Having taught at international schools in Japan, Italy and Austria, Michael Colaianni, the new Director of Schools, looks forward to improving SIS with his past experiences. In addition to renewing recycling efforts and promoting community service, he hopes to increase the student body and make changes to the overall curriculum.
According to Mr. Colaianni, although SIS already has community service clubs, he supports the development of more clubs that will use their funds actively to further their cause. He would like to see clubs donate all of their earnings to those in need rather than saving up the money for later use.
“At my previous school, we had a six week period in which students raised money for students who couldn’t afford to go to school in rural Thailand,” Mr. Colaianni said. “The best part was when we took the money and distributed the scholarships. None of the money was lost and it all went to the kids. I believe in direct and meaningful contact with the less fortunate in other countries and hope to see more clubs engaging in such interaction.”
In addition to modifying the extracurricular activities, Mr. Colaianni hopes to implement changes that will directly affect students inside their classrooms. He plans to maximize space and utilize all the school’s buildings.
In regards to establishing greater racial diversity at SIS, Mr. Colaianni hopes to expand the student body by attracting foreigners who work for companies such as Samsung. He plans to organize a project in which students create a promotional video for SIS and present this video to foreign employees who are looking for schools for their children.
“I would like to see the elementary student population grow,” Mr. Colaianni said. “And I think that our school has the potential to appeal to foreigners. We could advertise our strengths and show that we have great teachers. I want people out there to come and join us.”
Although he is new to SIS, Mr. Colaianni’s 18 years of teaching experience in Asia also gives him an understanding of Korean culture.
“Mr. Colaianni has worked in schools of different sizes with both populations similar to and different from ours,” said Jarret Lambie, high school principal. “I think that contact gives him insight into not only what is best for our kids, but also what’s best in the practice of education. His experience gives him a good perspective on what quality international education is.”