King’s Academy, August 27, 2015 — New and returning students brought their infectious energy to King’s Academy’s ninth annual orientation this week as they took on a jam-packed schedule of fun-filled activities, informative scholastic sessions and the official launch of a new academic year.
This year, King’s dynamic student body comprises about 550 students (240 girls and 307 boys) from 38 countries, with close to 70 percent of students living on campus.
Some 200 new students arrived on Sunday, which was a day dedicated to getting familiar with school, meetings with advisors and ice-breaking activities in the dorms – including King’s newest upperclassman boys’ dorm, Jumean (affiliated with Sulafat).
Minds raced and adrenaline rushed with a special breakfast scavenger hunt followed by an afternoon of enlightening focus group sessions, and an evening of dabkeh dancing and a food fair.
Returning students arrived on Monday for a day of back to school protocol, which included an all-school meeting and the kickoff to the community’s favorite inter-house competition, the Madaba Games.
Field games (football, basketball, volleyball and more) and relay races were a huge hit again this year as was an impressive albeit messy egg drop from the Clock Tower. Competitors were also required to complete the baking portion of the competition, this time with a delicious trio of cupcakes containing “secret ingredients,” and a final house skit performance based on the theme “agents of change”.
Taking home the highly coveted sheep’s skull trophy this year was Nihal House, who stole the show with a whopping 405 points.
An international food fair hosting stations of various cultural cuisines appeased the hungry competitors as they rocked along local band Stitch during a special concert in Refectory Square.
Dean of Students Julianne Puente put a different spin on Convocation this year, leading students into barazza group discussions after watching a short presentation based on the article “Cowboys and Pit Crews” by Atul Gawande. Published in The New Yorker, the article highlights the importance of team work in order to have effective leadership. Students were given handouts with discussion questions to facilitate the conversations with their peers.
But before students broke off into their advisory groups, Austin requested that they start the year by embracing the values of honesty and integrity, and act as leaders who engage actively in the classroom.
“We want you to be active learners – young people who ask questions, follow their curiosity, look at the world for themselves and make their own decisions,” he said. “Your education at King’s – at university and beyond – will only be as good as you make it, by the energy, dedication and creativity you bring to it.”