Education Entrepreneurs: Virtual Panel and Networking

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Education Entrepreneurs: Virtual Panel and Networking hosted by Vanguard Educators and KDSL Global

Saturday March 28, 2020

1:00-2:00pm CST

Join us for an online panel with Education Entrepreneurs who have worked around the world. 


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Kevin Simpson owns and operates KDSL Global. This education consulting company launched in 2016 in the USA and in the United Arab Emirates. He and his team has served thousands of schools, educators, and leaders worldwide in over 20 countries. The majority of this work in education has centered on American curriculum schools. Since 2008, he has been focused on education in the MENA region, assisted numerous schools with accreditation, training, development, school improvement, and school start-up projects.  Simpson is co-founder of the UAE Learning Network and leads the GCC ASCD Connected Community. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University (USA). Currently, he is studying in the Association for the Advancement of International Education’s Institute for International School Leadership and founder of the Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color.



Dee Azlan, also known as the Business Artist, is a successful graphic artist and entrepreneur educator who specializes in the advocacy of women in the field of business. In addition to being a sought-after, elite, international makeup artist and talented photographer, she is also the founder of THEORY Beauty Cosmetics.After successfully launching her beauty brand internationally, she now travels to inspire budding entrepreneurs to discover their gifts, passion, and purpose to build a brand that is authentic to their identity using her signature entrepreneur program, DNA Method.

Her expertise as a visionary problem solver enables her to identify obstacles that stunt business growth. Moreover, Dee’s creative and critical thinking abilities bring clarity and purpose to the process of building an effective and decisive business development strategy.



Jason Hayes is the founder of Vanguard Education and the author of The Art of Teaching: The 5 Elements to Inspire.  As a researcher, inspirational speaker, and author, Jason aims to inspire businesses, organizations, and schools to be comfortable with change and the unknown in order to achieve personal and organizational goals.  Jason has the magnetic gift of connecting to, energizing, and inspiring various audiences. Mr. Hayes’ 3Rs “Rewind, Review, and Renew” method is a paradigm for organizational and personal change through recognizing and understanding history.


To attend this free event please email to register.

KDSL Global interviews Nicole Fedio of Mathematique


KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to interview Nicole Fedio, one of our math consultants based in Saudi Arabia. She recently collaborated with our company in Egypt and was a presenter at the Middle East Maths Teachers Conference in Dubai.

Tell us about Mathematique.

Mathematique is a boutique mathematics consulting business. When I think of it, an image immediately pops into my head. It’s a Venn Diagram that first appeared in the Toronto Star in 2016 (see graphic below). Mathematique sits firmly in the center of the four overlapping circles: ‘What I love’, ‘What the world needs’, ‘What I can be paid for’, and ‘What I’m good at.’ After two decades of math teaching and math coaching experience, launching Mathematique allows me to share my deep and passionate love for exploring the teaching and learning of mathematics with others, centered by those four prompts.

What I bring to mathematics consulting is my dedication to the craft of coaching. It was after working with hundreds of teachers as a coach that I decided I wanted to venture out on my own as an independent consultant. Providing quality professional development to educators is more than just delivering content. It’s about building relationships. It’s about asking participants the right questions so they form their own understanding of the material. It’s coaching adults to answer their own questions. If we want our students to become problem solvers and good questioners, then we must first model this as educators. The mission of Mathematique is to empower educators with the mathematical expertise needed to inspire the problem solvers of the future. And my vision is to live in a world where I never hear, ‘but I can’t do math’ ever again.



What do you say to people who say they aren’t a math person?

When people claim they can’t do math or say,  ‘but I’m not a math person’ my first response is to ask why. Too many people carry trauma from the way they were taught math in school. Too often I hear, ‘I used to like math until…’ I think one of the main issues is how narrowly we have defined what it means to ‘do math.’ As a coach, I worked at a school where I would regularly share intriguing math problem solving activities with teachers. The PE teacher loved solving them. Her solutions were unique and showed a complex level of understanding of the problems. Without fail, after finding a solution she would say, ‘but I’m not a maths person. I didn’t take maths past grade 10.’’ In her mind, maths was complicated formulas, algorithms, and something that she still could not access. It was not problem solving, finding patterns, or making meaning out of data. One goal I have is to expand the definition of what it means to be a ‘math person.’



