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Head of School’s convocation speech

Mme Margaret Dorrance 2017 convocation speech

The following is Head of School Mme Dorrance’s address to this year’s Grade 12 graduates at their June convocation. 

Good morning everyone.

Buenos dias a todos y sobretodo a las familias de nuestros estimados graduados. Aujourd’hui est une journée spéciale, non seulement dans la vie de nos gradués mais aussi pour la communauté entiere de CFIS. 

Thank you to our guests, board members, alumni, students and teachers, for being in attendance today.

Our school’s graduates are known for their grounded confidence and sense of purpose. Each one is unique in their strengths and areas of passion, but share the commonality of their commitment to being active global citizens and creative, innovative and critical thinkers. The CFIS experience will bind them together regardless of where they each go next year.

This year’s group of wonderful young people have achieved record academic results, travelled to many different countries, and have demonstrated fluency and literacy in three languages. They have represented our school as athletes, coaches, musicians, actors, Model UN delegates and academics. Their personal and collective lists of achievements are indeed significant and diverse. 

When we say that our vision for our graduates is that they are active global citizens with a foundation for life-long success, our thoughts might go to a foundation of academics, their multilingualism or their ethic of global understanding. These are all worthy goals and any parent would be happy to know that their son or daughter is moving into his or her next stage of education well equipped to thrive in post-secondary learning. 

Part of these students’ strong foundation is their ability to value and understand themselves. This is an often overlooked facet of education which CFIS strives to foster, hand in hand with the students’ parents, through the focus our community places on knowing and developing each student as a unique individual. This is accomplished, in part, through each grade’s UNESCO program, which emphasizes the values of learning to be, learning to do, learning to know and learning to live together. 

I sincerely believe that the learning environment at CFIS provides a foundation for all of our students to influence tomorrow’s world in the most positive ways. When I think of our tagline or motto of Tomorrow’s World: One student at a time, I remember how we came up with these words. We wanted to embody the sense that we are preparing our students for a world in which there will be many jobs that are yet to be identified; a world in which critical and creative thinking will be highly valued; a world that will require the work force to be agile and perhaps have more than one career.

The tagline was also established to reflect that with the proliferation of technology and the internet, the world as we know it is becoming smaller. Global citizens will be well prepared to thrive in the world of tomorrow. 

 I am passionately committed to giving our students the opportunities to influence the world in positive ways that will truly change the global stage that is currently so fraught with political, ideological and cultural conflict. I believe that education has a responsibility to infuse ‘goodness’ into the world. Goodness is a word that I have been reflecting on and hearing a lot about in the media. I recently listened to an interview with cinematographer and film director, Stephen Campanelli. 

As a young boy, Mr. Campanelli idolized Clint Eastwood --- he even named his dog Clint. If you don’t know who Clint Eastwood is….check with your parents or maybe grandparents. Stephen dreamed of working with Clint Eastwood and his dream came true…he has now worked on 22 Clint Eastwood films. When asked to what he attributed his success, he didn’t talk about his skills in cinematography or directing. He attributes his success to being a good person – someone who respected others, who actively listened to others and shared his time, talent and treasures when asked. These are the values that the faculty and staff of CFIS endeavour to instill into each child – one student at a time. 

To me, the 17 students on the stage today illustrate a shining example of the combined efforts of parents, faculty and staff to influence tomorrow’s world.