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On June 12th, 2019, Shen Wai International School (SWIS) held it's First Diploma Programme (DP 2) Student Graduation Ceremony in the SWIS Theatre. The ceremony celebrated each student's academic achievements and presented them with the diploma at SWIS. Congratulations, SWIS Class of 2019!
The Graduation Ceremony began with a musical interlude, performed by SWIS Secondary students and led by the SWIS music teacher Mr. Malcolm Mawhinney. As the music echoed in the theatre the graduating students made their way to the stage. The host of the ceremony, Mr. Tucker Barrows, SWIS DP Coordinator, introduced the honored and distinguished guests from the Shenzhen Municipal Government and the SWIS Board and Shenzhen Foreign Languages School.
Mr. Guan Su from Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau opened the ceremony with a speech. On behalf of the Municipal Education Bureau, he extended congratulations to the SWIS community. "SWIS is the first international school invested by the Shenzhen Municipal Government. The Municipal Government would like to build an international school of quality programs, and through such an initiative explores how we improve the brand image of Shenzhen's international education and explore how we facilitate local schools' improvement through learning from international experience. Therefore, the success of SWIS is meaningful, as it assists in improving Shenzhen's environment to support development when the city is becoming more and more international."
Ms. Mandy Chen, student representative for her graduating class made a touching reflection of her Journey at SWIS. Following Mandy Chen's reflection, Mr. Daniel Legault, SWIS Deputy Director of Academics and Secondary Principal and Mr. Michael Yang, Chairman of Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Returnees Association, both gave inspirational speeches.
Mr. Legault thanked all the parents and students of the graduating class and offered a few words of advice. "As you move on from SWIS, you will encounter challenging sections of the trail. If the stress of new situations, in new locations, with new people mount, hold the handlebars a little looser. In doing so, I hope you will find those challenges a little less scary and perhaps even exhilarating. "
Ms. Ally Wu, Director of SWIS, concluded with a touching and encouraging speech. In her speech, Ms. Ally Wu expressed her great appreciation for all teachers, staff members and parents of SWIS, who have supported the development of the school since it opened its doors back in 2011. Ms. Wu also spoke about her care for the students and her excitement to see the students' future of success. She also mentioned that SWIS had planted an evergreen pine tree at the entrance of the school, which is to remember the very first graduating class of SWIS.
"Cherish the past, but look to the future. You will be the choices you make, and you will be the goals you are after."
- Ms. Ally Wu
All 32 graduates received their SWIS Diploma on stage. Many of them received Academic Merit Awards and Honors Awards. By 12th June, SWIS' inaugural class have received offers from 85 universities: 44 in the United States, 23 in the United Kingdom, 7 in Canada, 3 in Switzerland, 1 in the Netherlands, 3 in mainland China and 4 in Hong Kong.
The Graduation Ceremony and this special day were ones that the SWIS community will never forget. Congratulations, SWIS Class of 2019.
Words from the SWIS Community:
You are graduating today! On behalf of the SWIS Board, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to you.
You are the first graduating class of SWIS, your performance at SWIS is outstanding and you have received offers from world-renowned universities. You have submitted a wonderful 'portfolio' to SWIS. I felt so happy for you. You have made me proud.
What you have achieved today is the result of the hard work by the teachers and you, the students. It is the result of the support and care of your parents. It is the result of the leadership of the School Director and the management team. It is the result of the guidance and support from the SWIS Board, the Education Bureau, and the Municipal Government."
I believe you are proud of being a student of SWIS today. I am sure in future your success will make SWIS proud. Congratulations! My best wishes to each one of you for a bright and promising future.
- Guoxiang Gong, SWIS Board Director
"Rocs are rumored to be able to fly for thousands of miles when they spread their wings. This is the time of the year when students, like the legendary rocs, spread their wings in preparation for adulthood and an uncertain albeit exciting future. The students have spent so much time together. There are moments of calm wind, and moments of gigantic, raging waves. There is no banquet in the world that doesn't end. From now on, students will spread their wings and head off to different places. But I believe that the bond between us will never break because this school and all the people present to represent and witness our youth. After many years, we will still miss that time, that day, that person... We'll still miss our lush years and youth."
- Andy Yao and Lawrence Li, Class of 2019
"There are so many things I want to share, but I want to focus on camaraderie and friendship. Hanging out with the same 31 people for 6, 7 years for at least 1600 days is not that common. Perhaps once in a lifetime. We fought as comrades, we survived IB and fulfilled our own wishes. Though we will be scattered around the globe in the future, friendship and camaraderie will always bring us together."
- Jerry Cheng, Class of 2019
"Students at SWIS acquired through IB learner profiles: Thinkers, Open-minded, Inquirers, Communicators, Reflective, etc., not only helped them in going through the IB curriculums but most importantly, have prepared them well for future challenges. There have been anxieties, doubts, and debates, but I think the excellent performance of the class of 2019, how each and every one of them has blossomed, has proved that SWIS is already a success. Congratulations to SWIS founding team, administrative and faculty members. Thank you very much for your hard work!"
- Thomas's parent, Class of 2019