Dallas International School Welcomes New Head of School, Dr. Josep González
Listening to You, Building Community
Dear DIS Community,
I hope you are enjoying this wonderful Texan summer. I am delighted to join you in Dallas and truly honored to have the opportunity to lead such a prestigious institution as Dallas International School, most notably as we enter the year of its thirtieth anniversary.
In many ways, DIS reminds me of the schools I attended as a child and teenager, which encouraged me to go deeper and deeper into every area of knowledge, to reflect both on my rights as an individual and my responsibilities as a citizen, and learn a range of classical and modern languages to understand better the diversity of human experience over the ages and across the globe.
Indeed, my education instilled in me a sense of the crucial importance of seeking to be academically ambitious, socially responsible, and internationally-minded. And it was precisely a strong desire to offer to new cohorts of students the precious gift that I had received from previous generations of educators that pushed me to become a teacher and then a headmaster, both of which I am not only by profession but also by vocation.
What immediately attracted me to DIS was that it has a unique historical identity combining a rigorous education program with a particular emphasis on French and other languages. As a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), we are the only institution in Dallas to offer both the curriculum of France’s Ministry of Education and the IB Diploma, of which I know we are all immensely proud.
By exposing children to the great expressions of human knowledge from an early age, we make it possible for them to progressively develop a considerable degree of mathematical logic and scientific precision, as well as the critical thinking, creativity, and sensitivity associated with the study of the humanities. The role of teachers, irrespective of their origin and training, is to awaken the students’ curiosity, make them understand that no fact is out of reach, and enthuse them to strive incessantly for the pursuit of wisdom. In the words of French educationalist Philippe Meirieu, educators need to be “stirred by the thrill of knowledge” so that they can communicate that passion to students.
Languages are crucial in the development of children. Firstly, at the level of the mother tongue, that is to say, the language spoken in the family, which has an essential role in our lives as it links us emotionally to our roots, our origins, our ancestors. Then, we have the language or languages of the nation, which are needed in order to be able to act in the public arena. Finally, the acquisition of foreign languages allows us to transcend borders, take an active interest in other cultures, and better understand different world views. Given our history as a school, French has pride of place as it enhances our students’ international perspective.
I am currently setting up individual and group meetings with various people and welcome everyone contacting me with their observations and expectations. I have always had an open-door policy and am keen on ensuring that you have direct access to me. I certainly hope that I can put my past experience at the service of DIS to continue to work tirelessly as a united school, as the tight-knit community that we are, so that our students can develop into fine citizens eager to contribute to the betterment of society through their personal lives and chosen careers.
Next week, my team and I will be writing to you with more practical details about the beginning of the school year, including health and safety measures. Still, I thought it was important to address you today to show you my deepest gratitude, as well as my total commitment to DIS.
With my very best wishes,
Dr. Josep González
Interim Head of School