Prior to joining the SSIS Core Leadership Team, Dr Sonia worked in international education for over twelve years. She has previously worked as an IB School Principal, Academic Manager, Year Level Leader and teacher. She was raised in the United States where she obtained her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Technology.
Dr Sonia’s commitment to lifelong learning, maintaining high standards in learning and pedagogies and work values aligns with SSIS’s guiding statements. Dr Sonia and her team of experienced Early Years educators are excited and fully committed to ensuring each family and child has a positive early educational experience.
Why did you choose to join SSIS?
I had heard of SSIS’s well-established reputation and high-standards since I moved to Shanghai, China in 2017. When I saw a position opened, I already knew that it was one of the leading schools in the city. What made me actually decide to join was the school leadership’s appreciation for professionalism and the international-mindedness that just transpires at SSIS.
Back in April 2021, I was able to join one of the community events prior to my official appointment, and at that event, Super Family Day, I could really feel the joy and SSIS unity. I knew this was the type of community, that matched my personal and professional standards.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a strong believer in skill-based learning and the creation of an enabling learning environment that fosters curiosity, inquiry and the children’s own construction of knowledge.
Being a grade one and kindergarten teacher was very fulfilling for me as I learned so much about early childhood development. My graduate education certainly helped, but actually being in the classroom, knowing your kids and working with them during their crucial early years, is quite didactic.
Teaching has much made me a strong advocate of play-based and inquiry-based learning. I believe our learning environments must equip our young learners with the confidence, knowledge and skills to become resourceful, independent and caring problem-solvers in later life.
What is your vision for SSIS Preschool?
SSIS has amazing facilities, a strong curriculum that is based on one of the strongest curriculum systems in the entire world, expert, passionate educators as well as a holistic child-centred programme. But, I do not want this to be the end-goal.
My long-term vision is for us to keep striving for excellence. More opportunity to work closely with families, more showcases of learning and more innovative spaces and programmes for our young learners based on research-based practices.
Learn more about our Preschool Division!