Thank you, Dr Schuster: On Change and New Beginnings
by Cayla C., Concordia Applied Journalism
It’s a sad reality among most international schools that people stay a while, then move to other places around the world. This year Concordia says goodbye to many key members of our community, including our own principal, Dr. Schuster.
Dr. Schuster is known for his constant availability in the administrative hall, for his words of advice during announcements, and his leadership on the baseball field. He’s done more to better the Concordia Community than most people realize. He’s been a great friend, coach and mentor for many students on campus and it’s difficult to see him leave.
Dr. Schuster came to Shanghai about 6 years ago, but before working at Concordia, Dr. Schuster taught at Shanghai American School Puxi for three years. “What really drew me to the Concordia Community was the Christian ethos,” recalls Dr. Schuster. He describes having a close relationship with the previous principal, Dr. Kent, and he is fond of saying that he was welcomed to the Concordia community with open arms. “It’s a small school in that it only has 320 students in high school. But what's great about that is I get to know pretty much everybody. I walk around the halls now and I say hi to people; I know who everybody is. It's great. It's a really good feeling,” he adds.
Of all the things Dr. Schuster has done at Concordia, baseball will always hold a special place in his heart. He’s seen the program grow since the beginning five years ago and it’s become a very central part of his love for the school.
One of the best memories he has of baseball is the day the team beat both SAS teams on the same day. “People on five continents were WeChatting me,” he recalls. “And the knowledge spread across the planet in less than, like two hours.”
Concordia will be losing a fantastic coach and principal with the departure of Dr. Schuster, but change is something of constant in any international community. Dr. Schuster and his spouse, Ms Molloy are embracing the new adventure of living in Russia and working at the Anglo-American School of Moscow.
With care and respect, Dr. Schuster leaves us with a few encouraging words about our up-and-coming principal, Mr. Aaron Chowning. “He’s a great choice,” says Dr. Schuster, “[Mr. Chowning] is a great listener. And trying to understand who we are as a school … he just wants to learn where we're at as a as a school, wants to learn what students need…I think we're very similar and that he sees his job as ‘Okay, let's identify what students need. And then let's give that to them what's above the school in a way that will benefit them’.”
Cayla C. is a student of Applied Journalism at Concordia International School Shanghai. She wants to know more about the community and its people.