World Autism Awareness Day: In a World of Their Own

World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2nd where people all over the world come together to spread awareness of autism.

April 2, the World Autism Awareness Day, is celebrated all over the world to raise awareness of the people with Autism Spectrum disorder throughout the world. This year, the theme is “Assistive Technology and Active Participation.”

This year’s theme keeps in mind the significant role that technology plays in the development of people of all different form of disability, including autism. Technology not only is important to the development of individuals, but it also ensures people with disabilities are guaranteed basic human rights such as the individuals’ freedom and help them participate as a full member of society. This theme acknowledges the fact that assistive technology is expensive and inaccessible to the large population with autism.

Although the term “autism” could be heard frequently, most people are not fully aware of what autism really is. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects how people express themselves, communicate with others, and understand the world around them. According to Autism Speaks, this spectrum disorder can vary in degrees and everyone is different.

Autism Awareness Day gives us a chance to have a better understanding of the world around us and our community. Given the fact that about one in fifty-nine children worldwide has autism, it is very likely that you will meet someone with this disorder. Instead of assuming and making stereotypes, we should make the effort to get to know more about them.

One of the clubs in KIS, Light It Up Blue, advocates this cause and seeks to find ways to spread awareness about autism both inside and outside of our school. In order to find more about what we could do to spread awareness and participate in the World Autism Awareness Day, we asked the club officer, Joshua Choi (12), some questions.

Q: Why should we care about autism?

A: We should care about autism because it is a much more common disorder than most people think it is. It is very likely that you will meet or work with someone with autism in the future.

Q: Are there some ways we could do to spread awareness inside our school?

A: Some ways we can spread awareness in our school are to hang posters around the school. However, we think that the best way would be to have a guest speaker come and speak about Autism, which would be more difficult to organize. We can also pass out small fact cards in the morning to frequently remind people about autism.

Q: How should we treat people with autism?

A: We shouldn’t bully people with autism. Since they can be more sensitive to loud noises or bright lights, we should try to view a situation from their perspective and be ready to support them if they do not feel comfortable.

Q: Is your club doing anything for the World Autism Awareness Day?
A: Our club made a post on the KIS 2018-2019 facebook group, promoting the website that we made. Be sure to check out the website!

Ignorance can lead to misunderstandings and in order to stop those from happening, it is important for us to care and treat them with equal respect. The first step is to take part in this day and look at the community around you!

– Jenna Jang (‘22)



KIS Poverty Simulation

A poverty simulation by the Global Issues Network club stressed the importance of KIS students venturing beyond the luxuries we take for granted in our daily lives and develop a better understanding of our society.

Globally, around 600 million children live in extreme poverty and are put under harsh conditions. Families don’t have enough money for basic necessities—food, clothes, shelter, and education. This also means that people are forced to live in an unimaginable low poverty line, which is 11,667 KRW for Korea and about $2 globally.

For us, it is difficult to imagine living under the poverty line.  Lunches from our school cafeteria cost 5,000 won, and that doesn’t even include the other food most of us get from the deli or the convenient store. Spending 5,000 won on lunch is already two times past the poverty line budget. Most of the students from our school are used to having no trouble spending a large amount of money, which raised the question—would KIS students be able to survive under the international poverty line?

In order to further investigate in this, Global Issues Network decided to try a poverty simulation which lasts for one day in order to fully understand what being in poverty actually meant. On February 25, volunteers from the club went through the day with no more than 2,200 won, which is about $2. The volunteers were not allowed to eat any food from their house or get any additional parental assistance. To document their day and record the simulation, members recorded themselves in different parts of their day talking about how they were feeling and how they were going to use the 2,200 won that they had. Through this simulation, students were able to physically understand and learn first-hand the struggles that people in poverty had to face.

In order to have a better insight into this simulation, I met up with Hannah Kim (Grade 9), a member of Global Issues Network who participated in the poverty simulation.

How was your day like during the simulation?
I feel like it was a new opportunity for me because normally I spend more than 22000 won per day. Ramen was the only food that I was able to afford and when I thought about how people were forced to eat it every day, I was able to connect with their hardships.

