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Vera Azar

As 2018-2019 winds down, the words that come to my mind are “end of an era.” For nine years, King’s Academy has been shaped by the vision of one man: Headmaster John Austin. Austin’s departure at the end of this academic year to take on the position of head of school at Deerfield Academy comes at a time when the school is stronger than it’s ever been, a testament to Austin’s tenacity and determination to make King’s a world-class institution. For more on this subject, see “The Legacy of John Austin” (p. 40).

For me, this year is also the end of an era on a personal front. Thirteen years ago, I moved to the King’s Academy campus with my family to begin marketing the concept of a boarding school in Jordan. My son was then barely five years old, and from the moment the first students started arriving at King’s in 2007, he began asking me when he could attend King’s. At that point I thought to myself “never,” simply because I never imagined I would still be here when he turned 14 and could join the 9th grade. I was wrong. He came, he thrived, and he is graduating this month with the Class of 2019. And I have been able to witness first hand, as a mother, how much King’s has grown and developed and improved…and how much it has given my son.

I hope you will find that Beyond King’s this year once again reflects the vibrancy of our community, the innovation of our programs, the growing success of our young alumni, and the excellence and dedication of our teachers. While I am proud of all the articles in this year’s magazine, I’d like to point to three that truly live up to our mission:

•   “Jordanian History: Understanding the Past, Writing the Future” (p. 6), about a new course that teaches students to think critically about Jordan’s history and place in the world and to develop the habits of responsible citizenship.

•   “The Making of a Musical” (p. 32), which demonstrates King’s commitment to autonomous learning.

•  “Gamifying the Classroom” (p. 12), about maximizing enjoyment and engagement in the classroom through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning – exactly what we aspire to do at King’s.

Vera Azar