When I was eight years old, I made up my mind to travel around the world. I recall opening the newspaper and turning to the weather page just to see what the temperature was in Hong Kong and wondering what was happening in that bustling city so far from my reality. It was an uncommon aspiration for a boy in the quaint Michigan town where I grew up, but I knew that one day I would join the ranks of the explorers I enjoyed reading about in the books I checked out from our town’s small library.
Ten years later, after saving money from my paper route and mowing countless lawns, as well as some support from an encouraging grandfather, I had enough money to realize my dream to fly around the world. Just two weeks after my high school graduation I was on a plane headed to Asia, my first time leaving American soil for the mystery of the Far East and my first stop as I circled the globe.
Although I returned from that trip for many more years of schooling, I never lost my ambition to live abroad and have remained overseas for the past 17 years. Something inside that young boy caused me to recognize that there was more to the world than Petoskey, Michigan. Ever since I boarded that international flight, I have seen myself as a member of a much broader community than that which was defined by my passport.
I am reminded of this experience from many years ago as I stop and reflect on my first year here as a new member of the Frankfurt International School community. In so many ways I have found at FIS and ISW an abundance of that which draws all of us to leave the safety of our native lands. In this magical place there are rich cultural experiences, a great diversity of people, endless opportunities for learning and a fun and supportive community with which to share these many blessings.
Our school has too many achievements in the past year for me to do them all justice in the short space I am allotted each issue of FIS World. I could fill the entire magazine with stories of how we reached our targets from the current Strategic Plan and set even higher standards in the Plan that has been set for the next five years. There have been developments of renewing our campus with a new cafeteria and we are making preparations to break ground on this summer’s auditorium project, all amidst celebrations of our fifty-year anniversary. I can’t begin to count the ways our faculty and students have set new heights in pursuing their passions within and outside our classrooms.
Let me simply close by saying that many years ago an eight year-old boy had very high expectations for what the world might offer, and I’ve found all of those exceeded here at Frankfurt International School. On behalf of Wendy, Paige, Jack and myself, we are grateful for this foundational year at FIS and look forward to many more in the future.