What were some hardships you faced?
The change of food was my biggest hardship since I was used to eating cafeteria food that costs around 5,000 won. Especially because Thursday was a special menu day, and it was hard for me to endure myself from eating the food.

What did you learn from this experience?
I learned to appreciate what I already have and be grateful for my parents who provides me enough food and resources.

Are there any ways you can apply what you learned into our daily lives?
In order to not forget the lesson, we can try to use as little as possible. For example, when we go to the market, we can reduce to the absolute necessities.

All of the members said that this was an eye-opening experience for not only understanding poverty but our world. The Global Issues Network Club stressed the importance of KIS students venturing beyond the luxuries we take for granted in our daily lives and develop a better understanding of our society.

– Jenna Jang ‘22

Featured Image: Global Issues Network Club

What we can learn from National History Day

Lessons from the largest history competition in the world.

On February 16, KIS participated in the annual National History Day Competition at Cheongna Dalton School. Since 2012, international schools in Korea have hosted the regional contest, in which the top two winners from each category advance to the national level competition in Maryland.

Competition categories include research paper, documentary, website, performance, and exhibit; excluding the strictly individual research paper, all categories can be done in either a group or individual.

Year and year again, what is fascinating about National History Day is its power to make you reexamine history. It forces you to delve deep into topics you may have touched upon in class, but haven’t delved deep into the nuances, perspectives, and even controversies that surround them. After all, history is interpretable and easily malleable, right?

If considering participating in NHD, here are five things that a participant can take away in the course of conducting research, forming an argument, and applying knowledge in a chosen presentation category.

It’s easier when it’s closer to your heart
It’s a hundred times easier to talk about and debate on a topic chosen out of true interest and passion. That genuine curiosity and drive to seek out the truth is what can make a project stand out. Don’t just choose the Great Schism as a topic because of a passing recollection from a World History class. Choose the topic that reflects personal personality, interests, and experiences.

How to form your own opinion
This is a particularly important one because of the political climate we live in today. Especially if selecting a contentious topic, a project will have to work with sources that directly contradict and oppose each other. There will be angry, obscene remarks in the comment sections of Youtube videos related to the topic, and the research could be stuck at a crossroads—where it is not clear which route the research should take. Through this dilemmas, those taking part in NHD will learn to review the evidence presented and develop skills to discern the best path forward. Not everything is written in stone!

How to manage your time
The theme for the 2019 contest was released in July of 2018, just a month after the national competition in June, so there’s little excuse to put off working on the project until the last few weeks or days. There will be SATs and various tests and projects sandwiched between the summer of 2018 and the due date in January, which means participants had to be extra vigilant with managing their time. It takes several weeks to finalize the topic, several months to finish the research, and another few months to work on the project of choice. There’s an important lesson to be learned here about how to set deadlines and keep oneself accountable that can be applied to future long-term projects.

How to defend yourself
A large part of NHD is forming arguments through research. Here comes the part where you defend it. During the question and answer session with the judges, participants are bombarded with a slew of questions about their argument, flaws, and opposing viewpoints. The job is to reject the opinions you disagree with, concede to opponents who have a case, and reaffirm your own thesis.

How to combine your skills
History, filmmaking, graphic design; for me, NHD was an opportunity to combine all the things that I love doing, and allowed me the creativity to do whatever I wanted with it. Rarely do we see this kind of unbridled freedom in the classroom. It’s important to learn how to tie in talents with each other and utilize them to the fullest extent. If you like web design, make a website. If you’re a theater kid, do a performance. There’s something for everyone in NHD.

NHD is not going to be unquestionably good for everyone, and people will take away different things from the competition than others. However, if you have a passion for any of the categories that NHD offers, the competition is worth trying. Some may be turned off by the “H” in NHD, but it will be another outlet to express your creativity while building on essential skills that will be useful both in and outside the classroom for years to come.

