Scott’s sunny-self and cheerful smile is full of juvenile energy. His ‘roll-up sleeves personality’ has led the 47-year old New Yorker from media sales and marketing to becoming a teacher, a principle and later on, even founding his own school. His journey took him from classroom teaching to providing national guidance to other teachers to coach their students towards college success. Today he gives international support to our Kiron students and helps to enable access to higher education for refugees.
Tell us about your journey
Growing up in the Bronx of the Big Apple, with my father working as a financial adviser for the Metropolitan Museum, I always knew that my true profession lies in education. I always wanted to become a teacher, but I was advised to do something practical and to try to make money. After an education in business and marketing, spending a year in a Kibbutz in Israel learning Hebrew and working in a boarding school, I worked in media sales and soon realized: I was getting good at something I did not like. So I decided to embark on my journey in education. After my Master in Public Affairs, I taught as a teacher for six years in a New York public school for recent immigrants and then spent another six years working as a principal. In 2003, I applied for funding for my own unique Arts Integrated Program and founded my own public high school. The program entailed a four-year theme: 1. Discover Yourself, 2. Discover your Community; 3. Discover the world, 4. Discover your future – guiding high school students from 14-19 years towards colleague education. After having built up my own school and unique program, I went on an exciting travel through Nepal, before dedicating myself to support teachers all over the United States as Chief Program Officer of “OneGoal”, training teachers working in low-income public schools to coach their students toward college enrollment and success. With the current refugee crisis, I decided to broaden my national educational focus to a more international one – finding my way to Kiron. Today I live in Berlin, with my wife and daughter, and I became a true Kironista.
What is your Role at Kiron?
I am the Head of Student Services. Hence, my role is to give guidance to my team in order to improve Kiron student communication and support.
What is your Mission for Kiron?
My mission is to be able to provide our students with equal opportunities. I want them to be successful and to have a true campus experience. Our students should have – what we all had – not just education, but also friends and a student community!
Kiron means to me…
Kiron is so full of potential – if we don’t screw it up – it can be great!
What are the challenges you are facing?
Kiron needs to focus on its collaborative long term global strategic mission.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My team! They are incredibly smart, committed and honest.
What was your favorite moment at Kiron so far?
My funniest moment at Kiron was, when an important meeting was dominated by the fierce discussion on where to place the coffee machine in the office and the pivotal importance of that machine was discussed.
My greatest experience is my unique friendship with my Buddy, Wajdi. He is from Syria and lives in Hessen. First I thought I should not talk about my own family, since his family is in Syria and he must miss them terribly. But then he said to me: “I love hearing about your family! We are friends.” – He is a true friend and an inspiration.
Describe yourself in own sentence:
I am who I am – I am authentic and truthful and I don’t pretend.
What is your favorite spot in Berlin?
I just like to be outside. And I love Berlin, the people here are not hectic or arrogant. They are relaxed and enjoy life – that helps me calm down.
Some last words for Kiron…
At Kiron, we can sometimes be part of our own problem, challenges, but we can also be the biggest part of our solution – what will make our program impactful, successful and sustainable.