At ISL, we believe that a dedicated staff makes a true difference in the overall quality of our offerings. Meet the team!
New Business Coordinator and Instructor
New Business Coordinator and Instructor
“I’ve always been passionate about being the best you can be, and about growing as a professional. I enjoy sharing those experiences to help school leaders support student achievement.”
Bob’s deep expertise and broad experience would be enough to make him a respected figure in the field, but when you add in his love of helping other people succeed, you have a truly exceptional educational leader. He is a popular and sought-after instructor with an unwavering focus on giving educators the knowledge and practical tools that will help them improve their schools and boost student learning.
An award-winning elementary school principal for more than 25 years, Bob went on to help found Ontario’s Leading Student Achievement Initiative, an unprecedented effort that saw the province’s three school systems collaborating to promote excellence in leadership. He has taught candidates in the Ontario Principal’s Qualification Program and served as a lead reviewer of science and literacy texts with the Ontario Curriculum Centre. After consulting in many different school environments, he recently spent a year as the principal at The American School of Bangkok where he also spearheaded the development of an online school system.
Bob draws on his wide-ranging career when instructing educational leaders around the world, whether in person or virtually, in countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Sweden, and Qatar. He encourages participants in his sessions to consider the same questions he applies to his own professional life: “How can I grow? How can I continuously improve as a leader?”
In all he does, Bob encourages an understanding of emotional intelligence to help learners bring out the best in themselves, their staff, and their students. Course participants praise Bob’s good humour, professionalism, approachability, and ability to adapt to local circumstances and incorporate local scenarios. It’s a testament to his personality and effectiveness that former students stay in touch to share news of their careers and achievements. “It’s very gratifying to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life,” Bob says.
Chief Operations and Leadership Officer
Chief Operations and Leadership Officer
Nadine Trépanier-Bisson, former school teacher turned executive, is an agent of change within the world of education and professional learning. With a career spanning more than two decades, she currently serves as the Director of Professional Learning for the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and Chief Operations and Leadership Officer of International School Leadership (ISL).
Prior to joining OPC and ISL, Nadine was the Executive Director for l’Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO). Fluently bilingual in English and French, Nadine exhibits a passion for the design, development and implementation of professional learning opportunities.
The current conditions call for adaptability and Nadine relishes working in a changing environment. As an educator, innovator and leader, she sparks conversations around discerning the needs of professional learners and seeks to leverage technology to drive ISL and its work forward.
The work ISL does is connected to the research. Nadine leans on the research and has applied research-based practical professional learning for school and system leaders. She has the ability to connect with scholars and practitioners and bring them together to produce results.
With a focus on developing strong organizational skills, she is committed to building a sustainable model from the ground up. Embracing change is not seen as a risk, but rather a reward for thinking outside of the box and challenging current ways of thinking.
Every connection she makes translates to a more meaningful understanding of the world. Every connection Nadine makes translates to a more meaningful understanding of the world. She is a champion of diversity, inclusion and carries an eagerness to engage the younger generation, which speaks to her adaptability. The commitment to lifelong learning is evidenced by her pursuit of a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in the area of International Education. A love for her family, cooking, reading and swimming, guides her out of office life.
Connect with Nadine
Networking Site: LinkedIn
Dr. Andy Scott
Director of Operations and Program
Dr. Andy Scott
Director of Operations and Program
With a career spanning four decades, Dr. Andy Scott has become one of the preeminent voices in global education. He’s the driving force behind projects that have influenced and impacted scores of system and school leaders around the world.
The seeds for success within education were sown in earnest. Contributions to the success of students were made as a teacher, elementary and secondary principal and culminated in an appointment of superintendent of schools. His pursuit of a Doctorate in Education underscores his commitment to being a lifelong learner. Dr. Scott also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
Collaborative work with the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) — whose mission is to provide school leaders in public education the professional services and support needed to provide exemplary leadership — sparked the creation of unique professional development opportunities. That same entrepreneurial spirit spawned ISL. Leveraging the strength and reputation of the OPC to inform international stakeholders in the world of education.
Demonstrated leadership within the realm of global education drives the work of ISL. An ongoing fascination and deep understanding of the principles of leadership, in all environments, continues to drive Dr. Scott. Building results-driven programs is a foundational piece of his work for ISL. His scope of responsibilities range from program customization and development to leading various international projects focused on a commitment to the principles of effective school leadership.
