Introducing Our New Secondary Principal: Estelle Hughes


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Estelle Hughes as the new ISD Secondary Principal beginning in August 2022.


Estelle brings with her over 20 years in education and extensive knowledge of the IB program and excellent instruction and assessment. Her ability to connect with our students and her ability to champion our continuing diversity and inclusion efforts set her apart from the other candidates.

Our incoming Director, Sandy Mackenzie, had this to say about Estelle:


Estelle promises to be an excellent Secondary School Principal for ISD. Through the interview process, she demonstrated a very strong knowledge of IB MYP and the DP as well as extensive experience in international schools around the world. Estelle is well qualified for the role of Principal - through her academic profile, experiences, vision for international education in Africa, and ability to connect with students. Estelle is passionate about bringing out the very best in people and has expertise in coaching and teacher development. Estelle is also a champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and will help incorporate the perspective of a West African, trilingual woman of color. Estelle will bring tremendous positive energy to ISD and help us on the next step of our journey as a school and community. I look forward to working with her.


Echoing Sandy’s excitement about Estelle’s appointment, Dr. Knobloch had this to say:


Estelle was selected after a very competitive process. There were 78 applicants in total including a number of experienced principals. A screening committee interviewed 21 candidates and selected six to be interviewed by a panel of students, teachers, and parents. Based on the feedback from the panel, Sandy and I selected four candidates for the final round of interviews. The finalists met individually with secondary and school-wide administrators and large groups of students, teachers, and parents who provided feedback through surveys.

After reviewing the feedback, Sandy selected Ms. Hughes as the next secondary principal. I agree with his choice 100%. She is the right educator for our school at this time.

Ms. Hughes will begin preparing for her role this year. She will attend a number of professional development sessions and will come to Dakar in the spring for a week to meet the ISD community and get ready for the 2022-2023 school year.


In her 20 plus years in education, Estelle has taught in the IB Middle Years Program and IB Diploma Program both in English and French. In addition, she has served as an IB trainer and consultant.

Estelle’s leadership experience includes serving as the Head of Experiential Learning for GEMS World Academy and as the Head of Teacher Talent Development for Enko education, which has 15 IB Diploma schools in nine African countries including two in Dakar. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.


We would like to thank all of the parents, staff, and students who participated in the interview process. The ISD community is excited to welcome Estelle and her family to Dakar next year.