NOW! Jakarta spoke to ACG Jakarta’s new principal Shawn Hutchinson about his career in education and his plans for the school.
Welcome to Jakarta. How has the adjustment process been?
Although my family and I have lived and worked in a number of countries, it always takes a little while to adjust to life in a new city. Learning the language, navigating through the streets, developing an understanding of the culture and getting to know the people are all important parts of adjusting to life in a new city.
We are excited to be living and working in Jakarta and are looking forward to the challenges of leading an international school through the next stages of its development. The people at ACG School Jakarta have been overwhelmingly helpful and supportive, not only for me personally and professionally, but for my wife and daughters.
You’ve lived in a few countries over the years; what are you most excited about for your post here?
I enjoy my work, so I’m most excited about contributing to the continued development of ACG School Jakarta. Together with a strong team of administrators, teachers, teacher assistants and support personnel, we aspire to maintain high academic standards, consistently achieve excellent examination results, while delivering a challenging and innovative world-class, values driven education, which equips our students for the next steps in their education – and for life.
I’m excited about building the school’s reputation as an outstanding provider of international education, offering an exciting range of opportunities and experiences both in and beyond the classroom, with a particular focus on sport, the arts, service and global citizenship. On a personal level, I’m excited about learning more about Indonesia, the people, culture and language. With my family, we would like to explore the paths less travelled throughout Indonesia.
What are the core values of ACG? What are the advantages of an ACG education?
Our core values of Excellence, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility underpin all that we do. We are very much part of an organisation that believes wholeheartedly in excellence in education, quality of service and providing a holistic education for young people. ACG Education is the largest provider of private education in New Zealand. We own and operate seven schools, five in New Zealand and two in Asia, one in Vietnam and the other here in Jakarta. In addition, we deliver university foundation programmes for the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and Victoria University in Wellington.
What are your plans for the school going forward?
Simply, I want to ensure that our focus is on providing quality teaching and learning. Through quality teaching and learning, we will enhance the name of the school and raise its standing on a local and international level. I also want to focus on strengthening the wider ACG School Jakarta community by developing and maintaining effective lines of communication between the school and all of its constituents. We also want to recruit, develop and retain inspiring teachers, who are fully committed to driving the school forward as a global leader in the delivery of innovative, high quality international education.
Are schools under increased pressure these days given the number of influences surrounding most students today?
I think that schools are under tremendous pressure to provide quality, safe and holistic learning experiences in an ever-changing world. However, schools are very different and parents should do their homework before deciding on the right fit for their son or daughter. I think it is important for schools to set very clear priorities and avoid deviating from them. In this way, influences surrounding students, parents and teachers that do not align with the school’s priorities no longer become issues.