31 May, 2022

Farewell and Congratulations: DAIS High School Graduation

On May 29, Dalian American International School held its 2022 Graduation ceremony. Families and friends of the graduating class had the opportunity to come and share this meaningful moment with us.

The 2022 graduating class grew and thrived throughout this extremely difficult period. DAIS will always be their firm support. May every DAIS student march forward courageously on the journey of pursuing their dreams. Together, we are better!

All 60 graduates of the DAIS/DHS Class of 2022 have received offers from foreign universities, including top 50 universities in the United States, liberal art colleges, design schools, etc. They have got 190 university offers, a total of more than $63,500 in scholarships, and achieved extraordinary results in various international competitions. We will definitely miss these distinctive students at our school.

Graduation Ceremony

The ceremony was held on DAIS campus, accompanied by our Advanced Band and Choir. The band under the direction of Ms. Olga van Doorn and DAIS alumnus Peter Zhang performed the beautiful "Overture to Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss and "Inspirato da Vivaldi" by Tim Shackelton, and Mrs. Melody Gifford chose two inspirational songs for the choral performance - "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran and "Flashlight" from Pitch Perfect 2. The music almost moved the audience to tears as we watched our Class of 2022 students taking their final steps to the podium.


Graduates, as you travel around the globe this coming fall, you will experience a variety of emotions and at times experience doubt. It is during those moments, I need you to look in a mirror and repeat the following – I am one of a kind, a special design, I am a masterpiece. As you pursue greatness and attempt to discover your goals and purpose, if you do not experience challenges and doubt, you are not soaring high enough. Always aim high and affirm that you are an extraordinary handiwork, refined and chiseled by Dalian American International School.

Mr. Nathan Burton, Secondary Principal


Mr. Timothy Sim addressed the graduates with a wise and eloquent speech. Stating that all our students become lifelong learners, he encouraged caution and rigor in assessment of facts. "I hope you take these skills and set a course to success with confidence that the journey is the true satisfaction".

Mr. Shane Twaddell in his Charge to the Graduate expounded the interdisciplinary principle of "Together is Better". As a teacher, he reflected on the social cohesion - the force that allows individuals and whole societies to pull together. "Hold on to the knowledge that you are stronger with other people around you".

Every year, we recognize outstanding students during the graduation ceremony. This year’s Sea Dragon Award went to Jasmine Zhao, who will attend the Virginia Military Institute in the fall. The Sea Dragon Award is given to the graduate who has most fully realized personal excellence and contributed to society and the community. In addition, the recipient needs to actively participate in various activities organized by the school, fully challenge themselves academically, and demonstrate a good character and a sense of responsibility.

The Valedictorian Award is given to the student with the highest AP score and the highest cumulative GPA. Sarah Rohrbeck, DAIS valedictorian this year, spoke on behalf of the graduates. This fall, she will be enrolled at Boston University.


We are going out into a wonderful world, but it’s also a world that needs help. We each have the capacity to create a ripple effect of positive change around us. We can be change agents and accomplish anything we set our sights on. We, the graduating class of 2022, are armed with the skills needed to go out in the world and make a difference. We must find and pursue our passions and achieve greatness, to make a difference in the lives of those around us. It is on us, and our generation to take our one life and make positive change and make the world a better place.

Sarah Rohrbeck, DAIS Class of 2022


The Head of School Dr. Blair Lee gave the graduates 4 “tips for the road”:

  1. Don't travel alone
    Do all you can to create networks of support. The journey of life is just better when it is shared with others.
  2. Set your sights on a destination but don’t be afraid to adjust
    Wishing will not get you there – you need to visualize your goal and continually work towards it. You need to know that it is never too late to change your destination, but it is always easiest to pivot earlier rather than later.
  3. Utilize the map
    Asking for help or advice is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of maturity – listen to others and learn from their mistakes and experiences.
  4. Look at the rear-view mirror
    Looking backward can move us forward, we can transform regret into a powerful force for stability, achievement, and purpose. If we know what we truly regret, we know what we truly value.

"The measure of a good school is not where its graduates go to university when they are 18 but rather what they have accomplished when they are 81. I hope that DAIS has set you up to leave a legacy with your life. The choice is yours. It is the successful people that end up at their destination on purpose – if you do you will live a life that the story is worth telling."

Dr. Blair Lee handed out the diplomas to each graduate one by one. As the graduates moved their tassels from right to left, they officially graduated from DAIS. Farewell and good luck!

Congratulations, graduates! You’ve worked hard to achieve your goals and now you’re on your way to seek new vistas, dream new dreams, embark on who you are, embrace life with passion and keep reaching for your star. Go for it!

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