HIS 2017 Graduation Principal Address

Congratulations to you, the Class of 2017. As you come to the end of this important stage of your lives, this part that you may have thought would never end, we hope that you are feeling confident about the challenges that you will face over the coming years. Now that your schooling has ended, you are confronted with the harsh reality that you will now be treated by society, in many ways, as adults. This takes some adjustment. You have to review your own place in the world.

After the stress of the final DP exams, when your world may have seemed to shrink into a recurring loop of study, stress and exam, the feeling of freedom and relief that you had expected when the final test was done, often does not come flooding in as you imagined it would. Many students comment that they don’t know what to feel, and that it is not as they had expected. This is common and natural because as you know, deep down, the DP exams were just the first in a series of challenges that you will face along the road that awaits. Some apprehension tends to linger as you search for new purpose.

It is our sincere hope that the type of learning that you have been engaged in during your journey through the IB programs at HIS has prepared you for these challenges. The big question for you on this graduation evening, one that I would ask you to think about as you move forward is, ‘What type of learner have you become?’ I have ten questions to guide you.

  1. Are you an inquirer who will you nurture your curiosity throughout your adult years?
  2. Are you a knowledgeable learner who will engage with idea that have global significance?
  3. Are you a thinker who will make reasoned, ethical decisions?
  4. Are you a communicator who will listen to the perspectives of others, even when you don’t agree, perhaps especially when you don’t agree?
  5. Are you a principled learner who will respect the dignity and rights of people everywhere?
  6. Are you an open-minded learner who will is willing to seek and evaluate a range of points of view?
  7. Are you a risk-taker who will be resourceful and resilient in the face of change?
  8. Are you a caring learner who will show empathy, compassion and respect to those you meet along the way?
  9. Are you a balanced learner who will continue to develop your physical, intellectual and emotional lives?
  10. Are you a reflective learner who takes the time to give thoughtfully consideration to your experiences to learn more about yourself?

During your time at HIS, learning within the IB programs, you have started on this road, however the learning journey does not end here. I hope that you will take these attributes, this profile of a learner, and nurture them over the years to come. Learning is a lifelong commitment, and it is not just about books and formal study. It does not matter so much, the content you learn, rather, it is who you become through the learning process. This is because it is you, the person, who will make a difference in the world. Every day, become more curious. Every day, become more caring. Every day, become more open-minded, because this is the journey that will help us to make a difference, help us to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.

Class of 2017, it has been an honor knowing you this year and I look forward to seeing what types of learners you continue to become. Best of luck on the exciting adventures that await you all.

Damian Rentoule

HIS 2017 Graduation Principal Address