Concordia International School Hanoi: Committed towards Community and Holistic Education
Concordia International School Hanoi | the education magazine

At Concordia teachers and parents are dedicated to academics, creativity, and service in a caring and engaging community of learners, discovering their talents as scholars, artists, and athletes.

Concordia International School Hanoi, a private, non-profit and co-educational institution, was established with an aim to connect the community through service while striving to be the premier international school in South East Asia. Founded in 2011 as a PS-G7 institution, this school is home to over 380 students coming from more than 20 countries. The school seeks to prepare graduates who excel in academics, co-curricular activities, arts, creative endeavors, and the ability to think creatively. Not only does Concordia focus on educating and nurturing students’ talents, but the school also aims to make them responsible global citizens. The school’s core values are: Student-focused, driven toward excellence, community-centric and service-minded.

A Conclusive Platform for Holistic Development

Concordia is focused on educating the student as a whole, including academic progression, emotional and physical development, and evolving artistically. Academic rigor, teacher quality, US curriculum and the emphasis on the “whole-child” concept are what set Concordia apart from its peers. To make students creators of knowledge rather than just consumers, the school has all the advanced amenities to support its students. The school also uses integrated computers and technology platforms, which give students the strong technology skills they need to live in a global community, and the school’s customized and research-based approach to academics provide students with the resources to be future leaders.

Concordia offers a variety of programs, including athletics, music, Model United Nations, Science Club, Math Club, and drama, which spark students’ passions and interests outside of the classroom. Its secondary program is a dynamic international learning community based on a U.S. curriculum that includes Advanced Placement (AP) and advanced learning lab courses.

The School also offers interim trips to locations across Vietnam. These week-long trips are focused on art, culture, and service, and are always engaging in the local community.

The Torchbearer of the School

Steven Winkelman, the present Head of the School, was chosen to spearhead the development of the school in April 2009. Over the years, Steven has held many “adjunct” positions to fill the needs of the school, including playing the part of Secondary Principal and CFO. He has also overseen and established the school from the ground-up, including overseeing the development of the current school campus. Steven is currently one of the longest-seated Head of Schools in South East Asia.

Praising the Worthy

Even with only three graduating classes so far, Concordia has had acceptances to some of the world’s top universities including NYU, Oberlin, Vanderbilt, UC Irvine and the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business.

Many of the current students have been recognized for their extraordinary work. Ryo presented a paper on her Big Data Analysis findings on earthquake activity in Japan at Watson Analytics – IBM Big Data conference in Malaysia. This, in turn, contributed to her gaining a 70% scholarship to Oberlin College in Ohio, USA. Kelly presented a paper based on the findings on AQI in Vietnam at a conference in Beijing. Thea participated in leadership forum on socioeconomic development and has been admitted, early acceptance, to the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton Business School. Alan’s paper “Criminal Activities in Chicago Analyzed with Watson Analytics” was accepted for presentation and publication to 7th Big Data and Analytics EdCon that will be held in Washington DC, College Park Marriott, USA on June 3-4, 2019.

Several students have also participated in the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) music festivals around the globe. Others have presented papers at the 2019 International Conference on Big Data and Education at the University of Greenwich, London March 30 – April 1. Students have also participated in a multitude of research projects, including analyzing collisions from the Large Hadron Collider in CERN Switzerland.

Foundation of Experience

With an average work experience of 17 years, the staff members of this unique school have gained recognition in and around the world. Some of the faculty members who add feathers to the school’s cap include:

Dr. Merrian Mills has entered her 14th year teaching and recently has earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. Dr. Mills also holds a Master’s Degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction with a specialty in Educational Technology from California State University Bakersfield in California, USA. Dr. Mills has published in her field, including “Educational Technologies in Developing Nations: Barriers & Possibilities” through California State University Press.

Head of STEM Department Neil Whitehead has helped start math departments at 3 international schools, has served as a US State Department math coach for their top math students internationally, and is studying Big Data Analysis online through Harvard University

Art teacher Jill Allyn Carter has been teaching for 25 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois (USA) from which she also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education. Ms. Carter has given numerous professional presentations on “Art Education” at EARCOS conferences in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and Shanghai, China.

Middle school teacher Terry Umpenhour has been named Emerson Electric Teacher of the Year Award (1986), CitiBank Teacher of Distinction Award (1987) and the Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Teacher (2015). He has published four novels for young adults: Across a Broken Sky, Beyond Tears: The Point of No Return, Cast Upon a Restless Sea, and Darkness Comes Before the Dawn.

High school science teacher Dr. Brent Kilback has been an educator for 34 years. Dr. Kilback holds a Doctorate of Law (Honorary) from Concordia University of Nebraska in Seward, Nebraska (USA) and a Master’s Degree in International Education from Framingham State University in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). After a distinguished career that has taken him from teaching positions at Concordia University, Edmonton, to international schools in Guatemala and Papua New Guinea, where he served as head of school, Dr. Kilback joined Concordia in 2015 to return to his core passion of instructing in the classroom. He has published two scientific textbooks, “Body in Balance” (Clarke and Cunningham, 1990), a human physiology textbook; and “Struggle for Balance” (Clarke and Cunningham, 1996, 1st Revision 2010) general high school biology textbook.

On top of all this, Concordia Hanoi puts a huge emphasis on the professional development of their teachers and staff. The school has sent dozens of teachers to both attend and present at EARCOS conferences, and provides dedicated days for professional workshops throughout the year.

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