It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to SNA Marianapolis International School. We are a blending of international Schools of North America and Marianapolis Preparatory School bringing a nearly 100-year tradition of American education at its finest to Bien Hoa, Vietnam. It is an honor to lead our highly qualified faculty from around the world ensuring that your children learn to become global citizens of the 21st century as well as gain strong academic skills, knowledge, and understanding that goes hand in hand with 21st-century skills.
I believe that school leadership is responsible for living and breathing its mission and values. Our mission is one that emphasizes academic excellence and a commitment to faith in humanity by building character, compassion, and integrity. As an educational leader and professional, I work diligently to be fair, open, and honest and lead as an example to the school community and stakeholders. I am transparent with faculty and staff that my educational philosophy is one in which I believe students can take ownership of their education. This student-centered approach to teaching and learning has served me well in the past three decades as an educator and leader. Out of this comes one of my strengths in continuous school improvement. As a lifelong learner, I attempt to constantly improve my knowledge and be relevant to the current practices and standards. I possess two master’s degrees (MEd and MSW) and have obtained an International Leadership certificate.
When I began my teaching experience in the last century, the emphasis from leadership, experienced teachers and professors alike was to keep the class quiet, studious, and in control. As a school leader, I now find that good teachers have students who are engaged, are positive in interactions and communication and there is a palpable “buzz” going on in the room. Good teachers vary the learning environment, have clear and concise expectations (academic and behavioral), and allow students to have some input in their learning journey. I think that striking the right tone is something that good teachers strive for throughout their careers. However, in today’s education world, it is important to give students some choices in their learning. Good teachers give choices. As a school leader, I can see that students are gravitating towards those classrooms where the teacher makes a connection with the students, that are warm and inviting where the teacher is perceived as fair to all, and those classrooms that vary the teaching methods.
You will find that our teaching methods are progressive, modern, and student-centered at SNA Marianapolis International School. The days of rote memorization and repeating back have changed to days where students have voice, choice, and ownership of their learning. I look forward to meeting parents to explain my educational philosophy and how SNA Marianapolis International School strives to be a center of learning and growth academically and personally with each student. This can be seen as our students show great character whether playing football against rival schools, cheering on peers at assemblies, or simply collaborating with classmates during lessons.
Again, welcome to SNA Marianapolis International School. We would be delighted to show you all that it offers from our spacious classrooms and labs to our 680-seat auditorium, our sporting and arts facilities, or our happy students and talented faculty.
What an honor to be joining the school as the new Elementary School Principal and to be joining this great community. Although I have only recently joined, I have had the pleasure of meeting some of our students and I can see we have a young, inquisitive, and enthusiastic generation of students eager to take on any challenges.
I am a passionate educator. After completing my undergraduate at the University of London and doing a year abroad in Japan, I fell in love with teaching and education and remained in this field ever since. My teaching career began with English language teaching in Japan over 20 years ago. Over the years I have taken various roles including teaching, curriculum development, teacher training, administrator, and general management. I have spent most of my professional life in Asia.
In South Korea, I worked as an academic manager in a private language school. In China, I designed the English curriculum for English Language majors. In Vietnam, I worked for over 10 years with ILA Vietnam, re-designing their English language program to ensure 21st Century learning skills were incorporated into the curriculum, but also bringing an element of project-based learning to the schools. More recently, I worked at a group of bilingual schools as the International Program Director where I developed an integrated project-based learning curriculum and oversaw the delivery of the curriculum in the first years of operation.
I have now been in Vietnam with my family for just under 15 years. I am deeply committed to learning and understand the importance of a solid English language foundation in international education. I am a firm believer of integrating learning skills, digital literacy and empowering children to take ownership of their own learning. My aim is to ensure our students develop a strong set of knowledge and skills in Elementary years, through plenty of learning opportunities in all developmental areas, setting a strong foundation for academic success in later years.
I am excited to meet all our students and families. Once again, I am honored to have the opportunity to bring my professional experience to the SNA Marianapolis community.
There is great excitement for the start of this new school year.
As this year begins, many dreams, desires, expectations, and lives suddenly come together as one-on-one path. Being a parent, being a student, being a teacher or being an administrator is always a great challenge. The way each of us understands it will guide the outcome of the entire SNA Marianapolis International School community.
We are very happy to start this new path together. In middle and high school, we are focusing not only on academics, but also on raising brave students who will truly stand out within their society. Knights who have the courage and drive to become leaders, not just of Vietnam, but of the entire world.
Many of our students will live their lives outside of this country, and we are guiding them to become true citizens of the world. I feel blessed by the beautiful opportunity to serve as Secondary Principal, position from which I will contribute to this noble purpose.
Parents, teachers, and students can count on all my dedication, knowledge, and experience to continue increasing the academic success achieved so far.
I must confess that I am very impressed by Vietnam with its prospects for development and quality of its people. I openly share that despite my experience in America, Europe, and other Asian countries, it is in Vietnam where culturally I have felt at home. The respect for traditions, the family and for the elderly, the warmth to receive and welcome the foreigner, and their enormous desire to get ahead as a country, is very similar to the image I have of a high-value society. A powerful mix of tradition and evolution.
I am confident that with the leadership of Mr. Joseph Cloutier, our team of high-level teachers, and the strong and determined support of our parents, we will continue to strive for excellence.