News, events & stories about the KIS community

Republic Day 2015

In this issue:

Principal’s Message

Principal's Message

KIS Principal

Dear Kodai Friends,

A warm welcome from KIS and a particularly wintery personal hello…from Seoul! I’m currently on a weeklong trip to both China and Korea as we continue to seek ways to extend our community to students and families from this part of the world, as well as meet with parents and alumni to renew bonds of partnership and friendship and focus on what really matters the most: how we can best serve our students. Visiting our Korean parents and alumni is proving to be a wonderful experience, and I’m humbled by the hospitality that our KIS family have extended, not to mention all the help with the organization and logistics. In my too-short time here I’ve met with over 50 parents, alumni, and prospective families, and it has been a privilege both to share news about KIS as well as to listen to the needs and concerns of our parents here regarding their children’s education. In addition to affording the chance to show off the latest KIS school video, our meetings here have been a wonderful opportunity to surprise our parents: each one of our Korean students, and other students whose families live here, sent a short video clip of themselves with greetings to present to their families in Seoul and Jinju. I would personally like to thank all of our parents for who attended these meetings for they did so with such positive energy, thoughtful questions, and, as always, such warmth and goodwill. Thank you!

In preparing our presentation for this trip, it struck me again what a rare and unique school we are, and that KIS is the right place to be for so many students and for so many reasons. In addition to our IB curriculum and high academic standards, we celebrate diversity while also providing the comfort of a close-knit and caring community. Students can choose to learn up to eight languages (my five year old, Tarun, in addition to learning English, is also learning French, Tamil, and German) while also being immersed in other forms of language and expression: music, and dance, and mathematics, and prayer! We are proud of our context as an international school in South India and equally proud that our alumni can be found in every corner of the world. KIS is truly the place to be!

In other news, we are preparing for an important CIS-MSA (Council of International Schools/Middle States Association) accreditation visit in the near future. A group of educators from various international schools around the world will be visiting KIS for a week in March. Their task is to observe us in action and, based upon their findings relating to the self-study report we have been preparing for over a year, to ensure that we remain a world-class school with high standards.

To end on a sad note, we’ve just received news that a long-time Council member and former Council Chair, Anne Warrior, passed away in Bangalore at the end of January. Anne was an ardent educator who served on the Council at various times from the 1980s, and her love for KIS was abundantly evident through her passion, commitment, energy, and wisdom. I enjoyed working with her immensely. She will be missed.

– Corey Stixrud, KIS Principal

Admissions & Exchanges


Alika Khosla with KIS Students

The Admissions Office welcomed 20 new students into the KIS fold at the start of this semester. The  orientation  is a time when parents and students are introduced to staff, dorm life and the campus.  Our Student Peers did an amazing job,  flitting around the campus in their black and white T Shirts, assisting the parents  while simultaneously making the new students feel welcome and at home. Our new students have slipped in with a spirit of enquiry and enthusiasm as they move into a new phase in their lives. Away from their familiar homes, now to join a new community which would quickly become their new home.

The Vice Principal, Ms Liliana Gomez and I visited Bhutan and Ahmedabad in the middle of January. The aim was to meet our current parent community while also to build an awareness and knowledge about KIS, our curriculum, our strengths and what makes us a unique international school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our parents both in Bhutan and Ahmedabad for their warmth, hospitality and support during our visit. We received several applications and enquiries from both cities are now working with the parents to complete the admissions process


We welcomed back our exchange students who have been away through most of the last semester. Students on the German and the French exchange returned after the winter vacation and shared their experiences and learnings at the assembly, encouraging their peers to work hard and ensure that they get selected for the next years exchange. Over 20 applications for the French exchange have already been submitted and the excitement to participate in this programme has gone up two-fold as both parents and students appreciate the merits of experiencing an exchange.

The German Exchange programme continues to expand. This year 5 students from KIS have been selected to spend the first semester in the new academic year at Andreanum Gymanasium, our partner school. An equal number of students from Germany will spend next semester with us.

Marilyn Scudder Memorial Scholarship



The Kodai School class of 1956 has established the Marilyn Scudder Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Although started by the Class of 1956, others who knew Marilyn have contributed as well

Marilyn, whose parents were medical missionaries in Kuwait, attended Kodai School from 1947 to 1951 and 1952 to 1956.  While at Kodai she not only did well academically, but excelled in sports and music.  She earned her MD degree from the University of Michigan and was the first female ophthalmology resident at the University of Minnesota.  In her final year of residency, she spent time at the Mvumi Hospital in Tanzania which paved the way for the rest of her life.

From 1973 to 2001 she was a missionary ophthalmologist at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania and at Mvumi Hospital.  In addition to very competent and compassionate care as an eye surgeon she trained medical officers, ophthalmic nursing officers, ophthalmic opticians, medical assistants, and nurses.  A life- long friend and fellow ophthalmologist wrote that “Marilyn’s life was a life of giving, and living joyfully.  She treated every patient with respect and the highest competency no matter how high or low their station”.   She received several awards that recognized her outstanding life and work.  These included the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope College and the Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The Marilyn Scudder Scholarship is a partial scholarship and would initially be granted for the 2015 – 2016 academic year to a student entering High School. Please send your applications to

To know more about Marilyn Scudder Memorial Scholarship, please visit KIS Scholarships.