– Charles Park (’20)

Featured Image: Corona-Norco Unified School District

Quiz Bowl Takes the Lead

Last Saturday, the Quiz Bowl team competed at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) Korea Invitational tournament at Seoul Foreign School. Fighting through ten grueling rounds of questions concerning a wide range of topics from geology to pop culture, the KIS teams came in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th places, coming home with a trophy. “First time a team of mine came in top three,” Coach Joo beamed as he boarded the bus.

The Quiz Bowl team, formed by Chemistry teacher Mr. Jeong S. Joo in the second semester, now boasts about twenty members who attend weekly two hour-long practices on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Sometimes, the Quiz Bowl team members take on our very own KIS teachers—Mr. Russ Williams (U.S. History), Mr. Chien-Fa Kao (Chemistry), and Ms. Kim Bunting (Biology), are regular visitors. Last month, a visiting student from MIT and a member of MIT’s Quiz Bowl team joined a practice session

Quiz Bowl, despite its reputation as an extraneous activity, demands a lot but also teaches its participants just as much. A successful Quiz Bowl player not only has an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge but also possesses extraordinary quick recall ability—the player must beat his opponents to the punch when answering a question. The successful Quiz Bowl player also displays excellent teamwork and self-control, skills that also aid the player in real life. He/She must be capable of communicating efficiently with teammates to deduce the answer to a difficult question within seconds but should also be careful enough to wait for the reader to offer more clues to verify the exactitude of his/her answer.

“Quiz Bowl is, if you look at it, where you share and learn new knowledge. It is only natural that is academic; what you learn in a classroom is always bound to come out,” says Edward Yang (9), a top scorer at the Korea Invitational Tournament. Grace Lee (10), another star Quiz Bowl team member echoes this sentiment: “I think it’s very multidisciplinary; it fits how knowledge is like a web and how everything connects.”

In the end, however, it’s about having fun with other KIS students. Yoon Sung Kim (10) describes Quiz Bowl as “[combining] the competitiveness of team competitions while also allowing for each Quiz Bowl player to contribute and have fun.” For Brian Song (12), Quiz Bowl “is a place for [him] to get [his] mind off off schoolwork by answering trivia questions.” Like him, other senior members of the team are excited for their final overseas KIS school trip to take part in NAQT tournaments.

Currently, selected members of the Quiz Bowl team are competing in Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Invitational Tournament. In March, the KIS Quiz Bowl team will be participating in the Asian Quiz Bowl Championship in Shanghai.

– William Cho (’21)

Featured image: Mr. Jeong Joo

Chris Park (’19) contributed to this report.

KIS’s Public Speakers Jump-Start the Year

Through the chaos of maintaining a full load of coursework and a somewhat functional social life, some KIS students find the time to practice intentional argument and oral persuasion. On Saturday, September 15th, the varsity Speech and Debate team made their way to school for the first-ever, full-day forensics workshop, and MUN members for a mini-MUN conference.

The Speech and Debate captains had been planning the workshop since before summer, with the intention of gaining familiarity with a wider portion of the school. All interested middle and high students were invited to learn about speech and debate, and team members were given targeted workshops run by captains and other experienced competitors in order to gear up for the upcoming competition.

“I feel like members fully experienced what it’s like to be part of the varsity speech and debate team. I had a lot of fun teaching as well!” -Min Jun Kim (Debate Captain, Lincoln-Douglas)

Debate members ran high-level practice debates, complete with teachers who were training to judge at KAIAC. Their other activities included case analysis, using an almanac, and an “interrogation session”, where one member stood in the middle of the room as others asked questions to attack his/her argument. Speech members, on the other hand, could be spotted after lunch playing “freeze”, an improv game meant to work on performance skills and team bonding. Poetry members analyzed Sylvia Plath in a literary huddle, extemporaneous members researched current events, and more.

Mini-MUN simulated the debate in a General Assembly committee, focusing on getting the over 20 new freshmen club members accustomed to the MUN debate style. Andrew Kim (11), Sujin Park (11), Felix Lee (11), and Joshua Rhee (12) served as chairs, practicing their skills in leading a committee in debate. While the club members debated, Jin ah Jeon (11), as the SEOMUN Administrative Director General, was busy training the 7th and 8th graders in being an administrative staff at SEOMUN, explaining everything from setting up placards to helping chairs maintain order.

