An Honor for Chinese American Volunteers – Edina Mayor Surprises with Service Award


Edina Mayor Hovland presented the first “2020 Mayor’s Commendation” to Principal Melody Zhou with the Minnesota International Chinese School.

风和日丽的下午,明州国际中文学校校董和家教联PTO代表一起相聚在Edina Centennial Lakes Park开学校会议,同时开始筹备学校创办10周年的纪念相册。校长第一个到达,兴高采烈带领大家勘查公园实景。

A warm breeze blew over Edina Centennial Lakes Park as MICS board and PTO representatives gathered for an afternoon meeting. Principal Melody Zhou arrived first, and enthusiastically led everyone on a tour of the park as they searched for the perfect location to shoot pictures commemorating the school’s 10th anniversary.

校长周舒 (Melody Zhou)和副校长黄硖(Xia Huang)不知道的是, 今天其实是大家筹划了一整个星期,精心为她俩准备的惊喜! 

But what Melody and Vice Principal Xia Huang didn’t know, was that the photo shoot was a ruse planned over the last week to bring them to the park for a special surprise!

一周前,Edina市政府的工作人员给学校家教联(简称PTO)发来一封邮件,表示市长准备把市里今年第一个社区服务的集体奖和个人大奖颁发给学校和周校长, 并希望把这个惊喜暂时保密。PTO的理事们在欣喜之余,即刻开始协助安排这个出其不意的颁奖礼!由家教联主席朱馨韵领导的秘密微信小组从时间,到地点,到过程,花了不少精力。既要力保事前瞒住两位校长,也要确保疫情期间的社交距离和可行性。最后王文娟理事的提议获得大家的一致支持,地点定在这个美丽的市属公园。 

One week ago, the Edina city government contacted the school’s PTO with a message that Mayor Hovland planned to give this year’s first Service Organization Commendation and Individual Service Commendation to MICS and Principal Zhou. The message asked to keep this information secret, as the award was meant to be a surprise. The PTO was only too happy to act as co-conspirators for this well-deserved honor. PTO president Xinyun Zhu created a secret WeChat group to discuss how to keep the surprise from Principal Zhou and Vice Principal Huang, while also accounting for social distancing during the pandemic. Committee member Wenjuan Wang suggested holding the ceremony at one of the city’s beautiful parks, and soon the plan was hatched. 


Everything went according to plan as the mayor and his team arrived right on time. Watching the mayor’s procession approach, Melody and Xia wondered aloud what coincidence brought the mayor to the park on the same day that they planned the 10th anniversary photo shoot. It wasn’t until they noticed the balloons, flowers, cake and cameramen that it finally dawned on them. 

疫情伊始,学校在校长的带领下,积极投入到抗疫筹款中,从最初的帮助湖北武汉,到延续至今的服务明州社区,每一个成员都在默默奉献,尽心尽力,从未想过名利得失。但爱心没有国界,善良没有种族,我们曾经的付出终于得以认可。现场的所有人都为学校,为MelodyXia欢呼。华人的努力和奉献终于收获了主流社区的认可,我们欣喜的同时,更是自豪与骄傲!感谢Edina市长Hovland参与筹划,当天携夫人和几位工作人员,亲自颁发奖杯。这位出色的律师市长,自2005年开始,服务Edina市逾15载, 以其睿智和宽容在明州政坛上德高望重,备受尊重。 

MICS began a series of fundraising efforts at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic under Principal Zhou’s leadership. From initial donations to Wuhan, China, to efforts servicing the Minnesota community that continue today, the entire team has worked tirelessly without thought of reward. As Mayor Hovland passed out these awards, everyone present cheered for Melody and Xia in a moment where the efforts of the Chinese community were finally given mainstream recognition. We are grateful to be recognized with this great honor, proof that kindness transcends borders and race, and proud of all that we have accomplished. Thank you to Mayor Hovland, his wife, and all of the other Edina representatives that came out to present the award.  



Finally, we would also like to thank all of our friends for your support of MICS, especially the Minnesota Chinese American Chamber of Commerce and the Council for US-China Medical Technology Exchanges. May our shared faith and will to act bring light to the troubling times we face.