Leadership Spotlight: La Mór
ISS Leadership Search was honored to support the Deputy Head of School search for Bavarian International School in Munich, Germany. Congratulations to La Mór (they/them) for accepting the position, beginning August 2023! La was most recently the Assistant Secondary School Principal and Middle Years Programme Coordinator at Pechersk School International in Kyiv, Ukraine.
La’s experience has taken them to Poland, Ukraine, South Korea, Portugal, Hong Kong & the UK (Higher Education and Secondary). They are currently enrolled at the University of Bath for an MA in Educational Leadership and Management; hold a MA in Theatre Education from the Central School of Speech and Drama, London; a PGCE in Drama and English from Bretton Hall, University of Leeds, UK; and a BA (HONS) in Drama, Theatre, Film and Television from the University of Bristol, UK.
In this feature, learn how La’s journey in international education has evolved, why they look forward to joining Bavarian International School, and how formative career experiences will forever guide their approach to learning and care.
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
Perhaps like many, the draw of working internationally was initially a mixture of escape and adventure. Now, however, it is a deliberate choice and commitment to an international community striving towards a better today and brighter tomorrow. I love how this combined effort connects us across the world, providing unmatched opportunities for learning, development and increased understanding.
Please share about your career experience in education.
As I reflect back on a 27-year-long career in education, I can confidently say that the professional experience that has shaped me the most has been my time with Pechersk School International (PSI), Kyiv. The PSI community has taught me how important it is to maintain a strong focus on what is best for students and learning, both in terms of everyday decision-making and long-term planning for the improvement and growth of a school, even whilst in crisis. I have also learned the real power of strong community.
As we navigated our way through the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion to more online learning and establishing a satellite campus in Warsaw, we became more trauma-informed, increasing our focus on wellbeing and self-regulation. We had to be ok in order for our children to feel safe. And for children to learn well, they must feel safe. These learnings will forever guide all that I do.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
All members of a learning community deserve to be provided with equal opportunities for success. And success demands the safety and support that comes from healthy relationships and good community. This all takes deliberate work. Communities that truly embrace difference and diversity also embrace a call to action. The pursuit of understanding our power and privilege is one of contemporary education’s most important tasks and one that I am deeply committed to as a leader.
We all deserve to find and follow our passions in learning, be energized by challenge, feel the joy of growing independence and being better together. Strong connections and building trust with the adults and children in our care allows us to know how to effectively support one another. And the more we can find the fun, the easier it is to do the work.
Congratulations on your upcoming role at Bavarian International School! What are you excited about in this new role?
I am extremely excited to be joining the growing Bavarian International School (BIS) community. The role presents an opportunity to fuse my pedagogical passions together with what I’m best at, working collaboratively with people to make meaningful projects and progress happen. BIS has high standards and high aspirations that are relevant, forward-thinking, and ‘care full’. As we collectively feel and respond to the global Zeitenwende, we appreciate that our students feel and experience these tectonic shifts too. Our responsibility to support holistic success and well-being has never been so vital. As our global community responds to increasing challenge and complexity, I take with me deliberate calm and bounded optimism. We can be better together.
What is an interesting fact or story about you that you would like to share?
During my time at PSI, I was privileged to witness the power of student involvement in strategic development. Student voice played a significant role in the creation of the school’s diversity statement, the revision of the school’s guiding statements and re-accreditation work with NEASC. Students had real agency and lasting impact at a critical time in the school’s lifetime. They felt their efficacy. It made them better learners and PSI a better school. This must be the way forward. Our students need to be our partners as we get better together.
What was your experience with ISS Leadership Search like?
The interview was a warm, friendly, and lovely conversation centered around learning. I really benefited from helpful and specific feedback which I could immediately apply to subsequent interviews. Thank you ISS!
Thank you very much to La for sharing these reflections! We look forward to seeing their leadership and deep commitment to student success thriving with the BIS community. You can connect with La Mór on Linkedin or Twitter.