Achievements include Malmö, Sweden (2017-2019), where the implementation of a system-wide strategic plan — designed to improve student achievement through a focus on instructional leadership practices at the school and system level — strengthened the institutional framework. The case of Malmö Elementary Schools substantiates the view that system thinking matters.
In partnership with UNESCO and the Peruvian Ministry of Education, Dr. Scott travelled to Lima in 2018 with a team from ISL to implement several projects. They provided recommendations regarding the career path of principals in Peru and crafted a mentoring blueprint for school leaders. The collection of information was a key part of the development work, while the findings were analyzed and formal recommendations were made for the principals’ career path, professional learning continuum and a mentoring program for school leaders.
Increasing awareness through partnerships has been a significant driver for ISL engagement and program adoption. Dr. Scott and his team have forged ongoing partnerships in Norway (Mekki Education); Australia (Western Australia Primary Principals Association); China (Shanghai International Community School) and Thailand (The American School of Bangkok).
Dr. Scott has authored and co-authored several articles including: System Thinking: Malmö Elementary Schools; What Matters Most in the Design of Universal Professional Learning for School Leaders: An International Perspective; School Leadership That Works: Ideas from Around the World; and How to Realize the Dream of Online Learning for School Leaders: Lessons Learned from African Principals.
Dr. Scott relishes working with clients that want to actively engage with ISL and to contextualize the program to their surrounding and culture. The relationships he has forged abroad hold dear meaning. Making a difference is a commitment he continues to make — those experiences have helped him to become a better leader.
Regional Representative, Southern Hemisphere
Regional Representative, Southern Hemisphere
In the course of his 36+ year career as a professional global educator, Alfred has excelled as a veteran teacher of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and as a highly regarded school leader. During his tenure as principal, Alfred worked to enhance learning outcomes by empowering school leaders through coaching, mentoring and professional development. Further, he initiated and engaged in partnerships between schools in Uganda and the United Kingdom, thereby developing collective knowledge and appreciation for issues of diversity, inclusivity, leadership and global citizenry.
He also served as the National Vice Chairperson of the Association of Secondary School Head Teachers of Uganda, where he was responsible for professional development and Information Communication Technology (ICT) development of school leaders across the country. In addition to his multiple contributions to association leadership, Alfred has also made an impact as a member of the African Confederation of Principals and the International Confederation of Principals, regional and global professional associations, respectively.
He is passionate about Web and Systems Development, and is particularly adept at Online Course Development related to leadership, education management, and ICT. Through the advancement of technology in teaching and learning, he has been a true change agent. Alfred was one of the pioneering teachers to use CyberSchool Technology and technology-based pedagogy in Uganda. He trained teachers of the World Bank Computer-based SchoolNet program, supported by World Links for Development (currently World Links Organization) and thereby helped to link teachers and schools and spearhead innovative use of ICT in education.
Over the past two decades, Alfred has facilitated and instructed a variety of programs related to leadership, management, and education. He is a validated trainer of British Council global professional development programs, including Connecting Classrooms, Global Citizenship and School Partnership, for school leaders and teachers.
In his long career, Alfred has enjoyed opportunities to work very closely with different arms of the Education Ministry of Uganda, responsible for national assessment, curriculum development, and quality assurance of education standards.
Connect with Alfred
Regional Representative, Taiwan
Regional Representative, Taiwan
Ken’s 35 + years of professional experience include leadership roles in both education and business on both coasts of the USA, as well as, Taiwan, Hong, Kong, and Thailand.
He has served as a school administrator for a national private residential school setting and for international school communities in Taiwan and Thailand. At Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, USA, a member of the Coalition of Residential Schools (CORE) and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Ken served as a Houseparent and Neighborhood Consultant in the residential program before moving on to help guide Family Relations and New Student Orientation. Ken has also served as Director of Admissions & Student Support Services at Hsinchu International School in Taiwan and as Director of Admissions and Counselor at the International School Eastern Seaboard in Thailand. He proudly supported the first-time school accreditation process for HIS with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Ken has also benefitted greatly from the assortment of professional training and networking opportunities provided by the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).
