Leadership Spotlight: Shauna Hobbs-Beckley
ISS Leadership Search was proud to lead the Head of School search for Georgetown International Academy (GIA), an ISS school in Georgetown, Guyana. Congratulations to Shauna Hobbs-Beckley for accepting the position, beginning July 2023! Shauna is currently the Director of Analytics, Innovation, and Research at Graded – The American School of São Paulo.
Shauna holds a BA in Literature and Languages and a Master’s in Teaching from The Evergreen State College; an Administrator Certification from the University of Puget Sound; and a Education Specialist in K-12 Leadership and Social Justice from Walden University.
Her previous experiences in education have include serving as the Executive Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction for Seattle Public Schools, WA; PK-8 Director of Curriculum for City Schools of Decatur, GA, USA; and experience as a PK-5 and 6-8 Principal in Washington, Tennessee, and Georgia.
In this feature, learn about the early experiences that inspired her international career, how her vision of excellence in education shapes her leadership, and why she looks forward to joining the GIA community.
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
My grandmother was a special education teacher for 36 years. She was and has always been my inspiration.
At 15, I decided I wanted to move to Germany as an exchange student and study in Gymnasium. After that experience, I could not get enough of traveling and living overseas. I spent time during my junior year of college studying literature in France. I returned to the US after my college experience knowing that I wanted to return. Once I became a parent, it was a goal to provide my son with the opportunity to experience life internationally. When my son was entering middle school, it was the perfect time.
Shauna and her wife Shannon traveling in the Galapagos Islands
Congratulations on your new position at GIA! What excites you about being in this new role and school? What are your hopes?
Georgetown is a school that is growing and evolving. This creates incredible opportunities for the school community to continue to expand the common vision and support the feeling of togetherness that already exists. It is clear that the Board, teachers, staff, and families are dedicated to the vision and supporting a student-centered environment. I feel humbled and privileged to have been selected to continue to grow this environment. I am looking forward to collaboratively creating a place that will help all of our students grow both socially and academically. I believe that together, we can achieve all that we set out to do.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
My vision to provide excellence in education holds a number of inherent ideas. First and foremost, my belief that each moment of a school day must be driven by the philosophy that students are the central focus of the entire organization. I believe that great schools understand that students must be provided with opportunities to prepare them to approach global challenges we are currently facing as well as those that will arise in the future with creativity and innovation.
This belief can be accomplished by providing students with opportunities to utilize a variety of technology, establishing a curriculum which addresses both local and global issues, supporting an education for students at all levels of academics. As an administrator, I believe my role is to be a model providing challenge as well as support necessary for all teachers to develop Hattie’s meta-skill of self-efficacy both in themselves and their students.
Shauna, Shannon, and son Jackson on a family Christmas run
What is an interesting fact or story about you that you would like to share?
Running is my sanity. Every morning I wake up at 0 dark 30 and I spend about an hour running. During COVID, I challenged myself to run the length of the Appalachian Trail. I ran everyday and in April 2022, I achieved my goal. Since then I have started on a new challenge and have completed about 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Only 2000 miles to go.
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.
Our deep appreciation to Shauna for sharing these reflections. We look forward to following Shauna’s leadership at GIA next school year! Wishing Shauna, Shannon, Jackson, and their two dogs Oliver and Beck, a smooth transition to Georgetown ahead.
Oliver and Beck