ISS Professional Development Day

February 8, 2018  •  New York City


For the first time ever, we are bringing a Professional Development Day to an ISS recruiting conference! The sessions will explore everything from recruiting skills and the IB curriculum, to Third Culture Kids and innovation in schools. Come enrich your global teaching career with some of the most experienced leaders in international education -- to top it all off, everything is happening in the one and only NYC! Candidates and recruiters alike have the option to attend these fantastic workshops geared towards enhancing your recruitment experience.

Join us in New York to take your career to the next level!

Session Information

Candidate Session

Put your Best Foot Forward – Interviewing with International Schools

Presenters: Dr. Beth Pfannl and Dr. Jeremy Moore

Join these two experienced international school directors for a journey into the mind of an international recruiter. What are schools really looking for during an interview? What questions can you expect to be asked? What are the things that can make – or break – a successful interview? With 5 decades of combined educational experience, these two are just the right people to help you launch your successful job search.

Candidate Session

The Overseas Experience – Living Abroad and Thriving

Presenters: Bruce McWilliams, David Randall, Lila Leung

You’ve landed your dream job! Now what? Now…the real work begins! How do you successfully pick up your life and move overseas? What do you need to know about where you’re going? How do you plan, not just for arrival, but for day-to-day life in a new community, new country, new culture? In this session, our veteran international educators are going to talk about not just surviving, but thriving, in your new life overseas. Be sure to get in on this hot discussion, and bring your questions!

Candidate Session

Exploring Inquiry-Based Education – An Introduction to the International Baccalaureate

Presenter: Mary Vedra

New to international education? Know nothing about the ‘mysterious’ IB curriculum? No problem! This intensive workshop will provide a thorough introduction of the International Baccalaureate Education Programmes as a systemic and all-encompassing framework for PK-12 international education. You’ll be diving into the philosophy of the IB curriculum and its contribution to the development of international mindedness. This in-depth exploration will allow you to compare & contrast the elements of the IB Programmes and explore the written, taught and assessed curriculum as it pertains to concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes and action that are integral to classroom practice. This engaging presentation will leave you with a clear, personal understanding of how your own experience, expertise, skills, and attributes align with IB Pedagogy!

Candidate Session

Technology and Innovation in International Schools

Presenter: John Burns

Interested in using technology to support and enhance learning in your classroom? If so, this workshop is the place to be! Creative and innovative practices are sparking everywhere in international schools! From the early phase through to grade 12, educators are exploring new ideas and engaging with contemporary learning. In this session John Burns, ISS’ own Chief Innovation Officer and founder of the Shekou International School Maker Space, will showcase some best practices from ISS schools and the wider international community. You’re guaranteed to leave with a head full of new ideas!

Candidate Session

Third Culture Kids, Diversity in the International Classroom

Presenters: Laura Benson, Dr. Rob Ambrogi, Brad McClain

Diversity is a hot-button topic these days! In today’s globalized world, how do we, as educators, address the unique needs of all our students? In an international classroom, the reality of the Third Culture Kid adds another layer to this important question. Often referred to as cultural chameleons and global nomads, TCKs can face unique challenges due to their expansive worldview. This workshop will take a closer look at these unique little human beings and all the wonderful contributions they bring to the classroom!


Recruiter Session

International Recruitment: The Hiring Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2018

Presenter: Ash Pugh

At a time when hiring international educators is more competitive than ever, going the extra mile to understand how to reach and attract quality teachers is no longer optional - it’s vital. To find out what truly makes teaching candidates tick, Teach Away surveyed our extensive online community of job-seeking educators. The result is our comprehensive report on the latest trends in international education recruitment. Featuring data-driven insights and advice from international education recruitment experts, this workshop covers everything schools need to know about hiring teachers internationally, including what drives candidates to teach abroad, their key motivations and frustrations when looking for employment, and where they go to research and search for new jobs.

Recruiter Session

Effective Recruiting – Finding, Signing and Keeping Good Teachers

Presenter: Dr. Dale Cox

In the constantly changing landscape of teacher recruitment, what are the best practices for attracting “good fit” candidates and for “closing the deal” with them? In this session with ISS Vice-President Dale Cox, we’re going to answer questions such as: How do you create the best possible candidate pool for your school? How do you move successfully to sign a candidate? What do candidates need to make a decision and what do they look for in a school? How do you keep the best teachers at your school longer? Of course, we know that the best recruiting is keeping the good teachers you already have. Dale will dive into best practice ideas for teacher retention and outline simple, research-based steps schools can take to upgrade their recruiting efforts.

