banquet
• arranging a full set of counseling and support opportunities as needs require

As is always the case, crisis brings out the best in a community and it is with a sense of humility that I recognize just how powerful this community is and how privileged I have been to witness it come together with warmth, love and huge care to support all its members as we go through the grief and upset associated with such an accident.
On another note, as with every November, we have had a lot of grey cloud and rain accompanying us as we move towards the end of semester. Unusually, a cyclone visited us for a week during which we had well over half a meter of rain. Such a downpour accompanied by some strong winds has taxed out maintenance staff, particularly as leaks have developed, trees fallen over, power lines come down, generators stopped, etc. I am pleased to report that we have coped well with these additional strains.

Through November school life has continued to be full and vibrant with wonderful gymnastic displays, music concerts, plays, assemblies and other events which continue to contribute to the vitality and diversity of this school. May I congratulate all students and staff who have given so much of their efforts during the semester. You will see within this newsletter other reports covering the life of the school.

I am very pleased to let you know that Mr Adrian Moody will be visiting the school twice next semester as he and I continue to work towards a smooth transition. He will be here for both the Executive Committee of Council and the Council of Directors meetings and will also take the opportunity of getting to know as many of the staff and students, and the school, prior to his taking over in June 2010.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all every blessing for this Christmas season, in the hope that you will be able to enjoy the time with your family and to renew those crucial bonds that so enrich our lives.

I look forward to being in touch with you next semester.
Geoffrey Fisher