November 26, 2014
The SIS Herald
Free for all Geckoes!!
Issue 3, volume 1
SIS International Feast
The SIS Thanksgiving Feast is coming up on the 26th of Novem- ber and many people of the SIS com- munity are trying to find out what to make for the feast. SIS plans to have many kiosks set up sepa- rately by nationality, and expects most of the food to be from Asian cultures. This Thanksgiving, just like any Thanksgiving, it's important to know what you're thankful for. This is exactly what I asked our headmaster Mr. Bray. He responded as fast as I finished the question answering, “I'm thankful for the parents’ support we have here at SIS because without them, we’d have a very hard time getting by.” When questioned about the reason- ing behind having this SIS feast, Mr. Bray responded, “Everyone will celebrate their different ethnicities that make up SIS. We plan to have many ethnic groups present from different nationalities, and maybe some costumes.” The purpose of the SIS Thanksgiving festival is to celebrate the different ethnicities that make up the SIS community and to give thanks to anything you have in life, such as family and friends. Although Thanks- giving may not be a holiday in most countries outside the US, SIS connects its students to this important holiday. No matter what country you're from, you should always be thankful for what you have in your life. -By John Stewart
If fruit comes from a fruit tree, where does a turkey come from? A poul-tree. In the SIS annual turkey raffle, you could win a turkey. Every year SIS holds a raffle, giving each student coupons for them to sell for one dollar. The winner of the raffle is almost never the person who sells the most. I re- member a student selling about 120 dollars worth of coupons and we all anticipated a victory for him. The number drawn was nowhere near his coupon number. The person who ended win- ning that raffle only sold 1 coupon. That day we all knew that this was our favorite raffle of the year. Just, don't let that stop you from selling coupons! I advise you to sell as many as you can, not for the sake of winning the turkey, but to help raise money for future events. The turkey is just a bonus if you win! I mean, who doesn’t want a delicious turkey? You know what they say; turkeys are musical and the most musical part of them? The drumstick.
-By Allen Cepeda
The SIS high school student council hosted an event called the “fall bash” on Friday, No- vember 14. The fall bash is a dance designed to let high school students interact and let go of their stress for the night. The bash was origi- nally scheduled for November 7, but got can- celled due to the SAT preparations. The ticket was 5 dollars each and a 5 dollar late fee was charged if the student didn’t get picked up on time. The bash included finger food like lumpia, barbeque sticks, and cookies. It also included a movie and a dance floor. The movie, About Time, played in Ms. Hampel’s room while the dance floor was in the library. There were also three supervisors: Ms. Andrews, Ms. Peterson, and Ms. Hampel.
The student council hoped to see at least 30 students at the bash and hoped to raise $200. In fact, 45 students went to the bash and $280 were raised. This fund- raiser also helped stucco raise enough money for big future events like the annual prance (prom-dance). The high school student council advisor, Mrs. Bray, is very proud of the outcome of the bash. The stu- dent council worked very hard and got every- thing completed on time. The bash turned out to be a great success.
-By Jennifer Tan
The SIS Herald
Knights overcome Geckos
Last Friday, our SIS jun- ior varsity volleyball team was in the finals against MCS and it was a very close game. The first set started off slow, but when AJ Hudkins got his power serves in while MCS had game point (24), they finally caught up to them. However, SIS ended up losing the first set 24-26. They would also go on to lose the second set 14-25. Captain AJ says, "It was a real good experi- ence to play with this amazing group. My favorite part of being on the team is having all the good laughs we had, and everything that we accom- plished together. We did well and second place is actually pretty good." AJ Hudkins and Grace Choi received an all star award for the SIS White team. On SIS Blue, Jun Bum Huh and Cindy received the same. Both teams have improved since the begin- ning of the season and both have learned a lot. Coach Mili says, "I hope the players that played this year will return next season and I hope the eighth graders play on the MISO teams in High School. I'm very glad to say that I loved watching them im- prove since the beginning of the season and will like to see them play outside of school for the love of volleyball! Till' next season!"
-By Adele Hudkins
Boy’s Varsity Volleyball
They say winning comes from hard work and dedication. To put forth blood, sweat, and tears into every action on and off the court deter- mines a team's success. Famous athletes could go on about work ethic and other trivial things, but what they always forget is team chemistry. Tommy Choi, a hitter for the undefeated MISO boys varsity team here at Saipan International School said, “Team chemistry is what brings us together and is how we pull off tough wins. We are critiqued by each other in a way that helps us do better, rather than bringing the team down.” Choi’s opinion definitely is true. With a 14-0 re- cord, advice from this guy is effective and backed by the raw data. I also know this is true because I am on the team as well and I’ve known Tommy for years. As I was wrapping things up with Tommy, I asked him one last question. “What is volleyball to you?” He said, “Volleyball to me is a team sport which requires each individual player’s effort to strive. This is a game that brings players together and builds stronger bonds within not only the team, but the family."
