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NESA Fall Leadership Conference 2019

NESA Fall Leadership Conference

General Interest Workshops

General Interest Workshops are opportunities for NESA member school leaders and NESA Affiliate Organizations to share resources, best practice, effective programs and initiatives, and cutting-edge innovations with each other in a spirit of collaboration—one of NESA's core beliefs.


THURS, OCT 24, 3:00-4:00pm

Jessica Davis

Director of Learning
Riffa Views International School

JESSICA DAVIS’s work as Director for Learning at Riffa Views International School in Bahrain is to lead the quest to develop happy, confident and curious learners while balancing teacher agency with system coherence. Teaching internationally since 2006, Ms has worked in Burma, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and finally Bahrain. She is a member of NESA’s Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC).

Ignite! Personalize! Impact!

IGNITE Day personalizes learning for students and provides a model schedule for the future of learning while supporting the tenets of personalization in academics. IGNITE Day also allows for developing rich community partnerships, promoting internship opportunities, and utilizing teacher talents and passions through schoolwide collaboration. IGNITE days allow students to:

– Engage in personalized learning seminars;
– Participate in weekly intramural activities and clubs;
– Serve as leaders on school committees;
– Engage deeply in social-emotional learning (wellbeing) to ensure they are flourishing.

Barbara Field

PD Consultant
Curriculum Associates

BARBARA FIELD served as a teacher and administrator throughout Latin America, and a PD consultant globally. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara and M.Ed. from Texas A&M. She currently enjoys sharing the innovative programs from Curriculum Associates with educators around the world.

Social Emotional Learning - Anchoring a Positive Instructional Environment

Participants will leave with strategies for assessment, instruction, and evaluation of key ideas pertinent to SEL behavior. Beginning with a summary of the foundational principles linked to SEL, the focus will shift to the development of essential skills referenced in the CASEL framework that include recalling prior knowledge, making predictions, transference of knowledge to new situations, and application in meaningful real-world situations.

Bill Frederick

Lodestone Safety International

BILL FREDERICK is the founder of Lodestone Safety International providing risk management for educational/service organizations operating internationally. Previously, he served as Safety Director at SFS, worked extensively with Outward Bound. He is a faculty committee member for Wilderness Medical Associates International and hold an M.Ed from Harvard University.

Navigating Health, Safety and Security in Off Campus Programming

Traveling off-campus presents a constellation of potential risk exposures whether domestic or international. This presentation will review the hazard landscape including child protection, terrorism and natural disasters, as well as the spectrum of strategic best practices for managing these risks. Focus will be on prevention, avoidance and emergency response.

Jim Furman

Executive Director
The Danielson Group

JIM FURMAN began his career as an English teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has worked as a Professor of English Education, a consultant to states and districts in the U.S., and now serves as Executive Director of The Danielson Group.

Deeper Learning for Teachers

The term “deeper learning” has become ubiquitous in conversations about instructional improvement but is not yet as prevalent in conversations about teacher learning. This workshop will explore the concept as it applies to professional learning for teachers using the Framework for Teaching as a foundation. We will focus on three virtues identified by Mehta and Fine (2019) - mastery, identity, and creativity - and enabling conditions that support deeper learning by teachers in schools.

Michael Lovorn

International Graduate Program for Educators, SUNY Buffalo State

MICHAEL LOVORN is Director of the International Graduate Program for Educators at SUNY Buffalo State. IGPE offers an affordable, accredited master's degree and credit-bearing PD to educators in international schools. Please visit Mr Lovorn in the exhibit hall or contact him via e-mail for more information.

Leading through Site-based Research Projects

Director Lovorn shares several examples of high-impact teacher-driven research projects conducted in international schools around the world. He then outlines a sustainable leadership model that promotes teachers' proposal, development, and implementation of site-based inquiry projects that inform teaching and learning processes and classroom management in these contexts.

Jorge Navarro

Strategic Business Executive
Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)

JORGE NAVARRO manages NWEA’s business development throughout the Middle East. He began teaching in 1989 and was twice named Teacher of the Year. Before joining NWEA, Mr Navarro taught in Florida, New York City and California, eventually leaving the classroom to work for for two Silicon Valley ed tech firms.,

Kelby Zenor

Vice President of Professional Development
Faria Education Group

KELBY ZENOR is Vice President of Professional Development at Faria Education Group where she guides the coordination, creation, and facilitation of professional development programs globally. She has presented at conferences on curriculum review, analysis, and process. Before joining Faria Education Group, she was the director of an environmental education program and classroom teachers in New York City.,

Aaron Parker

Director of Accounts
Faria Education Group

AARON PARKER is Director of Accounts at Faria Education Group where he directs the relationship management of Atlas accounts globally, drawing on his extensive background in education and leadership to support schools. A native of Portland, Oregon, before joining Faria Education Group, Mr Parker was a teacher and administrator in Australia and the United States.,

Has Your Curriculum Caught You MAPping?

