Ah, the days I attended Jakarta International School (JIS) just seemed like yesterday. I had the privilege of attending JIS from 1984 to 1986 when I graduated high school. As a TCK (third culture kid) I am so thankful and blessed to have graduated from the international school system. In fact, us boys were able to attend the sister international school in Surabaya (SIS), Indonesia prior to attending JIS.
Jakarta International School was founded in 1951 and is a private co-educational international school for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in Jakarta, Indonesia. With five original students these pioneers introduced relevant schooling in English for children of expats in the newfound Republic of Indonesia. From its early days the school’s international identity was clear. It was originally named Joint Embassy School (JES) after its British, American, Australian, and (then) Yugoslavian embassy partners. Just over a decade later, in 1978, JES became JIS. JIS has 3 campuses, two solely for Elementary students in Pattimura and Pondok Indah, and one much bigger and considered the main campus junior high and high school students in Cilandak, South Jakarta.
The school year comprises of 2 semesters. The school is governed by an 11 member Board of Patrons, 4 of whom are elected by the parents. The curriculum has a strong international focus. The language of instruction is English but students are required to take Indonesian language studies, culture, and geography. JIS also provides the Baccalaureate Diploma and Advanced Placement courses in addition to the regular diploma. Over 97 percent of graduating seniors go on to a university or college. JIS is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International School. In the 2011 school year there were about 260 full-time and part-time faculty members and around 2,400 students from over 60 nationalities. The five most commonly represented nationalities were the United States, South Korea, Indonesia, India, and Australia. From the 2010 graduating class, the universities that JIS students were mostly accepted in include: Boston University, University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia. The current yearly fee for a student in high school is around US$21,600.
Jakarta International School is also big on sports and both middle and high school level students at JIS compete in intramural and interscholastic sports throughout the year. JIS belongs to the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools (IASAS) which competes with six top international schools in Asia. IASAS schools host each other for tournaments, exchanges, conventions, and competitions. There are three IASAS seasons per year from the HS sports and cultural competition calendar.
Here are some Jakarta Interanational School notable alumni:
· Angela Kinsey – American actress best known for playing Angela Martin in the US version of The Office.
· Aditya Mittal – Chief Financial Officer of ArcelorMittal
· Arthur Irawan – Indonesia footballer (soccer) who currently plays for the Espanyol youth team in La Liga
· Atika Shubert – Class of 1991 – CNN Foreign Correspondent and News Anchor
· Maya Soetoro-Ng – Teacher and maternal half-sister of Barack Obama
· Sean Michael Thomas – International News Correspondent for Russia Today and children’s book author/illustrator.
· Jackson Curtin – Professional Skateboarder
· Erin McLeod – Professional Footballer (soccer)
· Cinta Laura – Indonesian singer and actress
I started attending JIS the second semester of 10th grade. It had the best education a kid could ask for. But I sure was not as smart as my classmates. In fact, I struggled immensely. But by the grace of God and with many stern loving looks from my folks I graduated high school with a B+ GPA.
I had the honor of being vice president of my senior class. I was running for president and lost to an honorable and wonderful classmate, Joey Thurman. I came in second which brought me the vice president slot. I was so blessed to be able to be in this position and thank all my classmates for the opportunity of serving them. My parents and brothers were so amazing by being there for me during this great opportunity. They were there from the start helping place ‘plug 4 Doug’ stickers everywhere as well as creating posters. When I lost the president slot I can still remember the sweet card dad and mom bought for me. The outside said ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too sometimes.’ Inside the card were very kind and loving remarks my folks wrote. I know I am biased when I say this but I still will say it, ‘I have the best parents a boy could have ever asked for!’
Senior life was a blur and in no time June 1986, our high school graduation, came and went. I had the privilege of going to one of JIS high school reunions this past year, 2011, in San Francisco. The class of 1981 set it up with a few other classes. Thank you class of 1981!!! There were only 4 of us from the class of 1986 but it still was a blast to go. Now I am gearing up for the 2012 JES/JIS Dragon pool party held this August in Houston, Texas. Yeah! I am ready! Learn more about JIS by going here, www.jisedu.or.id.
AKA: Doug Gulleson