by Jing Jing Yang, Grade 10 World of Work Intern
Roses cascaded upon the steps of Confucius Temple, as Western Academy of Beijing’s (WAB) Class of 2019 celebrated its graduation.
On Saturday, the graduates and their loved ones gathered at the temple, one of China’s most well-known places of knowledge, marking a milestone in their life-long journey of education. The 99 graduates, representing 21 nations, will go on to pursue their goals in a variety of pathways, many of whom will study in specialized programs at prestigious universities around the globe.
“We as a community are incredibly proud of the achievements of our Class of 2019,” WAB’s High School Principal Melanie Vrba said. “The wide range of destinations and plans our graduates have highlights our diverse community at WAB and our students' commitment to success in the future. We wish our 2019 graduates all the best.”
Sounds of traditional Chinese music drifted over the courtyard, as the celebration began. WAB’s academic and administrative leaders awarded the students their diplomas, as each crossed the stage wearing the school’s traditional black and gold Chinese robes. Several members also shared their wisdom and insight through speeches, including Jason Simon, head of WAB’s High School English Department, who was invited specifically by the students.
Referencing a tradition of graduates jumping from a bridge on campus into the school’s Duck Lake, Mr. Simon encouraged students to be open to taking risks.
“In the next few years you will have many moments where you’re standing on that proverbial bridge over a metaphorical body of water considering whether or not to jump,” he told the graduates. “I don’t think you should jump off of every bridge you encounter. I’m just saying you shouldn’t define yourself as someone who never jumps, who never takes risks.”
To find out more about learning in our high school and WAB’s comprehensive options for pathways to graduation, visit our Learn page.