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Quality Oversight from the World Leader in International School Management

For more than 60 years, companies, organizations and individuals around the world have trusted ISS to manage their schools and maintain an international standard of excellence. The ISS approach assigns an experienced, senior international educator to support each ISS school. They provide ongoing guidance and mentorship to the administration, quality assurance to the board and a sense of continuity when any change in school administration occurs. ISS management gives boards and parents the comfort of knowing that world-class professional educators are partnering with them to provide the best possible future for their school.

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Experienced Stewardship

ISS managed schools are overseen by a group of distinguished educators, each with decades of experience in international education. Whether the topic is how to secure accreditation, dealing with a difficult Ministry issue, adjusting salaries or crafting a new Science curriculum, our management team has done it all.

One Partner, Many Departments

Our school management team is supported by our entire organization. An ISS management contract also provides access to our specialized departments including executive search, faculty recruitment, educational supply procurement, risk assessment, human resources, accounting, curriculum and professional development.

Driven to Guarantee Quality

The ISS school management model focuses on quality assurance and continuous school improvement. Our school managers work closely with the school administration through teleconference and bi-annual site visits. Monthly progress on school goals are captured on a data dashboard reviewed by ISS senior management addressing the ten most important aspects of school operation and visitation reports are generated after each site visit. An association with ISS is your guarantee of quality.

Benefits of Working With ISS to Manage Your School

ISS has an outstanding reputation and our managed schools immediately gain credibility through their partnership with us. Becoming an ISS managed school tells prospective parents and teachers that you are a school committed to professional practice and high-quality learning. An association with ISS often makes the difference for parents and teachers in choosing their next school. Stakeholders know ISS is synonymous with ethical practice, quality teachers and most importantly, a learning-first approach that guarantees an outstanding education for every student.

ISS Management Advantage

Executive Search: We have access to hundreds of experienced international administrators from our leadership candidate pool.

Faculty Recruitment: We recruit the best teachers from our pool of over 3,000 registered candidates.

Custom Tailored Curriculum: We are experienced in developing and implementing International, American, blended and IB curriculums as well as specialized courses based on client need.

Robust Professional Development: We provide professional development through attendance at regional conferences, on-site consultants, summer workshops, teleconferencing and digital resources.

School Supply: Our school supply department consolidates and ships supplies from over 1,000 vendors around the world.

Campus Planning: ISS has working relationships with experienced international school planners and architects.

Quality Control Procedures: We use external evaluations, student achievement records, data dashboards and on-site visits to ensure educational quality. On-site administrators have ongoing access to senior staff from our home and regional offices.

Risk Assessment/Child Safety: ISS is a founding member of the International Task Force on Child Protection, and we weave child safety and risk assessment considerations into all our school policies and procedures.

As the founding Director of the International School of Dongguan, the direct support and guidance of ISS, coupled with their incredible network of experts, I can think of few other organizations that would have allowed me to lead to such unprecedented success in such a short time. We opened our doors in August 2012 with 58 students and in three short years, our enrollment had grown by over 400%. We opened a full-service educational program in record time, became accredited with WASC in less than two years, received authorization to deliver the IB Diploma Programme, implemented a standards-based curriculum with accompanying SB reporting, had world-renowned consultants and presenters educate our staff and community, set the bar as a catalyst school on English language instruction, won the Pearl River Delta basketball tournament in our first year of participation and so much more. It is because of the culture of professional learning and leadership mentoring that ISD was able to achieve such early and great successes. For those considering starting an outstanding school, or indeed transforming an existing school, I honestly cannot think of a more well-resourced, supportive and customer service oriented organization than ISS to make your vision come true.

– Michael Lees

When I was looking to find a partner to assist me as I set out to develop an International school here in Yangon 13 years ago, I found ISS to be just what I was looking for. My dream was to establish an international school taught in English with modern international pedagogy and expat teachers that at the same time had a rich grounding in local culture and values. I needed an organization that listened to my ideas and provided a customized solution. ISS have guided the development of the school from start-up through two full cycles of WASC Accreditation and continue to serve us exceptionally well as a provider of highest quality educational services as we continue our very unique and important journey. All along the way from my original dream to the present 580-student, PreK-grade 12 first class International School ISS has provided access to its years of experience, guidance, quality assurance and support. They provide us with excellent teachers, cutting edge Professional Development, and assistance sourcing school supplies and materials. They are a one-stop shop in many ways and their responsiveness is always prompt and on target.

