Introducing our 2020-21 Head Students | BIS HCMC - introducing-our-2020-21-head-students
08 June, 2020

Introducing our 2020-21 Head Students

Introducing our 2020-21 Head Students | BIS HCMC - introducing-our-2020-21-head-students
Introducing our 2020-21 Head Students What does it mean to be a Head Student at the British International School HCMC?

What does it mean to be a Head Student at the British International School HCMC? The position of Head Student is an extremely important one and is the most senior student role in the school. These individuals are the leaders of the student community and an important link between students and staff. They are role models for the rest of the school in all aspects of school life, inspiring others and leading by example.

Our congratulations go to Holly van Zwanenberg, Maika Pederson, Ashley Lee and Min Ho Kim who make up the new Head Student team for the 2020-21 academic year. Let’s find out a little bit more about each of them…

Holly Van Zwanenberg

BIS has fostered my passion for helping others, which is largely due to the sense of community that welcomed me eight years ago. I have always felt a sense of duty in giving back. My developing concern for sustainability, equality and human rights resulted in my teaching of first aid, my being a member of the Student Council for the past four years and my mentoring of younger students.

I initially found it intimidating to be working with the entire BIS community, from parents to students to staff. Over time my confidence has developed and has allowed me to pursue my interests, for example in Theatre, in both whole school musicals and with the lead role in ‘A View From the Bridge’.

Additionally, this growing confidence allowed for the opportunity to engage with the primary children at BIS through reading sessions, the opening of the ‘Junior Student Council’ and the encouragement of female participation in sports teams through girls football coaching. I view these experiences as opportunities to play my part in developing the school whilst acting as a role model. My ambitions along with the opportunities that the school provides have always inspired me to endeavour towards objectives larger than myself. I recognise because of my involvement in the school, that changes do not happen overnight, a lot of work, time and enthusiasm is required. However, with my peers, BIS’s supportive community and Ashley, Maika and MinHo, I hope that we will develop further opportunities for students to develop their own passions and their own confidence to follow their interests within BIS and beyond.

Maika Pedersen

As someone who has been a part of BIS for almost 13 years, the bustling international environment rich in diversity and culture has been a catalyst in shaping me as an open-minded and understanding person. Although my passion for sports has been cemented from a young age, I have continuously been granted opportunities to participate in training sessions, competitions abroad and leading school teams as captain. From the continuous support provided by teachers and peers, I have been able to flourish as an athlete. Excelling qualities which are intrinsically linked to this such as leadership and teamwork, have driven me to delve into pathways such as service and creativity. Through my involvement as House Captain, mentoring committee since Year 10,  assisting the Junior Campus through reading sessions and several community based organisations, I have realised the extent to which my contributions have positively impacted the community. Assisted by the exposure of a variety of CCAs and experiences BIS offers, I have challenged myself and developed essential life skills which I value within and outside of school. Success to me is being happy with my accomplishments but also being happy with who I am. I aspire to be someone that people look up to and although I am satisfied with my achievements so far, I feel as though I still have a lot to learn and will continue to strive higher each time. I hope to facilitate and encourage students to build upon the successes of BIS with their contributions and passions, both as individuals and as a community. 

Ashley Lee

Having attended BIS since Year 1, I was able to experience first hand the physical and structural developments that BIS underwent. Out of all those changes, the growing strength of our support system inspired my passion for BIS as the constant support I had from my peers and the teachers encouraged me to be my best and stay resilient during challenging times. It thus became a passion for me to be part of this culture and pass on what I had gratefully experienced to the younger students, encouraging them to share the enthusiasm I have for our school. I know that passion goes a long way as it has been the decisive quality that has led me to my successes so far such as being the 2018 BIS ambassador to the UN or the President of MUN. It comes hand in hand with commitment and combined, it helps you to pursue your interests in the face of obstacles and find your place in the community you are in. To that extent, no matter how long or short their time is here at BIS, as part of the 2020 Head Student team, I hope to help students engage and integrate into this community that shaped who I am today and further cultivate it to improve students’ wellbeing.

Min Ho Kim

Throughout my 9 years at BIS, my constant perseverance opened doors for me to build meaningful experiences. For example, I found it challenging to take part in MUN debates in the beginning. However, with the help of more experienced members of the club, I became the Vice President after just two years. This has not only been an enjoyable experience but also has been a valuable opportunity for me to build deeper insights on global issues. Additionally, I have represented our school in the South East Asian Maths Competition 2018 and I am a BIS ambassador to the United Nations. It is an honour for me to represent our school once again as a Head Student and I feel a deep sense of responsibility.

As part of the Head Student team, I hope to promote the values of BIS and strengthen relationships within members of our school community to create a dynamic learning environment that is open to all students.

Secondary Head Teacher Mr Carl Mincher comments: “Congratulations to our new Head Student team. Each has already contributed so much to the BIS community during their time in school including several leadership positions between them. Their articulation of what it means to be a BIS student and particularly a student leader has left us in no doubt that they will be a force for so much good and further positive developments during their time in office. We are very much looking forward to working with them in new roles.”

To appoint new Head Students means we must say goodbye and thank you to our outgoing Head Students: Christine, Cedric, Vy and Eunice. Mr Mincher says; “I would like to say a huge thank you to Christine, Cedric, Vy and Eunice for their efforts during this challenging year. As a team they have been outstanding models of the values and attributes we cherish so dearly at BIS but mostly their care and respect for their peers, teachers and our wider community. They move on with our very best wishes and good luck for the next exciting chapter in their lives as they prepare for universities across the globe.”