Dear AST Family and Friends,
Thank you for a great start to the school year. A lot has been accomplished in just a few days. I spent much of my first day in schedule changes, but I was able to visit every classroom. It was great to see the students sitting together setting up classroom agreements, free writing, discussing possibilities for their future, and trying to remember those skills that they haven't used much over the summer.
I have not been on campus since Tuesday, because my new son, Zeno Atlas Keen, was born on Wednesday. Our family is happy and healthy and taking some time to just be together and get to know our new family member.
In my absence, Matt Kowalski and Diane Wilson have been working with high school students on schedule changes. Likewise, Tim Michael is working with middle school students who want to change their electives. And, finally, I am working remotely with teachers to try and figure out those final shifts and those special cases. For example, we are looking at some shifts to better support a handful of eighth and ninth grade students in their Chinese studies.
Thank you for your patience while we make these adjustments and I apologize if my email response time has been slower than expected.
For Schedule Changes
For high school students, please see Matt Kowalski.
For middle school students, please see Tim Michael.
New Teacher Introductions
This week for teacher introductions, I wanted to focus on our two new teaching couples.
Joining us in MS and HS Science is Patrick Herding.
I am excited to be joining AST this year. Growing up in the agricultural and lake area of Moorhead, Minnesota, I needed to explore, so I found a fantastic university in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1990, I moved to Flagstaff, and Northern Arizona University to get my biology degree and teaching credential. My first teaching position was on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation. After getting married and having two kids my wife and I moved our family to Juneau, Alaska. While in Juneau I worked at the Alaskan Brewing Company, Milestone Construction Co., Alyeska Central School (the state run K-12 correspondence school) and various public school positions. I have played softball in Minnesota, the Yukon, Alaska and China, kayaked the shores of Admiralty Island looking for brown bears and fished the Kenai River for salmon. I am ready to explore Taiwan. - Patrick Herding
Joining us in HS English is Casady Herding.
I’m Casady Herding, new English teacher and STUGO advisor at AST. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Arizona in my hometown of Tucson, and a Master of Science degree in Modern British Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I have taught in Arizona, Alaska, and northeast China: this is my 25th year as a teacher. I enjoy traveling with my family—husband Patrick, son Mac (age 20) and daughter Sedona (age 18)—as well as journaling, systems thinking, and experiencing the life-changing magic of tidying up. I’m looking forward to exploring beautiful Taiwan!
Joining us in MS and HS Social Studies is Ethan Dombkowski.
Hello AST Family! I am Ethan Dombkowski and I am very excited and proud to be a new member of the AST Family. I have earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University and have been teaching Social Studies in Florida, USA for the past 11 years. My wife is also a teacher here at AST and my two boys are students as well. My life’s passions are reading, surfing, playing soccer and teaching.
Joining us in MS and HS Spanish is Ximena Dombkowski.
¡Hola! My name is Claudia Ximena Dombkowski. I am very excited to be part of the AST Family and the island of Taiwan. I will show my commitment to both through my passion for teaching and learning about cultures, people and communities. I have been teaching Spanish for 5 years in Florida, USA. I received my degree in Psychology from La Universidad de Ibagúe, Colombia where I was born and lived until my husband and I relocated to Florida. I enjoy music, teaching and traveling with my family.