For the new academic year, we are excited to announce the appointment of two exceptional individuals to the role of Deputy Heads of School. Mr. Pierre Lacoste will be in charge of pastoral care and residential life, while Dr. Alexander McGregor will oversee the school’s academics and curriculum development (though, as Mr. Lacoste recently noted, in a school as small as ours, the roles are more fluid and the two will help each other out whenever needed).
For Mr. Lacoste, who has been with the school since 2015, the addition of the Deputy Head roles will allow the school to build more robust structures within the school as it continues to expand and grow. He explains, “Once you have a good system in place, people can work within that and move around […] They can propose and move forward with new ideas but have a basic structure and skeleton which could withstand any major challenges.”
Similarly, Dr McGregor is excited at the prospect of designing a “progressive and transformative learning program” that is “concept-based, intentional and ties together the learning that happens in service, outdoor education and traditional academics”. He sees his role as building the capacities of not just the curriculum, but also the faculty, for the purpose of providing our students with an education that is wholly distinctive, challenging and inspirational.
As a new member of the school, Dr McGregor shares that one of the biggest appeals of joining UWC ISAK Japan was the promise of shaping a new school, and more than that, the ability to have a genuine impact on the lives of inspirational young people: “There’s a potential here to be a hub of innovation and ideas, […] staff, faculty, students, everybody [who is] part of this community has the capacity to really change education and that reminded me of those first pioneer days at UWCSEA East.”
Since starting at UWC ISAK Japan, Dr. McGregor has been impressed by the sense of kindness he sees on campus, and how welcoming and accepting the community is. On the same note, Mr Lacoste expressed that one of his favorite things about the community here is having the opportunity to interact with the students and see them develop both in and out of the classroom. He recounted an experience while out on a run with some students: “We ran 9K and they didn’t even know it, and they were pleased because along the run, one of them said, ‘My goal is to try and run 10K under an hour’ and I told her ‘You already can do it!'”
Both our deputy heads come with a wealth of experience, and you can find out more about them here.