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LEFT TO RIGHT: Jeff Maddox, Sam Maddox, Lucy Maddox, Olivia Maddox, Karin Maddox.

Our family joined the HKA community in 2000, the first year it had open enrolment as a primary school. The campus on Stubbs Road was separated by flights of stairs and was in need of a lot of work. Parent volunteers came together to paint classrooms and hallways, and to move furniture up and down hundreds of stairs. Stairs have remained a constant at HKA. One of the founders even said that the stairs could serve as PE, before the school had a proper PE teacher. Olivia started as a student in PK1 and Sam and Lucy were students in PK2. Jeff and I had limited involvement at that time as we were happy the children were out of the house each day! That there was no art or music teacher, no librarian or PE teacher didn’t bother us because what was happening in the classroom was exceptional. HKA was one of the first schools to embrace the PYP curriculum, which is common now, but was considered cutting edge then. As time passed, we wanted more for our children and our involvement with the school began to increase. I volunteered as the school librarian for two years. The lack of resources prompted a group of parents to organise the first HKA fundraiser to raise money for books in both English and Mandarin. These parent volunteers also organised a wonderful event that celebrated HKA’s fiſth birthday, as well as the arrival of our first Head of School, Walter Plotkin.

Time continued to pass and the need for a proper board of trustees, as well as a Middle School and High School, became evident. We were passionate advocates for growing the school and attended a critical meeting in 2006 at the Helena May Library to


discuss HKA’s future development. That night, a group of parents convinced the founders that they had done such a wonderful job educating our children, that there wasn’t any where else we wanted to send them. Jeff helped form a governance committee of the board, with the help of our second Head of School, Dr. Andy Page Smith, which nominated the first parent candidates to run for election as trustees and adopted the governance structure we have today at HKA.

Sam and Lucy played on the very first HKA sports team in 2008, when the Middle School sent soccer teams to an ACAMIS tournament in Donguan. Since then, while HKA teams haven’t always brought home the silverware, all three of our children have been active and enthusiastic Dragonflies.

Now, many years have passed, we have changed campuses a few times, and two of our three children will graduate this year. Olivia will be in the first class ever to attend school from PK1 to G12, graduating in 2016 and I am now in my tenth year teaching at HKA. While so many things have changed over the last 14 years, including the incredible new facilities available to our children, the truly important things remain the same. What happens in the classroom continues to be exceptional and HKA has remained true to its mission to provide an outstanding education to a diverse group of learners. As we begin to look forward to our next chapter, we will always look back on the role that HKA has played in our lives.

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