On Saturday 3 June my daughter will be a new alumna of FIS. As a Head of School, I’ve congratulated thousands of students who cross the graduation stage each spring, but seeing my daughter, Paige, approach me in her cap and gown will be an altogether new experience. I knew this day would come, but it seems unreal.
As I consider the fact that my firstborn child will soon be leaving home, I am reminded of a special children’s book, I Wish You More. In this story, an adult shares his hopes and dreams with a child who will soon be entering a big and sometimes challenging world. Reading the book again recently made me consider what wishes I have for my daughter – and for the rest of our FIS graduates.
I wish as you grow older you will see that FIS has made you a person who is the first to welcome a new friend when they move into your neighborhood. I wish you don’t give up easily when faced with a problem, but have the confidence to seek creative solutions. I wish you remember that you can learn something from everyone, regardless of their background. I wish you will also see yourself as a teacher, so that you can help others make their way in this world.
I wish you will choose to hold to your values, even when you are offered a huge reward for putting them aside. I wish you will see that it is your responsibility to care for our planet as you would care for a special friend. I wish you will remember, especially when you feel you are treated unfairly, that you have the power to choose how you will respond to adversity.
Finally, I wish that you will remember FIS when you grow old, and that you will tell stories to your friends about what you learned here. You will always be welcome at our school and I wish that you will find a way to return here when you are an adult, maybe with your own children at your side, and that your memories of your time here will make you smile.