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3e Welcomes New Principal

September, 2007
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IMG_1024 “My name is Nadia Perez, and I am the principal of 3eik,” said the young principal with a smile on her face.

  “My husband and I are excited to be living in Beijing and looking forward to supporting the growth of 3eik.”

  In fact, this is Nadia’s first experience as a school principal. New challenges?

  “Probably making time for everything,” she replied. “I work pretty long hours and work on weekends as well. I need to better manage my time and get everything done. When the teachers and students feel more settled in a couple of weeks, I hope to have time for exploring the city and visiting the Olympic venues.

  “I think I am ready for this new position. I like working with adults, as well as being able to sit in the classroom with children.”

  Nadia comes to 3eik with a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Family Community Services with an emphasis in Child Development and a Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University in Family Consumer Science with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She also has several years of teaching experience in addition to working in non-profit organizations and early intervention programming. Additionally, she has worked in two laboratory preschools including Michigan State University and University of Michigan-Flint also working with adult learners.

  Her expertise in early childhood program quality standards resulted from her employment with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Washington, D.C. The association is an accrediting body for early childhood education programs in the United States and overseas American programs. There she was part of the decision-making process – reviewing all the materials about different ECE programs which were going through the accreditation process.

  “Each of us at least went through 50 programs a month,” she recalled.

  Her profound knowledge and experience have given her many opportunities to do presentations at several local, state and nationwide conferences on various topics within early childhood education. Some topics she has addressed at the conferences include literacy and language development in preschool children, cultural diversity in the classroom and building tolerance in the classroom.

  “It is actually since in my undergraduate years I realized how important it is for teachers to build tolerance in the classroom,” she said. “At 3eik we have a natural international community in each class; we need to show children how people are different, meanwhile sharing the same interests between them.”

  Perez has done several presentations to 3eik families on transitioning issues, the school curriculum and approach since the school year began.

  “I enjoy sharing knowledge and getting responses from different people; this is also a learning experience for me,” she said.

  Now an administrator, Perez sees herself as someone people can talk to or consult for second opinions. In order to quickly respond to everyone’s concerns, she has been taking notes all the time, making sure all the concerns are addressed.

  “I certainly consider everything when I make decisions, and all the people involved. I really think of 3e as a whole community.”

  Along with Nadia, there are six new western teaching staff members from the U.S. Interestingly, she knew some of them back in the US. Within a couple of weeks doing professional development, everyone participated with great motivation and is getting along very well.

  “I believe that we have a wonderful teaching staff that shows great enthusiasm, wealth of knowledge and respect for children,” Perez enthused.

  Looking into the future, one of the things she would like to do is build strong and direct connections between 3eik and Michigan State University in areas of preschool education. This will enable 3eik children to correspond with children in the US through email or other ways; at the same time teaching staff can share new ideas. Through collaboration with the US schools, the principal also hopes to do some research projects.

  “With my knowledge in research can be done within early childhood education as well, I will look at what we can do and what we should do with 3eik here. Research will be long term, focusing on the progress every child is making on campus and how the 3e concept is benefiting the community.”

By Xing Yangjian

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