Leadership Spotlight: David Lovelin

ISS Leadership Search was proud to lead the Deputy Head of School search for Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Congratulations to David Lovelin for accepting the position, beginning July 2023! David is currently the High School Principal at Hong Kong International School.

Prior to Hong Kong, David was the Middle School Principal at Korea International School in Seoul. He has also held leadership positions in the United States; as a High School Principal, Assistant Principal, Athletic Director, and Dean of Students in various public schools in Oregon, bringing his total administrative-leadership experience in education to nearly 20 years.

David holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and an Education Administration Certificate from Lewis and Clark College; IB Leadership Certificate from Western University; and a Masters of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Western Oregon University.

In this feature, David reflects on the importance of diverse school experiences and opportunities, what guides his leadership vision, and why he looks forward to joining the JIS community.

What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?

I was fortunate to have amazing teachers and mentors throughout my high school and college experience. They challenged me and also held me to a high standard. Transitioning from being a principal in my hometown and moving internationally was a challenging decision, but my wife and I wanted a different experience for our daughters, and I was looking for a new opportunity to learn and grow as a leader.


David leading a school assembly

Jakarta Intercultural School library

Congratulations on your new position at JIS! What excites you about being in this new role and school? What are your hopes?

I am excited to be joining the JIS community both as an educator and as a parent. As a leader, I look forward to working alongside the JIS community to uphold the Mission of Learning in Indonesia to be best for the world.

I appreciate the belief of being “Best for the World,” as it all starts with providing an interactive and caring environment for each student. When students feel cared, for they can take risks and are able to look at the world outside of their own. JIS believes in creating this type of environment and closely aligns with my own beliefs.

The opportunity to work alongside a talented Head of School and in the JIS community becomes available once in a career. My hope is that my experience as an educational leader will support the faculty and staff allowing this amazing school to continue to grow and evolve for another 70+ years.

Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?

Experiencing school differently through service, play, and leadership are some of my core beliefs. I have built and enhanced experiential and applied learning during my time overseas, allowing students to work together, connect with nature, engage with essential life skills, and push their boundaries.

Working overseas, I have had the incredible opportunity to hire the very best teachers from all over the world. I have become a better educator and parent by learning from brilliant teachers who create a caring and fun environment for all students. At the same time, I value my experiences of working with diverse students and families while leading in US public schools. I value faculty members who have different experiences, including varied professional, travel, and cultural backgrounds, and seek to employ such individuals to enhance our diverse community.

I am a relational leader and strong communicator who builds communities in every school I have been fortunate to lead. Every adult in a school is an educator and I focus on bringing the entire community together.


David helping out at a Korean International School BBQ

What is an interesting fact or story about you that you would like to share?

Providing diverse opportunities for students is a strong belief of mine. I was fortunate to have teachers, coaches, and directors who worked together to support my many passions. In high school I was able to participate in drama, choir, American football, wrestling, dance, and student leadership. In fact, I was the captain of the wrestling team and the dance team. All of these activities were as important as my academic program and provided me with an amazing secondary experience.

These opportunities opened up many doors post-high school and I have continued to develop a balanced academic and activities programs throughout my career. Allowing flexibility and choice for students creates new experiences and opens the door of possibility to ignite student passion.

And finally, what was your experience with ISS Leadership Search like?

My experience with ISS went above and beyond any expectations I had entering the search process. I have experiences with other search organizations and I can say ISS offers so much more.


Many thanks to David for these reflections on his journey! We are wishing David, his wife Theresa, and daughters Lucille and Ruby a wonderful chapter ahead in Jakarta. You can connect with David on Linkedin and Twitter.

If you’re interested in pursuing a school leadership position, please check out our current leadership searches or get in touch with the ISS Leadership Search Team.