Welcome and thank you for your interest in ISA. It is our hope that in the time you spend reviewing the website that you not only find the information engaging and compelling but also that you glean a feeling of the vibrant and positive community that makes ISA a unique environment in which learners, adults and students alike, thrive.
As you get to know ISA, you’ll understand that what sets it apart from other schools and makes it such a fabulous environment for learning is the simple yet powerful fact that ISA is a happy place.
Brain-based research in schools is unequivocal on the value of happy schools. A happy school is a place where the culture is constructive, attitudes are positive, and people are smiling at all times. In such schools there is better learning and better behavior. Being happy, smiling and maintaining a positive attitude is a part of the way of life within the ISA Community. Without doubt, the vibrant and positive morale throughout the school is one of its greatest assets. Common sense tells us that it is just better to be around others who are content and satisfied, as they create a wonderful sense of comfort and encouragement. Research tells us that in a school, this is critical to maximize student learning, and allowing students to thrive.
We value open and clear communication so do not hesitate to contact us to answer any questions that you may have. We’d delight in sharing more about our school with you.
Dr. Bernadette Carmody
Dr. Bernadette Carmody joined the International School of Amsterdam as Director in July 2019. Formerly, she served in similar roles in Guangzhou, China and Riffa, Bahrain. Additionally, Bernadette has worked as an administrator and/or teacher in Dubai, (Shanghai) China, Venezuela, Norway, and Sri Lanka, as well as in her native Australia.
Head of Safeguarding and Wellbeing
Sarah Grace joined ISA in 1998, initially as the Assistant Head of Lower School and serving as the PYP Coordinator for two years. Sarah served as the Head of Lower School from 2007-2017 and then Associate Director for Teaching and Learning from 2017-2023. She obtained her first degree from the Froebel Institute College of the Roehampton Institute with a Bachelor of Education (Hons). Subsequently she has achieved a Masters of Education (Educational Leadership and Management) from the University of Bath.
Starting her teaching career in an inner city school in Peckham, London, she taught grades 2-4, holding a post of responsibility for Library and Resources and serving as a School Governor. Moving overseas for an international experience, Sarah joined the Yokohama International School in Japan. In Yokohama Sarah taught homeroom in the Elementary and Middle School divisions, English, EAL and Learning Support as well as holding middle-level leadership positions of responsibility.
Since arriving at ISA Sarah has been involved with the IB Primary Years Programme as a workshop leader and school visitor. She has been an accreditation lead at ISA, seeing the school through complete accreditation cycles and served as an accreditation team member for NEASC. In recent years Sarah assumed the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead, driving the schools development of policies, protocols and practices in safeguarding and child protection.
Lower School Administrative Team:
Head of Lower School
Susan Loban has been a member of the ISA community since 2002, where she began as a grade 5 teacher and Grade-level Coordinator before being appointed as the ISA Lower School Curriculum Coordinator. Since 2010, she has served as the Assistant Head of Lower School, where she has been responsible for the evaluation of teaching and support staff, overseeing all lower school supervision and management of all aspects of the re-accreditation process at ISA for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), The Council of International Schools (CIS) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). In addition to her administrative role, Susan manages the global events, seminars and conferences for the ISA Centre for Development, Learning & Technology.
Susan has prior experience working in schools in Canada, the UK and Romania, where she worked as a classroom teacher in grades one through ten, as a district-level curriculum consultant for middle schools, demonstration classroom instructor and an IBPYP coordinator. She is a PYP Workshop and Online Course facilitator, a PYP school authorization and accreditation team member for the IB and has served on curriculum writing teams for the IBPYP, including the Learner Profile and Assessment in the PYP.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary with a double major in French as a Second Language and Social Studies. She completed her coursework for her Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies from the University of Toronto and is currently finalising her Masters of Educational Leadership in International Schools from the College of New Jersey Global Programs.
Assistant Head of Lower School
Carolyn Lacey joined ISA in 1997 initially as a homeroom teacher and Grade Level Coordinator. Carolyn was subsequently appointed as PYP and Curriculum Coordinator, a position that she held for three years. Since 2015 Carolyn has served as Assistant Head of Lower School, where she holds responsibility for the evaluation of teaching, leading professional development of staff, implementation of curriculum and the pastoral care of the younger students in Lower school.
Carolyn obtained her first degree from The University of Warwick, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and subsequently gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from The University of Warwick. Carolyn holds The Certification of International School Leadership (PTC) and Master of Science (Merit) in Educational Leadership from The University of Leicester UK.
Carolyn began her teaching career in England before working in British International and International Schools in Europe and Africa. Carolyn is a highly experienced and deeply committed educator. She is an Early Childhood specialist and has thorough knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and philosophies, including child development.
Assistant Head of Lower School
Vicki Watson joined ISA as Assistant Head of Lower School in 2019, having returned to ISA after serving as principal at the International School of Siena, Italy, and as a teacher at the International School of Bologna.
Vicki obtained her first degree from The University of Durham, UK with a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Hons) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). She is a PYP workshop leader and holds a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from the Open University, UK. Vicki is currently completing a Masters in International School Leadership with Endicott University International Programmes.
Upper School Administrative Team:
Head of Upper School
Assistant Head of Upper School
Paul Griffiths, originally from Oxford, UK, joined ISA in August 2003 having begun his teaching in middle England. He obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree from the University of Southampton, before completing his Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Oxford Brookes University. Subsequently, Paul has achieved a Masters in Education (Educational Leadership and Management) from the University of Bath. Paul has served in a number of roles, and he has been our IB MYP Coordinator here at ISA for the last 4 years. He transitioned to become an Assistant Head of Upper School in August 2020. Paul’s greatest passion’s outside of education include being a father to his two young children, running marathons and playing football.
Assistant Head of Upper School
Tēnā koutou whanau
Ko Waitākere te whenua tupu
Ko Aotearoa te kāinga, Ko Inia te kāinga
Nō Wakatu, Te Wai Ponamu au
Kei Amsterdam, Hōrana au e noho ana
He Tumuki au i International School of Amsterdam
Ko Amanda au
Amanda Kirkham joined ISA as the Associate Head of Upper School in August 2023. She joined ISA from Nayland College in Nelson, Aotearoa, New Zealand, where she was a humanities teacher, ‘Within School’ teacher (Stoke Kahui Ako), Associate Dean, and Teacher in Charge of Travel and Tourism. Amanda has experience working in public and special character schools in New Zealand. In addition to this, Amanda has worked in international schools in India. Most recently, she was the Service Learning Coordinator and Humanities Coordinator at the International School of Hyderabad.
Amanda gained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Education at the University of Auckland, she did her teaching qualification through the College of Education at UoA. Amanda has her Master’s degree from the University of Auckland and was supervised by Professor Carol Mutch, the Education Commission for UNESCO (New Zealand). Amanda has just completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning through Mindlab (New Zealand) and is currently on a study sabbatical from her Doctor of Education degree.
Amanda is passionate about restorative practices and Positive Behaviour for learning. Through her research and study, she strongly believes in developing global citizenship education in young people. Amanda was an Education Champion with the Asia New Zealand Foundation and is currently a member of the Te Whakatere au Papori academic group at the University of Auckland Faculty of Education and Social Work.