Welcome to Semester Two from Our School Leadership Team

We warmly welcome back all of our families and also welcome all new families who have just started at YCIS Shanghai for this new semester. We are very excited for the months ahead, which will be filled with new experiences and learning opportunities for our students, and so many fun events for the whole family. 2019 promises to be another incredible year at YCIS Shanghai!

Leading all aspects of our school at both our YCIS Puxi and YCIS Pudong campuses are our incredible School Leadership Teams, and below you’ll discover a little more about our Co-Principals and School Business Managers.

YCIS PUXI

Mr Don Collins, Western Co-Principal, YCIS Shanghai Puxi

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Puxi?

This semester, I’m looking forward to continuing to work with staff across our three campuses, sharing, collaborating, and ensuring that our curriculum, as ever, aligns and creates the best flow from K2 right the way to Year 13.

What is one thing most people perhaps won’t know about you?

I've been scuba diving since 1982 and have journeyed to dive sites all over the world – my depth record is 65 metres. As a PADI Divemaster, I really like helping other people to enjoy the experience of the underwater world. Also, having grown up in Australia, I learned how to shape boomerangs from a single piece of wood and fly them, and I continue to do this in Shanghai.

What do you do to in your free time?

I enjoy working on my Chinese, taking photographs, and exploring Shanghai with my wife.

What do you love most about the YCIS Puxi Community?

The openness and interest our community possesses for all aspects of school life. We have such a strong sense of community, and I think it’s fantastic how everyone comes out to support our student performances and events.

 

Ms Isabel Xu, Chinese Co-Principal, YCIS Shanghai Puxi

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Puxi?

Right now, I’m most excited about our Chinese New Year celebrations later this month, which are always a wonderful opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate the culture and traditions of China. This event is an incredible showcase for the outstanding learning our students gain from our renowned Chinese Language and Culture Programme. In addition to a variety of fun learning activities, for Secondary, a big highlight is the Chinese Fashion Show and, for ECE and Primary, the Lion Dance performance is always a favourite!

What is one thing most people perhaps won’t know about you?

Lately, I’ve been picking up tennis again. I played before, but I’m trying to get back into it and make it a regular activity!

What do you do to in your free time?

As a mom, I love spending my free time with my son and my husband. As a family interest, we love eating new and different cuisines and trying out different restaurants.

What do you love most about the YCIS Puxi Community?

As Don mentioned, the best thing about YCIS Puxi is the sense of community we have. From teacher-to-student, student-to-student, and parent-to-school, we all have a harmonious relationship and it really feels like a big family!

 

Ms Grace Gu, School Business Manager, YCIS Shanghai Pudong

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Puxi?

I’m most excited about the upgrade currently underway for YCIS Puxi Primary A Building, which I think everyone in the community is looking forward to! I’ve been working with the project management and construction teams and sharing the needs of the academic team to ensure the building will be the very best possible learning environment for the children.

What is one thing most people perhaps won’t know about you?

This is actually my first time working in education! I have 20 years of experience in the Hospitality industry and was able to approach my role at YCIS with fresh eyes and bring in a new perspective to the school.

What do you do to in your free time?

Like Isabel, I’m a mom and love spending time with my 12-year-old daughter. We really like to go travelling, sightseeing, and exploring new places. Recently we visited Yunnan and Guizhou, and before that, we took an unforgettable two-week trip around Australia!

What do you love most about the YCIS Puxi Community?

I love the teamwork that’s so apparent every day. Everyone’s talents and strengths are nurtured and utilised, and everyone is open and friendly. Collaboration is a key element of everything we do. Our academic staff are very professional and caring and possess a love for the children and for learning. I’m very happy and proud to work at YCIS Puxi!

 

YCIS PUDONG

Mr Damien Hehir, Western Co-Principal, YCIS Shanghai Pudong

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Pudong?

Definitely the Pudong 21 event, which is a culmination of all of our hard work and strategic planning over the last 8-9 months. I’m really excited about that. Also, we are working toward renovating some of our learning communities, so I look forward to working on planning going toward that, too. We also have some awesome new teachers we have hired for newly created positions next year.

What is one thing most people won’t know about you? 

That I took time off during my university studies to be a full-time Union Organiser representing customer service workers. However, this experience made me realise that my true passion and calling was in the field of education, where I have worked ever since. 

What do you do to in your free time? 

I spend as much time with my family as I can. I also love reading. Having the chance to read novels – lots of fiction – really helps me to unwind. And my other passion is Australian Rules Football, so I watch a lot of that. Finally, listening to and playing music are both things I very much enjoy.  

What do you love most about the YCIS Pudong Community?

YCIS Pudong started in villas many years ago and has a very unique community environment that we have managed to maintain that community feel about the school over the years. People who come to the school do comment on the caring environment that they can feel from the staff, the students, and the parents here. Everyone belongs here and has a place here. 

 

Ms Mary Yu, Chinese Co-Principal, YCIS Shanghai Pudong

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Pudong? 

I’m excited about the new developments we have in place for expanding YCIS Pudong this year. Although we have grown exponentially over the years, our community is still truly like a big family. All of our students, parents, teachers, support staff, ayis, and drivers are part of this family and it is truly a very special community.

What is one thing most people won’t know about you?

During my time at university, I wanted to purchase a Walkman, which was a very luxurious item for students at the time. In order to save money, I sold yo-yos in the market during weekends, and  after  around six months  of selling, I had enough money to buy the Walkman.  I was very pleased! 

What do you do to in your free time? 

I like to relax by reading books and also by watching movies. I particularly like the romance genre, and Audrey Hepburn is my movie idol. So, when I have the time, I like to dig out her classics like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What do you love most about the YCIS Pudong Community? 

The atmosphere. As I mentioned previously, our school continues to be like a big family even as we have grown. It feels like everyone here is supporting each other, and that they have the best interests of all of the members of the community at heart. I really like that!

 

Mr Ray Zhang, School Business Manager, YCIS Shanghai Pudong

What are you most excited about for the coming months at YCIS Pudong? 

Next month, the Chinese New Year holiday will be upon us. Usually, around this time every year, YCIS Pudong will host festive activities at our Chinese New Year Evening celebration. What is special about this year is that we are extending the usual night-long activity into a celebration week, giving more members of our community the opportunity to join in the fun. For this reason, I am truly looking forward to this year’s events!  

What is one thing most people won’t know about you? 

That I own two guitars but cannot play one song. 

What do you do to in your free time? 

I have to admit that I am a big fan of technology and probably spend too much time on my mobile phone, but I also like to read books, go for walks and take in nice views, and spend as much time as I can with good people.

What do you love most about the YCIS Pudong Community? 

I take pride in being part of the YCIS Pudong community. I see this team as an enthusiastic ‘dream team’, and I am touched deeply by the talent and creativity our staff pour into their everyday work. 

 

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