AAIE History


Ernest Mannino


Ernest Mannino, Founder of AAIE

Dr. Ernest Mannino was truly a giant in the world of international education, and lived an exceptionally accomplished and long life of service as an educator and leader. He was a true visionary and a fearless crusader in ensuring a high quality international education was available around the world.  He leaves an historic legacy that lives on in the many organizations he helped found. His efforts to ensure a great school for every foreign service officer's child, proliferation of excellence and sharing between American and International educational leaders and a place to call home for the many overseas leaders, who after more than 50 years, continue to gather annually at AAIE, are testaments to his exceptional drive and leadership.

There are many opportunities to recognize and celebrate Dr. Mannino's lifelong impact on international education and the impact he had on his colleagues and friends at AAIE, the Office of Overseas Schools and International Schools Services.

AAIE is proud to award the Dr. Ernest Mannino Superintendent of the Year Award and the Dr. Ernest Mannino Graduate Student Scholarship in memory and tribute to the founder of AAIE. Both of these awards highlight outstanding leadership, the pursuit of growth and excellence and the evidence of achieving notable positive impact within our international educational community.

In the Beginning ...

The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) sprung from the Agency for International Development (AID) more than 50 years ago. Soon enough, AAIE grew into the innovative and international organization enjoyed today around the world by the hundreds of member schools, educational organizations, resource providers, and the thousands of individuals within these organizations who actively participate within our global leadership community.

The conclusion of World War II brought many things: peace, technology, and increased desire for intercultural comprehension. As a result, an initiative was put into place by AID, in which they would conduct research to uncover the condition of overseas schools operated by Americans. The survey team that conducted the qualitative study consisted of Ernest Mannino, Finis E. Engleman, B. Melvin Cole, and Eugene Youngert. The study resulted in evidence supporting the claim that American dependent education overseas needed to be improved. In an effort to do so, the Department of State and AID created the Overseas School Staff (A/OS).

The first initiative taken by A/OS was the implementation of a school-to-school project that would ultimately pair stateside schools with American-sponsored overseas schools to improve these schools and further cultural understanding. A program so large required that administrators from all over the world would need to come together, and in doing so, AAIE was created. The members of AAIE used the program to partner in exchanging students and curriculum. AAIE paired with schools in Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, India, Singapore and more. What started out as a small program resulted in the formation of an organization that would eventually grow to have over 300 school memberships.

With the support of A/OS, the first AAIE meeting took place on February 10-11th, 1967 in Atlantic City with a little over 100 people in attendance. Shortly after the first conference, AAIE and A/OS partnered with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to strengthen the school-to-school program. The new mission of the program was not only empowering American education but to bring foreign education to the forefront and learn to embrace what its differences have to offer fellow educators. With the creation of a new and improved school-to-school system, the fourth conference held in 1970 totaled 236 people.

The constant increase of both membership and conference attendance is just one example of AAIE’s growth over the years. AAIE is constantly evolving to better support international school leaders around the globe. As the world changes, so does AAIE accordingly, to ensure that its mission is always international education and leadership. Since 1966 its conferences and memberships continue to grow. AAIE has the longest-serving secure online listserv for leaders to connect and privately discuss role-specific challenges with HeadNET, PrincipalNET, and CounselorNET.  AAIE has also historically provided training and ways to connect around programs for special needs teachers and counselors. The Association is proud of its flagship international research journal called InterED, which is published annually and the annual International Leadership Awards of recognition for those dedicated to promoting the importance of international education and innovation. AAIE also supports and provides various scholarships for international high school and university students in the areas of international citizenship and leadership development. AAIE continues its commitment to meeting the needs of members and improving the quality and success of those leading international schools everywhere and is constantly working to encourage and support the development of international education and excellence in leadership.

Written by Roddia Paul, Information courtesy of "The History of AAIE in Two Parts"by Dr. Gil Brown.

Buy a copy of the book: The History of AAIE in Two Parts Hardcover – January 1, 1990
by Finis Ewing Engleman (Author), Edward W. Rushton (Author), Leonard H. Brody (Author)

Past Presidents

Jeff Paulson
2019 - 2021

Kevin Glass

Linda Duevel

Jack Delman

Beth Pfannl

Ed Greene

Mark E. Ulfers

Elsa Lamb

Vincent Ferrandino

Daryle Russell

Clark Kirkpatrick

Clifford Strommen

Edward Bud Bowes

Floyd Travis

Lewis Grell

Max Tudor

Frederick Vescolani

Gilbert Brown

Frank Cockrell

Shelby Counce

Hal Holmdohl

Rudolph Fobert

William Bitner

Edward Rushton

Past Executive Directors

Mark E. Ulfers

Yolanda Murphy-Barrena

Elsa Lamb

Richard Krajczar

Everett McGlothlin

Herbert Berg

Lewis Grell

Gordon Parsons

Floyd Parsons

John Wilcox

Finis Engleman
1965-1967 and 1972-1973