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Mr Lucas J. Roberts

School Principal


Meet Hanova's Principal

Mr Lucas J. Roberts has served in international school education in China for the past 14 years in Wuxi, Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing. He has served during those years as Secondary Principal, whole school Vice Principal, School Principal (K-7th grade), High School Principal and Primary School Principal. He graduated university with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and continued on to earn an M.Ed. in Educational Administration. He is currently working on completing his Ed.D in Educational Leadership through Wilkes University (USA).

Mr. Luke, as he prefers to be called, has served in numerous leadership capacities over the years, including Secondary Principal (whole school Vice Principal), School Principal (Kindergarten to Grade 7), High School Principal (whole school Assistant Principal), and, most recently, Primary School Principal. Having started out as a Secondary social studies teacher, his other roles have included Student Life Director, soccer (football) coach, WASC accreditation coordinator, and Director of Academic Development.


With a strong belief in a school improvement process that involves the voices, experiences, and expertise of all community members, Mr. Luke has helped successfully lead two of his schools through their initial accreditation cycles, one with WASC and another with CIS. He has also served on 14 WASC accreditation visiting committees around Asia, twice serving as chair of the committees. These experiences have helped give him an open and empathetic mindset, enabling him to navigate the challenges and opportunities that schools face in providing consistent, high-quality education with a global perspective for all students. Dedicated, effective teachers and staff are crucial to the success of such schools, and all students deserve to learn from caring adults who have students’ best interests at heart. For Mr. Luke, joy in education comes from schools and families partnering together on behalf of children to create a positive, proactive, fun, and high-quality learning community.


Earning a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies helped spark Mr. Luke’s belief that learning, rather than being isolated, should help students see patterns and connections across subjects with an emphasis on life skills and application. In other words, what we DO with knowledge is just as important as having knowledge, much in line with the IB Learner Profile and Hanova’s mission to develop responsible, wise, lifelong learners.


Mr. Luke’s approach to education is also guided by two key mottos. “Good sports are winners” is the official motto for Secondary student-athletes in the state of Michigan (USA), where Mr. Luke grew up wrestling, playing soccer (football), and tennis. This motto underscores the importance of character and ethical practice over winning…although of course winning is more fun than losing! But the character and life lessons learned through sport, win or lose, are priceless, remaining with kids into adulthood.


The other guiding motto is “All of us are responsible for all our students all the time.” While serving as a Secondary Principal in Wuxi, Mr. Luke coined this phrase due to his strong belief that schools do better when we believe we have an “our students” mindset rather than “my” or “your” mindsets. Having an “our students” mindset creates a collective and inclusive approach wherein we are responsible for the learning, wellbeing, and safety of all students on a school campus, not just those whom we specifically teach.


Mr. Luke’s credentials also include an M.Ed. in Educational Administration, and he is currently writing the dissertation to complete his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Wilkes University (USA). He serves as an Advisory Council Member for KDSL Global, an international education non-profit, and supports the efforts of organizations and individuals dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in international school education. He previously worked as a Research Associate for Institutional Effectiveness at the university-level, as well as a Job Coach for developmentally disabled adults prior to entering education. Although he was a multiple-sport athlete growing up, some of his fondest memories during his school years were singing in choir or performing in musicals, experiences that expanded his circle of friends and provided him more life lessons, such as the ability to improvise in new situations and overcome fears. An avid traveler, Mr. Luke has visited dozens of cities in China and 29 countries across all inhabited continents.

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