January / February Edition




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 Executive Director's Update


Dear Colleagues,


Hopefully this finds you enjoying a wonderful week at school/work, or for those of you on Spring Break, reading this while relaxing near the sea or cooling down from a great run through fresh powder in the mountains! 


I would like to personally thank the hundreds of members who traveled to San Francisco last month to join colleagues and friends from around the world for the 51st AAIE International Leadership Conference. We had a wonderful time engaging, learning and connecting with each other around the dynamic, challenging and at times passionate topic of the future of international education. 


We look forward to sharing out many of the special moments captured in photos and video in an upcoming Special Edition of the CONNECTOR: THE 51ST AAIE. Watch your inboxes later this month to hear Chip Barder's unique Superintendent of the Year Address, see what historic group closed it's doors with generous donation to a great cause and hear a host of other unique insights and interviews with international leaders who were attending. 


This can be a bitter-sweet time of year for our many members starting to prepare for an upcoming leadership transition. Heads of School are preparing to lead a new community and some Principals are looking forward to their first Headship while others anticipate the unique opportunity to practice their leadership within a completely new country, community or possibly division.  Whether you are an experienced Head of School, a 'rising Head of School' or another senior leader looking to prepare for the challenges of a new leadership role, AAIE is pleased to offer several opportunities to support your transition being a great success!


Mentorship: Applications are now open for our AAIE / AISH Leadership Legacy Mentoring Program for new heads. If you, or someone you know will be leading their first school community for the 2017-18 school year, please CLICK HERE for more information about this free, member supported service and to complete your application today!


Transition: All senior leaders who are beginning to prepare for a leadership transition into a new role or a completely new school are invited to join Lee Fertig and Barry Dequanne for the NEW AAIE Leadership Transition Retreat that will take place on the 7-8 July 2017 in Washington, DC at the beautiful Melrose Hotel in Georgetown. CLICK HERE for details and then get started on the right foot by reserving your place for this limited enrollment retreat! 


Child Protection: We are proud to offer our unique Child Protection Leadership Team Training & Level 1 Certification program again this summer on the stunning NSU campus in Fort Lauderdale. Bring your team and take advantage of this comprehensive and practical opportunity to work with international experts and your team to create a unique Child Protection Plan to implement next school year. You and your team will receive specialized training in several strands of this critical topic and leave better prepared to safeguard your children and community. CLICK HERE for more information and to register today. 


Counseling Leadership: ISCA and AAIE have partnered to offer a the new AAIE Summer International Counseling RECHARGE! All school Counselors, Psychologists and others who support students and families in the school setting are invited to join us for this active and invigorating institute. Sessions will provide attendees with a wealth of opportunities to learn, share and connect around timely counseling topics while recharging internal batteries for the coming year. Join us to make connections with colleagues and student & family counseling experts from around the world and return in August ready to optimize your impact in the new year! CLICK HERE for more information and to register today. 


Instructional Leadership: Are you looking to build your instructional leadership capacity personally or within your leadership team? Do you have a curriculum leader, principal, grade level leader or department chair that would better support your community of learners by expanding their understanding of instructional leadership? Join Dr. Fran Prolman for this intense 4 day exploration and practical workshop on instructional leadership. Attendees will leave with an individualized plan ready to implement in the fall to impact student learning success and improved results! CLICK HERE for more information and to register. 


Sharing Your Ideas & Learning: Do you or others at your school have ideas, research, or stories that would benefit our global community? Please take advantage of and pass along the opportunities below to share with AAIE colleagues:
The International CONNECTOR: If your school or organization would like to be featured in an upcoming Member Highlight in the Leadership CONNECTOR or on our website, please contact for this unique member feature and to share out a unique leadership project, school-wide success story, valuable resource, etc. Your global stories are valuable to your colleagues, so please step up and share!

