In days past, many of you have stopped by our 65th-anniversary exhibition to share in the experiences and stories that make up the history of ASH. Whether you were reading about Her Majesty former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opening our campus in 1990, browsing in search for the name of a beloved teacher in the list of long-serving ASH staff, or recalling that memorable ASH tradition that you have participated in time and again - the exhibition has something for everyone to relate to. Our anniversary publication Your Words, Our Story complements the exhibition and offers a collection of moments and personal reflections that tells the story and shared history of our school community, as presented through the themes of Location, Landmarks, People, Visitors, Traditions and Identity.
The community opening took place on April 11, 2019 and gathered current employees, students, parents, and alumni for a student-led celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony. The ASH middle school choir brought an inspiring version of the school song Tell Me, Tell Me and treated the audience to an acapella version of Home. Students also read alumni quotes, perfectly capturing the feeling so many of us harbor within us of ASH being a home away from home.
Our high school student hosts read the Wings and Roots poem written by former ASH Superintendent Mr. Gail Schoppert, introduced our current Director Dr. Courtney Lowe, and shared the introductory story of Mr. Bert Boonstra, former Middle School Principal. The musical interlude, played by ASH Teacher Ms. Melissa Richardson, was a soft serenade that allowed for reflection and personal interpretation. The culminating moment, the cutting of the ribbon, was orchestrated by Dr. Lowe and Mr. Boonstra in a symbolic union of past and present, our historical past and current story, coming together for the 65th-anniversary celebrations.
Following the opening, our guests mingled, reunited, and engaged in the exhibition that tells the story of everyone who has been a part of the ASH community at some point in time, be it a day, weeks, months or years - all community members have a place in the ASH story. We also encouraged our visiting alumni to share their story in a special story harvesting podcast edition capturing their individual recollections of the school or ASH experience.
But the exhibition goes beyond the gallery in the main entrance. The publication with the same name, Your Words, Our Story was the starting point for it all and is a book that we hope will be read by many in the years to come. Telling the story of ASH from its early founding in the 1950’s to present day, it takes the reader on a journey through time through the words of our alumni and photos from our historical archives. This chronicle of the school’s development notes the many crucial dates that punctuate the school's history, alongside its growth and expansion, the changing locations, as well as the identity, traditions, visitors and milestone moments that make the story of ASH what it is today. To further enhance the 65-year publication and exhibition, a special landmark map was developed to collect, share and allow interaction with the school's 44 art pieces, landmark objects and historical locations scattered about our campus and former campus locations in The Hague. This map brings the locations of our landmarks to life, helping to tell our intricate and interesting history.
The celebration of our school’s 65th year anniversary will continue as the exhibition will be on display through the end of the school year, allowing us to keep sharing the history of ASH with all who pass through our gates. The online landmark map will be a permanent feature on our ASH website to ensure community members both near and far can keep on engaging and learning about our school. The memories captured in our podcast series will be released in the near future. If you have a story you'd like to donate to ASH to help us enrich our story archive, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This landmark celebration highlighted the vast and diverse history of ASH forming a superb foundation for many years to come. Thank you to everyone for being part of the ASH Story.