Tell us about yourself.
I am a Canadian citizen but was raised in India and went to University in California. My wife and I have been here two years. We have two sons, two daughters and fifteen grandchildren. They are in Japan, California and Texas.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot, big game hunter and track star.
Who was your childhood hero?
What kind of student were you as a child?
I usually competed for top rank in class and was an all-round athlete.
What was your image of the school principal when you were a student? How do you describe your image now?
Respect but not enough fear to keep out of trouble as I shared the record for canings with a friend. I see my own image as accessible to the younger ones, scary to the undisciplined, and generally friendly.
Did you ever get sent to the principal office?
Many times! To deliver canes (ratan) collected from the Indian forest and to let the headmaster test them.
What kind of jobs did you have before becoming a principal?
I was a travel agent, school bus driver, university athletic director, and an instructor in physiology. An ambulance driver and attendant was the most exhilarating and most stressful of my jobs, especially driving on icy Canadian winter roads.
What is a typical day like in the life of a principal?
Greeting students, going over tasks scheduled, visiting classrooms, meeting with teachers and administrators, parent conferences and out of school meetings with trustees or businessmen.
How do most people respond when they find out you are a school principal? If they are Asian, usually with a good deal of respect, if they are North American with a shrug.
How do your kids or your spouse introduce you to their friends?
As my Dad or my husband!
What job would you want to do if you were not a principal?
Consulting or coaching a sport. As a consultant I know enough about education that I have something worthwhile to share and as a coach I enjoy many sports and already had considerable success coaching boys, girls, and men at various levels in a variety of sports.
In all your time as an educator, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Never make a decision that will affect the fortunes of a student or a teacher or change the direction of the school without praying and sleeping on it first. Many times while building a school in Hong Kong I faced major decisions that required time and thought before making decisions on the design of the school or inclusion of a concept that cost millions of dollars. Almost every time if I waited and slept on the decision I gained advice, perspective, and calmness that led to better results.
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.