For over thirty years, the International School of Stuttgart (ISS) has been the only school in the Stuttgart region to offer a truly international education – authorized and accredited by the Council of International Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the International Baccalaureate Organization.
Recognized by the state of Baden-Württemberg, ISS offers a diverse and exciting experiential and student-centered curriculum to a co-educational, multi-cultural student body of over 850 students from approximately 53 countries. We believe that ISS provides the very educational excellence that Stuttgart, home of world renowned and innovative corporate leaders, requires.
The Future of Education. Now.
For over a year, ISS reflected on learning together, through the Driving Learning Forward (DLF) initiative. We recognized that expectations are changing as the world changes too. As such, we came to understand that if we really want a quality school, we cannot afford the status quo on either campus. We cannot just make a change, we need to make a difference. We want to transform to being a beacon of modern education.
Working with representatives of what we call “The Triangle” (students, parents, teachers), the DLF Committee distilled the feedback from our community into 11 values and thereafter solicited specific actions to prioritize and support the values which we organized under three themes. We called this Driving Learning Forward – The Future of Education. Now.
Given our location and the specific common characteristics of the companies we serve and the families they employ, ISS highlighted the following key strategic priorities.
- Best Practice Teaching and Engagement in Learning
- Math, Science, STEAM, Language and other Communication skills
- Personalization of Learning and Mentoring Learning Relationships
- Digital Literacy and Citizenship
- Character-Building and Resilience
- Nutrition and Fitness
- Integration with our Local Community, State and Country
School leadership also spent the year researching leading and like schools, recognizing that our comparative schools are not the local ones, but the other German, Asian and North American international and independent schools. The Board of Trustees spent the bulk of the year after DLF reviewing ‘leading’ schools such as the American School of Bombay, schools in Singapore and the International School of Prague, looking at program and facilities. We then made a similar study of learning and program spaces and comparative revenue streams such as tuition.
Having studied our priorities, our values, investigated best practice and explored facility capacities on our campuses, the Board and School Leadership have provided our long-term plan that explains costs, revenue development and our specific plans to support our vision by investing in people, program and then the place.
In order for ISS to keep developing the best learning environment and programs for us, everyone has worked together to figure out what that means. This involved a lot of research into what everyone thinks is important, and also what other schools around the world are doing.
Whole School Leadership
The ISS learning experience combines a student’s predispositions and experiences with the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding in a continuous journey of self-development from the Early Years to graduation. Our students’ learning experiences reflect the world in which they live and we use global contexts to frame our curriculum. Additionally, as a formally recognized „Digitale Schule“, the active use of technology for learning is integrated in all our learning environments.
At the same time, our curriculum is developmentally appropriate and can be tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. Our teachers are experienced facilitators, enabling students to utilize their talents and skills to ensure enduring understanding and meaningful learning.
The ISS governance structure is comprised of an Executive Board and a Supervisory Board. The overall operational responsibility of the school, in accordance with the School Articles of Association, rests with the Executive Board, consisting of the School Director. This operational authority covers both campuses of the International School of Stuttgart.
The School Director therefore meets regularly with parental organizations and provides forum opportunities for various constituencies to share their thoughts directly to the Executive Board.
When implementing strategic, operational and pastoral initiatives, the School Director works with the Whole School Strategic Leadership Team, which consists of the Business Director, the Division Principals, the Head of Campus in Sindelfingen, the Director of Admissions and Enrolment, the Human Resources Manager, the Strategic Development Manager, the Admissions and Office Manager and the Director of Information Technology.
Specific Divisional educational responsibilities are addressed by Divisional Leadership Teams for each campus. These teams consist of a Principal, an Assistant Principal, the IB Program Coordinator, and additional leaders as per divisional needs. Programmatic leadership is provided by members of the whole school IB Council which consists of the IB Program coordinators.
Supervisory Fiscal and Strategic Leadership
ISS is a private, non-profit institution (Verein or Association). All parents and teachers are automatically members of the Association, which gives parents the right to be elected as a voting member of the Board of Trustees, and/or to vote on issues at AGMs. The Board of Trustees comprise the ISS Supervisory Board and members are elected to serve a four-year term of office and devote their time and energies on a voluntary basis.
The Board of Trustees serves as the strategic leadership body of the school and as such, advises and evaluates the operational Executive Board, currently the School Director. The Director bears responsibility for the day-to-day operational concerns of the school and is a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees guides the Director’s leadership through the Strategic Plan and the Board Policy Manual, which is annually updated and reviewed.
