It's already been over two months since school started, but do we know all the new faces at KIS? Check out who some of them are and their stories.

With already three months into the school year, KIS has various new teachers and students from across the globe. Whether it is Ms. Edwards in the counseling department or Mr and Mrs Beaucham in the English department, each of these teachers and students have their own stories to share.

To learn more about who they are and their stories, Blueprint asked some of the teachers and students.

Sarah Wilson

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  1. Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? Is this your first time in Korea?
    Hi, my name’s Sarah Wilson and I’m from the Netherlands, but I moved here when I was 4 so I would consider Korea more of a “home” to me than the Netherlands. I’ve lived here for 12 years now and attended another international school until transferring here this year. 


2. Why did you decide to come to KIS?
I decided to move to KIS because I had been at my past school for a long, long time and there were just a few things that made me want to look for different options. KIS was the next closest international school to where I live, so I checked it out and it seemed like a good school with nice facilities, students, and teachers. In terms of decision making, it was a lot easier to decide to move to KIS knowing I already had a friend here. So, I applied, and now I’m here!

3. How has your first two months here been?
My first two months have been pretty good. People have been really nice and welcoming, and its been much easier to adjust than expected.

4. What do you find most challenging at KIS? What do you like about KIS?
Something I found really challenging, especially in the first couple weeks here was how big the school is in comparison to my past school. I struggled a lot with finding my way around and getting from building to building, but I got the hang of it and it’s much easier now.
I really like how much bigger the school is. Not necessarily physically, but rather, the amount of students in a grade. My last school only had 30-45 people per grade, which provided a great sense of community, but I much more prefer the size of classes here at KIS.

6. What are you looking forward to this school year?
I’m looking forward to getting to know people and just get properly adjusted to the school in general. I’m also looking forward to hopefully getting more involved in the school with things like theatre, sports, etc.

 

Mr. Vogt

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  1. Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? Is this your first time in Korea?
    My name is Jeff Vogt and I am from the United States. I’ve lived and worked overseas in Tokyo, Japan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This is my first time living in Korea but I have visited a couple of times during 2012 and 2013.

 

2. Why did you decide to come to KIS?
My wife Lisa and I decided to come to Korea because we love the culture and people of not just Korea, but all of (East) Asia. Being in this region allows us to easily travel all over Asia and Southeast Asia. Additionally, my wife is a new teacher and KIS was extra supportive in helping her get into the classroom.

3. How has your first two months in Korea/KIS been?
The first two months have presented us with about every emotion possible. Happiness and excitement upon arrival to Korea, arrival to meet students and new colleagues as well as immersing ourselves in this new culture. Stress and anxiety (a little bit) because we cannot communicate that well in Korean…yet. Surprise at how awesome KIS, its’ students and faculty have been to us!

4. If you could enroll in another teacher’s class for a day, which class would you join? Why?
Probably AP Psychology (sooooooo, Ms. Hawkinson?). Where I used to work, AP Psych was well liked (and it seems that way here too) and seemed like such an interesting subject. Plus, I’m a terms guy and love learning all the new lingo! The other choice would be Eric Sampson. He just seems like he’d run such a fun, interesting physics class that I couldn’t resist!

5. What is one of your hidden talents?
Haha. Me? Hidden talent? I’d have to sadly say that I don’t have one. I’m a jack of all trades and a master of nothing.

6. What are you looking forward to this school year?
I am looking forward to continuing to build awesome relationships with my students and to help them learn and love science.

 

Ms. Williams

 

IMG_07031.Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? Is this your first time in Korea?
Because I teach Spanish, my students call me Señorita Williams. I grew up in Virginia and Puerto Rico. I most recently taught high school Spanish outside of Washington, DC for eleven years. I have also taught middle school Spanish in Virginia and bilingual kindergarten in Austin, Texas. This is my first time in Korea!

 

2. Why did you decide to come to KIS?
KIS is a strong school and great fit for me. I wanted to teach abroad so that I could learn a new language, teach in another culture, further develop as an educator, collaborate with other teachers from around the world and grow as a person. Every day, I encourage my students to challenge themselves, take a step out of their comfort zones, and integrate what they learn into their future careers. Teaching in Korea is allowing me to practice what I preach. I am excited about all the adventures it will bring!

