Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Aquil Bayyan, the new high school principal at Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS). Bayyan shares his story of inspiration for working in education and preparing for his new post in Seoul, Korea.
What inspired you to work in education?
As the son of two long time educators it seems that I was destined to work in the field. My parents met at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania and they devoted their lives to the field of education. When my mother was pregnant with me she started to go into labor while she was student teaching at a high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. As an expert in special education she is completing her 42nd year in education and has worked as a teacher, principal, and educational liaison while also completing her doctoral course work. My father specialized in industrial arts (carpentry, metalwork, and auto mechanics) and has completed a 38-year career as a teacher, coach and school administrator while also completing his doctoral course work. I have witnessed my parents positively impact the lives of thousands of students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. The examples of my parents inspired me to pursue a career in education and try to be the best educator I can be.
What are some of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive campus?
It is my belief that having an inclusive and diverse campus will help students and staff at every level. The Information Age that we are a part of has made the global community smaller. With that said, in order for our students to become well-rounded and effective 21st century leaders, they need to understand how to embrace (not just tolerate) and engage with those who are different from them. I have a diverse background and have been a catalyst for diversity with district level committees (Cultural Competency Core Team and Diversity Advisory Committee) that I have served on while working in the Plano Independent School District (ISD) in Texas, USA.
As the new high school principal of Yongsan International School of Seoul, what steps are you taking towards school improvement?
As the new high school principal at Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS) I plan to continue the school initiatives that have been successful and implement more Social Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities for students and staff. In May 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the campus and meet with the wonderful students, parents, and staff. YISS is a high functioning academic institution and is one of the top international schools globally. The academic success of YISS is evident in the Student SAT Score average (1460), ACT Score average (30.5), and the percentage of high school students who take AP courses (50%), score 3+ (95%) on AP Exams, and score a 5 (51%) on AP exams. YISS has 55 high school clubs that students are involved in as well as 8 sports teams. YISS is a leader when it comes to service learning opportunities as students volunteer their time (Spring Break) to travel to other countries to help those in need.
Aquil Bayyan has worked in the field of education since 2002. He is currently the high school vice principal at the Universal American School of Kuwait. He will be the high school principal of Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS) starting in July 2019. Dr. Bayyan has worked in a myriad of school settings in the United States (Washington, DC; Garland, TX; and Plano, TX), Kuwait, and South Korea. Dr. Bayyan has experience as a teacher (social studies, business, and physical education), Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, department head, assistant athletic director, basketball coach, football coach, dean of students, board member, assistant principal, principal, and educational consultant. Dr. Bayyan received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University (DC), his Masters of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix (AZ), his Principal Certification from Lamar University (TX), and his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Technology from the University of Phoenix (AZ). The title of Dr. Bayyan’s published dissertation is, One-to-One Mobile Technology and Standardized Testing: A Quantitative Ex Post Facto Study: https://pqdtopen.proquest.com/doc/1785396218.html?FMT=ABS. Dr. Bayyan is a former Division 1 Men’s Basketball player for Howard University in Washington, DC, USA. He has coached/mentored several basketball players who have played professionally in the NBA and around the world.