-By Allen Cepeda
The SIS Herald
Swimming Competition in Qatar
Two Swimmers, Takumi and Victoria, from SIS will go to Qatar for a swimming competition. The competition begins on De- cember 3, 2014. It will last for 5 days. “My personal best is what I’m going for and I will try to leave a score that will stay in my record” said Takumi about his expectations of the competition. This competi- tion is open to the top swimmers from around the world. They devote their whole lives to the sport. It’s an opportunity to these two swim- mers, Takumi and Victoria, into a worldwide competition. Victoria said, “I feel nervous competing with top swimmers, but I’m so proud that I can represent myself and my islands in big competitions. I also hope to make CNMI proud and bring back new techniques that I learn from the big competitions.” These two swimmers will represent the CNMI in the competition. We wish them good luck and hope they bring back some good news from the competition.
-By Lu Song
MISO Girls Volleyball is Underway!
High school volleyball season will be starting up in January and practices will begin on the 24th. Non-mandatory practices are 3 times a week: Monday, Tuesday, and Thurs- day. 36 girls are trying out for the teams. There will also be some practices during Christmas Break to help the players get back into shape. Ms. Athena Andrews will be our head volleyball coach this season. She, along with coach John, will run the practices and Mrs. Mili will also help coach during games if she is needed. Once January comes along, there will be 2 practices on Monday and Wednesday and games will be on Tuesday and Thursday.
There will be 2 teams: varsity, which is more focused on the experi- enced players and improving their skills for competitive playing, and junior varsity, focused more on getting newer players more play time while teach- ing them how to improve. Mrs. Andrews has also said "We ultimately want to win, but have fun at the same time." Each team will consist of 12 players but if we add more the maximum would be 15. When asked about what she wanted to overcome by the end of the season, Mrs. Andrews answered, "A group of girls that work well together and can overcome obstacles and have a positive attitude over all. I hope we have a great season ladies!"
-By Adele Hudkins
The SIS Herald
Q & A About Mathcourt with Mrs.Ayeras
-By Minjin Jang
What is Math Court?
an annual competition that promotes mathematical skills in the CNMI. The participants have to go through a rigorous series of test which they have to answer correctly in a short period of time.
How many students joined this year?
Originally, we have 75 students, middle school and high school combined but due to some reasons, the SIS team has trimmed down to 68 students which is still the highest number of participants we have ever.
Are you satisfied with the result?
Very proud indeed! I understand that all of our SIS students have more than two activities going on after school, but we still manage to have a positive turnout this year.
What do you want students to do?
Come to practices more, be on time for the competition, and follow through their commitment to excel in math.
Are there any improvements from the past year?
Students become more proactive in math. They see to it that joining the competition is not only to get CAS hours but to bring honor to our school, as well.
Do you want to say anything to the students?
For all our “Mathletes”, you are doing an excellent job for Math Court. I admire your persistence and commitment to aspire for excellence in the field of Mathematics. Know that, your SIS family is beaming with pride for all the worked you have done. Good luck!
Mock Trial Club
Mr. Bray is starting a new club in SIS, the Mock Trial club. Mock Trial is a competi- tion where groups of students simulate a real courtroom experience. It works exactly like the court system. Each team is made up of stu- dent lawyers and witnesses. The lawyers try to draw information out of witnesses from the opposing team in order to prove their case. The case changes each year. There are various questioning techniques and rules of evidence the students will need to learn. The witnesses are mostly there to act, but they also play an important role. They need to be able to answer the opposing lawyer's questions without dam- aging their side's case. The competition is held in the actual courthouse where the team from SIS will go against different teams from other schools each round. The CNMI Bar Associa- tion assigns an attorney to the case. Who the lawyer is will be revealed closer to the compe- tition. However, lawyers can always request to work with a team, so it could be someone fa- miliar to the school community. The competi- tion is usually held in March or April of each year. We will begin practices after school once the case is published and we are assigned a lawyer. Mock Trial is an exciting opportunity to learn about how our justice system works and to learn what a courtroom attorney does on the job. For student lawyers, they get a chance to see what it is actually like standing in a real court room and to speak in front of judges. For witnesses, it is a chance to learn and develop acting skills. Join us in Mock Trial! It will be a fun event.