“Although many of the novice delegates were hesitant to speak up at first, with the experiences delegates as an example, delegates soon found their voice.” -Andrew Kim (club officer, SEOMUN Disarmament Commission Deputy Assistant President)

“I saw a lot of young minds and ideas that just need some confidence.” -Sang Kim (club officer, SEOMUN Deputy Secretary General) 

Please support the Speech & Debate team in their upcoming tournament on October 19th, as they compete to keep the KAIAC championship title for the third year in a row, and the MUN members as they prepare for the upcoming Seoul Model United Nations conference.

-Jisoo Hope Yoon (’19) & Chris Park (’19)


*If you have any questions about Speech, please direct them to Hope Yoon (12) or JJ Kim (12). Debate, Leanne Kim (12), Jenny Chung (12), Janie Do (11), or Min Jun Kim (11). They are always happy to help!

*SEOMUN is a leading student-organized MUN conference in East Asia for the past twenty years. KIS is hosting the 21st annual session, which is attended by over 600 students from 35 schools in 11 countries. More conference information can be found at Any questions about MUN, please direct to Andrew Kim (11), Charles Park (11), and Jiyeon Kim (11).

True Magic: KIS’s Beauty and the Beast as a Testament to the Power of Theater

KIS’s very own theater department put on their spring production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Complete with sold-out tickets and standing ovations, the show not only broke records for the school but shed a light on the sheer power and joy of dramatic performance.

“Theater is an empathy machine,” says Ms. Cuellar, and the cast and crew of KIS’s recent production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast could not agree more. It was a successful show in every way possible, definitely leaving a tangible mark in the history of KIS theater, but it now stands to represent something much larger than that— a visualization of what it means to connect, work together, and create beauty with fellow human beings.

The townspeople made a striking entrance with the opening number, “Belle”.

Gaston was not only the villain, but the antithesis of the play’s central theme of true love.

Beauty and the Beast made new strides and broke records that will certainly be difficult to top in the future. Tickets were sold out for the first time in KIS theater history, with additional chairs being brought in for the Friday night performance to accommodate a more-than-full house of 446 people. 1046 tickets were sold in total, the highest number for any KIS show to date, multiple people buying repeated tickets to watch the show a second time. And, of course, each performance ended in a booming standing ovation— not yet a common sight in KIS theater. Sydney Langford, the choreographer who worked with the cast and crew from the very beginning of the rehearsal process in January, said that “I’ve worked with this department before for The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, but the Beauty and the Beast production was next level since the first rehearsal… In my honest opinion, [they] have truly outdone every high school production in the world.”

And most of the magic did not happen onstage. It happened on the paint-stained aprons of the art students that decorated the set, in every hinge and nail the stagecraft students drilled into the sophisticated rotating stages, and in each poster and decoration put up by the front of house crew. It happened in the hidden darkness of the pit orchestra and the hushed quiet of the light booth, where the aural and visual components came together in extraordinary chemistry. It happened in the velvet folds of the curtains the run crew closed swiftly after each entrance and exit. Without the strikingly realistic food items made by the props crew, Be Our Guest would not have been the captivating number it was, and without the iconic blue dress or the shimmering golden makeup, characters like Belle and Lumiere would not have come alive onstage in the same way.

The castle servant characters were well-noted for their costumes and camaraderie.

Be Our Guest received lengthy applause each night.

Such unbelievable hard work and cooperation showed its fruition in the audience that soon became a part of the magic. Even non-KIS students and adults came to watch the show. Blueprint collected 8 reviews from the audience. All of them rated the show 5 stars out of 5, and most named Be Our Guest as their favorite song from the show. One audience member said they were impressed not only by the lead actors, but rather the “whole cast because I could see for myself that there was not a single role that was not important”. Another audience member even described it as: “it was like Broadway came to KIS and had affordable billing for twice the excitement”.

