Where is home?
I was born and raised in South Africa. Growing up in a country with such a diversity of people this is where my love for identity, languages and culture began. No human is the same and our diversity should be celebrated. When we become curious about each other and care about the person in front of us, often we find how similar we actually are. Empathy is the undercurrent at our school which draws us closer to one another and is ultimately the foundation on which we build our relationships.
Throughout my career, I have taught at diverse international schools. I started my adventure at The American School of The Hague. We had the privilege of creating the very first Pre-school class at ASH. I taught at an IB school in Italy; the International School of Bologna. Here is where I further developed my knowledge of Reggio Emilia’s approach to teaching and learning. I returned to the NL, Amsterdam International Community School. Here is where I had the privilege of setting up a brand new campus.
Creativity rules the world
It is only an idea until you create it… Both my BA & MA research dive deeper into understanding how children learn, particularly how the creative brain functions. When I was given the opportunity to establish a brand new school with my very own vision on teaching and learning, a childhood dream of mine had come true. Every (interior, curriculum, staff, student safeguarding policy, learning materials) choice made while establishing the AIS took careful consideration regarding the type of learning environment necessary to foster creative thinking.
As the founding principal of Amstelland International School, I embarked on a transformative journey in 2019 when establishing our school. I am an author in the realm of children’s literature. My advocacy for children’s rights, a passion kindled by UNICEF’s Convention of the Rights of a Child, reverberates in my keynote speeches and resonates in the lines of my book series.
I spend some of my time sharing knowledge with other schools in The Netherlands and around the world as an international school educational consultant. Currently, I serve on the advisory board of Stenden University, providing strategic advice on integrating international perspectives into education and fostering creative thinking strategies.
Specializing in International School Leadership, Neurodiversity, and Early Childhood Development, I have dedicated my life’s work to understanding the intricacies of young minds, particularly focusing on nurturing creative thinking patterns in learners. The design and creation of stimulating learning environments that perpetually inspire creativity in young learners and the educational team at AIS.
At AIS we are passionate about child protection & student voice. As safety officer of the school, I encourage all staff and parents awareness of the 42+ rights children have. We believe children can learn to the best of their ability only when feeling safe and their basic needs are cared for. The children in our school have agency and take ownership of their learning. We actively listen with intent to what our students say. At AIS we value children’s opinions and empower our students to make a meaningful difference in the world around them.