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From Your Executive Director: May 2015

Welcome to Our Newest Associate Members

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Our 71 Associate Members’ contacts and websites are listed on our website at:


The Year in Review

This has been a positive year for AASSA. For the sake of brevity, I will highlight a few key areas:

  1. The Board of Trustees revisited AASSA’s mission, vision and values and the result was a newstrategic plan framework which will take AASSA through 2020.

  2. Paul Sicard, currently the Elementary Principal at Escuela Campo Alegre, was hired as the incomingDeputy Director of AASSA to start August 1, 2015

  3. Membership increased by 4 schools this year for a total of 75 member schools and our Associate Members increased by 5 for a total of 70 Associate Members. Both our school and associate memberships are at all-time highs.

  4. The Board’s investment policy has proven to be very beneficial amid the rising equities market. We have met our reserve target and are well-poised for the future.

  5.  We held our fourth and largest GIN Conference at Lincoln School in Buenos Aires.

  6. We held successful and well-attended professional development conferences: Business Managers,Governance and the annual Educators’ Conference hosted by ISC in Curaçao.

  7. I particularly want to thank the International School of Curaçao faculty who were such great partners in this year’s Educators’ Conference.

  8. The AASSA Purchasing Service placed orders, consolidated and shipped for 23 schools this year.

  9. 11 schools used the AASSA Payment Processing Service to pay their staff.

  10. We created Google Group listserves for all the categories of staff in our Membership Directory as well as GIN advisors to enhance communication within the region.

  11. Our foray into Social Media was skillfully handled by Silvia Tolisano who has served as a consultant to AASSA this past year. We have gone from no followers on Twitter to 853 followers and 1387 tweets this month so far.

  12. The AASSA Blog has burgeoned to 199 entries and 11,541 views to date!

  13.  Our office tech infrastructure was upgraded by the addition of a second server, a high-speed internetconnection and new phone service.

  14. The AASSA Recruiting Fair attendance was down this year as was the total number of candidates placed—a reality that most recruiting agencies faced amid a rapidly changing market. We have taken steps to better position AASSA for the coming year and will see if last year was the start of a trend or an anomaly contributed to by our new requirement of confidential references.


I would like to thank and recognize the AASSA Board for their commitment to the organization and their unwavering support.

I also want to thank Dr. William Scotti and the Office of Overseas Schools. Without their assistance, we would not be able to accomplish all that we have.

A Special Thanks to Our 2014-2015 Major Sponsors


TieCare International


SUNY Buffalo


Curriculum Associates George Mason University International Schools Services The College Board


Heads of School

The following heads of school are leaving their positions this year, either for retirement or new challenges. We have a wonderful group of school heads in AASSA, and on behalf of the region I wish those departing the region all the very best and thank you for your contributions.

  1. Edward Cooper, American International School of Bolivia, Cochabamba

  2. Jack Delman, Carol Morgan School, Dominican Republic David Deuel, Santa Cruz Cooperative School, Bolivia Sylvia Echeverri, Colegio Bureche, Colombia

  3. Margie Elhage, International School of Curacao

  4. Lee Fertig, Graded School, Sao Paulo

  5. Mark Lee, International School Port of Spain

  6. Sarah Putnam, International School of Aruba

  7. Michael Schramm, Uruguayan International School Carmen Sweeting, Colegio Internacional de Caracas, Venezuela


Patricia de Marin

I would like to recognize a very special person with whom I have had the pleasure of working closely during my tenure, and that is Patricia de Marin of Cotopaxi Academy in Quito. Patricia is retiring after 34 years at Cotopaxi, most of her time spent in human resources. During her tenure, however, she has served as the Director’s secretary and assistant, she was involved in the development of the English Language Center for the community and the Imagine Nursery Program—both very successful endeavors. She has managed the relationship between the school and the Ecuadorian Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs and even been in charge of the cafeteria, the nurses’s office and transportation!

Patricia has been a regular presenter and participant at AASSA Business Manager Institutes and was instrumental in the success of the 2012 AASSA Educators’ Conference.

Congratulations, Patricia, and enjoy the change of pace!


Summary of 2014-2015 PD Events Hosted by Schools

This year, AASSA, with support from the Office of Overseas Schools, began sponsoring professional development events hosted by member schools that were open to participants from other member schools. I would like to give a round of applause and sincere thanks to the following schools for hosting the following eleven conferences and institutes:

  1. ClimA 2014 Student Leadership Conference Colegio Roosevelt, Lima

  2. Redefining Fair Institute: How to Plan, Assess and Grade for Excellence in Mixed Ability Classrooms American School of Brasilia

  3. VANAS Conference Escuela Campo Alegre, Caracas

  4. Using Data to Improve Student Learning Alliance Academy, Quito

  5. Innovate Conference Graded School, Sao Paulo

  6. Engaging All Students with Group Differentiation Strategies Alliance Academy, Quito Refining Your Instructional Leadership Institute American School of Brasilia

Special Needs Institutes were also hosted by the following schools with the kind support of the Office of Overseas Schools:

  1. Alliance Academy, Quito

  2. American School of Brasilia

  3. American School of Rio de Janeiro

  4. AASSA Educators’ Conference in Curaçao


2015 AASSA Global Citizen Award Recipients

The AASSA Global Citizen Award sponsored by TieCare International recognizes a student or group of students selected from AASSA Member Schools in good standing that has made exemplary contributions through a school and/or community-based service program which has led either to: greater international understanding, positive local or global change, addressing a global challenge, or changed lives—thereby setting an example for us all.

