Monday, 21st August 2017
Summer Study Tour: Adelaide, Australia
Summer Study Tour: Florence Italy
Science Summer Camp at Singapore National University
Summer School Presentation: The Finished Projects
Programming the Arduino platform with students from AEG Vietnam
Students from AEG Vietnam with JPA students and their model of Angkor Wat
Drama Class in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


Monday, 5th June 2017

The class of 2017 has celebrated their graduation and prom in style. To begin their last week as students, the class donned caps and gowns as all the whole school lined the walkways to cheer and clap the class on their Senior Walk through the school.

On Graduation morning, parents, teachers, staff and students gathered to share in the ceremony. Before proceedings began, the class watched a video message of congratulations sent by former teacher, Ms. Bethany, who taught them way back in Grade 5. Valedictorian, Pagna, and Salutatorian, Vichea, both gave entertaining and rousing speeches. As has become our tradition, we showed a video of memories of the Class of 2017 throughout the last decade which drew both tears and laughter. High School English teacher, Ms. Clingman, delivered a heartfelt speech to the class she has known for so long before all the graduates walked proudly to the stage to receive their diplomas. After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed refreshments and a photo shoot in the gardens.

Later that evening, teachers, students and alumni celebrated the Senior Prom in the ballroom of a fancy 5 star hotel in town. The food was wonderful and so was the fantastic 3 piece band who played popular Khmer songs from the golden era of Cambodian pop music. The evening ended with everyone on the dance floor and then final goodbyes as some very exhausted graduates boarded the bus for the trip back home.

Best wishes to all graduates of 2017 as you all head in different directions. We look forward to seeing where your journeys will take you and, remember, the door of JPA is always open to you.


Monday, 29th May 2017

As Grade 12 prepared for their upcoming graduation, they all went to the north-western city of Battambang for a retreat to reflect on their experiences through the years at JPA and to spend time appreciating the friendships they have forged.

Here, they share their thoughts about the Class of 2017 Senior Retreat.

Voleak reported that she took the time to enjoy her friends before they head in different directions. She said, “Prior to our graduation, we soon-to-be graduates, went on a two-day retreat to Battambang, accompanied by College Counselor, Ms. Houston and teachers, Mr. Shapiro, and Ms. Clingman. During our trip, we were able to spend valuable time together as this will be the last time we will all be with each other before the Graduation Ceremony, after which our paths will diverge. We went swimming, played sports, and card games. Besides these activities, we came together to reminisce and reflect upon old memories and fun times we have had over the many years we have shared together at JPA.”

Korb said, “Every shared memory sparked back to life when we sat together and talked.”

Phirun added, “It was very insightful. I never knew we still had so much to learn about each other.”

During the retreat, the students each received a booklet written by the college counselors which explains what it means to be JPA alumni. It lists all the services and resources available to alumni and also sets out what is expected of them.

Somphors reflected, “As much as we look forward to graduation, the future is uncertain, but during this trip, our teachers taught us about what it means to be alumni. Now we are more certain that, as we leave JPA, we are still a part of the JPA Alumni Association and in doing so, we will receive and offer help wherever we go and we also are expected to uphold the values of JPA. I feel like we are a family and without one of us, we will feel incomplete. Because of this trip, we realized how much we mean to each other and that the bonds we share are so strong.”

Voleak, again, wrote on behalf of her class, “All of us Grade 12 students would like to express our thanks to JPA for this enriching experience and for our entire school careers. We all look forward to going out into the world to further explore our talents and potential and come back with ideas to make a better future for Cambodia.”

Congratulations Grade 12 on the completion of your studies at JPA. It has been a pleasure and an honor to share the past years with you. We wish you all the best for Graduation and beyond and we look forward to welcoming each of you to the JPA Alumni Association.

Annual JPA Spelling Bee champions crowned

Monday, 22nd May 2017


We are pleased to announce the winners of the Annual JPA Spelling Bee, 2017.

Lower Elementary: Samuchilea, Grade 3,

Upper Elementary: Sengly, Grade 6,

Junior High School: Srey Touch, Grade 8.

This year, the Spelling Bee finalists were the winners and runners up of our previous qualifying heats. At the Grand Final they all took to the stage in front of a hushed and expectant audience.

We spoke to the winner, Srey Touch from Grade 8. She said, “I was shaking when it was my turn. When there were only two competitors left, I felt anxious, but was happy that I had made it into the last round. Then, luckily for me, my opponent misspelled her word, republic. I felt so relieved after I had spelled my final word, chaperone, correctly that I was numb. After a few seconds I realized that the audience was clapping for me, the winner, and I felt elated. This is my second consecutive year as the JPA Spelling Bee Champion and I plan to work hard to make it three times in a row next year!”

Congratulations to all who took part in both the heats and finals, and especially to the winners.

Thank you to the many teachers who helped organize and judge the 2017 Spelling Bee.


Monday, 15th May 2017

Recently, we were very pleased to welcome Cambodian author, Thavry Thon, to school to give a motivational talk to our high school students. Thavry’s most recent book, A Proper Woman, is her autobiographical account of her struggle to pursue her dreams of a higher education despite the many obstacles she faced. She joined us to share her story with our high school students who have so much in common with her.

Like most JPA students, Thavry was born to a farming family in a rural village and faced not only financial obstacles, but also had to overcome traditional village views of what a ‘proper’ woman should be. She spoke affectionately of the support she received from her parents who encouraged her to be the first girl in her village to break the mold and make a success of her life. She related, with good humor, how the older members of her family thought she was doomed to failure.

