Thursday, October 01, 2009

Canadian International School of Hong Kong - In Celebration of Alan Dick

Canadian International School of Hong Kong - In Celebration of Alan Dick

For many of our students and their parents, Alan Dick personified the Canadian International School. Alan joined us in 1994, when the school was just three years old. A passionate and dynamic educator, and a proud Canadian, Alan created an incredible legacy through his contribution to the development of our school and our community.

He did so not from behind closed doors, but with tremendous personal warmth and charisma. Each and every day, he greeted students at the school entrance, addressing every child by name. Every afternoon, he sent them home the same way. It was all part of creating the "Smile Factor", which was his personal measure of the success of our school. At assemblies that Smile Factor was infectious, as Alan led the children in singing songs ranging from O Canada to the Hokey Pokey. He taught children what it is to be a global citizen, and what it was to be a Canadian.

He also imbued his students with a love of school, a love of learning and a love of education (even if they didn't realize it) by making the school a loving place. Every Valentine's Day he gave out cinnamon hearts brought back especially from Canada. He was a great hugger, and loved to visit the children in class, where he disrupted many an individual lesson, to teach a far larger lesson. In some respects, Alan was a perpetual kids, with his Funny Bunny, Winnie the Pooh staff badge, silly ties, and extraordinary Hallowe'en costumes, but always underpinned with a very adult approach to education. His playful approach won the children's hearts and so, their minds.

Justifiably, Alan was hugely proud of CDNIS, and loved to share that on his weekly tours of the school for the parents of potential students. He was particularly proud of the Leo Lee Arts Centre (LLAC) which he helped design. Although pink was Alan's favourite colour, he chose yellow, his favourite decorative colour, for the lobby. The art on the walls of the LLAC and throughout the school is another of Alan's celebrations of our students, and reflected his own interest in art.

Personally, Alan enjoyed sharing the finer things in life, appreciating wine, martinis, music and art. He traveled extensively but was happiest here, in Hong Kong, and at his cottage in Ontario. As a global citizen, Alan himself bridged two cultures, Canadian and Chinese.

Alan, 55, joined CDNIS from the Canadian Overseas Secondary School in Hong Kong, arriving here in 1990 from Canada where he served as Principal of the Mittimatalik School of Pond Inlet in Nunavut, in the far north. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Education, an Honours Degree in Science and a Masters Degree in Theology, all from the University of Toronto. A dedicated life-long learner himself - the book "The Learning Leader" remains on his desk, now a testimony to the way he sought to live.

Alan is survived by a sister, a brother and his parents.

He was an extraordinary character, larger than life and living life large, and he will be sorely missed as an educator and a friend.



-- ARC23 - http://arcnwsptr.blogspot.com --

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