Leadership Spotlight: Kelly Kramer
ISS Administrative Search was proud to lead the Head of School search for The International School of Aruba (ISA), an ISS school in Oranjestad, Aruba. Congratulations to Dr. Kelly Kramer for accepting the position, beginning July 2023! Kelly is currently the Director of School at the International School of Dongguan (ISD).
Kelly holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College, Wisconsin, and a MS in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW-Madison, Wisconsin. She also holds a MS in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY-Buffalo, New York, and a BS in Education, Elementary and Spanish, from UW-Whitewater, Wisconsin.
Her previous experiences in education have taken her to the US, Ecuador, Pakistan, China, Thailand, and Venezuela. She has served at Academia Cotopaxi, Phoenix Schools District #1, Lahore American School, International School of Bangkok, Oconomowoc School District, Hangzhou International School, Madison Country Day (WI), and Colegio Internacional de Caracas.
In this feature, learn about Kelly’s earliest aspirations of being a teacher, what school leadership means to her, and why she looks forward to making ISA her next home.
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
I knew I would be a teacher even as a young child. My friends were my students and I was the teacher. I loved staying after school and helping my teacher making copies and cleaning the boards, paint brushes, anything!
As a high school student, I was a American Field Services student. I spent my junior year living and going to school in Cuenca, Ecuador. From that time on, I wanted to live and work overseas.
Kelly and students at the ISD color run
Congratulations on your new position at ISA! What excites you about being in this new role and school? What are your hopes?
I am so excited to return to the area, having visited Aruba many times in the past from when I lived in Venezuela. I love the diversity of cultures. I hope to be able to continue the work of Mr. Dennis Willeford (current ISA Head of School) and find further ways to strengthen an already outstanding team.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
All students can learn and grow; it is incumbent on schools and our professionals to provide the just right learning experiences for our students. I see myself as a coach, a collaborator. Just as I seek to find strengths and areas of growth in students, I do the same for the school. I look forward to working with the entire ISA learning community to provide the very best to our students and community at large.
What is an interesting fact or story about you that you would like to share?
My husband and I raised our children overseas from the time they were infants. We recognize the importance of helping the students connect with their heritage and yet support them in becoming global citizens and leaders. Both of my children are teachers, and one of them is currently teaching in internationals school now. Our family considers home anywhere we are in the world! And we can’t wait to make Aruba our home!
Kelly, her husband Dennis, and their children in Lahore
And finally, what was your experience with ISS Administrative Search like?
Having worked with ISS for the past 5 years, I am grateful for the level of support they provide. Both as a candidate and a head of school at an ISS managed school, all representatives at ISS have always provided amazing professional and personal support. Especially during these past 2.5 years, ISS has consistently provided incredible encouragement and assistance.
Many thanks to Kelly for sharing these reflections! She has been such a valued member of the ISS community in these past years, and we’re honored and excited to see her leadership chapter continue ahead with ISA.