Lu-Shien Tan (right) is Lincoln Academy’s new Director of Admissions. He is pictured here with his family (left to right) Ian, Aria, and Monica.
Lu-Shien Tan, Lincoln Academy’s new Director of Admissions, understands why students would want to travel from around the globe to attend high school on Academy Hill in Newcastle, Maine. “What we have here is totally unique,” he says, “this gorgeous, safe town, this clean air and great school spirit… this is totally new for many of our boarding students, who come from urban places where they can’t walk in the woods or swim in a lake so near to their home.”
Tan hopes to use these unique features to attract new students in coming years. “This is a place students want to come to.”
He should know, as Tan is one of Newcastle’s newest residents himself. Tan moved with his family from San Francisco in July of 2018, driving across the country just in time to settle in before school started. This move is a family affair: Tan’s children, Aria, 16, and Ian, 18, have started school at LA as a junior and senior, respectively. Tan’s wife Monica is serving as a dorm parent and advisor.
The Tans are settling in easily to their new school. Despite being new, Ian is already an active member of the Lincoln Academy Wind Ensemble as a bassoonist, and has joined the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble. Aria has immersed herself in the numerous fun options on and off campus, socializing with newfound friends.
When asked what they think about being here, Ian said “This is delightful and sad. I’m delighted to be at such an amazing place, sad that I will leave when I graduate less than a year from now.”
Aria echoed: “This is an awesome high school with lots of real people!”
In San Francisco, Tan served as a Director of Admissions for a year and a Director of the Boarding Program for a year, helping to establish programs in a newly launched international school.
Prior to that, he was the Director of Admissions at an American International School in Penang, Malaysia. A native of Singapore himself, Tan chose to spend four years in Malaysia because he wanted his children to experience his own culture while they were young enough to make it their own. Penang Island, Malaysia is a stone’s throw from Singapore, and shares the port-city multiculturalism of Tan’s home country with a juxtaposition of old city traditions with modern city amenities. “I always said that if I could live anywhere, it would be Penang. It is an incredibly culturally rich place, with the best street food in the world, right on the Indian Ocean.”
Tan’s family has also spent many years in Waco, Texas.
For a family who has traveled the world, Newcastle is a welcome respite. “This is such a safe and beautiful place,” Tan said. “I am glad our family can have this experience in Maine before the kids go off to college.”
In the meantime, the Tan family is enjoying the New England fall, with changing leaves and traditions like Homecoming. This week Tan will depart for his first extended admissions recruitment trip, traveling to Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam over the next six weeks until mid-November.
“I am excited to tell prospective students about Lincoln Academy. I know that for many kids from around the world, this is exactly the place they are looking for.”