Leadership Spotlight: Jackline Otula

ISS Leadership Search was proud to lead the Principal search for Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Mbabane, Eswatini. Congratulations to Jackline Otula for accepting the position, beginning January 2023! Jackline was most recently the Head of IB Programmes at Mpesa Foundation Academy, Kenya.

Jackline holds an M.ED in Advanced Teaching at the Secondary School from UOPeople; an M.SC in Communication Studies from Moi University; and a B.ED – Arts in English, from Moi University. Her experiences include serving as a Deputy Head of Academics, DP and CP Coordinator, IBCP Curriculum reviewer, TOK Examiner, and IBEN – Programme Leader.

In this feature, Jackline shares what drew her to a career in education, her hopes for the future at Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA, and the values that drive her work and vision.

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

I am passionate about inspiring change — and what better way to do this than through education?

I went to school at a time when students had very little say about what and how they learnt. International education exposes students to varied ways of thinking, allowing them to experience diversity of thought, opportunities to co-create content, innovate solutions to the world’s baffling phenomena and develop tolerance through uniformity of approaches to pedagogy.​


Jackie Otula and students

Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA campus


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

This role presents an opportunity to inspire the Waterford Kamhlaba UWC community to champion a values-driven approach to education; promote student and staff agency; and to foster the UWC mission.

I hope that as WK UWC SA commemorates its 60th anniversary, it will look with pride on its past achievements, evaluate its present status and reflect on its future – by curating a strategic plan that will serve to instill a sense of purpose and being that can only be uniquely Kamhlaba.​


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

My educational philosophy is driven by the desire to promote learner autonomy, authentic learning and innovation in and out of the classroom, and creation of meaningful experiences for learners and colleagues. I seek to empower students and educators to reach their full potential through facilitation of educational programmes that challenge students and educators through inquiry-based strategies, as they create valuable experiences within and beyond the classroom while remaining active participants in the process.

I value diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and fairness and believe that the world would be a much better place to live in if we all looked past the social constructs that prevent us from being truly human.

 Jackie with Cynthia (HOD I&S) at the MFA Resource center, after facilitating a joint TOK lesson

At Mambrui sand dunes in Kilifi County at the Kenyan coast, taken during an academic trip

Finally, what was your experience with ISS Leadership Search like?

If you need professionalism, look no further than ISS.


Our appreciation to Jackline for sharing her story and reflections! We’re excited to see her values-driven leadership thrive at Waterford Kambhlaba UWCSA. You can connect and follow her journey 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.