What if your socks don’t have to match?


What if your socks have to match?

President’s Blog

This blog post is dedicated to our incredibly talented, resilient, creative Pinewood IB2 students who are entering a month-long period of intensive IB examinations as a culmination of their 2-year IB program. More importantly, they are entering the completion of a formidable stage in their young and blithely experienced lives – the completion of high school.  

Dear Pinewood IB2 Students,

There’s only one thing that stands between you and one of the most noteworthy summers of your lives – IB exams!  As such, you may be anxious about grades and cramming for last minute understandings of price elasticity in economics, carbon cycling in biology, the written analysis in English A, statistics and probability in Math SL, or the biological, cognitive and sociocultural levels of analysis in psychology.

Indeed, your exams are important, but who you are is more important. You are an individual with strengths and dreams and expectations. I know that many of you must meet certain IB grade criteria in order to get into your first-choice university and I have no doubt that you will achieve those goals. At the same time, I want you to know that a group of tests do no define who you are.

I look at each of you as a unique young person that we have been privileged to teach – some for 2 years and others for 14 years. I remember the conversations that we have had, not your final exam grade in world history. I think about the ideas, the artwork, the performances, the talents, the leadership that you have worked hard on, not your grade in geometry. I value you for the way you have treated others as this is the measure of your significance.

So, as you enter the month of May, remember that important targets, like IB exams, are significant, but not self-defining. They are a step along the way. And for taking that step, and it’s an impressive step, you have already succeeded.

I wish the very best to each of you in the Class of 2018 and urge you always to take strong steps, keep your eye on the big picture of your dreams and set rewarding expectations for yourself. And, let this question by Matt Murrie help guide you on your way: What if your socks don’t have to match?

Good luck….that noteworthy summer with nothing to do but enjoy life is almost here!


Dr. Giampapa

Dr. Giampapa is the President of Pinewood American International School, a forward-thinking PreK-12 college preparatory school in Thessaloniki, Greece.