Andrew A. Hoover

Head of School (Member : LT & TALL)

Andrew is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and now calls Oregon home. He joined AISC as head of school in 2011. Prior to his tenure in Chennai, he spent six years at the American School of Bombay (ASB) as founding Middle School Principal and Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation. He taught social studies and served in several leadership roles at The American School in Japan (Tokyo, Japan) from 1994-2005, and began his career as a high school history teacher at the Poughkeepsie Day School (Poughkeepsie, New York). Andrew has a B.A. in history and English literature from Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota), an M.A. in political-economic geography from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), and has a lifetime teaching credential from New York State. In 2002-2003, he completed the educational leadership program at The University of Oregon. Andrew currently serves on the NESA Board of Trustees and as a Commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

Great schools are good schools that always strive to get better. We take improvement, innovation, and the process of excellence very seriously here at AISC.

Keryn Dowling

Elementary Principal (Member : LT & TALL)

Keryn comes from the beach area of Hawkes' Bay, New Zealand. She joined AISC in 2016 as the Elementary Principal. Prior to her arrival in Chennai, she spent the last five years as Curriculum Coordinator at Zurich International School in Switzerland. Keryn has also worked as an administrator and teacher at the Australian International School in Vietnam, Raha International School in Abu Dhabi, Vienna International School and Thomas' Preparatory School in London. She has taught elementary school as well as middle school drama. Keryn holds a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Teaching from Massey University (Palmerston North) as well as a Master's Degree in Education Leadership and Administration.

If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.”
- Alfie Kohn

Jessica Pechhold

Middle School Principal (Member : LT & TALL)

Jessica Pechhold is joining us from Hiroshima International School (Japan) where she has been the Secondary Vice Principal since 2014. Jessica has also served as the High School Assistant Principal at Chesapeake High School (Maryland, USA) and has other professional educator experiences as a mentor teacher, social studies teacher, IB psychology teacher, and facilitator of smaller learning communities. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s of Science in secondary education from Pennsylvania State University (USA) and a Master’s degree in school improvement and leadership from Goucher College (Maryland, USA). She will be joining us with her husband, Bert, daughter, Monica (age 9), and son, Victor (age 8).

"The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds."
- John F. Kennedy

Joelle Basnight

High School Principal (Member : LT & TALL)

Joelle grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and now calls Austin, Texas, home in the summers. She joined AISC as the High School Principal in 2014. Prior to Chennai, she served as the High School Principal at Cairo American College and the Lincoln School in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as the High School Assistant Principal at Shanghai American School. Prior to moving into Administration, Joelle was a social/emotional, college and academic counselor at Shanghai American School and the American Embassy School, New Delhi. Prior to that she taught IB Psychology, IB TOK and Chemistry at Colegio Americano de Quito in Ecuador. Joelle has her B.Sc. in Biology and History of Art (Oxford Brookes University), an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling (Webster University), an M.A. in International Administration (Lehigh University) and an M.B.A. (Endicott College). She is a National Board Certified Counselor as well as a licensed K-12 Counselor and K-12 Principal in the State of New Mexico.

AISC is a very special place... the halls are filled with joyful and dedicated students, the faculty is forward looking and student centered and India is an inspiring country filled with warm and wonderful people. There is no where else I would rather be!

Dan Love

Director of Teaching & Learning (Member : LT & TALL)

Dan grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and now has a home in New Hampshire with his wife Amy and two sons. Prior to joining AISC in 2016, Dan was the Dean of Faculty (2010-2016) at New Hampton School (NHS) in central New Hampshire. He was also the Global Curriculum Coordinator (2007-2010) responsible for starting the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, reciprocal student exchange, and rethinking service learning. Before his administrative position at NHS, he taught IB history at the American School Foundation in Mexico City (2004-2007). Milan, Italy was where Dan started his international teaching career at the American School (2001-2004). Before teaching internationally Dan was an Outward Bound Instructor in Colorado and Utah, while he was teaching in Arizona. He has earned a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Chapman University (California), a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University, along with a principal’s and teaching credential. Dan most recently co-chaired a re-accreditation visit with New England Association of School and College (NEASC) and has presented at The Association of Independent Boarding Schools (TABS) and Independent Schools of Northern New England (ISANNE) conferences.

“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.”
- Robert John Meehan

Sherriden Masters

Director of Technologies and Innovation (Member : LT & TALL)

Sherriden was born and raised in the UK, and enjoys close links with family all over the globe. Prior to joining AISC in 2017, he was the founding Head of Digital Learning at Jerudong International school in Brunei, a rainforest state that his wife Elizabeth, and 3 children, had called home for 5 years. Sherriden served as a Royal Engineer in HM Armed Forces, rotating through postings in Germany, the UK, and Northern Ireland with the 4th Armoured Brigade. He took his skills as an instructor of combat engineering, and developed them into a teaching career, initially centred around Biological Science. He holds and BsC Hons in Applied Biology, and Post Graduate Certificate in Scientific Education, both from the University of Nottingham. While teaching in the UK, he redirected his efforts into digital teaching and learning, which culminated in the return to the University of Nottingham to undertake a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning and Psychology. Sherriden instructed postgraduate teachers at Nottingham, and completed his doctoral research during his relocation to Brunei. He is deeply involved in the wider research around digital teaching and learning, presenting at Oxford University, Tedx talks, and as part of his Google Certified Innovator qualification.

