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Friday, 18 October 2019
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS

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2019 National Distinguished Principal Awards Honor Torres de Pereira and Jobes

By Rebecca Perry

10/03/2019

2019 National Distinguished Principal Awards Honor Torres de Pereira and Jobes
Every year, two outstanding principals are selected from the international schools that are assisted by the Office of Overseas Schools of the United States Department of State to receive the National Distinguished Principals Award. This year, that honor goes to Paola Torres de Pereira, elementary principal of the Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and to Rebecca Jobes, elementary principal of International School of Panama, in Panama City, Panama.

The U.S.-based National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) established the program in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals in the U.S. who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staff in their learning communities.

Torres de Pereira was nominated by Madeleine Maceda Heide, Director of Academia Cotopaxi American International School, and selected from among several nominees.
Ms. Torres de Pereira is a graduate of Barry University in Miami, Florida where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood and a Master of Science in Exceptional Student Education. Ms. Torres de Pereira has spent most of her career at Academia Cotopaxi, serving as the Director of Admissions and Outreach, the Lower School Assistant Principal, and the Early Childhood Principal.

Ms. Torres de Pereira has many notable accomplishments. She led the design of the expansion of Academia Cotopaxi’s Inclusion Program to include services for students with moderate to intense needs. Ms. Torres de Pereira established a child-centered culture where inquiry drives learning, where learning engagements are designed based on the needs of students, and those are aligned across her school division. She also led the creation of a new program in the school to primarily address the needs of young children of expat and local families. One of Ms. Torres de Pereira’s colleagues describes her as “a thoughtful decision maker and visionary. She thoroughly considers what is best for student learning, as well the implications of decisions for all community members.”

“Principals create the necessary conditions for providing students with the well-rounded education that they need,” said Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE, NAESP’s executive director.
The nomination of Rebecca Jobes, elementary principal of International School of Panama, was supported by the school’s director, Viki Stiebert. Jobes was selected from among several nominees.

Jobes is a graduate of the University of Denver, where she earned a Bachelor of Psychology and Journalism. She earned her Master of Educational Psychology degree the University of Northern Colorado. Her PhD in Education Psychology is also from the University of Northern Colorado.

Jobes worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Northern Colorado. At High Point Academy in Colorado, she ran response intervention, served as the Director of Academics, and was the Assistant Principal in charge of the entire program.

Among Jobes’ many notable accomplishments, she was recognized both as the Outstanding Faculty Member and for an outstanding dissertation at the University of Northern Colorado. At the International School of Panama, Jobes led the transition from a traditional grading system to Standards-Based Guiding and Reporting. Jobes implemented a Parent Advisory Council to get feedback, share ideas, and hear concerns from the parent body. She also revamped structures to protect and enhance time efficiency. This revamp included 15-minute stand up meetings and revisions of early-release professional learning.

One of her colleagues wrote, “Like a pebble dropped into a pool of water, Dr. Jobes’ influence is felt throughout the school community and beyond. Her legacy of excellence, for staff, for herself, but most importantly for her students, is legendary.”

In October, both Paola Torres de Pereira and Rebecca Jobes will travel to Washington, D.C., for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, and private and overseas schools.

Criteria for selection of the principals include that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

The U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools supports 196 overseas schools around the world. The Office of Overseas Schools maintains close ties with the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 20,000 members worldwide.




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