Fall Retreat Facilitators

September 21-22, 2018 in Budapest Hungary


Yolanda Murphy-Barrena of WeRLeaders International

Yolanda Murphy-Barrena brings 30 years of experience in teaching, coaching, leading, mentoring and presenting in schools and professional development associations in both the United States and internationally. Yolanda is currently the Executive Director/ CEO of WeRLeaders International, a new organization founded to support the development and diversification of the next generation of international school leaders. Formerly, she was the Executive Director/ CEO of The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), a global educational leadership association that hosts the largest annual gathering of international school heads and provides a full menu of leadership development and networking services globally. Yolanda presents widely on Emerging Leadership and Women in Leadership topics and is a founding member of the Global Diversity Collaborative, a new partnership between several international organizations and educational leaders committed to increasing the quality and diversity of international school leadership. Yolanda also served on the International Task Force on Child Protection and now coordinates and provides training to school leaders and staff around creating safer learning environments within international schools and communities in partnership with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ECMEC). Her recent international presentations and trainings were at AAIE (New York), AASSA (Ecuador), CEESA (Czech Republic), TAISI (India), Tri-Association (Costa Rica), the QSI Heads Training (Malta) and other leadership events. Yolanda is passionate about expanding and developing international leadership capacity by connecting emerging, current and experienced leaders in online and in-person professional communities fostering mentorship, and the sharing of ideas and resources that promote excellence within the international school community.

Prior to leading AAIE, Yolanda served as a successful elementary, middle and high school administrator, most recently as the Middle School Administrator at Frankfurt International School (FIS) where she founded the European League of Middle Level Educators (ELMLE) Leadership Group, providing an ELMLE Fall Leadership Retreat and supporting ELMLE’s leaders at the January conferences.

Richard Hester of School Leaders Training

Richard Hester and his company School Leaders Training Limited works with schools and educational establishments in UK, Germany and international schools worldwide, with all their work being under-pinned by the belief that good leadership requires healthy interactions with staff.

They believe that leadership focussing on developing a culture where staff are appreciated, valued and listened to, along with a clear focus on appropriate goals and priorities, can lead to lower stress, higher job satisfaction, higher engagement and higher productivity. Developing effective teams, giving useful feedback and having excellent communication strategies are all essential ingredients of this. Realising that schools are increasingly complex and stressful institutions, they can also help with dealing with demanding parents and time management.

Richard has been a middle school principal in Italy, head of schools in London and Sri Lanka, and has UK and international school inspection experience. He was also formerly ELMLE treasurer for a number of years and president-elect. He has two children, who go to school in Germany.

TESTIMONIALS of School Leaders Training Workshops

"The training was provided in a constructive and effective manner, with a real focus on how, as well as what, things could be done. All staff came away with useful and practical action points to further develop their leadership skills and confidence.” Julia Waters, Executive Headteacher, Sacred Heart School, Wimbledon and Headteacher, Ursuline High School, Wimbledon.

“Two excellent workshops were delivered at the school, which provoked a lot of thought and discussion, and not a little self-reflection. The impact of the training will resonate for some time, and not least within the minds of the members of the senior leadership team.” Neil Richards, Headmaster, British International School Phuket, Thailand.

"The training session was extremely useful; it was well delivered and the trainer really knew his stuff! In particular Richard was able to engage all the staff present, no matter their level of experience. Everyone felt they had grown in confidence and capacity as a result of the session and found it reassuring that the trainer had first-hand experience of dealing with the issues raised. Richard is a most professional and personable speaker and we look forward to working with him again in the future." Andrew Atkinson, Senior School Assistant Headteacher, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore.

“Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience the training allowed us to reflect and caused us to reflect on our practises at work and question our decision-making process at our school. Richard listened, pondered over people's views and had a flair for building relationship and rapport with the senior teachers he came in contact with during the training session. I would highly recommend Richard to train and coach people in the education field.” Mr Umeshchandra Raja, Headteacher, The Swaminarayan School, London.

"I was delighted to have Richard present a twilight Inset session to my staff as, quite unlike many similar courses, the training was delivered in a pacey, engaging way and provided down-to-earth practical advice that my teachers were able to put into practice immediately. The training was extremely useful and my staff, enthused by Richard’s message, could be overheard discussing ways to implement many of his suggestions and approaches to managing time more efficiently. Time well spent!" Rob Duigan, Headmaster, Crackley Hall School, UK.