The idea of finding yourself at ISKL is really about helping students find their way and empowering them through their learning.” Those are the words of Becky Naughton, ISKL’s High School Social Studies teacher, that encapsulate how our dedicated faculty are united in their commitment to education. 

 

For this edition of our ‘Find Yourself At ISKL’ series, ISKL’s committed faculty took us on a journey as they shared their most prominent motivation, their students, and how they have discovered and explored their passions, interests, and competencies while at ISKL. Whether during home groups or a Global Action Program (GAP) expedition trip to Borneo - they all have insightful and memorable moments to share with us!

 

Trina Cobbledick, Director of Student Services 

Trina is the Director of Student Services and has been with ISKL since 2015. She is a passionate proponent of ISKL’s inclusive culture and programming, leading ISKL’s extensive support team, including English as an Additional Language, Learning Resource, and Counseling specialists, to ensure the needs of all students are served. Trina holds a Bachelor of Education, Masters of Educational Psychology and has completed a certificate in International Inclusive Leadership.

 

“I found myself at ISKL through the students. It’s not just one moment, but all the moments every day make the experience special here. 

 

‘This photo was of my homegroup last year. The homegroup brought a sense of community and belonging, whether playing games or learning something new together. We were laughing, having fun, and I think that’s what ISKL is all about. It’s about academics and connecting on that social and emotional learning level so that everyone feels that they have a place where they belong.

 

‘We were fortunate to have Chris Koch come to our school last year and speak to all the students about the importance of inclusion and that we all have struggles. We have days that are good and days that are tough. We have moments where we feel like it’s hard to get up in the day. But through coming together and promoting that sense of belonging and helping one another, we can have a resilient community. 

 

‘I was fortunate to run the KL marathon alongside Chris; it was an incredibly inspiring moment where you saw everyone cheering alongside him, and my students were so excited about it too! They wanted to hear every moment and share that experience. 

 

‘As I’ve moved into a new position as the Director of Student Services, I’m happy to work towards those meaningful changes to continue to meet the needs of all students and advocate for an inclusive school.”

 

Becky and Ryan Naughton, High School Social Studies Teacher and Director of Activities/Athletics

 

Becky Naughton is the High School Social Studies teacher and has been with ISKL since 2017, enriching students’ minds through her keen intellect and infectious enthusiasm for the subjects she loves. Outside of teaching, Becky greatly enjoys the great outdoors, reading literature, and traveling to experience and immerse herself in various cultures and environments.


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. Ryan holds an MA in Educational Leadership, a BA in History, and a BSc in Business Management.

 

Ryan Naughton: “I still keep a picture here of our Global Action Program (GAP) expedition trip to Borneo during our first year here at ISKL in 2017. We were brand new to Malaysia, and although we’d been to Borneo before, we took 18 students over for their Global trip.

 

‘We helped a local village plant trees and installed a new water filtration system. It was amazing to see how much the students have grown through trips like these, and reminds us of why it’s great to be here at ISKL because we get to witness the students’ growth.

 

‘I saw a few freshman students who were scared to do white water rafting or jump off a 10-foot cliff into a lake. Two or three years later, they’re doing great things. They are leading clubs, and they are captains of their teams. They’re doing all the great things that we expect our students to do here at ISKL.

 

Becky Naughton: ‘The idea of finding yourself at ISKL is really about helping students find their way and empowering them through their learning. Allowing them to get in there and work with the material helps – students answer different questions, explain research to other students, and empower each other.

 

‘Working at ISKL with the faculty members has also been inspiring. It always pushes me to do better because everybody else is working just as hard, being as innovative and creative as they can be.”

 

Brian Foudy, MS Director of Athletics and Activities

 

Brian is the Middle School Director of Athletics & Activities and has been with ISKL since 2009. He is originally from Canada and has taught for 25 years internationally. Brian believes a robust program creates opportunities for everyone to showcase their talents. He holds a Masters in Education, a BA in Geography and Physical Education, a Certificate in Education, and a Degree in Advanced Studies in Education.

