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Our Leadership


Dr. Eric Sands 

Malcolm Kay

Dr. Sands is an experienced strategic education administration leader with 23 years’ experience in 6 international schools, across 4 continents. He has set and implemented strong strategic plans, designed and built educational models, and been instrumental as an accreditation officer for his schools. The foundation for his experience, is a Doctorate of Philosophy Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, USA.

Dr. Sands joins Stamford following a 4-year term as Director of the Qatar Academy in Doha, Qatar. During his time there, he was responsible for the development of their Middle School educational model which also included working with Qatar Foundation Capital Projects on the design of their new purpose built Middle School construction. Eric spearheaded the 5-year strategic plan, and reaccreditation process for the Institution from Council of International Schools, International Baccalaureate Organization and National Educational Association of Schools and Colleges.

Prior to his time in Qatar, he served as Director of the International School of Belgrade in Belgrade, Serbia. There he led two consecutive 5-Year strategic plans and worked with a representative group of constituents in developing a master site plan for the High School campus, which included a significant grant from the US Embassy for security.

His administration experience began with the role of Upper School Principal at Taipei American School, Taipei, Taiwan. He designed the master schedule for High School and led the Upper School in strategic planning, while supervising instructional activities and the co-curricular program.

In addition to his doctorate, he is also a Master’s graduate of Missouri University in Educational Specialist in Educational Administration. His tertiary learning pathway started with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa Studying Arts in Political Science.

Dr. Sands joins Stamford in the fall of 2016 and is accompanied by his wife, Patricia. Together they have 2 adult children, Andrea and Nicholas. Eric is an avid sportsman and has a keen interest in music.

Deputy Superintendent

Mr. Andrew Hancock

Andrew Hancock

Mr. Andrew Hancock was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Stamford in 2014. His educational career spans 20 years in six countries and he has administered international schools for the last 10 years.

As Deputy Head-Middle School at Tokyo International School in Japan, Mr. Hancock collaborated with the World Assistance for Cambodia (WAFC) in establishing a school in Cambodia. In addition, but in a different role as Academic Dean, DP & MYP Coordinator at Stamford, he collaborated with WAFC and the Parent Teacher Association to establish a second school in Cambodia.

At Stamford, Mr. Hancock brought the Global Issues Network to our Community, enabling 250 students from 20 schools and 12 different countries to come together to help make the world a better place. He is passionate about empowering students and believes fervently in opening students' minds and hearts to other cultures, customs and different ways of thinking which embodies one of Stamford’s values of international mindedness. He works closely with the school to offer the students a rigorous curriculum that allows them to develop their problem-solving abilities, social/emotional skills, resilient mind-set, and leadership attributes.

Mr. Hancock holds B.A. and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Windsor (Ontario, USA), an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University (USA), a certificate from the Principals' Training Center and MBAs from both the Anderson School of Business (UCLA) and the National University of Singapore. Mr. Hancock is married with three children.

Director of Curriculum

Ms. Christie Powell

Ms. Christine Powell

Ms. Christine Powell has a career spanning over 20 years with international schools in the region that has fuelled her passion for teaching and distilled her professional ability to do so. Ms. Powell takes on this new role to her existing one as International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Coordinator at Stamford American.

Ms. Powell started her career as a teacher at the American School of Yaounde in Cameroon where she taught Middle and High School English. She then moved onto teaching at the Jakarta International School in Indonesia where she served as the chair of the English Department and played a significant role in developing a school-wide service program, amongst her other responsibilities. Before joining Stamford American, she was the Curriculum Director and Elementary School Principal at the Lincoln School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Here Ms. Powell continued her efforts with faculty development but also strived for constant curriculum improvement while ensuring students gained a holistic education through experiential and service learning.

Ms Powell’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Masters in Organizational Communication and an Education Administration Certification K-12 from the Washington State University.

Ms. Powell is a mother to two beautiful boys and when not working enjoys running, the outdoors, reading, writing, and cooking for others.

Academic Dean and College Counsellor 

Ms. Leslie Tam


Ms. Leslie Tam has international education experience in both teaching and leadership roles, and has spent the past eleven years in Asia (China, Hong Kong, and Singapore).  She has been part of two new school start-up projects in China: Western International School of Shanghai (WISS – 上海西華國際學校) and Zhuhai International School (ZIS – 珠海國際學校).  In both schools she served as the Director of Admissions and Marketing and worked closely with a small team of educational experts to develop the curriculum and academic programs.

She has also had experience in the higher education sector where she developed and ran internship and exchange programs with universities in the USA (Harvard, MIT, Brown, Columbia) and UK (Oxford, Cambridge) as part of The University of Hong Kong’s international initiatives.  While in Hong Kong, Ms. Tam also served as the first Director of University Guidance and Careers at The ISF Academy (弘立書院), served on the Secondary School Leadership Team, and was responsible for university placements for the first two graduating cohorts (2012, 2013).  As a new school without placement results, Ms. Tam alongside The ISF Leadership Team, developed and managed relationships with university admission officers from around the world. The School’s first and second cohorts received acceptances into universities such as Princeton University, Tufts University, University of Southern California, University College London, The University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong, to name a few.