Recruiter Session

Research-based Recruiting – Identifying Effective Teachers

Presenter: Mary Wallen

How do you know, from an application, a resume, or an interview, that an applicant may be an effective teacher? We know that interviews are the most commonly used tool in most hiring decisions, yet how confident are we that the best hiring decisions are being made? Discover what the research regarding interviewing says and learn how it has been united with the qualities of effective teachers to develop interview protocols that support school leaders in making research-guided hiring decisions.

Key tools drawn from the Stronge Hiring Protocol will be highlighted in the workshop, including:
•  Teacher application design using a numerical analysis to compare applicants; •  Screening interview with research-based and field-tested questions and rubrics; •  Comprehensive teacher job interview using video-based simulations; •  Standardized job reference protocol.

Participants who attend the workshop will be able to use the Stronge Hiring Protocol screening interview during the NYC ISS Job Fair.

Recruiter Session

Recruiting and Child Protection

Presenter: Keith Cincotta

The last few years in the international schools community have seen a globally-increased awareness surrounding the issues of child protection. As school administrators responsible for safeguarding students, how do we identify and implement the best policies and practices to keep people intent on harming children out of international schools? ISS’ Director of School Services will explore safer recruiting practices, use of background checks, accreditation and also provide an update on the work of the International Task Force for Child Protection.

Meet the Presenters

Dr. Rob Ambrogi  •  Vice President, School Management, ISS

Rob has over thirty years of experience in international schools. He has served as a head of school in Cameroon, Liberia, Portugal, Pakistan and South Africa, and now works with ISS School Management to operate 17 international schools for companies, individuals and governments. Rob is in his tenth year with ISS and recently started schools in Republic of the Congo and Madagascar. After graduating from Cornell in 1971, Rob began his career with Teacher Corps in Lackawanna, NY, and later joined the Peace Corps in Cameroon. He earned his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. Rob enjoys photography, sleight of hand magic and ‘underhanded’ games such as bocce, horseshoes and KUBB. He also speaks West African Pidgin English and plays the nose flute beautifully.

Laura Benson  •  Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, ISS

Laura helps ISS school educators develop and refine their curriculum and engage in deeper understandings of best-practice pedagogy. A well-cited scholar and researcher, Laura has published numerous articles in professional journals and is the co-author of Standards and Assessment: The Core of Quality Instruction and Bearing Witness. Laura earned degrees from Trinity University and University of Denver, and furthered her studies at Harvard University, Columbia University Teachers College, and Cambridge University. A third culture child herself, international schools fostered Laura’s passion for studying language-learning, honoring all cultures, and fighting for children’s educational opportunities around the world. In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, lingering in reading and writing, cooking, and expanding her love for architecture and design.

John Burns  •  Chief Innovation Officer, ISS

John focuses on sparking creativity and innovation across ISS learning communities. From 2015-2017 in collaboration with ISS and Shekou International School, John worked to design and found Level 5: a space for students, educators, and the wider community to explore design thinking and innovation in education. Prior to working with ISS, John led Shekou International School’s shift to contemporary practice. He has developed apps featured in TV advertisements worldwide, and has also previously worked for Apple in assisting schools and jurisdictions with organizational change. John is a graduate of Griffith University in Australia and has taught in the UK, Australia, China and Taiwan. In his free time, he loves being with family and exploring Asia.

Keith Cincotta  •  Senior Leadership Executive, Managed Schools; Director of School Services, ISS

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. Keith and the ISS School Supply Team also serve the purchasing, consolidation and shipping needs of over 100 international schools. 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. He resides in beautiful Hopewell, New Jersey with his wife and three children. As a family of global nomads, they take any chance they can to travel and experience new places.

Dr. Dale Cox  •  Vice President Asia-Pacific, ISS

Dale received his doctorate in educational leadership from Lehigh University, his M.Ed. in educational administration from Arizona State University, and his B.A. in history from Brigham Young University. He worked for 25 years in public education in the United States before becoming an international school administrator in Beijing in 2006. He has served as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools and has presented and trained on teacher recruitment, school improvement, learning innovation, board governance, and school leadership. Having lived in Asia in his youth, he is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. He and his wife Rhoda are the parents of six children and the grandparents of thirteen grandchildren.

