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JIS Welcomes New Head of School

JIS Welcomes New Head of School
JIS Welcomes New Head of School

Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) has appointed Maya Nelson to fill its top leadership position

Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) will start the new academic year in August with a new leader at its helm, after announcing on June 6, 2022, the appointment of Maya Nelson as JIS Head of School.

The JIS Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously approved Nelson’s nomination following an extensive international search that progressed over the course of nearly a year and resulted in 35 applications. BOT Chairman Phil Rickard oversaw every step of the selection process and expressed his enthusiasm over the promising direction Nelson will take the school after two years of pandemic-induced online and hybrid learning.

The Board of Trustees is eager to continue our work of supporting JIS to be ‘Best for the World’ with Maya Nelson at the helm,” Rickard said. “Maya is a strong advocate for students, and as a JIS alumna, she understands our school and Indonesia from her years at JIS as a student, a teacher, a parent of a recent graduate, and most recently, a senior administrator.”

Nelson is more than familiar with the complex demands of leading an international school the scope and size of JIS — which boasts three sprawling campuses across South Jakarta. She served as JIS Interim Head of School from August 2021, and before that, as Deputy Head of School and JIS Elementary School Principal.

But her ties to JIS extend even further, taking root decades ago as a student. It was her experience at JIS as a teenager engaging in service-learning activities with underprivileged children that sparked her passion for teaching, the study of neurodiversities, and inclusive education. She would return as a qualified educator years later to teach at JIS Elementary School and start a prominent career in international education that would take her across the globe, including the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong.

I was raised as a third-culture kid and I have continued on the path of traveling and working in the world […] My home has always been within the walls of international schools,” Nelson said. “I love what I do — it’s such a wonderful profession and I am always privileged to spend days with educators and students in creative and inspiring learning environments.”

When the opportunity arose in 2018 for her to return to JIS as Elementary School Principal, she did not hesitate to be “part of this multicultural community once again.”

I was thrilled to have come full circle and back to JIS and Jakarta. To be able to return to JIS and have one of my own children experience a piece of the school that shaped me and helped me develop as the person I am today, seemed like an amazing opportunity,” Nelson said.

Since then, she has been an invaluable member of the JIS leadership team, with the past two years seeing her taking charge of the school’s pandemic protocols, home online learning program, and transition to hybrid and face-to-face learning. For Nelson, her latest appointment as Head of School means that she can continue to be part of JIS students’ educational journey.

“I am so excited to have been appointed to the role as Head of School. JIS has been an important part of my life, as a person and as an educator,” Nelson said. “I am confident that as we prepare for next year JIS will continue to be a beacon for international education globally, and will contribute positively to not only Jakarta but Indonesia as a whole.

Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master’s in Education from San Diego State University, and a Certificate of Advanced Leadership from Harvard University.

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