Five years, a milestone. Students, grow from zero to nearly a thousand.
Three years, a strategy. The school moves ahead against the wind.
After leading the team to fulfil the strategic goals of the first three years, Christine Xu, the executive principal, has solemnly pledged to launch the new three-year strategic goals! The stability and smooth transition of the leadership team is a priority in the school wide goals, and every outstanding successor shoulder new mission and expectation. In the academic year 2022-23, Mr. Andrew Leale will embark on the next stage of his journey in international education as Headmaster at Harrow School in India. While we highly appreciate Mr. Leale’s excellent contribution to the development of the school, we are honoured to announce that Dr. Steven DiMattei will become the new international principal of CKWA starting from August, 2022.
Dr. DiMattei is both an outstanding linguist and a passionate educator in the field of international education. Having worked in education for over 25 years and in China for nine years, he has a deep understanding of international education and in particular how to support and meet the expectations of Chinese families in their international education pursuits. His rich educational and teaching experience and strong career path brings high expectation for the Kaiwen community:
In his early career, Dr. DiMattei was a visiting assistant professor at several leading US universities, including Cornell University where he also taught visiting Chinese students in the Cornell College Preparatory Summer Program as an ESL lecturer, teaching academic writing skills to international students. Dr. DiMattei obtained his doctorate degree in the Humanities at the Sorbonne in France and completed his doctorate thesis in French. As a result, he has strong personal experience and empathy towards students studying a second language. More recently, Dr. DiMattei has fulfilled Principal roles at both Beijing No. 4 Jialian International campus, where he currently works, Nanjing Yuhuatai International High School, and Minhang-Crosspoint High School Shanghai. His strategic mission throughout has been focused on achieving the highest quality of teaching and academic standards through his leadership of the international teachers, holistic learning strategies that support students’ English learning, supporting parents’ understanding of international education, and boosting the success of university guidance counselling and admission results.
With Dr. Steven joining CKWA, what fantastic changes will happen to the school? And how will he use his experience to help students and parents? Let us present to you the new international principal in a three-dimensional way through our exclusive interview with Dr. Steven.
who have won the heart of Chinese parents
In the past nine years in China, Dr. Steven led his team to help students grow step by step and personally helped many Chinese students enter world-class universities. He once led all 18 graduating students in the American Crosspoint program at Nanjing Yuhuatai International High School into top 40 universities in the United States. In Concordia International School Chengdu, he managed to bring students from a common core English Grade Level of 3 to Common Core Grade Level 7 within one year.
In the Minhang-Crosspoint high school in Shanghai, as the academic principal, he raised the school’s average GPA from 2.55 to 3.3.
“In addition to the academic goal of getting children into a good university, international education itself has many advantages,” Dr. Steven came straight to the point, who is about to join Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy, “International education can not only let students learn through dialogue, group cooperation and classroom discussion, but also emphasize the cultivation of students’ passion for learning and appreciation of knowledge. In this way, students can discover themselves, remain independent and creative, achieve real growth and contribute to society. This is the charm of international education.”
“Of course, high-quality international education cannot be separated with professional teachers. I will ensure the professionalism of the teacher team by leading foreign teachers to hold seminars, discussing teaching methodologies and students in need, and working together to formulate curriculum plans and 18-week homework plans for students.” Dr Steven added.
Wherever Dr. Steven goes, he brings “miracles” to students like performing magic. We also believe that behind the dazzling achievements and growth of students is Dr. Steven’s practical efforts in meeting the earnest expectation and trust of every Chinese parent.
“I try hard to add icing on the cake
in terms of university application.”
Dr. Steven said frankly, “I have worked in American universities for 15 years. I am well aware of the admission requirements of American universities and the characteristics of students that admissions officers pay more attention to. I know the key to opening the door of famous universities.”
Dr. Steven’s unique insight will help Kaiwen students embark on a journey to a famous school: “The key lies in the humanities curriculum and the skills that students acquire through humanities, such as sharp textual analysis skills, writing skills and critical thinking. In the past, I initiated a slew of different projects and courses, such as mandatory debate, oral English and communication courses, to help our students make rapid progress and build their confidence and communication skills… This is also proved by the excellent university admission results in the past.”
