Every year at MAK members of our school family leave, and these goodbyes are difficult. However, each year’s end also bring the excitement and anticipation to welcome new families to our MAK staff. Before the year winds down, I’d like to take a moment for goodbyes and hellos.
Mrs. Sue Chang
Mrs. Chang has been a part of our school family for 25 years, working in the school’s front office. This December she had to step down from her position because of difficulties in her health, and it was such a delight to be able to thank her properly at a school assembly just before Christmas. Sue has been the first smiling face we’ve seen on campus when we’ve walked into the office for over two decades, and we are so grateful for her legacy at the school.
Mr. Regan Muir
Mr. Muir began his Morrison teaching career in JiaYi 15 years ago and has been teaching Language Arts at MAK for 13 years. Mr. Muir has been a master teacher in our language program, inspiring kids to dig deeply as they read and to be critical thinkers as they write. Mr. Muir constantly tinkers with his lessons to maximize their effectiveness. Mr. Muir served for many years as MAK’s Professional Learning Coach and Middle School Team Leader; we are so grateful for his leadership. In his time here he inspired kids to care for the needy through our 30-Hour Famines, kick-started our World Scholars program, counseled hundreds of students to make the right decisions, and headed up Shark Academy over the summers. His laugh and his leadership will be missed.
Ms. Brianna Zrinksy
Ms. Zrinksy leaves MAK after four years to continue her studies in music at Northwestern University. She has invested a tremendous amount of energy, enthusiasm, and creativity into our secondary music program as we have grown from a K-9 school to a full K-12 program. Ms. Zrinsky is dedicated to excellence, inspired by her walk with God, and this shows in her classroom teaching, in her caring for each of her students, and in the leadership roles she has played on our middle school staff.
Mrs. Grace McDillon
Mrs. McDillon leaves after two years at MAK to be near her family, but our middle schoolers would all admit that in her time here she has left quite a legacy. From book blogs to grammar battles to the famous CSPAN project, Mrs. McDillon’s classes are filled with a distinct blend of creativity and rigor. She has also kick-started our middle school drama program, directing several plays and inspiring confidence in many of our students along the way. Mrs. McDillon is also a constant presence at school events. We will miss her passion, kindness, and enthusiasm greatly.
Mr. Jon McDillon
Mr. McDillon also leaves MAK after two years of teaching physics, physical science, and mathematics. He also kick-started our robotics program this year. In his time here, Mr. McDillon’s students have experienced not only a brilliant teacher who meticulously plans engaging and challenging lessons, but also a teacher who genuinely cares for their well being. Mr. McDillon has been a constant presence and school events, leading teams, rallying house competitors, or cheering on our athletes. Mr. McDillon is passionate about loving others because Christ loves him, and his servant heart has been an inspiration to us all.
Mrs. Kathy Henwood
Like the McDillon’s, Mrs. Henwood leaves MAK after just two years to care for her family. However, in her short time here she has not only expertly taught our high schoolers in Bible, English, and drama, but also been an incredible leader of our teaching staff. Her heart for excellent teaching and for following Christ has been an inspiration. For two years she has led our teacher training sessions through creative and thoughtful discussions, presentations, and activities. In her second year at the school, Mrs. Henwood also led our high school teaching team, helping our high school more firmly establish itself in just its third year as a full program. We will miss her behind-the-scenes leadership and counsel.
Mr. Judson Kadow
After one year at MAK teaching middle school Bible and math, Mr. Kadow will be heading back to Hong Kong to be closer to his two children. We are thankful for Mr. Kadow’s sense of humor, incredibly hard work, and wonderfully inventive middle school exploratory courses. Mr. Kadow has also done a great deal of behind-the-scenes work this year on our fledgling maker programs for elementary school. We will miss his diligence and passion for hands-on learning.
Mrs. Debbie Kadow
Mrs. Kadow will also be return to Hong Kong this coming summer. Mrs. Kadow has been a treasure in our elementary learning needs program, working with students one-on-one through creative and well-researched lessons. She has also worked tirelessly with our school admissions system, testing many new applicants, interviewing families, and communicating test results. We will miss her kindness, her passion for Jesus, and her professionalism.
Next year, we are welcoming quite a few new faces to our school community. Below is a brief write-up on each of our new staff members. More is sure to follow in our fall issues of the SharkPost!
Mrs. Abigail Nelson
Mrs. Nelson hails from Oregon, USA, where she has just finished her third year of teaching. Mrs. Nelson’s passion for teaching and for language arts is palpable. She will be teaching LA 6, LA 7, and taking over the middle school drama program next year.
Mr. Jeff Borchardt
Mr. Borchardt will be moving to Taiwan with his family from an American international school in Guam. Next year Mr. Borchardt will be teaching AP Chemistry, physics, pre-algebra, and algebra. He’ll also be taking over Mr. McDillon’s robotics elective.
Ms. Carly Cherry
Ms. Cherry joins MAK from Texas, USA. Ms. Cherry, like many Morrison students, spent time abroad growing up, and she has a passion for international education. Ms. Cherry will be teaching biology, chemistry, Bible 10, and Foundations of Algebra. She’ll also be teaching a new high school elective: photography.
Mr. Euston Slabbert
Mr. Slabbert hails from South Africa, but he has lived and worked in Taiwan with his family for many years. Mr. Slabbert is passionate about coming alongside students as a mentor, and he also has experience in athletics and sports science. He will be teaching our middle school science courses along with 7th grade Bible.
Mrs. Chia-Yin Pan
Mrs. Pan, her husband, and her two children hail from right here in Kaohsiung. Mrs. Pan is trained as a trumpet player, and she has worked in teaching music to students with special needs for many years. She will be teaching elementary and secondary music, conducting our middle school band, 5th grade band, and a few of our elementary music classes.
Mrs. Sara Rodriguez
Mrs. Rodriguez and her family will be moving from QingDao, China, where she has worked as an elementary teacher. She will be teaching third grade during Mrs. West’s maternity leave during the first quarter. After Mrs. West returns, Mrs. Rodriguez will continue teaching 3rd grade math and Bible for the remainder of the year. She will also then teach ELL and teach in the Learning Resource Center.
Mrs. Sue Shaffner
Mrs. Shaffner has been teaching elementary school for over twenty years in Pennsylvania, USA. She will be in Kaohsiung during the time of Mrs. Stowers’s maternity leave and will be teaching her ELL classes.
Before the year ends, be sure to express your gratitude to the departing staff who have had a positive impact on your son or daughter. In the fall, please join us in welcoming the new members of our dynamic learning community.