Dear Provincial, Municipal and School officials, Senior Advisor, School Board Relations, dear parents, students and teachers,
Sharing the same kind of excitement with our graduates, here we are again at the 2014 Sino-Canadian Program Graduation Ceremony. First, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to our graduates today, for how much you all have achieved over the past three years. So far, out of 78 graduates, we have 27 who got accepted into the University of Toronto, one of the most prestigious universities around the world; 61% of them were admitted into the world’s top 100 universities in Canada; 90% are going to Medical Doctoral Universities; and 100% of them have realized for themselves the promise of studying abroad. How amazing is this! Our graduates are themselves an embodiment of the famous saying “no pains no gains”, and they keep raising the bar for their younger brothers and sisters in the program when it comes to pursuing excellence. Once again, let’s applaud for our graduates, for their hard work and outstanding achievements.
Looking back, you would realize that the three years you spent in our program has been a challenging yet extraordinary experience for you. You have worked harder than your peers and thus harvested more on the way. Do you still recall how flustered you were when you had your first all-English class? Were you like many of your fellow classmates who used to wait till the last minute to finish the homework? Can you still feel the thrill and frustrations for all the activities you were once involved in? High school for you is different than for anyone else; the lessons you learnt from it is just as priceless. It is our wish, therefore, that all 78 of you have found courage, passion and responsibility in the past three years learning here.
Our school motto—diligence, simplicity, solemnity, and perseverance—has been inspiring you from day one. Despite the occasional doubts and questions raised against you from outside, you have proved them wrong with your brilliant record in a variety of academic competitions and contests, like the English Speech Contest, the American High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling and the Waterloo Math Contest. Confidence and perseverance are the two key elements to achieve excellence and your success proves that true.
As your teacher, mentor as well as friend, I am extremely proud of every single one of you today. All the tears and sweat you shed over the past few years chasing your dreams will set a great example for other students in the program, and urge them on during difficult times.
Now that you are about to leave the school and study in universities overseas, I have a few things I want to share with you:
First of all, always look at the big picture as well as its details. In the course of developing your interest and expertise, you have to not only have a general idea of where you are heading towards, but also how you can get there. A wise man once said, “the devil is in the details”; in other words, every ambitious goal needs to be broken down into smaller pieces, and accomplishing those detailed tasks one at a time is what defines a successful being.
Second, never take anything for granted. Life can be tough sometimes, but no matter how unfortunate you consider yourself to be, having a grateful heart will melt down the hardest wall and let in a ray of hope. When your world is imbued with gratitude and appreciation, no obstacles will be unconquerable and nothing will be impossible.
My fellow students, three years’ hard word finally pays back, and now you are about to embark upon a brand-new journey in your life. I hope that you will cherish this opportunity of studying abroad and live up to what your school, your parents and your country expect of you. Always stay true to yourself, and I firmly believe that you will have your life planned out wisely, contribute to our society and realize your self-worth in a respectable way.
It has been my privilege to be the Canadian Principal of the Sino-Canadian Program this year. The accomplishments that I have witnessed in student achievement were amazing. I can truly say that the graduates of this program are well-prepared for their trip abroad to study in Canadian and American universities.
There is only one true way to success and that is through dedication and commitment. To all of the graduates, it is my hope that you find continued success and satisfaction in the undergraduate programs in which you are beginning at university. Be confident in your abilities and use your English skills as much as possible every day. It is wonderful to think that you will all be competent bi-lingual professionals in the near future.
Good afternoon Principal Wu, Principal Covey, teachers, parents and students. It is my honour today to make presentations to deserving students for three very distinguished Awards.
Queen Elizabeth and Lieutenant Governor’s Medals Award Presentations
The Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development takes great pride in celebrating student success.
I share in that pride and acknowledge with appreciation the efforts of everyone at Nanchang No. 2 High School who has contributed to the accomplishments being recognized here today.
Each year, the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal is presented to one grade 11 male and one grade 11 female student from each high school who has maintained a commendable academic standing and who has contributed in either a leadership or participatory role in the life of the school and community.
The awards were established in 1961 by the 22nd Lieutenant Governor Major General E.C. Plow. During the 2000-01 school year former Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Myra Freeman, requested an opportunity be given for award recipients to receive the medal in person in all school boards throughout the Province, and the practice of awarding the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal has now been extended to the international schools offering the Nova Scotia program.
The female recipient of the 2013-14 Lieutenant Governor’s Award is: DENG XINRUI (CICI)
According to Ding Xingrui (Cici), a leader is far different than being a boss because a leader must communicate his or her ideas to the team, instead of enforcing rules and regulations on team members. Ding Xingrui (Cici) placed second in the school’s Annual English Public Speaking contest and she cites her participation in the school’s Public Speaking Club to be a valuable experience that cultivated her communication skills. Ding Xingrui (Cici) was a mentor to the girls soccer team during March Madness and she took the lessons she learned in the previous year to help the new soccer players this year. From her experience as a mentor, she realized that teaching cooperation, especially in a team sport, is challenging for a leader. However, she believes that with confidence and optimism, any challenge can be met.
Ding Xingrui (Cici) is a strong academic student and had an honours standing in Semester 1. In addition to her service and leadership contributions at Nanchang No. 2 High School, she has also volunteered at a special education school.
Congratulations, Ding Xingrui (Cici).
