KDSL Global interviews Travis Bouldin of We Are All Incorporated

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Travis Bouldin, Founder and President of We Are All Incorporated.  With a focus on discovering, learning, and changing, Boulden provides global experiences to youth.

 

Tell us about We Are All Incorporated

We Are All Incorporated has a simple mission of providing new or nontraditional experiences to teens from communities with limited resources. We Are All Incorporated does not prohibit access based on lines of differences, especially race and socioeconomic status. As such, activities can range from a local fishing and hiking expedition to a day trip for skiing and snowboarding. Other times include catching a flight abroad for cultural immersion and enrichment. Young community members develop new understandings of themselves, the world around them, and ideas for enhancing diverse relationships through respect, appreciation, and mutual concern. Teens carry these understandings with them into adulthood as they enter higher education institutions or start new careers as participants in our national and global community.

 

 What inspired you to found We Are All Incorporated?

I didn’t have the opportunity to engage in international travel during my childhood. I didn’t leave the country for the first time until I was 26. Over the last decade, I’ve visited 32 countries. I find value in every part of the experience, including the skills needed to navigate basic directions when in a new country, touring historical sites, immersing in new cultures, and finding ways to share stories about cultural commonalities, common interests, and common concerns.

I grew up with a river and wooded area just beyond my backyard. I spent most of my days fishing, boating, exploring, and biking, which started a love for outdoors activities. As an adult, I include these activities regularly in my life. I find value in them and I wish to share that with others who rarely have an opportunity to get out of the city.

I originally partnered with other organizations that specialized in global travel for low-income and/or teens that had limited opportunities based on where they lived. However, I found that while these organizations had an honorable mission, the opportunities were not equally accessed by everyone. So, I started We Are All Inc. to reach the people that needed more motivation than a flyer or announcement.

 

 What upcoming expeditions and experiences do you offer?

I attempt to include teens in selecting and planning the activities that we choose. We will meet in August to calendar monthly trips and our international experience for the 2019-2020 calendar year. Activities will begin in September 2019!

 

For more information please visit https://freshglobes.weebly.com

 

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Travis Bouldin is the founder and president of We Are All Incorporated. For 15 years, Travis has worked in education as a teacher, teacher leader, instructional coach, principal, and district leader. Travis values education as a “great equalizer” and believes that every child has the right to excellent teachers and great learning spaces. He has a fundamental belief that every child can be successful if provided with the right opportunities from the right people.

Having small-town roots, Travis enjoys fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and anything that allows him to be in nature, which he has passed on to his son. His love of travel and different cultures has taken him to 32 countries. Travis is a fan of American Realism and self-publishes short stories inspired by the genre. He is currently working on a plan to open a small farm to share a love of animals and agriculture with people in urban communities.

Travis holds a certificate in Global Education, M.A.T. in Teaching Secondary Social Studies, M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership, and is currently a candidate for an M.A. in American History.

 

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.

 

An interview with Kelisa Wing

Kelisa Wing is the Assistant Principal of West Point Elementary School in West Point, NY. She is the Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year (2017). Wing is an ASCD Emerging Leader, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant, and a speaker and advocate for eliminating the School-to-Prison pipeline. Here are her answers on some questions about her initiatives:

 

What are some of the best examples of how to implement restorative justice?

In my opinion, the best way to implement restorative justice is to start with a team of individuals in your school. The team should include teachers, administrators, counselor, school psychologist, parents, and student representation. We have to start with the ‘why’ – why is this important? Why do we need to focus on restoration for our students? Because we can focus on the whole child in this manner. With so much attention on school violence and prevention, this approach would address the genesis of what our students need in order for them to be successful in our schools.

 

How does restorative justice handle issues that cause student behavior but are not serious enough to involve, say, social services?

In my old school, we assigned each student an adult advocate who checked in with them daily to ask questions like: Did you eat this morning? Is everything okay at home? Is there anyway I can help you today? Having an adult advocate helps to identify those behaviors but focuses on them in a positive manner as opposed to punitive. This program would teach students things like: resolving conflict, preparing for change, and getting organized, which are all things that cause stress in students’ lives and may cause disruptive behavior. Restorative justice focuses on the teaching aspect: What are we trying to teach students through discipline? These are questions that every school should ask prior to implementing any kind of discipline program.

 

Does restorative justice also include providing safe spaces at other times of the day [or suggesting them to school officials]? After school, many students don’t have very safe spaces to go to or hang out in, and that could help them, potentially [and has in some initiatives I’ve seen before].

I truly believe that the idea of safe spaces should be a part of the school community and also a part of restorative justice. Tutoring programs or homework help clubs should be a part of the daily instruction at least once a week for students. One of the things that I do with my students as an administrator is creating a behavior contract with them. As a part of the contract, I ask them who they feel safe with, who is an adult you can talk with when you feel upset or need to talk. Once they let me know who that is, we add that to their contract. We collaborate together to create it and a copy is given to them, myself, parents, and all people who work with the student. I find this to be a very good practice to ensure that the student can identify where they feel safe and who they can go to when they have difficulties during the school day. Whenever other issues arrive, I pull out the contract and we review it and adjust it if necessary, but this places their needs in their hands as well as mine. They become a part of the solution in this process as well.

