Latest Alumni News Blog Posts
The CAIS alumni council serves as the link between CAIS and alumni by keeping alumni connected with each other and the school, steering alumni programming, and modeling the CAIS mission: embracing Chinese, becoming their best selves, and creating their place in the world. We welcome all alumni, regardless of age or current location. Bakari Smith ’11 has kindly agreed to be our first ever Alumni Council President, reaching out to alumni at the annual Cookies & Cocoa Reunion.» read more
On June 13, the Herbst Theater was THE place to see beaming smiles and eyes glistening with proud tears as families and faculty promoted Fifth Grade to Middle School and ushered the Class of 2018 through the traditional Graduation Exercises. Emcee Romi Yount ’11 deftly handled the multifaceted graduation ceremony which featured musical performances by:
- June Jasmin 六月茉莉 and Seeking Plum Blossoms in the Snow 踏雪寻梅 performed by the Chinese Music Ensemble (Chloe C., Natasha M., Henry M., Stella P., and Isabella S.)
- Pomp and Circumstance performed by Isabella S. ’20
- Prelude in G Sharp Minor, Opus 32, Number 12 performed by Alyssa Y. ’18
- Let It Be performed by Caleb C. ’18, Chris S. ’18, Jace B. ’18 and Malachi C. ’16
- Forever Young performed by Ana H ’18 and Brooke G. ’18
- Violin Concerto, Opus 7 performed by Lea T. ’18
- Friends Forever and Peng You 朋友 performed by Fifth Graders accompanied by Cesar Cancino
Lower School Director Anne Valentino and Middle School Director Joe Williamson presented the Citizenship Awards respectively to the Fifth Grade and Eighth Grades. This year, both grades exemplified such admirable collective spirits that they warranted group honors over individual callouts. Anne Valentino was joined by Chinese Program Director Kevin Chang and teacher Ron Morris, Michael Hsu, and Annie Liu in promoting the fifth grade to the ranks of middle schoolers. Board Chair Ernest Chow joined Head of School Jeff Bissell, Kevin... » read more
Alice C. and Adam W., both members of the Class of 2018, reached out by email to Alexander Massialas ’08, a fellow Firedragon who blazed a path a decade prior, to learn about his accomplishments and life after CAIS. At Graduation Dinner, the three were able to meet in person and also were joined by CAIS founder Carol Ruth Silver. Massialas shared his Olympic medals which drew an awed crowd of students.
Alice and Adam: Your father was also an Olympic fencer, is this how you got involved in the sport?
Alice and Adam: From what we have heard, the amount of homework that you get at high school is even more than CAIS, how did you manage to fit in your fencing?
As newly minted Alumni Achievement Award winner, one of Alexander Massialas ’08’s first duties was to induct the Class of 2018 into the ranks of CAIS alumni at Graduation Dinner on June 12.
Enjoy his congratulatory remarks and sage advice to his new alumni fellows:
Congratulations to th Class of 2018, who will be attending the following schools in the Bay Area and beyond:
- The Bay School
- The Drew School
- Carlmont High School (Belmont)
- Choate Rosemary Hall
- Convent of the Sacred Heart
- Gunn High School (Palo Alto)
- International High School
- Lick-Wilmerding High School
- Lowell (SFUSD)
- The Nueva School
- The Proof School
- SOTA (SFUSD)
- Stuart Hall High School
- The Urban School
- University High School
Head of School Jeff Bissell proudly presented Alexander Massialas 陳海翔 ’08 with the Alumni Achievement Award “for setting an outstanding example to become your best self and create your place in the world through your accomplishments at the highest levels of international fencing.”As Bissell shared with the soon-to-be graduates and parents at the Graduation Dinner, “Two-time Olympian Alexander Massialas is a silver medalist in Men’s foil from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he also earned a bronze medal in men’s team foil. He earned a silver medal at the 2015 World Fencing Championships and team silver medal in 2014. He began fencing at his father’s gym while at CAIS (along with his sister Sabrina ’11 and ’08 classmate Nobuo Bravo.) A well-rounded scholar-athlete, Alexander also competed on the basketball and the swimming teams at Drew School and enjoyed a fencing scholarship to Stanford University where he earned NCAA titles in individual men’s foil and was named three-time NCAA All-American. Alexander credits his Mandarin fluency with helping to develop a strong relationship between the US and Chinese fencing teams, which have been able to hold multiple training camps together.”» read more
Whether they had been at the new Middle School campus before or not, alumni and parents from the Class of 2014 quickly felt at home relaxing and catching up at the 888 Campus for reunion this weekend. Head of School Jeff Bissell and special guest Ms. Winnie Mu (who remembers teaching many of these students in first grade!) were impressed to hear from alumni about high school accomplishments and plans for college. If you (or your graduate) couldn’t make it, please feel free to drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with college plans and preferred post-high school email address (and let us know if you’re still using your Chinese).» read more
The newsletter for St. George’s School (Middletown, RI) shared that Zoe Barros O’Haren ’16:
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came in second place at the advanced level in the 13th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for U.S. High School Students last weekend. Contestants had to make a prepared speech as well as participate in a Q&A and talent show. Zoella passed the elimination round in late February and joined 26 finalists to compete in the competition’s final round at the University of Massachusetts Boston on Saturday.
Just before Winter Break, a record-setting 100+ alumni and alumni parents from grades 2010-2017 gathered in The Carroll Family Learning Center at the 888 Campus for the 3rd annual Cookies & Cocoa Alumni Reunion.
The only thing warmer than the cocoa and sweeter than the cookies were the rekindled connections among the families and teachers and administrators including Jeff Bissell, Anna Donnelly, Susan Kennedy, Kaicy MacLeod, Winnie Mu, Susan Sherman, Anne Valentino, Joe Williamson, and Alice Woodman-Russell. The Advancement Office collected details of graduates’ high school and college happenings to be shared in the winter 2018 alumni newsletter.» read more
At the Graduation Dinner on June 14, CAIS awarded its inaugural Alumni Achievement Award to Reylon Yount ’08 for setting an outstanding example through his professional accomplishments in the field of Chinese music.
An accomplished musician who plays the yangqin, Reylon began his Chinese music study here at CAIS with Gangqin Zhao. He attended IHS and then went on to graduate from Harvard in 2016 with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy and a secondary in East Asian Studies. Reylon has performed around the globe with YoYo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He is featured on the Silk Road Ensemble’s Grammy Award-winning album Sing Me Home. He joined the group in accepting the music industry’s top honor this year. Reylon served as a faculty member at the 2017 Youth Music Culture Guangdong conference in Guangzhou. He also founded the Cultural Connections performance series in Allston, MA, to showcase various music and dance traditions to the local community. In the series, each performance piece is followed by a Q&A about the history of the art form and the experience of performing in the arts in college.
Today alumnus Reylon Yount (CAIS class of 2008, Harvard 2016) visited our World Music classes to speak about his experiences performing with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on the album Sing Me Home, which just received a Grammy award for World Music.
Reylon credits his study of the Yangqin, which he began at CAIS, as well as his experience playing in CAIS Music Ensembles as preparing him for success in a group such as the Silk Road Ensemble. Reylon just returned from teaching in China with Yo Yo Ma, and is excited to share his perspectives on the potential power of music in creating international community.
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