Her journey resonated profoundly with our students, especially the girls whose own experiences are so similar to Thavry’s. To support her studies Thavry took a job with PEPY, an NGO working in education. She described how, with their help and through her hard work and will power, she eventually earned a scholarship to study Information Technology at a university in the Czech Republic, successfully graduating in 2012. She encouraged the JPA girls to persevere with their education and believe in themselves. She spoke about the need, also, to educate young Cambodian men to respect the rights and abilities of women.

Following her talk, Thavry invited questions from the audience. Questions came thick and fast as the students were clearly captivated by her story and wanted to know more. After the event, many of our students came to chat with Thavry and share their own stories. She met with Voleak, from the Class of 2017, who recently won a writing competition, and Grade 7 student, Ellen, who also dreams of becoming an author. Ellen reflected, “It was great to meet someone who is what I dream of becoming: an author. I asked her for tips and she told me to read lots of books. If I like a particular style or author, she advised me to read similar books or books by the same author as I try to find my own style.”

Grade 9 student, Rasy said, “Ms. Thavry is a passionate Cambodian woman from a rural area. My first impression was of her overwhelming confidence and sense of humor. Amazingly, writing books is only her part-time job. I feel like I can identify with her, her smile reminds me of my own and she is from the same background as me. It really makes me passionate to make the most of the gift of education that JPA is giving me.”

Thavry kindly autographed 30 copies of her book which soon whizzed off the shelf and has a list of eager readers waiting to learn how this young Cambodian woman forged her own future.

We all thank Thavry for her wonderful talk and wish her great success with the Khmer version of her book

Voleak’s e-Story of success

Monday, 8th May 2017

Voleak, Grade 12, was one of 8 winners of the national Let’s Read! E-Book Hackathon, a writing competition run by the Asia Foundation. This year, the theme was girls who overcome challenges with determination and creativity.

Voleak has always been a keen reader. She shares her story below:

“I first found out about the Let’s Read! E-Book writing competition from JPA college counselor, Ms. Houston. To apply, I had to submit an original Khmer language story, based on the theme of female empowerment. The story needed to meet certain requirements. It had to be at a Grade 3 reading level, have a set numbers of words per sentence and have a set number of sentences per page. These conditions were set so that the winner's story could be turned into an e-book.

“I submitted my story by email and I also answered some questions about myself. After a few weeks, I heard back with an email notifying me that my story had been selected! I was shocked that they liked my story because I had written it very quickly the day before the deadline. I couldn't believe it.

“As a selected winner, I went to Phnom Penh twice. The first time, was to attend a workshop with the other writers and an editor where I learned about the Asia Foundation, the Let's Read Hackathon and how to work with designers and illustrators. I also met with a professional writer and received advice to refine my story. For my second visit, I spent the entire day from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm working with an illustrator and a graphic designer to draft a storyboard for my story.

“It was intense as we were all completely engrossed with our work. At the same time, it was informative and fun! I learned a lot about creating an e-book and the writing process. It's cool to meet actual writers and illustrators. I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw the cover page of my story. It was one thing to write, but to see my story turned into reality, I was so genuinely happy that I even cried. It was the happiest day in my life because I have always wanted to be a writer. It's like my dream is on its way to coming true.”

Congratulations to Voleak whose e-book, Vuny The Heroine, is due to be published online shortly.


Monday, 1st May 2017

This year, we once again celebrated the Cambodian New Year with performances of music, traditional dancing and games.

Students enjoying the games.
Performances from the guitar club and Grade 5 playing melodicas.
Teachers displaying their traditional Cambodian dancing skills.
Lots of fun playing traditional games.


Monday, 24th April 2017

During annual International Food Week this year, our talented chefs made dishes from some of the countries where JPA students and graduates are studying. All of the teachers and students enjoyed the food immensely and would like to thank Ms. Sodom, and all of the kitchen team, for their efforts to ensure that International Food Week was a great success.

JPA Students win national Math competition

Monday, 3rd April 2017
Left to right: Summ and Kimheng with their 1st place certificates, Liger's robot, 3D printing.

Five students from Grades 11 and 12 attended the 2nd Annual, Cambodia Science & Engineering Festival (CSEF) in Phnom Penh. The CSEF, Cambodia’s largest national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM) event, aims to interest Cambodian youth in STEM subjects and promote innovation. During the festival, Summ, and Kimheng finished as the winners of the Grade 11 national math competition.

Grade 11 student, Kimheng, said, “It was a great opportunity to participate in this STEM festival. I was apprehensive before the math competition, as I knew I had to compete with other students from different schools from all over Cambodia. I thought that those other participants were geniuses and there was no way that I could beat them as I don’t have much time to study math in Khmer. Then I realized that I could apply what I have learned in my pre-calculus class to many of the problems and this helped me a lot.

“When they announced the result, I was shocked, as I didn’t expect that we would win 1st place. This made me realize that I shouldn’t have underestimated my ability.”

Reflecting on her win, Grade 11 student, Summ, said, “It was so good to win the competition. I never knew that we Cambodians could build so many amazing technological projects from simple materials.”

Grade 12 student, Srey Phatt, said, “What I liked most about CSEF was that people didn’t just display a poster showing their work, they brought their actual projects with them for us to see and investigate. We were able get involved in educational activities and interact with the inventions on display. Going to this kind of event is so beneficial as we network with a lot of people, and are introduced to enterprises leading the field of technology in Cambodia. The experience has sparked new interests for us all, as well as opening our minds to innovative ideas right here in Cambodia.”

Chaperone for the competition, Ms. Kouern, said, “Many people at CSEF came up to us and asked questions about our students as they were so impressed by their knowledge and interest in science and technology. I was proud to tell them about our school. When the group returned to school, calculus teacher, Mr. Sokcha, reflected, “We gave them no special preparation for the competition, all the credit goes to the students themselves for working tirelessly.”

