Leading Change



Strategic leader and co-creator of IGNITE Day, a unique way of learning designed to change the way we approach learning. We focus on personalization via personalized learning seminars; inquiry via integrated units; camaraderie and team via intramurals and a House system; and socio-emotional learning and wellness.

Explore details of our Secondary IGNITE seminars, including badges and certificates here.

Co-founder of the Compassion Summit, a movement grounded in innovation and compassionate action. The Compassion Summit is committed to create, enhance and promote greater levels of compassion within our school communities and is committed to compassionate action that will build a more peaceful future in our global community.

"...because peace begins in schools."

01: Future Search

Future Search & Scenario Planning

Leading from the emerging future requires a schoolwide focus on our vision that is collaboratively held by all. Future Search allows us to create a living vision that propels us into action. The process is ongoing with the goal to focus on our Best Hopes to realize our mission. Tara has led this work at ISG and RVIS. In June 2020, inspired by the d.School, she combined future search with scenario planning for campus reopening. The work involved collaborative teams and multiple stakeholders across the school.

Virtual School

Involved in NESA Virtual Schools since 2007, Tara has provided strategic leadership for blended learning models. At ISG, she led the work of streamlining Virtual School expectations across 7 schools.

On February 27, 2020, RVIS launched seamlessly into Virtual School and provided rigorous and engaging personalized learning with a focus on community and wellbeing for 16 weeks. The RVIS Team also launched learning for teachers, providing a robust teacher site as well.

Strategic Leadership

Hedgehog, Partnership, Iteration

Strategic leadership focused on the Hedgehog Concept in Jim Collins Good to Great, community partnership, and a small number of co-created system goals to move the school forward.

Dot Day & International Day of Peace

Initiated the celebration of Dot Day as a school community since 2015, beginning at ASK. At ISG, the addition of the International Day of Peace and the two goals became symbols of the mission: to inspire innovation and compassionate action. At RVIS, the first celebration of Dot Day in 2018 was marked by the Dot Tree, for we are all an important Dot in our school story.

Continuous Curriculum Review

Provide curriculum leadership in the areas assessment literacy, mapping and understanding by design. Shifted to a system of continuous curriculum review that allows for agility and flexibility. At ISG, provided leadership for development of district scope and sequences. At RVIS, created a streamlined curriculum documentation model that honors simplexity and teacher time.

Learning Walks

Learning Walks involve multiple stakeholders and allow us to learn from and with one another. Different from Observations and Walkthroughs, Learning Walks are collaborative and reflective. Tara has developed and led systemwide learning walks for

  • Learner Agency

  • Literacy

  • Technology Integration

  • Understanding by Design

In her work, Tara has developed an assessment system for Learning Walks that allows us to gather data towards our goals and measure school improvement over time.

Reflective Feedback Systems & Embedded Professional Learning

Learning is reflective, ongoing and systemic. While external consultants and feedback can be helpful, as educators, we need to be continually reflective in order to meet the needs of our students. Feedback systems and embedded learning initiatives include

  • Personalized Pathways

  • Learning Networks: Cohorts, Cadres & Teams

  • Self-reflective feedback systems

  • Streamlined and simplified observation systems

  • Learning questions as opposed to learning goals

  • Coaching Models

  • Led the Development of ISG Handbook: Culture for Learning

Tara's work at ISG included developing a coaching model and leading a district coaching team in systemic improvement.

Core Skills Assessment Rubrics

Led the development of Core Skills rubrics collaboratively across the ASK High School as documented by my COETAIL final project. Work was inspired by Stephen Barkley's model of designing for student achievement based on what we value.

Collaboration & Co-Creation

Stemming from a need for greater collaboration to ensure equity across our school, designed embedded collaborative planning time in the high school in 2007. This led to greater collaboration and partnership and has become an embedded system at ASK.

Systemic Change via School Improvement Teams

Leading the work of shifting systems involves deep collaboration and co-creation. The School Improvement Think Tank includes students, parents, staff and faculty. The SITT is the Coherence Maker of School Improvement. Tara has led the development of multiple teams vested in school improvement, including

  • RVIS School Improvement Think Tank

  • RVIS Schoolwide Leaders

  • ISG School Improvement Teams

  • ISG Learning Team

  • ISG Learning Walk Think Tank

  • ASK Collaborative Professional Culture

Teams use short-cycle inquiry based on improvement science and allows for continuous improvement to affect systemic excellence and change.

Developing Systems via Playbooks

Focused on building systems to meet school context, Tara has led the work of creating Playbooks that provide guidelines for implementation. She has led the development of the following:

  • RVIS Staff Playbook centered on our Hedgehog

  • RVIS Community Playbook for Reopening

  • ISG: School Improvement Playbook

  • ISG: Cultivating a Culture for Learning

  • ISG: Literacy Playbook

  • ISG: Coaching Handbook

  • Inside ASK Staff Playbook centered on the Four Domains of Teaching

  • Homework Guidelines (RVIS, ISG, ASK)

Leading Accreditation

Accreditation Visits

Team Co-Chair: CIS/MSA Reaccreditation
International School of Uganda

Virtual, 2021

Team Chair: CIS/MSA Reaccreditation
Marymount International School, Paris

Paris, France 2015

Team Chair: CIS/MSA Reaccreditation
American International School Chennai

Chennai, India 2013

Team Co-Chair: CIS/MSA Preliminary Visit
Kodaikanal Internati

Kodaikanal, India 2013

Team Co-Chair: MSA Systems Reaccreditation
Saudi Aramco

Saudi Arabia 2012(due to visa delays, I was unable to complete the visit)

Team Chair: MSA Reaccreditation
ISG Dammam

Dammam, Saudi Arabia 2010

Team Chair: MSA Reaccreditation
ISG Jubail

Jubail, Saudi Arabia 2010

Team Member: MSA/CIS Reaccreditation
Stockholm International School

Stockholm, Sweden 2007

Team Member: MSA Accreditation
Universal American School

Dubai, UAE 2007

Internal Roles

Oversee MSA Systems Accreditation Protocol

International Schools Group District of 7 schools; oversaw the work of two internal coordinators to coordinate the process2016 – 2018

Co-Internal Coordinator

2011 – 2015American School of Kuwai

Coherence Model

With the goal to cohere our strategic goals with the required data for accreditation, we aligned the standards of our accrediting bodies and our KPIs, which are organized by category related to our hedgehog, mission and goals and further subdivided into leading and lagging indicators.