Get to Know our Head of School (Part 2)

31 March 2022News

As part of our ‘Get To Know Our Next Head of School’ series, Dr Emmanuel Bonin explains why FIS  and what he will bring to our school.  Here, he clearly demonstrates his insight, engagement and affinity with our mission, vision and unique ethos. Please click here to read the first one in the series from March.

Over the next few weeks, we will share more with you, including Dr Bonin’s Plan of Entry, and how he will strive to lead, affirm, promote, and defend the strengths and best interests of the school, rallied around the best qualities of its streams, culture, curricula and setting.

Why FIS?

I was attracted by the mission of the school: joining a bilingual learning environment that allows students to achieve their full potential, with a focus on personal development, compassion, and global mindedness. After a hiatus of six years leading at the Shanghai American School, I am also pleased to hereby return to the French international education system.

Also, as I considered which community to join and serve, FIS’s vision struck me as a perfect match for my aspirations: a close-knit community of spirited and confident students, talented and supportive professionals, and engaged and diverse foreign expatriates and local families, together in the environment of a dynamic, leading East Asian city. In addition, my encounter with students during the interview process was revelatory: I knew I wanted to work with and for such articulate, self-aware, and mindful young people who demonstrate agency and a commitment to change.

Finally, I do not shy away from the complexities of a school with two streams and four campuses, nor from the trials posed by the current local and regional context. I thrive in turning challenges into opportunities and aspire to help FIS build its capacity for a glorious future.

What will you bring?

With close to 25 years in education, including 18 in international education, I am well prepared to lead FIS in its next chapter of excellence. I bring a student-centered approach to school leadership: When choices and decisions have to be made, children’s learning and well-being always provide the true north. It also means that being visible and approachable to students, as well as everyone in the community, matters to me.

My deep understanding of the French education, combined with a strong background in the IB and the American International standards-based system, give me a framework to process educational issues that matter at FIS. My long experience of governance in international schools, working in leadership positions in partnership with Boards for over ten years, as well as my strategic and system-thinking mindset will be an asset to steer a large institution like FIS.

I am also a gifted listener who thrives in and knows how to develop a culture of collaboration. My belief in professional learning helps foster an environment where every faculty, leader, and staff member should grow over the course of their tenure at FIS.

Finally, I also bring a passion for language learning, including Chinese, and a deep interest in the Chinese culture. My six years in Shanghai provide me with strategies to navigate the complexities of leading a school in a very unique regulatory context.

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