“ The stage, the acting, and the witty lines really brought this production to life. Even the costumes felt like they legitimately came from the Disney movie. I barely even realized that three hours had passed. My only regret is coming to watch it only once on Saturday night, when there were three other showings.” —Jaehong Park (9)

“I’ve watched every single show from the theatre department and I am confident that Beauty and the Beast was the best one so far. I can’t believe that this was a high school production. I would watch it again and again and I would be amazed every time.” —Alice Yoo (12)

But while the audience members only came across the final product, every member of the cast and crew know that the process was what was truly valuable, having each felt to the core how powerful theater is. Studies have shown that involvement in drama activities increases students’ self-esteem, reading comprehension, and academic confidence. But beyond such benefits, there is something genuinely out of the ordinary about the KIS theater community. Each member is welcomed into a family, where everyone is accepted for who they are. For many students who join, theater is the first space they ever feel so comfortable in their own skin.

This is why the bonds forged in theater often transcend beyond high school. The upperclassmen—underclassmen barrier that invariably exists in every other class and club in Korea suddenly dissipates. Beauty and the Beast was a true exemplar of this; combining middle and high schoolers together in the cast and crew caused no rifts or divides, as one would expect. In fact, during rehearsals, 11th- and 12th- graders enjoyed bantering with 6th- and 7th- graders as much as they enjoyed the company of peers their age. Anyone present during rehearsals would have testified to the incredibly supportive environment, where everyone was striving to build each other up and create a collectively positive experience for all. It would be safe to say that there is the least amount of negative “drama” to be witnessed in the drama department.

Mrs. Potts and Chip were not the only characters to begin crying by the finale on Saturday night.

So it is no surprise that the entire cast and crew broke into frenzied tears following the last curtain call on Saturday night. It marked the end of a journey— costumes to be taken off for the last time, the set to be walked for the last time, the curtain to fall for the last time. Dozens of people continued to sob for hours straight, embracing everyone they came across. As heartbreaking as it was, the scene almost had a certain humor to it: students would begin to calm down, only to come across yet another face they had shared this experience with and break into tears all over again.

But the end of this show really is no heartbreak. It is a memory now, to be smiled upon and cherished. It has forged a little birdhouse of love in each student’s heart, where theater will forever have a place to live. The production has come to an end, but it has given something indispensable to each individual that partook in its magic, to be carried forth into dozens of lives. The power of art truly is a tale as old as time. On the hardwood floor of the stage, where the odds and ends of the high school social scene come together to expand each other’s creativity, where the very definition of humanity is amplified, a certain James Barrie quote seems more relevant than ever—”those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

-Jisoo Hope Yoon (’19)

Picture credits to Sara Kim


“Firsts” are always a gamble. To break tradition and invent a completely new idea is strenuous in itself, but to put it into action requires a whole different level of determination. It is always difficult to have a first-time event end up as a success, and without strong willpower and preparation, the whole attempt may simply end up as a failure. The Mr. KIS event was Student Council’s attempt to bring a fun change to the list of annual KIS events, which have been carried on unchanged for many years. The process clearly required risking a great deal of stakes and taking on much skepticism from students and teachers, but those obstacles did not stop them from commencing Mr. KIS as the brand-new event of our year.

Q: Who came up with the idea for Mr. KIS?

A: It was Mr. Quirin’s idea. He said this started over 15 years ago at his old high school in America, and he wanted to replace KIS Got Talent with this event. It was designed to be our last prom fundraiser.

– JD Choi (‘18)

But what exactly is Mr.KIS? Mr. KIS is a male talent competition featuring 12 male seniors who represented the diverse departments of sports, music, forensics, and theatre. A fun, light-hearted event to present some of the most talented and well-known seniors in KIS in a memorable way. The idea started as a satire of the overdone beauty pageants that generally featured females. This event was to show how the idea of ‘beauty competitions’ could be butchered by the show having the contestants showing off their knowledge, talent, and personalities instead.

The one and only Mr. KIS was determined by the scores given by the three teacher judges, who were Mr. Collings, Ms. Cuellar, and Mr. Van Moppes this year, as well as the audience votes. There are no exact “qualifications” to become Mr.KIS—the seniors just need have put themselves out there and show who they are to get both the judges and audience to love them!

