Dear students, teachers, colleagues and friends,
I should like to begin by saying how honored I am to be invited to speak today in front of so many special and valued guests to mark the start of the 2018 academic year.
The Brookes Education Group is a growing and leading network of IB World Schools with seven dynamic schools across six vibrant countries. Our mission is to educate for a better future. Our three pillars see this mission become reality by emphasizing what we consider to be our three virtues: community, creativity and character. In fact, character education is the most important factor in determining a future global leader. The partnership between Brookes and Tsingua Zhinging International High School is a partnership for school and student support that will lead to greater recognition and hopefully greater access to universities abroad. On behalf of the Board of Brookes, I am only too pleased to champion the fact that we have 100% university enrollment in the world’s leading universities including, but not limited to University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Colombia to mention a few.
I am also a father of a 12th;grade student much like you in the audience here today. ;I want to stress the importance of this very moment. You are at the beginning of a wonderful journey from teenager into adult life. Much like Brookes champions character, creativity and community, you should find confidence knowing your teachers will champion key Tsinghua Zhinging core values of kindness, appreciation, care and responsibility within your final years of education that will support your moral development well into the future.;
I know you don’t know me and that is not important. What you should know is that I have been working in and out of China since you were in Kindergarten. I have seen massive developments in China and this is your time. You come from a great country with an impressive history that is also spreading its influence wider into the world. Each of you in this room have been chosen to follow a path of international education. What that means is that you take these three simple words of advice with you today.
1.With privilege comes responsibility – You are receiving an education that some children can only hope to receive. This privilege means you carry a responsibility to make a difference for others in the future.
2.Know who you are and where you come from – Be proud to be Chinese and don’t forget that your home is your land, your family and your heritage.
3.Get action, do
things – Roosevelt’s famous quote rings true in me and is now
passed on to you. Don’t stand idle and reach for your dreams.
On a personal note, there is no greater gift than the gift of education. Learning to read and write English is economic as much as it is political. At Brookes the power of language will shape a greater more connected global world. Here on the western side of Beijing, the Tsinghua Zhinging International High School community is placing value on fundamental attributes in common agreement with Brookes: the development of a balanced thinking communicator who is reflective, caring and knowledgeable. People willing to take risks with clear principle and perspective in mind.
I am proud to be here to witness the start of your international educational journey. I am encouraged by what is happening for the greater good. Please help to make this school, your teachers and your parents proud because after all you are the future global leaders of tomorrow. Please unlock the human potential that lies within.