It has been an incredible six years as the Secondary Principal at XLIS. It is a great pleasure to be part of this community, and I will be here with you right until the last day on June 18th. Over my time at XLIS, we moved from a small school in a modest building in 2016 to an expansive and beautiful campus in the international zone. The growth of our school has not just been physically impressive, but over these past six years, we have transformed into a true IB world school, adding our IB Diploma Program in 2017 and completing our MYP follow-up visit. We are living the XLIS mission and vision coupled with the IB mission and philosophy of concept-based learning, inquiry, and stewardship for the planet. We completed successful 5-year evaluation visits for the MYP and DP and recently hosted our WASC accreditation visit. What an amazing six years this has been!
I have loved leading the Secondary team, a diverse and professional teaching team that puts students’ academic success and well-being at the forefront every day. Through the challenges of the global pandemic, this team has shown resilience, compassion for students, and caring for one another. It has been a great pleasure working with the staff and faculty from across the school. At the heart of XLIS are our wonderful students and families. Together, we strive to maintain a community focus, true to the school’s mission and vision.
The highlights of the past six years all include the accomplishments and growth of our students. We have watched six sets of students prepare for university and complete their final DP requirements (online and face to face). We have welcomed our students back to campus and kept in touch will alumni who have gone to incredible universities worldwide. We have led the way with six years of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects. I had the great pleasure of pioneering these projects in 2016, and last year we implemented Middle School SDGs speeches. I look forward to hearing how the SDGs become further embedded at XLIS in the years to come. Our students are leaders who will change the world with their global outlook and concern for world issues.
We have honored student agency with our META projects for MYP 1-4 students, preparing them for life-long learning led by their passions and interests and expanding skills. These important projects provide opportunities to demonstrate their confidence, open-mindedness, and global citizenship. We have had four years of Week Without Walls trips, and I have had the pleasure to travel with XLIS students and teachers in Cambodia, Bali, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and our own beautiful Shaanxi province. I am confident that these great initiatives (our SDG Projects, SDG Middle School Speeches, META Projects, and Week Without Walls) will continue for years to come at XLIS.
After a summer in North America with my family, I will be moving to Hanoi, Vietnam, taking up the position as Head of School/ Principal at Hanoi International School starting in August 2022. I am very excited about this new opportunity and am thankful for all of the experiences that I have had at XLIS. I look forward to connecting the 3-program IB school in Hanoi with XLIS through proposing academic and cultural exchanges in the future.
I have loved leading and learning here in Xi’an. I have spent sixteen wonderful years in China, including six in Shanghai (where my daughter graduated from an IB school), four years in Hong Kong, and six years here at XLIS. China will always be a place that is close to our hearts.
I look forward to future visits back to Xi’an when the borders open up, and I look forward to welcoming the community to Hanoi. Special thanks to Dr. Liu for entrusting me with this important leadership role at XLIS and for leading us all to bridge international and local cultures. I wish the XLIS community the best of everything and will miss so many aspects of life here, in particular the XLIS community.