Meet the Finalists for Elementary School Principal 2022- 2023


Dear ES Parents,

After reviewing over 70 applications from excellent candidates from around the world, the Elementary School Principal Selection Committee has chosen two finalists for the Elementary School Principal position for the next school year: Mr. Dan Yamasaki and Ms. Melanie Sylvester. You can learn more about them in their bios below. 

We believe that it is important that our parents are a part of the selection process. We invite you to meet the finalists so that you may provide us with your feedback and input. 

Meet the Finalists, Thursday, November 11 

Please see your email to register and submit questions for the one-hour session candidate interviews this Thursday, November 11, 10:00 – 11:00 and 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

Meet Mr. Dan Yamasaki, Thursday, November 11, 10:00 – 11:00 am

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Mr. Yamasaki, an educator with 22 years of experience, is the current Head of School at Colegio Panamericano in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

Mr. Yamasaki, who is completing his educational doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, holds a Master’s in Administration & Supervision at Phoenix University, USA. He also has a Bachelor’s in Sociology & Indigenous Studies at McMaster University, Canada, and a second Bachelor of Education in Primary-Junior at Queen’s University, Canada. 

Before working as a Head of School, Mr. Yamasaki worked as an elementary school teacher and a principal in Toronto and at two major international schools in Colombia. He was instrumental in bringing a STEM program and project-based learning approach to his current school, which he shares have led to students who are more engaged in their learning and better prepared to confront future challenges. 

As an educator, Mr. Yamasaki believes that all students can achieve in a nurturing environment that prioritizes student safety and wellbeing. He believes that it’s the school’s responsibility to engage students in authentic learning experiences that promote innovation, collaboration, and the application of knowledge to solve problems. 

Lina, Mr. Yamasaki’s wife, is also an educator. Their two oldest children live and study in Toronto, Canada. Their third child, Andrew, is a middle school student.

Meet Ms. Melanie Sylvester, Thursday, November 11, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Ms. Sylvester, who currently serves as our Elementary School Assistant Principal, is a passionate and dedicated educator with nearly 25 years of experience working with Early Childhood through Grade 7 students. 

As Elementary School Assistant Principal, Ms. Sylvester has worked closely with Principal Keller for two years. She brings a wealth of experience from international schools worldwide and has worked as an educator in Canada, Oman, Jordan, and Vietnam.

Ms. Sylvester has two Master’s degrees:  a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from the State University of New York in Buffalo and a Master’s in International School Leadership from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. She also holds a Bachelor of Elementary Education with a focus on teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Alberta, Canada. 

In addition to her certification of International School Leadership from the Association for the Advancement of International Education, Ms. Sylvester holds a permanent teaching certification issued by the government of Alberta, Canada, for math teaching and learning, educational technology, and mindful education.

When not working, exercising, or exploring Vietnam by motorbike with her family, Ms. Sylvester loves to practice intentional self-care through exercise and acts of gratitude. 

Ms. Sylvester believes in setting students up for success in their journeys in life and academics. Developing strong foundational knowledge and life skills will enable students to lead purposeful and successful lives as global citizens.

Her ultimate professional goal is that her students, faculty, and community members feel a sense of belonging, purpose and become their best selves. In her role as educator, leader, mother, and former coach, Ms. Sylvester works actively in nurturing positive relationships, teamwork, honesty, and community engagement. 

Ms. Sylvester’s husband, Chris, is a high school physical education teacher at SSIS. They have two children, both at SSIS, Cade in grade 10 and Brooke in grade 8.

We look forward to seeing you at the meetings with our Elementary School Principal finalists on Thursday, November 11. Your input in the selection process is valuable to us. 

All good wishes,

Dr. Catriona Moran

Head of School