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Head of School Appointment at American English Academy

dv001.jpgThe American English Academy (AEA) Board of Trustees and International Schools Services (ISS) are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Head of School/International Program Principal. Dominique Velociter, a well-qualified and experienced school leader, will join AEA for the upcoming school year. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree and teacher certification in France, received her Certificate in Leadership from Cornell University in the USA, and is completing a Master’s in Teaching and Learning at Paris Est Creteil. To get to know Dominique better, we asked her a few questions about herself.

ISS: What are you most excited about in your new role at AEA Bulgaria?

Dominique: What I am most interested in in my new role at AEA is altogether the similarities and differences with my previous experience. I will continue to work in an international independent school with a dual language approach, combining two curricula with two accreditation systems, including a national education program, and will explore other connections with the Bulgarian national education system and other accreditation agencies: Accreditation International, the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) and the Middle States Association – Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).

dv01.jpg I am looking forward to work with a school offering a full nursery-12 experience; this provides great opportunities for sharing, mentorship and reinforces the community spirit. I am also very excited to work with a new reputable group, ISS, and feel very appealed by the invaluable support this will provide to my headship. I find the school community very welcoming and the geographic location attractive. Finally, the school is experiencing a new phase in its development with a new engaged and motivated ownership and a beautiful new building, and it is great to be part of the renaissance.


ISS: What are some of the trends/opportunities you see in international education?

Dominique: International education built communities and community spirit. They are rich and attractive because they stand for and represent today’s world: empathetic, dynamic, diverse, inclusive and adaptable. Their members bring innovation, openness, challenge and open minds and hearts with individual culture and practices. They call for flexibility and inclusion therefore influencing positive thinking and creativity. International education leads to international living. Alumni from international schools are all in either multicultural partnerships, living abroad somewhere, or in a globally connected profession. That is not only progressive, it is also a testimony of what international education creates long term.


ISS: What are some of your proudest accomplishments or evidence of impact on students at your schools?

Dominique: My biggest accomplishment is the international school I founded and developed for twenty years in Providence, Rhode Island. Little Rhody is the smallest of the 50 states. It is not an international destination, and therefore building a successful international School there, accredited by the RI Department of Education, NEASC and France, a foreign country, was an ambitious goal. I only realized this afterwards. Yet, this school opens up all the international growth mindset to the children who attend, and this is fantastic for Rhode Island.

ISS: Any closing thoughts?

Dominique: I do not know for sure how this effectively impact students, however I believe that happy teachers make happy students and I have been increasingly moving in that direction. Education is going thru huge external and internal changes. This is changing the work of teachers; this is changing also the traditional profile of a typical teacher. The demands on teachers are necessary, yet they have become somehow unrealistic if no accommodations are made in their schedule. Teachers are under a lot of stress to meet the needs of their profession. This is why I aim to listen to teachers and support them in order to meet the needs of the students.
Teachers today need teaching time, meeting and management time, former prep time, and reflecting time, alone and with peers. Successful schools structure themselves to best serve a balanced education model encouraging a balanced life style. As educators, we have a role model to play. Our well-being will influence the well-being of students. In the end, the child is my ultimate goal. This is our mission, our focus, and everything we do should aim to this direction, no matter the type of school or the personality of teachers and staff. My two former missions were in healing and culture restoration and brought great exchanges and relationships with the faculty.

This is my favorite quote, from Le Petit Prince, a book full of wisdom and genuine depth:
“Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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