This year’s recipients’ schools will each receive an equal share of the $4,000 which is to be used to assist the project or charity for which the award was given. We received the strongest pool and greatest number of applicants to date, and the decision of the AASSA Board of Trustees committee was to award all of the applications for their exceptional projects and work.

The award recipients in alphabetical order are:

1. Centradas, Academia Cotopaxi, Ecuador: Lucas Calero was recognized for his work (which began as a GIN Project) that was carried out at a local public school in Quito. Because of the high poverty level of the students, teenage pregnancy is a reality affecting 23 out of the school’s 300 girls. Lucas developed a curriculum aimed at curbing teenage pregnancy among the teenage girls and successfully taught the program to 25 girls.

2. CLima Core Planning Team, Colegio Roosevelt, Peru: Twelve students, listed below, were recognized for their role in organizing the first-ever student leadership climate change conference for the region—a conference incorporating elements of GIN, MUN and TEDx style talks (


3. Dar Bolivia, American Education Association, La Paz, Bolivia: Two students (Ignacio Cardozo and Carlos Fabricio Orosco) were recognized for their work with Dar Bolivia, an organization that raises awareness about community needs and encourages students to donate and volunteer their time on behalf of children who are sick or recovering. Carlos Orosco is the founder of the organization. (

4. Do Something at Graded, Brazil: Michael Nimtzovitch Borger was recognized for founding and leading Do Something at Graded (, an organization that has as its main goal youth empowerment with a focus on community action-based initiatives that have involved entire divisions of the school in its projects. Michael is also an active member of Graded Entrepreneurial Enterprise, a community service group that raises funds to support projects.

5. Fundación The Columbus School, Colombia: Felipe Monsalve Vélez and Esteban Rey Londoño were recognized for proposing and creating an unprecedented program in Medellin to teach programming to children in need in the hope that this discipline could improve their lives. ( AND

6. Galo Plaza Foundation, Colegio Americano, Ecuador: Antonia Alvarez and Paulo Torres were recognized for their work with the foundation whose main goal is to revive the thinking of Ecuador’s ex-president on promoting education, conservation and development. A major part of their work has focused on the development of a library in Zuleta, but they have gone above and beyond by opening up the possibility for children with extremely low economic resources from Zuleta to avail themselves of academic and athletic scholarships at Academia Cotopaxi. (https://www/–2yvGRc)

7. Keep Culture Alive #KCA, American International School of Kingston, Jamaica: Katia Theresa Chuck is recognized for her passionate work with cultural diversity, recruiting Cultural Ambassadors, and sharing their cultures through an extended web of social media networks. ( AND

8 Lincoln Community Service Salta, Argentina: Four students (Ming Lei, Manuel Lopez Mazzotta, Violeta Bullrich and Jeong Eun Kim) were recognized for their work with the Lincoln Community Service Salta Project. The project’s purpose is to offer food, clothing, medical supplies and other donations to local communities in the área and to allow interaction between Lincoln students and the Salteñan residents for mutual cultural enrichment. (

9. Misión Internacional Voces de Esperanza, Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, Honduras: Five students (Mario Kafati, Mario Faraj, Natalia Larach, Faris Andonie and Diego Panayotti) were selected for their endless dedication and work with this organization whose purpose is to provide people in need with a worthy life and equal opportunities through improving healthcare, housing and general conditions. ( AND

10. Proyecto Biblioteca Luis Cisneros Noriega, Colegio Alberto Einstein, Ecuador: Maria Paula Heredia Flor is recognized for starting a project at a low-income school where she took it upon herself to create a library. She raised funds to install shelves and furniture, got donations of 650 books, and created her own tracking system. The library has been named in her honor.

11. Service Oriented Students (SOS), Escola Americana Do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Julia de Almeida Guimaraes is recognized for her involvement in SOS, raising the bar through her tireless effort and dedication. SOS focuses on community service projects, attracting over 1,000 people at their major cancer walk-a-thon project.

12. Snacks for Tots, Carol Morgan School, DR: Gabriela De Los Santos was recognized for founding and running her organization which serves children in Santo Domingo’s slums and those living on the streets by providing health snacks and playtime as well as special visits and gifts during the holidays.

Thank you to TIECARE International for their funding of this program and congratulations to this year’s recipients, their advisers and their schools for the fine work they are doing.


A Special Thanks to the AASSA Staff

I would like to recognize the AASSA staff and take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication and fine work throughout the year.


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