Spotlight on Student Excellence

Brent Brayko, High School Associate Principal of Teaching + Learning, sat down with DragonTales to reflect on HKIS’s first High School Student Recognition Evening.
On Tuesday, May 18, HKIS rolled out the red carpet to High School students receiving awards across different disciplines for their exceptional work over the school year. This was our first ever Student Recognition Evening, a new take on the traditional convocation, and an example of how we’ve learned some things from the Covid-19 period — some things like how to pivot a plan!

Normally, convocation is a 90-minute assembly in the gym with the whole High School. In May of 2020, we moved the entire ceremony online, with department heads recording their messages to the students. This year, we knew by February that we weren’t going to be able to have a gym full of students, and also that we wanted to do something in person. So we got creative, and came up with a little evening event, inviting the award winners and their parents in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. The students invited knew they were winning an award, but we kept an element of surprise by not telling them which award they had won; only as they left did they receive the full program!

It ended up being a very intimate event; some members of the HKIS Chamber Strings performed in the auditorium’s foyer as guests and students, dressed in semi-formal attire, walked down the red carpet and found their seats as the sun set on the hot May evening. Tim Chen ’92 began the formalities by accepting the Bob Christian Alumnus of the Year Award. He did a fantastic job and set the tone for the night; his appreciation for HKIS came through, and had sound advice for the students and all they had lived through over the last two years.
Top Associate Principal Brent Brayko, seen here in an archived photo, sat down with us to discuss the inaugural Dragon Spotlight event.
Middle & below The High School rolled out the red carpet for the awards night, which included live music from the Strings Quartet.

The attendees really enjoyed and appreciated listening to the awards being given. In addition, siblings and friends and other family members tuned into the livestream to take part. We know it went well because people said, “let’s continue to do this!” We felt pretty positive about it, and will continue to honor students this way in years to come.