 

3. How has your first two months in Korea/KIS  been?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two months in Korea. At KIS, everyone is supportive and welcoming, and I have enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues and students. I have had the chance to visit Seoul several times, attend a K League 1 soccer match, a Bears baseball game, travel to Taiwan and much more. Every day has some kind of adventure and I am loving it!

4. If you could enroll in another teacher’s class for a day, which class would you join? Why?
I would enroll in a technology course! Technology has changed significantly in the years since I was in school. My previous school was known for its robotics program and I was always intrigued by the program so I attended some of their competitions when possible. As at my previous high school, the enthusiasm of all of the instructors at KIS is contagious!

5. What is one of your hidden talents?
I can play the cello and walk at the same time!

6. What are you looking forward to this school year?
I am looking forward to a year filled with teaching and learning, travel, adventures, and laughter. Many days have challenges but every day is a blessing to me. I am thankful for this experience and the opportunity to work at KIS with its administrators, teachers, students, and parents!

Madison Rhee

IMG_06911. Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? Is this your first time in Korea?
My name is Madison Rhee. I have lived in the United States for four years, and before, I have lived in South Korea during elementary school years.  

2. Why did you decide to come to KIS?
We were looking for international schools located in South Korea, and it seemed to us that KIS had the best reputation out of all.

3. How has your first two months here been?The first week of school as a new student was, as expected, quite chaotic. Finding my way around campus and being surrounded by unfamiliar people was overwhelming at first. However, with the help of numerous affable people, I was able to adapt to KIS quickly, and so far everything has been going very well for me.

4. What do you find most challenging at KIS? What do you like about KIS?
I really like how KIS offers a variety of extracurricular activities that students can choose from. I think this allows students to prepare for their future in a way by providing an opportunity to pursue their interests and dreams outside of academics and helps them to become well rounded. I am sure I will be facing academic challenges throughout the year, but as of now one of challenges at KIS is getting used to the stairs.

5. What is one of your hidden talents?
One of my hidden talents is solving a Rubik’s cube!

6. What are you looking forward to this school year?
I am looking forward to making more new friends and participating in many activities this year!

 

Mr. Parker

IMG_07141. Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? Is this your first time in Korea?
My name is Peter Parker, a name which I share with a rather famous Marvel comic book hero. I was born in Ireland, but immigrated to Canada. I have been teaching internationally for 21 years and have worked in Colombia, China, Paraguay, Ecuador, Kazakhstan and now Korea. Yes, I have visited Korea before, the first time in 2001 and have attended SEOMUN the past three years.

2. Why did you decide to come to KIS?
I have always been interested in Korea as a country to work in and when the opportunity came up to work at KIS came up, it felt like a good match. Also, I have many friends who have worked at KIS and I had heard good things about the school and life in Korea.

3. How has your first two months in Korea/KIS  been?
It has been a bit of a whirlwind, but in a good way. I like Seoul as a city, but also the little bit of the countryside that I have seen. I have also felt very welcomed by my teaching colleagues, who have been supportive and encouraging as I transition to KIS.And, my students have been awesome.

4. If you could enroll in another teacher’s class for a day, which class would you join? Why?
Oooohhhh…this is a bit more of a toughie, largely because I am still getting to know the teachers. I have heard that Ms. Surette’s MS Science class is cool, in the HS…just about any of my colleagues in the Social Studies department.

5. What is one of your hidden talents?
Like my famous namesake, I prefer that my talents stay hidden…although my spider senses do tingle at times.

6. What are you looking forward to this school year?
Transitioning to a new school always comes with challenges, but so far I have been really impressed by the quality staff and students at KIS. I am most looking forward to getting settled and building relationships with the KIS community. Outside of the classroom I am excited about exploring different aspects of Korea…the culture, the food and the nature.
There are many more faculty and students who are new to our family—make sure to welcome and hear their stories!

—Sarah Se-Jung Oh (’19)

Photos: Sejoon Chang (’21)