Ken is passionate about international & multicultural education and eager to continue his growth as an advocate and ally for equity, diversity, and inclusion. During his nine years of living in Taiwan, he designed and instructed undergraduate and graduate courses at National Chiao Tung University and Asia University. He has also facilitated training for legal professionals and high tech business executives. As a sales consultant for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a global education publisher, he traveled to k-12 school campuses across east and southeast Asia to meet with school leaders interested in new developments and materials to support curricular program successes.
In addition to his travels, Ken’s commitment to life-long learning is reflected in his pursuit of formal education that includes an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Susquehanna University, and post-graduate Master degrees in International & Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco and Global Business Administration from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. Ken holds certification as a TESOL Instructor and has also completed partial coursework toward a Ph.D in Human Development at Marywood University.
Through his career, Ken’s genuine enthusiasm for boundary-spanning and supporting the discovery of our unique potential together have made him a highly effective coach, instructor, team-player, and education leader. Ken is married to Brenda and together they are proud parents to three sons: Tyler, Jordan, and Mitchell.
Connect with Ken
Dr. Sergio Pawel
Dr. Sergio Pawel
“Universal knowledge would cultivate a love of wisdom that could overcome national and religious hatred and ultimately lead to peace”
Proclaimed back in 1650 by J. A. Comenius, these goals remain poignantly contemporary and the basis of a moral compass that govern Dr Sergio Pawel’s commitment to international education.
With a vast experience in international education spanning three decades across four continents, Sergio has led international schools in the United Kingdom and the Middle East where he had a chance to put to the test the notions of international mindedness, intercultural understanding and distributed leadership.
In the capacity of a leadership consultant, Sergio has developed more than 20 schools and curriculum models for schools and group of schools in China, Middle East and Europe as well as acted as adviser to government officials, corporate investors and charitable organizations on matters of school set up, curriculum development and school improvement.
With a solid and extensive academic background, which includes a MSc in Nuclear Physics, MPhil in Philosophy of Science and PhD in Education, he has contributed to the development of the English national Curriculum, the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) and the IB Diploma Science Programmes (DP), the early stages of the development of the international Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) and many other smaller projects. Sergio’s pioneering work on integration of the mother tongue into the mainstream curriculum two decades ahead of time is now widely acknowledged as a point of reference in international education.
Sergio is a regular contributor to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) as a consultant, examiner curriculum designer and programme authorization visits, to the Council of International Schools (CIS) as a team leader in accreditation and authorization visits, to the Alliance of International Education (AIE) and ECIS as a conference presenter. He is also an associated inspector for Dubai’s KHDA.
His research interests ranges from authentic laboratory based learning practices to the study of cultural diversity as learning resource and he is a member of the review board for the Science Education Review journal. Sergio has been a regular presenter at national and international conferences, symposiums on workshops on themes that range from academic leadership, Mother Tongue, post-constructivism, science education, international education, international mindedness, cultural identity, interdisciplinary learning, strategic planning. More recently, Sergio has been researching Mezirow’s transformative learning theory with a view to create framework for global mobile learners.
Dr. Joanne Robinson
Instructor / Consultant
Dr. Joanne Robinson
Instructor / Consultant
Committed to exemplary professional learning for school leaders, Dr. Joanne Robinson is the former Director of Professional Learning for Education Leadership Canada (ELC) at the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and the former Chief Executive Officer of International School Leadership.
Her involvement with the OPC began in 1998 when Joanne was a member of the Interim Council that developed OPC. She was appointed as OPC President in 1999, for a one-year term. In 2001, she returned to OPC, to continue her work on designing, developing and implementing the Principals’ Qualification Program and Supervisory Officers Qualification Program.
Joanne continues to spend much of her time working with school leaders to develop workshops, courses, online learning programs and other opportunities to develop the school leadership skills, expertise and experiences needed in this new environment. She is passionate about mentoring and coaching as it is a powerful vehicle for supporting education leaders. Joanne has completed her Doctorate of Education Leadership, through a study of mentoring and coaching for school leaders, in Ontario.
Joanne has many years of international school leadership expertise and is called upon in many corners of the world to assist in the assessment of leadership needs and in the development of professional programming. She devotes much of her time to supporting international school systems and school leaders through program development and consultation. In her international endeavours, she has travelled to many countries, such as Abu Dhabi, Australia, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Jordan, Peru and South Africa.