The contestants’ impressive yet hilarious dance to Wanna-One’s “나야나” opened the show, and got the audience eagerly rooting for the Mr. KIS candidates. The show was broken down into three portions: The Style Walk, The Talent Show, and the Q&A. In the Style Walk, each contestant all distinctively showed off their unique character with their different concepts and how they entered with their escorts.

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Danny Choi’s entrance with escorts Peter Jung (’19, left) and Alex Jung (’18, right)

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Noah Kim’s entrance with escorts Jared Son (’19, left) and Daniel Kim (’19, right)


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Kyoon Hwang’s entrance with escort Jeffery Kim (’19)

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Danny Kang’s entrance with escort Danny Choi (’18)

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Patrick Jung’s entrance

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Matthew Kim’s entrance with escort Mr. Joo

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Alex Han’s entrance with escort Terry Kim (’18)

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Xavier Lim’s entrance with Yechan Song (’18), Joey Park (’18), and Daewon Hong (’18)

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Kai Kim’s entrance with escort Jong Min Lee (’18)

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Kristian Noll’s entrance with escort Hannah McCullough (’18)


The Talent portion was definitely the highlight of the show. From Noah Kim’s phenomenal monologue performance to Alex Han’s beach ball ballet act collaboration with Mr. Bunting, the audience was either left in awe of the contestants seriously skilled talents or cracking up with their original and hilarious acts.

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Danny Kang singing the Korean National Anthem

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Xavier Lim playing “Officially Missing You” by 긱스 (Giks) on guitar

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Kristian Noll rapping “Green Eggs and Ham” in four languages

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John Gee playing the Kahoot theme song on the piano

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Noah Kim’s monologue performance

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Alex Han with Mr. Bunting preforming beach ball ballet act

The final Q&A portion wrapped up the Mr. KIS event. There were simple and silly questions that let the audience know another fun-fact of the contestant as well as complex questions that challenged candidates to share out deeper thoughts of their mind.  

Despite the tight competition, Kristian Noll was crowned as the first ever Mr. KIS, with Matthew Kim in second, and Noah Kim in third place. It was a close call, but they all definitely deserved their title.

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Kristian Noll receiving first place prize—a 100,000 won ticket to prom


Questions to Contestants

Q: What were your initial thoughts on Mr. KIS?

A: My initial thoughts on Mr. KIS was that it was an absolutely ridiculous idea where twelve boys would go up on stage and try to embarrass themselves as much as possible. But it’s my senior year, so I thought that I could afford a bit of embarrassment 🙂 

-Noah Kim (‘18)

Q: Why did you volunteer as a candidate?

A: It’s my senior year and it just seemed like something fun to try!

-Matthew Kim (’18)

But the fun of the event was far beyond the results— everyone, both the contestants and audience, had a great time with endless laughter filling the PAC. It was like everyone had forgotten that it was a competition and simply enjoyed their time of a memorable Friday night.

Q: What is your view on how the event went?

A: It went well for a first timer.  I know there was a lot of speculation and criticism of the event leading up to it, but I think anyone who came will know for sure that they were wrong about Mr. KIS.  I’ve heard from many students that those who came said they were glad they did, and those who didn’t, regret not coming.

-JD Choi (‘18)

It is clear that the success of this event directly reflects the painstaking planning process of Mr. KIS. Student Council says that this was one of the most challenging events they prepared for and that it took a long time with a full agenda packed with various preparations leading up to Mr. KIS. This short interview with Student Council President JD Choi gives us a brief insight into what the whole process looked like.

Q: What was the planning process like?

A: It was well-timed and strategically marketed; more so than most of our other events. We met with the boys in early March to pitch the idea of the event to them.  Q sent them a list of questions to get to know them better. – StuCo and I sat down to decide a “concept” for each of the boys, whether it be “E Block Napper” or “Fitness Center” that well matched what they are known for at KIS.

-JD Choi (’18)

Q: How did you advertise the event?

