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Our Leadership Team

Committed to Excellence

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Michael Callan


Our new 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.

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Matthew Woodward

Elementary School Principal

Our Elementary School Principal, Matthew Woodward joined ISK in July 2018 via Mexico, Chile and the United States. A passionate educator with 20 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 believes in nurturing strong relationships to create a caring community. This happens through empowering all voices, listening and working collaboratively around a shared set of beliefs.

Matthew lives with 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.

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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.

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Gregrey James

Director of Teaching & Learning

Greg James is the Director of Teaching and Learning at ISK. Before joining us, 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.


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