What were your initial impressions of NIS?
R.J – “My initial impression of NIS was “ What a wonderful group of people” – I was pinching myself that I was given the opportunity to join such a great school.
What are your biggest passions in life ?
R.J My passion in life is being a good husband, man and father. I love football(American) and often cheer for my favorite team The Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m also a gamer (on the weekend).
You are joined by your family in Nanjing, can you tell us about where you come from and your family?
R.J I come from Georgia, USA . We lived on a large amount of land where we had cows, chickens, and horses. During our time in Georgia, we traveled extensively over the USA often collecting magnets as souvenirs. I have two children (Kirsten and Jordan) who are 12, and 6 years old respectively. My wife and I have been married for 16 years.
What are your hopes for the future?
R.J I want to build a great department that will allow the students/parents to seek refuge from issues that seem unbearable. I would also like to see more kids trust the process in counseling and seek help not just during tough times but with other aspects of their life (job choices, healthy life choices, short term goals within school, etc).
How will you aim to enrich the lives of students at NIS?
R.J “I believe that a level of consistency goes a long way. I want to be the same person in the hallways as I am during the counseling sessions. I want to show kids that talking about their problems is normal and that dealing with their problems and worries can be easier if they involve the right people. I also hope to instill a sense of trust with the students here thus creating a warm and safe learning environment.
The NIS community has had to cope with a great deal of uncertainty and stress due to unprecedented world events in the past 12 months. Do you have any advice for our community as we continue to live through this difficult period?
R.J – If I could offer some advice to the NIS community , it would be to openly talk to others whom you trust about any issues you are having. So often we say things like “ I’m okay” or “ I shouldn’t complain”. The reality is that we need gto routinely address and share any issues or feelings we are having. Addressing and talking about our “ stuff” is a normal and healthy form of self-care and helps us avoid the build up of stress associated with life’s uncertainties, giving us the emotional space to be a better version of ourselves. Daily meditation is also something that I cannot recommend highly enough.