As a lifelong learner, educator, husband, father, traveler and self-proclaimed ‘balancer’, I (Joseph Levno) have started this blog to reflect on …education, leadership and life… with moderation as a key driving concept. The BALANCING ACTS of life – especially the life of an educator!
I am a ‘Big Picture’ focused, technologically literate educational leader with over 20 years of administrative and classroom experience at the middle school, high school and university levels. I grew up in Arizona, New Mexico and Tennessee before moving to California to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Mandarin Chinese and Comparative Politics. I received a full scholarship to complete my first Master’s degree in Asian Politics, at the University of Queensland in sunny St. Lucia – a suburb of Brisbane, Australia. My wife, two children and I had our first long-term posting overseas in August, 2004 and I finished my 2nd Master’s Degree… in International Educational Leadership, through the University of San Francisco and Washington State University, in December 2010.
I am currently a freelance educational consultant after serving Brent International School Manila for 9 years, most recently, as the Director for Academic Affairs. After nine years working at Brent, in the Philippines, my wife and I decided it was time for our next challenge! We decided to move back to the US, to reestablish roots and ‘sort out’ a few things. Our original plan was to take the entire year ‘off”. However, I came across an exhilarating short-term job opportunity with the IBO. I was selected to manage a team of international educators to design one of several new exciting services that IB’s Global Schools Services will soon offer. The IBO recognized my strengths in collaborative leadership and asked me to focus on developing a service that would support collaborative planning in IB schools. Engaging learners, going ‘deeper’ with IB and sustaining high levels of student learning through teacher collaboration – this will make good schools great and I am thrilled to have been on the ‘ground floor’ of actively developing such an innovative school service! So much for taking the year off!
At Brent, I started as a middle school teacher, then high school IB History teacher, Head of the Social Sciences Department, and Assistant Upper School Principal before being selected for my final role as Director for Academic Affairs. I have also been involved in accreditation visits through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. I served as a committee chair for Brent’s 3-year Mid-Term accreditation visit as well as having been trained for joint WASC/CIS accreditation, which I successfully directed for Brent over the course of the last two years I was there – resulting in a full, 10-year WASC/CIS accreditation term.
I actively supported the development of a culture of collaboration and consistency with Upper School staff (and then broadened that focus to all Brent faculty); supporting teachers through observation and coaching; proactively solving discipline issues with Upper School students; scheduling staff supervision duties; facilitating and moderating Parent Teacher Conferences and coordinating Parent Coffees with the PTA.
Prior to working at Brent International School Manila, I served as an AP/IB History teacher at Glen A. Wilson High School, in the third largest school district in the LA metropolitan area – Hacienda-La Puente USD. At Wilson, in addition to my teaching duties, I established the school’s Model United Nations program, served as the WASC 3-Year Mid-Term Visit Coordinator and helped mentor student teachers as a Master Teacher. I served that school community for 5 years. I have also worked in other schools in the district and was a district Character Education Trainer, with the Character Counts© program. I began my teaching career as a university instructor/TA at the University of Queensland in courses that included, “Politics in the Media” and “International Relations”. I taught for 15 years before moving into the more recent administrative roles I have held.
My interests include: travel, learning languages, reading, running, soccer, motorcycles and diving. My passion is spending quality time with my wife and 14-year old twins.Published: Jan. 18, 2009 Last Edited: June 8, 2014