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Interview with Superintendent
TITLE Superintendent Cho Heeyeon's 'Visiting Inauguration'
WRITE Ella Choi DATE 2014-07-29 HITS 869

• The newly elected 20th Superintendent Cho Heeyeon was inaugurated into office on July 1st. However, because there were still missing persons from the Sewol Ferry accident and uncertain truths remaining, Superintendent Cho was against having a formal inauguration ceremony, and thus, declined the ceremony.

 

• On June 30th, Superintendent Cho had dinner at a restaurant in Mapo with Cho Joseph, an 8 year old boy who lost his parents and older brother to the ferry accident, and his uncle Ji Sungjin and his wife.

During a conversation, Superintendent Cho told Joseph, "I think there is a special meaning behind your parents naming you Joseph. In the Old Testament in the Bible, Joseph leaves his parents and goes to a place far away from home. After going through all types of hardships, he becomes a leader of Egypt and protects the Israelites from suffering and adversity. I hope you will grow up to be a remarkable person like Joseph who is needed by the world."

Superintendent Cho also said, "It is painful when you go through an ordeal. However, when you overcome it, it is beautiful," and told Joseph, "I hope you can overcome this ordeal well."

 

• On July 1st, the inauguration day, after paying respects to the fallen veterans at the Seoul National Cemetery, Superintendent Cho went into his office for the first time, placing a compass on the table and hanging Professor Shin Youngbok's calligraphic piece The Trembling Compass, and then he started his work.

When asked about the meaning behind the compass on his desk, Superintendent Cho explained, "I will work looking at a compass instead of a clock."

Superintendent Cho continued, "If a clock symbolizes speed and moving quickly, a compass symbolizes correct direction. I decided to put a compass in the office out of the volition that I will always complete my work in an upright fashion using the subtle trembling of a compass needle to find the most correct direction."

Superintendent Cho got the idea of putting a compass in his office from Professor Shin Yongbok's writing.

Professor Shin Yongbok's The Trembling Compass is as the following:

The Trembling Compass / Shin Yongbok

What does the compass pointing toward the North Pole fear

that the needle is always trembling.

As long as the thin needle is trembling,

it's fine to trust the direction of the needle.

If the trembling of the needle stops and is fixed in one direction,

the compass has to be thrown away.

Because it is no longer a compass.

 

• On this day, Superintendent Cho continued the 'I'm Listening, Heeyeon Teacher' program, which he started in the beginning of his transitional term.

At 3pm on July 1st, Superintendent Cho will visit Seoul Bokwang Elementary School which is the representative school of multicultural education. Bokwang Elementary School was designated as an 'excellent multicultural school' due to having 83 students, 14.2% of the student population, who have come from 21 different countries.

< Refer to : Current Number of Multicultural Students at Bokwang Elementary>

Country

Nigeria

Taiwan

Russia

Mali

Morocco

Mongolia

Myanmar

# of students

5

2

12

2

2

3

1

Country

Bangladesh

Belarus

Afghanistan

England

Uzbekistan

Iraq

Iran

# of students

5

1

2

1

5

2

1

Country

India

Japan

China

Canada

Tanzania

Pakistan

Philippines

# of students

1

4

10

2

1

15

5

Although bilingual teachers assist in the classroom and participate in after-school activities, there are still students who struggle with their studies because of the language barrier. However, the foreign students and the Korean students get along very well, and so, this school is one of the few schools where the foreign students have a good school life.

 

• The second event on the 'Visiting Inauguration' schedule is 'Kimbap Talk with Heeyeon Teacher', which will be held at 5pm in the SMOE cafeteria on the 11th floor. At this event, Superintendent Cho will conclude the 'I'm Listening, Heeyeon Teacher' program, which he has been promoting since he was Superintendent-elect. Fifty people whom Superintendent Cho has met during his visits have been invited to discuss the future of education policy.

This meeting will follow a 'kimbap talk' style, where people eat kimbap while talking freely. Superintedent Cho plans to take the 'Inaugural Oath of the 20th Seoul Superintendent' in front of the citizens of Seoul.

 

• Superintendent Cho earnestly requested that thorough planning be done and protocol be followed for these two events, in order to not burden the students and school personnel.

 

- The end.

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