5 Questions | Hyke van der Heijden
Where are you from and when did you graduate from AIS?
I was born in The Hague, The Netherlands. Very soon after I was born, my parents moved to Essen, Belgium. In 1989 I joined AIS in Grade 7. I graduated in 1996.
What was your best experience at AIS?
It is hard to choose the best experience since the whole AIS experience was good. I loved the field trips and the amazing teachers (Mr. Hardy, Mr. Jolly, Mr. Monteith, just to name a few. I can definitely name my most embarrassing moment at AIS: the first performance of the musical Grease. I had a supporting role and just 1 line. When the moment came to speak the 1 sentence, I froze and could not remember the line. That moment lasted in my mind for a very long time.
How did the AIS education help you in your career?
The AIS education helped me in all aspects of my life because I learned how to deal with change as a part of life and how to make the most of every moment. There is always a solution to be found in order to move forward.
Have you kept in touch with the school and your friends?
Through the years, I kept on coming to International Day. In 2005 I attended the first reunion, which was organized for the class years around my graduating year. It was really great seeing everyone again. International Day 2013 was the first small reunion I organised. After hearing many classmates commenting on Facebook about the lack of communication, I started an unofficial Alumni committee, together with a number of people with the goal of organizing a reunion every International Day, especially for the years celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years, etc. plus the smaller events. In 2015, there was, indeed, a bigger reunion at International Day, followed by the official recognition of the Alumni Committee. Our next reunion is on 4-5 May 2018: Alumni Prom on 4 May and International Day 2018 on 5 May.
How do you see the future for your children?
I’m the proud father of three daughters (8, 6 and 2 years old). My wife and I spend a lot of time talking about their future and how to prepare them for the challenges they will face in life. In this multicultural fast changing world, we believe that AIS can give them the best guidance and education.