Charles Grayson, Director of Student

June 29, 2020

Where did you grow up/study?

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! That makes me a Steelers fan by default. However, I am much more of a Pittsburgh Penguins fan for hockey.

Can you tell us more about your role at CAIS.

My role is really a mixture of my passions. I will be leading the student support team working with students from all grade levels through CAIS providing social emotional learning, behavioral management and discipline, providing emotional support, shaping school and student culture through building upon our support for students. Additionally, I will be working with CAIS on university guidance and offering parental support for school coaching where needed.

How did you wind up here?

I chose CAIS because of the social justice and Christian community that makes up the identity for CAIS. This school stands for Jesus apologetically on a mission to build disciples and train students to do more than just learn and study. CAIS values making an impact into the lives of those we have been placed in – the community.

Biggest challenge and rewarding moment working in student services?

Most rewarding moment is witnessing a student’s behavior evolve as they are redirected and begin using skills they have been coached on to manage a situation by becoming emotionally mature. The biggest challenge is the beginning stages of resistance and a student not believing that they can grow in managing their emotions and behavior. Equally, there are students who are in the school that are longing for love and attention and needing to be shown love from staff.

In your opinion, why is the work Student Services Department doing important?

Firstly, it is important for the child. Being student-centered must always be the role of student personnel in a student services division of the school. And secondly, it is important for the parent. They are the first to identify and acknowledge the needs of their child but often times with limited knowledge of the help that can be provided. Moreover, biblically speaking, we are called as Christians to be a voice for the voiceless. There are just too many students facing challenges whereby the level of care and attention they need must be amended to meet the child/student where they are at. This calls for a concerted effort that has planned intentions of moving the student to their greatest potential whether academically, socially, behaviorally, spiritually or a combination of all the above. Coming from spending years in student services, the end goal of the Student Services Department should always be working ourselves out of a job. If we are doing what we do well, creating students who become self-sufficient and independent is always a positive outcome. That is how I evaluate and judge my work.

What are some of the initiatives you will be working on which would potentially be translated to physical application?

Among things on my agenda, I will be working to implement an intervention and support system for students that target their needs and develop a greater sense of school culture, identity, maturity, and safety.

What kind of student were you?

As a student I was very inquisitive. In fact, I still consider myself a student because there is just so much to learn. Reading newspapers, articles, journals, and listening to experts on a variety of topics are the things that I most enjoy. I am also a voracious reader and avid viewer of all things current affairs in the media.

What do you miss most about Pennsylvania when you are overseas?

Like most foreigners, I would have to say family. However, I have been blessed to make (and grow) my own family here in Hong Kong. Being married to a local keeps me grounded on family support and all things Cantonese cuisine related.