Dr. Richard Tapajna and Elani McDonald | Vice Principal for Inclusion and Whole School Curriculum Coordinator, The International Academy, Amman, Jordan

CIS and The International Academy – Amman, Director, Hana Kanan are delighted to announce that Dr. Richard Tapajna will be joining IAA as their new Vice Principal for Inclusion and Elani McDonald as their new Whole School Curriculum Coordinator.  IAA selected CIS Leadership Search Services, represented by Joe Cornacchio, and supported by the CIS Leadership Search team, to lead the search for these key leadership positions.

Dr. Kanan commented:

“Change in any school, especially in leadership is always a challenge.  Although we decided to announce the positions right before the winter break, the quick turnaround and outcome was superb.  The prompt feedback and meticulous paperwork was both helpful and imperative to make sure we have the right candidates for those two important positions. We are thankful to the CIS team for their professionalism, commitment and quality. Their dedication to supporting schools and ensuring quality recruitment services is apparent with every step. We are excited to have Dr. Tapajna and Ms. McDonald as part of our team and help us move forward with our programs and continue to grow as a model of excellence”  

Dr. Tapajna brings extensive experience as a teacher, leader and researcher to the position of Vice Principal for Inclusion.  He earned his Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Research and Leadership from the University of Calgary and has focused his professional career on inclusive education.

Presently in his role as a researcher and consultant, he has provided direct teacher support for Slovak National Schools as well as developed cross-curricular resources for the European Union Pedagogical Development Unit.  In addition, Richard has served as a Middle School Teacher, Learning Support Teacher, Vice Principal and Principal in Canada, as well as a Tutor and Research Associate at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Upon his appointment Dr. Tapanjna shared:

“I am thrilled to accept the whole school Vice Principal for Inclusion position at the International Academy – Amman.  This is an exciting time to join IAA as the academy prepares to provide its strong heritage of academic excellence in an increasingly inclusive learning environment.  I share IAA’s mission to deliver a holistic international education that exemplifies life-long learning and responsible citizenship. IAA equips its students with the skills, principles and experiences that empower them to fulfill their academic, personal, and social potentials. As the Vice Principal for Inclusion I look forward to supporting staff and students in realizing an inclusive and balanced education where every individual achieves their full potential as a valued member of the IAA team. The passion for learning at IAA was evident to me during my campus visit and through every communication with the school through this process.

Thank you to Joe Cornacchio and CIS for making the application and employment process clear and positive. My family and I are looking forward to the exciting challenges and opportunities at the International Academy – Amman, where we can all work towards our greatest potentials.”

Elani McDonald, who earned her MBA in International Educational Leadership from University College London, will assume the key role of Whole School Curriculum Coordinator. Elani currently serves as the Deputy Head of Secondary/DP Coordinator at Dehong International Chinese School, Shanghai, a member of Dulwich International School Group.

In addition to her multifaceted role at Dehong, Elani’s rich international experience includes: Head of Mathematics at Atlanta International School; Head of Science and Mathematics Teacher, University Counsellor, Halcyon London International School; Head of Mathematics at the Parkfield School, UK., as well as Middle School Assistant Principal/MYP coordinator at ACS Egham International School, London.

Following her appointment as Curriculum Coordinator, Elani commented:

“The values of duty, leadership, acceptance and cultural heritage are embedded in the character of IAA and this resonated deeply with me. The school's holistic approach to education and the emphasis on sustainability and responsible citizenship are genuine responses to a world in crisis. Although our world is in crisis, I am optimistic that the skills developed will allow IAA students to address these problems head-on. I have been impressed by the helpful and kind nature of everybody at school and I look forward to joining this dynamic community. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank CIS and particularly Joe Cornacchio for their support, transparency and guidance during this process. Relocating as a family is not always easy, but the support received from IAA and Joe during this time has been invaluable and our family looks forward to our transition to IAA and Jordan."