Connecting your school’s teaching and learning practices to assessment can be daunting. Cutting-edge curriculum management and assessment platforms can help, but there’s still so much to learn from each other. If your school tests with MAP Growth and uses Atlas or ManageBac for curriculum planning, then please join our discussion of best practices and new features designed to keep you on course!

Ann Peterson

Assistant Elementary Principal
American Community School of Abu Dhabi

ANN PETERSON began her career as a bilingual elementary teacher and has held teaching and/or leadership positions in the USA, the UAE, China, Japan, Singapore, and Bangladesh. She is currently the Assistant Elementary Principal at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. Dr Peterson holds a Master’s degree in History and a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership.

From Homework to Home Learning

The ACS Abu Dhabi Elementary community has gone through a process of moving away from traditional one-size-fits-all homework to a framework of Home Learning that supports individualized learning pathways and student-driven Passion Projects. In this session, learn about our journey so far and discuss ideas for next steps that support student learning, parent engagement, and a love of the learning process.

Mark Tomaszewski

TieCare International

MARK TOMASZEWSKI serves as President of TieCare International, a leading provider of employee benefits to international educators that works with more than 150 schools in more than 50 countries. He joined TieCare in 2008 as head of marketing for parent company Global Benefits Group and has more than 40 years’ experience as a journalist, marketer, division president and senior leader in the newspaper, printing and insurance industries.

Criss Cross: The Intersection of International Education and International Business

On the surface, the exhibit hall of the NESA FLC appears to be a transactional setting: international vendors showing international educators how their products and services can support a school. But in reality, educating international students and building an international business require many of the same planning, strategies and skill sets. Learn how international education and international business have more in common than meets the eye.

SAT, OCT 26, 3:00-4:00pm

Smita Bhargava

Senior Vice President
Clements Worldwide

SMITA BHARGAVA has worked for Clements for 13 years and in the insurance industry for 24 years. Her core responsibilities include binder programs design, structure, placement and servicing, large client sales and management, overseeing underwriting, claims, as well as special projects (ie, personal lines health, personal accident, household effects, commercial lines-life, health, kidnap and ransom, travel accident, US Embassy Association).

From Student Liability to Cyber Liability: Evolving Insurance Solutions for the International School Community

This workshop will provide an overview of risks faced by international schools. Understand benefit options available for staff, how to prepare your school for political violence, emergency evacuation, and what kind of liability coverage you need to cover lawsuits. Key Questions:

– What has changed in the risk landscape for international schools?
– What options are available to protect your employees, board and school?
– Does your school have the right financial protection to survive an event that interrupts activity or a lawsuit?

Max Eisl

Director of Sales - International

For the past decade, MAX EISL has consulted with international schools on technologies including student information, online learning and communications platforms. He holds a BS in Chemistry/Comprehensive Science/Secondary Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership. Mr Eisl worked in schools for 14 years as a teacher and a principal.

The Next Decade - Marketing and Communications from Basics to Beyond

Artificial Intelligence, Inbound Marketing, Social Media and SEO - how should school leaders market their school in the coming decade? Your school website is critical along with effective messaging, website personalization, better SEO, and social media marketing to drive enrollment and improve the user experience. With these basics as a strong foundation, we will explore cutting edge tools that will provide new ideas to help gain an edge on your competition.


Peggy Pelonis and Julia Tokatlidou's workshop "Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders with Ethos to Serve Humanity" has been cancelled.

Peggy Pelonis

Vice President, American Community Schools of Athens

PEGGY PELONIS is Vice President at the American Community Schools of Athens, Greece, a K-12 international school. Dr Pelonis is a transnational Psychotherapist, author and educator who is committed to providing opportunities with intentional excellence in order for young people to develop conscious citizenship so as to problem solve for the betterment of society.

Julia Tokatlidou

Vice Principal, American Community Schools of Athens

JULIA TOKATLIDOU joined the ACS Athens community in 2005 and has served in various positions, including Vice Principal of the Academy and Principal of The ACS Athens Virtual School. As an educator, Ms Tokatlidou strives for global citizenship, effective risk-taking, ethical decision making, and life-long learning unconfined by physical proximity. She has led workshops and has published in numerous scientific journals.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders with Ethos to Serve Humanity

What kind of educational experiences will prepare young people to become architects of their own learning to develop their authentic leadership identity and serve humanity in this time of rapid change? What type of institutional leadership makes this kind of learning possible? These are the fundamental questions this workshop will engage participants to explore as active members of learning teams. Manifestations of such learning and leadership development will also be shared.

