Leadership Spotlight: Eileen Niedermann
The ISS Administrative Search Team was proud to lead the Director search for The International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP), Cambodia. Congratulations to Eileen Niedermann for accepting the position, beginning July 2022! Eileen is currently the Director of Mahindra International School, India.
Eileen holds a as a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Lewis and Clark College, as well as a MA in Multicultural Education from San Francisco State University. Her credentials include a Certificate for International School Leadership (Principal’s Training Center); California Professional Clear Teaching Credential: Physics and Mathematics; and California Clear Cross Cultural, Language and Academic Development Certificate.
In the feature below, learn more about Eileen’s career journey and her hopes for this new chapter ahead at ISPP.
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
While studying my undergraduate studies in Mathematics and Physics with an aspiration toward graduate studies in Engineering, one of my math professors asked me to take his classes for a week while he was on leave. Being barely a year older than the students, I was terrified, but I also enjoyed the trust placed in me to ensure learning continued.
I also was involved in a study-abroad program, which really introduced me to the wider world and eventually prompted me to join the US Peace Corps on graduation. I was posted in a girls’ boarding school in the south of Tanzania. Hence my international career was launched!
Where has your career taken you up to this point?
I worked as the Secondary Principal at the Overseas School of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and the Head of Curriculum and Professional Development at Tashkent International School (Uzbekistan). I started my international school career at the International School of Tanganyika (Tanzania) as a mathematics and science teacher and Head of Department. I also had a very brief 3-year stint in San Francisco, USA.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
I believe that educational experiences for young people should be joyful and rooted in inquiry, creativity and exploration. The foundation of these beliefs lies in my conviction that all students have the ability as well as the right to learn and that we have an obligation to provide deep, meaningful, connected and significant learning that is deeply conceptual, evidence-based and which engages the learner and expands their horizons. The outcome of our educational process should be to develop students who are prepared for the challenges that they will face in life and who will positively contribute to their communities with a global outlook.
I have enjoyed the process of making my own learning visible in the community to model the beautiful opportunity that we all have to be life-long learners. My leadership is strengthened by an inquiry approach, strategic thinking and through valuing community.
Eileen with students at Mahindra International School
International School of Phnom Penh
I have had my eye on ISPP for many years. The values articulated in the school’s mission and vision are important, ambitious and meaningful. The school has done significant work in aligning the values, ethos and strategic direction. In particular, aspirations to community, inclusion, environment, global citizenship, philanthropy, and service are deeply significant areas with much scope for impactful contribution and learning. I am excited to be part of their journey to bring these aspirations into practice.
What is an interesting fact, story, or reflection that you’d like to share?
I will be accompanied by my husband and fellow educator, Tim Getter. We have shared a 25-year journey in international education across several continents. Like others on this journey, we have many tales of adventures and mis-adventures…come visit, and we will share!
What was your experience with ISS and ISS Administrative Search like?
Working with the ISS team was extremely smooth from my initial expression of interest all the way through the final announcements after the position was finalized. I appreciated the support that I got as a female leader and the insights as to how to tailor my approaches to meet the needs of the school I was applying to.
We thank Eileen for sharing her reflections, and wish her the best in the upcoming chapter at ISPP! You can connect with Eileen on Linkedin.
Eileen and her husband, Tim Getter