KDSL Global interviews Dr. Aquil Bayyan

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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.

 

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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.

 

KDSL Global interviews author and College Success Coach Jahquan Hawkins

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KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to connect with author and College Success Coach Jahquan Hawkins.  Jahquan now serves as the Dean of Student Services at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills campus.  He believes in empowering the community by empowering others.

 

What inspired you to focus on higher education?

I’m a product of Detroit Public Schools. I was a first-generation college student who lost two academic scholarships and almost became a casualty of Academic Suspension during my freshman year at Wayne State University. The sacrifices my parents made to ensure that I received a quality education motivated me to right the ship even though I struggled initially.  I was also extremely blessed to have well-intentioned mentors in my life who saw potential in me and consistently invested in my personal and academic success.

Ultimately that experience was the foundation to my career in higher education.  I relish the opportunity to provide the support to this generation of students that so many provided for me when I was finding my way as an undergraduate.  My college journey was life-altering and has opened doors I never imagined I’d be able to enter.  I understand that college isn’t for everyone, but in many ways, it was invaluable to me.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Donovan’s College Adventure was inspired by the energy and imagination of our “junior citizens.”  I published my first book, Finding My Way, three years ago, and that journey landed me in a multitude of spaces.  I would frequently participate in book fairs that were family oriented and people were bringing children of all ages.  Finding My Way was geared toward college-bound high school students and current college students.  I quickly realized that I didn’t have a book which spoke to the elementary grade audience.  Being the father of a 6-year-old, I’m constantly reading children’s books but I hadn’t read a book that speaks to the journey that connects kids to their career aspirations.

Donovan’s College Adventure introduces kids to the higher education environment through the lens of 5-year-old Donovan Mack.  Donovan is curious, outgoing, and loves to learn.   It’s a fun story that will hopefully help kids understand that attending college is a dynamic experience.  You learn just as much outside of the classroom as you do inside the classroom.  My goal is for kids to embrace the experience as a viable pathway to their success.

 

What can schools and parents do to promote a college going culture?

Early exposure is key.  Parents should be consistently talking about career interests with their children, connecting them with opportunities to meet people who work in those areas, and taking them to the spaces that ultimately will prepare them for their desired career.  There are a number of dual enrollment opportunities for students which allow young people to dip their toes in the water before they decide which higher education experience best suits them.

In my ideal world, we would have a much more fluid relationship between secondary and post-secondary institutions.  K-12 systems should be in regular conversation with colleges and universities about industry trends, articulation with curriculum and mentoring opportunities. Too often, students enter the higher education environment ill-prepared to adjust to the cultural norms.  We must expand upon our partnerships to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  The culture will change when we realize that we need each other in order to be viable for the next 100 years.

 

 

To learn more about Jahquan’s work visit:

https://www.jahquanhawkins.com

https://twitter.com/jahquanhawkins

https://www.amazon.com/Donovans-College-Adventure-Jahquan-Hawkins/dp/1947045237/ref=asc_df_1947045237/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=265892495433&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12163597628235931043&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060325&hvtargid=pla-617048512209&psc=1

 

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About Jahquan Hawkins

Jahquan Hawkins is a proud husband, father, College Success Coach and native Detroiter. After struggling as a college student himself, Jahquan has experienced a successful career in higher education and now serves as the Dean of Student Services at Oakland Community College’s (OCC) Auburn Hills campus.  Jahquan believes in empowering the community by empowering others.  In 2011, he and a group of college stakeholders helped establish OCC’s Man Up Program which provides higher education exposure opportunities for young men in Southfield Public Schools.  Jahquan is the Co-Director of this dynamic effort which has seen over 300 young men earn transferrable college credit as dual enrollees at the OCC.  In 2016, Jahquan published his first book entitled Finding My Way: A Practical Guide to College Success.  The text has been adopted by institutions such as Harper Woods Schools, Job Corps, and Wayne State University as a mechanism to help students adjust to the culture of the higher education environment.  Most recently, Jahquan was named one of Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 Honorees, joining other community trendsetters in the class of 2018.  Jahquan recently published a children’s book entitled Donovan’s College Adventure.  This latest release is designed to inspire youth to intentionally pursue their dreams through education.  In his spare time, Jahquan volunteers with organizations such as Detroit Kappa League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and My Brother’s Keeper.