Happy holidays to everyone in the Cedar community!
It was wonderful to see such a tremendous turnout at Cedar’s Seasons Greetings performance and Christmas Market yesterday, and very special to have additional family members from around the globe tuning in to view the performance online on Facebook Live. What a spirited way to celebrate the season together!
As 2016 draws to a close, there certainly has been much to celebrate through the first part of this school year.
- The launch of the Lunch Box has made real our vision of bringing fresh, healthy food, served in a sustainable manner, to our campus community – and the daily reviews of students, parents, and teachers alike suggest it’s been a great a success! We look to further these efforts to model sustainability as we launch the Cedar Garden in 2017.
- We’ve had impressive student achievements on both the team and individual levels. Under the leadership of Coach John Reilly, our boys football team won an international tournament in the Bahamas, beating out 7 other teams from Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. Our girls finished 4th in the same tournament, showing great improvement over previous results. On the individual level, Grade 7 student Jaleel Cameron earned the BVI’s Outstanding Philanthropist 2016 Award in November for his efforts to bring new technology to Peebles Hospital to benefit the community. These are remarkable feats—two examples from many I could note—that show Cedar students modelling the attributes of the IB Learner Profile both in and out of the classroom. It is gratifying to see, and we are proud of them.
- We have also seen the growth of our physical campus. First through the lease of land to the east of main campus which has allowed us to relocate staff parking and greatly improve the safety and flow of the main car park for parents. More recently, we have secured purchase of an acre of waterfront land adjoining Cedar’s two other lots acquired in 2013. Together these lots represent two contiguous acres of waterfront land and present exciting opportunity for Cedar’s future.
As we look forward to 2017, we are reminded that new years bring new beginnings, and that will certainly be true for one Cedar family: the Greens, who will relocate to Australia in January. I wish to take a moment here to say farewell and thank them on behalf of Cedar for their positive contributions to the school community. They have certainly exemplified the idea of “whole family commitment” to their children’s education during their time in the BVI: Rochelle in her role on the PTA Council and as a volunteer supporter for our football program, and Grant who served 5 years on the Cedar Board of Trustees as both Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. We thank them for their efforts on behalf of our school community.
With Grant’s departure, Cedar’s Board of Trustees has sought to replace the financial expertise he brought to the table. To that end, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Nilani Perera, Director of Borrelli Walsh’s BVI office, to the Board of Trustees. Ms. Perera has over 10 years of experience in insolvency, forensic accounting, investigations and valuations in BVI, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Singapore and PRC. The firm she represents, Borrelli Walsh, has been a staunch supporter of Cedar for years. As such, she brings an important voice to Cedar’s Board of Trustees: one of financial expertise and demonstrated support of Cedar’s mission. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Perera to Cedar’s Board of Trustees.
Ms. Perera joins the Cedar community at an exciting time, with much to look forward to in 2017. This will include the continuation of arts and drama programs, including the February theatre performance of “Wind in the Willows”, robust experiential programs for students in Grades 5-11, and plenty of opportunity to demonstrate academic growth, with ISA testing, PYP Exhibition, MYP Personal Project and eAsessments, and DP exams.
The second semester will also bring the Synchronised Visit (in April) of representatives from the International Baccalaureate Organisation, Council of International Schools, and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, as Cedar seeks renewal of its 10-year accreditation and authorisations from those bodies. The preparation for such a visit has been an excellent opportunity for reflection and growth on our campus and will undoubtedly affirm the quality of Cedar’s programs.
With so much to celebrate from 2016 and so much to look forward to in 2017, we hope all our students, staff and families will enjoy a well-earned break over the holidays. We wish you much happiness and quality time with friends and family, and all the joy the holiday season should inspire. We will be very pleased to greet everyone in January to continue our journey together.
Best wishes for a happy new year!