I am currently Lower School Principal at the wonderful Canadian International School of Hong Kong. This is my third principalship, having previously led international primary schools in Bangkok and Berlin. Prior to this I was a primary school teacher in the UK, Cairo and Kuwait.
I came to teaching as a second career in 1999, having worked as a solicitor, specialising in personal injury work, for a major UK firm for ten years. My first degree was in Political Science and I remain engaged in progressive politics and the need for social justice A true optimist, I believe that with the right education, we can make the world a fairer and better place but more about that later.
I studied for my Masters in Education between 2005 and 2010 (yes 5 long years!), specialising in language and literacy acquisition, but managed to complete my part-time doctorate in educational leadership in much less time. I successfully defended my thesis, entitled International Schools as Emotional Arenas: Facing the Leadership Challenges in a German Context, in February 2017.
My passions in life frequently spill over to my work. These include leading a healthy, balanced life and supporting others to do the same. I see myself as a role model for the school community in this regard and try hard to stand by my principles. I teach free yoga classes to my staff after school and I am always looking for ways to foster improved well being. Yoga has taught me the importance of striving to be my best self and helping others to do the same.
My other passions include motorcycling and camping in the great outdoors. My husband Dave and I have completed three long, adventure motorcycling trips over the last 20 years. Last year we rode our bike from Boston to Panama and back-over 28,000 miles. I am a great believer in the power of nature to improve our well being. In Hong Kong, I live in Sai Kung, a mountainous, seaside town, quite different from the skyscraper city. I am interested to explore ways we can ensure children don’t lose touch with nature.
I am huge fan of technology and an avid blogger in my personal life. I have been leading technology teams in schools for 17 years now, supported at home by Dave who is a head of ICT and computer science in other Hong Kong school.
I am currently leading the most exciting initiative of my career. CDNIS Project Innovate is pushing learning forward to ensure our students are future-ready. This K-12 project brings together exceptional core skills with 21st century competencies and character building to create students who are able, not only to cope with the fast changing world of robots and nanotechnology, but are able to use these and other resources to create a better future. I cannot think of anything more exhilarating than that.
Life in school is a rollercoaster ride but I truly believe that if we build trusting relationships, encourage everyone to find and follow their passions, set high expectations and support each others’ well being then we will flourish as individuals and as a community.