 We wish our students a wonderful, peaceful and successful Semester

– Alika Khosla, Admissions Coordinator

Careers & College

Riya Jindal

Riya Jindal

Its 2015 and I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy and prosperous new year. It’s an exciting time as always in CAREERS as the grade 12 students start to receive conditional and unconditional offers from all over the world. Lots of decisions to be made in the next few months such as country of study, choice of university, housing, applying for scholarships and of course the pros and cons of a gap year.

I have to admit that I was quite old school in my thinking with regards to gap years till I actually spoke to a very dear student of mine who took a gap year. Not only did she earn valuable work experience, she was able to learn new knowledge both in theory and practice. So here she is giving us her experience through the past year.

It is my privilege to introduce to you Riya Jindal. She was a great asset not only to her class but also to the school. She’s talented and ambitious and we are so proud of all that she’s able to accomplish over the past 10 months. Well done Riya…we miss you. Over to you…

I’m proud to be ‘that girl who makes movies’.  I think that’s what most of my peers and my teachers used to call me at KIS. I was oddly fascinated by the way people would run away from me when I walked around with my camera. But as the persistent and passionate filmmaker I am, I always found victims to star in my movies.

By the end of 11th grade I knew that I wanted to pursue film, but I didn’t know ‘how’ I would enjoy making this my career. I took a gap year because I wanted to explore film in as many different real world contexts as I could. So far, I’ve worked in a media and communications company called Interspace (based in Mumbai) and a software development company called Extentia Information Technology (as a part of the marketing team).

I was introduced to the world of media and advertising at my first internship at Interspace – a small, cutting edge media company. Demanding assignments poured onto my desk and soon I found myself pitching ideas, asking questions and interacting with clients. I was forced out of my comfort zone but I found confidence when I completed the tasks I was given.

My key project was to organize and execute the premier Fashion Exhibition for women entrepreneurs in Mumbai.  We had to create all their event and marketing collaterals. For the invitation design, we came up with 12-15 different layouts, all of which were all promptly rejected by the demanding clients. The designers at Interspace were extremely frustrated but they had to meet client expectations and complete the project. Through this experience I learned how strong artists have to be, how demanding clients can be and how much time goes into creating acceptable content.

These lessons were tested during my second internship at Extentia. I was the artist.

At Extentia, I was making films that carried a corporate tone as they were geared towards selling the company and its capabilities. As the only filmmaker in the company I was not learning anything new about filmmaking. From an artist’s perspective, there was no challenge in producing ‘flat’ films.

Through this experience, I realized pursuing art is really hard. When I set out on my journey to become a filmmaker, I knew that it would be extremely difficult, but I never thought that my passion for the subject would waiver.

I started to hate some of the films I was making. They did not reflect my artistic voice at all. I felt more like a tool than an artist – I had no say in the final product. I was making videos for a client, and since they weren’t ‘my’ videos, I had no say in what they looked like. It was like being an interior designer. The client had to like the designs because it’s their house. If the designer tries to impose upon the client, they’ll just get fired. After all, the designer doesn’t end up living in the house he designs. In other words, his art is not for him, it’s for the client. This is applicable to all art forms; the only way an artist really succeeds (in terms of monetization) is when they cater to a client.

But this is how you pursue your goals. You start from the bottom, and you work your way up to the top. Once you’ve established that your work is good, you earn the right to express your creative vision. Until then, you make yourself the translator from client to product.

This is just one of the many lessons I’ve learned during my gap year. These lessons can’t be taught from within the four walls of a classroom – you have to experience to actually understand the criteria of success.

A gap year is not for everybody. It’s important that if you decide to take a gap year, you have a plan in place. It’s surprisingly easy to sit back and do nothing the entire year. If you take a gap year, you really need to be sure that you are the kind of person that will do something with the time you have.

My gap year has been nothing less than life changing, but that’s because I know I’m the kind of the person that will put in the work required to get to where I want to be.

– Sangeetha George, Careers and College Advisor


Madurai Chapter Reunion

Madurai Chapter Reunion

Over the holidays, the Alumni Office organized reunions in four cities in India. The marketing manager and I visited four Chapters during this period. Firstly, we met with the Madurai Chapter on 22nd November, 2014 where we had about twenty alumni, friends, family and prospective parents in attendance. The reunion was the first to be held in Madurai and it was organized by the Chapter Rep, Dr. Arul Arasu ’81 and we were hosted by Dr. Ganesh Krishnan ’74 at the Sangame Hotel Conference Hall. Present at the meet was the Marketing Manager. He informed the gathering that, Alumni are stakeholders and must actively be involved by recommending the school to friends and family. Some of the Alumni invited prospective parents as well.  In attendance at the reunion were Sheela David ’83,  Dr. Santhosh George ’84 and family, Rev. Dr. Arul Arasu Israel ’81 and family , Dr.K.N.K. Ganesh ’74 and family, Ruth Jude & A.V.Jude (prospective parents) Jacob Selwyn & Deborah Christina (prospective parents), Suka Joshua(Parent of Alumnus) and other friends.

