MIDDLE SCHOOLWelcome to the Dragons Cave!Finding the perfect place to go during recess and lunch is a daunting task and on the minds of many Middle Schoolers. The Dragons Cave is a games room designed to take students away from screens and build the foundations of new friendships through table tennis, pool, billiards and/or foosball. All of it began with simple matches of table tennis in Geoff Moulton’s classroom.

While on duty in the amphitheater, Geoff noticed the high level of physical activity did not suit some students. On the other end of the spectrum, the library was a place of low physical activity and didn’t meet the needs of some students. As Moulton recalls, “The easiest thing for me as an individual teacher was to open up my classroom for students and see what they want to do.” One of the administrators at the time Greg Ladner noticed and was impressed by what was happening in Geoff’s classroom. A few months later with funding from the Parent Faculty Organization (PFO), the support of Greg Ladner, and equipment built by Geoff himself, the Dragon’s Cave became a formalized space offering a variety of games.

The Dragons Cave is popular with middle schoolers as an engaging space for them to socialize and compete without screens.The Dragons Cave would establish itself as an enduring and treasured part of the Middle School even surviving the pandemic. As soon as school was reopened, Middle School administrators Alistair Jackson and Steven Conroy proposed to bring it back. Geoff and other teachers such as Scott Simon dedicated themselves to making this space an integral part of the Middle School campus.

The greatest aspect of the Dragons Cave is that it is a place where students can build relationships. As Moulton describes, “You don’t have to be best friends but if you want to play table tennis, you can jump in line and eventually you’re going to play somebody you haven’t ever hung out with. After playing with them a couple of times you might spark a conversation and ask them how do you hit that shot.” What Geoff Moulton is most proud of is that the Dragons Cave “can be a bridge to a friendship, which I think in Middle School is essential. Helping students to break down the barriers that they face to meeting new people is a big challenge and table games are an awesome way to do that.”

For anyone who has gone through Middle School, making and maintaining friendships is one of the most daunting trials that awaits students. We may never be able to count the number of memories, humorous conversations, simple acquaintances, or even deep friendships nurtured in the Dragons Cave, but we can be certain of one thing, that it can all be brought back to the generosity of Geoff Moulton. He saw a need in the lives of the students around him and took action to make it easier for them to extend the invaluable branch of friendship to one another.

These avid table tennis players have their Middle School teacher Geoff Moulton to thank for making this space a reality!FAREWELL: ERIKA & GEOFF MOULTON Erika and Geoff Moulton will transition to the next chapter of their teaching and family life after 16 years at HKIS. In the classroom, Geoff will be remembered for inspiring a passion for science among his students. Outside of the classroom, the list is long. Whether it was track and field, soccer, volleyball, drone racing, woodworking, skateboarding, or table tennis, Geoff gave so much of himself to his students and always held up the banner of self-motivated learning at the Middle School. Erika will be greatly missed in the Lower Primary after 16 years of teaching Grades 1 and 2. She will be remembered for her thoughtful approach to teaching, her calm demeanor, and her love and care for her students, accepting each child for who they are. The Moultons have certainly put a stamp on our hearts at HKIS. We wish Geoff, Erika, and their two children Jake and Kai all the best in their next adventure!