Leadership Spotlight: Dominique Velociter
Dominique preparing a field trip at a museum in Saudi Arabia
The ISS Administrative Search Team was proud to lead the Interim Head of School search for the French-American School of Princeton (FASP), USA. Congratulations to Dominique Velociter for accepting the position, beginning July 2021!
Dominique holds a Masters in Teaching and Learning from the University of Paris Créteil, France. She has led in Head of School roles since 1994, with her career taking her to France, UAE, USA, Bulgaria, and Saudi Arabia. Most recently, Dominique has been the Superintendent of Dar Jana International School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In the feature below, learn more about Dominique’s journey in education and what she looks forward to bringing to this next chapter.
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
I was drawn to education very young and my inspirations were some very special women in my life: my 2nd grade teacher, my aunt Anne-Marie, a teacher and a head of school in France, and my grandmother, a piano teacher. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, bring magic into their world like those women brought dreams and fantasy into mine. I believe that learning should be an exhilarating expression of one’s self in an encouraging and supportive environment leading to great discovery and exciting accomplishment. International education is all of that in a multidimensional context where boundaries between people can disappear, and real connections take place.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
My education philosophy is to engage students in discovering the world and who they are, learning about other people, embracing new experiences and taking risks. It is about learning to trust oneself and live to the fullest, to dream big, to be open, kind, to search for answers, to ask questions and seek depth in everything. It is about sharing, about connections, about feelings and friendships. The community can expect a personable leader, a pastoral leader who will endlessly aim to unify, exchange with, and involve the community in their core purpose: the school and the well being and accomplishment of the students.
Dominique and Seniors at Lyceum Kennedy, NY, USA
French-American School of Princeton
Congratulations on the new position at the French-American School of Princeton! Why are you excited about this role? What are your hopes?
In each new role there is a secret door leading to a secret path. Finding them is yet to come. The French-American School of Princeton is very special to me because it is a dream school. The dream of a woman and founder, Corinne Gungor, who dedicated twenty years of her life to make this dream come true. As a former school founder myself, it is natural and easy to respect, value and treasure the accomplishments that were made by a French woman in a foreign country.
I hope to be able to serve well the school, its community, and to perpetuate the vision in place while handling a safe and successful transition. I like the location, Princeton is a college town, just like Providence, surrounded with nature, trees and with a river. The FASP campus is gorgeous, and I am only four hours drive away from Rhode Island.
What is an interesting fact, story, or reflection that you’d like to share?
When I was four years old, I wanted to be a zookeeper. My zoo would be a dream place where animals from all over the world would live in harmony and peace in a free, safe, and magical garden. Well, this did not happen. Instead I became a headteacher in international schools.
What was your experience with ISS and ISS Administrative Search like?
ISS executive search is a thorough and high end process allowing candidates to find a school matching their experience and potential. The consultants are kind, supportive and courteous professionals who demonstrate the ability to sense and convey the rightness of a position for a candidate.
Dominique and her 3 daughters during the pandemic. Sophia is a teacher in Quebec, Clotilde a teacher in France, and Adriane a freelance artist in Rhode Island, USA