SOARING BEYOND THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN

SOARING BEYOND THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN

September 2022


A RISING YOUNG CELLIST

A RISING YOUNG CELLIST

September 2022


Bethany Hall

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and spent my student years in the splendid city of Cape Town.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
From my very first interview with CAIS, I knew it was the right place for me. The staff and ethos of the school exude Christ’s love for His children alongside a standard of excellence and diligence.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
The biggest challenge for me as a teacher is endeavouring to remain a lifelong learner. It helps me understand and empathise with my students if I can put myself in their shoes. My current learning goal is to master some basic Cantonese!

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
I find great joy and reward when I simply have fun with my students, whether through dance, play, or silly stories. When I am abroad, I miss my dogs the most! I try to video call with them but they have not yet learnt how to answer the phone.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
One of my favourite scriptures and one that I pray over my students is Psalm 16:11. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”


Diana Alagar

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in Bacoor, Cavite, in the Philippines.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
Before applying for a teaching position at CAIS, I conducted extensive research into the school. I was absolutely delighted with what I found. I believe that the learning ethos of CAIS matches my own. The school has an excellent reputation for its quality of teaching and the excellent behaviour of students. I wanted to be part of such a committed team and add my own skills and experience to further enhance the high-quality experience that CAIS offers to their students.

In addition, I was impressed with the school’s approach towards extra-curricular learning. As a musically inclined person, I was touched with CAIS students’ musical and theatrical performances. Most importantly, teaching at CAIS will allow me to instill Christian values in Science. There’s a lot of opportunities to do that in this beautiful subject. I want my students to look at and learn Science with God in their hearts and minds.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
Before coming to teach in Hong Kong, I was given a wonderful opportunity to teach in the United States for 5 years. The experience has molded me into who I am today. It made me a stronger, more resilient teacher and person. Being an international teacher in the States allowed me to see the world. I traveled, interacted with cultures that challenge my world view, and explored unfamiliar places and wild lands with my family. But the most rewarding part and what shapes my life is my profession: as a teacher, I’m fortunate to have the chance to help others succeed. Taking part in shaping the next generation gives me fulfillment and I am ready to continue that endeavour at Christian Alliance School in Hong Kong.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. It is the Lord You Are Serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24


Jared Roberge

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in the small state of Connecticut in the USA.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
CAIS drew me in with their commitment to the Christian faith as well as the kindness of the staff and leadership.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
The most rewarding moments during my time as a teacher revolves around the relationships that I have had with my students. The challenges come when they move on to a new grade, and I don’t get to teach them anymore. The last day of school is always the toughest.

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
Outside of family and friends, the thing I miss most about home while I’m away is the autumn season. The weather is cool, the leaves have changed, and there are lots of festivities and fairs to get involved with.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” – James 1:2 ESV

Difficult times come for everybody, and it seems they have come more often these past couple of years, but we always have something to rejoice in. God is working in our lives through all of the toughest times.


Virginia Collingwood

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in a small rural town called Feilding in New Zealand. I completed my bachelor’s in English and History at Massey University and my teaching qualification at New Zealand Graduate School of Education.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
I had heard about CAIS from fellow teachers in New Zealand who knew Mr. Vanderpyl and my husband and I were interested in moving to that part of the world due to the Lord’s prompting, so I thought I would look into it further. After researching the school, praying, and having some video calls, I was impressed by the way faith was lived out authentically and how the overall identity of the school was one of genuine care to create a family environment.

I was also interested in the school’s community mindedness and academic rigour, especially with the supplementary international curriculums it offers. All of these characteristics I really value in education. I love being able to delve into intellectual content with students and give them the tools to be able to analyse information themselves, which is why the International Baccalaureate Language and Literature course is going to be a dynamic course to teach.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
In the previous school I worked at I was in charge of looking after 250 students’ academic, pastoral and behavioural needs. I found this challenge hugely rewarding as this was a big academic year for the students (normally New Zealand universities take into account the grades earned in this year for scholarships) and it was fulfilling to encourage the students individually, whilst also casting a vision for the year level as a whole.

