The Arrival - December 9

Last week we welcomed our new principals and their families on campus! After a long trip here from the states, a few too many Covid tests, and a two-week quarantine in Xiamen, they are finally here. Here are a few highlights how the Principals and their wives like being in China.

Chris Rehm – Secondary Principal
Q: How do you like WYIS?
My family and I absolutely love it! The school is amazing and has exceeded our expectations. We knew that it was a good school, and finally being here just confirms it. We love the physical environment, but it’s the teachers and what they are doing in the classroom with the students that makes the difference. We love walking to school and the sense of community with the faculty members being close by and hanging out beyond school.

Q: What has been your favorite thing so far?
This past weekend I saw the jazz band perform. They did a wonderful job as part of an evening devoted to youth activities for local children. They were one of the performances for the evening lineup and they did wonderfully. Shangri-La hotel was wonderful and a great hotel, I am proud of the students and how they are evolving as musicians an
d working together as a group. I am really proud of Krista Pack and her work with her jazz band.

Q: What are some goals for this year as the new Secondary Principal?
There is a strong alignment with the school and its focus on the individual learner and their development, so I hope to continue on that strong foundation that we have here. I am passionate about student leadership and how we can do it more effectively. During assemblies I focus on student leadership development, and I hope to continue that. I am really proud of the students that are stepping up as leaders at WYIS – student council, Hope for the Holidays team, Scholar’s Corner, etc. I also want to continue to increase our understanding of student leadership that it is not just positional, but that everyone has the opportunity to be a leader.

Q: Anything you would like to community to know?
We are thrilled to be here, and we look forward to meeting you!

Sasha Rehm – 9th Grade English Teacher / Curriculum and Professional Development for iSC
Q: First impression of WYIS and Wuhan?
The biggest thing that stood out right away was the WYIS community and how kind and welcoming everyone has been. Having the faculty welcome us and into their homes and take us places -- everyone has been very warm toward us. It is amazing that it felt like family immediately. I love our modern building. There are so many windows, and that surprised me. All the natural lighting is really nice and contributes to the positive learning environment to help improve student learning at WYIS. In Wuhan I was really surprised how green it is. There are a lot of trees at the apartment and on the walk to school. We have already tried a lot of interesting food, yummy dumplings, spicy noodles, etc.

Q: What has been a favorite memory so far?
There was a homecoming dinner for the faculty and it was amazing! That event was really fun and very welcoming. Having worked at an international school before, I was really looking forward to connecting with the community.

Q: What are your goals for your English students?
I want to talk to students about the beauty of literature and help them improve as readers and writers, but ultimately I want them to fall in love with reading and writing. So I enjoy studying literature alongside them and helping them improve their skills.

Will Hatten – Elementary Principal
Q: How does it feel to finally be on campus?
Feels very good. I am very impressed with how welcoming and helpful everyone has been. It has been great getting to see the students. I was able to see some classrooms through Zoom before arriving, but being here in person and welcoming students and actually being in the classrooms has been so great.

Q: What has been surprising?
-I am impressed with how high quality every single room has been. Especially the art room, dedicated music rooms, and auditorium. Every room I have been in is top quality and impressive. I love the classrooms, café, and the cafeteria. The food here is amazing. I enjoy both the Western and Asian options.

Q: What is your focus this year as the Elementary Principal?
I want to be able to help each teacher and student individualize their needs for learning. I am excited to be able to work with the students in person and help them grow their unique abilities.

Q: What would you like the community to know?
I am excited to be here. My family and I have wanted to be here for a long time. We had a high expectation for the school, and it has been even better than expected. So we are so excited to be in this community and be a part of what is going on here at WYIS!

Leslie Hatten – Grade 1 Teacher
Q: How was your first week?
It has been super good but busy! We feel like we have accomplished a lot, and I can't believe that it has only been 7 days. We were hosted by a couple of families at WYIS and have visited several restaurants around the city. It has been a great transition, not only with the apartment and living in a new city, but also with visiting and learning about the new school.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish as the Grade 1 teacher?
I am really hoping to help individualize student learning. Grade 1 has a lot of students and it is important that I can provide them the learning experience that they deserve. I hope to create small groups and work with students individually and meet them where they are performing, whether that above, below, or at average grade level.

Q: How has your son liked his first week of school?
He has enjoyed it really well. It has been a big transition for him because before WYIS he was homeschooled but he has been so excited to learn in the classroom and make new friends.

Q: What else should others know?
We are so thankful and blessed that we have the opportunity to be here. We are very thankful for the parents and the time they take with their children. We can tell that education is valued here and that it is a team effort. As a parent and a teacher I appreciate that about WYIS.

Read this week's newsletter here.

December 9, 2020