Congratulations to the students for representing their school so well and thank you to the organizers for bringing this amazing opportunity to young Cambodians.

Dr. Seuss Day

Monday, 27th March 2017

Lower School celebrated Dr. Seuss day with themed food, costumes, and a special assembly. Students enjoyed the day as their beloved author's stories came to life. Lower School department chair, Ms. Norton, said, “Our book themed events are building up a love for reading in our students which will take them far!”

The morning began with students arriving at school in costumes, and enjoying a breakfast of green eggs while surrounded by a canteen filled with ‘Cat in the Hat’, hats, and trees from the book ‘The Lorax’. Following this, teachers and students spent the morning reading Dr. Seuss books, and completing themed activities. Then, it was time for some Dr. Seuss arts and crafts, where students were able to jazz up their already amazing costumes and decorate their classrooms. At lunch they chuckled as they ate some red fish and blue fish. In the afternoon, students joined together for an assembly where the elephant, Horton (Ms. Long in a wonderful costume), read the story of ‘Horton Hears a Who’, to an enraptured audience.

Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Shepperd, said, “The children loved learning more about Dr Seuss and listening for the rhyming words in his stories. Everyone looked great in their costumes, and were so happy to see and hear Horton reading a story. I was very proud of my children for eating all the different colored food. They were unafraid to try it because of their experience with the story, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, where the main character tries the food, and surprisingly likes it.”

Julie, from Kindergarten, said, “Dr. Seuss’ books are really long, but I love them so much as they are filled with so many rhyming words and funny pictures. It was so strange to have green eggs for breakfast, but they tasted nice.”

Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Fernandez, said, “Dr. Seuss has a wonderful way of embracing silliness, encouraging kindness, and showing children how to be them-selves. The students really love his books! We have been learning about rhyming words all year, so the children really enjoyed hearing, and identifying all the silly rhymes in his stories.”

Kannika, from Kindergarten, said, “I loved listening to the story that Ms. Long read to us. She was dressed as an elephant too!"

When discussing the life and stories of Dr. Seuss, a common question students had was, “How can it be Dr. Seuss’ birthday when he has already died?” This question enabled teachers to talk to students about different ways of remembering people for their achievements.

Early Years coordinator, Mr. Crawford, said, “The success of the day was a culmination of lots of work that we have been doing throughout the year. Children dressed as book characters, heard lots of rhyming words, and differentiated between fantasy and reality.”

It was an entertaining and educational day, where students could see their favorite stories come alive, thanks to the hard work of all the Lower School teachers.

A special thanks goes to, Ms. Fernandez, Ms. Long, and Ms. Stewart for organizing everything. We cannot wait for next year’s Dr. Seuss day.

Reaching out to the wide world

Monday, 20th March 2017

Last week, Grade 1 teachers, Ms. Allen, Ms. Bennett, and Ms. Foster took their classes on an excursion to the Siem Reap post office. The trip was part of Grade 1’s Reading, and Language Arts unit ‘Journeys’ where students have been learning all about preparing for a journey and all the exciting things you can see on a journey. In their social studies class they have been learning about how people with different jobs all contribute to their communities. They decided to bring their studies to life by learning how postal workers help us to stay connected.

Fortunately, the three teachers have family, friends and colleagues all over the world, so they arranged for each student to send a postcard to people in many different countries.

Ms. Allen said, “The trip to the post office is connected in so many ways to what we've been learning throughout this year. We had learned how to write a thank you note in December, formatting a letter with the date, a greeting, a message, a salutation, and a signature. So, writing a postcard allowed us to purposefully and meaningfully communicate with a real person in writing. The students wrote something about themselves, and then asked the person they wrote to a question. This way they’ll know that their postcards really did reach someone on the other side of the world.”

In the days before the excursion, students learned how to correctly address a postcard and researched the countries where their postcards were heading. They learned how postcards are collected and sent on airplanes, trains, trucks, cars, and motorbikes and how mail-carriers around the world deliver each postcard to the right person.

On the way to the post office, as part of their ‘Journeys’ unit, students worked in pairs with their bus buddy, a crayon and a clipboard to record the activities of people they saw outside the bus window. They listed jobs they saw people doing and all the different modes of transportation they saw.

Once they arrived, they explored the post office, learning about post boxes, how to purchase stamps and apply them in the correct way, and, most importantly, how to send mail. Once the postcards were ready, everyone lined up and posted them, one-by-one.

Siev Ie, said, “You must remember to put the stamp on the postcard, before you mail it.”

Liheng said, “I sent my postcard to Canada, so it will be very cold by now.”

Premma said, “My favorite part of the day was when we opened the wooden JPA mailbox, and there was nothing inside. Then I sent my postcard all the way to the US.”

Ms. Bennett said, “The students had a great day and learned a lot. At first, they were excited just to go into the city, but once we arrived at the post office, they were fascinated by the different aspects of sending and receiving mail. Mailing their postcards was the highlight of the day.”

Teachers have arranged that every postcard will receive a response from the recipients. Grade 1 can hardly contain their excitement, as this will be the first letter any of them have ever received.

Update! Postcards have already begun to arrive at their destinations. A postcard, sent to Lebanon, has already prompted a reply. When it was mailed, the person working in the post office in Lebanon said that, this was the first letter she had ever sent to Cambodia, in over 35 years of working there.

