Leadership Spotlight: Janice Humpleby
The ISS Administrative Search Team was proud to lead the Primary Principal position search for Pechersk School International in Kyiv, Ukraine. Congratulations to Janice Humbleby for accepting the position, starting August 2021! Jan is currently the Elementary Principal at Tashkent International School, Uzbekistan.
Jan has previously been a principal, assistant principal, PYP Coordinator and teacher in IB World schools in Hanoi, Vietnam and Amsterdam. She is an IB leader, educator, workshop leader and consultant, and has worked across the age range in IB continuum schools. She also coaches students and families through the transition process on their global adventures.
Jan holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from University of Bath, UK. She has a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard Business and Education Schools, as well as a Principals Training Center certification and a Bachelors in Education from University of Nottingham, UK.
With a career spanning international schools throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and Central Asia, Jan has worked with a variety of strong, committed, innovative, and diverse communities. As she embarks on a new school chapter ahead, we’re excited to share a look at her journey!
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
As an 18-year-old me stood at the edge of the “life’s journey” crossroads, I was attracted to alternative choices such as becoming a color therapist, social anthropologist, or a teacher. While seemingly less ‘exotic’ at the time, I reflect back and realize becoming a teacher has merged those three alternate pathways into one. Working in diversely rich environments continuously encourages me to seek alternate perspectives. Nourishing communities that complement one another in our mosaic of interactions necessitate mindfulness and open-mindedness. New experiences bring opportunities to become our best selves, and to support our students to be passionate future world citizens.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
Learning and progressing is every student’s right. All learners must be engaged, inspired, challenged and successful. Accountability for the young people’s educational journey lies within the hands of firstly the teachers, but ultimately with myself as the leader of the school. I believe that learning begins with empowering teachers through collaborative reflection and growth. This creates a collective responsibility that is self-imposed, rather than accountability that is externally imposed.
For leaders and teachers, the challenge is to find the key that unlocks the capability of everyone who walks through the school doors each morning. Relationships are crucial. Creating and sustaining schools as compassionate learning communities with respectful partnerships between all constituents is, I believe, an essential part of my role as a leader.
I work hard to foster strong and supportive partnership between parents, teachers, and students, so that all members of the community feel valued and heard. Together we must support our students to step safely out of their own comfort zone, to question, challenge and consolidate their understanding; to gain new perspectives, and to continue to ponder and strive higher. I believe students must be empowered to co-construct their own personalized learning journey, to have a voice and choice, and multiple pathways to allow for multiple ways of knowing.
Dot Day at Tashkent International School
Hiking a mountain ridge in Chimgan, Uzbekistan
Congratulations on your new position at Pechersk School International! What excites you about being in this new role and school? What are your hopes?
Several of my colleagues speak very highly of PSI and Kyiv, sharing their wonderful memories of this school and city. I am excited to join a strong community eager to push the boundaries of learning through the well-articulated strategic lenses of personalization, thinking, and balance. I think I will find myself at home in PSI, a place that nurtures belonging, growth, and a joyful pursuit of excellence.
Now more than ever, in this time of unmitigated and rapid change caused by the global pandemic, racial injustice and climate crisis, I hope to bring to the PSI community courageous, calm, and compassionate leadership. As a team of educators, we must look to the future whilst meeting the demands of the present. This necessitates harnessing the creative energy of change to enable an agile, forward-leaning community that supports the growth, development and inclusion of all. I look forward to having coffee and meeting all members of the PSI community in the ‘We Belong’ cafe.
Kyiv is a new part of the world for me to explore and learn from. I love to go treasure seeking in flea markets around the world and am excited about all the new places I will find and the objects yet waiting to be discovered.
What have your experiences with ISS and ISS Administrative Search been like?
The personal attention and feedback received from Pauline made the experience like professional matchmaking, where ISS cared about the perfect partnership in the best interest for the students. I found the interview questions progressive, a reflection of the societal need for a new type of leader. I felt nurtured and listened to throughout the whole experience.
The interviews were like deep conversations that flowed easily. I also appreciated the personal attention to detail and specific feedback for myself as a candidate that was given freely and honestly. I have already recommended ISS and Pauline to support my current school in the search for my replacement as I was so inspired by the support and professionalism offered.
Jan will be making the move to Ukraine with her one-eyed Husky dog, Bailey, who will “finally get to experience life in the snow for a few months each year.” We wish Jan a smooth transition ahead, and look forward to seeing her and the PSI community flourish together!