The International School of Arizona, specializing in French and Spanish language immersion curriculum from preschool through eighth grade, selected Jason W. Smith as its new Head of School.
Mr. Smith, who will assume his new role at ISA on July 1, according to a press release, detailing his background as an international educator, including working at schools with a focus on global citizenship, international mindedness and culturally-responsive curriculum.
He serves as assistant head of school at Brownell Talbot School in Omaha, Nebraska. Previously, he served as deputy head of school and elementary school principal at GEMS World School, an IB World School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He taught or led at several other international schools in the United States and Middle East as well.
Mr. Smith, the release said, was an aspiring heads fellow with the National Association of Independent Schools in 2019-20, who received a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in Iowa and his master of arts in educational leadership and administrative credentials from Seattle Pacific University.
Also, he earned his superintendent certificate from Western Washington University.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to join the ISA community as your Head of School beginning July 1,” said Mr. Smith in a prepared statement.
“My early instinct that ISA is a very special place has been confirmed through every step of my journey to this point. Having now met and interacted with so many members of the community as part of the selection process, I am bursting with excitement and anticipation to join the ISA family and continue to be inspired by their commitment to the future of ISA. I look forward to learning more and working collaboratively to further ISA’s mission of ‘providing an excellent multilingual education in a safe, diverse, and nurturing environment.’”
The International School of Arizona offers language immersion programs that begin at 18 months through eighth grade, the release said of the fully-accredited Spanish and French language immersion programs for children to achieve bilingualism through play, routine and the study of math, science, social studies, music and art.
Students who learn through language immersion programs graduate an average of two or three years ahead of their peers, and are also statistically proven to have higher test scores, stronger literacy skills, enhanced cognitive abilities and better employability later in life, according to the release.
ISA’s Board of Directors selected Mr. Smith after an extensive search process for more than six months, the release added.
“We are very pleased to welcome Jason to the ISA family and are confident he will provide the kind of leadership and vision our school needs to grow and thrive into the future,” said Gurpreet Takher, of ISA’s Board of Directors, in a prepared statement.
“We believe his experience in international education and specifically with IB programs will help position the school as an even more inviting resource for children and families.”