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Opening of New BBS Building Demonstrates Both an Ongoing Legacy and Strategic Advancement at the School

 From left to right: Dr. Mahmoud Halablab - Head of the BBS Parents` Committee, Mr. Samir Abi Shdid - Chairman of the Board of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, and Mr. Imad Al Achkar - Head of the private Educational Department in the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education
From left to right: Dr. Mahmoud Halablab - Head of the BBS Parents` Committee, Mr. Samir Abi Shdid - Chairman of the Board of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, and Mr. Imad Al Achkar - Head of the private Educational Department in the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education
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The inauguration ceremony for the new James Ragland Building at Beirut Baptist School on Friday, October 16 demonstrated the school’s commitment to its founding principles as well as ways that it is thriving in a new day. BBS Grade 12 student Maya Moussa emceed the event that hosted Middle School and Secondary School parents and other honored guests in the new building, which houses secondary classrooms and a beautiful new indoor rec center. BBS Co-Principal for Academics Alice Wazir opened the evening by sharing the school’s vision to equip its students to face the future. She highlighted academic strategies for the 2015-2016 school year, including a new online version of MAP standardized testing, an ongoing emphasis on special education and efforts to make BBS an increasingly inclusive school, and a new partnership with Microsoft that will help advance digital learning at the school.  During the event, Microsoft made a presentation about the new partnership, which will benefit students with learning differences at BBS as well as the entire student population. 

Mr. Tony Haddad, who was appointed in July of this year as BBS Co-Principal of Administration, shared with those gathered that the school continues to build on the values of its founders. James Ragland, the founder after whom the building has been named, began the school with a vision for quality education, high ethical standards, and practical Christianity.  The school continues to put into places policies rooted in these values, which protect the continuing mission and vision that have allowed Beirut Baptist School to for sixty years.  Now, as then, the leadership of the school believes and leads in light of the fact that “the truth will set you free.”

Another BBS senior, Maya Makaram, gave an enthusiastic presentation highlighting student life at BBS. Through the pictures and videos she featured, it was apparent that BBS offers a dynamic environment where students continue to achieve success not only in academic competitions, but through extracurricular opportunities like athletics and Model United Nations, through community service opportunities, and through valuable student-teacher relationships.

During the evening’s ceremony, special guests were honored for their ongoing service to the school or to education in Lebanon. Trophies were given to Imad el-Ashkar, Head of the Private Sector with the Ministry of Education in Lebanon, and Nadway Chocair, who serves as an invaluable advocate for students with learning differences through the Ministry of Education.  BBS is indebted to both of them for their service to Lebanon.

Beirut Baptist School demonstrated Friday night that the legacy of the founders lives on through the ongoing investment of those who were present at the event: parents, educators, administrators, and public servants who work together for the future of students.  

Ashley Al-Saliby | October 2015

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