Fall 2017 AAIE InterED Research Journal: Theme - Transformative Global Leadership. We invite submissions with international education and leadership themes, including real life scenarios and case studies, curriculum research, professional development, creating a community of learners, the future of AAIE and international education. Please contact our editor and AAIE Board Member Dr. Beverly Shaklee at for more information and to submit your writing. Deadline for Fall 2017 is 1 September 2017.



Warm regards,



AAIE - Out On The International Trail


Catching up with our friends at the American School of Warsaw in November, AAIE was delighted to have a school tour by the new director, Jon Zurfluh. ASW leads the way for innovative thinking by providing two new dedicated maker-space classrooms for students to create and test ideas and designs. ASW extends their innovation to their new team approach to Learning Support Services and has expanded the team this year to implement their vision of inclusive classrooms. The school recently added the International Baccalaureate's PYP and MYP to their curriculum following a long and successful dedication to the IB Diploma Program.


Mexico City is known as the city of palaces, and in the realm of education, The American School Foundation is a prime example. On a recent visit, I had the honor of being led on a tour by the school's executive director, Paul Williams. During his more than 30 years at the school, he has seen many changes and improvements in the offering of the school and is overseeing many more to come. Recently the school added two sections to support creative and active learning. Both the new multipurpose use and adaptive theatre and the sports and recreation centre are highlights. Students have options of dance, swimming and evening weight resistance training. The academic buildings are purpose built to maximize learning outcomes and feature green rooftops with local flora. To support the school's goal of minimize environmental impact, the school has initiated a required bussing transport system. Limiting single use cars which clog streets and add to Mexico City's pollution, students arrive at school on board one of the school's busses. The school is equally committed to providing professional development for staff and teachers to enhance the professional educational environment the students and families enjoy.
Shared by: Derek Harwell - AAIE Membership & Programs Coordinator


Affiliate Member Spotlight: CIS


CIS is a membership community working collaboratively to shape the future of international education. We deliver meaningful, high quality services that enable our members to learn and improve the quality of international education: International Accreditation, Career & Recruitment, Higher Education, and Research Services. With a focus on personalized support, we gather data and share our collective knowledge to validate or disprove assumptions, indicate trends, and demonstrate effective and innovative practices.


We connect educators and professionals from schools and higher education institutions as they gather at CIS events, share leading practices and learn from each other as they engage in our services.


Upcoming events include:


  1. CIS Career & Recruitment Fair, January 2017 in London, which brings together international school leaders and educators from around the world for recruitment, networking and professional development;
  2. CIS Child Protection Workshops for School Leaders & Counselors in early 2017, in New York and Singapore;
  3. The CIS Symposia, which provide a professional learning opportunity to discuss the important challenges facing international educators, two opportunities to attend in Amsterdam and Singapore, both in March 2017;
  4. CIS Regional Institutes for Guidance Counselors and University members; in Africa in March 2017; and events in The Americas and Asia in Sept 2017; and
  5. Accreditation Workshops, designed for school leaders, teachers, and business managers from CIS Member Schools who wish to be considered for volunteer service on Accreditation Visiting Teams.


Please visit the CIS website for more information on upcoming CIS events and membership.



CONNECTOR Sponsor of the Month

University of Nebraska High School

We thank our Sponsor of the Month, the University of Nebraska High School for their long-standing and loyal support of AAIE and our Members!


Member School Spotlight: 

Bangalore International School


We are pleased to share that Bangalore International School received the following citations at the recent Education Today survey of India's Top International Schools:

In the Day School category, they ranked Number 1 in Bangalore, their city, as well as Number 1 in Karnataka, their state. Nationally they were ranked Number 3 in India.

In the Holistic Development category, they ranked Number 1 in India.


Congratulations to Head of School and AAIE Hall of Fame Member Anu Monga and her entire staff, students and community for these outstanding accomplishments!


