At ISL, we believe that a dedicated staff makes a true difference in the overall quality of our offerings. Meet the team!
Dr. Nadine Trépanier-Bisson
Dr. Nadine Trépanier-Bisson
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 Executive Director for the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and 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.
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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.
Regional Representative, Sweden
Regional Representative, Sweden
The pursuit of excellence has motivated Hans Nilsson throughout his 45-year career in education. His passion for helping students be healthy and well-rounded, combined with his deep experience in Sweden’s education system, give him unparalleled insights into what works for students, schools, and their leaders.
The former teacher, principal, and (recently retired) superintendent has helped produce meaningful improvements in academic achievement among Swedish students. “We have raised results seven years in a row despite having thousands of newly arrived immigrants entering the system.” At least as importantly, Hans has been involved with efforts to create common approaches and information-sharing among principals in Malmö, Sweden, such as a framework to guide new and long-serving leaders alike.
During his time as an associated school director, he coordinated superintendents in the six districts of Malmö to develop their schools using a common approach. He also acted as the bridge between superintendents at different levels of the system, planned new schools, and created opportunities for schools and local companies to work together to prepare students for the future. He also organized annual conferences in his country’s three biggest cities to enable system leaders to learn from each other and ultimately change education in Sweden.
His experience has shown him that teaching educators isn’t that different from teaching younger students. Trying to force change doesn’t work. Rather, Hans says, “If they’re not getting the results they want, you have to help them open their eyes to see something that might be a good idea.” The real success comes when teachers, principals, and superintendents start to share what they’ve learned to help each other.
Given his background as a national-level gymnast and coach, and his more recent work as a ski instructor and diving coach, Hans naturally emphasizes the importance of helping students be physically active in ways they enjoy. When educators connect with students and help them feel good about themselves, he says, achievement follows.
“There’s so much research. We see it everywhere in the world. Kids have more psychological problems, and the pandemic hasn’t helped. This is something we need to address because if you don’t feel good you can’t do well at school and physical activity, we know, enhances learning ability.”
After many years of study and summers of work in the United States, Hans is also a fluent English-speaker.
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.
For more than 35 years, Stephen McCombe has used his personal and career experiences to improve the lives of children. Having successfully guided several schools through difficult transitions as principal, he’s well positioned to make a difference at the school and system level, while maintaining an unwavering focus on student achievement, especially in the face of adversity.
In his work with ISL, Stephen has led virtual and in-person workshops for teachers, school owners, vice principals and principals around the world, with particular impact in places such as China, the Middle East, Uganda, Colombia, Costa Rica, and the Cayman Islands, as well as Esbjerg and Vejle in Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden. He strongly encourages prospective school leaders to push their thinking beyond the classroom and takes great pride in knowing that what they learn from him can be applied immediately to their own setting.
He has been involved at the provincial level in Canada as an educational consultant in professional learning with the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and ISL. Stephen is aware that while the Ontario model has proven to be an excellent blueprint for success, there is no single approach that works for everyone, so he continues to educate himself on both emerging research and clients’ unique needs and contexts.
One of Stephen’s greatest achievements is his examination of school and system leadership in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, a First Nations community on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. He worked alongside members of the Wiikwemkoong Board of Education to better understand their priorities and conducted interviews with band elders and a community historian, ultimately drafting a plan of action that reflected their culture in all its documents. The proposal was widely adopted and met with immense gratitude for its thoroughness and thoughtful approach. Subsequently, Stephen and an ISL team developed policies, procedures and a series of manuals to support the work of the board.
During his time with ISL, Stephen has found the direct impact of the organization’s work on student learning to be a persistent and powerful motivator. Knowing that administrators he has trained are actively working with its teachers who are in turn actively working with students to help them succeed provides an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and professional pride.
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.