So I think that some people pick up on context clues and know that I’m really into outdoor activities. I used to work in outdoor education. I worked as a trip director for summer camp. I used to lead week long canoeing and kayaking trips and hiking trips and horseback riding trips for students in highschool and middle school. So that’s really what I like to do when I’m on my holidays as well. I’ve also gone solo hiking in Japan, while working at Hong Kong Academy have done a two week long kayaking trip in Alaska. I love to be outside, and so, on the weekends I’m off in the mountains of Sai Kung. I definitely wasn’t thinking about outdoor education and just the outdoors in general when I chose Hong Kong as a location. I was really shocked when I got to Hong Kong and I found out precisely how many hiking trails there were. One of the first conversations I had with my parents after moving to Hong Kong was asking them to pack up my tent and my sleeping bag and my hiking boots and send them to me because I had left them all in the United States. I had no idea I was going to want them here.
(My love for the outdoors really comes from my growing up with my father as my father. He was an avid, avid, outdoorsman. so I grew up with him taking us fishing, and camping, and doing lots of things together as a family and then also individually. So that was a really big part of my childhood.)
What really brought me to Hong Kong Academy was the school. I like the ethos of the school, the mission statement really speaks to me and what I find important; issues of inclusion, supporting students, and really understanding students as whole individuals and so that was really what brought me here. It was a nice bonus that I am able to go hiking and camping here. Actually I can tell a really funny story that happens to be about Hong Kong Academy and an adventure. Last October, I was hiking in Japan and I was having this beautiful, magical day hiking through the woods in Japan and I walk around a corner and I hear down the trail, “Oh My God is that Ms. Roundy?” Of course there was some entire group of Hong Kong Academy students with their parents who were hiking in the same trail in Japan in the opposite direction of where I was hiking. I was hiking with Ms. Nicolls and so it was quite entertaining in the middle of Japan, in the middle of the woods, to come across families from HKA. It was actually Mia, the Coeffings, and the Murrays, and so it was really funny.
(Like many teachers, I went to a hiring fair and I was not even thinking about Hong Kong as a destination, but Hong Kong Academy had slipped information into my folder and so when I went to check my folder at the hiring fair, I looked at the materials for the school and I thought that it actually looked quite good and so I decided to sign up for an interview with the school. Upon speaking more with people who were at the job fair, I really thought that this school would be a good place to be.)
I really appreciate everything that happens here with the relationship between the students and the teachers. I find that at this school more than other schools that I worked at, students are open to really getting to know their teachers, working with their teachers, understanding us as people, and everybody at Hong Kong Academy is so engaging and interesting. That’s one of the things I love about this community in particular, is that everybody is just fascinating, engaging, young people. so I really appreciate that about this school. I also really appreciate that about the parent community at HKA. Most of the time when I see parents around town, I’m actually perfectly happy to stop and have a chat. All of the parents are quite delightful within our school community because obviously we say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The students here at HKA are actually indicative of how great the parents are as well. So it’s quite an enjoyable community to be a part of.