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Principal's Graduation Speech, 2018


Good evening. Distinguished guests, graduates, parents and staff, welcome.

Normally, I avoid talking about myself at graduation events; graduates, this is your day.  However, on this occasion, I have decided to make an exception since this is not only your graduation day but also mine. Today, I conduct my final duties as the Principal of SCIE.


13 years ago, I arrived in Shenzhen to work at a small, unknown school called Shenzhen College of International Education.  At that time there were just 200 students, 10 foreign staff, just Maths, English, Chinese, Sciences and Commerce were taught and just the second and third floor of the newly occupied Shui Wei campus were used for teaching.  In the early days, there were many battles over the best way to run the College: Whether to teach in English?  Whether to teach Humanities……. Languages……. Art……… Music?  Then whether to join external organisations……. Whether to become accredited? And so many more plans, ideas and projects. Hopefully at each stage in this journey, we made the right decisions, thanks to the wisdom of the Board to see the path ahead, always with a view to making the experience of being a student at SCIE better.   


In 2005, Mr Joe Greenwood taught as a biology teacher at SCIE

The experience has been a great privilege for me
; it has been exciting, interesting, challenging, sometimes frustrating but most of all rewarding.  I thank the Board for giving me the opportunity to complete this task and now I believe that it is time for new eyes and new hands to take the College onwards and upwards to better things.  I would like to wish the new leadership, and the whole College community, good luck.  As most of you may know, I am not saying goodbye to SCIE, and will still be around working for the Board and helping out the Oxbridge students with their applications.

Mr Greenwood started his SCIE life as a biology teacher, then Head of Biology department, Head  of EAO, deputy principal, and principal. He will continue to take charge of SCIE Oxbridge application and being an independent director even if he resigned as a principal.

People in the photo above(from left to right) are: Assistant Pastoral Principal Mr Eills,Pastoral Deputy Principal Ms Haitana,New Principal Mr Mobsby,Pre-principal Mr Greenwood,Non-academic deputy Principal Ms Huang,Academic Deputy Priincipal Mr Cole 

Anyway, enough about me.  As I said, we are here tonight to celebrate your achievements.  I am pleased to say once more, that you are the most successful graduating class in the history of SCIE, most notably obtaining 27 offers of positions at Oxbridge.  This stands as testimony to your attitude and hard work. I hope that you will be able to replicate this success in your higher studies.  Let us not forget that there are other people who contributed to your success: your teachers and form teachers, your counselors, your parents, your friends.  Let us take a moment to thank them for the parts they have played.

Looking towards the future, I hope that those veterans among you will excuse my plagiarizing an old speech; one which I first gave when the A2 students that gradated when you were in G1, started as G1 students.  It defines a set of core values which are at the heart of our philosophy and guide our instruction. When you leave S.C.I.E., I hope that each of these 4 letters will represent for you a mnemonic to guide you through the difficult times and decisions you will encounter in the future:



Be honest, but do not use honesty as an excuse to be cruel.  Examine your own principles, until you are convinced that they are right; then stick to them.  Do not be led astray by the desire for popularity to act in a way which you know is wrong.  Most importantly be honest with yourself.

In Shakespeares Hamlet, Polonius says to his son: This above all: to thine own self be true.


Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand other people, may be the most important factor in determining success in life.  Learn how to master your emotions; do not be a slave to them.  Take time to reflect before you act.  Be willing to take your share of responsibility for disagreements.  Remember that people around you have their own thoughts, their own motivations and their own opinions.  Be mindful when you deal with them, especially from a position of authority over them.


The father of Humanistic psychology, Carl Rogers said: The only person who cannot be helped is that person who blames others.


Do your fair share of the work; do not be a burden to others.  Take the responsibility to see a task through to completion.  Step up and volunteer.  You will feel better about yourself and others will feel better about you. If you do not put anything in, you will not get anything out.


Thomas Edison famously said, Genius is ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration.


Maintain a positive attitude when confronted with difficulties.   Have the courage to try new things; do not allow fear to prevent you from pursuing your objectives.  Search for solutions rather than problems.  Do not be discouraged by negativity in others.

Abraham Lincoln said: I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. 

Finally, a few words in Chinese:最后,我想要用几句中文表达:

SCIE shì  zhīshíde  dàhǎi,  nǐmen  zài  lǐmiàn  xuéhuìle yóuyǒng.  Jiù xiàng  lǐyú  yuèguòle  lóngmén,    yíngjiē nǐmende  jiāng  shì  gèngwéi guǎngkuòde  hǎiyáng. Nǐmende  wèilái shì  wúxiàn da.


You are little fish swimming in the sea of knowledge at SCIE.  Just like the little carp, you can jump over the Dragon Gate; your future lies in a wider ocean where your opportunities are unlimited.


Zuìhòu, jièyòng yījù zhōngguó de míngyán sòng gěi nǐmen:

Hǎi kuò píng yú yuè, tiān gāo rèn niǎo fēi

Xièxiè  dàjiā







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