Model United Nations - Northbridge school, Phnom Penh

Monday, 13th March 2017
The MUN team, from left to right: Khemara, Sopheak, Udommakara, Makara, Rasy, Sareth, Visal, Ellen, Chantrea, Srey On, Chanmolis, Rithy, Marisa, missing - Srey Touch.

The Model United Nations (MUN) team recently attended the Northbridge International School Cambodia (NISC) MUN in Phnom Penh.

Economics teacher, Mr. McBride, who accompanied the team, noted, “The MUN team performed professionally, giving well researched analysis on all the required areas of debate. This performance was especially pleasing as this was the first MUN for some of the juniors, including Visal who won the award for best junior delegate.”

Sopheak, from Grade 9, said, “I'm proud of writing a resolution paper that was described as sophisticated. I think the MUN lets each of us dream big, and realize the impact we can have in the future, by working together.”

Chantrea, from Grade 7, said, “I enjoyed being at the conference and I can tell that my public speaking skills improved a great deal too.”

After an exhausting two and a half days of debating, writing proposals and agreeing on resolution papers, the team visited KidsCity’s interactive science exhibition and then let off some steam with a fun game of laser-tag.

The MUN team is preparing for their next interschool conference by holding an internal MUN conference this week, where students from grades 7 to 12 will hone their debating skills.

Well done to the delegates and many thanks to Mr. McBride and Ms. Long for accompanying the team. Thank you also to NISC for your generous hospitality.


Monday, 6th March 2017

Chanmonika’s memory box

Monday, 20th February 2017
Chanmonika, her letter, and some of the contents of her special Memory Box gift.

Grade 2 teachers, Ms. Fields and Mr. Hopkins recently shared a story about an amazing project one of their former students shared with them. To thank her Grade 2 teachers, Chanmonika, now in Grade 3, presented both Ms. Fields and Mr. Hopkins with a treasure box of memories that she had made. Chanmonika has written a story about her project, that you can read in the letter above.

Ms. Fields said, “Monika’s memory box was one of the most thoughtful things I have ever seen a student do. I am honored to have taught such a compassionate and enthusiastic student who takes such pride in her work!”

Mr. Hopkins said, “When I opened the box, I was able to see a timeline of the entire year. As a teacher it was eye-opening to see how every interaction we have with our students makes an impact.”

Chanmonika said, “I am already planning on something for Grade 3, but it’s a secret.”

Thank you Chanmonika, for such a considerate and generous gesture.

Interschool Football Challenge: JPA vs. ISSR

Monday, 13th February 2017
JPA and ISSR football teams celebrate the day.

PE teacher, Mr. Pomroy, recently organized challenges for both the girls’ and boys’ junior football teams. Students from Grades 5 and 6 played teams from the International School of Siem Reap (ISSR) in the first of two fixtures, one away and one to be played at home. The games were played in a 6 vs. 6 format, with each game lasting 40 minutes.

Leg one, Saturday at ISSR.

First to kick-off were the girls. The ISSR team was short of players so they ended up fielding a mixed gender team which should have put our team at a disadvantage. Our team started the game strongly with most of the opening period played inside the ISSR half. We missed two wonderful chances to take the lead, only to be thwarted at the last second on both occasions. At half time the score was 0-0. Into the second half, we found ourselves a goal down. The girls showed tremendous spirit, fighting back in the final minutes of the game. In a last minute push, JPA center-forward, Maly, hit the back of the net with a dramatic equalizer just seconds before the final whistle. “It was all about team-work,” said Maly, “I was so impressed with our performance as we cooperated with each other and put in a real team effort. Our plan was to always support each other and this worked really well. We want to do even better when we play again.”

The boys’ game was a much tougher prospect, with ISSR’s greater experience. Our boys did tremendously well to match up to them and for long periods of the game we were on top. Impressively, the score at half time was 0-0. Into the second half and ISSRs greater experience began to show. They scored an early goal, which then put pressure on us to go do the same. Moving into the last minute and ISSR broke away and scored to make the final score 2-0. Tokla, from Grade 6, said, “This was my first game for JPA and I wasn't as focused as I could be. For the next game I am going to try to concentrate more on tactics and being prepared.”

Mr. Pomroy said, “On balance, ISSR deserved the win, but we were excellent in our approach and attitude to the game. They did the school proud.”

Lisa, from Grade 6, said, “There were so many supporters cheering for us, especially the teachers. They encouraged us and improved our confidence.”

Both teams are training hard for the rematch at home in early March.

Celebrating 100 days of school

Monday, 6th February 2017

Every year at the end of January, Early Years and Grade 1 celebrate the first 100 days of school. This year, teachers decided to dress up in costumes and welcome all students as they arrived for school in the morning. Special guest, celebrity counter, Zero the Hero led the students through the celebrations, counting all the way. Zero also visited all the Elementary classes during the day to count with the students and deliver a special letter of encouragement to each class. Every 10 days throughout the year students had received a letter about counting, from Zero. For the 100 days celebration he delivered the letter in person, thrilling everyone.

Teachers hung huge signs over the classroom doorways emblazoned with the words, “100 DAYS SMARTER” and decorated them with colorful streamers. Throughout the day, math lessons were themed around the number 100. The afternoon saw art and craft activities where students made hats, capes, goggles, bracelets, and bookmarks all celebrating the number 100. The Early Years Friday afternoon assembly was the culmination of the day where everyone sang 100 days of school songs.

Students meeting Zero the Hero.

Vachana from Kindergarten said, “It was so much fun. We did lots of different activities to celebrate the number 100.” Brosit, also from Kindergarten added, “I was excited as soon as I got to school and saw Zero. Then, at the end of the day in assembly I got to sing the 100 days song.”