Focused towards common board goals, the Board of Trustees divides its work across a number of standing committees that meet to research and discuss issues to be brought to the Board for decision or information. These standing committees are: Finance, Education, Development and Policy.
President: Mr Carl Mahr
Vice-President: Mr Jan Riecher
Secretary: Ms Celena Schaddelee
Mr Uli Boelcke
Mr Ulrich Gottlieb
Dr Azra Martin
Mr Martin Mucha
Ms Sofia Stauber
Mr Andy Vonderlind
Dr Stefan Zerbe
(The ISS Director serves as a non-voting member)
The ISS Board prides itself on best practice governance, focusing on strategic and financial initiatives that support the operational leadership of the School Director and his leadership team.
In order for ISS to function well, we have many people who are involved in leading the school, and they work in teams, just like we often do. There is a Board of Trustees, who are elected parents, and they volunteer their time to provide guidance. Then there are the School Director, Principals, and other people who work in the school.
Whole School Staff & Faculty
Coming from over 34 nationalities and even more countries, our staff has the privilege to work with a student body that is truly multicultural, representing all manners of economic diversity.
Our staff is similarly international, coming largely from North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and of course Germany. We have an average tenure of nearly ten years, but many staff choose to stay longer and 30% of our staff have been at ISS for over 10 years. All members of our teaching staff are certified and many of our staff are experienced International Baccalaureate instructors and examiners.
Our staff and faculty profile gives more information on how we inspire, challenge and support out students.
The school supports faculty learning in a variety of ways and provides significant, relevant, professional development.
The overall operational responsibility of the school, in accordance with the School Articles of Association, rests with the School Director and not the Board of Trustees.
The Director shares strategic and pastoral initiatives, as well as operational review, with his Whole School Leadership Team, which consists of the Business Director, the Division Principals, the Head of Campus in Sindelfingen, the Director of Admissions and Enrollment, the Human Resources Manager, the Strategic Development Manager, the Admissions and Office Manager, and the Director of Information Technology. Each of them is tasked with the general management of his/her respective department as well as providing for smooth transitions from one department into another.
Meet the Leadership Team:
Tim has been an educator for over 30 years. Formerly the Head of Ross School in East Hampton New York, Tim has also served as the Headmaster for the Leysin American School in Switzerland. He began his career at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham Massachusetts (USA) where he was an award-winning teacher and served as Department Chair for both the History and Performing Arts departments. Tim is the Chair of the Board of the Association of German International Schools and is a member of the Academy for International School Heads and the European Council of International Schools. He is a recipient of a Klingenstein Fellowship on Educational Leadership, has been a speaker and presenter for TAISI (India), AAIE and AGIS conferences and frequently presents in schools throughout Europe, for the American Chamber of Commerce in Stuttgart and Atlanta. He is a founding member of the Stuttgart International Rotary Club and has worked with the International School of Stuttgart for over 10 years.
Tim and his family are thoroughly enjoying their time in Stuttgart. Both he and his wife, a native of Wiesbaden, are thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant and exciting community both at the school and in the city itself.
Jürgen joined ISS in mid-2015 and has extensive experience in financial management in an international business environment. After studying Business Administration and International Business & Management at Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences, he started his career at a start-up company in the renewable energy sector, where he gained a wealth of experience in business development, setting up corporate structures and clean processes. After returning to Stuttgart in 2004, he gained in-depth knowledge in finance and business management by supporting the CFO of a company with a turnover of €500 million, leading an international team of finance specialists across Europe and Arabia, and finally working as a financial accounting advisor on an overseas project for a transitional period, which further strengthened his international experience. Since joining ISS, he has shown very strong commitment to our school and the whole community in general. He believes that great things never come from comfort zones!
Paul has been teaching in Elementary Education for over thirty years. He has been employed by the International School of Stuttgart for the past 19 years, working and continually learning, as Lower School Principal and and a member of the Leadership Team.
He is the Coordinator of the annual Association of German International Schools (AGIS) Conference, and Chair of the AGIS Primary Heads Group. Since 2006, Paul has also served as a team member, Co-Chair, and more recently, in the role of Team Chair, on International School Accreditation Team evaluations, for the Council of International Schools (CIS). He is also an online CIS facilitator and trainer for educators across the world in the CIS International Schools Accreditation Protocol.
Prior to working at ISS, Paul worked in a wide range of schools in England from small rural village primary schools to urban middle schools. He believes that children learn best through inquiry, the engagement of the learner’s curiosity and the facilitation of the connection of new learning with prior experiences and understanding.
