School Leadership

David Henry, Director

David Henry is passionate about teaching students to learn how to learn through authentic, community-connected experiences. These types of service learning experiences coupled with caring, safe environments give teachers better opportunities to make connections and personalize learning for the whole person while encouraging educational risk taking.

ISK mirrors this philosophy in its approach to education by teachers and staff. Together, with students, they strive to create solutions for tomorrow’s challenges often through inquiry-based, student-led initiatives. At the same time, ISK maintains academic excellence in a diverse, inclusive environment.

David Henry became Director of ISK in July 2016. He has worked as an educator internationally in four different decades in places such as Niger, Uzbekistan, El Salvador, Mali, Saudi Arabia, and Chad. He began his career internationally as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. He has graduate degrees in both International Development Education and Educational Leadership and sees international schools as leading educational change, connecting learning to community development and service. His family is multicultural and they believe in the benefits of being able to raise their daughters in a multicultural setting like ISK, are tremendous.

His experiences have helped him confirm that school communities being able to work together doing the right work in a trusting atmosphere improves school-wide achievement. He believes that students, faculty, staff and community members need to celebrate their commonalities and be allowed to nourish their sense of individuality and ownership in their school. ISK, as a school, does just that as it inspires and nurtures passion, creativity, and ambition in pursuit of a better world. He is honored to be serving such a school and its community.

Matthew Woodward, Elementary School Principal

Our new Elementary School Principal, Matthew Woodward joined ISK in July 2018 via Mexico, Chile and the United States. A passionate educator with 18 years of experience in public and international school settings, Matthew has held teaching, principal and curriculum leadership positions. Prior to joining ISK, Matthew served as the Director of Academics at San Roberto International School, where he collaborated with staff and parents across two campuses serving 2,200 students. A highlight of this time was leading the transition into a new mission and vision, which focused on student-centered learning within inquiry units.

Matthew is joined by his wife Mariana, and three young children. As a family, they spend their time in lots of play, music and dance, reading, and laughing with friends. They love to travel and learn about other cultures, and feel extremely grateful to be given the gift of moving to Africa.

Alexa Schmid, Middle School Principal

Alexa Schmid is a student-centered, mission-driven educator. She believes in the power of a growth mindset, collaborative partnerships, open and transparent dialogue between all stakeholders, and the importance of being a lifelong learner. Alexa has been a leader through several change processes in schools, believes in the importance of educating the whole child, and puts a strong emphasis on nurturing relationships and community building.

Alexa joined ISK in July 2017. She has previously worked as an educator in Egypt and India, and started her international career as a Peace Corps Volunteer with the fisheries program in Zambia. She has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Master of Education degree from Plymouth State University (PSU - New Hampshire) and her Principal Certification is also from PSU. She is currently working on her Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership and Community (coursework to be finished in the summer of 2019). Prior to being a principal, Alexa taught middle school math.

Alexa is joined in Kenya by her husband, Stewart, who is a high school English teacher and coach, and her twin daughters, Sophia and Isabella.

Robert Blanchard, High School Principal

Robert Blanchard has been working as an educator in Kenya since 1994 and at The International School of Kenya since 2000. Rob is a United States K-12 certified Principal, though he is a high school specialist. He is an experienced English teacher and has a comprehensive understanding of the IB Diploma program. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Blanchard promotes open dialogue and reflective practice within the ISK community, and values strong relationships with students, faculty, parents, and support staff. He acknowledges the difference that a single teacher can make in the life of individual students. He has chaired the school’s professional development program for many years and is passionate about pushing himself and all ISK educators to always be looking for ways to improve teaching practices and the experiences of students.

Dr. Blanchard appreciates the kind of life-changing and empowering education that ISK provides for 14-19 year olds living in Nairobi. He aims to keep students at the forefront in every decision and create an environment where students place knowledge in context, develop communication skills, reflect on goals, identify patterns, and apply learning into ethical actions that occur outside the school walls.

Gregrey James, Director of Teaching & Learning

Greg James is the new Director of Teaching and Learning at ISK. Prior to joining us in Nairobi, he spent six years working in Santiago, Chile. Greg is a student centered educator who loves to bring authentic and consequential learning experiences into a school's academic program, community, and culture.

During his 19 years in education, Greg has held teaching, principal, and teaching and learning leadership positions. At the International School Nido de Aguilas he worked with the leadership team to reimagine how the academic program connected with and supported the school's new mission and vision.

Joining Greg at ISK are his wife Elizabeth (Grade 3 Teacher), daughter Amelia (Grade 8), and Peter (Grade 5). When not on campus, they enjoy running, camping, cooking, mountain biking, and laughing together. With this new adventure in Africa, they look forward to traveling and celebrating their new community and host country.