Dear SSIS Parents,
I hope that the second semester has started off on a very positive note for you and your children! This is the time of year when recruiting for new teachers in international schools occurs. Already, the principals and I have attended two recruitment fairs, interviewed hundreds of qualified teachers and hired 21 teachers or administrators.
Teachers leave international schools to retire, to spend more time with family at home, or to try new experiences. This year at SSIS, there is a lower than usual turnover of teachers. We are replacing 15 teachers, and we have added 8 new positions for growth and student support purposes (altogether 23 full-time positions to be hired). The 21 new faculty members, already hired, represent a total of 9 different nationalities (with 66% from the USA), 16 with masters degrees, and are coming to us with an average of 15 years of teaching experience.
We will provide an update on the new hires for 2019-2020 when all of the recruiting is complete. In the meantime, I’d like to share information on two newly created positions: Activities Director and Dean of Students and the veteran educators who will fill these positions from August 2019.
This is a newly created position for the 2019-2020 school year. In discussions with stakeholders (parents, students, and teachers) we recognized the need for a more robust activities program, and due to our participation with a new athletic conference, we felt it best to separate the current position in two. We will again elicit parents’ and students’ opinions as we develop these programs.
Jon Wrzesinski is joining us in July 2019 as the Activities Director. Over the course of an illustrious career, Jon has worked as Activities/Athletic Director in Montana, USA, The International School of Islamabad, Pakistan, and at Shanghai American School, China. He is currently serving as Superintendent of School in Baker Public Schools, Montana, USA. Jon has a B.Sc. from the University of North Dakota and an M.Ed. from the University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota.
We are most fortunate to have someone of this caliber join our senior leadership team and we look forward to the contributions Jon will make to our activities program at SSIS.
Jon’s wife, Michelle, is a highly successful coach and PE teacher and she will teach middle school at SSIS. Both of their children are exceptional athletes who earned athletic scholarships to universities in the USA.
Another newly created position for the 2019-2020 school year is the Middle School Dean of Students. This Dean will oversee transitions between divisions, take responsibility for discipline, strengthen the advisory program, develop leadership programs for students, and advance the co-curricular programs that enhance our students’ middle school experience. The MS Principal and MS Counselor will be freed up to concentrate fully on supporting students, parents, and teachers. We are delighted to offer the position to current SSIS grade five teacher, Roxanne Amor-Ross.
Ms. Amor-Ross has had a twenty-four-year distinguished career as a classroom teacher, grade level team leader, instructional coach, professional developer, and as Interim Assistant Principal. She has worked in public schools in Los Angeles, California as well as the International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and here in Saigon South International School for the past six years.
Ms. Amor-Ross has a B.A. in Communication from the University of California in San Diego and a teaching certification from the State of California. She has an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from The State University of New York at Buffalo, an M.A. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco, and principal certification from the State of Washington. She will be an excellent addition to the Middle School.
Finally, let me say what a pleasure it is to recruit for SSIS! The level of qualifications and experience of interested candidates is excellent and there is great interest in joining the SSIS community. Candidates are inspired by the mission of the school, the focus on the intellectual and personal development of each child, motivated students, supportive parents, the strong community, the professionalism of the faculty, the not-for-profit status of the school, a supportive Board of Directors, and, of course, by the wonderful country of Vietnam.
I look forward to this semester with you and your children and hope to see you at the many events scheduled in every division. We will schedule Head of School parent meetings in English, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese again this semester. However, if at any time, you have comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All good wishes,
Dr. Catriona Moran
Head of School