On 29th November, 2014, we visited the Hyderabad Chapter. The event was organized and hosted by the chapter Rep., Mukesh Rao ’89.  At the reunion, the Marketing Manager reiterated his message that Alumni are the backbone of every institution and KIS would continue to count on their support and participation. In attendance at the reunion were Mamta Reddy ’89,  Shantanu Reddy’88,  Uday Peddireddi ’88 and  Balakrishnan Venkatraman ’90 and others.

This was followed by the meeting with Coimbatore Chapter on the 1st December, 2014. In attendance at the Coimbatore meeting were Venkatesh Saha ’98,  Sudhakar Selvan ’00, Srividhya Parthasarathy Rajesh ’90, and other friends and family.

Our final gathering was held in Bangalore on the 6th of December, 2014. We met with the Bangalore chapter at UB City and was organized by the Chapter Rep, Arjun Chetnah. The KIS Principal, Corey Stixrud was also in attendance at the Bangalore reunion. In attendance the reunion were Anuja Masters ’89, John Jacob ’84 and family, Samantha Das ‘97, Pradeep Das (Former Staff) and family, Tim Heinamann ’67 and daughter, Manju  Heinamann , Mr. & Mrs Chandrasekhran (both former staff) , Marketing Manager and other  family and friends.

I would like to specially thank all Alumni who organized and hosted these events. We hope to visit other Chapters in our efforts to strengthen the KIS Alumni Network.

Blurb from Judith Zonunpar Mattie ‘04

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(L to R): Abhiroop Ghosh, Justin Aier, Nathan Tiller (spouse of Irene), Irene Idicheria-Tiller, Judith Mattie, Jordan Mattie (spouse of Judith)

My husband (Jordan Mattie) and I drove to Boston, MA from Saint John, NB this past Thanksgiving (November 27) to visit Irene and her husband. While we were there, we were able to meet up with fellow classmates (of 2004) Abhiroop Ghosh and Justin Aier. It had been 6 years since Irene and I last saw each other and 10 years (graduation) with Abhiroop and Justin. Everyone except myself and my husband (Judith and Jordan) are currently residing in Boston. Jordan and I live in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

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(L to R): Abhiroop Ghosh, Justin Aier, Irene Idichieria-Tiller (previously Irene Idicheria), and Judith Mattie (previously Judith Thanzauva)

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Irene Idicheria-Tiller and Judith Mattie

Visiting Alumni:



The next Reunion Weekend would be held from 6th to 9th August, 2015.  We would like to specially invite classes who would be celebrating their milestone anniversaries next year to join us for the Reunion Weekend.  They are of 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. Please contact the alumni office with your ideas, suggestions and comments.  All other classes are cordially invited to join in.

– Yvonne Dovlo, Alumni Officer

In Memory


Anne Warrior

Anne Warrior Passes (Former KIS Council Chairperson)

We regret to inform you that our longest-serving Council member, Anne Warrior, passed away in Bangalore on 30 January. Anne was on the KIS Council beginning in the 1980s. She was on the Executive Committee and also served as the Board Chair.

Mrs. Warrior was born in England and studied at the University of London. She was a well-known educator in India and served as a member of the Standing Committee on Examinations for the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi.

In the words of another Council member, Rathi Jafer, Anne had “a twinkle in her eye and…what I admired most was her sharp mind and vivacious nature. We will miss her a lot but will pray for her peace and strength for her family and friends to bear this irreparable loss.”

Anne’s funeral service was held on Monday, 2 February, at the Hebbal Crematorium. A memorial service has been scheduled for Wednesday, 4 February at 6:00 p.m. at Aditi School. Please keep Anne’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

– KIS Community


KIS Stamp

Stamp Releasing

Stamp Releasing

KIS 100 years in education were honored by the Government of India on 26th August 2000 in the issue of a Rs. 15 commemorative stamp. Former Communications Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan (present Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister) issued the stamp at the celebration organized on that day to two of our school’s long-term friends and supporters, parents and grandparents of KIS graduates:

  • Naomi Carman and her husband John S. Carman came to Kodaikanal in 1934.
  • Dayavu Dhanapal, who joined the school in 1944 as first Indian woman staff member. Her father Z. Samuel constructed the school gymnasium in 1911.First day cover

The collage on the first-day cover, designed by Philip Cranswick (staff member, 1997-2000), represents the continuity of our school out of its early days into its present strengths. The commemorative stamp was designed by the Philately Department of the Government of India, from drawings submitted.

– Suvidha Sadasivan, Archivist