Grayson Jensen, the Middle School's Geography Bee champion, has qualified for the state event. He will compete against the top 100 geography students in Kansas on March 29 at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.
The Independent School mock trial team captured the regional championship Saturday at the Sedgwick County Courthouse. The varsity team was undefeated in four rounds and consisted of Alex Cline, Chase Farha, Malar Muthukumar, Edward Sturm, Peter Daood, Brandon Cope and Julia Douglas. They will compete for the state championship on March 23rd.
Alex Cline won the award for Best Direct or Cross examination, as voted on by the judges.
Independent also entered two teams in the JV division, and they captured first and second place. The team of Reema Moussa, Grace Gill, Victoria George, Deena Eichhorn, Grace Martin, Ava Jacobsen, and Anna Bailly were undefeated. The team of Josh Jacobsen, Madison Martin, Sense Cadman, Peyton Reynolds, Natalie Johnson, Dylan Cope and Vijay Muthukumar were 3-1, losing only to the other Panther team.
A Letter to The Independent School Community from Your Trustees
Dear Independent School families,
We are exceedingly pleased to introduce our next Head of School!
Chris English will join The Independent School as Head of School on July 1, 2019. Mr. English is currently Associate Head of School for Curriculum and Pedagogy at The Barstow School near Kansas City, Missouri. 21 years after his first teaching job as an English teacher in North Carolina, Mr. English’s educational philosophy remains focused on individualizing independent education, and his affinity for The Independent School is rooted in our mission:
“I am aligned with the expectation of excellence at The Independent School and the apparent lasting self-efficacy that is built there through perseverance and challenge. Most important to me is the sense of family… It is the belief that a school community binds its members together to achieve great purpose.”
Before joining The Barstow School, Mr. English served as Assistant Head of School at Wasatch Academy in Utah, where he developed the skills and academic drive he’ll employ at The Independent School to move our current programs and projects forward. He already follows our school’s teams and clubs and is rooting for every panther. When we sent a quick note to let him know that our Boys Swim Team placed 3rd in State (a first for a 2A school), Mr. English already knew and was eager for our next story.
Mr. English is quick to mention his family in conversation. His wife, Lori, is a counselor for school aged children. Their twin daughters, Kate and Emma, are high school seniors preparing for university in the fall of 2019. The English family enjoys hiking, rafting, cooking and home remodeling.
A Quick Review
Our 18- person Head of School Search Committee included faculty, fine arts and sports leadership, a Human Resources professional, a retired teacher, a Panther grandparent, and dedicated Panther parents. In October, the committee narrowed a diversely skilled field of candidates to a group of semi-finalists and interviewed six. They presented three finalists to our trustees for further consideration near the end of November. We invited the finalists to our campus in January for tours, interviews, to make presentations and to visit our city as a potential future home. School trustees remain indebted to the committee for their devotion and reasoned choices.
To Our Community
Thank you for your spirited input and patient trust. We now turn our attention to a smooth leadership transition.
Thanks Are Due
The detailed finalist campus visits sparkled with quintessential Independent School moments. Special thanks are due to Karen Norton and Jill Tinsley for their guidance and attention to detail and to our division heads for making room for our guests during busy school days. If your Upper School student met with candidates for lunch, know that the students presented the essence of our school and that we are grateful to them. We also owe extreme gratitude to Stephanie Scheck, at Stinson Leonard Street LLP, for her counsel.
Opportunities to meet the English family and welcome them to The Independent School will be announced in coming weeks. Please, read your upcoming newsletters to stay informed.
Onward Independent Panthers,
Chair, Head of Search Selection Committee
And Your Board of Trustees
To provide a superior, independent, college preparatory education, serving a diverse student population in a safe, supportive community, conducive to the intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of each Independent student.
Congratulations to Malar Muthukumar, on being named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist!
