There was a surreal feeling in the digital sphere as St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) embraced what could potentially be another ‘new normal’ this year by recently holding its 3rd IBDP graduation ceremony virtually on 29 May 2020. The historic ceremony was hosted using a web conferencing platform for the first time and was attended by scores of graduates, parents, sponsors, teachers and VIP guests. The Guest of Honour for the ceremony was Dato’ Br. Paul Ho FSC, who is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of SJIIM as well as the Br. President of SJI Singapore.
Dr. Nicola Brown, the High School Principal, beamed with pride at the sight of the graduates’ achievements and said “We congratulate our third IBDP Graduating Class on their effort and courage. We already knew very well that these are special young people. This understanding has been further reinforced by their fortitude through this extremely challenging period. Each student has been tested beyond their expectation and they have succeeded in showing their character and values as they have remained focused and positive. We wish them well in the coming weeks as we await the celebration of their upcoming results”.
Ms. Maureen Fitzgerald, the IBDP Coordinator of SJIIM, was equally pleased and proud of the performance of the IBDP students for the past 2 years, saying, “We can say with certainty that the impact of these students will be felt long after they have left us and gone out into the world tonight. They will leave with us the way that they will give of themselves without question when help is needed. They will leave with us their creativity, and they will leave with us their intellectual power and their extraordinary drive.”
The Guest of Honour, Dato’ Br Paul Ho, congratulated the graduates on completing their IB Diploma with flying colours despite having to do so virtually in these unnatural conditions. In his graduation address, he touched specifically on the possible silver linings that these trying times have brought about, saying “In all these relationship experiences with family or teachers during the lockdown, we all have leaned to “retool” ourselves by looking at others with more respect, patience in listening to others and avoiding forming prejudices. These are some of the new normal principles that we would have to be aware of as we live in the post-coronavirus period.”
A total of 13 student honours were given out during the ceremony comprising 6 Academic Prizes and 7 Major Awards which included the Sportsperson Of The Year Award, Outstanding Achievement Award, Lasallian Service Award, Academic Excellence Award, Principal’s Award, Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award and the coveted Josephian of the Year Award.
John Marcus Liew Jin had the honor of being awarded SJIIM’s Josephian of the Year Award for the graduating IBDP class of 2020 . A true Lasallian all-rounder who excels in academia and service work, Marcus credited the school’s Lasallian education ethos, his teachers, parents and peers for his success and an unbelievable education experience for the past 2 years. In his speech, he reminded his fellow Lasallian graduates that each of them has a responsibiity to themselves and to the people around them, saying “Much more than recognition of individual contribution, I believe the Josephian of the Year Award represents the values of community and leadership which SJIIM upholds. It is a humbling honour to receive this award. I hope that the students at SJIIM continue to be loving and ambitious in their devotion to our school and to the communities of which they are part of.”
Marcus who was also the school’s Student Representative Council President, received the Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award as well which was presented to him virtually by Ms. Yap Su-Yin, CEO of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, which is also one of SJIIM’s IBDP Scholarship Programme Sponsors. As for his tertiary education plans, Marcus will be heading to the University of Bristol in the UK to read Law.
Despite being unable to celebrate their graduation with the school’s customary post ceremony celebration dinner, the ceremony concluded with the usual cheer nontheless with the graduates’ gusto virtual singing of the school rally. To cap of the night in typical new normal fashion, the graduates were also treated to a personal graduation dinner by the school in the comforts of their home to celebrate their achievements.
Applications are still open for SJIIM’s 2020/21 IBDP intake in August 2020. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.sji-international.edu.my for more information about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Relevant Chinese name:
(八打灵再也Tropicana 院校) :
St Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (Tropicana PJ Campus)
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Mr. Neoh Soon Ken
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