After nearly 35 years at ISB as a math teacher, coach, and athletic/activities director, this past school year marked a milestone for me as I retired from doing all of the above and started a new job as ISB’s Alumni Coordinator. It was an emotional transition at times, especially when it was announced the field, formerly known as Field B was renamed as Albert Field. So after so many years it was, indeed, a new beginning.
Thus, going in to the summer of 2018 I had a new focus as I found myself wondering what I could bring to this position. I also found myself following the various ISB alumni pages and watching with amazement at the various ISB reunions that took place. It’s these reunions upon which I’d like to focus.
Naturally the major event was the ISB Network’s reunion that took place in Nashville, Tennessee July 19-21. The ISB Network Association is dedicated to bringing ISB alumni together and has over 6,000 members. Every two years they host an all-class reunion where alumni come together to celebrate ISB’s history and reconnect with old and new friends from ISB. As always this was an amazing event with hundreds of ISB graduates meeting to celebrate their time at ISB. Kudos to Director of Reunions David Wilkerson (1971), ISBN President Ralph “Peppy” Doggett (1968), Vice-President Kathy Beaird (1976) and all of the ISBeings for creating memories that will last a lifetime.
It is true that the majority of the members of the ISB Network are alumni from the 60s and 70s, when the student population of ISB grew to over 4,000. However, that’s not really the entire picture, as I noticed a very large presence of ISB alumni from the early and mid-1980s. That’s the time period when I started working at ISB, so it was a thrill to see ‘kids’ that I taught back then having a blast at an ISB all-school reunion. Here are some reflections from one of those ‘kids’ from the 80s, Bruce Williamson (1984): “The conversations were deep and the hugs were long. Old memories were visited, new ones were made, friendships were reinforced and if we had no food or drink, that would still be the common element that made the reunion a success! It’s been amazing to watch Facebook blow up with our pictures and stories during and after the reunion. People that couldn’t make it are already talking about the next one, and I can’t wait. Cheers my friends!”
ISB is an amazing place, and I would encourage all alumni, especially those from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s to check out the ISB Network.
If you noticed, I mentioned reunions (plural), and there were indeed other smaller reunions that took place. Just a few weeks ago the class of 1996 got together in New York City. When I first heard about this event I lamented the fact that I could not attend (I was in NYC one month too early!), and also wondered how many of the mid-90s ISB students could make it to the reunion. Well from the photo you can see that the kids from the mid-90s came out en force.
And last but not least, even some old ISB faculty members from the late 1980s found the time to have their own mini-reunion.
I very much look forward to my new role as the ISB Alumni Coordinator, and I plan to use my 35 years of ISB experience to give the membership a historical perspective of what makes International School Bangkok such a great place.