She has been an educator since 1972 and served in many capacities including her previous role as Principal with the Thames Valley Board of Education.
Joanne is the mother of two and a grandmother of nine. Her interest and commitment to public education in Ontario is both personal and professional.
Joni Heard is a seasoned educator who rose through the teaching ranks and is deeply committed to the application of research-based practices and processes within the realm of educational leadership.
Having served in a number of leadership roles, Joni’s upward career trajectory includes being a consultant at the district level, vice Principal and principal, education officer, and seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Education for province-wide leadership development.
As an instructor with ISL, Joni oversees a portfolio that includes: classroom instruction, online courses for current and aspiring educational school leaders, developing workshops for international education study tours and Government and Ministry relations.
On the work and its impact, it’s the opportunity to build the capacity of leaders around the world that continues to drive Joni. Providing her clients with the skills and knowledge, and also the dispositions around effective leadership at the school and systems level is a valuable part of the process.
For the programs to succeed, the work has to be contextualized to the participants’ setting. Case in point: Malmö, Sweden, where she helped the Malmö Elementary Schools implement a system-wide strategic plan. The jurisdiction determined a plan for improvement that centred on three key forces: system leadership, structural and process changes, and professional learning for all leaders. On its effectiveness, Anders Malmquist, School Director. Malmö Elementary Schools had this to say: “The learning and commitment have increased for everyone involved and by the power of collective learning we have built capacity within our teams.”
Joni deeply values the relationships forged within the international education community. Being part of a network that boasts a professional presence in terms of global leadership is very important to her. She loyally supports her clients and encourages them to carry on with the work long after she has left her mark. Joni is always willing to support and coach them along the way as the process depends on trust. Building relationships fosters trust, which is essential to creating impactful and lasting outcomes.
A commitment to learn from those she works with is a guiding principle and she firmly believes that it has made her a more effective leader because of it. Joni is optimistic about how our new reality can be an opportunity to affect outcomes. For her, this is a time to engage with leaders and leverage a lot of the existing work to help prospective leaders move forward.
Her enthusiasm for the work is shared by those who have benefitted from the instruction, while her love for the people involved cements her status as a sincere and committed instructor. Outside of ISL, she values spending time at her lake house and keeping up-to-date with a busy sports calendar.
Stephen McCombe has spent his life using his personal and career experiences to improve the lives of children. With a decorated career in education spanning 35 years, he remains committed to making a difference at the school-level through his work at International School Leadership (ISL).
Stephen never loses sight of student achievement, especially in the face of adversity. Having successfully guided several schools through difficult transitions, he’s well positioned to make a difference at the school and system level. That work, coupled with his board-level commitment to professional learning, resulted in provincial-level involvement as an educational consultant in professional learning with the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and ISL.
While the Ontario model has proven to be an excellent blueprint for success, he knows there is no single approach that works for everyone, so he continues to educate himself on emerging research and contextualize the work to provide the most comprehensive program that works for each of his client’s needs.
The reach of Stephen’s work extends globally, with the impact realized in Vejle, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden among others, and leading workshops around the world. Significant contributions to Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) highlight collaboration and the ability to improve capacity. He was a major contributor to The Principal as Professional Learning Community Leader, publishing an article in the Danish publication Canadisk Paedagogik i Skolen (2015).
One of Stephen’s greatest achievements is the work done on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. He spent considerable time examining equity issues in Wiikwemkong Unceded Territory. Working alongside members of the Wiikwemkong Board of Education, Stephen sought to better understand their priorities and drafted a plan of action contextualized to their culture. He conducted interviews with band elders and a community historian to incorporate the local First Nation perspective in each document. The proposal, crafted at the board level, was widely adopted and met with immense gratitude for its thoroughness and thoughtful approach. The work ensured that each document reflected the values and beliefs of the Wikwemikong people.
Stephen strongly encourages prospective school leaders to push their thinking beyond the classroom. He takes great pride in knowing that what they learn can be applied to their own setting immediately. He has facilitated numerous online modules for teachers, school owners, vice principals and principals from around the world. Leveraging those online resources is even more prescient now and Stephen is filled with promise for how to apply those learnings year round and in a virtual setting.
The direct impact of ISL’s work on student learning is a persistent and powerful motivator. For Stephen, knowing that the administration is actively working with its teachers and the teachers are actively working with students, is an accomplishment that cannot be overlooked.
