Senior Executive Team
Monica Segovia has been part of the SEK and IES International Education Institution her whole life as part of the founding family. She obtained her bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami with a mention in management and marketing.
She has taken part in different roles within the education community, starting off as a primary school teacher and then moving to a managerial role in the Institution’s marketing department. She is now serving as the Vice President of International Education Systems, supervising the 9 schools present in 6 countries that form the IES group.
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.
RICARDO RODRÍGUEZ-VILLALOBOS, DIRECTOR OF LEGAL DEPARTMENT
Ricardo Rodríguez-Villalobos hails from San José, Costa Rica. He graduated from the Law School of Universidad de Costa Rica and duly incorporated to the Costa Rican Bar Association. Ricardo is currently studying a Master Degree in Business Administration, pursuing a relevant mix with his knowledge in compliance and corporate law.
Before his arrival to IES group, he held the position of Regional Legal Advisor for BAC CREDOMATIC, the biggest bank group in Central America. Ricardo was part of the Contracts and Business Department, working as a Contract Specialist. During his years of study, he also worked as a paralegal in a major corporate law firm in Costa Rica.
Currently, he is the director of the Legal Department of IES group. He is in charge of providing legal advice to the different of IES group. In addition to reviewing the Group’s Contracts and Agreements, Ricardo is in charge of giving support and legal support to each of the Schools.
During his free time, he enjoys playing bass, movies and hiking in the mountains of Costa Rica.
DARRYLL LOTTERING, CHIEF ACADEMIC DIRECTOR
Darryll has been working in international schools since 2005 and has moved through the ranks from Design Teacher to HOD, Coordinator, Vice Principal and finally HOS of an IB K-12 school in 2009.
He has started up a number of schools around the world and has been responsible for the implementation of Early Years programmes, the IB’s Primary Years (PYP), Middle Years (MYP) and Diploma programmes (DP) as well as IGCSE & A-level curriculum at schools in Italy, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Panama and China.
Darryll is also a lead educator for the IB and fulfils several roles such as Site Visitor for verification and evaluation visits, Workshop Leader and Consultant to schools implementing an IB programme.
As a workshop leader, he specialises in delivering professional development aimed at whole school improvement e.g. leadership and senior leadership, teaching and learning, inquiry, authentic assessment, social and emotional well-being. He also delivers workshops to students with a focus on international-mindedness, critical thinking and soft skills.
Darryll currently has his home in Sweden, is married, has a daughter of six and a son who is in his second year of university having gone through the PYP, MYP and surviving the Diploma Programme.
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.
SARAH-JANE GREEN, PRINCIPAL, UDINE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, ITALY
Originally from Bristol in England, Mrs. Sarah-Jane Green started her working life in banking, working in a UK high street bank for over nine years. However, she decided to retrain as a teacher, graduating from Exeter University in the UK with a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Honours). Her first teaching post was in a lovely school in the heart of the Cotswolds in the middle of England. An opportunity then presented itself for her to teach in an International School in Moscow, Russia and so began her international teaching career, which has now spanned over sixteen years.
She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, often with children who have English as their second language, and with various curricula, including the IPC and the IB PYP. She has experience of working with children across a range of ages, from 3 years old to 17 years old. Since becoming part of the senior leadership team in schools she has also obtained her Master of Arts in Education from the Open University.
Mrs. Green believes that children, when nurtured and inspired, have the potential to do amazing things. She loves to see children having the opportunity to shine, whether it is through the arts, on the sports field or in the classroom.
Along with her passion for education, she has a love for travel and is a genuine globetrotter, enjoying the experience of new cultures and, with her husband Spencer, is excited to have the opportunity to explore the diverse and beautiful country of Italy.
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.
ANDRE SWART, PRINCIPAL, BLOUBERG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SOUTH AFRICA
Andre Swart was born in the small Kwa-Zulu Natal town of Vryheid (meaning Freedom). He is the middle son of three. His younger brother, Timothy, runs a guest house in Northern Ireland, and his eldest brother is Deputy Principal at a private High School in Gauteng.
After surviving the challenges of attending 6 different schools during his schooling, he matriculated at Newcastle High School in 1982. At the time, it was compulsory to do 2-year military service and he was then assigned to a base camp in Ladysmith. Once he completed his military service, he started studying as a teacher at Durban Teacher’s Training College.
His first teaching post, in 1990, was at Drakensview Primary, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands town of Estcourt. Four years later, he moved down the road to Pietermaritzburg and taught at Bisley Park Primary and afterwards at Scottsville Primary.
Towards the end of 1997, he was offered the position of Deputy Principal at John Mackenzie School in Francistown, Botswana and in January 1998, made the big move up north. During the next 9 years, he gained valuable experience working in an international environment and working at a school which catered for primary and high school students. The Board of Governors appointed Andre as the Principal in 2004, following the retirement of the previous principal. During this time, he studied further and was awarded a BEd Honours Degree in Education Management from the University of Johannesburg.
