Leadership Spotlight: Eddie Wexler
ISS Leadership Search was proud to lead the High School Principal search for Jakarta Intercultural School, Indonesia. Congratulations to Eddie Wexler for accepting the position, beginning July 2023! Eddie is currently Middle School Assistant Principal at the Triangle Math and Science Academy Charter School in North Carolina, USA.
Eddie holds a MA in Educational Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in Psychology from Emory University.
His previous experience includes serving as the Head of HS Campus, International School of Zug and Luzern (Switzerland); HS Principal at ACS Abu Dhabi (UAE); HS Principal at Academia Cotopaxi (Quito, Ecuador); HS Principal at Lincoln School, (Kathmandu, Nepal); and Social Studies Teacher in US public schools in Maryland and CA.
In this feature, hear about what excites Eddie about working at Jakarta Intercultural School, how intentionality and engagement shape his leadership, and more!
What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?
I have always felt that it is through our work in schools that we can best promote the common good and ensure that children and teenagers everywhere fulfill their unlimited promise and potential. My spouse Jenny spent much of her own childhood learning in schools overseas, including four years attending JIS, so she is most responsible for teaching me about the wonders and ideals of an international education.
Eddie and Jenny Zenick (lifelong teacher, Language Arts/Social Studies), daughter Cora and son Miles
Congratulations on your new position at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS)! What excites you about being in this new role and school? What are your hopes?
Even after a short visit it became clear that JIS is a truly special place. The kindness of the Indonesian people who inhale and exhale laughter as if it’s oxygen, the passion felt by all toward their school, and this unique sentiment about the magic of the community and country all resonated deeply with me as I interacted with so many dedicated professionals and parents.
The fact that my wife attended JIS when she was the age that our own children are right now makes this a particularly auspicious opportunity for us. To be able to provide such a poignant shared experience for Jenny and the kids leaves me excited and humble. My hope is that I will grow into a more effective leader, apply the wisdom gained from experience, and continue my journey toward global citizenship, treading gently and compassionately on the earth. There is always so much to learn.
Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?
My educational philosophy starts with valuing the individual. Learning is an immensely personal endeavor. What works for one student or educator may not work well for another. Each learner brings everchanging knowledge, skills and experiences; unique talents and interests; and a complex interplay of emotions that at any given time serve to advance or inhibit motivation, perseverance, and the likelihood of success. I try to find a spark that encourages every child to move one step forward, and each adult to construct richer meaning from our work.
My mantra: whatever students can lead they should lead – from assemblies to concerts to SEL curriculum, and even commencement ceremony! I also believe that when full of intentionality and engagement – laughter, kindness, and a sense of belonging – classrooms, teams, and clubs become essential micro-communities that not only foster intellectual development, but also encourage health and wellness.
Ultimately, my successes reflect the efforts of dedicated professionals and students learning and leading alongside me.
Cora and Miles Wexler from their time at ACS Abu Dhabi
What is an interesting fact or story about you that you would like to share?
For the first time in 15 years we opted to move back to the States, introduce our children to their country of citizenship, and round out their educational experience by sending them to diverse public schools. Once settled in suburban Raleigh, North Carolina, I began applying to schools. When I interviewed, I saw students wearing saris and kurtas; dishdashas; salvars, entaris and yeleks. I wondered why kids wore clothing I would not normally associate with typical teenage dress in the southern part of the United States? When I asked, the educators told me that “today is international day!” I laughed, felt at home, and realized then that this school was a perfect fit.
Working in a more socioeconomically diverse organization, one which also serves students with any neurodivergence, underscores an area of growth for international schools around the world as we continue to promote the benefits of inclusivity.
What was your experience with ISS Leadership Search like?
The warmth and frequency of communication, as well as the actionable feedback throughout the process, made working with ISS both comfortable and effective. I certainly appreciate the advice offered during the process, the insights of the team, and the efforts made to tailor my candidacy to compatible opportunities.
Thank you for these stories and reflections! We look forward to seeing Eddie and the JIS community thrive together next school year, and we are wishing Eddie, Jenny, Miles, and Cora a smooth transition to Jakarta.