2 September 2019

EMS Principal's Welcome

Stacy Sherman has taken a circuitous route to arrive at her new position of EMS Principal at NOVA International School in Skopje, Macedonia, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “It is interesting for me to look back and see when and how changes in my life have transpired,” she says. “I have concluded that each moment of life is an opportunity that we may not recognize until much later.” Stacy is excited at the challenge of supporting elementary and middle school students and teachers at NOVA.

Although this small-town Michigan girl always dreamed of “going places,” she never thought it would turn out as it has. She married and had two children and worked full time as a stay-at-home mom. But once her kids were in school, she decided that’s where she wanted to go as well. This started her path in education.

In 1994 Stacy received her bachelor’s of science degree from Trine University and began teaching 4th grade. “I devoted myself to science and math,” she says. “I wanted to lift students out of their textbooks and into a more exploratory, hands-on experience.” In 1997 she completed her Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.

Leaving the classroom in 2001, she took a job helping other educators impart the wonders of math and science to their students. “I really wanted to make a difference,” Stacy says. “I felt that teaching teachers how to ‘do’ science would help to spread the joy of exploration and discovery to more children.”

Then in 2003, the opportunity of a lifetime— in the form of teaching 1st grade at Colegio Maya (the American International School of Guatemala)—presented itself. “The director of the school at the time, Dr. Sherry Miller was such a dynamic force in the empowerment of women and has been a dynamic force in my life.”

So with her grown children’s support, Stacy put most of her belongings in storage and soon found herself living the dream. “I wasn’t sure which was more intimidating, moving to a new country or working with 1st graders,” she says. “During my time there I realized that teaching 1st grade was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.”

Then just three years later, she moved into an administrative role. With some 365 students in grades pre-K through 12, the school serves “third-culture” students (kids who grow up in cultures radically different from those of their parents), primarily from the U.S. and Korea as well as places from around the world. “Soccer—along with an American education—was the one thing that brought everyone together,” Stacy says. “And kids are kids no matter where they’re from. There were cultural differences, but no cultural barriers. We all came together to play, learn, and solve problems.”

While living in Guatemala, Stacy explored her environs with gusto. “I visited villages in the highlands where people still wore the traditional dress of the Mayans; climbed three volcanoes (one of which was still active); and took diving excursions to Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama where I swam over coral reefs and came face to face with grey reef and whitetip sharks.”

After 12 years she was ready to return to the U.S. to be closer to her family, and begin her degree in Education Leadership. During that time, Stacy held the position of Lower School Head at a prestigious girls’ school in Pittsburgh, PA. After a year, she took time off to finish her degree and this is when yet another amazing opportunity presented itself. The long winding road took her to Africa, a continent she had always dreamed about. Stacy returned to teaching at The American School of Kinshasa in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was here she reconnected with her teaching roots. This experience has helped her to gain a fresh perspective of the expectations teachers face each day.

“Living and working overseas has been a remarkable experience that I will never forget,” Stacy says. “Meeting people from all walks of life and cultures has changed the way I view the world. My life continues to be an incredible journey.”