Three things you would share with a new math educator.

When working with new math educators, I first remind them to be kind to themselves and to give themselves some grace. Teaching is such a wonderful profession because it’s never the same day twice. And that is both a blessing and a curse. We are continually growing, learning, and evolving as educators. When I think back to some of the things I did in my first few years of teaching, I cringe and want to write blanket apology letters to all of my former students. Instead, I can reflect on what I would now do differently given the same circumstances and help others not to repeat my mistakes. Secondly, I would advise new math educators to dive into the art of questioning. Questioning is key. Asking the right questions of both their students and themselves is a pathway to growth. When a student asks a math question to which the teacher does not know the answer, consider that a great learning opportunity. It’s OK not to know and to research the question together with the student. Or, it’s perfectly fine to take the time to come back to the student later with an answer. And thirdly, find your positive math community. Surround yourself with people who are excited about the teaching and learning of mathematics and trying new things. Your community might include colleagues at your school, or it might be a virtual community online. Find the people like me who will help nurture your inner mathematician and encourage you to keep asking the necessary questions of both yourself and of your students.




Nicole Fedio is an independent mathematics consultant at Mathematique Consulting. With two decades of experience as an educator, Nicole taught high school mathematics in Ghana, Venezuela, Guatemala, Boston, Seattle, India and China. For four years, she was the K-12 district math coach for a group of six international schools in Saudi Arabia. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Penn State University and a M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. She is a National Board certified teacher.

She holds a deep and passionate love for exploring the teaching and learning of mathematics. She finds joy in helping others find their inner passion for the subject. Her vision is to live in a world where she never hears, “but I can’t do math” ever again by supporting teachers to rewrite their students’ mathematical stories. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleFedio




KDSL Global Math Consultant Dr. Cory Bennett provides the keynote at the Middle East Maths Teacher Conference


The fourth Middle East Maths Teachers Conference was held on February 22, 2020, at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre and brought together, School Leaders, Maths Advisors, Education Consultants and Mathematics Educators, from all over the Middle East and beyond, for a jam-packed day of learning and networking, with the main aim of advancing the teaching and learning of Mathematics in classrooms. The first Middle East Maths Teachers Conference was held on March 11, 2017, under the theme Active Maths…Engaged Learning. Since then, the Middle East Maths Teachers Conference has become the must-attend event for teachers of Mathematics from the Middle East and even further afield.

KDSL Global Math Consultant Dr. Cory Bennett served as the keynote speaker. He is a passionate educator who strives for equity in learning for all students. As a global consultant and an Associate Professor of Education specializing in curriculum and instruction, he has worked with educators throughout the United States and across the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and Asia.


KDSL Global Founder on Ed-Talk Live


Ed-Talk Live is an International Educational Talk show hosted by ELASCD and Pakistan ASCD. The mission is to connect educators globally and spread wise words for better education. On a recent show, KDSL Global Founder Kevin Simpson was a guest discussing education entrepreneurship and supporting international education leaders of color.
To access the discussion visit

2019 KDSL Global Fellow Octevia Torian reflects on her experience


We had a chance to connect with 2019 KDSL Global Fellow Octevia Torian and find out about her year as a fellow. She is from Virginia and has 15 years of experience in the education field. In the past she has served as an instructional coach, advisor and advanced academics resource teacher. Currently, Octevia is in her third year of working in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates with a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards, Project-Based Learning, STEM, drones and more.

Share your experience as a KDSL Global Fellow.

