BCIS extends a very warm welcome to our new Head of School, Tom Egerton! Tom's journey in international education started with barefoot walks to his Kindergarten in Papua New Guinea, where he was the "odd kid out". However, instead of serving as a challenge to him, this opened his mind to a new perspective: one filled with diverse experiences. This focus on internationality and inclusiveness later inspired him to choose a path as an international educator, leading to decades of work experience at international schools all over the world, and eventually leading him to his new home here at BCIS!
Although Tom's first passion was sports, he quickly developed his passion for teaching after receiving his degree in education. His initial teaching opportunity was in Lautoka, Fiji, a beautiful island setting where one of the locals even had to ask Tom if it was true that people had heart problems because of stress, since the island was so carefree! Tom then travelled to the opposite side of the globe as part of a teacher exchange in the United Kingdom, which he enjoyed so much that he extended his travel time in Europe. A keen love of travel is demonstrated in Tom's rich background, which includes teaching and leadership positions in international schools in Singapore, The Philippines, and, more recently, as Head of School at international schools in Myanmar and Germany. In fact, while Tom also has extensive teaching experience in Australia, he prefers more international environments and is excited to join us in Beijing, China!
Tom's expansive and diverse background makes him well suited to his new role as Head of School here at BCIS. Tom believes that the rapid changes in society make it more important than ever for schools to take a future-focused approach to education. As Head of School, he will ensure that BCIS prepares our students for the changes that they will face and gives them the mental flexibility to adapt to such changes and collaborate with others as global citizens. Tom describes his education philosophy, stating: "knowledge is important, but it is not the be-all and end-all, because everyone is going to be able to find knowledge with the press of a button. It's having this mental flexibility, this mental balance or emotional intelligence to deal with constant change." BCIS will not only teach students what to learn, it will teach them how to be better learners.
The philosophy Tom holds about education aligns perfectly with the mission at BCIS. Before arriving, Tom had already heard many things about the school, all of which were extremely positive. Being a well-established international school with over 15-years history of excellence in education, BCIS has already established an incredible reputation around the world. Tom was drawn to what he heard about the strong sense of community at BCIS, and the progressive ways in which the school empowers its students to find and pursue their passions and interests through academics. "What really stands out to me is the BCIS family, this community, this compassion for each other," he states. Having been at school only a few days, Tom says he already has felt the warm welcome of the BCIS family!
Although he has only recently arrived at the school, Tom already has large plans that will help BCIS continue to provide top-quality education to its students. His first priority lies in laying out a new strategic plan for the whole school. Having a robust, updated strategic plan will enable BCIS to better prepare its students for the future. Tom is eager for the school to continue embracing the diversity that comes with an internationalized education, while also providing more opportunities to embrace Chinese culture. "There are some international schools that live in a bubble... If you have a school where the individuals, the teachers, and the staff, are open-minded to others, then you can be very international," explains Tom. To embrace this sense of diversity and connect the school to its Chinese roots, he hopes BCIS will become even more involved with its surrounding community, so students have increased opportunities to interact with leaders in their community and learn with and from them.
Tom is very excited to start as the new Head of School at BCIS, and we are equally excited to have him here! His diverse background gives him plenty of experience and knowledge to draw from. His philosophy and attitude towards education are perfectly aligned with the school, and will help guide BCIS as it continues to grow. Tom will ensure that the school, and the students, are fully prepared for anything that the future holds. BCIS welcomes Tom, and sends its best wishes to all our community members!