This past weekend the AISA Board met in Nairobi for our annual retreat. It was highly generative time together where, with the help of our friends from NoTosh, the Board entered into a Design Thinking approach to explore some new strategic initiatives around AISA’s Governance & Leadership Programmes – the outcome being to redefine these to better meet the needs of our diverse membership. The Board also endorsed AISA’s expanded Child Protection and Well-being programme that will once again see AISA take the lead in supporting the well-being needs of our member communities using a whole-school, holistic approach. We were honored to have Tom Shearer from the US State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools join us. Tom has been visiting the A/OS school In the AISA region for several weeks and we thank him for his tremendous support of AISA and our member schools over many years.
It was also the first meeting with newly elected Board members Dr Mary Ashun and Dr Fatma Odaymat. Their well-considered and thoughtful contributions are already assisting existing board members to focus on our context as an organization that is ‘of Africa’. Their vast experience in school leadership, their passion for international education and their generosity of spirit have added immensely to the AISA Board. I wanted to take this chance to be sure you know who they are.
Dr Mary Ashun is in her 5th Year of Service at Ghana International School after heading a private school in Canada. Prior to that, she was a member of Faculty at Redeemer University after teaching Primary and Secondary Science for 22 years. Since coming to G.I.S, she has led a fantastic team of educators to initiate an Action Research Program, grown that into a Practitioner-led conference, partnered with local Teacher Training Institutes for practice teaching, and have set up a Junior Teacher program targeted at local qualified teachers to re-train as ‘international’ teachers in our School. With a majority of host country teachers, the challenge of sometimes inadequate pre-service teacher training is a real one. Mary sits on the AISA Board Membership Committee.
Dr Fatma Odaymat was born in Ghana and completed her primary education in West Africa. Before joining the world of International Education, she was involved in developing and managing education and protection programmes for children of all ages in Africa and the Middle East. As a United Nations Officer and a consultant, she designed and managed programmes for Early Childhood Development, building and rehabilitating schools, working on mental health, and peer to peer youth projects, in addition to providing learning opportunities for teachers, and working with governments on the ratification of education and protection policies. Dr Odaymat brings that global experience to Al-Rayan International School where she works with 150 staff to ensure that the students enjoy the highest standards in international education, with a focus on international-mindedness and service learning. Fatma sits on the AISA Board Governance Committee
The Board also finalized the selection of its Appointed Member for 2019/20:
Brad Waugh is a native of Vancouver, Canada and came to Mali as the Director of AISB in July 2015. His work as an educator began in Canada and, since 2001, has taken him to Bolivia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal. He is a passionate teacher of mathematics, physical sciences and Theory of Knowledge, and has taught students from grade 8 through post-secondary. His previous work in school administration has included posts as a secondary school principal, whole school principal and deputy director. Brad enjoys bringing students, teachers and parents together to develop dynamic, student-centered learning communities. He and Renée Comesotti have two daughters, Ceilidhe and Kieran, both graduates of international schools and confirmed third-culture (adult) kids. Brad sits on the AISA Board Membership Committee.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Caroline Jacoby, Motunrayo Ige and Irene Epp who all completed their terms with the AISA Board this year. Each of these women leaders contributed in such unique and valuable ways, generously allowing us to access their experience and insights in order to move our organization forward. On behalf of the current AISA Board and the entire AISA Community we thank you.
Finally, its that time of year where we say farewell to some of our departing Heads of School and an initial hello and welcome to the incoming heads of AISA schools. For those departing thank you for your contributions to international education on the continent and for your support of AISA. We wish you all well.
|Name of the School||Incoming School Head||Outgoing School Head|
|Ambatovy International School||Alba Carollo||Brad McClain|
|The American School of Kinshasa||Daniel Mullen||Simon Gillespie|
|American International School of Conakry||TBA||Sarah Chevaillier|
|American International School of Freetown||Brian Roach||Irene Epp|
|Banjul American International School||Myna Anderson||Caleb Steindam|
|Haven of Peace Academy||TBA||Ben Snyder|
|International Community School of Abidjan||Seamus Hennessy||Peter Zeitoun|
|International School of Kigali-Rwanda||Rhonda Isley||Seamus Hennessy|
|International School of Uganda||Simon Gillespie||Caroline Jacoby|
|Khartoum American School||Bridget Davies||Steve Alexander|
|Lusaka International Community School||Gareth Allman||Martin van der Linde|
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