Throughout Malar's high school career, she has received recognition for her academic achievements in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Spanish 3, and Humanities. She has led her classmates by serving as Bio Club President, Debate Captain, and Scholars' Bowl Captain. As a member of National Honor Society, Malar serves as secretary and chair of the NHS Blood Drive. Malar has placed multiple times at the State level in Piano and is part of The Independent School Madrigals and Chamber Choir. She has given back to her Community by volunteering as a Literacy Champion and coaching the Independent Middle School Math Counts Team.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists are notified that they have advanced to Finalist standing.
The Independent Boys' Swim Team claimed 3rd place at the 5-1A State Meet. Independent, placing 3rd of 40 schools, is the first 2A team to ever reach the podium at the state meet. Aidan Scott made First Team All-State, while Matthew Janssen and George Jekov were selected to Second Team All-State. Way to go Panthers!
200 Medley Relay
6th place - Daniel Jekov, Matthew Janssen, Juan Lillig, Edward Sturm
3rd place - George Jekov
200 Individual Medley
3rd place - Matthew Janssen
3rd place - Aidan Scott
4th place - Aidan Scott
7th place - Edward Sturm
15th place - Juan Lillig
7th place - George Jekov
200 Freestyle Relay
2nd place - Edward Sturm, Daniel Jekov, George Jekov, Aidan Scott
7th place - Daniel Jekov
10th place - Matthew Janssen
13th place - Juan Lillig
400 Freestyle Relay
4th place - George Jekov, Edward Sturm, Matthew Janssen, Aidan Scott
Both our 7th & 8th grade Scholars' Bowl teams have claimed the league championship! The Class of 2023 won on the 3rd tiebreaker, becoming back-to-back league champs. Congrats to the nearly 30 students who participated throughout the season and a big thanks to the coaches, Mr. McIntire and Mr. Angell.
Congratulations to Jayda Kelly (1st place) and Shreya Reddy (2nd place), who were selected to represent Independent at the Ford's Theatre Oratory Retreat in Washington D.C. this May. More than 15 8th grade students competed on Sunday for the opportunity to attend. The students were selected based on grades, citizenship, a written essay, and the performance of their historic speech or slam poem.
A special thanks to our guest judges Aaron Profit, Dr. Martin Burch, and Suzanne Perez Tobias of the Wichita Eagle.
Congratulations to the runners-up including Lauren Schmeidler (3rd Place), Costa Veletas (4th Place), and Charlie Daood (5th Place).
Our Varsity Scholars Bowl team are State Runners-up after the tournament this weekend. Congrats to Malar Muthukumar, Abby Ottaway, Peter Daood, Alex Cline, Charlie Kaufman, and Coach Skinner. The team played a great meet, claiming a second place finish. Thank you to the entire JV and Varsity teams on a tremendous season!
When I think of the phrase “The tide rises all boats” it makes me think of the Independent Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). You might wonder why it’s so important to our school. So, maybe this can offer some perspective.
Since 1980, countless students have been given the opportunity to attend Independent because of the generous supporters of TAP. The program offered support to students who have gone on to start businesses, attend graduate school, and give back to their community.
Currently, 138 students, in pre-K thru 12th grade, from 100 families (approximately 30%) receive assistance through TAP. The assistance we offer varies in level covering 10 to 75 percent of tuition expenses. Every family at Independent invests something to their students’ education.
We want to maintain this incredible opportunity for our students and respectfully ask you to consider a gift to the Independent School Tuition Assistance Program.
It is so important for our students and would mean so much for a family willing to make their own financial sacrifice, so their student is able to attend The Independent School. We thank you for your consideration of this important program.
Please give to the Annual Fund and be the tide that helps rise the boats of tuition assistance. It makes the school affordable to a wider range of students, bringing your child the many benefits of a diverse student population in a supportive community.
The Middle School Math Counts Team took 3rd at last weekend’s competition and are headed to state! Congrats to Ben Coke, Satvik Kolla, Sophie Agha, Nura Farahnakian, and Coach Malar Muthukumar. Satvik placed 2nd and qualified for state in the individual competition.