Four Questions to Our New Headmaster
by Questions: Luna Mette, Abi 1, and Adrian Evers, IB 1
Salem International College's school speakers got to know our new headmaster, Mr. Henrik Fass, in an interview.

How have your first few days been so far?

Exciting, cordial, rousing. Moving to such a turbulent and lively place is of course also challenging. My experience as principal of a boarding school helps me a lot, but it's still sporting to learn the names and sort out the impressions. I look forward to many more encounters and your tour of Schloss Spetzgart.

What is one of the best pieces of advice you have ever received?

I don't know the "best" piece of advice, anyway it often depends on the situation what might be a useful tip for a change of perspective. In Zen Buddhism, there is a story that fits quite well with the times: "A student once asked his master why the latter could always be so calm and serene. The master replied, "When I sit, I sit. When I stand, I stand. When I walk, I walk. When I eat, I eat." The disciple interrupted the master and said, "But I do that too! What do you do beyond that?". The master remained calm and repeated as before, "When I sit, I sit. When I stand, I stand. When I walk, I walk..." Again, the disciple said, "But I do that too!" "No," said the master then. "When you are sitting, then you are already standing. When you are standing, you are walking. When you're walking, you're already there."

How do you think Salem can benefit from you?

On the one hand, I bring a lot of experience. I've worked in and been passionate about boarding schools since I was 23. For over a decade, I led the Birklehof school as principal, which was founded in 1932 as a branch school of Salem. Hahn's legacy is familiar to me. At the same time, I know the challenges that boarding schools and schools have to deal with – in my view, an ideal educational environment for young people like you. The added value that is realized in a meaningful dovetailing of teaching, extracurricular activities and boarding school life is an incentive for me. The approach of education for freedom in responsibility characterizes our educational activities. I would like to carry Salem's founding idea, which has not lost any of its relevance, into the new millennium with the Salem community and convince them once again that we are an inspiring boarding school that releases young people who are capable and willing to take responsibility and who are educated in the best sense of the word. If the students benefit from Salem in this way, we are on the right track.

How do you plan to interact more closely with the students?

As the overall director, I don't just want to sit in the Oberes Tor, but to be involved in school and boarding school life – and to help shape it. To do that, I need to be at all the campuses on a regular basis and interact with the staff and students. For the beginning, I have firmly resolved to eat meals together with you, to invite you to discussion groups, to be present at events and to visit as many wings as possible. I am all the more pleased that so many students have contacted me of their own accord.