Senior Executive Team
José Garrigos Montoro, Legal Coordinator, IES
Jose Garrigós Montoro has a degree in Law awarded in 1995 by the Fundación Universitaria CEU San Pablo (Valencia, Spain). He worked in Madrid in the international law firm García Montoro & Associates and in GM Corp. Consulting.
He has specialized in international law and has fifteen years of experience in the field of private education in a number of world class schools in thirteen countries in Europe, U.S.A., Central and South America and South Africa. His field of expertise and experience in education enable him to identify common issues and difficulties and to support our IES schools on the whole range of legal and strategic issues facing individual schools and the IES company as a whole. The range of legal support and advice covers, mainly, governance and risk management, due diligence and acquisitions procedures, education employment, child protection, health and safety, corporate and real estate, among others.
Cindy Hassan Krakower, Chief Financial Officer, IES
Cindy Hassan Krakower holds a Bachelor Business Administration degree in Finance with a specialization in International Business from the University of Miami. She was presented with the Beta Gamma Sigma Award, the highest business honor. She also held studies at the American University of Paris.
Cindy worked for top global financial institution, Goldman Sachs, in Investment Management. She offered her financial analysis capabilities to small institutions and high net worth individuals on their portfolios and long-term investments.
Currently, she directs the finance department of the IES company. She evaluates the financial performance of the schools and provides recommendations for development. She implements the necessary measures and controls to ensure the financial wellbeing of the company. Among her duties, she is responsible for budgeting, cash management and forecasting. Cindy is also in charge of the financial analysis and due diligence involved with new projects.
Kathryn Korcz, Headmistress, Grantham Preparatory School
She spent the early part of her career training to become an accountant, and worked on the preparation and audit of company accounts. This later facilitated working as a part- time book keeper for a number of local companies while raising her own family.
Once her eldest child started school, she began teaching different age groups within the primary years and this renewed her previous interest in and passion for education.
After working within the maintained sector, she joined Grantham Preparatory School as a full time class teacher in 1997 before being promoted to Deputy Headmistress and then Headmistress in 2004. As a teaching head, she has successfully led the school through several inspections overseeing the school’s development in the foundation stage, sport, music and drama.
In 2008 she was appointed as a local authority governor at a local outstanding secondary school. She chairs its Welfare Committee and supports the governing body as a member of the Steering Committee.
Gabriella Gidró, Head Teacher, SEK Budapest International School.
Gabriella Gidró attended the Faculty of Arts of ELTE University in Budapest graduating with a double major in English and Spanish Language and Literature in 1987.During her university career in 1984 she studied Spanish with a scholarship at the José Martí University of Havana, Cuba. She started working as an English and Spanish teacher in the Károlyi Mihály Hungarian-Spanish Bilingual School and in 1992 she was appointed the Deputy Head. In 1994 she won a research grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education to carry out linguistic studies in the Scientific Research Centre (Centro de Investigaciones Científicas) in Madrid.
Since 1997 she has been working as the Head of the SEK Budapest International School. She gives Spanish A1 and B courses in the IB DP and is working for the IBO as an examiner and authorization visit member.
She regularly serves as a member and president of the Matura Examination Boards in Spanish language.
She has published Paso Doble Spanish course book for beginners, a Sin pelos en la lengua Spanish interactive CD, and the Palabras, palabras Vocabulary Guide for the Spanish Matura Exam Since 2003 she has been a Board member of the International Schools Association, where she currently serves as Treasurer.
Grant Ruskovich, Principal, Hout Bay International School
Born and raised in Johannesburg, Gauteng, Grant obtained his qualifications at the old Johannesburg College of Education (JCE) and Randse Afrikaanse University (RAU) now known as the University of Johannesburg.
After teaching at his alma mater before moving to Taiwan for 8 years, Grant had the opportunity to build and run the Secondary School section of an International School. Embracing all forms of technology, the school went on to become one of the first 1:1 laptop schools in Taiwan. Returning in 2008, Grant was appointed the Director of Student Affairs at Hout Bay and has enjoyed teaching History at the IGCSE and IB levels before being promoted to the Vice Principal and then Principal in 2014.
Besides having a wide range of interests, one of his passions is fostering a love of the arts in school. From Art, to music, to drama – watching a student push themselves beyond what they initially believed they can achieve is something that is truly remarkable to behold. Subscribing to the belief that ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’ Grant believes that the Hout Bay is a school where the possibilities are endless if you dare to dream.
Yamile Zeidan-Francese, Head, Boca Prep International School, Boca Raton, Florida, USA
Mrs. Francese has been an integral part of the Boca Prep school community for almost two decades- serving as a teacher, IB trained Educator and Coordinator, educational leader, Curriculum Coordinator and a pioneer in the development of the International Baccalaureate program at the school. She graduated summa cum laude from Lynn University, earning her B.A. in Elementary Education, B.A in Pre-Primary Education and is currently completing her Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision (MAEd/ADM).
As a member of the faculty since 1998, Yamile has taught all grades from Pre-k through 12th. While teaching, she also held administrative roles as the Head of Upper School, Academic Coordinator for Language & Literature and World Languages, and IB & MYP Coordinator. Widely recognized for her vision, energy, and strong leadership, Yamile was invited to serve as the Assistant Head of School in 2012, then the Head of School in January 2017. An educational innovator, under Yamile’s leadership new academic initiatives and successful strategic plans were implemented: faculty development, IB curriculum development, IB program development (PYP, MYP, and DP), strategic planning, advancement and admission, crisis management, building planning, parent communications and student life.
Yamile is a member in several national, regional, and local education associations including the National Council of Teachers of English (NTCE), National Middle School Association (NMSA), Kappa Delta Pi- International Educational Honor Society, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Mike Burguess, Head, St. John’s International School
Mike Burgess was appointed as Head in 2015 but joined the school as Deputy Head in 2010 following a spell at Sidmouth College, where he was Director of Inclusion and SENCO. Prior to that, Mike taught Mathematics, Business Studies and Humanities to A level in a number of schools.
Educated at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary, he took a couple of years ‘out’ travelling prior to completing a BA (Hons) in Geography and Economics at The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Following a successful career in banking, Mike retired at 37 to run his farm and a number of small business enterprises.
When he became the sole carer for three children, Mike relocated to rural France for 3 years to enable his children to experience an education in an alien environment. He now renovates property as a commercial hobby and plays most sports (increasingly badly)!
Yamila Yadira Acosta Santamaría, Head, Panama Preparatory International School
Yamila Yadira Acosta Santamaría studied a degree in Spanish at the University of Panama, entering the teaching career. From very young she has participated and leaded out cultural groups related to literature and the creation of literary works for youth and children. She makes her teaching career since 1993 at the Instituto Celestin Freinet as a teacher of Spanish to groups of elementary and junior high. During these years she led students to occupy top spots in literary creation in the national competition of children’s story, achieving the first place in the Ruta Quetzal Argentaria youth essay contest.
Decides to study direction and supervision of schools in the year 2003 and for this time is designated general coordinator at the Instituto Celestín Freinet Freinet, two years later became the academic headmistress until July of the year 2005.
In August of 2005 she leads out as the academic headmistress at The Panama Preparatory School from its beginning, creating her own methodology and leading a group of creative teachers who work on activities making the difference at all moment.
With the opening of The Panama Preparatory School she fulfilled one of her greatest ideals and that was to create a school where children learn, develop their personality, but moreover, a place where they may be happy.