-By Yeeno Marshall
The SIS Herald
English & Literature Project
When walking through the high school building, one can see many posters hanging out on the wall. Those posters were made by the juniors and seniors for the term project they did for Mr. Lee’s classes. The purpose of cre- ating these posters is for students to get familiar with the AP terms. The terms are the same for each poster. Why? Because every student from the class was assigned the same terms. However, there is a stark difference between the terms on the juniors’ posters and the terms on the and seniors’ posters. The juniors did English language terms but the seniors did the literature poetry terms. Both classes have some terms in common because they’re really important for both AP courses and will probably be on the AP exams in May. Since everyone in the class was doing the same terms, the teacher graded this project with respect to the neatness, structure, organization, and readability of the poster. Mr. Lee thought Daniel Lim’s group did really well on their poster. He suggested that the students should make the words bigger on the posters so that they will be coherent, which will help improve their grades. The terms that appeared in this project cover 10 to 20 percent of the terms a student needs to know for the AP course. It is recommended that everyone, especially sophomores, look at those terms. They’ll be helpful for your future AP courses
-By Emma Zhang
Second Language in SIS
Mandarin Chinese is the most prominently spoken foreign language. Chinese classes have the highest number of students out of all of the other lan- guages. SIS has Chinese teachers that teach students Chinese. However, there are also other languages are taken by stu- dents through an online program called Rosetta Stone (Japanese, Korean, Italian, Tagalog, Portuguese, predominately Spanish, and many others). Students who take Chinese classes study with a Chinese teacher while other students study Rosetta Stone. Stu- dents taking Rosetta Stone class have to finish two units each quarter and every lesson should have above a 90% to be consid- ered a "pass." Rosetta Stone class is a self-study class. However, some students have run into problems. Jier, a sophomore here at SIS, said, “Sometimes I cannot understand what the words really mean because the program only shows pictures.” Jier, along with some other students at SIS, are having trouble completing the assignments due to the difficulties the program exhibits. Hopefully, SIS can pay more attention to some of these prob- lems in the second language program, and bring new ideas for the next year. -By Lu Song
The SIS Herald
Come to Wonderful SIS,
Have you ever seen an advertisement about the little gecko program in Saipan In- ternational School? For starters, the little gecko program is an education program for very young children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old. It was designed to benefit some faculty members like Mrs. Ruszala. Her kids go to Brilliant Star, because SIS has no class for children under the age of 4. She has to rush to Brilliant Star School after school to pick up her kids everyday.
For this program to be successful, SIS needs at least ten young kids; so far, there are only 6. Their teacher will be Mrs. Basa, and luckily, Mr.Bray knows some people who are on Saipan with kids-educational license who are currently not working. The teacher will teach the students basic things like: how to use a toilet, why students have to raise up their hands when they have a question during class, and many other activities as well. Therefore, they can be educated enough to arrive in kindergarten or elementary school prepared. Little geckos will have class in the pre-school room next to Mrs. Bray’s room. I really hope that this program will be success- ful so that SIS can have more fun with little kids.
-By Minjin Jang
This month, our school got four new students. They are Christina Kim, Boomee Park, Watanabe Shion, and Sophia Shi. All of them enjoy going to school at SIS. They all think that learning at SIS is fun. Christina Kim, one of the students who came in this month, has gone to school here for the past 2 years. She went to Whispering Palms School (WPS) at the beginning of the semester and came back this month on November 1. When asked why she came back, she said, “No offense, but the classes are very easy there. I came back to chal- lenge myself.”
Three out of the four students are non-native English speakers. They found the courses they are tak- ing to be a bit hard. The new girl in high school, Sophia Shi, is Mrs. Jang's neice (Mrs. Jang teaches Mandarin and Music here at SIS). She came to our school because she heard that SIS was the best school on Saipan. Wan- tanabe Shion, the new middle schooler, is a Japanese girl who came here to learn English. She likes the edu- cation here, but will only be with us this year. The youngest among these four new students is Boomee Park. She is a 3rd grader. She likes P.E. class and all the sports they play in that class.
During the interviews with the new students, one of them suggested that we should have a cooking class for students so that we can gain experience not only in academics and sports, but also in household functions. When asked what they would change about the school, 3 of them wanted a cafeteria with air condi- tioning and one of them wanted a gym so that she wouldn't get tanned. These suggestions about how SIS should change are also shared among other students at SIS.
There’s a picture of the new students provided below. Don’t forget to say hi to them and wel- come them to our school.
-By Emma Zhang
The SIS Herald
What Matters to You?
