Richard McDonald

Richard McDonald has been Head of Aiglon College since 2009, having previously led the school from 1994-2000. He also worked as part of the team of directors at Collège Alpin Beau Soleil from 2002-2009. Prior to this he taught French and German at Charterhouse and Christ's Hospital in the UK, serving as a resident housemaster in the latter post. He was on the SGIS Committee from 2004-2010, serving as Chair from 2006-10.

He is the Founder and a member of the Villars Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, one of Switzerland's busiest big bands which was featured at the 2014 Montreux Jazz Festival and has played across Switzerland and more recently in Germany.

Marc Ott

Marc grew up in Switzerland and in the Middle East. After earning a Masters degree in teaching Business, Economics, Accounting and Swiss Law from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, he moved to the United States to work for the Leysin American School (LAS) US Admissions Office outside of Boston. He completed his Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Administration from Columbia University in New York City. He returned to Switzerland in 2005 and led the LAS Admissions Department. In August 2009, he became Head of School, Managing Director of LAS. He now leads LAS jointly with his brother, Christoph, who is Head of Operations, Managing Director.

He has written and published on the topic of quality management and accreditation in schools. He teaches in summer at the Endicott College Masters Degree program. Marc serves on several boards: Swiss Federation of Private Schools, Aigle- Leysin-Col des Mosses Tourist Association, and Leysin Political Party (PLR Les Libéraux-Radicaux in French and FDP Die Liberalen in German).

Marc is married with one child. His wife, Stephanie, is one of the Leysin town doctors. He loves to travel, do alpine sports, read and spend time with family and friends.

Karsten Plöger

Karsten Plöger has been Head of International Studies and IB Coordinator at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, in Switzerland’s easternmost canton, Graubünden, since August 2011.

Karsten graduated from the University of Kiel (Germany) with the Staatsexamen in History, English and Philosophy before going on to the University of Oxford, where he completed his doctoral research (D.Phil.) in medieval history in 2002. From 2003 to 2007 he was a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London. Having finished his teacher training course (Referendariat) in Berlin in 2010, Karsten joined the staff of the Lyceum Alpinum as deputy head of one school’s boarding houses and teacher of Ethics, History, and Politics.

From February to July 2011, he also served as the Lyceum’s Acting Deputy Headmaster.

Nick Wragg

Originally from the UK, Nick is in his 6th year as Primary Principal at the International School of Schaffhausen. Before moving to Switzerland Nick and his family spend 7 years in Singapore where he worked as Vice Principal and Director of Primary Years at Chatsworth International School. Nick holds an MBA in Educational Leadership from the University of Leicester and is an active school visitor for the IB. Nick loves sports and is the founder and coach of the Schaffhausen Rugby Club.

Alison Piguet

Acting Principal, La Côte International School

Alison is the founding Head Teacher at La Côte International School, which opened in 2008 and is currently Acting Principal.

Alison’s teaching career spans 25 years, both in the UK and in Switzerland. Following a number of teaching roles within the UK, Alison moved to Switzerland in 1999 where she has taught at a number of schools and educational institutions during the last 13 years.

Throughout her career, Alison has held Senior Management roles and assumed many responsibilities in the state and private sector, including Special Needs Coordinator, Deputy Head Teacher and Head of School.

Alison has a degree in Psychology from Middlesex University, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Chester College), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs from Reading University, a Diploma in Written Language Difficulties from Reading University, a Diploma in Educational Management and Leadership (Leicester University) and has embarked on a Masters degree in Educational  Management and Leadership (Leicester University).

A keen practitioner in classroom research and a teacher of all ages, Alison’s passion for child-centred and personalised education means that she strives to make the best possible opportunities available to every child every day.

Jeff Paulson

Jeff Paulson is General Director at Zurich International School (ZIS). He has a Doctorate of Education in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA; a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.

Jeff has 30 years of educational leadership, counseling, and teaching experience in six different international settings (United States, England, Malaysia, Peru, Venezuela and Switzerland).

Prior to joining Zurich International School, Jeff served as Superintendent of Escuela Campo Alegre for three years.

He is married to Kris, a middle school counselor, and they have two children; Anika, a grade 12 student at ZIS and Kameron, a junior at the University of Arizona.

 

William Boyer

Mr. Boyer returned to NJC in 2009 as Head of School / Directeur after serving as its Pincipal for three years from 1989-1992. Mr. Boyer came to NJC at that time after twelve years at Crescent School in Toronto where he had served as Head of the French Department and Director of Admissions. During this time, he developed and directed several summer French programmes including summer programmes in St. Pierre et Miquelon, in Martinique, and in the south of France. Following his time at NJC, he returned to Toronto to become Headmaster / Directeur of the Toronto French School and subsequently Head of Hillfield-Stathallan College in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1997, he participated in a Leadership program for School Heads at Harvard University. His passion for Switzerland and for NJC remained strong however and while at HSC, he organized two student exchanges between Neuchâtel's Lycée Jean Piaget and HSC. In 2002, he joined the Canadian Committee of NJC and was thrilled to be invited to return to the school as Head of School / Directeur. Mr. Boyer spent six years as a Financial Consultant with Investors Group prior to returning to NJC. His wife, Colleen, also returns to NJC, this time without young children in tow. Their twin sons, Justin and Sean, live in Ancaster, Ontario. Mr. Boyer is an avid golfer and hockey player and he and his wife enjoy theatre, film and opera.

Vladimir Kuskovski

Dr. Vladimir D. Kuskovski is Head of International School of Basel in Switzerland. He has a truly international background. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with a second major in Education in Minsk Institute for Foreign Languages, Belarus Graduate studies took him to Manchester University in the UK as part of the graduate exchange program. After moving to the USA, Vladimir Kuskovski has worked as a teacher and administrator in both public and independent schools, before moving oversees. Vladimir has led schools in Switzerland, Germany and India.

Vladimir also is an adjunct professor as he continues to teach at the University level, he teachers in the Masters of International Administration program at the Endicott College. Vladimir Kuskovski is an active promoter of international education as a vehicle to developing international mindedness in our young through quality education. Vladimir often speaks to new schools aspiring to adopt IB or any other international programs, as well as audiences around the world on international education and cross-cultural communication. He is fluent in his native Belorussian, Ukrainian, Russian, English,  and has a working knowledge of German, Polish and of other languages.

Obituary

Sigrid Ott-Benson: pioneer of International Education

Sigrid Ott-Benson was a pioneer with a life of adventures. She spent her youth in the beautiful plains of North Dakota, USA and lived her later years in the picturesque Alpine village of Leysin, Switzerland. Her life’s experiences influenced her to become a leader in the international education movement.

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