Margaret Sanders Scholarships Announced


Since 2009, the Margaret Sanders Foundation has annually awarded scholarships to international school students from the various regions represented by AAIE. Probably only a quarter of the people that attended the AAIE 51 Annual Leadership Conference actually knew Margaret, but what a giant she was at only 5 ft. 2. When AAIE established the Hall of Fame, she was a charter inductee and is still until this day the only non-educator (to my knowledge) to be so enshrined. For those of us who knew her, archaic terms like pluck and grit come to mind. 


A line from the recommendation for one of the recipients this year epitomizes who Margaret was; "Always excited about meeting people and taking advantage of opportunities to have new experiences." Margaret would be continually proud of the people who have been helped by her largesse. The 2017 recipients were: 


Representing EARCOS, from the Yangon International School "Chloe" Thu Wati Aung 

Representing NESA and ACS Beirut, Sima Bou Jawde


Representing AISA and AIS Johannesburg, Keitumetse Malatsi

Representing AASSA and the Lincoln School in Costa Rica, Karina Lang


Congrats to you all on behalf of the Margaret Sanders Foundation!


Jim Ambrose 


NEW Affiliate Member/AAIE Partner Spotlight: 

Consilience for School Innovation



Organizations in industries ranging from communications and entertainment, to agriculture and retail, to healthcare and military equipment, all require the capacity for sustainable innovation. They require systematic innovation to create new ideas and products in order to remain relevant in their respective domains and markets.


Organizations in all industries have placed Michael Fullan's principle that "The Learning is the 


Work" at the core of what they do to evolve their missions and meet the needs of their stakeholders. The future will require our children to engage in the creative inquiry of deliberate innovation throughout their lives. 


Much of what we think about when we picture excellent schools are schools that are being well managed, focusing daily on optimizing what schools have been doing for centuries by creating reliability, efficiencies, coordinating actions, improving performance, job defining, staffing, and training to the exclusion of sustainable, systematic school innovation. Quality management and optimization are vital functions of any school, but leading schools for the future also requires effective viable mechanisms to sustain innovation.

Consilience is our non-profit company that supports schools to create systems, practices and tools that sustain innovation in an accelerating change environment. Grounded in school-based research and development, we take a systematic, research-based approach to helping institutions create new innovations that meet the needs of learners in their unique contexts. You can learn more about Consilience at We look forward to engage and support you in the work of learning to create the future for your school and your students!


Watch for more information on the NEW AAIE Innovation Leadership Certificate Program done in partnership with Concilience this spring and join us individually, or with your leadership team to create new innovations for your school while building your capacity to lead, network and innovate with other international leaders! 


Up Close & Personal with AAIE: Charlene Roberts

Executive Coach and Wellness Coach @

Doors Wide Open Coaching Systems


So a colleague, another school director, has hired an executive coach and you're wondering why she needs coaching.  Is there a problem?  Did her board mandate that she needed the professional services of a coach to remediate some important issues?  Is she on probation?  Are there marital problems?  What kind of therapy is she getting?  Are there health issues?

Those are natural questions because executive coaching is relatively new to school leaders.  And let's be honest, most directors and leaders in international and independent schools are proud, talented individuals who work hard, have extensive teaching and leadership experience, a large tool bag of skills including financial planning, curriculum development, conflict resolution, strong interpersonal skills, and the list goes on. Your board hired you because of your demonstrated competencies, dispositions, and vision.  So it's natural to wonder why you would need executive coaching.


It may help to understand what executive coaching is, by taking a closer look at what executive coaching is not. First, an executive coach is not a therapist or counselor.  Counselors and therapists help a person resolve identified health, emotional or behavioral problems. The executive coach, however, works with you to focus on your professional or personal goals, challenges, and aspirations.  It is your agenda that drives your sessions with the coach. The coach believes in your capacity to lead and knows that your greatest strengths are your self-efficacy, resilience and drive.

