How did i get here?
17 years back I remember the opening of a beautiful, purpose-built school alongside the Chao Praya River in Bangkok called Shrewsbury International School. I recall meeting Stuart Morris in a real estate office who was fighting for space between the multitude of binders filled to the brim with applications and the scaled model of the school being built and almost at completion. I remember the beaming joy on his face when he explained the school’s layout and then went through the binders to finally find my application which was thankfully ear-marked for me to be a joiner of that new school. I remember my excitement as I entered the site for the first time and met all the rest of the staff who were also joining that academic year. I remember thinking that this was it – someone’s dream has come true. 17 years later, many, many dreams have come true as that school continues to develop individuals who are able to access top universities and make their way through life. 17 years later, I am still in touch with many of the students I taught and am able to keep up with the twists and turns of their lives. It feels like yesterday.
Today, six days into October 2020, I sit in a villa in Doha, which serves as my temporary base. Today, I have the chance to experience what Stuart Morris did. Today, I am heading out with Niall Brennan (CEO) of Artemis Education my new employer, to perform a ground-breaking ceremony to officially inaugurate a new school building before it comes out of the ground. My role, as the Founding Principal, is to build the entire school from today to the successful opening next September of “Northview International”.
However, a week ago I was sitting in another office, at another established international school. Three months prior, I was ending a four-year tenure as the principal of an established school in Doha. Four years prior to that I was ending an eight-year tenure at yet another international school which culminated with my final post as a Head of Student Affairs for a student cohort of over 4500 students and over 600 employees. Here I am, six years from 60, sitting on the precipice of a new beginning and realizing my dream is coming true.
Northview International School will be a fantastic learning center that will build on from the American Common Core curriculum along with elements of the IPC to add an international flavor, and of course, will cover the national curriculum as set forth by the State of Qatar.
I will document the whole journey here, posting regular blogs to show how the construction progress is coming along, the challenges we face and what insights we are gleaning as time presses closer to opening day.