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Wass said, “The students really enjoy the theme of 100 days at school. We spend the first half of the year building up to it during calendar time as we learn to identify days and months and count each day of school. When the 100th day finally arrives, the children are really excited.”

Thank you to all the teachers who took part, especially Mrs. Kiene for coordinating the day. Everyone had a great 100th day and are now looking forward to the next 100 days of school.


Monday, 30th January 2017

Grade 9 Biology students recently completed an investigative scientific project. They had to evaluate two sites and choose one to build a hypothetical classroom while having the least impact on the ecosystem. The two choices were a pond, rich in wildlife or a lawn, populated with several tree species.

Students measured the biodiversity of each potential classroom site with the help of an ecologist's quadrat. A quadrat is a frame that is used to mark out an area of habitat. Quadrat areas are used to assess the distribution of plants or animals in that habitat. Once the quadrat was set in the correct place, students recorded images and data on iPads and uploaded the results to a single, shared document. This data was then used to evaluate ecosystem services provided by each location, including natural resources, nesting sites, aesthetics and social value. The project culminated in a paper in which students argued to protect a given site and build on the other. The process mirrored that used by ecologists in the real world when aiming to build in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Students photographed the flora and fauna around our campus.

Makara from Grade 9 said, “I enjoyed learning how to use a quadrat. We all looked at the different sections and recorded what we found. We worked in teams to record our investigations. Then we all came together to pool our data so we could predict what would be affected in the separate areas. I was surprised by how much hard work collecting this data involved.”

Science teacher Mr. Kahan said, “This research is particularly relevant to the students in an area such as Siem Reap, which is experiencing such rapid development and growth. If students can predict the future ecological impact of development, they can make environmentally sustainable choices.”

Our Grade 9 ecologists gathered scientific data and then used it in an authentic context, giving them an insight into the professional life of a biologist and the practical application of biology in the construction industry.

Well done to the scientists of the future.


Monday, 23rd January 2017
Chanthen and Yuulin almost 10 years ago and now - heading to the USA.

We congratulate and say a fond farewell to Yuulin from Grade 11, and Chanthen from Grade 10 who are heading off to Washington State this week after earning scholarships to complete high school at Annie Wright, a college preparatory boarding school for girls. Both young scholars have been consistently working hard over the past years and are now seeing the fruits of their labor. Needless to say, both are excited and a little apprehensive as they begin a wholly different chapter of their lives.

Commenting on their opportunity, Yuulin said, “We are so excited. We have been reading all that we can to prepare us for our new school.” Chanthen added, “It's a dream come true. I have researched as much as I can online about the school and my new home city of Tacoma. I really like that they are a small school with a really supportive environment.” The two girls have benefited from recent discussions over winter break with former JPA students who returned and helped explain what they can expect when they get to their new school.

Yuulin and Chanthen stressed that they wouldn’t be in this fortunate position without their hard work and the hard work of all their teachers over the past few years. Yuulin said, “Studying an American curriculum at JPA with English as the language of instruction has given us an enormous advantage.” Chanthen reflected, “Two years ago I was working really hard but I still didn’t get the results I wanted. Then, with the help of my teachers, I learned I needed to prioritize my assignments, improve my time management and my results have since steadily improved.”

Yuulin, an accomplished violinist, cannot wait to see the school orchestra play and hopes to continue playing the violin and keyboards. Chanthen is looking forward to making new friends and experiencing a climate she has only ever read about or seen in movies.

With their strong work ethic and determined attitude, we are all confident that these two young pioneers will thrive.


Thursday, 12th January 2016

During the recent winter break, JPA alumni came together from around Cambodia, the USA, Canada, Europe and Singapore to share their stories and experiences and to catch up with old friends. We decided to hold another alumni celebration to give everyone an opportunity to gather with current juniors and seniors.

There were about 75 gathered and they started the evening with a few team building fun activities which left everyone in a great mood. Some alumni shared stories about balancing their studies with work as teachers and accountants, others were recounting stories of experiencing their first snowy winters overseas and fitting in to their respective colleges. There was lots of laughter, chatting and reliving old memories before college counselor, Ms. Houston, gathered everyone for a question and answer session.

Overseas based alumni gave advice to those hoping to follow in their footsteps. They spoke of the requirement to study hard, to enroll in JPA's advanced courses, to join one of our growing community service projects and to pursue a hobby such as playing an instrument or a sport that they are passionate about. Many juniors and seniors were excited to hear about all the clubs and debating societies our alumni participate in and how they adjusted to their new homes and coped with the demands of studying at college level. Most reflections were very positive, but alumni also talked about some of the challenges of fitting in to a new place with new people and a new culture. They unanimously agreed on the need to become as proficient as possible in English as some alumni found that their accents resulted in difficulties being understood or keeping up with discussions. “I found I was pretty lonely at first until I started joining clubs. It was a great way to meet other international students and get involved in the huge range of opportunities available,” said one graduate, now studying in New York.

A few of our alumni sadly had to return to college soon after the event, but most stayed on and spent the first few days of the new year at school attending classes, continuing to share their stories and advice and some were working on their college assignments. Having our accomplished alumni on the campus was inspirational for the younger students who can see, as we gain more and more alumni, what is attainable for them if they work hard.

As the alumni returned, one by one, to the different paths they have begun, we all felt that we now know a little more of what their lives are like and we celebrate that students past and present are all part of the JPA community.

Many thanks to Ms. Houston for organizing such a memorable evening.


Monday, 12th December 2016

Grade 2 and Grade 8 found an opportunity to share their experiences in their respective physics classes this quarter. Grade 2 students have been studying simple machines, starting with levers, ramps, pulleys, and wheels and axles. Meanwhile, Grade 8 spent the quarter exploring the physics of motion, acceleration and velocity and exploring mechanical advantage using some of the same simple machines as Grade 2.

