Director's Update:

Remembering the 50th and Looking to the Future 

Powerful thunderstorms and soaring temperatures have begun to signal the shift from spring to summer here in southern Florida. Meanwhile cheerful messages from colleagues around the world, noting to friends and family that only 5 or 6 weeks are left of their school year continue to ping in inboxes around the globe. Although the 2015-16 year is winding down for some, here at AAIE we are winding up in preparation for several summer events and new initiatives that we hope benefit our members. Our goal is to provide the online and in person resources, development options and sharing opportunities that allow everyone in our international leadership community to contribute to our shared goal of helping you provide outstanding international school leadership throughout the world!

In this newsletter we take a fond look back at the AAIE 50th International Leadership Conference & Expo that so many of you were a part of in Atlanta. Please do take a few minutes to look through the photo collections, videos, archived tweets and a special conference reflection contributed by our official AAIE Historian - Dr. Gil Brown that are found below. The conference, true to it’s historical roots was a fantastic and vibrant gathering of our diverse global community, centered on connecting and sharing ideas and celebrating our joined passion for international educational leadership! From Day One, to the Newcomers and VIP Reception and right through the 50th Gala, our members showed why attending this event is a must for every international leader, service provider, consultant and AAIE member from around the globe. I will let the pictures, video and comments from attendees speak for themselves in sharing the memorable story of the AAIE 50th!

In looking to the future, I would also like to highlight our appreciation for the 169 conference attendees, presenters and exhibitors who took the time to provide us with many commendations as well as a wealth of valuable recommendations and constructive suggestions for making the 51st Conference an even greater success! Our Board and Conference Planning Committee has listened and heard you, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with many of you over the coming months on both an individual basis, and through the use of target attendee-group advisory committees.  Key takeaways that you will see reflected in the 51st Conference schedule and program of events are:

  • Fewer general sessions & only 1 keynote at each general session

  • Fewer concurrent sessions to allow for more concentrated attendance

  • Increased networking time/ purposeful connecting activities built into the schedule

  • More panel discussions, deep-dives, world cafes, and interactive options

  • Increased opportunities to engage with our affiliate members and exhibitors

  • Cozier seating, better acoustics and brighter lighting at general sessions

  • Innovative program/site visits and local city tours available on Monday

Expect several immediate outcomes as we work with you to make the AAIE 51st Conference in San Francisco: Future Leaders = Future Schools, as meaningful and successful for all of our different attendee groups as possible! Mark your calendars now for the 51st AAIE Conference, taking place 6-8 February, 2017 in San Francisco. We look forward to sharing out the initial AAIE 51st Conference schedule by 1 August 2016 so you can start planning early!

Also in this update you will find our inaugural Institutional Member Spotlight and Affiliate Member Spotlight section, which will become a regular part of our new website homepage and our bi-monthly newsletters. The goal of this section is to highlight and share the many outstanding ideas, accomplishments, programs and services found among our AAIE membership. We thank the American School of Bombay and Superintendent Craig Johnson for sharing out the video and article that launch this new Institutional Member Spotlight Section Likewise we thank valued Affiliate Member TruexCullins and Managing Principal Architect, David Epstein for contributing the video on the importance of designing great schools. We hope you enjoy this new member spotlight section and welcome contributions from all members for future newsletters and our website!

Share your expertise and learning with the AAIE community! Do you have an action research project, or recent international school study or project synopsis that other international leaders would find interesting or helpful? We are currently taking written submissions for the AAIE InterEd Fall 2016 Journal, our Bi-Monthly Newsletter and the new AAIE International Hub website being built.  Please forward any submissions or questions about articles you may be working on to our editor, Dr. Beverly Shaklee at We look forward to sharing out the Fall 2016 InterEd when you are back ready to start the 2016-17 school year!

Finally, there are still spaces available for the AAIE Summer Child Protection Leadership Team Training! This institute is designed specifically to provide the expertise, plan templates, resources and practical work time to allow your team to walk out with a comprehensive child protection plan that is ready to implement for the 2016-17 school year! Ensure your school is poised to start the 2016-17 school year with a plan that not only meets new accreditation standards, but more importantly helps protect your students and school community from child predators. CLICK HERE for more information and to register today!