 

“For me, it was just this natural progression, this natural path that I can call nothing but luck. I followed it, and it brought me to ISKL. 

 

‘If you were to make a bumper sticker for the Middle School, it’s ‘something for everyone.’ You have the kids coming from Elementary School, and they’ve had some great opportunities. But when they get to Middle School, it just expands in terms of what they can do by themselves, their independence. For example, kids could be in the band, and as part of the band, you’re feeling a team sensation. And that’s what we try to give in Middle School. 

 

‘Maybe this young man here hasn’t played the tuba before Grade 6. But he can come here, join the band, pick an instrument, or be given one. And within a year or two years, you go and see a concert like that. And if you didn’t know that it was a beginner, you’d be amazed. 

 

‘This is a team that Mr. Allum and I took to Phuket. I chose this polaroid because it has my daughter on there, and I was able to coach my daughter’s team. Some of them haven’t been away from home or even had a sleepover. And this is the first time they go away with basically 15 of their best friends. The camaraderie that takes place on that trip and the experiences they have, they told me it’s the best trip they’ve had in their life. As an educator and a parent, to watch that and know how fantastic that is, particularly in these times, you appreciate it a lot more. 

 

‘And that’s what ISKL gives you, and that’s what the ISKL Middle School program gives you. And there is, you know, there’s that saying if you do something you love, you’ve never worked a day, and that rings true for me.”

Karen Palko, Middle School Dance & P.E. Teacher

Karen is the Middle School Dance & PE Teacher and has been with ISKL since 1983. She works with both the Middle School and High School performing Arts teams on theater productions and is the Malaysia Week Coordinator in the Middle School. Karen is originally from the US, growing up in California, but having her home base in Colorado. She loves to read, dance, do arts and crafts, and is an avid collector of Christmas crafts, dogs, and special interests in her spare time. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health, PE, Recreation, Dance, and a Masters in Education.

 

“The person who helped me find my ‘aha’ moment at ISKL was former dance student, Bilqis Hijjas, Class of 1997. In the mid-90s, Bilqis wandered into my classroom and said, “Hey, can I show you something?”

 

She proceeded to choreograph a dance attached to a metaphor and developed it into a 20-minute piece. I was astounded, realizing maybe I needed to change my teaching method by moving to the back of the classroom instead of leading from the front. This was a pivotal moment for me, and ever since, that’s how I teach, with student-led and student devised pieces.

 

‘Right up until today, I’m still doing it, so thank you, Bilqis, for helping me find that way.”

 


Educators at ISKL consistently refine their teaching practices to reach all learners and prepare them with the skills needed to be global citizens. A big thank you to Becky Naughton, Brian Foudy, Karen Palko, Ryan Naughton, and Trina Cobbledick for sharing these priceless memories with us; it is evident that our students left a lasting print and helped them find themselves at ISKL.

 

From peals of laughter shared during home group, witnessing how much their students had grown during trips to those moments when a student helped a teacher find her own ‘aha’ moment, these unforgettable memories are a testament that it truly is all about the students. 

 

Read more about our Find Yourself at ISKL story, where we showcase some of our diverse students and alumni who genuinely represent the ISKL High School experience. We now invite you to come on this journey to Find Yourself at ISKL. Head over here to watch the series on our YouTube channel

 


About ISKL

 

Established in 1965, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has become known as a center of excellence in the world of international education. ISKL is a co-educational, private, not-for-profit school responsible for the learning journey of 1,500 students aged 3-18 years representing more than 65 nationalities at its campus in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

 

ISKL offers a robust international curriculum which combines leading North American educational frameworks with global best practice.  The curriculum recognizes that students are on a lifelong learning journey and is driven by ISKL’s mission to challenge each student to “Be All You Are” and develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding to become a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen.

 

ISKL is accredited internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS), and in the United States through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). There is a strong focus on service and sustainability across its divisions and is a member of the Eco-Schools organization and the Green Schools Alliance.