We currently have 71 member schools and 65 Associate Members. Both are at all time highs.
The investment policy which was adopted by the Board a year and a half ago has proven to be very beneficial amid the rising equities market. We have met our reserve target and are well poised for the future.
Our purchasing service is doing well and we will easily exceed $3.3 million in orders this year. We are working with a record of 28 schools this year, which represents 39% of our membership- another record. This year we provided virtual training on using the AASSA online purchasing system which has made a noticeable improvement this year.
Our recruiting fair was the largest ever in terms of the number of candidates, schools and placements. Major upgrades have been made to the Recruiting Fair online system for the coming year. For the 2014 Recruiting season, we will begin to require that candidates submit only confidential references in addition to stressing the importance of checking references and doing criminal background checks prior to confirmation of hiring.
We held our third successful GIN Conference at the American School of Quito, with the next GIN conferencesto be held in Buenos Aires (October 2014) and Rio de Janeiro (October 2015).
We held successful professional development conferences which were each the largest in AASSA ’s history: Business Managers, Governance and the annual Educators’ Conference hosted by Graded School in Sao Paulo (with 900 participants).
I particularly want to thank the Graded faculty and staff who were such great partners in pulling off the largest event in AASSA’s history
Future Educators’ Conferences are in the planning stage with the March 2015 being held at the International School of Curaçao and the 2016 conference at Colegio Franklin D. Roosevelt in Lima, Peru.
Drs. James Strong facilitated a Teacher & Leader Effectiveness Institute sponsored by the Office of Overseas Schools in Atlanta which was well – attended by participants from both AASSA and Tri- Association schools.
The State Department also provided a grant for music teaching that directly benefited a number of schools in the region and the region as a whole through the participation by Dr. Russell Robinson in the AASSA Educators’ Conference in Sao Paulo.
I have had the honor of being appointed to the AAIE Board of Direc tors and to having served as a keynoter representing AASSA at two events this year: The AAIE Conference in Boston and the VANAS Teachers’ Conference in Valencia, Venezuela.
With all of these successes, it is a perfect time to begin to reflect and perhaps reinvent AASSA. In September, the Board will undergo a unique visioning session facilitated by Teresa Arpin to envision and ultimately lay the groundwork for the AASSA of the future –thinking outside the conventional box to refocus what it might mean in years to come to be a regional organization serving international schools in a world of rapid change. This may mean adding to what we currently offer, and it may mean eliminating undertakings that have historically been part of our annual calendar. One decision has already been made and that is to eliminate the NAIS membership for Full Member schools that AASSA has provided the past three years. The reality is that we are spending a lot of money and literally only a couple of schools have ever logged in more than once! Rather than spend money on a benefit that members are not taking advantage of, these funds will be reallocated for professional development programs in the region.
I am very fortunate to have a small but wonderful staff and, on behalf of the six of us, I would like to thank you all for your support. I would like to thank and recognize the AASSA Board for their time commitment to the organization, their unwavering support, and granting me the freedom to do my job. I also want to thank Dr. Bill Scotti and the Office of Overseas Schools. Without their assistance, we would not be able to accomplish all that we have. Have a great and well-deserved “summer” break…and know that “time flies” even faster during vacations!