My experience as a KDSL Global Fellow was a great opportunity.  I knew I wanted to disrupt education in a creative way.  Kevin listened to “big goals” and he did not discourage me in working towards my goal. We worked on a plan to achieve the plan.  I shortly realized I needed to change my plan a little, and Kevin went with the flow.  He continued to encourage me and provide resources to help me move forward.  He supported me on social media and throughout my work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  He connected me to people in the UAE, and I was able to learn and grow from their advice.  Within a year, I accomplished so much as a KDSL Global Fellow.  The Teacher Table launched in 2019.  The Teacher Table is talk show on education.  The show discusses “Everything Education.” I am grateful for the opportunity to grow under the leadership of Kevin and as a KDSL Global Fellow. The Teacher Table is just getting started.  However, I am excited to meet other people within the education field and throughout the global community to discuss “Everything Education.”



Advice you would give to an educator looking for opportunities outside of the classroom.

To the educators looking for opportunities outside the classroom I would say start your business in education or in area you desire.  Write down your plan and take those initial steps. Check off each step as you go and then celebrate. When times get hard, go harder and push through.  It’s your breakthrough to the next level.  If you want to start your business or whatever it is outside the classroom, GO FOR IT!   Network and build relationships with people in education and find opportunities to network with people not in education.  Share your story. Share your passion.  Complete a vision board. Use a planner.  Do whatever it takes to make it happen.   But the main thing that worked for me was finding my squad who supported me and all that I am doing! Then ROCK IT!  Don’t worry about the onlookers. That’s their job!  Wave and keep striving for greatness.  You will win!!


What will you work on next?

That’s a good question. I know I want to continue to make videos for The Teacher Table on a regular based.  Now I am a certified Educational Success Coach and collaborate with educators on how they can reach their goals with fun and creative action plans.   This year and beyond I want to continue to present on STEM and build my teacher platform on education.  The next project is writing and publishing my first children’s picture book (with an interesting twist).  I am excited to see how and when this will happen.



To learn more about KDSL Global Fellow Alumni Octevia Torian check her out on social media.


Instagram- theteachertable

LinkedIn- Octevia Torian

Twitter- OcteviaT

Right, Just, and True: Why I Did Not Attend or Speak at #AAIE2020

Right, Just, and True:
Why I Did Not Attend or Speak at #AAIE2020

5 Minute Read


The shorter story:

I’ll answer the above question in a short, simple manner: I don’t see investment in diversity by those proclaiming to lead diversity and inclusion in education. All I see, after numerous attempts to engage, is silence.


July 2019:

Sent a letter to leadership and board at AAIE as well as the CEO of PLS 3rd Learning requesting a dialogue about how diversity, inclusion, and equity are being explicitly built into the curriculum and content and concerns that the new faculty were lacking in the diversity department.

The mission of AAIE is a global community that connects diverse people, ideas and resources, AAIE helps international educators lead with vision, wisdom, courage and integrity.


July 2019 – November 2019:

Follow up emails sent and no response.

Received a response indicating interest from PLS 3rd Learning, stating their interest in engaging in a conversation and asking for a point person to coordinate with.

After receiving this email we followed up several times, but the silence continued.


January 2020

I decided not to attend AAIE’s 2020 Conference and withdrew from a panel entitled Leading by Example: Cultivating Equitable, Inclusive and Just Communities.

We requested AIELOC members not to financially support organizations who are silent on issues important to us.



The longer story:

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”
– The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior


Almost one year ago on 6 March 2019 I would write a blog post entitled #AAIEGlobalsowhite. In this post it stated that:

“Last year after attending #AAIE2018 there was a shock after noticing how much the international education leadership community lacked in the diversity department. There was talk at a session about critical issues (diversity being one of the topics). A hard decision was made not to attend #AAIE19 being that I was a member and studying in the AAIE Institute for International School Leadership.”

I questioned if the strategic plan would ever shift at AAIE as well as at ALL international schools around diversity, equity, and inclusion in international leadership.

I ended this blog by highlighting that the next generation of international leaders are diverse, disruptive, and want their voice included. We are ready to collaborate and add to the CONVERSATION. Is AAIE ready to listen?

