A Fond Farewell… Or, A See You Soon!
Well, another amazing year is in the books! Yesterday we said goodbye to our High School Students and tomorrow all students will break for summer. In High School, Mr. Coppes did an amazing job running the end of year assembly entitled “Gratitude is the Attitude”. In it we recognized the incredible achievements of our scholars. So many of our students have worked incredibly hard this year and it was an honor to hand out awards to over 100 of them.
The best part of the event was the open-mic session at the end of the ceremony. Mr. Coppes started this last year but it was only modestly successful as the students were unaware it was going to take place. This year, we prepped the students. In the morning we asked them to reflect on the year. Then, we invited them to come down to express their gratitude. This is a risk, as some people would not trust young people to an open mic. But, as always, our students showed the great spirit that we strive every day to instill in them; the eloquence and sincerity with which our students spoke was absolutely beautiful. There was genuine love in the room as the students thanked their teachers & friends or said goodbye to those who are leaving UAS for good. There were laughs and there were tears. It was incredible. We even had former students come back just to pay their respects!
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, recently we have had a number of students returning to UAS, both as guests and as also as students. Some have come by to say hello, and others have come back because the schools they thought were a better fit for them, were not. I think that says a lot about our culture. We are a community school. We were built that way, and the love that was shared in our assembly yesterday showed that we always will be; it was immensely powerful and it showed something that can never be broken: the true spirit of our amazing school!
Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Abushakra at the faculty year-end celebration. The stories he shared about the early years at this school were heart-felt and hilarious. We got a chance to say goodbye to a number of teachers, including the beloved Mr. Hould and Ms. Kempley – our Middle School Administrators, and of course, Mr. Torris – who was described on the night as the “Steve Jobs of International Education”. I’d like to thank all of the aforementioned people who have helped shape my thinking and inspired me to be a better educator. Your wisdom and compassion will be carried with me, always. I wish you all the very best of luck in your new adventures!
It’s been an emotional week at UAS, but it has been a beautiful one as well. I attended a board meeting today and their is much to be excited about. The future of the school is bright and we look forward to welcoming back all our students and parents after the summer. To those who are leaving Dubai or moving to another school, please know that we will always hold a door open for you; this will always be your school.
Have a great summer UAS!
In the event you had questions about the learning that we did in the last week of school, please take a minute to view this video put together by Mr. Jackson. J-Term (June Term) was an experiential learning event where our Grade 9 students put their skills to a real-world setting. It was a wonderful learning experience, and I have challenged my teachers to do more of this type of learning during the school year. The students who were here learned a lot and benefitted enormously. Please take a look!
From the first day of school until the last, we will do our very best to EMPOWER our students to be CARING, CRITICAL THINKING and RESPONSIBLE GLOBAL CITIZENS! Have a great summer UAS!