July/August Edition



 Executive Director Update

August and September are a time of rejuvenation and excitement for everyone involved in international education. Schools are filled with new energy as they are prepared to open their doors, classrooms are full of optimistic fresh ideas and a whole new family of international educators, students and parents join around common hopes and dreams for learning and growth in the year ahead. As you begin this new school year, we wish you and your school community or organization a year of peace, joyful learning, good health and prosperity. We are happy to have you as part of our AAIE Global community and look forward to supporting you and your entire leadership team throughout the coming year!

The 2017-18 school year marks AAIE's 52nd year as the leading global international leadership membership organization. We are pleased to share the following stories, member highlights, interviews, videos and notices of future learning opportunities. Please grab a cup of your favorite beverage and take a few minutes to catch up with your colleagues and our many NEW valuable opportunities for connecting and learning in 2017-18!

In this 'Back to School' Edition you will find:

• Dr. Chip Barder's 2017 AAIE Superintendent of the Year Presentation Video

• Carry Reid's 2017 AAIE Innovator of the Year Presentation Video

• 2017-18 AAIE Membership Registration – Has your School / Organization Renewed?

• Affiliate Member Spotlight: College Living Experience

• 52nd AAIE International Leadership Conference & Expo Registration Information

• Regional Spotlight: EARCOS

5 Leadership Hacks to Start the Year by: Mina Merkel
• Member School Spotlight: International School of Panama
• Up Close & Personal Interview: Paul Poore / Executive Director of AASSA

• NEW AAIE Innovation Leadership Certificate Information
• 51st Highlight: How to Retire Well: Planning & Navigating a Successful Future

• AAIE International School Leadership Certificate and Online Degree Options
  Next Course Starts 25 September 2017: Vision and Mission to Guide International Schools

• AAIE Margaret Sanders Student Scholarship Information (for current Seniors/ Gr. 12)
• NEW AAIE - Educare Partnership: Online Child Safety & Safeguarding Training With Exclusive Discounts for AAIE Member Schools

I look forward to seeing you at one of the Regional Conferences this fall or in NYC at the 52nd AAIE in February!


Warm regards,


Yolanda Murphy-Barrena

Executive Director/ CEO



2017 AAIE Award Winner Presentations

2017 International Superintendent of the Year
Dr. Chip Barder
Head of School
United Nations International School of Hanoi

2017 International Innovator of the Year
Cary Reid
Project Based Diploma Coordinator
UWC Mahindra


2018 AAIE Award Nominations are Open until 1 October 2017

Please consider nominating a leading colleague for one of these awards today! 

AAIE 25 Year Award
Have you been an AAIE Member for 25 or more years? Did you miss receiving your Award? Please contact Yolanda at to ensure you receive your AAIE 25 Year Award in New York City.


Stay Connected & Enjoy Membership Benefits All Year 


Affiliate Member Spotlight : College Living Experience 

College Living Experience (CLE) is the leading provider of post-secondary supports for young adults with learning differences, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Non-Verbal Learning Disorders, and others. Dedicated to providing the highest quality of services, we strive to propel young adults toward success as they journey through their transition to independence.


CLE students pursue their academic program or career of interest while also receiving support, coaching, and instruction across the domains of independent living and social skill development.  Since success will look different to each student, we take the time to learn about their needs, interests, and goals. This approach allows our team to provide support that aligns with their personal transition to adulthood.

We work closely with students through one-on-one mentoring, small group activities, and immersion in the community.  With six locations across the United States, students can take advantage of a wide range of academic choices while having access to the tools, experience, and knowledge they need to forge a successful future for themselves.


We welcome you to visit our website to learn more about our traditional year-round program, as well as our pre-college programs, which have been developed for high school juniors and seniors and take place during 2-3 weeks over the summer.  You can contact Melinda Khachaturian at 1-703-850-0019 to learn more about our programs and the students we serve. 


52nd AAIE International Leadership Conference & Expo 


Register today to reserve your place at our Opening Session at the United Nations, where Will Richardson, Homa Tavanger and other thought leaders on education and global leadership challenges will share their thoughts on Leaders United:Transforming Our World Together 


Join us for this year's most important leadership gathering...

