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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
EDUCATOR DRAWS BLUEPRINT for new Longhua school
     2014-December-12  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    “An international school should be mindful of where it is located, and try to take the best of the culture and the community that exists around it to make the children understand it, learn about it and feel part of it, and, at the same time, open doors to introduce them to a bigger world outside.”

    — John Jalsevac, head of the Mission Hills International School

    Windy Shao

    windysjf@hotmail.com

    JOHN JALSEVAC had been working as a principal of the Canadian International School of Hong Kong for 10 years where he enjoyed a successful career. The Canadian moved to Shenzhen three months ago to start a new international school in Longhua New Area. He is excited about building a new school from scratch.

    “I really found there was almost a pioneer spirit among those of us who were the first ones to settle, to make something grow,” he said.

    Jalsevac has worked as a principal in four schools, one in Hong Kong and the other three in his home country of Canada.

    At one of the Canadian schools, Mary Ward Secondary School, the educator had a similar experience of breaking ground, seeing the school built, hiring staff and designing all of the school’s education programs. He felt blessed and fortunate to have that unique experience.

    “It was really exciting. Not every educator gets that chance, the opportunity to do that,” said the newly-appointed head of the Mission Hills International School in Longhua.

    Jalsevac was named principal of the upper school at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong in 2004. He was responsible for establishing a steering committee to bring an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a recognized leader in the field of international education, to the attention of parents and the board and to recommend they adopt the program.

    Over the course of seven years, they developed the program from very humble beginnings to a mature stage.

    The Hong Kong school’s graduates achieved an IB point of 36 last year, while the world average for international schools was 29.5 points. In Jalsevac’s words, many universities in the world will open their doors for those with 36 points in IB.

    His career was so successful that when the Mission Hills Group owner, the Chu family, decided to open a new international school in Shenzhen, they wanted him to head the school.

    “They were aware of me because one of the Chu family members has a child in the school.

    “They wanted to share information with me about this new school program, and I thought about it, I listened, never thinking I would leave the Hong Kong school,” he said.

    He knows the Chu family has achieved a lot in golf, industry, hospitality and entertainment.

    “They have a very strong and high quality brand, but education is new for them, so I wanted to listen to see if they had passion for this and find out if they were doing this for the right reasons,” Jalsevac said.

    After talking with Dr. Catherine Chu, who leads the education initiatives for Mission Hills Group, he was moved and convinced of her and her family’s passion, vision and dedication to education and decided to accept the new job.

    “They, most definitely, have a strong will to do this and to do it right.

    “Therefore, I decided to join the team, begin the exciting work of building a school here, hiring good teachers and establishing a program, adding IB to it, so I am really excited about it.”

    Jalsevac began his new work in Shenzhen on Sept. 1 and has a busy schedule, meeting with his team on school structure and with architects on interior design for the classrooms, hiring staff and talking with parents who come to register their children at the school.

    The Preschool will open in September 2015 and the Lower School (Grades 1-6) in 2016. The Upper School (Grades 7-12) will open the following year in 2017.

    “Parents here, just like parents everywhere, want a good school program for their children, they are very dedicated to it and have a passion about it,” the school head said.

    He was impressed by one of the mothers he met here.

    “She said, ‘I want my son to go to a Western-style school to learn independence, to learn responsibility, to think creatively; I want him to be a compassionate and kind person, I don’t want him to be a robot.’

    “And the dad said, ‘I also want him to learn to play hockey.’”

    He thought the mother’s demands were just what the IB program, which will be adopted at the new school in Longhua, could meet.

    “You don’t just take IB because of intellectual development, because of the score, the mark.

    “You take it because it’s a program that builds international-mindedness, it builds critical thinking, it teaches people how to be problem solvers, it teaches creativity — those are the things that I think are very important,” he said.

    Jalsevac said there are several things that separate his school from other international schools here.

    “We will have a full immersion dual-language program, which is different from those international schools where a second language is taught, just like other subjects such as math and art.

    “Our students are going to spend half their time in one language, and half their time in another.”

    Sports will play an important role in the new school.

    Jalsevac was the chair of an organization called SEASAC, Southeast Asia Student Activity Conference, which is comprised of 13 schools in Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong. It was mostly a sports organization where students from one school could meet their peers at other schools.

    Jalsevac himself has a background in sports. He played junior hockey in Canada and was named player of the year at his high school.

    He said his new school would open elite academies in golf, tennis, and ice hockey.

    Traditional Chinese values will also be an important part of the school program.

    “An international school should be mindful of where it is located, and try to take the best of the culture and the community that exists around it to make the children understand it, learn about it and feel part of it, and, at the same time, open doors to introduce them to a bigger world outside.

    “We think the China context is important. Some wonderful Chinese values that children learn from their parents such as their ancient cultural values, their respect for family, these go hand in hand with Western approaches.”

    The educator has great expectations for his future students.

    “I don’t want people to leave my school thinking, ‘now I’m going to be a scientist.’ Maybe they will, and good for them.

    “We want the students to feel that they have the skills, the knowledge and the attitude to be successful at university.

    “We want them to be critical thinkers, capable of analyzing and applying what they have learned.

    “We also want students to be reflective, to know about something or a point of view or a theory, and then be able to think about it, and question it.

    “I also want them to be problem solvers, which is not an easy thing. They can see a challenge and can work with a team, collaborate, find solutions together, and that’s a very important part of the IB program. You have to work with a team so often, you have to think about big picture issues that pose problems and how to solve them.”

    He joked that the only problem for him now is that it will be a long time before the school has graduates.

    “Staying with the students keeps me young,” he said.

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