KMS Student Named Eyewitness to History Grand Prize Winner

A photo of Shyla Rajavong

Like all Kennett Middle School (KMS) students in Mr. Steve Finegan’s World Culture classes, Shyla Rajavong connects classroom learning to current events by reading articles from Junior Scholastic’s Magazine. Flipping through the pages of the December issue, Rajavong found special inspiration– an invitation to compete in their Eyewitness to History contest.

The sixth grader’s chronicle of her uncle’s harrowing journey through the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia has earned her the title of 2022 Grand Prize Winner.

“I’ve heard about the Khmer Rouge throughout my life from both sides of my family, but my uncle Mike Lim’s experiences especially. Most of his family died during the genocide,” began Rajavong.

Led by a man known as Pol Pot, the communist movement lasted from April 17, 1975 to January 7, 1979. “Pol Pot created the Khmer Rouge for power. If you did not work for the government, you could not live anymore,” she reflected. “Many died from being overworked or starved in camps. Everyone wanted to escape from the soldiers because they were being treated so badly.”

In the article, Rajavong’s uncle shares the story of how he survived and later searched for his family as a teenager. That journey brought him here to happiness in the U.S.

“After the Cambodian people were freed, my uncle wanted to join the Vietnamese Army to kill Pol Pot, who was still alive, for revenge. But his aunt convinced him not to. She said if he did this, the violence would never end,” shared Rajavong.

When writing this article, Rajavong says her first aim was to create awareness. “Many people don’t know about the Khmer Rouge. I wanted to get the word out there about the people, like my uncle, who lived through it.”

However, the aspiring author and artist also learned other lessons. “I think everyone should be grateful for what they have– like food and shelter. Many people under the Khmer Rouge did not have those things.”

For her storytelling skills, Rajavong will receive a monetary reward.

“When I found out I won, I started jumping up and down. I was just really happy!” She plans to celebrate by buying some new books and honoring Cambodian culture. “We go to my uncle’s house a lot and my aunt makes really good food,” she said. “I think we’ll eat. Southeast Asian food can look weird, but it is so good!”

At Kennett Middle School, there isn’t a single subject that Rajavong doesn’t like. In the future, she plans to explore her many interests.

“This is such a powerful piece and an example of why Shyla is an outstanding student,” noted Finegan. “I hope she realizes all of her dreams and continues to be very successful.”

For those interested in learning more, Rajavong’s article will hit newsstands in the May issue of Junior Scholastic.

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March 16th Is An Online Make-Up Day

This post serves as a friendly reminder that tomorrow, March 16th, is an inclement weather make-up day!

While our staff will continue to participate in scheduled professional development, students are expected to participate to the best of their ability in online learning via Microsoft Teams and Schoology.

Elementary students should join their morning meeting from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. Secondary students may log into Teams for live office hours with any of their teachers at the same time. Otherwise, assignments will be available on-demand via Schoology.

To log in, all are encouraged to visit KCSD’s Clever Portal using a Chrome Browser.

Questions? Please contact KCSD Communications Specialist Nikki Laws anytime at (610) 444-6646 or nlaws@kcsd.org.


¡Este mensaje sirve como un recordatorio amistoso de que mañana, 16 de marzo, es un día de recuperación por mal tiempo!

Mientras que el personal continuará participando en el desarrollo profesional programado, se espera que los estudiantes participen lo mejor que puedan en el aprendizaje en línea a través de Microsoft Teams y Schoology.

Los estudiantes de primaria deben unirse a su reunión de la mañana de 8:45 a 9:45 a.m. a través de Microsoft Teams. Los estudiantes de secundaria pueden iniciar sesión en Teams, para las horas de oficina en vivo, con cualquiera de sus maestros, al mismo tiempo. De lo contrario, las tareas estarán disponibles a través de Schoology.

Para iniciar la sesión, se recomienda a todos que visiten el Portal Clever de KCSD utilizando un navegador Chrome.

¿Preguntas? Comuníquese con Nikki Laws, especialista en comunicaciones de KCSD, en cualquier momento al (610) 444-6646 o nlaws@kcsd.org.

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Spring Conferences Begin This Week!

This week marks the beginning of Spring parent-teacher conferences at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, Bancroft Elementary School, Greenwood Elementary School, New Garden Elementary School and Kennett Middle School! Remember, there will be early dismissal for:

  • All kindergarten students from Thursday, March 10th – Tuesday, March 15th at 12 p.m.
  • All elementary school students from Thursday, March 10th – Tuesday, March 15th at 12:30 p.m.
  • All middle school students from Friday, March 11th – Tuesday, March 15th at 11:30 a.m..

Your student’s teacher will communicate final details with you via the Talking Points app or email.

In the meantime, those who requested a virtual meeting are invited to learn more about how to install and use Microsoft Teams on your phone, tablet or computer via video or PDF guide.

Questions? Please contact your student’s school at any time for bilingual support.


¡Esta semana marca el comienzo de las conferencias de padres y maestros de primavera en Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, Bancroft Elementary School, Greenwood Elementary School, New Garden Elementary School y Kennett Middle School! Recuerde, habrá salida temprana para:

  • Todos los estudiantes de jardín de infantes desde el jueves 10 de marzo hasta el martes 15 de marzo, a las 12 p.m.
  • Todos los estudiantes de primaria desde el jueves 10 de marzo hasta el martes 15 de marzo, a las 12:30 p.m.
  • Todos los estudiantes de secundaria (KMS) desde el viernes 11 de marzo hasta el martes 15 de marzo, a las 11:30 a.m.

El maestro de su estudiante le comunicará los detalles finales,a través de la aplicación Talking Points o correo electrónico.

Mientras tanto, los que solicitaron una reunión virtual están invitados para aprender más información, sobre cómo instalar y usar Microsoft Teams en su teléfono, tableta o computadora, a través de una guía en video o en PDF. Además, tenga en cuenta que habrá un intérprete virtual disponible para cualquier familia que lo necesite.

¿Preguntas? Favor de comunicarse con la escuela de su estudiante en cualquier momento, para obtener apoyo bilingüe.

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