Leadership Spotlight: Ty Smeins

This 2019-20 recruitment season, the ISS Administrative Search Team has already led and supported 40+ school leadership searches spanning 25 countries, with more searches continuing to be added. Among these searches, we are proud to have led the selection process for the High School Principal at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Congratulations to Ty Smeins for accepting the position, beginning August 2020!

Ty is currently the Secondary School Principal at the American International School of Lusaka, Zambia. His previous experiences have taken him to the American School of Kuwait and Shanghai Community International School. Ty holds an Ed. D. Organizational Brain-Based Leadership, Nova Southeastern, M.A. Educational Leadership, Lehigh University, and B.A. in Education from Iowa State University.

Catch up with Ty to learn about his inspiration for pursuing international education, hopes for the next chapter, and more.



Tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can the community expect? What excites you about this new role at the Carol Morgan School?

I am a caring, compassionate servant leader. I love being an educator and love to have fun at my job. 

I am excited to be working with a very dynamic staff and getting back in the AP system. I am also thrilled to be engaging with a fun and supportive parent community. Moreover, the Dominican Republic suits my family’s lifestyle and gets us closer to home. 


Carol Morgan School, Dominican Republic

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

From the first day of preschool, I have always loved school.  The energy of schools, no matter what level, is unmatched in any other part of “the real world”.  I love the promise of a brighter future, the laughter, the youthful zeal for new experiences, and the interpersonal care that happens in schools.  While I was in middle and high schools, I was the kid that never wanted to grow up while my friends couldn’t wait to get out and start working.  I still don’t know what I am going to do when I grow up.  And the beauty of working in a school is that a part of me never has to. 

I was first introduced to international teaching when I did my student teaching in New Zealand during undergrad.  I knew immediately that my life was not going to be the same from that experience.  The taste of seeing a new part of the world only whet my appetite to see the rest of it.  However, it wasn’t until my first international teaching gig in Kuwait where I was able to experience the multicultural side of education that I truly feel in love with the idea of working in an international school.  I love the diversity and the focus on shared humanity, not our differences.  When I see my students argue vehemently about their favorite football team (or against their greatest rival) instead of culture, race, or gender, it gives me great hope for a brighter future.   


Ty, his wife Francis, and son Henry

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

I write children’s stories for my son and hope that one day that I will be able to have some published. But that is only if my career as a rock n’ roll drummer doesn’t take off first.


Many thanks to Ty for sharing his journey. We wish him and his family a smooth transition and wonderful new chapter ahead at the Carol Morgan School!

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