KIS International School in Bangkok recently welcomed their new Head of School, Paul Johnson
Paul’s appointment results from a rigorous international search. School stakeholders, from board members to staff, parents and students, were also involved in his recruitment process. Paul’s passion for nurturing a safe and vibrant learning environment, combined with his experience and his personality makes him well suited to the international culture at KIS, which combines a strong sense of community with high academic standards. Paul’s most recent role was at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. He has also previously worked at international schools in Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Morocco and the USA and has over 20 years of experience in education leadership. We recently met with Paul to talk about his new role.
1. What were your first impressions of KIS?
Positive energy, friendliness, warmth – these are the immediate impressions I had of KIS. The first day sent me away with a good feeling about KIS in which I thought, “Oh wow! This school has really got their act together!”. It was comforting confirmation that the community was strong and that students and faculty were happy. When I met with the student council members, one elementary student exclaimed, “I love being here as much as my own home!” Parents I met with clearly loved the school. Teachers were engaging and students were learning. I felt like everyone is really working towards a common goal and that the school is student-centred.
2. How do you feel the school matches your personality?
My sense is that my calm and reflective approach and style is a match for KIS. Additionally, my sense of humour and my ability to empathise should fit well in the close-knit, family-friendly community here. The personal traits I mention have worked well for me in various schools in Morocco, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, and India. Working in all of these schools has emboldened me to keep a strong commitment to internationalism alongside strong respect for the host culture. Additionally, there is a part of my personality that drives me to desire continuous improvement. This matches with what I see in the rigorous and holistic curriculum at KIS.
3. How do you see the future of KIS ?
Being the Head of School allows me to take KIS to a future where it is not only well respected within Thailand but also within the top international schools in the region. My experience in a variety of respected international schools and with the organisations that support schools like ours is extensive and wide-reaching and my commitment is to lead KIS in its journey of self-reflection and continuous improvement. I’m impressed with what KIS has to offer as KIS is a school on the move and I am excited to be part of that. I am a strong believer in the International Baccalaureate curriculum and see how this helps students prepare for the future. I am delighted that KIS is, and always has been a full IB World School that offers the IB to students of all ages. This an important part of preparing students to be ready for the future.