Grade 8 developed experiments to deepen their understanding and test their ideas. They were then asked to apply their skills in an engineering challenge in which they had to lift a cart 85 centimeters from the floor to the bench top using only three newtons of force. Armed with their calculations of mechanical advantage, students designed an array of machines using pulleys, ramps and levers to accomplish their mission. This quickly led to the understanding that their theoretical calculations often belie real world complexity. The Grade 8 students learned the value of collaboration as they put their heads together to find creative solutions. The class split into groups and all found different solutions to achieve the task.

As Grade 8 were reviewing their solutions and the science behind mechanical advantage, they came up with an idea: If they could breakdown and explain mechanical advantage to the Grade 2 students, it would show their own understanding of the concepts.

The Grade 8 students got to work making a lever and pulley system designed for the Grade 2 students to lift a teacher. After a little tinkering and refinement they were ready to share their projects with the younger students in Grade 2.

As the Grade 2 class marched to the Grade 8 science lab’, the older students fitted a harness to elementary science teacher, Mr. Hopkins, attached to a rope and a series of pulleys and explained to the Grade 2 students how and why they could pull the rope to lift their teacher to the ceiling. Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Fields, then took her turn in the harness and Grade 8 showed how the work needed differed when pulleys were added and taken away.

Pagnapech from Grade 8 said, “These may be simple machines but you can accomplish complex tasks with them. It was very helpful to have Grade 2 visit the class as we had to explain to them all that we knew. However, it needed to be explained in a simpler way than when we had learnt it. It meant that we had to really understand what we were doing.”

Sreyneang from Grade 2 said, “It was a special day as we were able to visit the Grade 8 class and see their experiment. They showed us how pulleys and levers make work easier. The best part was lifting Mr. Hopkins as he is so big and tall. We could use the pulleys to make heavy things seem much lighter than when we lifted them by hand. We all had so much fun.”

Grade 8 science teacher, Mr. Kahan, had a lot of fun with the younger students and looks forward to future collaborations with different grades. Both classes now have a better understanding of how we can use simple devices to our advantage.


Monday, 5th December 2016

On Sunday many JPA students and staff, joined this year by friends from AEG in Vietnam, ran in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon event. Congratulations to all who competed and helped organize the trip. A special mention goes to the students who finished first of all the JPA runners: Sothea, Grade 8, in the 10 kilometer run and Sokhoeun, Grade 11, in the 21 kilometer run. We ended the day with our traditional picnic by the pond.


Monday, 28th November 2016
GROWTH MINDSET - Our brain is like a muscle. It gets stronger with use.

The current character trait our students are exploring is how you can choose to have a growth mindset. This shows children that, with time and effort, they can become smarter, stronger and more successful.

Grade 3's task for this month was making a video to introduce the concept of 'Growth Mindset' to show to all the Lower School at our character traits assembly. Grade 3 teacher, Mr. Byrne said, “The rationale behind recording a video on growth mindset was simple; firstly, it provided students with an opportunity to get a clear grasp as to what a growth mindset is and to dispel some of their misconceptions. We achieved this throughout the process of writing, performing and recording a video where we focused on the central question, ‘Is this information going to enrich the understanding of the students in other grades?’”

Students worked creatively in thinking about the concept and writing a script for the scenes. Factors such as setting, lighting, and characters all had to be considered. Grade 3 spent time working on their presentation, practicing voice projection and ensuring their pronunciation was accurate and clear. After all the scenes were rehearsed and recorded, students reviewed them, made some changes, rerecorded scenes where needed and then sent the video to IT teacher, Mr. Wass, for editing.

Liheng in Grade 3 said, “By making this video I learned that I can develop a great growth mindset. It was challenging to speak loud enough so that the audio would be clear on the video. I found it tough to keep going but after some practice, I just imagined I was in a crowded area and needed to speak over people. I showed a growth mindset in overcoming this challenge.”

The entire process took some time but the hard work certainly paid dividends. The students at the assembly were enthralled with Grade 3’s video and we were all very pleased with the enthusiasm with which the students embraced the idea of a growth mindset.

Soniza in Grade 3 said, “I want everyone at JPA to have a growth mindset and I hope that making this video will help with that. When others watch our video they might learn how to overcome obstacles better.”

Grade 3 would like to thank Mr. Byrne for organizing everything and Mr. Wass and the IT department for technical assistance.


Monday, 21st November 2016

Book week was a tremendous success this year with all areas of the school getting involved. Due to Halloween falling during the same week, high school had a “Spooky” theme for their activities. Meanwhile, Lower School went with friendlier stories such as those by Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.

Each teacher selected an author for their class to share. During the week students read stories, dressed up and enjoyed activities related to their particular chosen author.

Classes also paired up in a reading buddy activity. This was a huge hit as the high school students visited the lower school classrooms to read along with their “buddy”. High school teachers all selected their favorite school-day stories to read to lower school in the library throughout the week.

On Friday we celebrated with a special dress up day. Students and teachers dressed up as characters from their favorite books. All classes took part in a character parade followed by short presentations showcasing their selected authors. Throughout book week every class contributed to a school story book with students either writing or illustrating different parts. Everyone enjoyed the completed book when Grade 10, dressed as characters from their chosen novel, Frankenstein, read the story to everyone for the finale of the assembly.

The success of this year’s book week would not have been possible without the help of many people. Particular thanks go to Ms. Hunnicutt, Ms. Allen, Ms. Foster, and Ms. Kannan for organizing the bulk of the event.


