Leadership Feature: Paola Torres de Pereira
We are excited to spotlight Paola Torres de Pereira, one of the two 2019 National Distinguished Principals Award recipients and a recent ISS Administrative Search successful placement! Paola will begin a new position as Elementary School Principal at the Carol Morgan School (Dominican Republic) in August 2020.
She is currently the Elementary Principal at Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador. Paola received her M.S. in Exceptional Student Education, as well as her B.S in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Barry University in Florida. Her Certificate of International School Leadership is from PTC in Miami.
Our team is honored to have supported Paola in her leadership recruitment journey. Enjoy learning more about her career in education, philosophy, and what she looks forward to in the new chapter ahead.
What has your journey in international education looked like?
I began working in an international American school at the age of 18 as the school receptionist and fell in love with “school culture.” I became inspired by educators who spoke about ALL students with admiration. I saved money and started college in the US at the age of 21.
I became an elementary teacher and after my first teaching experience, decided that I wanted to focus on equitable access to learning for all students. I completed a master’s in special education and enjoyed working in this amazing field. This later became more personal when we learned that our first child was deaf. Living and understanding the beauty and challenges of disability advocacy and inclusion has enriched my life as a parent, as an educator, and as a leader.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and leadership style.
Education should allow for possibilities to become realities and aim to inspire empowered, self-directed learners through positive social interactions so that construction of knowledge and the actions of individuals are characterized by excellence. I strive to inspire an environment where members take ownership for their practice and positively influence students through authentic experiences which will result in positive contributions to our local and global communities.
Children will meet adulthood in a time of evolving technologies, and fast-growing social and environmental issues. Learning and teaching must be responsive to today’s local and global realities while also planning for the future.
I am marveled by childhood and practice a student-centered approach that respectfully accompanies all students’ learning journeys. My passion for equitable opportunities for all members of society aligns with international inclusive education. I bring this understanding to all pedagogical engagements and planning.
What excites you about your new role at the Carol Morgan School?
I hope to inspire progressive practices by engaging members in the design and implementation of the next steps for Carol Morgan’s elementary division. I am honored to join a community where parents and educators are invigorated by childhood. We are looking forward to getting to know the CMS families and interacting with the local culture as well.
What was the Administrative Search recruitment experience like for you?
The personalized approach that Beth and Ashley (ISS Administrative Search Team members) provided during the search was exceptional. Their communications, conversations and follow-up demonstrated that they knew who I was and cared about my success as well as the needs of the schools. ISS provided personalized support from beginning to end. I appreciate the approach used to match candidate strengths with school needs, as well as, the organization’s practices related to equity and the promotion of diversity.
Paola and her husband Tony have three children: Maria Antonella, Antonio, and Alberto. We’re wishing Paola and her family a smooth transition in 2020, and we look forward to seeing the unique leadership and vision she will bring to CMS!
Follow Paola on Twitter to see more of her work. If you’re inspired by her journey and interested in pursuing a school leadership position, check out our current searches for position openings or get in touch with our friendly ISS Administrative Search Team to learn more.