Dr. Robert Brindley, director at Tashkent International School, said he suspected something was going on at the school when the TIS School Board invited him and his wife, Jann, to an early morning breakfast on Monday, May 13. “That seemed strange. You just don’t get invited to breakfast by the School Board on a Monday morning,” said Dr. Brindley.
Little did they know, however, how big the surprise was going to be. When they arrived, the Brindleys were greeted on the TIS campus by an Uzbek band and more than 400 cheering students from preschool through grade 11, all teachers, staff, support staff, the School Board and several parents, ready to unveil the newly-built Brindley Yurt, just within the main gates.
The handcrafted Karakapakstan-style yurt was secretly built on campus over the weekend and involved a number of staff members working to keep the event under wraps. MYP Coordinator Fiona Moss originally suggested the yurt as a remembrance piece on campus, dedicated to the Brindleys and their four years of service at TIS.
Several years ago when office space at TIS was limited, Dr. Brindley joked that he would ask the School Board to construct a yurt for Fiona’s office. In turn, when Fiona suggested to the School Board earlier this school year that the long-standing joke could actually be a fitting way to honor and remember the Brindleys, the School Board strongly supported the idea. In the end, the project gathered support from the entire TIS community, including the Parent Teacher Association, the faculty and staff, and several parents. And all in secrecy, until the unveiling on Monday, May 13.
The yurt is a permanent construction which can be used year round by students, staff and faculty.
“I am delighted that we will now have a place on the campus that will reflect our school’s strength, yet flexibility; our respect for the local culture; a place of quiet reflection, in a humble, yet comfortable setting that will perhaps remind us all of the finest aspect of life – community,” said Dr. Brindley.