Engage. Be Global. Inspire.
!Buenas noches, querida comunidad de EBI, y bienvenidos a nuestra gala y subasta anual! I am Dr. Paola Clark, Head of School, and it is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s virtual gala and auction! We are thrilled to have with us today students, faculty, staff, current and new families (welcome to EBI!), alumni, grandpersons, special persons, friends and international guests. Thank you very much for sharing this very special time with us.
We have come together tonight to celebrate what is at the heart of EBI: our truly amazing, one-of-a-kind community defined by its sense of belonging. At EBI, we believe in creating a better world through education. Our community is engaged, resilient, and connected unlike no other because we truly love and care for our students--they are our purpose and our source of inspiration, hope, and gratitude.
!Celebrando juntos! is a celebration of the power of our togetherness. It is thanks to the strength and support of our remarkable community, that we have achieved the extraordinary for our students, during these most difficult and unprecedented times. We know that by working together, we will always overcome any challenge and accomplish all of our goals for our students, as long as we remain firmly rooted in the EBI mission and core values.
And so, we enthusiastically gather this evening with an open heart, knowing that our interconnectedness and care for one another will ensure that our students continue to receive the best possible multilingual, international education so they can transform tomorrow into a more equitable, peaceful and and sustainable world, through intercultural understanding and respect.
Our gala theme this year portrays connected birds and nests, and was intentionally selected to represent the essence of our community. Earlier this week, I made the most pleasant and unexpected discovery. Nestled behind the wreath on our front door, I found a bird’s nest. As soon as I found it, my heart filled with joy as it reaffirmed what I already knew--the spirit of our community’s togetherness and strength is palpable everywhere.
The birds in their nests represent each member of our global community joining us from the safety of their homes. Whether near or far, we all open the doors of our homes and come together as one for our students.
The thread connecting the nests represents our togetherness and connectedness. Even when we are not able to be physically together, our shared love for our students continues to strengthen our bonds.
The different birds represent the richness and vibrant diversity of our global community. We welcome all as their true selves in an inclusive culture that honors and celebrates a multitude of experiences and perspectives.
The nest represents EBI. Our faculty and staff work tirelessly with utmost love, commitment and effort to build a safe, caring, and nurturing learning environment for our students. We give them both roots and wings. Roots, as EBI will forever be their home, and wings, as our EBI Condors soar to build their own nests and become agents of change who positively impact the world.
Importantly, nests are also symbols of gratitude. Since the nests have only one small opening, it is said that when good things are gathered inside they cannot escape. EBI is the reflection of the invaluable contributions that every community member has made throughout its journey. So, we wholeheartedly thank each and every one of you for your unwavering support, partnership, generosity and sacrifices made this past year. Thanks to you, we have been able to fulfill our promise to deliver the best possible education to our students, whether on campus or at home. Thank you for the incredible gift of being a part of your child’s educational journey.
Heartfelt thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff, who make the magic happen every single day. Our successes are a direct result of your extraordinary commitment, hard work, and love for our students--you are simply the best.
Tonight is a celebration of all that we have accomplished by working together this arduous year, and also a great opportunity to support our students, faculty and staff, and families. With your generosity and support we will continue building a nurturing and safe learning environment for our students, while also preparing them to soar as they spread their wings to discover new paths, equipped for global success, and more importantly, with the resolution to leave lasting fingerprints on the lives they touch.
All funds raised this evening will enable us to continue to place our community at the heart of all we do by going directly to this school year's EBI Relief & Support Fund, which will support our financial assistance program (both tuition assistance and diversity fund), professional development, and ongoing school operations during the pandemic.
Thank you so much again for joining us tonight as we come together to celebrate our incredible students and their education, while honoring the engagement, togetherness, and resiliency of our remarkable community.
Dear EBI Community,
The year 2020 has been a year like no other. As it comes to a close, I think we can all appreciate the well-deserved need to pause, restore, reflect, enjoy time with our loved ones, and practice self-care. Amidst the incredible challenges and hardships that this year has brought, I continue to find myself profoundly grateful for all that we have accomplished together by supporting and lifting each other up. Even though we could not have predicted in early March what the coming months would bring, we could predict that our amazing community would come together in complete synergy to allow EBI to successfully navigate the challenges ahead and fulfill its mission.
Faculty, staff, students, families, and trustees have worked courageously and admirably to adjust to an ever-changing landscape. Thanks to these extraordinary efforts, we pivoted to distance learning in the spring and to three different teaching and learning modalities in the fall. All with the aim of serving our students to the best of our ability, whether on campus or at home. In a year that has also been defined by change, the unwavering strength and resiliency of our community have been our only constant and source of daily inspiration. Thank you, wholeheartedly, for the sacrifices that everyone has made this past year and for being a part of the EBI community.
As the end of 2020 nears, I also look forward to the promise of tomorrow. Our future is filled with light and hope thanks to our students’ commitment and determination to creating a better world. If nothing else, this year has taught us to follow in our students’ footsteps by being more compassionate, kind, and patient with each other and ourselves. In 2021, we have the opportunity to write another brand new chapter by leading from the heart and remaining rooted in our mission. I have no doubt that by working together, we will continue to not only reach every mountain top that lies ahead but also emerge stronger. After all, the best view always comes after the hardest climb.
May today’s winter solstice serve as a harbinger of hope, knowing that each day going forward will bring more light. Wishing you and your loved ones a bright start to 2021 and all the best this holiday season and always.
Con cariño y de todo corazón,
Paola V. Clark, Ed.D.