Summer Term 2016: Cacique Update #1

Hello everybody! This is Mireille and Shelton. Yesterday we were chosen as the first caciques of the term which is such an honor for us. Hearing the word cacique may first bring up an image of quiche as it did for some of us, but a cacique is actually another word for leader. Many centuries ago, before Columbus arrived in the Americas, there were the Lucayans who migrated from South America. Their communities functioned well under the wings of their cacique, a wise and humble tribe member who put others before themself.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 8.54.50 AMSummer Term 2016 group shot!

We have all arrived safe and happy at the Island School. We can’t begin to tell you the amount of joy and anticipation that was felt when we learned of all the things we would do on the first days. Orientation was filled with amazing adventure: we woke up at 6:30 AM and went snorkeling at a wreck site where we learned of Cat’s (one of our teachers) fondness for donkey dungs AKA Sea Cucumbers. On the second day we got a taste of Bahamian weather with awesome thunderstorms and rain. Following the storm we went to a sand bar where we learned about oodic sand, how it is formed, and how exfoliating it can be. another highlight was defiantly doing dishes while rocking out to great music.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 8.45.10 AMRockin' out on dishcrew

Now we have split up into two groups, Tigers and Hammers, and we’ll be working on getting our Scuba certification as well as exploring more of the island on South Eleuthera road trips. Tigers, who are doing the South Eleuthera road trip, started their morning with the first run swim, a great experience in which everyone cheered on their buddies. Hammers started their morning today with going to the boat house to get ready for their scuba learning. Everyone is ready to start this week with a bang and we are all so excited to be here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 8.55.57 AMSummer Term 2016 Teachers

We are Mireille and Shelton, your caciques, signing off.


Alumni Spotlight: Maddie Hawk (SP '10)

Maddie Hawk from the Spring 2010 Island School recently graduated from DePauw University with a double major in English (literature) and film studies. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Moarter Board and spent a semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark followed by a summer at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea as a research intern. She has also taught English and American culture skills to refugee immigrants in the Indianapolis area as an intern for Exodus Refugee Immigration. Most notably however, Maddie has received word that she is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and will spend the 2016-2017 academic year in South Korea teaching English. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition aims to increase mutual understanding nations through educational and cultural exchange while serving as a catalyst for long-term leadership development.

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When asked to reflect on her time at The Island School, Maddie responded with:

“The Island School prepared me to immerse in any culture I might find myself in, which is imperative to being a cultural ambassador. Through community outreach programs, I knew how to engage with younger children and work with them in an extracurricular setting.  I remember Island School and my time there fondly. Just the other day, I was talking to my friends about SCUBA diving and reflecting on night diving and how amazing it was. I think that Island School prepared me for Fulbright in a number of ways. I’ve studied abroad three times, and Island School was the catalyst for it all. I never would have gone to South Korea or Denmark on my own without believing in myself. I can’t put into words how my time at Island School affected me, changed me. It prepared me to be an adult, taught me independence, self-sustainability, and gave me the confidence to tackle everything that is thrown at me. I don’t think I would have applied for a Fulbright without the Island School behind me. I approach the world differently, more openly. I remember one time, walking through the Eleuthera community, being completely un-phased by the many men carrying machetes. One family stopped a group of friends and me, offering to let us watch them skin a dead pig. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I approached the situation openly, watching with rapt curiosity at a way of life so contrasting my own. The Island School granted me a confidence and security in myself, something that developed my comfort at approaching the world differently and seeing things through different perspectives. This mentality aligns perfectly with the mentality of a Fulbright scholar, someone who believes in the exchange of cultures and ideals with an open demeanor. Thank you always, Island School.”

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After her Fulbright experience, Maddie plans to continue her studies and pursue a Ph.D. in Film and Cultural Criticism. "My goal is to study how film interacts with culture, but also to explore the Korean film industry deeper as it is something that fascinates me. After my studies, I aspire to be a professor of film, and to begin a Korean cinema studies program at the university I teach."

Congratulations Maddie! The Island School cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Seoul and beyond!

Chris and Pam visit the African Leadership Academy in South Africa

Ben and Nirina under the  Madagascar Flag Last week, Chris and Pam Maxey visited the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa. They met with founder Chris Bradford and faculty leaders to share ideas for how The Island School can work together with ALA in the future to help define great school leadership. ALA and The Island School are excited to model creative assessments that celebrate mastery and community work that makes a difference.

Narina, Ben and Chris Maxey with the ALA crest

Pam and Chris also reunited with Nirina, Summer Term '15 and Ben who arrives this week to join Summer Term '16. Nirina is graduating and taking a GAP year to build a commercial scale aquaponics system back in his home country of Madagascar. Ben is motivated to learn more about our waste to energy systems this summer and how he can bring similar ideas to fruition back home in Gabon.

After a great tour of campus, Nirina shared his senior thesis presentation. During the presentation he asked the audience to practice yoga with him in order to explain his journey at ALA in a unique way. He discussed the importance of balance and learning how to lean on one another and how this was especially true at The Island School.

Nirina and Chris lean on one another in a yoga pose

The Island School aims to be a truly global base camp where young leaders can lean on one another, where they can learn to better understand the opportunities and challenges faced by their generation. Our work with ALA is a strong step forward towards achieving this goal.

CEI Collaborator Nigel Hussey in the Arctic

Friend of CEI and research collaborator Nigel Hussey made a recent trip to the arctic and snapped this photo: Island School water bottle at 71 degrees north!

Those ice sheets almost look like waves off our Eleutheran shores...might we see an Island School research expedition to the arctic someday?!

Simeon Bethel (DCMS '16) at Sea Youth Rise Up Campaign!

DCMS Students watching the live-stream of the Sea Youth Rise Up call-to-action campaign! DCMS ninth grader, Simeon Bethel, represented The Bahamas today at the Sea Youth Rise Up campaign. This campaign brought seven youth leaders to New York City and Washington, D.C. to present a call-to-action for ocean conservation. Thousands of students across the world, including DCMS seventh, eighth and ninth graders, watched Simeon and his peers streamed live.