Ronnie Cheng is Headmaster of the Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) in Hong Kong and has been a teacher for 17 years. Growing up in a family under financial strain, Ronnie received encouragement and support from his own headmaster, which inspired him to ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation and become a teacher.
Academic pressure is very high in China and Hong Kong, with deleterious results on students’ mental health, but Ronnie has paved the way in trying to take a more rounded approach to education – focusing on the journey of learning as well as the results in examinations. He has given appropriate and measured support to students in an increasingly tense political environment. Nonetheless, DBS is one of the top schools in Hong Kong and under Ronnie’s direction has produced a #1-world-ranked male choir, winning many international championships over the last few years. Many students have gone on to become professional musicians and some have even returned to teach music at DBS to help a new generation. For underprivileged students, Ronnie has set up the DBS Foundation to enable students to be supported even if in financial or medical difficulty. This has been made possible by Ronnie’s excellent relationships with alumni.
If successful, Ronnie would likely use the prize funds to further finance the DBS Foundation for the benefit of underprivileged students.