I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Loria will be serving as our Middle School Assistant Principal and Middle Years Coordinator for the 2018-19 academic year.
Ms. Jen is currently a Secondary School Theater Teacher here at ISD. This is in her first year in Dakar after a long career in a number of international schools. Her main responsibilities will be supporting the middle school students and teachers, leading the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP), and serving on the Secondary School and school-wide educational leadership committees.
Education and Professional Background
Jennifer has a B.A. in Communication Studies from Westmont College, a Masters in Education from The State University of New York, and her principal certification from Western Washington University. She has worked in Mexico, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Qatar, and the United States. Ms. Jen has held a number of leadership roles, including 7th Grade Team Leader and Middle School/High School Fine Arts Department Chair in large schools.
The Interview Process
There were 24 applicants for the position including two internal candidates. Lorne and Paul Lennon interviewed 8 candidates in the first round and picked four to move on to the next round. A committee of three teachers interviewed four semi-finalists and, based on their feedback, we chose two finalists.
A key question for the committee, in addition to who would have the skills and experience to excel in the role, was who would compliment the skill set of the secondary school administrators already in place. Based on the teachers’ feedback to these questions, two finalists were selected. I then interviewed both of them at length.
It was a difficult decision. The two finalists had very similar professional qualities and we would have been excited to have either of them in the role. Lorne and I decided on Jennifer as she had already made the transition to West Africa successfully, had the most support from the teacher committee, and has been very successful in working with students. Though Ms. Jen does not have experience as a MYP Coordinator, this was not a pre-requisite to apply as it was last year for the IB Diploma Coordinator position. With veteran IB Coordinators at the PYP and DP level, plus a principal who was a MYP Coordinator, we felt comfortable hiring an outstanding educator with exceptional inter-personal skills, who can learn what is needed and excel.
Jennifer came to ISD with her husband, Michael, who teaches Middle School Science and their four daughters.