However, one of the things I found difficult about the job was not being able to build as many one-on-one relationships as I would have liked because of the size of the cohort and the disruptive nature of COVID-19. Another challenge in my career was saying goodbye to my Kiwi students who I deeply care about and explaining my move to them (as when the Hong Kong school year starts it is only halfway through the New Zealand school year). However, I am excited about the meaningful relationships I can build with students in Hong Kong!

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
Firstly, of course family and close friends. Then the food and nature. My husband and I are also keen hikers and our hometown is very close to the Southern Alps where we enjoy hiking.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1


Kylie Pomana

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in a tourist town called Rotorua in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Later I spent a year of high school in Japan, studied for my undergraduate degree in New Zealand and my master’s in Australia.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
I was impressed by the kindness that I felt through videos I had seen and I encouraged my husband to think about exploring the possibility of our family joining the school community. The feeling of inclusiveness is very apparent from talking with leaders of CAIS and I look forward to working with everyone from August this year.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
The biggest challenge for me working in education is balancing my empathy and passion to empower students to become their best selves and my other commitments in life as a wife and mother. My most rewarding moments as an educator are seeing students grow and the pride in their eyes when they have understood something or achieved their goals. Seeing their accomplishments beyond high school on social media are also special for me – for example a former student of mine making the All Blacks and another aiming to be Prime Minister of Bangladesh in 2034. When past students reach out to update me on their life it reminds me that I make a difference every day.

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
Our family and friends – without a doubt this is the hardest part of making the decision to teach overseas. We are fortunate that with technology we can still keep in contact.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12


Catherine Roberge

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in a large family of seven children in southern New Hampshire, USA. We were all home-schooled, and I never set foot in a formal classroom until I went to university. I studied at a Christian school, that prepared me to be a teacher and helped deepen my understanding of God’s word.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
Hong Kong is an amazing city, and as we looked into schools to teach at, CAIS stood out with its beautiful campus, excellent leadership, and Christian education. We prayed about it, and it seemed like the right fit for us.

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
Family is so important. I’m blessed to have a wonderful daughter and husband who will join me in Hong Kong. When we are overseas, I really miss spending holidays and birthday celebrations with loved ones. The pandemic has made it nearly impossible to attend weddings, funerals, and special occasions that take place during the school year, and it’s a big sacrifice for everyone.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
This is one of the passages of scripture that has been on my mind lately. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonian 5:16-18


Matthew Fung

Where did you grow up/study?
I was born in Germany and grew up there for most of my life. I spent one year of high school in Kazakhstan before I went back to Germany to finish my secondary education. I studied in Alberta, Canada for my undergraduate degree.

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
I had heard about the school from friends and family a few years ago not thinking about future work locations. However, this past year, God opened the doors for me to come to CAIS and put this new journey on my heart.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
I love seeing students who have struggled in certain areas become willing to try and grow despite the difficulty. Being able to instill confidence and give encouragement to them and seeing them succeed and thrive in all areas of their lives is very fulfilling and encouraging to me as a teacher.

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
One of my favourite Bible verses is Matthew 5:14-16. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”


Rong Han

Where did you grow up/study?
I grew up in South Korea and attended an international school there. For university, I attended Michigan State University and I’m currently working towards my graduate degree there as well!

What attracted you to teach at CAIS?
One of the biggest pulls was how big the team is! I also loved how Christ-centered CAIS is and how the school works to show who God and Jesus is to the students.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in education?
Biggest challenge is probably work-life balance as I find it easy to be ambitious and overwork. Another challenge may be delivering content in an engaging manner to the students. Rewarding moments are when students and I have a close relationship and students open up to me or become silly. Another rewarding moment is seeing the tremendous growth in students, whether that’s in grades or skills or more importantly, their confidence.

What do you miss most about your home when you are overseas?
Being able to spend time with family and friends, and food!

Can you share one of your favourite bible verses with us?
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who will I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8