My colleagues and I are very comfortable working with ISS not only because of their professional services provided but also the family atmosphere that ISS creates. I never feel that ISS is a third-party service provider. In my mind & heart, ISS is part of own family of YIS. This is simply what ISS is in my mind.

– U Tin Mauang Win, Owner/Sponsor, Yangon International School


ISS managed school service provides comprehensive operational management and quality assurance so that our clients can be assured that the school will serve its students well. All aspects of operation will be well organized, executed, supervised and supported by our team of experienced international educators and support staff. With an ISS managed school clients can confidently pursue their core business knowing that the school project is in good hands.

The team at ISS is there to work with site administrators to handle recruiting, school supply purchasing, consolidation and shipping, as well as risk management, curriculum development, and pursuit/maintenance of accreditation status. As and when heads of school transition out and in the ISS team provides a continuity resource that minimizes transitional bumps in the development of the school.

The ISS Senior Leadership Executive (SLE) is there 24/7 as needed to support the head of school navigate the many issues that arise in the ongoing life of a school. Having an experienced supervisor/coach with which to consult and discuss issues is a key asset often unavailable in schools that do not have access to ISS management services. Daily email, weekly skype connections, monthly quality dashboard reviews, bi-annual site visits are all key resources that heads of school can depend on as support from the ISS headquarters. The SLEalso serves as an informed contact between the school and the many other ISS service lines (recruiting, school supply, accounting, etc.).

ISS managed schools exist around the world and we have deep understanding and longstanding, close relations with the US and Intl accrediting organizations. When we start up a school we have our sights on the standards and protocols imbedded in the various accrediting bodies. And as we manage the ongoing development of each school we understand the data points, processes and paths that each accrediting organization expects and requires. We know what it takes to achieve accreditation efficiently and we facilitate the schools activity as it pursues it.

In the globally connected world of skype, video conference calls and site visits, contact with schools is much more direct, intimate and textured. In some situations we have used telepresence robots to bring a more life-like dimensional presence to meetings. Email and collaborative digital workspaces also play important asynchronous roles in the back and forth communication that is so important to this headquarter/regional office support.

Getting Started

Looking for help? Send us an email.

We’d love to discuss how we can assist you in managing your school. We can deliver on a full management contract or we can provide consultative services on any aspect of school operation.

Fill out the contact form and you will be contacted within 1-2 business days by an ISS representative.








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Meet the School Management Team

Keith Cincotta

Director of School Services/Senior Leadership Executive, Managed Schools

Keith serves the purchasing, consolidation and shipping needs of over 100 international schools. Keith is the Senior Leadership Executive for two ISS-managed schools in Africa, serves as an ISS student services and school counseling consultant and has also authored feasibility studies for school start-up projects in Cape Verde and Ghana. Before working with ISS, Keith was a High School Principal and Secondary School Counselor/College Advisor for 15 years in Pennsylvania, Pakistan and Dubai. Keith graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and has advanced degrees in Counseling and Educational Leadership from Lehigh University.

Paul Johnson

Senior Leadership Executive

Paul Johnson has served as Senior Leadership Executive overseeing ISS school start-up or re-opening in four different countries. His extensive experience includes 42 years in education – 37 of those working internationally. Paul has taught in three countries, and served in school leadership/administrative positions in eight countries. He has his Doctorate in Educational Administration and a Head of School Certification, his Masters in International Human Services Administration and Principal Certification, and a Bachelors in Education and Teaching Certification. Paul also brings significant accreditation experience to ISS, having conducted accreditation visits for MSA and CIS at seven schools, and accreditation self-study for WASC and MSA for four schools. He has also conducted board training for ISS in several countries, helping boards and their school administrators improve their relationship and overall effectiveness.

Bruce McWilliams

Senior Leadership Executive

Bruce has a proven track record developing and opening new schools and has been an overseas teacher, principal and school head for 31 years. He has 22 years of experience in the Middle East, having founded Riffa Views International School in Bahrain, overseen the development The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and the Vision International School in Qatar. He is the co-author of the ISS Handbook for Establishing New Overseas Schools and recipient of the European Council of International Schools’ Promotion of International Education award. Bruce has a master’s degree from The College of New Jersey.

Dick Moore

Vice President, School Start-Up and Management

Dick worked for seventeen years in overseas school administration before coming to ISS. His career took him to Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa, India, and most recently, Southern China as Director of Nansha College Preparatory Academy, a joint venture school of ISS and ULink College. Dick joined ISS in August 2016 and now builds sustainable schools from the ground up, working from conception to opening day. Dick received his Bachelors from Washington State University and his doctorate from Seattle Pacific University.