A: We had to have an advertisement timeline ready for the month before. We had to reschedule, delay video posts, spend hours sound-mixing interviews, etc. We’ve probably never advertised and promoted an event as much before. There were everyday lunch rehearsals and meetings the week leading up to the event to organize the show and rehearse their unified dance opening.

-JD Choi (’18)

The first Mr. KIS was definitely a big success for a first-time event. The whole show was run smoothly and all contestants were absolutely amazing with each part of the show—both the audience and contestants having a great time.  Despite the speculation surrounding this event, most of those who were at the event said that it was a great way to spend their Friday night and that those who didn’t come would have regretted not.

The Mr. KIS event is yet another representation of this year’s main theme: Legacy. To be remembered as Mr. KIS is a memorable way to leave your mark at KIS and have another special memory made with the soon-leaving seniors. The success of this event brings high possibilities of this new event being carried on as a new tradition, and gradually becoming something people anticipate to be a part of their senior year. So, who will it be next?

– Sophie Yang (’21)

Featured Image: KIS Student Council

Recap of KBC 2018

In a rapidly changing retail marketplace, Toys R Us, once a highly prosperous toy retail shop, has been fading its glory due to its failure to adapt to the changing culture of physical shopping experience and to respond quickly to explosive growth of e-commerce. The retail company is thereby currently in a dire need for promotion of a more interactive environment to better appeal and capture the fantasy-like imagination of many children.

Toys R Us has been unsuccessfully fighting against the drastically declining levels of demand against online rivals such as Walmart or even bigger offline shopping industryKakaoTalk_Photo_2018-04-16-21-11-45such as Walmart. It is now, unfortunately, a habitual part of everyday life that individuals is more prone to be attracted to a source of entertainment that is more convenient and affordable. The surging popularity of electronic devices thus paved an inexorable pivotal year for the toy industry, especially because traditional gaming devices are pushed away. Even nostalgia couldn’t save Toys R Us.

What’s worse, the company’s recent bankrupt debt payments due to its downfall proved to be overwhelming for the company even despite the holiday sales. Toys R Us eventually announced the closure of roughly 180 out of 800 stores in the U.S. and 100 stores in the U.K. Yet, the hapless reality is a consequence of such negligence in making even a subtle effort to bring the experiential opportunities into the stores.

Aspiring to initiate a business plan for this heartbreaking truth, the semi annual Korea Business Competition participants were summoned on the 7th of AprilKakaoTalk_Photo_2018-04-16-21-16-43at Chadwick International School. As business consultants, teams  were assigned to tackle all these issue and devise a feasible strategy in order to the revive Toys R Us. Many teams promoted offline advantages by enhancing the interior or supplementing in-store activities while others even proposed the creation of amusement parks. In the end, however, two SIS teams and one SFS team placed as the ultimate finalists.

All contestants strived to better appeal to their judges in order to make their way up the bracket. These participants included students from nine international schools:KIS, SIS, SFS, TCIS, YISS, APIS, CDS, CI, and GSIS. With only short minutes of break time, each group worked extremely hard to accomplish and successfully finish the business event. Great job everyone!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Images: Nathan Cho (’19)
Featured Image: Toys”R”Us

Recap of ‘Batalla Lip Sync’

What is Batalla Lip Sync?

For the past few weeks of March, the world language department of KIS organized a new, but memorable event called the Lip Sync Battle to celebrate language learning. To expand knowledge of colloquial everyday expressions, to grow accustomed to the culture, and to improve speaking and listening skills, teachers brought together all language learners in the spirit of the language through music.

In groups of 3-5, students were assigned to memorize an entire song in their learning language to recite or lip sync during their performance. What’s more, there were three total rounds and even a prize for the winning group! Along with artistic slideshows and rhythmic choreography, students were all enthusiastically engaged in this a stress-free activity.

Surprisingly, the Lip Sync Battle was actually a trending American musical reality competition television series few years ago. A variety of celebrities paired up to perform in this weekly hit show. For two years, short video clips of top-star celebrities miming words to popular tracks have been viral on the Internet.