Shabbi Luthra

CEO, Consilience

SHABBI LUTHRA has worked for over three decades in various teaching and leadership roles in the field of educational technology and innovation leadership in international schools. As CEO at Consilience, she supports the use of data to inform learning in schools through the design of learning analytics and data visualizations in the Learning Analytics Collaborative.

Kevin Crouch

Director of Technology Services

KEVIN CROUCH has led teachers and administrators at three different schools through the transformation of becoming digital-age organizations. As Director of Technology Services at Consilience, he addresses the challenge of developing teacher leaders that can help lead our schools through the increasingly complex landscape of education in the digital age.

Data Conversations: The Heart of Learning Analytics

Conversations about learners, achievement, and their context lie at the heart of learning analytics. This presentation introduces novel ways that schools are examining existing and innovative data sets to inform conversations in support of student learning. Using several interactive, online visual data interfaces we will share and discuss:

• Tools for data collection, reporting, and analysis;
• How to uncover emergent patterns in student achievement using both external and internal assessments;
• The use of unstructured data.

Aasya Malik

Senior Educational Consultant
Follett School Solutions

AASYA MALIK is a career educator who has taught in China, UAE, Pakistan, USA, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia over the last 25 years. Ms Maik is a Senior Educational Consultant for Follett School Solutions supporting customers in the UAE, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She provides consultations to librarians, teachers and coordinators.

Follett Titlewave - How to Maximize Your Search

Follett Titlewave is the one-stop shop for all curricular resources. We offer digital and print resources from over 6000 publishers worldwide. Follett is also the exclusive seller of all IB publications. The Titlewave workshop will equip you on how to find what you need to best meet your curricular needs. Follett also offers shelf-ready books for libraries, support for developing library and classroom collections as well as Destiny Library Manager and Resource Manager software to manage and circulate valuable resources.

Jen Ricks

Director of Learning
American Community School of Abu Dhabi, UAE

JEN RICKS is the Director of Learning at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. Dr. Ricks has served schools, districts and state departments of education in various capacities throughout her career. She is passionate about finding the balance between disrupting systems and implementing systems that become institutionalized., @jenricks

Amy Greene

High School Principal
American Community School of Abu Dhabi, UAE

AMY GREENE is in her third year as High School Principal at ACS Abu Dhabi. She previously worked at Zurich International School where she served in various positions including teacher, AP Coordinator, and High School Assistant Principal. Ms Greene’s experience playing NCAA Division I basketball shaped her educational philosophy with her understanding of teamwork, coaching, and hands-on learning., @zurichfan

Implementing Integrated Science: One School's Journey

Join ACS Abu Dhabi's High School Principal and Director of Learning as they share their eighteen-month journey transitioning to an Integrated Science program, including the process for course development and how they involved various stakeholder groups in the communication plan.

Paul Sanders

Executive Director, International
The College Board

Last year, PAUL SANDERS assumed a leadership role with the College Board’s International Division in New York. Previously, he served as Global Head of Recognition at the International Baccalaureate Organization (2011-2018), as the Executive Director of the Center for College Readiness at Rice University (2009-2011), and Senior Educational Manager at the College Board (1999-2009).

Innovations in AP: A Look Ahead to 2019-2020

On August 1, The College Board made available a robust set of new classroom resources for AP teachers and students. Coordinators and administrators will use a new online system that makes exam registration and ordering easier. Join us for a review of these upcoming innovations and learn how you can prepare your school and students for the future of AP.

Diane Ullman

International Accreditation Leader
New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC)

DIANE ULLMAN is an NEASC International Accreditation Leader. She currently directs the Advanced Instructional Leadership Program, a partnership between the University of Connecticut and the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (Amman, Jordan). She was formerly a superintendent and principal. Dr. Ullman is co-author of Learning Personalized: Evolution of the contemporary classroom

Schools that Learn: From Improvement to Transformation

This session will introduce ACE Learning as a process that helps schools prepare learners for the challenges of the 21st century by focusing on the learner impacts they most value. ACE Learning helps schools embark on a transformation journey by using a developmental approach that honors each school’s learning trajectory. This workshop is intended for those interested in pursuing school transformation as well as those interested in becoming an ACE accreditation visitor.

SUN, OCT 27, 8:30-9:30am

Gareth Bradwick

Senior International Schools Team Manager
Edmentum International


GARETH BRADWICK has worked with schools and supported them with technology since 2012. In his spare time he has a passion for the arts and directs theatre performances and provides performance-based workshops to learners from children age four to adults in a variety of settings.