Collaborative work is destined to improve student learning and the ‘Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood’ (Stephen Covey) mentality resonates with him and his work.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees at Western University and the University of Windsor respectively, and holds a Master’s of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. So taken with the nature in northern Ontario, Stephen and his wife have carved out a piece for themselves and he relishes spending more time there with his five grandchildren.
Study Tour Lead & Instructor
Study Tour Lead & Instructor
“Creating empowered leadership teams is the driving force in building school cultures where student centred leadership is pivotal to student success and well-being.” This is the foundational belief upon which Laura Somerville has guided her own career. She brings a varied and extensive background with school, system, provincial and international experience in the areas of establishing networks for learning with leaders as “lead learners” and with a particular interest in social justice issues, equity, inclusion and learning for all students.
Formerly a principal with the Toronto District School board, Laura has served as a Senior Specialist of Education in the Leadership Development and School Governance Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education. She is a facilitator for the Leading Student Achievement initiative in Ontario. She is currently the lead for the Safe and Caring Schools: Healthy Relationships, Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) initiative which supports school leaders in addressing cyber and social media concerns in a modern learning context.
Laura is committed to providing authentic professional development education that is relevant to the local context of the participants. She has been an instructor for the Principal’s Qualification Program at the OPC and has created and facilitated numerous workshops focusing on Courageous Conversations, Mathematics Leadership, the Ontario Leadership Framework and Learning for All through the use of differentiated instruction and assessment. Through coordinating International School Leadership (ISL) Education Study Tours, she has developed a keen understanding and interest of the adult learning needs of international visitors.
Moving from theory to practice, Laura is able to create meaningful and practical connections that support students, teachers, parents and communities.
Focus: Study Tours, Mentoring, School Improvement, Leadership Development, Data Analysis, Classroom Instruction
An entrepreneurial mindset, coupled with 30 years of education, places Bruce Barrett firmly at the intersection of education and business. As an instructor with International School Leadership (ISL), Bruce leverages his experience as a classroom teacher, school administrator (secondary and elementary), and Superintendent, to meet the needs of school and system leaders alike.
Bruce firmly believes that any educational system, its school, or component parts, is measured by achievement, well-being, and safety. His work with school administrators is designed to drive student achievement and engagement by leveraging the analysis of class, school, and system data. For the programs and participants to succeed, a commitment to ongoing conversations and regular monitoring visits is required. Those are key drivers to continuous improvement and that visibility is the gateway to positive relationships. A system of checks and balances keeps Bruce engaged with his clients.
In addition to his work at ISL, Bruce also serves as an Accreditation Officer for the Council of International Schools, managing programs at 1000 elementary and post-secondary institutions across 115 countries.
The seeds for a career in education were planted at an early age. Growing up in West Africa, Bruce demonstrated a level of enthusiasm and curiosity that continues to drive him today in the disciplines of school reform, leadership development, and athletics.
Bruce stays current and leverages technology as part of effective instruction, school improvement and student success — the chief indicators of high performing systems. His visibility on networking platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIN, fosters engagement. Correspondence with prospective clients allows him to develop a program based on the voice of the stakeholder. Bruce continually moderates communal work, produces instructional videos for review and speaks broadly on the topic of the effective use of the Teacher Performance Appraisal as a tool for continuous growth.
Addressing equity issues and gaps is a foundational piece in his quest to bring clarity and action to the system leader. It serves as a chief catalyst to the student achievement agenda. This notion of equity has been recognized as the most significant gap to address when trying to improve student achievement. The basic theme of equity is so pervasive and important for the historically disenfranchised. He has worked extensively with Indigenous communities and system leaders in both Ontario and Canada’s North, including the Wikwemikong Board of Education. At its core, the work was about co-developing effective policies and procedures.
His current work in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines seeks to strengthen school and system leadership. Bruce and his team are delivering the contextualized school and system level leadership programs, with foundational support including the development of a handbook for school leaders and a mentoring program to provide sustained support.
Bruce is cognizant that we are currently at an important intersection in education — a convergence of technology, voice, and pedagogy. His work is about cultivating the environment that maximizes the opportunity and innovation in the very centre of this intersection.
He is a proud husband and grandfather who sharpens his focus through woodworking, travel and being out in nature.