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May 29 2019


Greg Choi

May 25 will be remembered as a truly special day for our Class of 2019 and their families and friends as they celebrated the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and great achievements. The students' graduation ceremony was indeed an unforgettable milestone and accomplishment in their journey of life.

The graduation of our 45 seniors was the best way to cap off another wonderful and, most certainly, busy school year.

The Park Hyatt ballroom was an amazing setting for the awestruck audience to proudly watch the soon-to-be graduates take the stage and enter the next chapter in their lives. When the time came, the students made their entrance to the spacious hall as sweet music played by the BCIS Orchestra beckoned them to take their well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Guests were also treated to various musical performances from the Grade 12 students themselves, including a moving rendition of "You Will Always Find Your Way Back Home" by the Grade 12 student band "Tangent 90." Of course, a graduation would not be a proper event without the inclusion of moving speeches, and this year there were many truly special guests that took to the podium, from this year's Valedictorian to a beloved math teacher. Indeed, their words and gestures captivated the hearts and attention of the audience.

Mr. Patrick Kitsao, MYP and DP Mathematics Teacher and Mathematics Team Leader, celebrated the wonderful accomplishments of the Grade 12 students in a speech that moved the young scholars. One of the most interesting parts of his presentation was when he stated the following (truthful statement):

Just so you know, life does not get easier. Not one bit! Just look at the white hair on my head! Stress will become a close friend! However, with the help of your families and teachers' guidance, we all know you are ready for what is out there. Without a doubt, you will overcome the obstacles ahead due to the manner in which you have conducted yourselves over the years, as well as the skills and knowledge you have acquired over the years at BCIS. You are ready for the next stage of life.

Another distinguished speaker at this year's ceremony was Ms. Veronique Cui, the Valedictorian from the Class of 2019. As someone who went through the rigorous and challenging times all the graduates faced, she spoke fondly of some of the memories made at BCIS, as well as shared some words of truth that resonated with everyone that attended the event:

Time flows like a fleeting show. I still remember standing with a crowd of secondary school students on two sides of the aisle, waving those colorful plastic hands at the grade 12s, celebrating their last day of school. We were whispering to each other, "just imagine us walking there within just a blink!" And before I realize so, the day when I walked through that aisle has passed for more than a month, and I'm standing here, making this valedictory speech, which truly marks the end of my high school. This is how fast time flows. And I assure you, within a few more blinks, you will probably find yourself at a point that is a long way forward from now, and this graduation ceremony today has been framed intro a fading image.

Continuing on this theme of time, she also shared:

Do you remember when we waved goodbye to our EE, last IAs, and last BCIS summatives? Do you feel sad? Do you miss them already? Don't be, because they will come back in different ways, perhaps as new challenges, perhaps as new experiences. The same principle would apply to less abstract farewells as well! Just imagine a moment in future, when we look back to our precious memory of high school as if they are the faded images in picture frames, and there's us.

Two other graduates, Ms. Molly Aiping Lawton Todd and Mr. Wojciech Gillert, had a wonderful exchange regarding a very special part of BCIS that was fitting for the day's graduation:

I remember the first day of school, when we planted the two Gingko trees. The trees were brought over from Shandong, over 500km away. It was risky as Gingko trees were never re-planted and the trees were already over 300 years old. After years of waiting, the Gingko tree started to grow and has since become a significant symbol to this school. To this day, the Gingko tree is a major part of BCIS that most students are not aware of. It is a symbol of luck, passion, and commitment, believing in the growth of the school. How much time has passed since then!? Certainly enough to form memories, make friends, and have completed the diploma program.

The closing remarks of the ceremony were made by Mr. Mark Sullivan, Secondary School Principal. He emphasized how the graduates are well-prepared to tackle whatever the future holds, stating:

I have every confidence that you are indeed destined to do amazing things for our world because in enacting our school mission we have challenged and empowered you to be compassionate and inspired people who will act for the good of all, and the sustainable development of the world.I am proud of you, and I wish you Godspeed. Congratulations!

Indeed, we would all like to sincerely congratulate the entire BCIS Class of 2019! May your lives be filled with much joy, success, and most importantly, great meaning. Although it brings us great sadness to lose you from our tightknit school community, we know that you will take the very best of our vision and philosophy with you as a message of hope for the future and we welcome you as our newest BCIS Alumni. Take care, stay strong, and keep moving forward.