 

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10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our tenth person to know is Jeffrey Smith.

Jeffrey Smith owns a Dubai-based business consultant specializing in K-12 education resources. He has over 15 years of experience forging partnerships with schools and organizations throughout the United States and across multiple countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Jeffrey is currently CEO of Copperstone Education. Copperstone represents the world-renowned and fully accredited Calvert Distance Learning curriculum for homeschool families and blended learning options in partnership with schools throughout the MENA region. Copperstone also offers Walkabouts by ActivEd and the Envision IELTS for Teachers program, which is thought to be the first IELTS preparation course developed specifically for teachers.

Prior to his current role, Jeffrey was Founding Director of Sylvan Learning in the UAE and Chief Operations Officer for Sylvan throughout the MENA Region. He is recognized for his extraordinary ability to develop “win-win” collaborations where the needs of all stakeholders are considered when developing solutions.

Jeffrey’s record of success also includes developing a partnership with the US Department of Defense to provide college preparation courses for military families at the Fort George Meade Army Base in the state of Maryland and his creation of several free community outreach projects here in the UAE, including Read Across the Gulf and the Community Service Initiative. Jeffrey has served on the Governing Board at North American International School for the past 5 years. He is also known for his volunteer work in the education community such as the Real Men Read campaign in the UAE.

Follow Copperstone Education here:
https://www.copperstone-education.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CopperstoneEd/?rc=p
https://www.linkedin.com/company/copperstone-education

 

 

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our eighth person to know is Shady Elkassas.

Since his childhood, Shady Elkassas looked forward to a career in teaching and is committed to maintaining high standards and practices in the education of young people. He has a Master’s of Science in Education, Executive Management Diploma, and a Bachelor’s of Science.

Shady believes that the capstone of education is to give every student equal opportunities to learn. For this reason, the true educator is the one who acknowledges, respects, and appreciates students’ diverse backgrounds, learning styles, intelligence, and abilities. From this perspective, he has centered his teaching repertoire around this idea and searches for the best way to meet students’ individual needs. As a head of department, he communicates the same message to his team members. He articulates a vision and mission for the science department that meets the short and long term goals. Additionally, he has taken the initiative to adopt the project-based learning and inquiry based learning methodologies to create a new foundation of STEM learning in his school. Shady strongly believes that leadership has a strong influence on education reform. This vision is shared both inside and outside of the school. He has been selected to be a speaker at TEDx and three international education conferences such as Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS) 2016 & 2017 and Fatih Educational Summit in Turkey 2016. Shady was also a GESS education award finalist for 2016 & 2017.

For the past few years Shady has been associated with Sharjah American International School. He joined as High School Physics Teacher and currently handles dual responsibilities as Head of Science Department and Academic Coordinator. As Academic Coordinator he oversees departmental recruitment, staff and faculty training, and organizes academic events. As Departmental Head, he ensures departmental objectives are met, facilitate quality education for students, and supervise staff. For a significant duration, Shady taught Physics and was successful in generating a growing interest in the subject among students. He delivered interactive lectures, solved student difficulties, and completed all course-work in time. With Robotics being of particular interest, Shady led the School Robotics team and supported them win many awards at international events.

 

Twitter: @profshady
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/vol7815
Website: http://profshad9.wixsite.com/saispd
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shady-elkassas-19935b7b
Blog: https://sites.google.com/site/profshady/

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our fifth person to know is Bashaer Al Kilani.

 

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Bashaer Al Kilani is an experienced education leader and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She is an ambassador of effective technology integration in learning. She has written educational articles for global educational magazines. Bashaer has worked as an instructional supervisor, curriculum developer, and is currently an IT lecturer in Higher Education. During her engagement in the academic field, she has designed and implemented development strategies on the district level. She has her hands full with e-Learning as she worked on initiating and developing e-Curriculum for ICT in K-12 and is currently using simulation-based learning methods with her students in higher education. Bashaer’s current research interests include e-learning, blended learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), simulation-based learning, and educational leadership. In addition to conducting several workshops for various events, she is an advocate of personalized professional development. This led her to founding #EdchatMENA educational chat for global collaboration on education reform and embracing instructional technology.

 

She has presented at many conferences as keynote, featured speaker and trainer like: Bett Middle East Leadership Forum, Global Education Forum/GESS, TESOL Arabia conferences, and IATTec to name but a few. Bashaer is certified in many IT academic tracks such as: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, CCNA Exploration 4, CISCO ITE, Java Programming, Programming with SQL /ORACLE, and Adobe associate in Photo Shop.

 

To learn more about her please visit:

https://ae.linkedin.com/in/bashaerkilani

https://elearningtec.wordpress.com/