Monday, May 17, 2010

Recent happenings

It has been three weeks since the last newsletter and it is time to put together another one - the final one before the academic year 2009-2010 comes to a close on Saturday. I thought there wouldn’t be much to “report” … but in typical Kodai style, lots has been going on.

The Fishers returned to Kodai for their final month at KIS. It has been a time to say farewell, pack up belongings, while continuing to perform the duties of a principal.

Departmental awards were given out in an assembly two weeks back, recognizing individual students in areas of accomplishment within the school. It was a fitting tribute to all their hard work and effort. The Music concerts at the beginning of May were another indicator of the talent and hours of practice of KIS students and staff. On Friday night (7 May) the concert featured the string ensemble, choirs and soloists ranging from voice, to saxophone, piano, strings, clarinet and a flute trio. On Saturday night (8 May) the Advanced Band and Intermediate Band played, along with other soloists and small groups. It was fantastic! The audience was respectful and appreciative. Music still floats around in the air of Kodaikanal!

The KIS Council of Directors met in Kodai for their annual April / May meeting. Incoming Principal Adrian Moody made another trip back to Kodai to attend the meetings. At an all staff meeting, the Council gave an update on their proceedings and shared that the Budget for next year had been approved, three new members had been elected, staff vacancies for the most part were filled for the upcoming year, a few in-house matters had been dealt with that pertained to staff requests, and appreciation was given to both Principal Geoff Fisher and Council Chair Dr Mathan, who will be completing their commitments to KIS at the end of the academic year.

The grade 6 spread out at the K-8 campus and held a Science Fair. Their projects ranged from exploding chemicals, to compressed soda cans, fire underwater, motorized mini-vehicles, solar oven (with maggi noodles to top it all off) and much more. The enthusiasm exhibited by the inventors as well as the visitors was contagious!

Celebration dinners were held to recognize the achievements of students in the National Honor Society (NHS) and Kodai Athletic Club (KAC). The staff farewell was held in the former Middle School building which is now referred to as the Arts Block. It was evident by the comments shared that KIS has impacted those staff leaving in many ways and the underlying theme was the individual connections made while in Kodai that would be something leaving staff treasure and will miss. KIS exams started last week and are being held in Alumni Hall for the grades 9-12. IB exams are ongoing. The traditional “May Sale” happened on the covered courts earlier this month and had a slim representation of various industries and an equally slim crowd of shoppers.

Final details and preparations are being made for the Closing & Awards Assembly (20 May), Baccalaureate (21 May), the banquet dinner for the Class of 2010 (21 May) and Graduation (22 May). One hundred and thirty-two graduates will be recognized on Saturday and their numbers have stretched our capacity to maintain tradition. Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremonies will be held on the Loch End playing field which is in the process of being readied. The dinner will be held where it has been for the past few years: on the covered courts. It has been raining in Kodai at least once a week, and sometimes it has poured in the brief times. Therefore, “Plan B” is also in the works: Baccalaureate and Graduation to be held in Alumni Hall.

We haven’t quite reached the excitement of the end of term; diplomas awarded, graduates recognized as we are still facing exams, farewells, packing, last-minute signatures, and, not to mention the traffic, tourists, elevated police presence to monitor the town, flower show at Bryant Park, the Art Exhibition arranged by Bruce (Class of 1968) & Ann (former staff) Peck in their home at the top of Coaker’s Walk, noise and hustle and bustle on the lake and everywhere in Kodai. We are all looking forward to the break of routine with hope and optimism toward the changes that are sure to come in the next academic year.

Till next time,

Julie Nichol Stengele (Class of 1980)

Alumni Officer