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Our Leadership Team

Committed to Excellence

picture of michael callan

 

Michael Callan


Director

Our school Director, Michael (Mike) Callan, joined ISK in July of 2021. Canadian by birth and international by choice, Mr. Callan has strived to make a positive impact on the lives of children for more than three decades. He has led teams of talented educators in Italy, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, and Hong Kong. He began his teaching career in Japan.

Mr. Callan believes that schools must be joyful places in which children are nurtured and challenged. He understands the incredibly powerful influence that dedicated and talented adults can have on student development when they work in harmony. This is why he invests so heavily in fostering communities collectively and unwaveringly focused on student growth and wellness.

He and his wife Michelyne are grateful for the opportunity to join and contribute to the ISK community.

 

Ryan Hopkins-Wilcox


Elementary School Principal

Ryan is a lifelong learner and progressive educational leader. She embraces new opportunities for learning, reflection and growth. To nurture a love of learning Ryan focuses on building the skills of self direction through learner-driven pedagogy. She also believes in the power of passion and purpose for inspiring motivation and ambition as lifelong learners. 

Ryan started her career as a graphic designer and brings the practices of creativity, design thinking and technology to her work still today. She completed her Maters in Education (international curriculum and instruction) at George Mason University and has spent the last 20 years working as a teacher, learning leader and administrator across the globe with positions in Taiwan, Cambodia, Washington DC, Uganda and Kenya.

Ryan believes learning should be joyful, meaningful, and engaging.  Our role as educators is to curate resources, design experiences and co-construct environments that empower learners to discover who they are. She believes in promoting a culture where students learn how they learn best through experimentation and discovery. 

Ryan joined ISK in 2019 with her husband who teaches in the Middle School. Together they love exploring the beauty of Kenya and our world. 

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Dr. Alexa Schmid


Middle School Principal

Alexa Schmid is a student-centered, progressive 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. She is passionate about amplifying student voice, and providing students with opportunities to grow as leaders who can make a difference.

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 Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership and Community (topic: cultural competence in international school leaders). Prior to being a principal, Alexa taught middle school math.

Alexa lives in Kenya with her husband, Stewart, who is a High School English teacher and coach, and her twin daughters, Sophia and Isabella.

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Dr. Robert Blanchard


High School Principal

Dr. 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 (including IB and A Levels) and has a comprehensive understanding of the IB Diploma program. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Blanchard promotes open dialogue, respectful interaction and reflective practice within the ISK community, and values strong relationships with students, faculty, staff and parents. He acknowledges the difference that a single teacher can make in the life of individual students, promoting an inclusive and caring climate. He has chaired the school’s teacher growth and learning program for many years and is passionate about pushing himself and all ISK educators to always be looking for ways to grow, improve teaching practices and enrich the learning 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 listen, develop a voice and strong communication skills, feel safe and a sense of belonging, reflect honestly while seeing hope and finding solutions, and apply everyday learning into ethical action inside and outside the school walls. Rob’s three adult children are proud International School of Kenya Alumni Lions, having attended ISK as students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Dr. Virginia Prairie


Director of Teaching and Learning

Virginia (Ginny) joined ISK in July 2022 after serving as a learning leader in Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Before becoming a schoolwide leader, Ginny taught a variety of subject areas from 5th grade to 12th grade in Virginia, Florida, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. She holds a doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership. 

Ginny is a voracious researcher who loves working with other thinkers and doers by listening to the community, piloting new ideas, seeking feedback, and sharing progress. She strives to cultivate and model a culture of trust, transparency, and flexibility. Ginny believes that school should be filled with experiences for every student to learn who they are, how to be better humans, and how to create opportunities for others to be better humans.

Home for the Prairie family is in the Colorado high country. Ginny’s children are both students at Western Colorado University, and her husband is a Social Studies teacher. The family enjoys live music, outdoor activities, and taking adventures together.

David Neudorf


Director of Technology

Our new school Director of Technology, David (Dave) Neudorf, joined ISK in July of 2022. 

Mr Neudorf has held Educational Technology leadership roles in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and most recently, Poland at the American School of Warsaw. His work focuses on strategic planning and moving schools forward with achievable educational technology plans. Mr. Neudorf believes that technology departments work best when their efforts are aligned with school curriculum and learning objectives. He enjoys working with faculty to enhance learning and engage students with skills they need to succeed in their future.

He and his wife Joan O’Donnell, ISK’s new elementary ELL teacher, are both Canadian by birth and have been working in international schools their entire teaching careers. They are both very excited to be joining the International School of Kenya.


PTO

Board Governance