Expanding Educational Opportunities with Accredited Virtual School Courses

Schools are under pressure to offer the widest range of courses to satisfy parents’ and students’ needs. The option of Virtual School Courses with qualified teachers online offers a solution to school’s challenges.

In the session, you will learn about:

• Expanding course offerings that schools normally cannot offer
• The need to increase graduation rates / decrease dropout rates
• Offering cost-effective alternatives to a fully taught onsite program
• Credit Recovery program
• Schedule Flexibility
• Filling Teacher Gaps

Dakota Hill

International Account Executive

Muriel Cole-Webber

High School Principal
Kuwait Bilingual School

DAKOTA HILL is the International Account Executive with ExploreLearning. Based out of Virginia in the United States, Mr Hill helps international schools and educators leverage technology to advance math and science education across the globe.

MURIEL COLE-WEBBER is the High School Principal at Kuwait Bilingual School. Originally from the United States, she is a dedicated administrator with a passion for student growth and technology in the classroom.

Integrating Technology with a Leadership Mindset

Chances are your school is integrating technology to progress Math and Science in your classrooms. See why leadership is the key to unlocking your team's full potential with tech in school. Discover best practices as well as some of the top resources to help your school and students maximize their production and growth in the classroom in the areas of math and science.

Tunji David Lees

Head of Student Development
Swiss Leadership Camp

As Head of Student Development at Swiss Leadership Camp, TUNJI DAVID LEES is responsible for the development of student leadership modules that are often developed together with our partner schools. He has extensive experience designing and implementing experiential learning programs at schools around the world and is keen to share some best practices.

Student leadership as a means to boost academic performance and well-being

We will share best practices from top schools around the world on how to design, implement and optimize student leadership programs with learning outcomes aligned with your school curriculum. Developing leadership skills can be a powerful tool for increasing students' academic performance and well-being, as well as helping to create a positive, cooperative and work-driven student body.

Brian Leukering

Director, Strategic Partnerships
Vector Solutions Education

Randa Shoeb

ServEd Consultancy

BRIAN LEUKERING is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Vector Solutions Education, overseeing a team that serves International Markets, the Insurance Industry and Reseller Markets within K-12 and higher education with the SafeSchools, SafeColleges and Exceptional Child online training brands.,

RANDA SHOEB is an experienced administrator with a career in international schools spanning more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as the ES/MS Principal at Schutz American School in Alexandria, Egypt. Her expertise lies in school leadership, management/operations, human resources, recruitment, teacher training and appraisal, curriculum planning and development, student assessment, and data analysis.

Using Online Training to Make Schools Safer and More Inclusive

Learn how advancements in online training can result in safer and more inclusive schools. Discuss the present and future of Learning Management Systems and hear how thousands of schools worldwide are automating training by delivering high quality content on important K-12 safety topics, tracking compliance and maintaining state-of-the-art records management.

Walter Pena Lopez

Business Manager
American International School of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

WALTER PENA LOPEZ is a CPA with fifteen years of experience in international schools. He worked at ACS La Paz-Bolivia for nine years and is currently serving his sixth year as Business Manager at the American International School of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He also worked as an auditor for PWC for three and a half years.

We Moved to a New Campus: This is what we learned

AISJ Jeddah moved to a new campus last year. It’s been a once in a lifetime experience for our community. As sweet as it sounds, the project was not smooth nor free of unexpected issues. If you are going through something similar or planning for a new campus, I would like to share our experiences so you can be prepared for what is coming your way.

David Macfarlane

Vice President - Global Sales
Teach Away

DAVID MACFARLANE is an accomplished recruitment expert. Through his work providing expertise to a variety of different education institutions spanning the globe, he has keen insight into the current challenges, opportunities and trends in international education recruitment.

International Education Recruitment: The Hiring Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore in 2020

At a time when hiring international educators is more competitive than ever, going the extra mile to understand how to reach and attract quality teachers is no longer optional - it’s vital. To find out what truly makes teaching candidates tick, Teach Away surveyed our extensive online community of job-seeking educators. Featuring data-driven insights and advice from international education recruitment experts, this session covers everything schools need to know about hiring teachers internationally.

Dana Specker Watts

Director of Research and Development
International Schools Services (ISS)

DANA SPECKER WATTS is the Director of Research and Development at International Schools Services (ISS). She worked in Hong Kong (HKIS), India (AES) and Thailand (ISB), and served as Executive Director of WLead and as Director of Innovation at 21st Century Learning International. She recently completed her PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky.,

The Diversity Collaborative: Findings and Next Steps

Come learn more about the Diversity Collaborative, hear the findings from the Spring 2019 Diversity Collaborative Survey (DCS) and learn what can be done at the school, regional and global levels to promote more diverse, inclusive and equitable leadership at international schools.