Tell us about yourself.
I come from a multicultural family. I was born in South America to Czech and Spanish parents, but I hold both Spanish and American citizenships. I am married and I am the proud father of a beautiful 3 year old daughter who is part Chinese from my wife’s side.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Who was your childhood hero?
Until I was about 10 years old, my dream was to be a pilot. After that, my dream changed and I dreamt about becoming a doctor and I did. My childhood hero was and still is my younger brother. I don’t know of anyone who has succeeded in life the way he has while having to overcome so many obstacles.
What kind of student were you as a child?
Up until high school, I guess you could say I was the teacher’s pet and then things changed and I became a bit of a troublemaker in high school. I changed schools a lot while growing up so in a way I think I tried my best to adapt to new environments, new friends, new teachers and tried to fit in the best I could.
What was your image of the school principal when you were a student? How do you describe your image now? I grew up in a traditional way with regards to schooling, in which the school principal was someone to fear and someone whom you only ever visited if you had gotten into trouble. Times have changed since then, ideas have changed and so has my image on what a school principal should be. I believe the image of a principal is someone who is very playful and loving, yet strict, someone who is very knowledgeable and wise though all the while, just a normal human being.
Did you ever get sent to the principal’s office? Yes I did, several times because I gave my teachers too much trouble. But, during my junior and senior years in high school, I was Vice-President of the Student Council, thus having to be in contact quite a lot with the principal of my school.
What kind of jobs did you have before becoming a principal?
I was always taught from a young age that I must work to make my own living. I’ve never been afraid of a challenge and have had so many different jobs in very different fields. I’ve been a teacher, a translator, a doctor, an operator, I’ve worked at McDonald’s, I’ve volunteered, and my job for life is to be a student. There is not a day in my life in which I don’t learn something new. Life in itself is the most amazing experience/job there is.
How do most people respond when they find out you are a school principal? How do your kids or your spouse introduce you to their friends?
Obviously in China there is a lot of respect towards teachers and even more if they know that you are the school principal, but I am a very simple and humble person. I am introduced as a caring husband and father by my daughter and spouse to their friends.
What job would you want to do if you were not a principal? I would definitely want to be an educator. I have found no greater happiness in life and no bigger satisfaction as a human being than being able to educate our future generations and pass on knowledge to our youth in order to make this world a better place and form global citizens of tomorrow.
In all your time as an educator, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
I think that the most important lesson I have learned is that this is a profession in which you have to love what you are doing and you have to do everything with love and dedication. If you show love, if you show dedication, if you show passion, and if you have patience, then the outcome will be positive and every activity in your everyday life will become an anecdote to remember.
Meet the Principal/Headmaster is a new beijingkids blog series designed to give the Beijing community a better understanding of who our education leaders are in our city. If your school is interested in being featured in our Meet the Principal/Headmaster blog series, please contact the School Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.