Lila Leung  •  General Manager, ISS-ULink

Lila manages the ISS-ULink Educational Services Ltd., ISS’s join venture partnership in China. Lila founded lab schools with English immersion and dual language immersion programs for Chinese nationals. She is the creator of International Education Training Center (IETC), focused on the development of culturally inclusive professional learning programs for national and international teachers. Fluent in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese, Lila is a language and cross-cultural expert on international curriculum design. Lila has served as classroom teacher, instructional trainer, university lecturer and director of school. She is a graduate from U.C. Berkeley and Stanford, and holds an International EMBA degree from Rutgers’ University. Lila’s passion is in design thinking.

Brad McClain  •  Head of School, Ambatovy International School

Brad started his career abroad as an educator and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Minnesota and an Administrative Credential from The College of New Jersey. He has now lived and worked overseas for over 35 years at international schools in Colombia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Argentina. Brad is currently the Head of School at Ambatovy International School, a K-12 ISS-managed school in Madagascar. With his background in school counseling, issues involving Third Culture Kids, as well as transition and internationally-mobile lifestyles, resonate with high importance.

Bruce McWilliams  •  Executive Vice President, ISS

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. He loves living in Princeton with his wife Pats, where he enjoys cooking, online gaming and taking advantage of the Princeton arts scene.

Dr. Jeremy Moore  •  Director, Cayman International School

Jeremy has more than 20 years of experience in education and leadership in the US and overseas. He has been a teacher and an administrator at the Elementary, Middle and High School level, and is currently in his 8th year at Cayman International School where he serves as the Director. Jeremy earned his PhD, EdS, MA and BA from the University of Florida, and is an alumnus of the Klingenstein Heads of School Program at Columbia University. Jeremy is involved in multiple organizations that focus on international education. With two recent additions to his family, Jeremy loves experiencing life vicariously through his young children, and he enjoys being a part of the Cayman community.

Dr. Beth Pfannl  •  Vice President, Administrative Searches, ISS

Beth joins ISS with 30 years of experience in international education. 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. Based in Rome, Beth loves to travel and spend time with family.


Ash Pugh  •  Operations Director, Teach Away

Teach Away’s mission is to solve the global teacher shortage. Ash joined Teach Away 10 years ago after several years teaching at home and abroad. He now advises schools, school systems, and ministries of education around the world on the strategic planning and delivery of international teacher recruitment initiatives. Ash believes strongly in the power of technology to provide global access to quality education, and currently focuses his efforts on Teach Away’s online teacher training programs and online teaching and tutoring platform. When not doing that, he is completing graduate studies in the Executive MBA program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. His favourite way to spend time is reading to his two wonderful children.

David Randall  •  Senior Leadership Executive, Governed Schools/Administrative Searches, ISS

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. He enjoys employing his experience throughout ISS because of the high quality of colleagues and their shared vision of excellent education for students around the world. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, walking in the mountains, good food, bicycling and time with his family.

Mary Wallen  •  Director of Project Planning, Stronge & Associates Educational Consulting, LLC

Mary Wallen is the Director of Project Planning for Stronge & Associates Educational Consulting, LLC. She has over 38 years of educational experience in an urban public school district in Virginia, serving in positions ranging from that of a classroom teacher to a central office administrator. After 15 years of teaching in the classroom, she spent the next three years as a "teacher trainer", and then became an elementary school administrator, serving as the principal of two elementary schools for the next 20 years. In her last role with the district she was a Leadership Coach, providing guidance and support to principals of Title I schools. Mary received her B.S. from Bridgewater State and her MA. Ed. from the College of William and Mary.  At Stronge & Associates, one of her primary responsibilities is coordinating and providing training on the Stronge Hiring Protocol.  Mary has also assisted international schools with the hiring process, including screening candidates, interviewing candidates, and recommending candidates to be hired.

Mary Vedra  •  Director of Curriculum, Emirates National Schools

As an experienced International Baccalaureate trainer, Mary Vedra travels the world for the IBO, providing instruction and insight into inquiry-based education to educators worldwide. For the past twenty-five years, Mary has served as an educational leader in positions of increasing responsibility from a building level principal, and Associate Superintendent in parochial and public schools, Chief Academic Officer for Global Village Charter Collaborative to her current position as Director of Curriculum for Emirates National Schools. With extensive experience working with corporate, public, charter and private school systems around the world, Mary brings a unique blend of real-world experience and evidence-based research to her work. 

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