Lisa Lyle - The ZIS Perspective
Proud and inspired: I’m ready to work with you all to write a new chapter in ZIS’s celebrated history.
I am delighted to share with you my excitement about joining the ZIS community. Beginning with my first visit to the school – now over a year ago – I was struck by the fact that each time I asked students, colleagues, parents or alumni about their experience at ZIS or one of the predecessor schools, they responded with personal stories and contagious enthusiasm. ZIS brings together a global community of learners who work together to ensure that students develop the intellect, skills and character essential for them to make a difference to the organizations and communities they will join. I am proud to join you in this effort.
As members of a global community, and as educators, we are committed to fostering habits of responsible global citizenship in our students. Consequently, we find ourselves compelled to consider what each of us as individuals, and what we as an academic institution, must do. In addition to the obvious steps of reducing our carbon footprint and recycling, we are reminded that a commitment to sustainability must go beyond, but also include, careful resource management.
The United Nations has endorsed 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which range from environmental protection, safeguarding and augmenting human capital through the reduction of poverty and elimination of hunger, to the fostering of good health and wellbeing.
In addition, thriving communities must themselves be sustainable, which requires strong and vibrant leadership and economic institutions. This will be a priority for us as a school community, and it is for this reason that sustainability will be the main focus of this year’s Annual Fund.
I’m also inspired by the challenge of developing young minds. ZIS recognizes that students of all ages learn best when they are called to grapple with developmentally-appropriate, messy, real-world challenges. Not only do inquiry-based learning approaches foster curiosity and intrinsic motivation to solve the challenges at hand, they also develop student agency.
Students who have wrestled with problems they care about demonstrate greater confidence, a willingness to take risks, stronger intrinsic motivation and the desire to get better at solving increasingly challenging problems. This results in both growing confidence and competence.
Students benefit from encountering challenges in and out of the classroom, and ZIS students are fortunate to have access to co-curricular offerings that are both varied and vast. They give students opportunities to explore passions and develop interests, while at the same time building knowledge and skills. As we progress through the 21st century, I look forward to building on this tradition, ensuring that our students are ready to take their places in the global community.
Of course, ZIS is much more than just a school; it is a community united by shared experience. I have only just scratched the surface of this community in my early conversations and visits, but I’m looking forward to getting to know it – and you – well. Earlier this year, we continued our ZIS Partners initiative and, as part of that process, I look forward to speaking to many of you in one of the numerous events we have planned. We want to use the power of our relationships to exchange ideas and shape a collective vision for our future.
Finally, I would like to express my own gratitude to Jeff Paulson for his strong leadership of ZIS. Thanks to Jeff, ZIS enjoys a position of real strength among international schools. While there will doubtless be good, important work to do, we also have much to celebrate as we begin to write together the next chapter in ZIS’s history.