Mr.Russell O'Neill

Dear NOVA community, we would like to introduce Mr. Russell O'Neill, our new Elementary and Middle School Principal. His experience, qualifications and personality will help our school continue living out its mission, nurturing old and forging new bonds.

Originally from Australia, Russell started as a lower and middle school teacher during the 90s. Since 1998, Russell has been a Director of eight schools, serving many diverse populations. He was (since 2014) the Lower School Principal at Shanghai Community International School-Hangzhou International School, a school community similar to ours in size and diversity.

Russell holds a Bachelor Diploma and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Murdoch University, Australia. His Master of Early Childhood Education and Post Graduate Diploma in Mathematics Education are in progress.

In 2013 Russell received the Charitable Work for Underprivileged Children Award. In 2006 and in 2004 he was twice nominated for the Principal of the Year Award. In 2002 he was the Equity and Diversity Award winner, and in 1993 he received the Innovation in Education Award, as well as the Teacher of the Year Award by the Western Australia Education Department. He has keynoted conferences for Kindergarten and Early Childhood teachers.

Russell has worked in each of the 7 states of Australia, visited close to 70 countries, and lived and worked in China, UK, Africa and Indonesia. In his view, however, being internationally minded is ‘not a variety of stamps in the passport, but rather an approach to learning and living, an approach of appreciating, understanding and respecting people from different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures’.

One of Russell’s strengths and passions is curriculum; he is trained and experienced in the delivery of IB – Primary Years Program (PYP), International Primary Curriculum (IPC), International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) as well as the Australian Curriculum. He has also lead curricular change in schools that now implement the IB PYP, MYP and DP programs. Russell was identified as one of the first Apple Distinguished Educators. He has implemented technology programs to aid learning, including several 1-to-1 mobile device technology programs at three schools.

We would like to welcome Russell to our NOVA community and wish him nothing but success.