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World Mag > WM Summer 2012 edition > Interview Chris Muller - AISB Secondary School Principal 1996-2002

Interview Chris Muller - AISB Secondary School Principal 1996-2002

To those who I was fortunate to work with, you have made my life a fulfilled series of adventures and learning experiences for which I am thankful.
Chris Muller
Chris Muller


WM: Please share with us a little from your ex- perience at AISB.



I was Secondary School Principal at AISB from 1996 to 2002. It was an exciting time in the life of the school, and it was personally and profes- sionally a hugely rewarding experience for me. Itwas my first principalship, and it taught me a lotabout international education and the needs of internationally mobile students.



Romania was just coming out of a very dark period, and every year I was there, it seemed there were more opportunities, events, and most of all, colors in Bucharest. Our school became symbolic of this development, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the growth of AISB.



We were housed in the beautiful Dorobanti palace, but with the rapid expansion of AISB, the new campus soon became a reality. I left in June 2002, 6 months after moving to the new campus, to be Principal at the United Nations International School on New York. Together with Fred Wesson, Gary Barr, an excellent bunch of educators, and a very supportive school community, we had built something unique and powerful, and it was time for a new group the take the school on its next phase of development.



WM: How would you compare your AISB expe- rience with other schools?



Every school has its own mission, character and needs. AISB will always hold a very dear place in my heart, because it was so rewarding for me. I was there during an exciting time, and could watch the school and the country develop in new directions. That is always an inspiring process to share. It is hard to compare it to my other experiences, as each one is so unique.



WM: Do you have some interesting stories you’dlike to share from when you were at AISB?



Many, many stories, but I’m sure some folkswould not take kindly to me printing them here.....They range from memorable interactions with students, teachers and parents, to truly Romanian experiences. I recall some unique graduation ceremonies at the US Ambassador’s residence, one of which had to be moved indoors because of rain, and graduates had to precariously pass by the indoor pool and over the diving board, to get their diplomas. I vividly recall the difficult period when NATOforces were bombing Belgrade, and the mutually supportive and harmonious relationships of our diverse community were put to the test. But most of all, I recall the many interactions with students and parents that make the life of aneducator so fulfilling.



WM: Are there any students you remember most? If yes, who and why?



We are fortunate to live in a time when social networks allow us to keep in touch and recon- nect so easily. I am very happy to have struck up contact again with so many students who bring back fond memories of my life in Bucha- rest. Whether on Facebook or otherwise, I often think of Suha, Ivana, Giulia, Alex, Laci, Piko, Eden (RIP), Thomas, Ruxi, Chris, Raluca, Bogdan, Nassima, Alper, Christina, Marko and LOTS more. It’s odd how the memory of somebodypops up in the most unexpected moment.



WM: Where do you live now?



This is my fifth year as Director of the American International School of Lusaka in Zambia. Being African, I have enjoyed a beautiful school, the African space, the safaris and the people. But at the end of this school year I am leaving here to head up Bonn International School in Germany.



WM: How do you like being a school director?



I am truly fortunate to be one those people who goes to work excited and happy every day. International schools present such an interesting challenge to shape future global leaders – people who have a proud heritage but are able to look and operate beyond their nationalconfines. From what I hear, it seems rare forpast AISB students to operate only in one country. Their lives, and often their businesses continue internationally. Whether consciously or subconsciously, the experience of growing up and understanding peers from diverse national, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, has an impact on every graduate.



WM: How do you feel about the challenge of moving to new places?


The prospect of moving becomes more daunt- ing every time, but when you get to the other end, and a new life begins, you realize why you do it. It becomes a practical expression of embracing change and seeking new adventures.I have lived seven lives so far. That’s because Ihave lived in that many countries. Lived, made friends, and discovered, not just visited.



WM: Do you have any special memories about the Class of 2001?



After over 30 years in education, I have expe- rienced many graduations, each of which has special moments and special individuals graduating. I don’t have a list of 2001 graduates, butif I had, I know that the names would unleash aflood of happy memories.



WM: What would you like to tell our current students?



While it may not seem immediately evident, cherish the opportunities you are being given, and use them to improve the world.
WM: What would you like to say to our alumni?



To those who I was fortunate to work with, youhave made my life a fulfilled series of adventuresand learning experiences for which I am thank- ful. Your success is of your own making. I hopeyou recognize the positive influence that AISBand its community had in the process. I look forward to seeing many of you at the reunion later this year.



Chris Muller


Director
International School of Lusaka




Read the entire WORLD Magazine Summer 2012 edition here.





 

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