All the best for a smooth finalle to the 2015-16 school year!

Kind regards,


Yolanda Murphy-Barrena

Executive Director - AAIE



50 Years of Progress

By: Dr. Gil Brown

Dr. Brown is the retired head of the American School of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Lincoln School, San Jose, Costa Rica.  He was AAIE President from 1981 to 1983.  He edited the AAIE journal, InterED, from 2003 to 2010. And is also the author of The Extended History Publications of AAIE. He may be reached at

I arrived at my first international school job in June 1963.  Yes, the world was different then.  My first contact with a professional colleague from another international school was in April 1964.  No email, no Headnet, no formal international school organization for school heads nearby, unreliable and challenging telephone communications, our most used and equally unreliable means of sharing information was the local mail system.

Yes, we have come a long way in this half-century.  The theme of the 50th Annual Conference of our Association was ‘interconnected & inclusive.’  Indeed, my single, strongest ‘take away’ from the 50 years I have been an AAIE member (yes, I was there at the founding) it is just that, I became ‘included’ in a world-wide kinship of professional educators and leaders.  Although I may see these friends but that one time each year, that one experience is invigorating, uplifting, and emotionally and professionally inspiring.

After attending only one Annual Conference, one may ask oneself, “What benefit did I get from that program?”  It is beyond my failing memory to recall the many programs I have attended over all these years.  What is unforgettable, what remains with me among all these many conferences, is the experience of meeting the many dedicated, professional educational leaders with whom I shared those few days each year.

It wasn’t always thus.  In our earlier days, many of the programs dealt with providing for our retirement and finding positions when we returned to the US.  An overseas appointment was an interesting break in one’s career. Today we see something entirely different, a class of highly-skilled and educated leaders who have dedicated their entire careers to international education.  

One of my colleagues described our international school administrators of these five decades before as ‘cowboys.’  I think he meant people, almost all men, just passing through some foreign city on their way to their next ‘herd.’  Those ‘cowboys’ are gone, replaced by new, world-class school heads whose performance has been elevated by professional association – and by their self comparison to the ever more efficient and effective achievements of their class of colleagues.

The association I have had with AAIE over all these years has given me, and I hope, all of us, the ability to become a better school head, to come to appreciate the innovative leadership of the leaders from whom I have had the great pleasure and the enlightenment of knowing.  In our new world of expanding international associations and active, supporting US Government agencies, AAIE alone, to me, stands out as that one place, that one environment, that one fantastic opportunity each year, to come together with those people who helped me at least try to be a better leader, and, above all, a better ‘internationalist!’

To view AAIE 50th: A Historical Look Back;

 click on the video below 

Thanks to all the AAIE Conference Attendees who helped record and share out the 50th on social media via Twitter! To view the daily threads and see what the key take-aways were, click on the buttons below for a glimpse of each day. 



Institutional Member Spotlight:

American School of Bombay 

click on the video below 

              The American School of Bombay is AAIE's Member School of the Month and was featured on CNBC News channel 18. In an interview, the superintendent, Craig Johnson discusses the AAIE Innovative Leadership Award, and how he supports an innovative culture in his own school. 


ASB Director Dr. Craig Johnson was the recipient of the 1st annual AAIE Keith Miller International Innovative Leadership Award. Here he poses with his award, Dr. Linda Duevel, Presdent of AAIE; Dr. Keith Miller, Director of the Office of Overseas Schools for the US State Department, and Yolanda Murphy - Barrena, Executive Director of AAIE. Johnson was also honored for his many innovative accomplishments in an article published by The Economic Times of India. 

To Read The Article Click Here

Affiliate Member Spotlight


click on the video below 

          David Epstein, AIA LEED AP, Managing Principal is an Award-winning architect. In this video he discusses the importance of designing great schools. Epstein is co-leader of the Education Studio specializing in K-12 and International Architecture and also, the co-leader of the Workplace Studio at TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design. TruexCullins is a long-time Affiliate Member and supporter of AAIE.

Meet Our New AAIE Team Members

Please join us in welcoming our new NSU Interns!

