Thank you to Watermark Books for bringing us Jonathan Auxier to The Independent School. He was an excellent storyteller with an accurate historical chimney sweep tale and he did this while throwing complex yo-yo tricks!
Congratulations to senior Malar Muthukumar on being named a National Merit Semifinalist. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
Reema Moussa, Caleb Ballowe, and Alex Cline were named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
The Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team took 1st Place at the Maize quad tournament.
#1 singles - Sensey Cadman - 1st Place
#2 singles - Marin McCausland - 1st Place
#1 doubles - Kiarra Farha & Kortney Rowe - 3rd Place
#2 doubles - Madison Martin & Abby Ottaway - 1st Place
Storytime Village Literacy Champions, Sonali Bhakta, Elly Boshers, Laura Cunningham, Victoria George, and Janai Jennings rose early Saturday morning to attend the Literacy Festival's Rise Breakfast at Wichita State University. They were recognized for their leadership, community service, and literacy advocacy. One of the highlights of the breakfast was seeing Taye Diggs and his life-long friend, and illustrator of his children's books, Shane Evans.
Also recognized was fourth grader Ta'Lyiah Lewis for her book she wrote and illustrated this summer Star and the Big Choice and Ms. Ann Garvey for her sponsorship and support of Storytime Village Programs. We thank Prisca Barnes, President and CEO of Storytime Village for the books that were donated to our lower school and the continued opportunity to participate in the Literacy Championship program. Student members are looking forward to beginning their fourth year to share reading techniques and encourage reading with their buddies at Spaght Elementary.
As you drive around the campus you will notice a bright and bold mural reminiscent of our Wichita flag. The art piece was designed and painted by Independent senior, Grace Gill, and is the result of an item offered at the Wanderlust auction last year. A friend of the school made a generous donation to support Independent's annual fund and, in exchange, had the opportunity to include his grandchildren's names in the mural. It was a great way to beautify the space and support the school at the same time.
Grace volunteered more than 50 hours of her already busy life to create this piece. Thank you to all who made this happen!
Dear Independent Families,
I would like to update you on a few items as we move into the 2018-2019 school year.
Head of Upper School
Immediately following Jenifer Pence's transition to Interim Head of School, we began the search for someone to fill her position at the Upper School. We met many candidates and interviewed several without finding the perfect fit for our unique and talented Upper School students. The Interim Head and the Head of Upper School are two important roles in our community. Jenifer has dedicated herself and almost every moment over the past four months in filling both roles. I am personally grateful for her commitment to our school and ask you to thank her the next time you see her.
It is important to have each Division Head position filled as the faculty and students return to school. Therefore, the Board of Trustees has asked Jenifer to resume her role as Head of Upper School, with some additional authority on a couple of key projects. She will continue to guide us through the opening of the new Early Learning Center and ensure the academic, curriculum, and training structure of Independent International.
Interim Head of School
The trustees have asked Karen Norton, retired Head of School (1980 - 2006), to serve as our Interim Head of School, allowing Jenifer to resume her role at the Upper School. You may recognize her name as she is the author of A School Like No Other, which she wrote about our own community. Look for Karen in the drop off line and at school events everywhere.
“I was hired by Karen Norton 20 years ago and she has always remained the standard that I hold myself to as an educator and as a leader. I can think of no better way to start off my 21st year at The Independent School than to partner with Karen Norton. I am excited to work with her and look forward to the year!” said Jenifer Pence.
Head of School Search
The process of hiring a new permanent Head of School continues. The position has been posted and our steering team will meet in the next several days to begin the search. I’ve been communicating with the professional staff at ISACS to ensure we take careful steps toward securing a Head of School that will best fit our community. Typically a head of school search can take 6 to 18 months. We will keep you updated along the way.
Chair, The Independent School
Board of Trustees
Earlier this month, Mrs Kubish and 3 Upper School students traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the National Speech and Debate Tournament. Edward Sturm and William Rowley qualified to participate in the the Duo Acting category and Malar Muthukumarqualified to compete in the Informative Speech category. In order to qualify, students needed to place either 1st or 2nd in the District Competition that was held earlier in the school year. Qualifying alone, is a tremendous accomplishment.
The National Finals are a week long competition and involve students competing in a maximum of 6 preliminary rounds, before entering the elimination rounds. Competition is tough with the National Finals attracting a total 1298 schools, from 49 states with a total of over 7,000 students competing in 15 separate events. Will and Edwardfinished in the top half of their category. They did exceptionally well in a field where the talent is remarkable.
All 3 students are to be congratulated both on their individual accomplishments and also for so admirably representing The Independent School and the great state of Kansas on the National Stage.
We are pleased to announce Gidget Watson as our new College Counselor. For the past two years, Mrs. Watson has served at The Independent School as one of our fabulous 5th grade teachers. Mrs. Watson has a BS in Engineering from Rutgers University. Prior to Independent, she spent time as the Director of Student Engagement at WATC through the National Aviation Consortium and as the Assistant Director of the University of Chicago Office of the Vice President for Research and for Argonne National Laboratory.
While at the University of Chicago, Mrs. Watson worked as a College Adviser and as the Director of the Chicago Academic Achievement Program. It was during this 5-year time frame that she discovered an interest and cultivated a passion for the college admissions process, which later led her to ultimately serve as an independent college admissions consultant. Through that experience, she has successfully assisted students in gaining admission to selective and highly selective undergraduate and graduate schools in both the liberal arts and stem curricula.
Though we are sad to see her leave the 5th grade classroom and her friends in the Lower School, we are excited to have her join the Upper School, where she will have an opportunity to make a direct impact by helping students fulfill their dreams as they move on to college.
State Track Results
Miles Martin (200m & 400m) - 1st place State Champion in 400m!
Zach Hole (1600m & 3200m) - 5th place in both events
Hayden Chase (long jump) - 7th place
Gunnar Jensen (100m HH & Javelin) - 13th place in Javelin
Kobey Fields (100m & 200m)
Sebastien Patino (discus)