95th Anniversary of ISM

Article By: Alice Ye

Such monumental events occurred in 1920, for example the Treaty of Versailles was signed, female suffrage was enacted in America, the first commercial radio was broadcasted, but maybe most importantly to us, ISM was founded. This year, ISM is kicking off celebrations for its 95th anniversary which falls on March 4th, 2015, so many special events have been planned to commemorate this anniversary. For example, last Saturday on November 22, a round of performances recognized this milestone, and ISM’s 95th “birthday” reunion is set for March, 2015.

Many clubs and organisations have also been planning events to celebrate this anniversary. In fact, ISM’s official publication, Newsflash, is publishing a special 95th anniversary issue that focuses on the theme of time travel and the changes in ISM throughout these 95 years. For this special issue, ISM alumni were contacted to write guest articles. For example, Chita Sharathchandra (class of 1981), mother of Akshay Sharathchandra, wrote about the astounding changes that ISM has undergone since its establishment, but also highlighted the things that have remained constant. Similarly, Alyzza Acacio (class of 2014) created a list of 95 things she misses about ISM. Usually only spending a few years here, many students are unaware of the changes that have occurred and the history of how ISM came to be.

The most significant change in ISM over these 95 years is perhaps its campus. Mr. David Toze, who has held the title of Superintendent at ISM for over a decade, says that the school originally started with only 30 to 40 students in a rented building during the American colonial period. It then expanded to a permanent campus in Pasay City and later, in 1960, changed to a campus in BelAir with multiple buildings before finally expanding in 2002 to the 7-hectare campus in Fort Bonifacio we know today.

Other changes ISM has experienced over the past 95 years include the introduction of a uniform, the change of the mascot from a Native American Indian to a Bearcat, and the incorporation and development of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme that over 70% of seniors currently take. However, many things still stay the same: Mr. Toze believes that “at the end of the day, it’s bricks and water, concrete and glass. What really counts in this school are the kids and the teachers.” ISM has maintained its diversity and mission through these 95 years, has proven its ability to adapt to be the best it can be for its students, and will continue to do so in the future.