         • Opening Session at the United Nations / Conference at Marriott Marquis NYC

         • World Class Speakers: Mike McCarthy/ Homa Tavanger/ Will Richardson

         • Collaborate In Sessions Lead by Experts in International Education

         • Meet Top International Providers for School Services, Resources & Consulting

         • Network with Colleagues, Connect with Mentors & Coaches & Stay Connected
and watch your inbox and connect with @aaieglobal this autumn for updates, schedules and special event opportunities in New York City this autumn.


Regional Member Spotlight: EARCOS

The East Asia Regional Council of Schools is an organization of 153 member schools in East Asia lead by Dr. Dick Krajczar, former Executive Director of AAIE.The EARCOS Regional schools have a total of more than 100,000 pre-K to 12th grade students. EARCOS also has 176 associate members—textbook and software publishers and distributors, universities, financial planners, architectural firms, insurance companies, youth organizations, etc—and 35 individual members.

Membership in EARCOS is open to elementary and secondary schools in East Asia which offer an educational program using English as the primary language of instruction, and to other organizations, institutions, and individuals interested in the objectives and purposes of the Council. To learn more about us visit


 5 Leadership Hacks to Start the Year

Member Author: Mina Merkel


I have been coaching corporate executives and school leaders, both administration and boards, for many years.  Often I am asked what productive techniques could one use to start the year off on the right foot.  Here are five suggestions based on my research and experience with great leaders. 


1.   Hold a "Contracting" session with your direct reports.  It is said that great leaders allow their direct reports to fail but not be failures.  One of the best ways I have seen great 

leaders lessen the potential for their direct reports to become failures is to sit down at the beginning of a year and 'contract' with each and every one regardless of tenure with an institution.  Ask the direct report what would they like to accomplish this year (vs. tell them!) and ask what support they would need from you. People are more likely to do what they say if they opt in themselves. If their goals are not aligned with yours for the organization it is a great time to have this conversation.  In preparation for this contracting session, have your direct report create a one pager that has three sections: 1) their goals, 2) roadblocks they foresee and may need your help to remove and 3) any professional development they want/need. Assume positive intent throughout the process.  Additionally, discuss what are the preferable communication methods, in person, email, call or text for you both.  When there is a crisis, would you prefer they come to you immediately with the problem or come with potential solutions?  This type of clarity eliminates most misunderstandings and will help to build trust and allow individuals to feel empowered.

2.   Practice empathetic leadership.  Related to number one, allowing direct reports to reveal their passions and expressing how they feel about work will help them sense they are on task and work harder.  This requires the leader to be an active listener.   Instead of listening to respond, seek to understand thoroughly as to what makes each person tick. Direct reports are more likely to come to you if they have a deeper relationship with you.  If we understand our direct reports, if we utilize situational leadership and teach, coach, and mentor them, they will be able to succeed when we delegate to them.

3.   All motivation is self-motivation.  Knowing what makes people tick makes it easier to lead them.  When we say someone is "not motivated" what we really mean is that they are not motivated to do what we want them to do.  Values and beliefs such as loyalty, respect, cultural norms, morals, ethics and family are core motivators.  We subconsciously assume that people ought to be motivated by the same things that motivate us.  Influencing motivation requires adaptable, dynamic approaches.  Remember, we cannot motivate another human to do something but we can create the environment for self-motivation.  Understanding what motivates your direct report may spur you on to give a stretch assignment outside their normal work area. This in turn makes an individual feel heard, respected and you will have a more dedicated resource.

4.   Consider a norm setting brainstorm session with your leadership team at the first leadership meeting.  Agree on how you will treat one another at the onset of the new school year regarding being on time, keeping time, questioning, discussing and decision-making.  After the first meeting, start every meeting with three things the team accomplished the previous week celebrating the small wins.  Ask everyone around the table for their perspective before speaking yours. End every meeting with a 2 minute lessons learned segment soliciting what went well with this meeting and what could have been even better if? Communicate to the team when you implement a change based on this information.  This will solidify the new behavior.

5.   Finally, go out of your way to teach thinking you want direct reports to learn.  In other words, teach new administrators and division leaders how you think about problems, what decisions you make, and why you make them that way.  Unpack your thought process so people can learn how you do what you do.  This process takes a bit longer at first, but lends to tremendous understanding and growth. 


If you are interested in more ideas about leadership consider reading Originals by Adam Grant and A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman. 


