KIS offers rich, student-centered academic programs at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels. We also believe that a positive co-curricular experience supports individual growth and strengthens the KIS community.
The co-curricular experience at KIS invites all students to try something new, develop specific and transferable skills, and form positive peer relationships. KIS offers multiple ways for students to get involved including club and after school activities, athletics, arts productions, and service programs.
KIS is proud to partner with teachers, coaches, community members, and organizations who help our students develop practical and relational skills that transfer beyond the stage, court, or service activity. And we are proud of our students. They try something new, value practice. They persevere, succeed. They create community.
Associate Principal of Activities and Athletics
Annie invites athletes to expect improvement, empowering their sense of possibility. And the confidence of an athlete who recognizes their own growth is absolutely worth cheering.
A positive new experience creates great energy! JV cheer coach Annie Sandoval establishes an inclusive space for her athletes to explore and improve their cheerleading skills. “That is the junior varsity concept,” Annie says. “We want students to try a new activity and we support students at their skill level.” The goal is to finish the season with a stronger skill set – and to foster community.
Those two goals are connected. Annie is proud of the enthusiasm the cheerleaders bring to practice and competition. They encourage each other, recognizing the interdependence of the sport and knowing that their relationships and communication strengthens their individual and team performance.
For Annie, coaching is a new experience but also a natural next step. Her dance background informs how she coaches cheer. “I wasn’t a traditional athlete,” Annie says. “I danced because I appreciate the art.” The athleticism of dance echoes in the strength, rhythm, and timing required by cheer and Annie emphasizes the body-mind connection in movements, coaching cheer athletes to develop spatial awareness and coordination. Muscle memory is amazing which is why revising movement is a challenge.
But we appreciate challenges too! Annie invites athletes to expect improvement, empowering their sense of possibility. And the confidence of an athlete who recognizes their own growth is absolutely worth cheering.
“Sometimes you may not know you like something until you try it,” Lucas says. For him, the first something was swimming. And then, coaching.
As a child, Lucas Vu was afraid of the water but his parents viewed swimming as a survival skill and enrolled him in lessons. By middle school, Lucas trained in the pool daily, perfecting his strokes. Lucas competed as a swimmer and water polo player for the national team during university where he studied environmental engineering and management.
"Sometimes you may not know you like something until you try it,” Lucas says. For him, the first something was swimming. And then, coaching. When his water polo coach tapped him to be assistant coach, Lucas decided to give it a shot. Soon he began teaching swimming and water safety. As the KIS aquatic coordinator, Lucas believes that water safety is an essential skill and that even timid swimmers can learn to be safe around and in water without support. More than a decade later, he continues to appreciate the fun and challenge of teaching and coaching swimmers.
Lucas coaches with empathy for his athletes. He remembers the struggle of his own early competition days that helped him understand the crucial balance of physical, mental, and social-emotional wellness. Now Lucas coaches KIS swimmers to prioritize their individual well-being and develop healthy team relationships. Camaraderie is essential. As he says, “We are about the whole team.”
“The undercurrent of theater is acceptance,” Helen says. She believes theater teaches the essentials of being a good person. Helen opens KIS productions to anyone who wants to perform or support the production, nurturing an inclusive environment.
Helen Thompson understands that everyone needs a place to belong. She found her place as a child in her first stage performance, a funny role that made the audience laugh, returning her energy. Helen was hooked. “In theater, you have a voice, a way to communicate,” she says. She studied theater at university, worked as an actor, and facilitated acting workshops which led to her role as theater teacher.
In Helen’s theater class, students learn the rich and varied traditions of world theater, connecting to the performance styles of different cultures. Students research performance, design, and directing skills from around the world and use those techniques to enhance their own work.
"The undercurrent of theater is acceptance,” Helen says. She believes theater teaches the essentials of being a good person. Helen opens KIS productions to anyone who wants to perform or support the production, nurturing an inclusive environment. “It is all about the casting,” Helen says. She and the other directors assign roles that give each student an opportunity to succeed, and provide the rigor and clear direction that build the cast and crew’s trust and confidence in one another so that by opening night, everyone is ready for a great show.
Helen has that same trust and confidence in the performing arts team at KIS. “We are bold. We enjoy doing difficult things,” she says. Challenge brings joy to the stage, the pleasure of pulling together a performance the audience responds to – Helen knows that feeling and wants her students to know it too. “Theater brings a community together,” she says.