Search Associates attended the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) 2017 Fall Leadership Conference in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) on October 19th-22nd. Senior Associates David Cramer, Jim Ambrose, and Brent Mutsch joined approximately 500 heads of school, principals, associate principals, curriculum directors, human resource specialists, business leaders, trustees, and others in key school leadership roles at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The conference was thoughtfully planned with plenary sessions kicking off each day followed by multi-hour workshops delivered by specialist speakers and general interest sessions run by NESA members and their affiliates. Additionally, there were ample opportunities to network as "collaboration is a cornerstone" to the success of the NESA organization. Search Associates was the proud sponsor of a luncheon enjoyed by many in attendance.
Inspiring keynotes kicked off the learning for each day of the conference. Educational consultant Carolyn McKanders spoke about creating a culture of wholeness in schools. This topic is especially relevant; research has revealed an increase in student anxiety, depression, and emotional overwhelm—even in many of the top international schools. On the second day, Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer for Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education and instructor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education addressed the topic of building and maintaining school cultures that forge a commitment not only to high standards for quality work and thinking but also for character. Executive Vice President of PLS 3rd Learning, and international presenter, facilitator and consultant, Steve Barkley, kicked off the third morning speaking specifically about the impact of creating a coaching culture in our schools to further promote the learning of students and adults alike.
Networking was the order of the day for our Search Associates, from casual hellos to catching up with old friends to extended one-on-ones with administrative candidates regarding leadership positions. Jim describes one heartwarming encounter:
“A candidate I helped get his first job overseas 15 years ago introduced himself as an example of long term success.”
Jim described another moving experience. Robin Heslip, the current Superintendent of the American Community School (ACS) in Abu Dhabi, held a reception in honor of Senior Associates David Cramer and Jim Ambrose, two former ACS Superintendents! Jim adds,
“We both saw former students who returned to live and work in Abu Dhabi as adults . . . including two former students who are now board members at ACS.”
Search Associates unveiled a new service for Search member schools, which is being showcased at the fall leadership conferences. Interested to get a sneak peek? Join us at the upcoming IB Africa/Europe/Middle East Conference to learn more about this new, no-cost benefit which is exclusive to schools registered with Search Associates. Stay tuned for further information regarding a wonderful development that will contribute to member schools being able to more effectively manage their recruiting pool of candidates in a few weeks!
Search Associates makes it a priority to attend events like the 2017 NESA Leadership Fair. At the heart of what we do is work that seeks to ensure that the quality of learning experiences that students access contributes to their achieving their dreams.