Mary-Jane has been employed by the by the International School of Stuttgart for the past 13 years. She has taught as a music teacher from Pre-K-12, was Head of Department of Arts for eight years before becoming IB coordinator, Assistant Principal and, since the 2009/10 school year, Principal.
Prior to working at ISS, Mary-Jane taught as a vocal specialist in a wide range of schools in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia. After further study in Heidelberg, she taught in a variety of music centres in Baden–Württemberg.
In the high school years it is essential that each child discover his/her ‘element’. This discovery then guides the subject and program choice process in the diploma years. Mary-Jane’s philosophy of education therefore centres on educating the whole child as an individual. The foundation of her relationship with students, parents and colleagues is the cultivation of an environment of openness and trust. She lives in Stuttgart with her husband and two children, both of whom attended ISS.
Originally from Western Australia, Scott has over 25 years of teaching and leading experience at schools all over the world: in Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Switzerland as well as a previous appointment in Munich. He has taught all ages, from 3-18, across a wide range of subject areas with a particular emphasis on Early, Elementary, and Middle School students. Scott has held school leadership roles since 1999 and has been an International Baccalaureate workshop leader and a school visitor for many years. Scott is also accredited as an Advanced International School Leader through the Principals Training Center. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education, with a focus on language learning in international schools.
Scott believes that high-quality relationships between all stakeholders are the key to a successful learning community and most importantly that if students are happy……..they will learn.
Matthias was born in Northern Germany. He completed his schooling in Germany and subsequently moved to England and completed a BA in English and American Literature at the University of Kent and an MA in European Literature at the University of Sussex. After obtaining a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (teaching qualification) from the University of Cambridge he began his teaching career in Guildford, southwest of London. Matthias took up a teaching position at ISS in March 2003. Between 2009 and 2015 he led the Middle School at ISS as Principal and subsequently served as the Deputy Principal of the Upper School until August 2017. As a principal, student admissions already played a significant part of his work at ISS and with the beginning of the 2017/18 school year Matthias moved into a full-time whole school admissions position. In addition to his administrative work, Matthias continues to teach IB MYP and Diploma classes in his subject areas, English and German.
His philosophy of education centres on educating the whole child. He sees open-mindedness, tolerance and respect as key elements of his work and the foundation of his relationship with students, parents and colleagues. Matthias immensely enjoys meeting new families and students, welcoming them to the school and to Stuttgart.
Gizem is originally from Knittlingen and relocated to Stuttgart several years ago. She has been working in Human Resources since 2015 and obtained her trainer’s license in 2019. Gizem went on to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management in the summer of 2021.
Gizem joined ISS in May 2019 as Human Resources Assistant and subsequently took over the position as Human Resources Manager in February 2022.
Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Anja grew up in Virginia and experienced first-hand what it means to be an international student and EAL learner. She went on to get a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Teaching from the University of Virginia, and later, a Master of Educational Technology from Boise State University.
Anja began her career in education, and at ISS, in 1992. She started as a substitute teacher and has since been a primary school teacher, IB Primary Years coordinator, Early Years coordinator, librarian, technology integrator, and the Director of Digital Learning and Communications, all of which has provided her with the passion and perspective to help in steering the strategic developments of the school so that they have the greatest impact on learning. Inspired through the teaching of MYP Design, as well as her role as a school visitor and workshop leader for the IBO, Anja enjoys supporting collaborations, developing meaningful projects, and strategic thinking.
In addition to her professional connection to the school, both of her daughters are proud alumni of ISS, who experienced their entire K-12 education as ISS IB learners.
Jean was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Germany over 30 years ago. She joined ISS in 2002 and has been working as Admissions/Office Manager since 2004.
Jean loves being part of a diverse and welcoming community and takes great pleasure in meeting and advising new families to ISS. She believes that every family deserves to receive the best of support and attention as they make one of the most important decisions for their children’s future.
In her role as Safeguarding Leader, Jean works closely with the school’s Child Protection Officer to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every student.
Damir has been working at the International School of Stuttgart since 2012. He has taught MYP Digital Design and managed school information systems before starting as Director of Information Technology in 2014-15. He is also school’s Data Protection Office since 2018.
Before joining ISS, Damir worked at the International School of Beijing for 10 years, and IT Resources Ltd. prior to that. Information Technology has been Damir’s passion and interest since young age when he got to use Commodore 64 for the first time.
Our teachers are amazing! Just like many of us, they come from all around the world and speak many languages. Many of them have worked at other IB schools and some have been at ISS for a long time, so they really understand our programs and community.