CityU educator earns national recognition
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Mr David Santandreu Calonge, Senior Education Development Officer of the Education Development Office of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has earned Teacher of Honour status from the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honour Society in Education in recognition of his commitment to continuous professional growth. Selected this year along with only three other US teachers, he became the first ever international recipient of this prestigious award since its establishment.
David fulfilled the rigorous criteria established by KDP, which included participating in ongoing professional development, serving in leadership roles and publishing in education journals. “I am deeply honoured and pleased to receive this award as this is recognition of my ongoing participation in and commitment to continued learning and excellence in education,” David said.
David arrived in Hong Kong in 1993 and joined CityU in 2000. He first worked for Community College of City University and taught French in the Division of Language Studies. He then became a member of the Education Development Office and contributed mainly towards staff development and student coaching.
"I carry out research on how people succeed in their chosen career and then find out what it is I can replicate from them. I am interested in coaching staff and student leaders to learn about the path to success. I hope they can then coach other people and lead them on the road to excellence and achievements."
Mr Cyrus Wu Yuen-ching, Research Assistant of the Education Development Office, has attended a series of six courses on staff development conducted by David. Cyrus said the courses led him on a journey of rediscovery. “David encouraged me to adopt positive thinking and taught me to incorporate self reflection into daily practice to improve myself,” Cyrus said.
Over the years, David has also worked hard on developing different teaching methods to improve students’ communication and language skills.
"He always used practical and inspiring examples to illustrate his ideas, together with good presentation skills, which helped me to set my goals in a more systematic way," said Winnie Cheng Wing-yan, one of the student leaders of the Language Clinic of CityU. Winnie stated that David’s devotion and dedication to conveying the idea of making the impossible possible really encouraged her to face different challenges and make changes to her life.
David’s dedication to education is further highlighted by his 2008 appointment as Knight in the Order of Academic Palms by the French Minister of National Education; his winning of the International Trophies of the French Abroad as well as CityU’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2004 and the Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology in the US in 2005.
The Kappa Delta Pi International Honour Society in Education, which administers the Teacher of Honour award, is a lifetime membership association that supports the professional growth and teaching practices of educators throughout the world. For nearly 100 years, the Society has recognised excellence in education, advanced professional development, provided a reasoned voice for significant issues, and linked communities of educators.