Similar to her experience at The ISF Academy in Hong Kong, Ms. Tam developed and ran the College Counseling program at Stamford American International School Singapore, and was responsible for university placements for the school’s first graduating cohort (2016).  In her capacity as Academic Dean and College Counselor, she oversees student performance, manages the secondary school academic timetable, and serves as the liaison between the various subject departments.  Stamford American International School Singapore’s first graduating cohort saw acceptances into universities such as Northwestern University, Boston University, New York University, Brandeis University and Northeastern University.  Ninety percent of the first class was accepted into their first choice university.

In addition to her vast experience, Ms. Tam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service (US – Asia Relations) from Georgetown University and a Masters of Education in International Education Policy from Harvard University. Ms. Tam is originally from the United States but has spent the majority of her career in Asia.  She speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, and is passionate about language learning given her own experience of growing up bilingual.  Her professional interests include supporting language learners, creating academic support systems for students, and comparing best practices in school systems with a focus on Asian countries.

Secondary School Principal

Mr. Stephen Dexter

Mr. Stephen Dexter

Mr. Stephen Dexter believes that students learn best when they find ways to apply their learning to the community and demonstrate what they have learned. With 20 years of combined teaching and leadership experience with the Advanced Placement Program and the IB Diploma Program, Steve leads Stamford’s Grade 6 through Grade 12's education program.

He has served as Principal of the Leysin American School in Switzerland and as Visiting Professor on the subject of Leadership Across Cultures, at the Swiss Hotel Management School. Prior to Switzerland, Mr. Dexter served as the Assistant Principal of a large Boston, USA, suburban high school and was awarded Massachusetts Assistant Principal of the Year in 2007.

Mr. Dexter is married to Stephanie, whom he met while serving in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa the late 1980’s. They have two children, who attend Stamford. Mr. Dexter enjoys the outdoors, bike touring, barbecue and the joy that comes from loving what he does.

Upper Elementary School Principal

Ms. Clare Johnstone

Dr. Elise Guest

After building a strong foundation for the school, our Upper Elementary Principal Dr. Elise Guest will be passing the baton to Ms. Clare Johnstone in the 2016-2017 academic year. 

Dr. Guest has been a lively and passionate advocate of the Stamford vision, and has elevated the Upper Elementary profile in the school. She is a Principal who walks the talk, building strong rapport with students, parents and her colleagues as she focuses on building community and celebrating student success.

Upholding Stamford's vision is Ms. Clare Johnstone, Upper Elementary Deputy Principal, who will take over as Interim Upper Elementary Principal as of the end of this Academic School Year. Ms. Johnstone has been with the Upper Elementary teaching team since she joined Stamford and has worked closely with Dr. Guest in a leadership role this year in the development and management of the Upper Elementary Division.

Originally from Australia, Ms. Johnstone has been in education for more than 30 years. She has spent the majority of her education career in the Elementary grade levels. Ms. Johnstone has experience as a literacy and numeracy coach, curriculum coordinator, reading recovery teacher, teacher trainer and educator and head of various educational departments. She is also a certified teacher trainer for Kagan Summer Academy in Florida, which delivers professional development for teachers in using cooperative learning in their classrooms.

Ms. Johnstone enjoys working with children and watching them grow and develop as learners and seeing them happy and excited to come to school each day. 

Lower Elementary School Principal

Ms. Karrie Dietz

Ms. Karrie Dietz - Upper Elementary School Principal

Ms. Karrie Dietz joins Stamford American after many years of experience abroad. She is passionate about collaborating with others to empower children to reach their full potential and make a difference. Most recently, Ms. Dietz served as Elementary School Principal of the Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. While there, she provided leadership for the elementary school, from Early Years to Grade 5, continued the development of the Primary Years Program, enhanced literacy, promoted student leadership and creativity and supported the integration of iPads and laptops in classrooms. In addition, she facilitated school-wide curriculum development across four International Baccalaureate programs, which included the use of standards and benchmarks and curriculum mapping software.

Her experience in curriculum development extends beyond that of her time in Chiang Mai, as she was also once the School-Wide Curriculum Coordinator and Elementary School Vice-Principal at the American International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

In addition, Ms. Dietz has been a teacher at the upper elementary level in Uzbekistan and the United States and has further presented workshops focused on integrating technology at various venues in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Ms. Diez has a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from St. Catherine University, both located in Minnesota. She also holds an International School Leadership Certificate from the Principals’ Training Center in America.

Early Years Principal

Mr. Michael Day

Mr. Michael Day - Early Years Principal

Mr. Michael Day has held leadership positions over the last 10 years in a wide variety of schools. Prior to taking up the role as Early Years Principal, Mr. Day was the Deputy Director to the Elementary Principal here at Stamford American. In addition to his experience here at Stamford American, Mr. Day has also worked as Deputy Principal of large P-12 and Elementary schools in Brisbane, Australia and has also been the Teaching Principal of country schools in regional Australia.

He has a Masters of Education, with a focus on Education Management from Northern Territory University in Darwin, Australia and a Graduate Diploma of Teacher with a focus on Pre-Service Primary from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Mr. Day is married to Heather, who is an Elementary teacher. They have two young children, who attend Stamford American. Mr. Day enjoys bushwalking, swimming, yoga and scuba diving and exploring new places with his family.

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