What matters to you? To some people, that question could be very diffi- cult to answer. However, for the 11th grade class at SIS, it proved to be an easy one; a question that didn’t have very many different and long answers. I asked the class as well as a few office staff members what mattered to them and, not surprisingly, many people had similar answers. Out of the 25 people I asked, 20 of them said both friends and family mattered to them. Some people, like Jennifer Tan, simply answered that life matters. DongHee Im didn't include family. He only said that eating, sleep- ing, studying and socializing were the only things that mattered to him. Mr. and Mrs. Bray both had the same an- swers. They both thought that the things that matters to them were the school community, friends, family, each other, and their house in Turkey. "It’s obvious that family and friends are the only things keeping people together," preached Allen Cepeda. “I’m thankful for life, my family and friends. Without these things, I wouldn’t be where I am to- day.” As most peo- ple see the importance of family and friends, it’s always good to be thankful for the things that matter to you the most. After all, without them, would you be the same person you are today?
-By John Stewart
What am I Thankful for?
-By Jennifer Tan
“ I’m thankful for my fam- ily who brought me to SIS.” Claire Park (3rd Grade)
“I’m thankful for my family, and friends.”
“ I’m thankful for life.”
Minori Yoshida (12th Grade)
“I’m thankful for my class.”
Tony Kim (6th Grade)
“I’m thankful for every- thing.”
Shirley Qian (10th Grade)
Rampant SAT Cheating Affects SIS Students
Back in October, a few students from SIS decided to take the SAT, a test usually required for entry into American colleges and distributed by the Collegeboard. These students had been studying and devoting their time and effort toward this test in order to do well. However, the test has had a his- tory of cheating. Thanks to rampant cheating on this test by many groups of people (Asians accounting for a considerable number of cases), some students from SIS had their scores delayed. Daniel Lim, one of these students said, "When I did- n't get my scores back with the others students' scores, I was nervous. I visited the Collegeboard website every single day. [They] noticed me two weeks after the release date. That make about four weeks." Daniel Lim knew he had done nothing wrong. "I was more worried that my scores would turn out to be worse than I thought they would be." Later, Daniel did some research and found that an increase in sore of 400 points or more could arouse suspicion from the Col- legeboard, especially for international test-takers. Daniel's scores were released eventually, but he was not entirely pleased with them, so he will take the test again. However, one of the seniors at SIS, Bob Kim, has still not received the scores from that test. Hopefully, the Collegeboard will release his scores soon so he can use the score for his college applications.
-By Qunitin Ramsey
Destino Peru Garage Sale
The Destino Peru members are having a garage sale as a fundraiser for their Destino Peru trip. The garage sale is going to be at SIS on December 6th or 13th (date currently undetermined) from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. The Destino Peru members need to be at school by 5:30 AM to set up the booths. Members are going to bring things to sell from their homes. In the past, previous trip members usually brought books, toys, and clothes to the sale. Each member of the Destino Peru team is expected to generate around $60 to $100 in revenue from the sale. Some mem- bers from the previous year had made over $200 from the garage sale. The money each member makes will go to their spending for the trip. That means if one member made $100 from the garage sale, it is $100 less he or she needs to pay for the trip. The garage sale has been held at SIS for the past 10 years and has always been quite popular. Everyone is invited to come to the next garage sale and buy the products. If anyone wants to sell, please call/ contact SIS to reserve a space for $20. Please confirm it as soon as possible!
-By Yeeno Marshall
The SIS Herald
Does SIS Really Want
The matter has been brought up to the student body before, but what do they actually want? A recent survey of 40 high school students revealed their opinion on the issue. Out of the 40 people sur- veyed, 32 responded with, "No" (all of the seniors said no). Their rea- sons var- ied greatly from, "It's too expensive," to "I take joy in choosing my clothes," to "Uniforms kill indi- viduality." Only 4 thought that uniforms should be imple- mented at school. Clearly the student body of SIS high school is very much against school uni- forms. If the school board or the student council mentions the issue, this statistic should be considered before any decisions are made.
-By Quintin Ramsey
The SIS Herald
Quintin M. Ramsey
P.O BOX. 503121, Saipan, MP, 96950
Tel: 670 2889660
Headmaster: tim.s.bray@gmail. com
This month virtue was initiative.
Guy Yeon Kim (6th)
Hannah Chan (7th)
Jun Bum Huh (8th)
Tiana Ranjo (12th)
Jennifer Tan (11th)
Chenoa Bunts Ander- son (9th)
This is SIS official face- book page. There are lots of information and pictures about school events.
This is a video that was made by Aysem Bray about SIS. It is only about 2 min- utes.
This is Mr. Bray’s youtube page. You will be able to find some videos about ETC at SIS, students lunch- time, etc.
Best Photo of this Month
Jaden Castro (3rd Grade) won the Pacifica Art Contest in age 6-11 category. He got $200 in cash and gifts from Pacifica Insurance Under- writers Inc.