“One of the ways I was able to achieve such good university admission results was to become much more active in the college guidance and application process, from creating a professional and strong School Profile (a document which admission officers rely on to know more about a high school), advising students about academic and extracurricular goals, writing letters in support of students, and even meeting and talking to American admissions officers to support my students applications”.
At the same time, “it is also particularly important to help students build confidence and encourage students to take higher-level subjects offered by the school.” Dr Steven added. With Dr. Steven’s sharing, we will find that he has made little efforts and long-term progress for the growth of students, such as the comprehensive utilization of various resources, such as Achieve3000 (an integrated targeted reading program that rapidly increased reading comprehension & analysis, similar to Renaissance used by CKWA), AP classroom, Coursera and other online learning platforms to help students improve their grades and build confidence.
Dr. Steven’s enthusiasm and professionalism is well known in the field of international education. Past achievements have witnessed the growth of Dr. Steven. He hopes to use his accumulated experience to contribute to the Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy in the near future.
“I know that the university admission results of Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy in the year 2021-22 are very eye-catching. Less than five years since its establishment, 64 students graduated from CKWA, winning a total of 6.46 million scholarships, and getting enrolled into world’s top universities. Therefore, I am very looking forward to joining Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy. I believe my past academic and UGC experience can help with the university guidance and counselling team and add icing on the cake,” shared Dr. Steven.
“My office door will always keep open.”
Students, teachers, and parents constitute the main body of a school. They also form the core of a school’s development. Only with all three parties involved can the educational philosophy be truly implemented, and the growth truly take place.
Dr. Steven is deeply aware of this. He also knows the importance of cross-cultural communication and the secret of strengthening three-party cooperation as an international principal. “I always believe that continuous communication is the key to problem solving,” Dr. Steven said. “In my past work experience, we need to invite everyone to participate in the process of education. This is a long-term process. For the three parties of communication, I will carry out it in different ways to provide more possibilities for children’s growth. For example,
Home-School Communication: in addition to regularly sharing students’ academic achievements with parents, meeting with parents, holding symposiums and issuing newsletters, I encourage parents to maintain communication with teachers of various disciplines through Power school (student information system), and share students’ learning and objectives with parents, so that parents and schools can maintain close communication, pay attention to students’ growth in the process.
Employee Management: I will strive to ensure that employees understand and agree with the mission and objectives of the school. Reaching a consensus on the vision means that all people can move in the same direction with the school. On this basis, I try to listen to the voice of teachers, discuss their problems or challenges, strengthen teachers’ community awareness, and lead teachers to conduct teaching evaluation and curriculum planning through weekly faculty meetings, so that children can be empowered to make growth through every class.
Student management: I will establish personal learning files for students and record their visualized growth process of students. I will encourage students to communicate with me at any time and help them set long-term and short-term academic goals, such as GPA goals, weak areas to focus on, course selection, TOEFL / SAT preparation, summer plan and extracurricular activities, to hone students’ interpersonal and thinking skills, and help them with university application… I hope my persistent efforts will inspire children’s growth.
My office door will always be open. I hope I can help you solve any concerns or problems faced by community members, ” Dr. Steven shared.
“CKWA’s true practice of holistic education attracts me”
Dr Steven admitted that it took great courage to join a new school. What touches him the most is CKWA’s real care for and emphasis on holistic education by Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy.
“In the communication with Principal Xu, I learned about CKWA’s professional leadership team and structure, dedicated teacher team, first-class hardware facilities and advanced educational resources. But what makes me more excited is the school’s real care for and emphasis on holistic education. Here, I found that art, sports, and stem, through the tangible campus facilities and detailed curriculum arrangement, guide students to find their true love and a path suitable for their own development, to make students become a complete person. This philosophy coincides with mine.
Dr. Steven’s joining will once again boost CKWA’s English education, including drama education, across-curriculum English learning and comprehensive reading. At the same time, he will contribute to the development of CKWA’s six pathways to universities, so that CKWA students will be closer to top universities and realize their dream one day!
The meeting between school parents and Dr. Steven will be held online in the near future. For details, please pay attention to later communication from the school.
If parents outside the school want to know about the development and changes of Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy in the new academic year, have a dialogue with Chinese and international principals, and explore the details of international curriculum, you are welcome to sign up for the face-to-face talk with principals in June to understand the future-oriented international education.