The male recipient of the 2013-14 Lieutenant Governor’s Award is: TANG ZIHAO (CHARLIE)
According to Tang Zihao (Charlie), a leader is someone who remains calm, confident, and wise during conflict resolution. Charlie cites various experiences that have contributed to his development as a leader. Charlie helped provide food, clothes and entertainment to the residents of a local orphanage, and he was responsible for guiding visitors to their seats at the Nanchang Circus. From these two experiences, he has learned that true happiness comes from helping others. Tang Zihao (Charlie) says his satisfaction from helping others is evident from his involvement in various events in the Nova Scotia program, and he feels confident in taking a leadership role in both classroom activities and school-wide functions. Tang Zihao (Charlie) helps foreign teachers to settle into life in Nanchang by offering support with translation and technology difficulties. Tang Zihao (Charlie) also assisted with the delivery of mail from the main school to all of the foreign teachers. This serviced was valued and appreciated by his teachers.
Tang Zihao (Charlie) is a strong academic student and had an honours standing in Semester 1.
Congratulations, Tang Zihao (Charlie).
Each year, the Queen Elizabeth Medal is awarded to a Grade 12 student who has fulfilled the requirements for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma and has demonstrated superior academic achievement in grades 10, 11 and 12, while maintaining an outstanding record in school and community involvement.
The recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Medal for the 2013-14 academic year is: Jiang Shan (Shiny)
Jiang Shan (Shiny) has been an outstanding academic student since arriving in the Nova Scotia program. She maintained an Honour’s level average above 80% in grade 10, and a Honour’s with Distinction level average, above 90%, in both grade 11 and 12.
Jiang Shan (Shiny) gives her full effort in everything that she does, and is always willing to participate in school activities. This year she participated in the Model United Nations Club, assisted with activities at the child orphanage, participated in the Nanchang ‘Care for Kid Walk’ Fundraiser, and was editor of a very successful school newspaper club.
Congratulations, Jiang Shan (Shiny).
The recipient of the Governor General Medal for the 2013-14 academic year is: Chen Ziyan (Rachel)
This award is presented to a graduating student who has achieved the HIGHEST ACADEMIC STANDING IN GRADE 12. This year the award was closely contested between two students. It is my privilege on behalf of the Sino-Canadian Program to call upon Chen Ziyan (Rachel) to receive this award.
For three years, Rachel has always been a top student in the Sino-Canadian Program. This year she has maintained the highest Honor’s with Distinction academic standing in all of her Canadian courses with an overall average above 90%.
Congratulations Rachel on being the outstanding student in the 2014 graduating class of the Sino-Canadian Program.
Good afternoon, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, teachers and parents, and the Graduating Class of 2014.
It’s an honour for me to stand here to deliver the final “presentation”. So first of all, congratulations to my fellow graduates. We are finally here, celebrating this amazing moment that we have been always dreaming about.
However, some of you may want to slow down the time. Our feelings are always mixed at moment like this. During the last three years, the time we really spent with each other is only about 540 days. In retrospect, I remember my first speech in Sino-Canadian Program. I was so nervous that I even remember what I was wearing that day.
That 2-minute 10-sentence short speech was the start of my journey of stepping out of my comfort zone which was extremely small. I can tell you how bad it was. I never dare to sing in font of my own parents until I was about 10. I never dare to ask teachers questions until I was 16; and I never dare to look at audiences’ eyes while delivering a speech until I was 17.
I used to envy those who were born with an wide comfort zone. Because I am like being trapped inside an invisible bubble. When I think I shout for 100 decibel, What you really hear is only 20 decibel. And my every move is limited. But I know, if I cannot get rid of this bubble, then I’ll shout louder until you can hear my real voice clearly.
I believe I am not the only one who was struggling with comfort zone. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said: “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” And I also believe that every one of us has overcome their own obstacle and is already standing on this ladder. Looking down from the ladder, we might be surprised by how far we are from the ground right now.
Those little achievements we hadin three years are the steps that helped us rise. Three years in the Sino-Canadian Program helped me realize one important thing, which is team, team, team! Remember all the reports we wrote, all the presentations we delivered, and all the projects we did together. We couldn’t have made it without each other. I feel lucky to have met these amazing people. You helped me understand who I really am, and who I want to be.
But of course, it was our teachers who gave us the chance to create and help us achieve. On behalf of all the graduates, I want to present our greatest gratefulness to all the teachers who have taught us. Although teachers come and go all the time, we never forget their faces. Remember Mr. Oda, Jessica, Jennifer, Todd, and Nichole? They all went home, getting married. Lord knows who will be the next. And I want to tell you all that we are ready to face and embrace the future with the knowledge you passed to us.
Also, our parents’ contribution cannot be ignored. Note that the time we spent with our family is shrinking, so I want to give a special thanks to my own parents for always supporting me and indulging me to chase my dreams, no matter how wild they are.
From my perspective, this is only the end of second phase of our life, which I name as “preconditions for takeoff” because we were preparing ourselves for the moment of getting on the plane to Canada. After today, we will be in the “takeoff” phase when we are all flying to our destination. There’s no doubt that the road ahead of us will be rough. There are always many local maximums and local minimums to the curve of our future life. And we know that no enzyme in real life can help us lower the activation energy of an obstacle. But we can turn a failure into motivation like converting kinetic energy to potential energy. And just in case that Mr. Stanley thinks I didn’t use any English terms, I have to clarify that these are all metaphors and similes.
At last, we don’t have a climax like gaokao that could bring a dramatic ending to our story. Instead, we are like a serial novel. Every chapter is a brilliant short story. Every day we learn with passion and earn something valuable. The ending of our story might not be that resounding, but if we want, this novel doesn’t have to end. Our days ahead, just like serial novel, will go on and on.