It's been a busy few months--read on!
Welcome to our mid-year update and what's happening with the school. What a busy few months it has been!
The first news to report is that we are very happy to introduce our newest board members, Rev. Panha Mey and Dr. Laura (Sokchea) Mey. Panha is currently the pastor at the Cambodian Baptist Church of Houston, TX and is a chaplain at area hospitals. Laura is an anesthesiologist in private practice in the Houston area. They are parents to Catherine and Caleb.
Both Panha and Laura were born in Cambodia and escaped the Khmer Rouge, each coming to the U.S. as children thanks to the efforts of refugee programs operated by various religious organizations. They shared with the board how fortunate they feel to have been brought to the U.S. and the opportunities they have been given.
They are interested in giving the children of Cambodia an educational experience that can break the cycle of poverty and help them grow into citizens who can give back to their families, communities, and country. They will help us promote the school and its mission, and they have already made an impact during their short time on the board by securing new donors and inviting many people to use Amazon Smile.
We feel very fortunate to have Panha and Laura on the Cambodia Academy team and we are grateful they have agreed to share their time and talents with us. Welcome!
We've raised $25,000 in our drive to rebuild our cafeteria building and kitchen!
[From left to right: Ron Noska; board member Katherine Walsh; Gary Clarke and Kathy Clarke] A huge thanks to our board member Dr. Katherine Walsh, who recently secured $25,000 from four new donors to rebuild our cafeteria building and install a new kitchen. Thanks to her efforts, Gary and Kathy Clarke of Houston, TX have donated $12,500 and were matched by two other donors who wish to remain anonymous. Gary and Kathy are new to the Cambodia Academy family, and we are so grateful for their generosity and concern for the students and mothers whose lives will be improved by the new facility. We have added these donations to the $2,500 contributed last year by our friends from the Rotary Club in Stavanger, Norway to bring us to a total of $27,500. We are in the process of seeking out architects to develop building plans and will then go out to bid for building contractors. We expect that we will need to raise approximately another $15,000 to fully fund construction, but we will have a better idea once we engage an architect.
Since our space on campus is becoming limited, we are exploring the possibility of adding a second floor to the building for a multipurpose meeting space and computer lab. We plan on beginning the build during the semester gap in 2022 once board members are able to more freely travel to the country and can oversee the construction along with our operations manager, Reaksa Sok.
Introducing our new Principal Dara Pei and Vice Principal Chenla Saiman
Our former principal Soviet Miech decided moved on to the next step in his career at the end of April, and while we were sorry to see him go, we are grateful for his service to the school, and we wish him all the best in his next chapter! Thank you for everything you've done, Soviet! We are very happy to announce that our former vice principal Dara Pei has been appointed interim principal and teacher Chenla Saiman has been appointed interim vice principal. Dara has been with the school for many years as a teacher and IT instructor and has done a great job stepping into the role and keeping the board up to date on what is going on at the school. Chenla is a graduate of The Cambodia Academy and the first in her family to graduate from university. She was most recently a teacher at the school, and we are very excited that one of our own graduates is now in a leadership role at the school. Congratulations to both Dara and Chenla, and best of luck in your new positions!