Karl Meneghella

PhD Mgmt Sci

I feel quite honored to be the founding headmaster of Mandarin International School as we open our doors to the 2021/2022 academic year. It is an exciting time to be opening a brand-new school and one that will be filled with myriad challenges. I am not just referring to the challenges that Covid-19 present, but also to the challenges of building an enduring and sustainable partnership between the school and you, as members of the school community.

Admittedly, we are a new school, but our teachers, administrative staff and facilities staff are all experienced professionals and they are all excited by the prospect of our opening in August.

Moving forward, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself to you and share some of my experiences as well as my philosophy and beliefs about the importance of education and its place in the world.

I take pride in being a life-long-learner, and over the years I have earned undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. My initial teaching degree was awarded by Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and after graduating, I was employed by the Education Department of Western Australia for more than 25 years in a variety of teaching roles. These roles included classroom generalist / homeroom teacher, music advisor, art specialist and student support specialist. Later I was promoted to my first administrative post as a Deputy Principal of a District High School and later, Principal of a Primary School where my school was nominated for Literacy School of the Year and Numeracy School of the Year in the WA Education Week awards.

During my sabbatical years, I taught in Stoke Newington, London, UK and in Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA as a classroom teacher. I retired from the Education Department in 2010 and came to Bangkok where I was the Director of Curriculum at a tri-lingual school in Samut Prakarn helping them with their international school accreditation.

After this, I accepted a 3-month assignment as a classroom teacher at KIS International School in Huay Kwang to provide cover for a teacher’s maternity leave; however, instead of leaving after the contract, I was invited to remain on staff for a further 9 years!

While teaching at KIS, I applied for, and was awarded, a scholarship to study for my PhD. This is, I believe, a reflection of my desire and drive for ongoing learning and the importance I place on education.

This brings us to the present time. Being the founding headmaster of an international school is exciting, both professionally and personally. The idea of being able to deliver this truly unique combination of Cambridge International Curriculum together with the Chinese Math, Mandarin and STEAM curriculum is an innovation that I believe is well overdue.

China is a significant player, not only in Asia, but also on the world stage. Having our students immersed in English and Mandarin will equip them with a significant advantage as they have the best of Western and Eastern education systems.

I see my role having several key components. These include educational leadership coupled with supporting and mentoring our teachers to achieve a rigorous education environment where the individual is nurtured. Where teachers are empowered to value-add to the curriculum and bring their passions into the classroom.

Dreams are so often thought of as being childish. Children dream of being an astronaut, for example, only to be laughed at and told to ‘get their heads out of the clouds’. It is absurd really; we should be nurturing dreams and aspirations and while we change their names as we get older and start calling them targets, visions or goals, they are, in their simplest form, dreams!

The dream at Mandarin International School is encapsulated in our Vision and Mission statements, but to put it simply, it is to be the best we can possibly be.

I look forward to getting to know you as the year unfolds. You have entrusted the education of your children to us and it is our job to show that this trust is well-founded.


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