Monday, 7th November 2016

Recently, selected students from Grades 9-11 took part in a Model United Nations (MUN) debate at the International School of Phnom Penh. More than a dozen schools from different ASEAN countries attended, many of them veterans of the MUN events.

Model United Nations debates give students the opportunity to role play as delegates to the United Nations (UN) and simulate UN committees. Being a part of the MUN involves a substantial amount of research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills as well as stimulating critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills.

The students arrived in the capital a day ahead of the event and spent the evening adding finishing touches to their position papers, refining their arguments and reviewing the glossary of terminology specific to MUN debates. Early next morning the delegates arrived at ISPP amid an air of excitement and not a little trepidation. Our students represented New Zealand and the Philippines in both the general assembly and special committees and debated a wide range of contemporary issues such as the morality of using drones in warfare, the provision of humanitarian aid to refugees and the use of off-shore tax havens among many other topics.

Rasy in Grade 9 said, “Model United Nations is all about interacting and communicating efficiently with those around you, it is not a time for you to be timid, but a time for you to speak up and stand firmly to defend your ideas.”

MUN class teacher, Ms. Kannan was very proud of her students who, despite experiencing their first ever MUN event, gave a good account of themselves. Ms. Kannan spent the last few months of MUN class preparing the students for the debate and was pleasantly surprised that they presented their positions convincingly and professionally. They were able to learn a great deal during debates from their more seasoned counterparts and, having heard all opinions, worked with them to create resolution papers. In drafting their resolutions, they learned more about the need for compromise and the ability to see issues from another perspective.

Students and teachers all reported that the debate was a huge success and a valuable experience. Upon their return, the participating students prepared a short presentation which they shared at our high school assembly. Ms. Kannan then presented each participant with a certificate of achievement from the Model United Nations.

Well done to the delegates and many thanks to Ms. Kannan for making the event possible and to Mr. McBride for accompanying the delegates. Thank you also to ISPP for your generous hospitality.

Preparations are already underway to prepare for the next regional conference.


Monday, 31st October 2016

Last weekend, the JPA drama club unveiled their production of Moments & Mistakes to a packed Angkor Village Apsara theatre in downtown Siem Reap. The cast enjoyed the experience of performing in a real theater in front of a live audience. The science fiction plot followed two friends with a time machine who take a group of mean spirited teenagers into the future to see the destructive consequences of their bullying.

The students benefited a lot from their involvement in Drama Club. Thida in Grade 12 said, “In drama club, I've learned to be comfortable in front of a crowd, to think fast, and to trust myself. I have learned to not worry about the audience but instead focus on my potential and to trust myself when making impromptu decisions.”

A huge thanks to Drama Club leader, Ms. Clingman, who gave up many of her weekends and evenings coaching her actors and crew and making all the many arrangements that made the day possible. She brought her years of theater experience in Chicago to life in Siem Reap, bringing a professional touch to lighting, sound, costumes, make-up and set design. Following the play, the cast brought her to the stage to present her with a bouquet. Thank you, Ms. Clingman!


Monday, 24th October 2016
Responsibility lunch participants enjoying a feast

Six students who displayed the character trait of the month enjoy their reward: A special lunch in Ms. Norton's office.


Monday, 17th October 2016

Last week, parents attended a workshop at JPA conducted by the Siem Reap Women's Resource Center. This week, it was the students’ turn to attend workshops which covered a range of topics affecting teenagers including Internet security and alcohol awareness. These workshops were conducted in Khmer with culturally relevant content to ensure that the messages were accessible to both parents and students. “It was great to learn how to be safe when using the internet,” said Makara from Grade 9. “Our parents came home and talked to us about many things, especially our choices when using smartphones.”

We partner with local organizations to bring education and awareness to parents and the wider community. When asked about the Siem Reap Women's Resource Center, calculus teacher, Mr. Sokcha said, “They help us to improve the community’s level of education and understanding surrounding many social issues...these workshops are a great help to the families here at JPA.”

A new generation of young Cambodian parents are recognizing that a thoughtful approach and open discussion about the challenges of parenting lead to improved outcomes for their children. The Women's Resource Center helps parents to see that a balanced family life can be achieved while maintaining discipline through positive reinforcement. This idea has been warmly received by parents who are happy to learn alternatives to corporal discipline. Parents have a comfortable and familiar relationship with the center and often contact them for support. As a result, we are seeing the benefits of partnering with the Women's Resource Center on numerous information workshops for both parents and students.


Monday, 10th October 2016

Congratulations to three talented students: Sarem in Grade 7, and Vichheka and Bunthorng from Grade 8 who are in line to represent Cambodia in the Faldo Series golf tournaments. If selected, they will take part in the junior golf initiative, started by Sir Nick Faldo, that sees junior golfers from all over the world competing in a series of qualifying tournaments leading to the grand final held in Vietnam next year.

At the end of 2015, over 250 students from Siem Reap province aged between 12-14 years visited the Angkor Golf Resort Academy to experience golf for the first time. Seventy selected students returned each weekend to complete a series of skills tests, hoping to make it into the final twelve. After six months of weekly golf classes, Sarem, Vichheka, and Bunthorng were selected in the final four to complete the next six months of the program. Successful students will represent Cambodia in the Asian section of the tournaments.

Vichheka said, “It’s like standing on a stage with millions of people watching whenever I prepare for my first shot. My heart pounds, but it feels amazing when the ball soars high into the sky.”