Roddia Paul: Communications and Media Outreach Associate Intern                                  

Hello AAIE Members! My name is Roddia and I am an outgoing, sarcastically funny, Nova Southeastern University Sophomore. I am currently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Forensic Studies and English. After graduating NSU with one degree and two certifications, I will attend grads school at the University of Maryland for a master’s degree in Criminology; I hope to join the Behavioral Analysis Division of the FBI. Outside of my main career goals I love writing fiction, poetry, and all things journalism. I am currently the Opinions Editor of The Current, our newspaper here at NSU and as a new student here on campus I avidly promote social interaction, community unification, and helping not only myself but also others obtain opportunities for career experience. My creativity and dedication mixed with my love for writing and social interaction can help build AAIE’s social presence all across the world. I look forward to enhancing the content and layout of our website as well as conducting interviews that help preserve the important history of AAIE's contributors and show the often hidden sides of our AAIE School Members and Affiliate Members. Look out world here I come. 

Roger Atangana: Graphic Design and Web Creative Lead Intern                                  

My name is Roger and I was born and raised in Cameroon, a place where my dream of pursuing a career in graphic design/visual communication is not really encouraged. Knowing what I wanted from a very young age, I was lucky to pursue my studies in the USA where my field of studies proved to be more promising. In a year span, I finished my associate’s degree in Visual communication in Washington at Highline Community College and then moved to Florida to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Arts with a concentration in graphic design at Nova Southeastern University. I would like to believe that visual communication plays an important role in today’s society and coupled with my hunger for creative design, there was no uncertainty that graphic design was what I should do. Working with AAIE will not allow me to do what I love but I am hoping that it will provide me with the opportunity to learn other aspects of visual communication that I might not be familiar with. Moreover, an organization such as AAIE will allow me to better myself in my field of studies and conversely contribute my creative skills to an international organization.

Natalie Payan: Operations Management and Marketing Intern:

My name is Natalie Payan, and I am a MBA student working on a degree in Business Intelligence and Analytics at Nova Southeastern University. My current focus is on implementing and growing my business and leadership skills in order to effectively transfer into a full-time professional environment. My objective is to obtain an excellent GPA while also practicing and expanding my set skills through internships and work experience. My ultimate goal would be to eventually move to California and work for Sony Pictures Entertainment. During this internship with AAIE, I plan to contribute my organizational, communication, and marketing expertise while learning and expanding my understanding of organization management. I’m looking forward to taking on a leadership role in AAIE to support our important Affiliate Members and Exhibitors, and of course, being able to use those developed skills in the future.

Global Connections 

Curate Your Personal Learning Network with AAIEGlobal

By: Silvia Tolisano  - AAIE Social Media Director

"We live in an age, where information is readily available, abundant and free. Information literacy: the ability to find information, analyze and evaluate information, organize information, tag, categorize, archive, curate, distribute, remix and create new information are valuable skills as the information continues to grow at an exponential rate. We are learning that, as individuals and learning organizations, it is not enough to purely have content knowledge which is easily google-able, but that we also need the disposition and skills to be able to “search people” as part of our quest of lifelong learning. We need to connect with individuals and organizations that value the new information ecosystem of contributing, curating and sharing quality information. Only like this will we be able to navigate the ever evolving information" Clay Shirky TED talk presenter said.                          

AAIE is your partner in creating filters to continue to connect and curate information about the advancement of International education. One way we are doing this is by curating a network of people through our lists on Twitter. AAIE maintains and is continuously growing several specific lists, containing users directly related to the field of International education, such as International Administrators, International Schools, Consultants and Coaches, etc. You can find and access these lists by visiting and continue to grow your own professional network. If you have a Twitter account and would like to be added to our list, please email us at If you have any suggestions of professional development consultants and coaches, you and your school have worked with in the past; please also forward their names to us to be added to the list, if they have a Twitter presence.

Let’s continue to network, share global resources and gather information beyond our physical networking opportunities to strengthen our connected online professional leadership-learning network!

 AAIE April/May Newsletter Sponsor Member

We would like to thank our Newsletter Sponsor of the month "TruexCullins" for their loyal support of AAIE!


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