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News > Profiles > Faculty Spotlight: Ryan Naughton

Faculty Spotlight: Ryan Naughton

Ryan Naughton is the High School Activities and Athletics Director and has been with ISKL since 2017. He is a passionate advocate for student ... Read more
18 Apr 2022
Profiles

Ryan Naughton is the High School Activities and Athletics Director and has been with ISKL since 2017. He is a passionate advocate for student involvement in sports and school activities. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for being an integral part of ISKL's sports and activities as well as IASAS tournaments. Ryan shares his personal and invaluable experience through his journey as the HS Activities and Athletics Director pre and amidst the endemic.

“I have been lucky enough to be a part of the amazing ISKL Community for the past five years, and my wife and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with such amazing students and faculty members. I was fortunate enough to host multiple IASAS Athletic and Activity events pre-pandemic and even in the middle of the pandemic through the Virtual IASAS Cultural Conventions. These events are massive in size and scope and they are such a part of the ISKL fabric that I am sad that I will not be able to be present for the next IASAS tournament next year. 

During my time, we have hosted Badminton, Rugby/Touch, Model United Nations, Cross-Country, and Volleyball tournaments with 80-150 students attending from the other five IASAS schools from around Southeast Asia. With all the fanfare of an American high school state finals tournament or a rugby/soccer tour of Asia or Europe. The families of ISKL accepted these students into their homes, fed them, washed their clothes/uniforms, and created memories that ISKL alumni still talk about! During the pandemic, we have hosted virtual IASAS Music and virtual IASAS Debate and Forensics Cultural Conventions. All IASAS tournaments, virtual or in-person, are not as much about the sport or the activity as much as they are about the learning experience for the students. 

  • How to stick your neck out by getting on stage or stepping out into that court, how to work as part of a team
  • How to win with humility and accept a loss with your head held high 
  • How to give it your all, and 
  • How to create relationships with those around you. 

These are the lessons of the IASAS tournaments.
The preparation for the IASAS tournaments for the Athletic and Activities Directors is the fun part. Amongst other things it includes: 

  • Working with students to create the logos for shirts, posters, programs, and signage 
  • Setting up a student team to help run the tournaments
  • Asking for teachers to volunteer their time and effort to be judges, chaperones, or other needed positions
  • Making sure that our students and our host families are prepared to accept the other students into their homes

Posters and programs are printed the weeks before. Weekly status update meetings start months in advance. Booking the guest speakers, guest conductors, or international referees sometimes starts one year before the tournament, and the coordination with the other IASAS schools regarding the dates and locations of the tournaments takes place years before the actual tournament. Regardless of the tournament being virtual or in-person, expectations are high and the coaches, sponsors, students, and families expect the best, and IASAS never fails to deliver.

With IASAS in-person tournaments set to resume sometime next school year, the aspects of the events that I hope to continue here at ISKL are the excitement shown by the school community, the participation of all three divisions, and the Spirit of IASAS. When we hosted our last event before the pandemic we had students from the elementary school (ES) walking out on the pitch holding the hands of the starting line-ups and cheering for a school and specific students (we assign visiting schools and teams to a specific ES Classroom and set a time where they visit the class, read with the students, or just have fun), the middle school (MS) students were seen cheering from the decks and creating posters for all the visiting schools, and parents and teachers bring their entire families for a weekend full of excitement. 

One aspect, that is not well known outside the tournament participants, is the "Spirit of IASAS" Award that can be awarded at each event. This award is only presented to a member of the IASAS community who exhibits exemplary behavior that builds community and sets the standard for which all IASAS schools strive. Examples can include an individual or group who has exhibited an act or acts of outstanding spirit, courage, character, sportsmanship, a selfless act, or service to others. Each school has a plaque that shows who has won this award. During the past five years, I am extremely proud to say that ISKL has won six Spirit of IASAS Awards. Teachers, students, and families have been recognized due to going above and beyond at a golf tournament, staying at a hospital late in the evening, training and leading others, and overall being amazing Panthers of ISKL! I hope that at our first in-person tournament or convention next year, the ISKL community shows its true colors (Yellow and Blue) and earns another Spirit of IASAS Award for our hospitality and generosity with the students and families that travel to Malaysia and our beautiful campus! 

Thank you for the past five years of your support for the athletics and activities here at ISKL. I will miss Malaysia and all the amazing, food, beaches, sights and sounds, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets on campus, the monkeys drinking out of the pool at the old campus, and the ever-increasing amount of birds and other creatures coming to our new campus, but most of all I will miss ISKL and the students and the families that I have been lucky enough to serve as your Athletic and Activities Director for the past five years. Terima kasih dan jumpa lagi, ISKL Boleh!!”

His positivity, vibrance and commitment through the years has made all that the IASAS Spirit Award conveys and we will truly miss him. 

“Jumpa lagi Ryan!”

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