Dear KAS Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff,
As we finish this last day of the school year, I’d like to reflect on this year’s journey together as a school community. Since KAS’s founding over 30 years ago in 1989, our story has been one of facing and overcoming challenges. This year has certainly held true to that legacy. Many will remember this year for the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the difficulties and uncertainties we faced as a result, and for the worldwide demonstrations of people striving for racial equity and justice. Still, even through those struggles, KAS students and the KAS community achieved some amazing things.
This spring all of us faced a loss of routine, a heightened focus on safety, and a collective anxiety about the unknown. We worried about our friends and our family, we reluctantly adjusted to the loss of the ability to travel, and we accepted the initial difficulty of continuing our learning online.
As time went on, we realized our strength as a school community. We saw that we can learn effectively in many ways. We showed that together we can keep our community safe by taking proper safety precautions to protect ourselves and each other, and that by doing so we can spend more time in classrooms than most schools in the world.
Even though COVID-19 is fresh in our minds, we actually had an entire half of a school year before we’d even heard of COVID-19. Remember October? If you need a reminder, our students celebrated Halloween in October, with students and faculty enjoying the day together in costumes. It feels like decades ago, doesn’t it? But in truth it was this school year.
It seems hard to fathom, but by the time of Halloween we had already hosted the ACAMIS volleyball tournament here at KAS. We had already welcomed a university professor to campus to teach our students. We had already welcomed many university admissions representatives to meet with our students and build relationships to help guide them in the future. We had already been WeiWuYing’s founding partner for their internship program, with over 20 student participants. One of our students had already presented a song and video he wrote at a United Nations conference in Europe, at the invitation of the UN. Speaking of Europe and the UN, this year a number of our students even participated in a successful international Model United Nations conference.
And even during the time of COVID-19, with our Board’s leadership, we founded our KAS Future Leaders program, which will connect students and alumni with opportunities at a scale never seen before in southern Taiwan. This is all to say that, even in a time of great difficulty, even as we struggle, we still find many reasons to celebrate.
We are proud of the Class of 2020. They are headed to world-class places next year, with acceptances at top universities like Brown, Wellesley, Purdue, Johns Hopkins, every school in the UC system, University of Toronto, Carnegie Mellon, U. of Michigan, Penn State, UIUC, UBC, Boston U., and many others.
我們為今年的畢業生感到很驕傲，明年他們將進入各個世界一流的大學，Brown，Wellesley，Purdue，Johns Hopkins，University of Toronto，Carnegie Mellon，U. of Michigan，Penn State，UIUC，UBC，Boston U.，還有其它許多好學校。
We are proud of all of our students, for they have shown their talent, their hard work, and their care for each other time and time again this year. We are thankful for our faculty and staff, who are tirelessly dedicated to our students, and who have accomplished amazing things this year that we never dreamed would be possible. We are thankful to our parents and families, who rose to the challenge this year of supporting learning like never before in any previous year. We are thankful to our PTA, led by President Susana Yeh, for their unwavering support of teachers, students, and the school this year. We are grateful to the Board of Directors, led by Chair Ken Lin, for their strong leadership through a challenging year. With our Board’s leadership, not only did we stay safe in classrooms, but we even launched new programs and new opportunities for students this year.
其實全部的學生們都讓我們感到自豪，他們展現了各自的才能和付出的努力，還有對彼此之間的關懷。我們也感激所有的教職員工們，奉獻了他們的精力給學生，完成了今年驚人的成就。也謝謝所有家長們今年面臨前所未有的挑戰，感謝由Susana Yeh帶領的家長會，今年全力支持全校師生們。更要向Ken Lin帶領的董事會致上謝意，帶著我們渡過這艱難的一年，除了徹底的防疫保護全校安全外，我們還推出了新的課程學習方式。
I am so proud of our school community’s spirit. This year we proved that our school’s community, character, and resilience cannot be broken even by a world-wide pandemic. We attested that our determination is stronger than any challenge. We affirmed that KAS is and can be a place where kids are empowered and validated to make the world better. And we showed the world that we are ready for the future.
Thank you for a great school year. Warm wishes for an excellent summer, and we will see you soon.
Dr. Ben Ploeger
Kaohsiung American School