Dr. K – Memories…

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Sadness – The Loss of Dick Krajczar – “Dr. K”


While we are not sending eNotes this week, I’m writing a note to announce the tremendous sadness that many of us are feeling at the announcement early this morning of the sudden passing of Richard T. Krajczar, longtime Executive Director of EARCOS and past school head at a number of international schools throughout the world.  Dick was 75 years old.

Dick is known to many of us in the international education community.  I enjoyed a longstanding friendship with him that stretches back to 1995 and my first EARCOS Conference as a young Vice Principal.  My most fervent memories of Dick are from my time in Shanghai, during the years where he was a partner in establishing and developing the Learning 2.0 conferences that were originally co-sponsored by ACAMIS and EARCOS along with a collaborative of schools in Shanghai and beyond.  But, I also hold fond memories of many EARCOS conferences and the sound of the bell under Dick’s hand announcing the start of each session herding administrators throughout their days together.

I count Dick as one of my best friends and I recently enjoyed his company at the AISH Oasis meeting in San Francisco and throughout the AAIE Conference just two weeks ago.  As luck would have it, Dick was the first person I encountered in the lobby of the hotel as I arrived at check-in before the buses left to the AISH retreat.  I sat at a table with him discussing diversity and tolerance at Oasis along with other stalwarts, Ellen Stern, Rick Spradling, and Dave Toze.  I count myself lucky that he also wished me well as we parted at the end of the AAIE conference and my soul was always energized whenever we spent time together, however brief.

I also had a special dinner out with Dick back in November 2017 in Shanghai when I attended the Learning2 conference, taking the reins from him as Board Chair and returning to the group that collaborated together back in 2007.  In a mall near the school, we found a small restaurant to relax in after a hectic day observing the wonderful interactions at another Learning2 conference and sharing our courses and hopes for the future.  It was like so many meals we had shared over the years, reminiscing and connecting on our common beliefs about the future, catching up on family, and checking in on various friends and where some were headed next.  At this dinner, I remember with fondness that we shared reflections on the life journey of international educators and the importance of friends and family.  While the journeys are sometimes arduous, there is always home when loved ones are close at hand – not the location, but the people.  We chuckled at this together, both knowing what life has brought us — great measures of opportunity and engagement sprinkled with the occasional challenge, distance, and isolation.

EARCOS has published a Memoriam for Dick and I’m sure more information will follow in the days ahead as the world comes to grips with this tremendous loss.  AISH followed suit with an update late today:

It is with profound sadness that we learned that Dr Dick Krajczar, Executive Director of EARCOS, passed away Feb 19 in Manila at the age of 75.

Dick developed a cough in San Francisco and was diagnosed with pneumonia when he returned to Manila. In the hospital, he had a minor heart attack and then continued to have difficulty breathing.

As many of you know, Dick and his wife Sherry planned to retire in Wyoming. He told me just two weeks ago that he was excited to use, for the first time. the bamboo fishing rod that my husband gave him 15 years ago.

Dick and Sherry have two children, Morgan and Josh, who are international educators at International School Beijing and Sri Lanka.

We will pass on information when we know more about arrangements. Dick was a true friend and the international school world is a better place because of his influence.

Deb Welch
AISH Executive Director

I, for one, will struggle with this in the days and weeks ahead, mourning the loss of a close friend and collaborator.  We can only hope that his inspiration and enduring spirit will be remembered through our continued commitment to the children and the profession he served — and that we all serve together.

Update from EARCOS:

We would like to invite everyone to two occasions to honor the memory of + Dr. Richard Krajczar.

*Saturday, February 23 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM in Chapel 5, Heritage Park, Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City,Philippines

*Wednesday, February 27 at 3:00PM a Requiem Mass will be said in the Chapel of Brent International School Manila, Brentville Subdivision, Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, Philippines.

Click here to write your message of condolences.

Note: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hug Project, c/o the EARCOS office. This organization works to alleviate child trafficking in Thailand. » click here

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Returning from AAIE and Reminders!

Last week I was privileged to attend the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) conference in San Francisco.  This is an annual gathering of Heads of School from around the world and it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and hear from key speakers and leaders sharing insights into the challenges we all face around the world.  Many of my dearest friends took to the stage to share successes in their leadership journey including Charles (Chip) Barder, past head of school here at ASW from 2002 to 2008.  The leadership conversations were rich and inspiring as we all continue to refresh our approaches and improve our skills to match the growing challenges of education in an ever-evolving global dynamic.  We connected with key supporters and researchers.  I particularly enjoyed the current work of Will Richardson, who was a key mentor when he joined a conference I organized in Shanghai back in 2007.  His work with key principles for schools in the current age helped me assess our work in Core Values and confirmed that we have captured the right framework for our strategic work going forward.  He inspired us to consider the key drivers of education in the information age and challenged us to focus on self-determination and engagement as key factors in meaningful education that is enduring.  To quote him from his website:

It’s an absolutely amazing time to be a learner.

But what we know about how kids learn most powerfully and deeply isn’t what we practice in our schools.  Today, more than ever, that has to change.


Image result for wear badge

Remember to always be wearing your parent badge at school at all times.I reminded everyone back in November and need to remind you again. Thanks for the fun interactions in the cafeteria when I remind you.  Appreciation to all our parents who are remembering to wear their badges at all times.  Don’t leave them in your cars.  Please make sure they are visible.  Always good to refresh our practice occasionally!!

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Earnest Planning for 2019-2020

In recent weeks and days, we have started our annual process in earnest preparing for the next school year.  You received via email a message from our distinguished board chair, Ray Banks, regarding our decisions on fees for the coming year and our work to set fees and structures.  With many grade levels full and waiting lists beginning to form, we must first and foremost prepare the path for our returning students through our normal process.

This year, we’ve changed this process to make it more efficient for all and will forgo the usual pre-survey process in favor of a simple one-step invoicing process.  All families should receive notification of and directions for accessing your invoices via PowerSchool.  Your one and only task this year is to submit your seat deposit before the due date of Friday, March 1, 2019.  This will confirm your intention to return next year and hold your seat during the upcoming admissions process.  Please notify the Business Office at +48 (22) 702 8596 or businessoffice@aswarsaw.org if you have any needs or concerns relative to this process and we’ll happily assist you.

Later in March, we will be confirming the first round of new admissions from our extensive pre-registration list, so we appreciate your confirmation of continuing with us next year at the earliest opportunity.

One additional item: Grounds – Landscaping and Maintenance

ASW is always seeking to improve and update our services and one area that was identified in our recent accreditation for review was a refresh of our grounds and landscaping services.  Our longstanding company has done well, but certain areas identified for improvement have suggested we look for other potential partners in providing grounds maintenance services to keep our facilities prepared for the robust range of activities on campus throughout the year.  If there are parents in the ASW Community have insight into potential companies who would be interested in providing these services, our request for proposals is available from our Business Office.  Thanks in advance for your consideration and for passing along this message to potential providers!

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