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Get to Know Your Faculty: Liz Denhartigh

What is your position at ISD?

I am the Elementary Assistant Principal

What do you like most about working in elementary?

Students in the Elementary change and grow so quickly, which is amazing to be part of. We get the opportunity to help them navigate through new skills, friendships and spaces throughout their time in the Elementary and then watch them gain independence and confidence in preparation for the Secondary. It’s just a great space to be - energetic, exciting and never dull.

Where were you before coming to ISD?

We were in Guangzhou China. We have been overseas for about 18 years.

Why did you choose ISD?

We have heard about ISD for several years now. After living in Asia for 16 years, we were ready to live and learn about Africa. ISD is known for being a diverse innovative school in a safe, country full of rich culture and history - who wouldn’t want to come?

The Denhartigh Family

Tell us a little bit about your family.

My husband Jon, is the DP Art teacher here. I have 3 children, Maylou, Zhara and Axel who are all in the Elementary. They have adjusted surprisingly well to ISD and Dakar. Mayalou has already asked to graduate from the school, we will see :)

You also spent time abroad growing up. As a third-culture kid yourself, how has that shaped the way you raise your own third-culture kids?

Being a 3rd culture kid myself I think I am more aware of how my own children are adjusting to a new community and school. We always try to bring favorite memories from our previous homes so that they feel a connection and work hard to make our places feel like home. During a move, it’s important to address our children's’ feelings of loss, concern and fear about moving, while talking about what we can gain by moving. I also try to let my children feel part of the move. Before choosing to come to ISD, we sat down together as a family and talked through the different schools we were looking at. We all chose ISD in the end.

What advice would you give to families moving abroad for the first time?

Be open and honest about how this move will affect your family. You will go through hardships, and will grow through this together. In the end you will learn and be thankful for these chances to bond and learn together. There is no better way to bring a family together, but to travel and move together.

A Denhartigh Halloween!

How would you describe your experience at ISD so far?

It has been quite a smooth transition. Kelly and Brad have welcomed and supported me and I work with an amazing team of teachers.

Tell us something that most people at ISD don’t know about you.

I can speak Nepali.

What is on your Senegal bucket list?

I really want to learn French - and how to Surf

What is your favorite thing at Shady Shack?


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