Travel Highlights from the ISS Pocket Passengers

When we invited students to create characters that would travel with the ISS team, we were blown away by the creativity, humor, and skill of all the submissions. Now that we’re well into the 2019-20 school year, it’s a great time to check in and see where these ISS Pocket Passengers have been adventuring.

In the past few months, ISS leaders have been visiting schools from China to the Cayman Islands, connecting at education conferences from South Africa to Myanmar, and experiencing it all with this terrific cast of student-submitted Pocket Passengers. Enjoy some highlights here!

Travel Bug and Robo Rad

ISS Senior Leadership Executive Glenn Odland brought along two Pocket Passengers to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) conference. Together, they enjoyed learning and collaborating with other international educators and leaders from around the world.

The two companions featured are Travel Bug by Martina (student at Dostyk American International School, Kazakhstan), and Robo Rad by Amir-Ata (student at International School of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago).

Queenie, Princess Butterfly, and Rainbow

Congratulations to the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) on celebrating 50 years! Three Pocket Passengers joined Laura Benson, ISS Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, in Cape Town, South Africa, to celebrate and learn at the fall AISA conference.

Pictured in both South Africa and their layover in Frankfurt, Germany are Queenie (created by Elizabeth, Grade 3, Yangon International School), Princess Butterfly (Violet, Grade JKA, International School of Dongguan), and Rainbow (Solfo-Silv, the International School of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago). 

Po, Wifee, Doxal, and Tweetycorn

ISS President Liz Duffy took a whirlwind three-week trip to Asia to visit ISS schools and participate in international education conferences, with stops in Bangkok, Yangon, Kota Kinabalu and Shenzhen. During the leg in China, Liz and ISS Chief Financial Officer Kris Evins shared their adventures with four Pocket Passengers from student artists at Yangon International School.

Meet Po by Nadi (Grade 12), Wifee by Ellie (Grade 6), Doxal by Shwe Yee (Grade 3), and Tweetycorn by MMT (Grade 2). They were wonderful company!


ISS Vice President, Administrative Searches and Governance Services, Beth Pfannl and Pocket Passenger Ross visited the Shwedagon Paya Buddhist shrine in Yangon, Myanmar. The shrine, one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites, was built over 2500 years ago.

Thanks to Muhammad (5th grade, Lynnwood Elementary School, USA) for creating Ross, who is inspired by all of Muhammad’s favorite animals.

Weird Duckling and Manila

On her travels through Bangkok, ISS President Liz Duffy brought along two Pocket Passengers to take in the sights. They enjoyed the Chao Phraya River that snakes through the city, and found a new dragon friend along the way. 

The rainbow-winged Manila is by Mira, 5th grader at the International School of Kenya. Weird Duckling was created by Ryder, 5th grader at Lynnwood Elementary School in the US.


On her trip to Cayman International School (CIS), ISS Chief Marketing Officer Sharon Lawler-Sudell and Pocket Passenger Ivy enjoyed touring the new  Childhood Early Learning Center. The facility just opened in August 2020 — you can learn more about the journey in this article by Melody Meade, CIS Early Childhood Principal!

Thank you to Nang Nang (6th grade, Yangon International School, Myanmar) for submitting Ivy to travel with us.


Candance, Zoku, and Mushushu

Megan Chin, Coordinator on the Global Recruitment Team, went with her friends and Pocket Passenger companions on a trip a little closer to the ISS Princeton HQ: the surreal NYC Museum of Illusions.

Featured in the mirrors and mind-bending rooms are three Pocket Passengers from the International School of Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago: Candance the unicorn, created by Angela (Grade 1), Zoku created by Michael (2nd grade), and Mushushu the long puppy, created by Aurelien (Pre-K).

Daniel and Pringles

ISS Senior Leadership Executive, Governed Schools/Administrative Searches Dave Randall has taken his Pocket Passegner friends to North Carolina, Japan, and now Monteverde, Costa Rica. Here they enjoying the view in the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest!

On the left meet Daniel the duck, created by Tiana at Yangon International Schools. On the right, you’ll find Pringles the shark, created by student artist Alyssa at the Colegio Americano de Guatemala.

Huge thank you to all the students who sent their artwork and stories — it’s such a treat to experience these places around the world with these characters’ inspiration, humor, and beautiful art by our sides. Stay tuned on #ISSedu for more Pocket Passenger updates ahead and to share your own school year adventures!

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