Kurt Nordness

Senior Leadership Executive

Kurt received his doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota, his M.Ed. in educational psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and his B.S. in teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He has worked at both U.S. and international schools and most recently has served as the head of school at two international schools in China and Bahrain. He has taught graduate courses in teaching and learning. As the co-director of a U.S. Department of Education research study, he examined inclusive educational practices in schools. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools. Kurt currently lives in Minnesota and enjoys time with family including travel with his wife Ann.

Beth Pfannl

Vice President, Administrative Searches

Beth joins ISS with 30 years of experience in international education. Based in Rome, she was most recently head of the American Overseas School of Rome for the past ten years, and has also been president of AAIE and the Rome International Schools Association (RISA). Beth currently serves as a trustee of The American University of Rome. She earned her doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris, her BA from McGill University and holds a CAGS in School Administration from Rhode Island College. Fluent in Spanish, Italian and French, Beth brings a very strong international perspective to ISS. In addition to leading administrative searches, Beth runs the annual Mary Anne Haas Women’s Leadership Symposium.

Stephen Plisinski

Senior Leadership Executive

Stephen Plisinski is a seasoned international professional with over 40 years of experience as a teacher, principal and head of school in nine countries on four continents. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Business Administration Degree. Steve was recognized as Coach of the Year by the Grand Bahama Amateur Basketball Association, received Recognition for Service to the Community by the Addis Ababa City Administration, and was cited by the Bahamian Ministry of Education for Outstanding Teaching.  Steve’s wife, Susan, also an international educator, taught at every grade level from PK through 12th.

David Randall

Senior Leadership Executive, Governed Schools/Administrative Searches

David has served in overseas schools as a teacher, principal, finance director and head of school. He has worked across 11 schools in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East, serving the last three of these as interim head of school. David earned his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M. Ed. and M.P.A. from the University of North Carolina.

Robert Stearns

Senior Leadership Executive

Graduating with an Honours B.Sc. in Biology, Robert began his career as an agricultural researcher studying animal diseases. His drive to share his passion for science and discovery ultimately led him from the laboratory to the classroom. After earning his B.Ed. at Queen’s University in Ontario, he taught high school biology and chemistry in that province for 25 years. Moving to international schools in 2000, Robert became involved with school administration, major school renovation, and construction projects. Now, with over 40 years teaching, leading and building schools in Ontario, Europe and Asia, Robert is thrilled to be able to offer his assistance as a Senior Leadership Executive with ISS schools in China. Robert shares his life with Yvonne, an impassioned, dedicated early childhood educator in Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. Both enjoy working on the eco-sustainable home they built for themselves in a small Ontario town and spending their free time biking and canoeing in the Canadian countryside.

Lory Thiessen

Senior Leadership Executive

Based in Thailand, Lory became Senior Leadership Executive, ISS Southeast Asia, in August 2017. Lory received her Master's degree in Education Administration from the University of Hawaii, and her B.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan. Lory taught in Canada for 10 years, with 5 of those year in administration. She has been an administrator for all of her 26 years in International Schools in seven different countries. Most recently, Lory served as Director of Schools in Sumatra, Indonesia and Atyrau, Kazakhstan.

News & Resources

Summer 2018 Lehigh University Graduate Certificates Webinar »

Lehigh University Graduate Certificate Overview Webinar w/ Q&A Now Available!

Exciting New Initiative with ISS and Lehigh University »

ISS and Lehigh University’s College of Education joint initiative will provide graduate courses to administrators, teachers, and counselors at ISS schools worldwide!


Connect with fellow educators and innovators on Twitter: @ISSCommunity

Or tag us on your posts:  #issedu


We'll also be posting details about upcoming twitter chats - hope to see there!

Best Practices for Safety

ISS Compliance Department's Child/Youth Protection Series: Safe Teachers, Safe Schools »

Starting a School: Key Questions to Ask »

By Dick Moore, ISS Vice President School Start-Up and Management

American Institutes for Research®

Quality School Leadership Report

Download PDF

Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards

From the Center for Public Education

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Whitepaper from Blackbaud

Maximizing Marketing to Advance Your School’s Mission

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The Benefits of Advanced Placement (AP) Classes

A great article from TeenLife Blog

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Need some inspiration?

Check out the Common Ground Collaborative

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Check out all of our events and conferences | 2018/19 conference dates: Atlanta, GA, USA (December 9-11, 2018)  •   Bangkok, Thailand (January 4-7, 2019)  •   San Francisco, CA, USA (February 7-10, 2019) |