Panthers of ISKL #202: Bethanie Christensen

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Panthers of ISKL - Bethanie C

– The Health Services Coordinator

“I will miss the excellent team of nurses I am privileged to work with here! They are stellar, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues and friends! I will also miss the ISKL community and the family we created during our 15 years.”

Meet Bethanie Christensen, the ES Health Service Coordinator who’s been with ISKL for the past 15 years. Originally from Tucson in Arizona, USA, she studied music before changing her path to nursing in the medical field.

After completing her service in June, Bethanie and her husband, Kevin, will move to California to be closer to their two children, who graduated from ISKL.

Here is Bethanie’s story:


Do tell us more about yourself.

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, USA. I attended a California university, earning my first music degree in 1996. Although I loved music, I did not feel passionate about a teaching career. I did odd jobs here and there, trying to figure out my next move, and even started investigating a degree path in music therapy.

Then, I realized my passion lay in the medical field and helping others. Nursing was a way to encompass all I was looking for – working in the medical field but in a way that focused on treating the whole person. I went back to school for my nursing degree, and afterward, I worked at a hospital in the emergency room before moving overseas.

When and why did you join ISKL? What were your first days like?

My husband Kevin and I, along with our two children, joined ISKL in 2009. We had been living in Norway, and ISKL had openings for an MS Music Teacher and an ES Healthcare Coordinator. It was the perfect match for us! It was a chance for me to return to nursing, enabling us to move to SE Asia, our dream. Our first days seem like a blur now, but I remember being excited about the new opportunities that lay before us.

POISKL  Bethanie with her family

Describe your most memorable moment/s at ISKL.

Stalls Night will always be one of the most memorable for me. This annual faculty and staff event is a great way to kick off the new school year. It is filled with great food and lively conversations. I love that we all come together and celebrate with each other.

What will you miss most about ISKL?

I will miss the excellent team of nurses I am privileged to work with here! They are stellar, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues and friends! I will also miss the ISKL community and the family we created during our 15 years.

Our children grew up here and graduated from ISKL – and this has been our home. Saying goodbye to our ISKL family and Malaysia in June will be hard.

POISKL  Bethanie with her nursing colleagues

Do you have any advice to offer for new faculty members who are joining the community?

Embrace the ISKL community and Malaysia and all that they have to offer! ISKL is a great workplace, full of diverse people and cultures, and KL is a wonderful, vibrant, multi-cultural city with so much to do, see….and eat!

Who or what is your source of inspiration?

My grandmother, Ruth, has always been an inspiration to me. She was a divorced, single mother in the 1950s, raising my dad and his brother. She put herself through school and became a teacher. She taught elementary school and touched the lives of thousands of students over her 40-year-long career.

She instilled in us the importance of education and independence. She was gracious and generous and lived a life of service. I aspire to be the kind of woman she was, and I consider myself deeply blessed to have had such an incredible woman as my grandmother and role model.

What are your plans once you leave ISKL?

We will return to the USA and live in Santa Barbara, CA. We look forward to reconnecting with family and friends and, most importantly, being closer to our children, Emma and Noah.

What does ‘“Know yourself, care for all, and create a better world”’ mean to you?

We are all citizens of the world. It’s up to all of us to be inclusive and caring, to fight against injustice, and to be the voices for those who would be silenced. Our collective future depends on us standing up, finding our voice, and making a difference.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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