An executive coach is not an advisor or consultant who "fixes" problems.  The coach doesn't helicopter in with bandages or solutions.   Your coach is unlikely to have deep insights into your specific school organization.  Rather, they use their understanding of the breadth of your leadership responsibilities to listen carefully to you, then ask a lot of probing questions to help both parties arrive at a deeper understanding of an issue, challenge, or opportunity in your context.  This process helps you reflect on your own perceptions, reactions and behaviors.  The coach might help you recognize your "blind spots".  When you see your blind spots, your perceptions shift.  And when your perceptions shift, you might choose to shift the way you respond, communicate or behave.  A common result is that the leader sees new opportunities for growth and change in the challenges they face.

The coach is not judgemental.  She or he might ask you to see something from a different angle or role, consider alternative points of view, or suggest an assessment you could use to gauge your own behaviors or values.  It is your choice to use the suggested tools or not, and the coach will be neutral about the results of the assessment.  It is for you, in discussing and reflecting on the results, to draw conclusions.  For example, you might find that some of your soft skills such as compassion or motivation are not being perceived as strong by others in your school, or you might find that you are an excellent orator but need to enhance your listening skills.

The Executive Coach is not your cheerleader.  Do not expect a coach to be your "validator", to continuously compliment you on what is going well, or encourage you to maintain the status quo.  Part of a coach's role is to push the client out of his/her comfort zone.  Therefore, a coach might challenge you to consider alternatives, to reflect on the feedback from any critical voices in your school community, or ask you to consider if you are in avoidance mode with a board member or a bubbling issue in the school.  You are always free to accept or decline such challenges.  However, if a coach senses that a client is deliberately avoiding specific issues or ways of operating, he/she is likely to come back to the issue in the future.   

Executive coaching is not the same as other forms of coaching.  There are several forms of coaching that will already be found in your school.  Many schools benefit from having teachers and leaders trained in cognitive coaching and heighten the level of collegial interaction and professional dialogue.   A growing number of schools are hiring pedagogical coaches to work with teams of teachers—sometimes in specific disciplines such a language or math, but increasingly in cross-disciplinary areas such humanities and STEM.  The role of these coaches for teachers is primarily to sharpen skills and develop a cohesive approach to teaching in a particular area.  Sports coaches are also an integral part of your school's sports program, with coaches providing athletes with guidance in both individual skill development and strategies for the team.  And some of your employees may be working with a life coach to guide them in transitions to a new lifestyle or career.  There are similarities between the various types of coaching, but Executive Coaching is unique.  

Like sports coaches, executive coaches also target skills, and like pedagogical coaches, executive coaches might assist in developing a cohesive approach to an area of operation.  As with cognitive coaches, executive coaching strengthens thinking skills, and self-awareness; as in life coaching, an executive coach articulates and operationalizes the client's aspirations and dreams.  However, executive coaching goes beyond these outcomes of skill development, cultivating a cohesive approach, and enhancing self-awareness.   It is unique because the coach's central focus is on the leader's professional and personal capacities-- to effectively lead the organization in the face of rapid change, numerous challenges and strategic goals.

The Executive Coach may not work exclusively with you.  In the process of coaching, you may decide that you want to broaden the services of the coach to some or all members of your leadership team because you believe that the sharpened skills and self-awareness will enhance your collaborative efforts to meet a particular goal, or will increase your collective effectiveness as a team.  

So, why are school leaders now turning to executive coaches?  Today's educational leaders are no longer merely "administrators" responsible for managing a static organization.   The role—especially in international and independent schools which are autonomous enterprises—now includes responsibility for leading the school into a rapidly evolving future.   As a result this new role brings with it enormous, unprecedented complexity, including responsibility for nurturing a professional culture that embraces change;  creating new pedagogical structures, spaces and practices that support self-directed, personalized learning;  and optimizing technology by understanding both the opportunity and limitation of new learning tools.  It's a whole new game, with new rules and roles!  

An executive coach is simply one more resource for a school leader to tap into on the path of personal growth, along with already-proven resources such as networking, reading, taking courses, and attending conferences.



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