The operations and support teams at every BASIS International Schools campus always work tirelessly to provide exceptional support and care for our local and expat teachers, staff, and administrators. Never has this been more evident than during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent school closures, travel restrictions, and quarantines. In the first part of a series of posts, we would like to recognize and share highlights and stories about the incredible support and care provided by our operations teams.
BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
At BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour, we wanted to take a moment to recognize some of our many unsung heroes that have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to keep each day moving forward with love, support, and professionalism, despite months here with no students on campus. There are so many people to express appreciation and gratitude to, and I will apologize immediately for anyone omitted here, as the list of those who deserve recognition goes on and on and on.
So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank members of the operations and logistics team for your dedication to arriving each day at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour with a positive spirit and a determination to make a difference each day no matter what the challenge or drawback. Thank you Security Team for your positive and enthusiastic welcoming salute every morning, and for our landscapers who keep this amazing campus looking more lovely each day! Thank you to my custodian who keeps my office and our Building B floor looking so sharp, and who laughs so easily as we communicate each day without knowing one another’s language! Thank you to our chefs for taking care of everyone every day, whether here on campus or in restrictive quarantine. And thank you especially Operations Team leaders Ken, Lily, Hongda, Cushaw, and David H. for always looking ahead and showing hope and a positive spirit even on some of the darkest days. You are the best, and your presence in my life makes it better. You have all helped us survive this historic and unprecedented chapter in modern history!
Another story: We had a faculty meeting after school in preparation for reopening, with everyone wearing masks and sitting at appropriate social distances. It was the first time we had all been together in months, with those still abroad Zooming into the meeting. The chef and his crew surprised everyone by bringing our soft serve ice cream machine to the academic building outside of the meeting room and provided everyone with free ice cream cones!
It’s the cumulative impact of all these things and a thousand more that happen daily in this amazing community that have helped us all endure and survive this challenge together.
Dr. John House-Myers, Head of School, BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour
Read on for more from other faculty and leadership!
Hunter Mueller, ELL teacher:
I think I could go on and on about all the unsung heroes here, but for the sake of time, I will only mention two groups of people. The first group is the chef, cooks, and others that work in the canteen. They came to school and worked for over two months straight without a break to be sure the teachers wouldn’t have to go out to get food during the outbreak. They worked so hard to make our lives much easier. I am so grateful for them!
The next group of unsung heroes is the operation staff that was here during the beginning of our quarantine. They also worked tirelessly to ensure we had water delivered, fresh groceries, masks, and other necessities needed to brave our quarantine.
I am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of those here at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour!
Charlotte Marsh, Boarding Director:
I would like to give huge thanks to Mr. Wang and Mr. Hu, our school drivers. They have supported my family and me and offered us such reassurance by taking us to vital hospital appointments as well as always ensuring our safety, lifting my son in and out of the car and making sure we were fed! I am so grateful to these two men and Doris for offering support. And they always have a wonderful smile on their faces.
Paulina Kociolek, Chemistry teacher:
My biggest shout out is to my amazing LET (Learning Expert Teachers) Zoom squad (Lorenzo Zhu, Late Chen, Fisher Mu, Kevin Liu, Michelle Wang, Zach Wang, and Sibyl Xie).
They have played such an important role in being the link of communication between myself, the students, and parents. From sending emails, to making phone calls, to sending class updates and reminders to students, they are always happy to help and provide feedback.
Most recently, during my Zoom session with 7Kr (7th grade class named after the element Krypton), I had the students break up into small group sessions and appointed a peer tutor for each group to go over the main concepts of our most recent lessons. In these groups, both English and Chinese are allowed to help bridge the learning gaps and clarify any misunderstandings. Upon observing one of the groups, I heard and unfamiliar voice speaking, and noticed it was Sibyl taking it upon herself to help explain the students the Chemistry concepts and was doing an amazing job with it as well. I was beyond impressed and thankful that she could help me out like that, as with the group sessions, I’m only able to be in one group at a time.
This is just one example, however, of the countless times all my LET’s have been there for me and I am truly grateful to have them work alongside me.
Conan Magruder, History and Psychology teacher:
Ben Lu, from IT, worked with me several times to try to fix my Zoom problems. While it is still not perfect, it is one of the reasons that I come into work every day.
Even in the midst of inspections, construction, and other tasks, maintenance and operations team members made time to fix my washing machine and help me when I had an accident on my bike. Given the current conditions, they went above and beyond to help me.
Matt Wolodzko, Math teacher:
Daniel Li took the initiative to maintain all Monday Night Math Club meetings throughout the past several weeks via Zoom. He organizes Zoom meetings, materials, and recruits students to join in the online sessions. It was a pleasant surprise to see such dedication during these online learning times.
Jenny Lau, Honors English Literature teacher:
I’d like to give shout outs to a number of people, including our front desk staff and drivers, cleaning staff, school nurse, the chef and servers, and numerous members of both the local and expat teams who have answered questions ranging from curriculum and Zoom, to volleyball and mental health support.
Danielle Arvesen, English teacher:
I want to express my thanks and gratitude to a few people who belong to the operations team here at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour. These people have gone above and beyond the call of doing their daily jobs.
First of all, I would like to recognize Doris Dao, a member of the human resources team. Doris has worked tirelessly to make sure teachers have access to fresh drinking water during the crisis. She is busy helping teachers with the necessary legal paperwork they need to stay working in China, and assisting teachers with other human resources tasks. Doris is always friendly and dedicated to helping all members of the faculty and staff.
Academic & Admissions Team
Next, I would like to mention Cushaw Chen. Cushaw has been an essential member of the academic team by helping teachers facilitate online instruction and keeping track of all of our necessary grading deadlines. Cushaw is an organized professional and provides knowledgeable responses to many issues that present themselves during the online teaching adventure.
I want to take a moment to recognize David Hsieh. He is a valuable member of our admissions team. David has been working hard to continue admissions testing potential students online during this time of social distancing. He puts in many hours with teachers, parents, and prospective students, scheduling, organizing, and running well organized online testing sessions for the many students applying for our excellent school. Without his hard work and discipline, many students would not have the opportunity to apply and participate in the placement testing process. David always works with patience, grace, and a quick smile.
The ayis (members of the cleaning team) are always busy working hard and keeping our campus clean, sterilized, and safe for the teachers and students. They put in many long hours sweeping, mopping, and disinfecting the common areas of our school so we can focus on teaching, and students can focus on the critical job of learning. Our ayis are always cheerful, pleasant, and professional.
The Technical/Maintenance Staff
Finally, I would like to recognize the men who work on the technical and maintenance issues in the teacher apartment building. These men can be called upon at any hour of the day or night to fix problems that may arise in the teachers’ apartments. They are always helpful and courteous to everyone they encounter.
I am genuinely grateful to the people I have mentioned above. Without them, our school would not run efficiently. I am blessed to call them my coworkers and friends.