Dear staff, students, parents and friends of the ACI,
Welcome to the 2019-20 academic year at the American Collegiate Institute! My name is Ray Holliday-Bersegeay and I shall be the Interim Head of School. I come from an extensive international-school leadership background, having been a director in Madrid, Boston, Budapest, Paris and Brussels, and I am highly delighted to join the ACI community and SEV Foundation for this upcoming year.
ACI is a very special school that has built its well-deserved national and international reputation for high academic success and a deep-seated values system over many decades. The huge interest in the school from all over Turkey during the enrolment process as well as the quality and potential of students who enter the preparatory year is a further testimony to the esteem in which the school is held. Success breeds success, and further serves to raıse the achievement levels and aspirations of all those connected with ACI. The affection for the school held by the community can be illustrated by the number of students who return as staff, the multi-generational family involvement, and the way in which former students speak with a sense of tremendous gratitude towards the school and how it helped to shape them academically and, very importantly, as people holding a strongly-felt belief system. This affection I have already experienced since my arrival and I know that this will be further embedded as I deepen my knowledge of the community.
The School’s well-established Mission, Vision and goals give the guidance regarding the high-level principles and direction. They are fundamental to our success. Every school need to ‘live and breathe’ these overtly stated aspirations so that they remain successfully embedded within the school culture. This is a really powerful part of the ACI experience, for students, staff and families. The direction and tone of the School are further well encapsulated in its mantra of ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve’. All students who enter ACI, set off on that pathway of learning experiences that will make it part of their outlook on life. We have a tremendously talented and experienced staff in ACI in all academic departments. They are there to help and guide the students through the learning process that will result in them being confident, well-rounded and academically successful young adults. The staff will give this care and support in a way that is relevant to the age of the student as well as the student’s own individuality and personal needs.
The above leads me into my next item, which is to congratulate and welcome all our students who have passed the requisite Turkish national exam with supremely high marks which has in turn given them the possibility of access into ACI. A tremendous opportunity now lies before them, a tremendous launchpad towards a life of high aspirations and success in their chosen fields of study and work. In addition, I wish to welcome our new overseas and Turkish staff and wish them a highly successful academic year as they embark upon this new stage of their own individual professional journey.
It will be an interesting and exciting year for all of us (but then that is the norm in a bilingual international school setting!) and there will many challenges ahead. As the backdrop, ACI has an educational programme that vies with the finest in the world of international bilingual education. However, we are a school fully focused upon the concept of continuous improvement. To this end, we shall be hosting a Preparatory Visit from the Council of International Schools in October as part of the Accreditation cycle of reports and visits. We shall also be focusing on deepening our understanding and practice in the art of differentiation strategies with a view to further developing and embedding within the students a strong mastery of critical thinking and creativity. In addition, we shall be finalizing the details of our 2019-24 strategic plan.
The above serves to give you a flavor of our goals and direction for the year. There will be many other activities and areas of focus, and we shall keep you informed accordingly as we advance through the year. There is a tremendous amount of in-house expertise that will ensure that we continue the forward momentum in these major areas.
I look forward to being part of another highly successful year for ACI as well as meeting many of you in the very near future.
Ray Holliday - Bersegeay
Head of School
Dear Students, Teachers, Parents and Graduates,
As ACI family, we are happy and proud of meeting you once again on a September morning.
The beginning of a new academic year is always exciting to our students and to us. A new academic year always means to us new hopes, new goals and new experiences. As Prep students are beginning to a new school, dorm students moving to a new town, new teachers starting to work at a new school and our senior students beginning their graduating year, some are in hurry to move into new buildings, some are curious of the new lessons they are going to take for the first time, some are full of joy of meeting their old friends and some are excited to meet their new friends. But what we all feel is the same excitement and happiness...
We are starting a new school year growing and strengthening more with 188 new Prep students, coming from different cities. These students who passed through a difficult exam and registration period, and joined our ACI family with high points strengthening our standing as an educational institution not only in İzmir but all over Turkey. We believe that they will achieve much more at our school, seeing the proud at their faces and the excitement deep in their hearths.
And our senior students sharing the excitement of the opening days since past four years... An intensive and hard but at the same time much exciting and unforgettable school year is ahead of them, where they will study with ambition and determination to enter to the national or foreign universities they have been aiming with the knowledge and skills they have gained till now, while they will be leading all of the school activities. They must be sure that we will be beside them at every stage of this challenging period and are confident that they will reach their goals.
This year will be full of new excitements also to our students getting a year older and starting a new school year. With new tracks chosen, new classes, new courses and clubs, activities and social services they are going to take part, they will learn and have fun together, as they will find themselves and move on forward towards their goals. They will learn from their mistakes, will ask help and support when necessary, and will come over all difficulties without getting desperate and by studying systematically, and will make us and their parents proud with their success. Each student is considered as a separate individual at our school and our students’ differences, personalities, creativeness and dreams will keep enriching us.
We would also like to thank our 2019 graduates as well as all our other graduates who are here today sharing with us the excitement of starting a new school year. An institution’s greatest success is establishing a mutual relation with their gradues they brought into life... Our gradautes who are present here today is the evidence of how great is this relation... We are always proud of them...
American Collegiate Institute with its deep rooted history, strong academic program, meaningfull and all-purpose social activities and services, well equipped and strong teachers, and devoted support staff, enchances its success in academic and social areas more each year in the direction of our school’s guiding statements.
ACI will keep moving forward in the direction of Atatürk’s contemporary vision and principles, raising individuals who are progressive, secular, independent and democratic, with an educational understanding embracing national and universal values, sensitive to global issues, questioning, critical and enfolding differences.
We wish all of us a happy, healthy and successful school year, learning by sharing, enjoying by learning, and maintaining our todays excitement and enthusiasm.
[Our school Principal, Didem Erpulat’s Opening Speech of the new school year]
Didem Erel ERPULAT (ACI ’87)