Introducing the new Alumni Officer, Devi Leiper O’Malley


Dear ISPP Alumni, Friends, and Family,

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

The year was 1989, I was four years old, and my family had just arrived in Cambodia. I vividly remember the night we arrived. It was dark with no electricity, but we were warmly welcomed by the small expatriate community living in the Samakey Hotel, which is now known as the Raffles Hotel Le Royal. The very next day after arriving, I started my first day at the small pre-school with six other children from countries including the USA, Philippines/England, Thailand/Netherlands, and Nepal.  This school was the foundation of what became the International School of Phnom Penh.

In 1992, ISPP moved to a new campus, where it lies now at 144 Norodom Blvd. There was only one building at the time for both the primary and secondary school students.  This is where I got to watch the school grow, witnessing the enrollment of our one-hundredth student, spending eight hours on a bus to Ho Chi Minh City to participate in the first MRISA Exchange, and saying hello and good bye to people from all over the world.

By 2003, it was time for me to graduate. More than twelve years after I first arrived in Cambodia, I was back where I began full circle: attending my graduation ceremony at Hotel Le Royale with six other students from Switzerland, Australia, Thailand, USA, Jordan, and South Korea.

Now it’s 2013 and exactly ten years since my high school graduation at ISPP. Since finishing high school, I have lived in Canada, England, Sweden, Denmark, Uganda, and the USA where I have focused my academic and professional career on the global feminist movement. I returned to Cambodia in 2012 to be closer to my family, and I am lucky to be bringing my husband along with me! One of my favourite things about being back is being able to run into familiar faces: whether its running into my former kindergarten teacher at Brown Coffee or hanging out with friends who remember how I used to wear very thick plastic-rimmed glasses!

In April 2013, I was honored and excited to start a position with ISPP to launch an alumni network that will allow us to sustain and deepen our relationships with each other and the school. As I embark on this journey, I look forward to reconnecting to old classmates, teachers, parents, and staff to hear where life has taken them and to gathering our collective stories of this significant place, ISPP.

If you are an alum of ISPP – student, parent, or teacher; here for ten years or just one – we would love to hear from you! Please do not hesitate to send me an email at the address below. Please also stay tuned for new updates and developments of the alumni network via the website and social media.

Devi Leiper O’Malley
Alumni and Community Relations