In the last year the Diversity Collaborative increased in activity, membership, and a first report was produced by this committee, ISC Research, and George Mason University called From Resistance to Sustainability and Leadership Cultivating Diverse Leaders in International Schools. However, there are too many areas left unwritten such as race in international school leadership. This is one area the Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color (AIELOC) is focused on as we amplify and advocate for those who are treated as invisible or ignored at times. The Diversity Collaborative focuses on creating a more diverse, inclusive, equitable and just environment among the leadership of the international school community. While this group acknowledges work needs to be done, I notice very few willing to be publicly vocal about organizations and systems which they benefit from. I want to give a shout out to those international educators and leaders who consistently use their voice, listen, connect, and take action. Thank you to Luke Roberts, Brian Bedrick, Liam Hammer, Hope Teague-Bowling, and Adrienne Michetti.

I ponder many questions, such as diversity for who? Who is to benefit and at whose expense? Why so many remain silent and comfortable? Who is included and excluded in conversations?


The message below was sent to the leadership and board at AAIE as well as the CEO of PLS 3rd Learning in July 2019.

Dear AAIE,

On the about me section on your website it states that you “exchange international ideas, resources and research that help develop and improve international education, to diversify and expand school leadership capacity.” We are hoping to have a conversation after reviewing the AAIE Institute for School Leadership team of instructors found here

We currently list the institute as a suggested international school leadership program for our AIELOC members. Our founder is enrolled in the program and is elated to see additional instructors beyond having one who taught all courses in the past. After reviewing the seven faculty members it was noted that there was a lack of racial diversity present.  We would like to know the process for serving as an instructor.  As future opportunities arise to serve on this team, please let us know so that we can share this with our membership. In addition, we are curious to know how topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity are being explicitly built into the curriculum and content of the seven courses.


We followed up numerous times with hopes to engage. However, there has been silence except the one time the CEO of PLS 3rd Learning sent this message:


Dear friends at AIELOC,

We would be very happy to engage in a conversation about our coursework and instructor cadre.  Of course, we would also love to add new instructors and have greater diversity on our team.  It would help if you would identify a contact person in your organization that we can engage with.  Thank you.  Sincerely, Don Jacobs


After receiving this email, we followed up several times, but the silence continued.

After reflecting on this lack of response I declined to attend the recent AAIE 2020 Conference in New York and serve on a panel, which I supported in organizing, entitled Leading by Example: Cultivating Equitable, Inclusive and Just Communities.  In addition, we have recently shared with the AIELOC members to not financially support any international education organizations who are silent on issues that are important to us. I am grateful to Liz Duffy and Dana Watts at International School Services for including me in the planning process and for their leadership.

The Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color (AIELOC) is devoted to amplifying the work of international educators and leaders of color with a focus on advocacy, learning, and research.

  • We continue to challenge and call in organizations whose values and actions are not aligned.
  • We continue to ensure all of our members are supported in order to develop and reach their full potential.
  • We continue to share the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity as highly valuable and a necessity in all international education organizations.
  • We continue to invite allies in who want to change the narrative
  • We continue to engage in conversations that lead to action


A man lives when he stands up for that which is right. A man lives when he stands up for justice. A man lives when he takes a stand for that which is true.

Impact International Schools Advisory Council



Our Vision

Empower vulnerable children (autistic, orphan and handicap children) and young women who can reach their full potential so that they are healthier, able to make their own decisions and through their education, enable their families and communities to flourish.

Our Mission Statement

The Impact International Schools (IIS) exist to empower orphan, handicap and autistic children, as well as young women to reach their full potential by providing sustainable, affordable and accessible quality education and primary healthcare to vulnerable children and young women in Hastings village and beyond.


 Join Our IIS Advisory Council!

Apply to become part of our new advisory council!

Being a part of the IIS Advisory Council is a great way to serve the education community and learn more about the work we do. This newly established council will connect with our team and community in Sierra Leone. IIS is collaborating with KDSL Global, a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally, on organizing this council.

We are looking for a dedicated group of individuals from around the world who work in the field of education and are seeking a new, challenging opportunity to serve.

Advisory Council members may:

  • Give feedback and input on initiatives
  • Serve on committees
  • Provide funding leadership

IIS Advisory Council members will serve for a two-year term starting in April 2020. To apply please email your resume and a short note about why you would like to serve on the council to  and The deadline to apply is 20 April 2020.


Thank you for your interest in this new council!