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.

 

New KDSL Global Senior Associate

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Meet Mona Fairley Nelson, our new KDSL Global Senior Associate.
 
Mona Fairley-Nelson is an educational leader who has served in numerous international schools since relocating abroad in 2014. Mrs. Fairley-Nelson’s vast leadership experience includes: developing international partnerships with colleges and universities to support school innovation, developing quality instructional practices in K-12th grade, accreditation planning and report writing, multidivisional strategic planning and school improvement, budgeting development and allocation for organizational growth, implementing effective leadership and supervision models, and creating sustainable practices for start-up schools across the globe.
 
The majority of Mrs. Fairley-Nelson’s work in education has centered on supporting American curriculum schools in the NESA region. She presented at the MENA Teacher Summit in Dubai, AAIE conference in San Francisco, and the END conference in Portugal. Additionally, she organized the PEAK 2019 educational conference in Kuwait which hosted over one thousand of the country’s educators. In August of 2019, Mrs. Fairley-Nelson will expand her professional reach to include the AASSA region as well.
 
Mrs. Fairley-Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development, a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education, and a Master of K-12 Leadership and Supervision degree. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in International Educational Leadership from Wilkes University.

Dr. Joseph Williams interviews Mr. Kevin Simpson, K-12 Educator and founder of KDSL Global!

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KDSL Global is an education consulting company launched by Kevin Simpson in the USA and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). KDSL Global has served 500+ schools and thousands of educators worldwide in 20 countries. Dr. Joseph Williams recently interview Kevin. View the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=DkAgzSOV-0U

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On the MyK12Career Abroad Podcast, we interview K-12 educators around the world! These interviews are full of helpful tips and advice about working abroad as a teacher, counselor, or school administrator.

NCTM 2018

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Imagine 9,000 of the top K-12 mathematics teachers in the world in one place. Chances are, you were thinking of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference. Recently, NCTM held their annual international conference in Washington, D.C. in the United States with thousands of teachers from over 30 countries collaborating and learning from each other. This three day event is by far the largest and most prestigious mathematics education conference in the world and the caliber and quality of presentations are unparalleled.

 

Representing the GCC were Dr. Cory A. Bennett, of Bennett Educational Consulting and KDSL Global, and two teachers from the American United School of Kuwait, Mrs. Minette Finney and Mr. Kenny Johnson. This team presented what they have been learning about implementing authentic problem solving using non-routine tasks to a group of over 200 teachers. The standing room only session shared some of their recommendations for structuring and implementing problem solving as well as how this work develops students’ persistence, grit, and beliefs about being successful in mathematics.

 

In the nearly two years leading up to this event, Dr. Bennett worked closely with the teachers and found considerable results with students. After the first rounds of problem solving students were already coming to class wanting to do more, talking in more complex and in-depth ways about mathematical relationships, and overall, behaving more like student mathematicians. “Never did I imagine that my students who struggled in class could have such complex thoughts about mathematics. They really understood what they were doing” shared Mr. Johnson who teaches sixth and seventh grade mathematics. Mrs. Finney, a fourth grade teacher, also added that her students “learned to view themselves as capable and competent mathematicians. I always work with them on this but through this problem solving they grew in ways I had not seen before.”

 

“Every school, and every teacher, is capable of this kind of excellence,” said Dr. Bennett afterwards. “When schools and teachers are willing to invest in this kind of on-going, collaborative, and job-embedded work, kids elevate to meet the challenge,” Dr. Bennett added. Contact KDSL Global to learn more about this work and how your teachers can access these materials.