My former boss, Brett Jacobsen always said that we don’t connect the dots until afterwards. When we are planning for the future we can’t know exactly what the final product will look like. We can’t predict the future. It is hard to believe that just over two years ago I stepped into the role of the Head of Upper School at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. As a school of “inquiry, innovation and impact” it was a match made in heaven. For years I had been chasing the dream of transforming education for our students and Mount Vernon was just what I was searching for. Each and every day I had the opportunity to work with a talented team of educators to push boundaries to constructively answer these three questions. How might we …
- make school more reflective of real life.
- empower all learners to be seekers and explorers.
- inspire one another — and the larger world — through the work we undertake.
I had the pleasure of continuing work where students could explore their passions with iProjects, developing interdisciplinary courses, watching students partner with outside organizations to develop ideas and create was inspiring, creating meaningful project based learning was fun, using design thinking to develop creative solutions made sense, and where studying assessment for the future was beyond the trees.
The work was challenging and rewarding.
So, no one would have predicted that by July 2017 I would be on safari for new teacher orientation in Mikumi National Park. I never would have predicted that path back in 2015.
I never would have guessed that my family and I would move to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where I would be the Secondary Principal at the International School of Tanganyika. IST is another amazing school but very different than MVPS. We strive to “challenge, inspire and support all students to fulfill their potential and improve the world.” At IST our curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate Primary, Middle Years and Diploma Programs. There are 60 different nationalities represented in the student body and the faculty hails from 20 different countries. Like MVPS, I anticipate that the work will be challenging and rewarding.
After spending 14 years working at three different international schools outside the United States it feels like we’ve found our niche. While our time in Atlanta was an adventure, our life here in Dar will be an uber-adventure. Now that the transition is over I’m ready to share my learning again.