Monday, 3rd October 2016

JPA has state of the art science laboratories enabling students to explore the building blocks of the world and diversity of life. Students in our Grade 7 biology class recently used powered compound light brightfield microscopes as part of their unit exploring life science. Compound light brightfield microscopes have more than one lense and a built in light source allowing light to pass through a sample slide resulting in very clear and finely detailed images. The class observed a range of interesting slides including many of the simple life forms they have been studying during their life-cycle unit. The alien-like tentacled hydra slide was a class favorite.

This quarter, the course has taken the students on a journey from the origins of life starting with single-celled life forms including bacteria and amoebae to more complex multi-cellular organisms such as the aforementioned tentacled hydra all the way up to reptiles and mammals. In the final chapter, evolution, the students learn about diversification, adaption and classification.

Ellen from Grade 7 described the experience, “We loved using the microscopes as it showed us all of the tiny parts that make up life. This would be a mystery to us without using the right equipment.”


Monday, 19th September 2016

JPA students enjoyed Roald Dahl Day, a celebration to remember all of the famous author’s beloved stories. Lower School devoted the day to many different activities. Grade 1 acted out a boat ride on an imaginary chocolate river and then wrote sensory poems about their experiences. Grade 2 drew chocolate bar wrappers and created dream jars from The BFG. Grade 3 created name tags for their favorite character complete with illustrations in the style of Quentin Blake, the illustrator of Roald Dahl’s books. Grade 4 created their own Mr. Twit beards. Finally, Mr. Benett asked Grade 11 to create their own ‘Revolting Rhymes’ in the style of Roald Dahl on the topic of Natives and Colonists, matching his current class topic.

Many classes created informative displays outside their classrooms. The JPA kitchen also joined in the spirit of the day with a special lunch, serving Snozzcumbers from The BFG, Wormy Spaghetti from The Twits and finally, Boggis’ Chicken and Dumplings from the Fantastic Mr. Fox. The high school teachers devoted their preparation time to reading stories and excerpts from Dahl’s books to the lower school students. Malen from Grade 4 was excited saying, “The stories that they read to us were so good. It was like a play with all the different voices.” At the end of these sessions, the line up of students wishing to borrow a copy for themselves was a wonderful sight.

Thank you to all the teachers for helping to make Roald Dahl Day a special day at JPA.


Monday, 12th September 2016

JPA students proudly contribute to their community through voluntary service right throughout their school careers. When you think of community service, building roads isn’t the first activity that comes to mind. However, as a prime example of the JPA students’ ongoing community commitment, JPA high school students set themselves the task of repairing an access road linking local villages to the national highway. To their credit, all available JPA high school students volunteered and spent their weekend helping to make their community a better place.

Rasy from grade 9 said, “We can all work together and accomplish great things that would be too much for one person.” Despite scorching temperatures and the many kilometers of road, JPA high school students enjoyed completing their back-breaking task with good cheer and an increased appreciation for the benefits of service within the community.

JPA would also like to thank teachers and other staff for offering their assistance, support and supervision of the students’ endeavors. Together we are helping to build a better Cambodia for all.


Monday, 5th September 2016

At Jay Pritzker Academy, we recognize that simply getting good grades is not enough. JPA students learn that we have to be good people too. We have to help each other to develop good character traits. We know that we can and should our use education for the benefit of others as well as ourselves.

This quarter, the students in Lower School will focus on a different positive character trait each month. This month the value we celebrate is responsibility

English Teacher, Ms. Woodgate, introduced the trait in a Lower School assembly which started with the audience sharing examples of choices and actions which demonstrate responsibility. This was followed by a short play where the audience was invited to participate by pointing out which characters were acting responsibly.

Grade 3 teacher, Mr. Byrne, has been focusing on the connection between our rights and responsibilities while Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Fields, has asked her class to write all the ways to show responsibility in their daily lives. “I can show responsibility by putting paper in the bin, even when it was another person who dropped it,” said Vuttey from Grade 2. Her classmate, Sreychan said, “I show responsibility by doing my homework next to my Grandma's bed. She is old and cannot walk, so I can help her if she needs to move.”

Lower School teachers will spend the rest of the month rewarding acts of responsibility with colored slips. The slips show the specific examples of responsibility and the student's name. The students also point out examples of their friends acting responsibly and those students also earn colored slips. At the end of each day, our responsible citizens bring their slips to Ms. Norton, head of lower school. At the end of the month, Ms. Norton will pull some of the colored slips out of a hat and the lucky students will have a special lunch with Ms. Norton in her office.

Thank you to Ms. Woodgate and all the other teachers for their dedication to developing the character traits of our younger learners.


Thursday, 17th August 2016

JPA welcomed back students and teachers this week for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students returning from overseas regaled their classmates and teachers with accounts of their summer escapades which included study trips to Camps International in Cambodia, an economics camp in Singapore, more Renaissance studies in Italy and our annual trip to Henley High School in Adelaide, Australia, and internships working locally in businesses, hospitals and on community projects.

Another new group of happy Pre-Kindergarten students marched through the classroom doors to start their first day of school and were immediately captivated by the creative classroom displays and bright colorful learning tools.

Our Advanced Placement program continues to expand this year with the addition of AP Computer Science, where students in Grades 11 & 12 will be learning Java, starting with the syntax of the object-oriented programming language. The robotics and computer literacy program now includes the lower school. They are learning basic computing skills and will enjoy their introduction to robotics through a program named Ozobots©, an exciting tool that allows the children to write basic commands to control a cute little robot. Lower school IT teacher, Mr Hopkins, discovered Ozobots when they were unveiled at a recent STEM conference in Denver, Colorado, during his summer break.

Lower school are also continuing their character education course, furthering their efforts to develop their moral and civic values while high school students are beginning a new personal finance course.  We look forward to another superb academic year.