When did 'hack' replace tips anyway?


Member Author: Mina Merkel

M2 Leadership / Board and Organizational Leadership Consultant



Member School Spotlight:
International School Of Panama

On The Pursuit Of Academic Excellence


For over 30 years the International School of Panama has placed the pursuit of academic excellence at the center of our approach to teaching and learning. Educational paradigms are shifting towards a focus on 21 century skills.  Our philosophy of teaching addresses this change by asking what we are doing to better prepare our students to be successful in a future without borders.


As a forward-thinking school, we focus on the development of the whole child through challenging academic experiences, diverse artistic pursuits, varied athletic and leadership opportunities and service to the community. This holistic approach to education hinges on providing students with the opportunities to explore areas of interest like theater, engineering, computer science, robotics and much more. Allowing our students to go beyond asking what they want to be when they grow up and instead ask what problems they want to solve.


ISP's student centered approach ensures student success by exposing every student to an array of academic and extracurricular choices allowing them to discover what inspires them and gives them the skills to pursue their passion and contribute something of value.

With this in mind we have recently rolled out our Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program (IEC), the first of its kind among international schools in the region. High school students not pursuing the IB now have the opportunity to take on the IEC. This school year the first group of students enrolled in the certificate program started on this journey and the results have been beyond expectations

This is precisely what we are after at ISP, creating opportunities for every student to have unique and wholistic educational experiences, every day, in every class. Leaving them with the knowledge, abilities and skills, to positively influence the world they live in. For more information please visit us at


UpClose & Personal With: Paul Poore
Executive Director of AASSA / Former AAIE Board Member


The Innovation Leadership Certificate is a two-day training for international school educators who want to learn how to grow their innovation capacity through creating school innovations designed to meet the needs of their students and impact their schools. Join the certificate program to create and implement new innovations for your school, build your innovation capacity to lead, and network with innovative educators from around your region and the world!


51st AAIE Conference Highlight 
How to Retire Well: Planning & Navigating a Successful Future

By Ralph Davison

 We had a large group armed with lots of questions at our session. Very importantly, they were people of all ages.  Some had given the question of a well-thought-out retirement a lot of thought, while others had not. Very significantly, the group soon became aware that while financial planning for retirement is of course important, it is not necessarily the most important kind of planning.  Our discussions centered around several key questions: Once we cease our life's work as school people, who will our friends be? How will we spend our time? Where will we live?  Why? How will we interact with our family members? We are in one of the important helping professions: so how will we continue to help the world (or our corner of it)?  

We often tend to identify ourselves through the lens of our work; so who will we be after we retire? When we look back at our retirement years and how we will have lived them, what grade will we give ourselves? Discussions were rich, lively and helpful. We could have stayed there for a much longer session!


Panel members: Gilbert Brown; David Manning & Ralph Davison

 "Retirement planning is best done long before the event. It involves personal wellness, time management, family interaction, friendships, professional connections and, of course, financial planning. We loved seeing colleagues of all ages at our session!" Ralph Davison


AAIE is committed to assisting our member schools in protecting and safeguarding that promotes the welfare of children, young people and adults. To support you in your efforts, we have joined together with EduCare to offer an affordable, high-quality and effective 2-Step Child Protection CPD Program uniquely created for international schools around the world. Created by experts in the field and including content and imagery tailored to the international audience, both of these opportunities can help ensure your school not only meets the International Accreditation Standards for Child Protection and Safeguarding, but is actively ensuring the safety of your students and community.  


Step 1  Have your Child Protection Team participate in the 4 day, intensive AAIE / NSU International Child Protection Leadership Team Workshop and complete your Child Protection Plan, draft policies, and gather other critical resources while completing this unique implementation certificate program with our globally renowned group of Child Protection experts. Save the dates below and plan on registering early to secure your team's place next summer. 


Step 2  Then select a unique package of international child protection online training courses for your faculty, staff, team leads and volunteers to ensure that all school staff are trained in basic child protection awareness and response. AAIE Member Schools qualify for a preferential 10% discount off EduCare Course Packages. More information on these courses and the 9 Special International School Courses is included on the Information Flyer that can be downloaded below. 


AAIE Association for the Advancement of International Education

3301 College Ave Mailman Hollywood Bldg #314

Fort Lauderdale Florida 33314

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