Highlights of the Event:

(La Marcha Real – Jennie Yeom, Ryan Lee, Jay Lee, Nicholas Park)

(Mi Gente – Minjun Kim, Mark Park, Alexander Han, Kevin Suk, Brian Lee)


What did you think about the first Lip Sync Battle event? What did you learn from this opportunity?

“I thought that the Lip Sync battle is interesting, yet I didn’t really want to do it as the crowd was very overwhelming. Lip Sync Battle is a very good way to see Second Language in a different aspect such as Pop Culture.” (Mark Park ‘20)
“The lip sync battle was a good opportunity to learn Spanish songs and new phrases that we did not learn in class. It also bolstered our skills in speaking Spanish faster due to the fast pace of some of the songs. Above all, the lip sync battle was an exciting and interesting experience that I wish every language student took part in instead of only the Spanish and French students.” (William Cho ‘21)

“It was a fun way to experience my GL and that of others. I learned many French songs through the entire battle–and even a few great Spanish songs. Hope this is a tradition that continues!” (Chris Park ‘19)

“I think that as the first Lip Sync Battle at KIS, it was very relaxed and entertaining. Everyone had prepared their performance so hard and each song was delivered so well. From this experience, I think that it’s important to have fun and interact with other students taking different languages, but it is also important to take in different culture and really aim to preserve the language at KIS, in Korea.” (Yonje Rhee ‘19)

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured image: Jennie Yeom

Jazz Night 2018

Definitely the best Friday night of the year. The annual Jazz Night livened up many teachers, parents, students, and staff of KIS.

Jazz Night is an annual event hosted by the TRI-M Music Honor Society.

Sold out three years in a row and gathered hundreds of teachers, parents, students, and staffs of KIS, Jazz Night provides unforgettable musical performances by skilled performers and fine dining by amazing catering. This year, TRI-M held the Greatest Jazz Night, themed after the movie The Greatest Showman, at the conference hall on the 9th of March, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm. The hall was packed with audience members, exciting atmosphere, and most importantly, the jazzy energy.

“Jazz Night is one of our few tangible remnants of KIS legacy that not only musicians but also staff and general student body have been participating in for the past several years. Jazz Night is the epitome of student-led passion. I believe we cannot achieve progression without having an extent of authentic passion fueling inside us. We can see this through Jazz Night, as we witness from Tri-M members sacrificing days and nights to successfully facilitate this event to student jazz musicians practicing behind the scenes almost every day after school to give one of the most thrilling nights of the year.
Great food, great music, great night. Yes, seems like the best yet also the easiest night to pull off.
But if there’s one thing to be learned from this annual legacy, it is that this night is successful not only because of the talent, but because of pure the hard work that set up the stage..the stage that allows the night to shine in the spotlight.” (Matthew Kim ‘18)

First and foremost, what is jazz? There is a tremendous variety in jazz, but in most cases, it is a highly rhythmic style of music with a forward momentum, often referred to as the “swing”. Jazz musicians place high means in finding their own distinct style to interpret sounds with a color. This genre of music can express many different emotions and powerful voices. Developed in the United States in the early 20th century, Jazz continued to seek from life experiences and to speak from human emotions in a creative manner. Indeed, jazz has been one of the most outstanding contributions to the art of music.

In attempt to introduce and reinforce the rather less popular music genre to the school community, TRI-M came together to organize the big annual event. For months, members have been designing posters, arranging dinner, and contacting performers. This year, unsurprisingly, the night was definitely a success. Despite the slight decrease in ticket sales compared to that of last year due to SAT testing the very next day, the strong promotion allowed many people to become aware of such an event.

The performers included the jazz band, acapella singers, and our very own choir director, Mr. Brown. Some of the notable performances by the acapella singers were “You’re Still a Young Man” by Tower of Power and “Sway” by Cat Dolls. The middle and high school jazz band presented astounding performances with breathtaking solos.

All performances were greeted and appreciated with warm applause. What’s more, even the parents gave positive feedback regarding the overall event. Thank you for coming, and we hope to see you again next year!


-Jennie Yeom (’20)