King’s Academy, June 9, 2013 – It was a memorable night for the Class of 2013 and their parents, many of whom travelled overseas for the highly anticipated event of recognition and celebration – King’s Fourth Annual Senior Dinner, which took place on May 29.
Refectory Square was abuzz with the excitement of 113 graduating seniors, who dined with their families and teachers on the evening before Commencement. But the festivities weren’t limited to seniors; over 40 juniors brought their infectious energy and school spirit to the event as they served as waiters throughout the night, establishing a new King’s Academy tradition.
Under the direction of Faculty Members John Leistler and Reem Abu Rahmeh, the King’s Academy choir and orchestra performed a delightful rendition of Mitch Leigh’s “The Impossible Dream.”
Headmaster John Austin officially welcomed guests – as did seniors Tameem Samawi, Abdel-Aziz Bawab, Aya Abuosbeh and Renee Underhill in French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic respectively – before honoring faculty members who had reached “an important milestone” at King’s – five years of service to the school.
“All great schools depend upon the imagination, humanity and generosity of their teachers,” Austin said, and went on to thank them “for their dedication, for their service and for their committed work with our students.”
Selected by the senior class for his “positive attitude” and “utter belief in his students’ ability to learn,” Department of Mathematics Faculty Member Bowman Dickson, delivered a heartfelt valedictory address.
Dickson reflected on his four-year journey at King’s – how he has witnessed students evolve and mature over the years and how he too has experienced significant change in his life. He also drew parallels between himself and the senior class, reminding them that he too was preparing to embark upon a new journey of his own: graduate school.
“Now that you are finishing your time at King’s, you will have a constant to add to that cycle of change, a way to ground your identity,” Dickson said. “You will forever be able to call yourself a graduate of King’s Academy . . . (and) I too will forever owe a part of myself to being a part of this community.”
The evening’s highlight was the distribution of the Commencement awards, which reflect King’s founding ideal of leadership, one – Austin emphasized – “that fuses academic excellence, civic engagement and service to the community.” (see the list of award winners below)
Chairman of the Board of Trustees HE Karim Kawar took a moment to recognize former Jordanian Prime Minister and former King’s Academy Trustee HE Samir Al Rifai for his “transformational role in the founding and growth of the school.” Al Rifai was presented with a “token of gratitude,” a traditional “college chair” engraved with the King’s Academy logo.
The evening wrapped with the presentation of the Senior Gift – seniors revealed a banner with an illustration of the King’s Academy Lion, a statue of which will be prominently located on campus in the near future. Over 2,000 JD was raised for the gift, with 100 percent participation from the class.
Austin also made a special announcement of the Senior Parent Gift, a first at King’s.
Created to sustain His Majesty’s vision of the school – providing educational opportunities to motivated youth regardless of socio-economic background – the Gift has already generated US $360,000 raised from over half of the parent body to date, a “tremendous accomplishment” made possible by the generosity and leadership of parents.
“You have established a standard of generosity for future fund-raising efforts that will allow us to build for the future of this school and ensure that future generations of young men and women can have the opportunity to attend King’s,” Austin said to parents.
Class of 2013 Commencement awards
The Arabic Award: Emran Lallow, Jin Seul Jun
The Computer Science Award: Layth Ismail
The Dance Award: Hamza Adisa
The Ethics, Philosophy and Religion Award: Alia Suleiman
The English Award: Tamara Nassar
The Fine Arts Award: Tamara Nassar
The History Award: Sewar Quran
The Math Award: Nihad Al Yousfi
The Music Award: Li Zian
The Science Award: Emran Lallow
The Theater Award: Johanna Lee
The King’s Academy Purchase Prize in the Fine Arts: Jae Sok Surh
The World Languages Award: Shahd Al-Jawhari
The Samar Khader Award: Farah Kilani, Andrea Toomey
The Founders’ Award: Walid Salah
The Hannay-Palmer Award: Li Zian
The Masri Award: Aakriti Raina
The Perseverance Award: Tameem Samawi, Nuhad Jumean
The Round Square Award: Johanna Lee
The Asad Al-Malek Award: Khaled Sheikh Amin, Leila Shaban
The Viswanathan Award for Love of Learning: Talal Toukan, Aya Al Jalamdeh
The King’s Academy Award for Respect: Mohammed Abu Dalhoum, Alia Suleiman
The King’s Academy Award for Responsibility: Noor Alhasanat, Hamza Alsarhan
The Widmer Award for An Integrated Life: Talal Sisalem, Shahd Al-Jawhari
The King’s Academy Award for Global Citizenship: Omar Megahed, Jin Seul Jun
The Headmaster’s Award: Talal Soror, Elias Naser, Hamza Adisa, Saif Al Sulaiman