Ivan Atanaskovic, longtime athletics and activities coordinator, will depart SIS at the end of the 2018-‘19 school year to teach at the Istanbul International Community School, in Turkey. Throughout his eight years at SIS, Mr. Atanaskovic has strived to promote a healthier environment for students, not only by organizing and selecting clubs, but also by contributing significantly to the physical education department.
Leaving SIS, the athletics coordinator has many memories to cherish. He especially cherishes the video student athletes created for him at the recent sports banquet. Reminiscing over the years at SIS, Mr. Atanaskovic treasures the time he spent at SIS and is glad to see many students appreciating the time they spent with him.
“There are so many precious memories,” said Mr. Atanaskovic. “Most of them are linked to sports and especially my volleyball team. I spent a considerable amount of time developing and building the team. I’ll never forget the first time SIS beat KIS in their last home game of the season. I’ll never forget the trips I went overseas with my sports teams as well. They were all memorable.”
As a varsity boys volleyball coach, Mr. A, as he has become known, has spent his career at SIS interacting with various students and forming relationships that he will never forget. After eight years of teaching at SIS, the volleyball coach has realized the importance of the responsibility he holds as a teacher and the extent to which he can influence students. With the goal to develop a strong volleyball team, Mr. A has learned to be patient with the team members.
“As teachers, we really can impact students on their future decisions and plans,” said the volleyball coach. “In the graduation ceremony, many students talked about the experience they received out of the interactions they had with me during volleyball season or just everyday school life. I was surprised that what I was doing here at SIS impacted them deeply. It was a very profound feeling to realize this.”
In addition to his work dedicated to sports teams and organizing activities, Mr. A has collaborated closely with students as an adviser of Tiger Sports Council (TSC), a SIS club that focuses on sports competitions across international schools and manages sports events. His work as an adviser has allowed many students to manage sports teams more effectively.
Interacting with SIS students for a period of eight years has allowed the TSC adviser to witness the growth of students from naïve, innocent teenagers to more mature adolescents. Learning alongside such developing young adults, Mr. Atanaskovic has not only gained insight in understanding how to best interact with students, but has also learned patience and compassion. A longtime athletics and activities coordinator, Mr. A hopes that his work at SIS has benefitted the school environment.
“I try to make the environment a little bit better for students,” said the athletics coordinator. “I hope I was successful. I definitely am proud of the improvement the volleyball team has made. It’s primarily because of the work the students put together. I think I was able to witness their growth and lead them at some points.”
At his new school, Istanbul International Community School, Mr. Atanaskovic will continue dedicating his time to organizing events and sports teams. As he bids his bittersweet farewells to friends and students, Mr. A reflects on his eight years at SIS as a pleasant gift that he will forever cherish.
“I’ll miss a lot of things,” said Mr. A. “I’ll miss the competitions, games, dynamic I feel every morning I come to school, and, most importantly, the students. I hope students will continue to persevere and pursue the goals they want to accomplish. My final message to students is that winners never quit and quitters never win. I hope this motto sticks with them until they graduate SIS.”