Leadership Spotlight: Owen Murphy

ISS Administrative Search was proud to lead the Primary Principal – City Campus search for the Bavarian International School (BIS) in Munich, Germany. Congratulations to Owen Murphy for accepting the position, beginning August, 2022! Owen is currently the Primary Assistant Principal / PYP Coordinator at International School of Stuttgart – Sindelfingen Campus.

Owen holds a MSc in Educational Leadership from the University of Leicester, UK, and a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics from the University of York, UK. His previous experiences include serving as a Grade 5 teacher at International School of Stuttgart and developing his leadership profile through leading the whole-school accreditation. Prior to moving to Germany, Owen taught at Bankfields Primary School in Middlesbrough, UK. Before entering teaching, he worked for a radio station group in Ontario, Canada. 

Read more about Owen’s journey to becoming a teacher, an educational leader, and a lifelong learner!

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

When I look back, I think I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I did spend a portion of my life ignoring the feeling, but the calling was always strong! The great teachers that I experienced as a student stayed with me so I always knew what a difference we can make for each individual student. My family was also a great influence on my decision; I spent a lot of time with my younger sister, for example, as she was going through primary school in particular. The relationships we build in education have the power to be so inspirational and I love that I have the chance to learn every day too! As a lifelong learner of German, I was motivated by the opportunity to move here to continue my professional and personal journey. I am delighted to have made that decision nine years ago.

Visiting the Faroe Islands

Bavarian International School

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

I am most excited about the role because I am inspired by the members of the team I have met so far. As I found out more about the City Campus of Bavarian International School, I was told to expect “an amazing team of rock stars”! The first meetings lived up to those expectations, and I am really excited and honored to be joining the team. My best hopes are to be part of a community culture where everyone cares for each other, where we are inspired by the belief we have in each other, and where we achieve success together. An empowered team, buzzing with the energy to achieve impactful change towards a well-defined vision, with the belonging, autonomy and trust to learn together, is the ultimate goal for me as a leader.

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

The outstanding educational leaders I have learnt from have had one crucial thing in common: they understand themselves first and foremost as learners and partners, a member of the team who is pulling in the same direction. I always seek to inquire with genuine curiosity and believe the skill of an effective educational leader is to involve multiple perspectives, whilst balancing this with a solution-focused mindset. I believe in the power of community building: intentionally building belonging, psychological trust and a growth mindset through each interaction. I hope that the BIS City Campus community comes to understand me a leader who values collaboration, teamwork and our ability to inspire and get the best out of each other.

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

I am a lifelong learner of German and enjoy the window this gives me on my chosen home. German is my home and family language of choice, being the only language I speak at home. This also allows me access to hobbies outside of school which enrich me as a person and an educator. I love radio and can still be heard on presenting radio shows! I also have more than twenty years of experience as a football referee.

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

It was very clear that the team had an excellent understanding of the needs of the campus. They had collected the hopes of the team and led our conversations in a way that allowed me to understand those wishes, whilst assessing and evidencing my fit for the role. I recognized that ISS was motivated by finding a great match from both sides. The initial conversations with Arnie Bieber and Beth Pfannl were both enjoyable and inspirational.


Owen on the air in Stuttgart

We appreciate Owen sharing his story, from the radio days to this new chapter ahead! We look forward to seeing his collaborative leadership thrive at BIS City Campus. You can follow him on 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 Administrative Search Team.