Spotlight: Saying Goodbye to Ms. Hartley

Written by: Alexis

Edited by: Niyanthri

Visual by: Macy

As we enter the end of the school year, the ISM community will be saying goodbye to different teachers throughout the Elementary, Middle, and High School. It’s always a bittersweet moment when teachers we have grown to love, like Ms. Hartley, move on. Bamboo Telegraph has been given the opportunity to interview the one and only Ms. Hartley and several other students from ISM, to say farewell to her, and highlight the impact she has had on the Bearcat community during her twelve years spent at ISM.

Initially trained as an elementary school teacher, Ms. Hartley was the Program Leader for Art in Elementary School during her first couple years at ISM. She taught students from grades 1-4. In 2014, she moved to high school to teach Film from grades 10-12, which includes the IB Film Program. She says, “Being in high school is awesome because I get to meet all those little primary school kids again as goofy teenagers!” For the past three school years, she has also been part of the Theory of Knowledge department. Since teaching in high school, Ms. Hartley has started the Film Club as well as the Manila Student Film Festival. She developed IASAS Film as an IASAS Culcon Event which will be hosted at ISM next school year. She has also been involved in a lot of the service projects at ISM and says she will especially miss, “ECO ICARE, Red, Ocean Activism, and Estancia Elementary school.”

Ms. Hartley has also been a part of the Bamboo Telegraph (BT) and Bamboo Telegraph Video (BTV) as the supervisor and she loves, “to watch students come into the team in freshman year and blossom as they develop their skills.” BT and BTV have been creating videos and articles to keep the ISM community entertained and informed. “During online learning BT and BTV was a place where I could connect to students about all kinds of things and remain positive and excited about life outside my bedroom wall,” she says. Ms. Hartley will miss it, but is “so delighted that Mr. Khan will be taking on the role of supervisor.”  She adds that, “He is so calm and wise and I know he will do an amazing job of guiding the next phase of BT and BTV.”

ISM is also known for having spectacular events from all different kinds of groups such as the HS Play, Battle of the Bearcats, Battle of the Bands, etc. Ms. Hartley loves Battle of the Bearcats (BOB) due to seeing all the students display a high amount of spirit, and energy towards their passions. She also especially enjoys watching ISM play sports and loves, “cheering on any Bearcat team and chanting and screaming and being part of the Bearcat tribe.” 

Ms. Hartley will be moving to Sydney, Australia but will miss the “kindness and friendliness of the Filipino people that made me feel at home for the last 12 years.”

Ms. Hartley has made an impact on so many people in the ISM community. For example, Inez, a sophomore, describes a moment when she was seated “beside her (Ms. Hartley) for a BTV meeting on Zoom and was dumbfounded by the Zoom face filters.” Ms. Hartley was Inez’s film teacher throughout her freshman and sophomore years, and leaves a final message for her, saying, “you have truly brought me my love for film and class will not be the same without you next year!”

Julia, a sophomore, says that her favorite memory with Ms. Hartley was when she would get “in trouble for submitting all of my edits late!” She was a copy editor for the Bamboo Telegraph while living in Europe. Despite this, Ms. Hartley has taught her to work efficiently to “keep a publication as renowned as BT afloat and as high-quality as possible.” She added that having lunch meetings with Ms. Hartley will always be a highlight of hers. As a final message for Ms. Hartley, Julia thanks her for “making BT what it is today, and pushing us to work hard while still having fun.”

Mayako, a past Editor-in-chief for BT, displays her gratitude for Ms. Hartley. She learned about the importance of communication especially, “running the publication during the fully online school year.” Ms. Hartley, “stressed the importance of communicating with writers, editors, and graphic designers throughout the process.”

Chloe, last year’s Editor-in-chief, says that her favorite memory with Ms. Hartley was, “when we met for the first time. I’d known her since my junior year but because of COVID we never met in person. Seeing her this year immediately brought the biggest smile to my face.” Ms. Hartley was also her TOK teacher, and, “Her enthusiasm for the class and the random philosophical conversations we’d have in Zoom breakout rooms really inspired me to perform well.” Her final message for Ms. Hartley is, “Thank you so much for guiding myself and the rest of the BT team to work more efficiently and succeed as leaders! I have so much to be grateful for when it comes to you.”

Finally, Ms. Thompson, one of Ms. Hartley’s closest friends says that her favorite memory was her first October break in 2010. She and Ms. Hartley took their kids “up the mountain to some waterfalls and hot springs.” They “hopped in a mini jeepney and headed up, but as we (Ms. Hartley and Ms. Thompson) climbed, the little engine started going slower and slower and the driver said, there’s too much weight back there, I can’t get up the hill.” Ms. Thompson and Ms. Hartley joined ISM during the same year and became “immediate friends, and even lived in the same apartment building their first year. Her final message is that Ms. Hartley is truly amazing. “ She’s also hilarious in really quirky ways and she never ceases to make me laugh. And, after 12 years, she still uses new, strange – allegedly British – words and I find myself not having a clue what she’s saying.” she says.

In the end, Ms. Hartley has played a major role in many students’ lives. She has become a role model for them and inspires them to continue their passion for film, journalism, service, etc. We thank her dearly for the friendships that were made during her 12 years at ISM, her brilliance, and her being an amazing part of the ISM community. Ms. Hartley will be greatly missed by the ISM community, but we wish her well for her journey ahead!