School needs help with public service mission

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 December, 2006, 12:00am

A local school committed to community integration is looking for an experienced public relations professional with a strong interest in serving society.

Heather Xie, director of development at International Christian School (ICS), said this was an opportune moment to join the school, which was preparing to launch a new concept in education that combined school and community in a 'service learning' initiative.

ICS is looking for a public relations and marketing officer to take responsibility for the school's public relations strategies, budget and implementing initiatives.

All materials generated in the new appointee's office - from press releases, promotional materials and newsletters to website - should reflect the unique learning and service concept at ICS.

Ms Xie said the school was building Hong Kong's first combined school-and-community centre near Sha Tin.

The centre is being built on land given by the government and is due to be completed by next autumn. The new school will be dedicated to a wide-ranging, integrated and inclusive community outreach programme.

Making community service a part of school life is the mission driving the project, and the building's facilities will be designed to be used by the community at large. All students are expected to take community service as a core subject.

One of the responsibilities for the school's new PR officer, Ms Xie said, would be to educate the public about the innovative ICS curriculum and its mission, which was a concept new to education in Hong Kong. The officer would also work towards raising awareness of the school's public role, and its identity as a 'local international' institution that served all sectors of society, she said.

A local school teaching an international curriculum but not limited to elite or privileged families was 'fairly unique', Ms Xie said. Applicants must share the school's vision of educating students in a Christian atmosphere, with an emphasis on community service. The ideal candidate would be a service-minded person who was comfortable liaising with a variety of groups, from media to IT support teams.

This is a great job for someone looking to make a difference. In fact, almost all staff in the ICS administration were formerly employed in business and industry; most of them joined the school so they could use their private sector experience for the public good.

Training and development are an important part of the ICS mission. All employees are expected to work with their supervisors on a yearly development plan.

All staff receive an annual professional development allowance. This is meant to be used for learning opportunities in support areas identified in the development plan.

The appointee will also work on the promotion of the school's chapel and its Fine and Performing Arts Centre, funded by a HK$14 million donation from a family foundation.