by Craig Coutts, Head of School
Every year schools like ours experience a number of milestones. Students start school for the first time or move from Elementary to Middle School or Middle to High, and of course high school seniors graduate and move on to start their tertiary education or take on their first full time job. In addition to these individual milestones, 2024 will bring a significant milestone for our whole school, as we will be celebrating our school’s centenary. This is a milestone few schools can boast about and already there is much excitement building for this event.
On October 27th, 1924, six students attended their first day of school at Yokohama International School under the supervision of one female teacher. YIS was only the second school in the world to open as an international school in name and intention. Weeks earlier on the other side of the world, Geneva International School opened its doors to its first students. Ninety nine years later we have almost 130 times the number of students we did on the first day.
YIS has grown and changed significantly over the years to meet the needs of the growing international population in Yokohama and beyond and provide an education that would support the diverse needs of its community. It has changed in size, structure, focus and most recently in physical location, yet one thing we always hear from our alumni who visit is that it still feels like “their school”. It will be this history of development and the Dragon Spirit that we will be celebrating next year through events for the community, past and present. We have a team already working on plans and you can expect to see sports events, concerts, art exhibitions and a number of social events that will bring the community together to pay homage to “our school”.
To highlight the centenary we commissioned Class of 2010 alumna Sara Suzuki to design a special 100th year logo. Sara, who graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, is an accomplished video game artist who lives and works here in Yokohama. The logo will be prominent in our materials over the coming year or so and you will be able to purchase commemorative memorabilia in our school store next year.
We are very excited to launch our centenary logo and hope that everyone in our community will participate in the planned events as we come together to mark this momentous occasion.