I am delighted to introduce the theme for this academic year - "Seek, Strive and Shine" a 3-star expectation. Bethany Hamilton of the USA was 13 years old and, on her way, to becoming a surfing star. Her board was her life, and she was determined to be the best. But on October 31, 2003, during a surfing session, Bethany Hamilton was lounging with her left arm over the side of her board when a 14-foot tiger shark clamped down on her arm, severing it just below the shoulder. She escaped with her life, but she lost her left arm. Most would've called it quits right there, but not Bethany Hamilton. She was physically scarred by the shark attack, but she refused to let it damage her emotionally. Rather than live in fear of the water for the rest of her life. Bethany Hamilton returned to her board just three weeks after losing her arm. And little more than a year later, she won her first national surfing title. In 2007, she realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then, has won numerous competitions, and received many accolades and sponsorships along the way. Bethany Hamilton also wrote a New York Times best-selling autobiography in 2004, which was turned into the 2011 film "Soul Surfer".
The story highlights our theme-Seek, Strive and Shine. In spite of Bethany's difficulties, she never gave up on her life goal. It involved lots of hard work and determination but with God's help and the support of her family and friends, she was able to achieve her goals. She said, "God taught me that He can take the hard times that I went through and turn them into something beautiful. I think that He can do that for each and every one of you. He can take what you have been through and use it for good if you are willing to share what He has done for you."
Quickly three points to remember as we apply this year's theme
Seek, Strive and Shine.
The great time of your life will mostly happen in your school. The activities, friendships, and events not only provide fond memories, but these will be even better when they include academic success. Your educational experience in school is a foundation for your future. This journey involves 3 stars - Seeking, and striving which will result in Shining.
1. Realize there will be positive & negative influences in all school settings but you need to seek the right ones as well as the best ones for your life, studies, friendships and for your future. The choice is yours. If you do not have friends who want success in your life, you risk falling prey to negative influence. But in turn, you can seek and support others when faced with difficulties to stay focused on the goal to succeed in life.
2. Realize to become a great student, you must be willing to strive for what others won't do. You should practice developing certain skills along with excellence in academics. Your striving needs to be evident in the way you prepare for tests, manage your time, get ample sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. A great way to strengthen your knowledge and skills is to set aside time to read books and do additional training during weekends or on your school breaks. If you want to be the best, you will have to strive harder than everyone else.
3. Realize you can shine for God, your parents, teachers and your school by excelling well in all aspects of life. I would recommend that you take advantage of all opportunities available in our school and glorify God with your performance. Whether you are taking part in sports, or the school band/choir, or part in the school clubs / NCC / RSP etc. remember all these will be building your character and will enable you to shine now and in the future,
I pray that God will inspire and strengthen you to seek, strive and shine.
God bless you.
Headmaster and Correspondent