Jay Pritzker Academy is dedicated to educating academically talented and motivated students from families in rural Cambodia, to maximize their potential and their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their country

Jay Pritzker Academy (JPA) is a Pre-K - 13 co-ed day school, located approximately 16 kms (10 miles) from Siem Reap, Cambodia. JPA provides a challenging college-preparatory curriculum taught by inspired and inspiring teachers. Our English-medium curriculum is based on the successful and highly regarded Providence St. Mel approach to research based instruction. Currently, 462 girls and boys from surrounding villages attend JPA. We have a faculty of over 80 ex-pat and Cambodian teachers and aides delivering our English medium and Cambodian National curricula.


Tuesday, 17th December 2019

Sampoas and Mr. Kahan

Each year, students in the JPA Running Club train to take part in the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon and 10 km race. Runners from all over the world participate, raising money to support landmine victims and for Angkor Hospital for Children and Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap.

It is a marvelous day with tens of thousands of people coming together at the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat to celebrate the race and support their worthy causes. Our school has serious competitors in the 10 km and 21 km races with some of the younger students joining the 5 km fun run. In the 10 km race Vanny ’20 crossed the finish line in just over 54 minutes.

Khemara ’22 came out on top in his first attempt at the 21 km half marathon distance and was elated and surprised with a time nearly 40 minutes under his target time – 1 h 52 m, 54 seconds. He said, “It was my first time running the 21k and the night before the race, I couldn't sleep. The next morning, the race started early, at 5:30 a.m. Thankfully the weather was unusually chilly, this was good as I prefer running in the cold, fresh air. I kept a constant pace and was able to finish the race without stopping and I didn’t feel tired at all. At the finish I was surprised how quick the time passed, it felt like time flew by. I beat my goal time by over half an hour which was amazing. I would like to say a big thank you to all running club teachers for training us so well for the event over the first half of this school year.”


Thanks to Mr. Kahan and the running club organizers for donating their time every day after school, training the students to participate in this great event. Well done to all the participants and thank you to all of the supporters who came out to cheer for team JPA.


Monday, 9th December 2019

Image: worldvets.org

Sareth (middle left) Chantrea (middle right)

Once again, Siem Reap hosted the annual World Vets visit to Cambodia. Students from Grades 10, 11 and 12 volunteered to spend their weekend helping the vets program to perform over 450 surgeries, all provided free of charge to locals. The animals were neutered and received rabies vaccinations and microchipping.

Local community members who arrived at World Vets Day with their pets were met by JPA students who ran through the procedures with them. The students performed many duties, from translation, scheduling, vaccine preparation, and acting as surgery-recovery assistants. Both organizers and volunteers at the event commented on the incredible work ethic and professionalism of the JPA volunteers with one stating, “We wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without the help of these amazing JPA students.” Grade 11 student, Kimheat ’21, said, “I felt good after working as a volunteer knowing that I have helped the community.”

One Grade 12 student, Vanny ’20, had the difficult task of turning some people away, he said, “I was in a bizarre situation when a group of professional animal breeders brought a truck load of dogs and tried to get free vaccinations and health checks. One of the head vets told me, ‘They make a profit from the dogs and want to get free services, but this day is for pet owners in genuine need of help and to help control the population of stray animals.’ I had to explain to them how treating their dogs would be against the vets’ mission. It was awkward, but the right thing to do.”

Ellen (black shirt)

Attending the event for the first time, Grade 10 student, Ellen ’22, said, “As a huge animal lover, I enjoyed being surrounded by so many animals and being able to see surgeries first-hand. It was heart-warming to see that the vets, owners, and other volunteers had as much compassion towards the animals as I do. I chose to spend most of my time helping the vets in the surgery area as it really interests me. I watched the process of neutering and spaying so many times that I could probably list the steps and procedures required with ease. It was amazing to see how one small procedure can make such a big difference in the future population of stray animals. It is satisfying to give back to the community.”

Thank you to Ms. Houston for liaising with World Vets and congratulations to all the volunteers for doing such a great job.


Tuesday, 26th November 2019

Grade 7 (left) Grade 6 (right)

Budding musicians recently delighted an audience which included their proud parents in our latest honors assembly.

Grade 3 performed an accomplished rendition of ‘Ode to Joy,’ taken from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Grades 6 and 7 each gave separate performances on the ukulele showcasing the results of weeks and weeks of meticulous practice. Both performances were exactly synchronized and beautifully sung. It was clear from the surprised expressions on parents’ faces that many of them had no idea how talented and skilled their children have become.

Thanks to the music teachers and well done to all our student musicians. We look forward to hearing them again at the next assembly.

Grade 3


Thursday, 7th November 2019

Sareth (right)

Chan Minea

Recently, the JPA Model United Nations (MUN) club attended the International School of Phnom Penh Model United Nations Conference (ISPPMUN). The club sent a range of representatives from Grade 7 students attending their first MUN conference in the junior category through to experienced Grade 12 students attending their final MUN conference.

MUN coordinators Mr. McBride and Mr. Van Hilten reported, “ISPPMUN 2019 was another successful conference for JPA students. We now have a core group of Grade 10 and 11 students able to use the experience they have accumulated over the past three years to make significant contributions to their assemblies.”

Sampoas, Grade 10, added, “I represented the delegation focusing on social, cultural, and humanitarian issues. We debated the questions of the rights of LGBTQ+ communities, government censorship of the media and youth representation in government.

“Multiple times the delegates of South Africa and Saudi Arabia criticized my group’s resolution that promoted and championed freedom of speech for youth representation in governments all around the globe. They raised concerns that children would become puppets of politicians. They were also worried that youths are immature and would be corrupted. In my closing speech I said that I understood their worries, but stated that our resolution addressed their concerns. We had included clauses that ensured young people would have a good education to put their skills to use. I said that it isn’t possible to live without being influenced by others. However, the difference came down to education. Young people should be able to evaluate what they are being told and make their own decisions. They could choose to follow the ideas of others like many of today’s politicians who know of global warming yet continue to fail to do anything effective about it. Or become someone like Greta Thunberg for example who decided to go on a school strike which brought about millions of people protesting with her all around the world. In the end, my resolution passed with over 70% voting yes. If there’s one thing that I learned from this conference, it’s that it only takes one good voice to impact a huge population.”

Sokh Visal


Sareth, Grade 12, who took on the position of deputy chair for the first time writes, “One of the benefits of being a chair of the conference is that you can enjoy listening to all of the debates. The delegates were very passionate about the topics. I was in the room with two other JPA students. Srey On, Grade 11, the delegate of Bangladesh, asked the most points of information in the whole committee, and Ellen, Grade 10, the delegate of Iran, sent many amendments to the floor and took a strong stance to defend Iran’s ‘democracy’.”

“ISPPMUN 2019 was the best MUN conference I have attended and I am happy to have accomplished a goal of mine, chairing a conference before I graduate.”

MUN club is now setting its sights on the next event in Vietnam.