Tsukuba International School
Speech for Transfer Ceremony
Shaney Crawford, Principal
March 17, 2014

I would like to start off by saying congratulations to the students who passed the entrance exams for their next schools. You all worked extremely hard and you should be very proud of the results of your efforts.

It is always a sad day when we have to say goodbye to our students, but I feel confident that you will all continue to meet with success at your new schools.

Before you move on to your next adventures, though, I would like to talk to you a bit about your time with us at Tsukuba International School. As the report cards are going home tomorrow and I have read all of them, I have a fairly clear idea of what you can and can’t do in your subject areas. What I can’t tell from reading your report cards, however, is whether or not you have been able to see the bigger picture from behind all of your assessments and novel studies and music recitals. While I am proud of all of your academic achievements, here is what I really hope you have learned from your time at TIS.

I hope you have learned how English and Japanese are not just languages that will help you get a good job in the future, but that they can be used to win someone over, to drive people to action, to inspire new ideas, and to create art and music. I hope you have learned that art and music are not just about creating and producing, but also about appreciating and understanding, and that a life without art and music would be unthinkably despairing. I hope you have learned that Math is not just about numbers, but that it is about finding an elegant way to describe what we understand about the world. I hope you have learned that Science is not about getting a good mark on your lab report, but about finding ways to move past your own biases to discover new truths. I hope that you understand that you studied technology not because of the products that you were asked to design, but because of the process that you went through to bring a new idea into reality. I hope you have learned that Humanities is not just about knowing when certain events in history happened, but why they happened and what they tell us about human nature and the human condition.

In addition to all of these big ideas, I hope that you have learned how to get along well with others. I hope you have learned that people can disagree about various things, but can still be respectful of each other’s ideas. I hope you have learned how to think from another person’s perspective and empathize with the many different journeys that people take throughout their lives, and why that might make them think the way they do.

Finally, I hope you realize how lucky you are to have had such a dedicated group of parents and teachers supporting you along your journey. While today is mainly about celebrating your many accomplishments, I hope you will also take some time to thank the people who have helped you along the way.

Students, friends, I wish you all the best on your next journey and I hope most of all that you know you will always be welcome here at Tsukuba International School.

Congratulations and good luck.