David Chojnacki & Kevin Schafer Receive NESA's Finis Engleman Award
Dr Finis Engleman was an outstanding educator and the moving force behind the birth of NESA. The award in his name is bestowed upon an individual who has provided outstanding and sustained service to the NESA region and beyond, and who has made a significant contribution to international education.
At this year's Fall Leadership Conference in Doha, the NESA Board presented the organization's highest award to two individuals: Executive Director David Chojnacki, and immediate past Board President Kevin Schafer, Director of The American International School of Muscat, Oman.
In leading NESA to become the dynamic, impactful and forward-thinking community it is today, David has far exceeded this standard. Leading with great heart, the personal qualities he brought to the role have become the hallmarks of NESA. Always attuned to others, he listens and learns the stories of teachers, leaders, board members and speakers then strives to broker connections, support needs, and extend their personal or collective journeys.
The rigor and discipline David brings to his personal learning is the same rigor and discipline that he brings to every aspect of his work. His intellectual and professional qualities are mirrored in the learning organization that NESA has become - one whose international reputation is derived from the quality and depth of the learning it offers.
In his twenty years as Executive Director, David has cultivated a compassionate and dynamic organizational ethos and culture. He created and sustained collaborative and supportive relationships among schools throughout the region, and maintained a laser-like focus on quality learning.
Kevin Schafer came to the NESA region in August, 1994, when he became high school principal at the American Embassy School in New Delhi. In 2000, he took over the directorship of the American International School of Muscat (TAISM) in Oman. From the very beginning of his tenure in the region, Kevin has been actively involved and strongly supportive of NESA's work, as an active participant in our professional learning events and as a NESA Board member for more than ten years – as a member, Secretary, Vice President and, most recently, as President.
He is known for his thoughtfulness, his strong yet quiet leadership and his commitment to NESA's mission, vision and beliefs – which he helped to craft as a member of the Board. It is in recognition of his long and selfless service to the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools that the NESA Board of Directors presented Kevin with its prestigious "Finis Engleman Award" the FLC in Doha.