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
- William Pollard

Kirsten Welbes

Director of Advancement (Member : LT)

Kirsten hails from Canada, but became a citizen of the United States in 2000 and spent most of her youth in Houston, Texas. Before joining AISC in 2015 as the Director of Advancement, Kirsten was the Director of Admissions and Community Relations at Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan. She has also worked at Colegio Roosevelt in Lima, Peru and Johnston Middle School in Houston, Texas. Kirsten has held a wide range of teaching and leadership positions in schools. Director of Communications, Middle Years Programme Coordinator, IB History Teacher, IB Geography Teacher, TOK Teacher, MYP Social Studies Teacher and English Teacher. She received her B.A. in History from Texas A&M University and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Rice University (Houston, Texas).

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.
- Amy Poehler

Alankrit V Arora

Chief Business Officer (Member : LT)

Alankrit Arora joined AISC in 2012 as the founding Director of Business Affairs and is currently the Chief Business Officer (CBO) of the school where in he oversees all aspects of operations of AISC comprising of Finance, Facility Management, Personnel and HR, Housing, Security, Food Services, Health Office, Transport, Purchase, Projects, Risk Management and Compliance. Prior to joining AISC, Alankrit was the Senior Staff Officer to the Admiralty at the Command and Area Station Headquarters at Mumbai. In his career as a Naval officer Alankrit has held the positions of Staff Officer to Senior Admirals at Naval and Command Headquarters, Assistant Officer in Charge at Ministry of Defense, Head of IT and Training, Chief Ministers Military Liaison, Project In charge and member of audit, operational and governing boards, Officer/Deputy Officer in Charge of various administrative units and was also an airborne Paratrooper. Alankrit also received the Commander in Chiefs Commendation for meritorious and outstanding service in 2011. Alankrit is an alumnus of the Naval Academy, Naval Engineering Course and holds a B.Tech. from the Naval College of Engineering. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and also holds Executive Certifications in Strategy, Innovation, Technology and Business Management from MIT Sloan.

Geared to excel.

Sanja Ilić

Admissions Director

Originally from Serbia, Sanja was born and raised in Bosnia where she keeps close ties. She joined our community in 2011 as AISC’s founding Director of Admissions. For the four years prior to her tenure in Chennai, Sanja served as the Director of Admissions at the International School of Belgrade. She started her career in 2004 at the same institution as a teaching assistant in grades 1 and 5. Sanja holds a B.A. in HR Management from Belgrade University and M.A. in Political Science. Aside from being a language aficionado and avid tennis supporter, she has held several leadership roles focused on parent integration and involvement.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

David Allen

Elementry School Associate Principal (Member : TALL)

David Allen is joining us from the Richmond Elementary School (Oregon, USA) where he has been the principal since 2016 and was assistant principal from 2014 to 2016. He has previously worked as Assistant Professor of Education at Portland State University and as a special education teacher and learning support specialist. David has international experiences working as a consultant in Bulgaria and English language teacher in Japan. He has a Bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and rhetoric and a Master’s in special education from the University of Minnesota (USA) and a Ph.D. in early invention from the University of Oregon. He will be joining us with his wife, Deb, and son, Sawyer (age 9).

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.
- Malala Yousafzai

Andrew Ranson

Middle School Associate Principal (Member : TALL)

Andrew Ranson grew up in a sleepy beach community in southern California and was initiated into international travel by his parents at a young age. Prior to his education career, he worked in food service, hospitality, entertainment, adventure tourism, and college administration. For the past 15 years, he has worked in American secondary education in the U.S. and India. As a self-described learner, Andrew wants to help young people frame questions that keep them awake at night with excitement, and support them in developing the skills to pursue the answers. Andrew loves working at AISC because of the student-centered values and the opportunities for collaboration.

The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Socrates

Mike Malone

High School Associate Principal (Member : TALL)

Michael Malone joined AISC in 2015 as an English as Additional Language (EAL) and English teacher. Before joining AISC, Mike had been working in the United States where was the Assistant Principal at Amherst Regional Middle School in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 2016, Mike became Associate Principal in the High School here at AISC. Mike has previously served as an IB/AP Coordinator at Lincoln International School, Buenos Aires, Argentina; social studies teacher at the American Embassy School, New Delhi; and EAL instructor in School Number 1, Slovakia. Mike has a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Rochester, New York, and an M.A. in social studies education from the University of Albany, New York.

The only journey is the one within.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Sarah Sahr

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program Director (Member : TALL)

Originally from a small farming village outside of Detroit, Michigan, Sarah now calls Chennai home. Her professional career includes extensive experience as a teacher and administrator in various international settings, most notably as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, traveling school teacher/administrator with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, director of an English school in Vietnam, primary school curriculum reformer in Qatar, and an English Language Specialist with the U.S. Department of State. Most recently, Sarah was the Director for Professional Learning & Research at TESOL International Association, the premier education association for EAL teachers. She has an MA in ESOL Leadership, as well as a Doctorate in Education Administration and Policy. Her research interests include online communities of practice/professional learning networks, teacher self-efficacy, and combating teacher isolation. She is a certified ashtanga yoga instructor, an avid reader, and a novice runner. Sarah has an amazing husband and dutiful cat who, thankfully, follow her around the world.

The great enemy of foreign language learning is a sense of shame, an inability or unwillingness to become like a child again and let one's inadequacies show.
-Herbert A Simon

The Leadership Team (LT)

The Leadership Team at the American International School Chennai fosters a learning culture throughout the school by living our Mission, practicing a growth mindset, supporting all staff and one another, and ensuring effective communication and collaboration school-wide. The Leadership Team is led by the Head of School and meets weekly as the primary decision-making body regarding school management and operations.

Teaching and Learning Leadership Team (TALL)

The Teaching and Learning Leadership Team at the American International School Chennai strives to provide clarity and cohesion on school-wide teaching and learning priorities. The Teaching and Learning Team is led by the Director of Teaching and Learning and meets bi-weekly to ideate, plan, and evaluate priorities that are directly related to our strategic plan, curriculum development process, and professional learning.

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