He left Botswana at the end of 2006, and moved to the Southern Cape region, in order to be closer to his children. He spent 10 wonderful years at Milkwood Primary School, situated in the picturesque town of Mossel Bay.
Andre then joined the IES group as Principal at Helderberg International School on the 1st September 2017. He spend 3 and a half happy years at Helderberg before starting at Blouberg International School on 1st April 2021.
He has been married to his best friend, Sue, for 13 years. They both enjoy the outdoors, hiking, photography, theatre, running and experiencing new things. Four children keep them humble. Damon is 25 and is a 4th year Chemical Engineering student at Stellenbosch University, Paige is 24 and has completed her BA Developmental and Environment and Honours Degree at Stellenbosch University, Leah is in her 4th year, studying Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles and Katie is in her 3rd year, studying Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University.
CRISTINA SANCHEZ BLACK, PRINCIPAL, HELDERBERG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SOUTH AFRICA
Cristina Sanchez Black was born in Johannesburg to a teacher and a fitter-and-turner, Spanish immigrants in search of greener pastures. When she was five, the family relocated to Angola from where they fled a year later due to the civil war. Escaping with his life, her father started over in the little fishing village of Stompneus Bay on the West Coast. Here Cristina was immersed in yet another culture and learned to speak Afrikaans, adding to her growing language skills. She and her two younger brothers enjoyed a carefree, wholesome and grounded childhood. During this time, Cristina naturally assumed the role of teacher, helping her brothers with their schoolwork when necessary. So began a passion for educating and helping others, which extended to her circle of school friends.
Cristina attended Stellenbosch University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts. She applied and was accepted into the Counselling Psychology course in her third year, which she completed as one of her majors, the other being English. Thereafter, she completed her Higher Education Diploma. In this year, she had the pleasure of returning to her alma mater to do the practical component of her course with her old English teacher, thereby establishing a relationship that would last well into adulthood.
After graduating, she felt the need to broaden her life experience: she managed an estate agency (where her languages held her in good stead), worked as assistant to the director of a Portuguese cork business and, later, for a civil engineering firm.
Her first teaching position was at Helderberg High School in 1995 where her old English teacher (now the principal) contracted her to tutor Angolan students. This was followed by a locum position at Parel Vallei High School where she taught English, as well as History, and later a position at Grabouw High School for a year.
She returned to Helderberg High School to teach English, Spanish and Portuguese, EMS, Mathematics and Art and Culture, as well as heading up various extra-curricular activities such as the Toastmasters’ youth leadership programme, the school newspaper and others. During this time, her son and daughter were born and she was afforded the opportunity to venture into tertiary education, teaching writing skills at Helderberg College on a part-time basis in the year of her daughter’s birth.
In 2007, Cristina returned to the West Coast where she joined the team that started Curro Langebaan. Here she obtained experience of growing a school from the ground up as Head of the English Department.
Cristina joined the IES group in 2011, dividing her time between Blouberg International School, where she taught Spanish from year 3 to year 9, and Helderberg International School, where she taught Spanish, as well as English Literature. In 2015, she joined the Helderberg team full time. Since then she has joined the academic committee and the Journey team, headed up the library team and implemented various other extra-curricular activities. In 2019, she was appointed High School Phase Co-ordinator. She started as Principal of Helderberg International School on 1 April 2021.
Cristina enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, hiking, reading and meeting people from all walks of life. She is a firm believer in looking for the good in life, respect for all and that every action (however small) has the power to make a positive contribution.
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).
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.
BUDD GAVIN, PRINCIPAL, HOUT BAY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SOUTH AFRICA
Gavin graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA, BA (Honours), and H.Dip.Ed (PG). As an English teacher, he taught and held the post of Head of the English Department at two high schools in Gauteng. During this time, Gavin was appointed as a Chief Marker and an Examiner for the Gauteng Education Department, setting the provincial English Writing and Language Matric Examination papers; served on provincial textbook selection and study guide writing committees; and produced educational television programmes. Gavin was then head-hunted to assist in the establishment of two private schools : Crawford College Pretoria and Crawford College La Lucia in Kwa Zulu Natal. This served as excellent training for his appointment as the Founding Headmaster of a number of private schools in the Reddam House / Inspired Group of schools: namely, Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard (Cape Town); Reddford House Blue Hills (Midrand); and Reddam House Somerset (Somerset West). Gavin also gained invaluable experience as Headmaster of King David High School, Victory Park – a top-performing ISASA school in Johannesburg. In his spare time, Gavin enjoys reading, playing the piano, going to the theatre, but especially travelling both internationally and exploring the beautiful Cape.