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GCI Seminar 2019: Introducing the Educators!

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 12 secondary school educators who are attending the 2nd Annual GCI Professional Development Seminar 2019! 

Yesterday, 12 Educators from all corners of the globe started their GCI journey by gathering at the GCI Seminar 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The Seminar is an intensive program for secondary school educators to learn key elements of the GCI Method, a research-based pedagogy that combines Discussion-Based Learning, Design Thinking and Human Connectivity. The 5-day Seminar runs in parallel with the GCI Summit, as the Educators will observe some of the student sessions and attend many of the same evening events, in addition to participating in their own academic sessions and workshops.

This year's cohort of 12 Educators represents 8 different citizenships, speaks 13 languages and works at 12 schools in 7 countries!

Continue reading below for each of the Educators' biographies.

Najib Ahmed

Dean, Faculty of Social Studies and Curriculum Design Specialist

Abaarso School

Abaarso, Somaliland

Mr. Ahmed is a graduate of Abaarso School of Science and Technology and Georgetown. After spending 4 years at Georgetown, he currently lives and works at Abaarso. Mr. Ahmed teaches history, serves as the Dean of Boys, and designs parts of the school’s curriculum. He is interested in education and development and looks to help improve Abaarso’s social studies curriculum (and ultimately, Somalia’s national curriculum).

Catherine Arnold


Boston Latin School

Massachusetts, United States

Ms. Arnold teaches history at Boston Latin School and advises YouthCAN, a youth-led environmental group serving hundreds at their Annual Youth Summit on Climate and Sustainability at MIT. Awards include the President’s Environmental Youth Award, an EPA merit award, the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environment, the Eco-Schools Green Flag, a 15K Green Heroes award, a $75K Green School Makeover, the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award, and coverage on the Today Show. Ms. Arnold has received the Mayor's Green Award, the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools’ Coolest Teacher Award (Antarctica trip-2041 Expedition), and $25K in The Green Awards. She advises a student-run hydroponic farm; and EPIIC (Educating for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship), an extracurricular club participating yearly in a simulated global conference for high schoolers at Tufts University addressing issues of international importance. Ms. Arnold also advises the BLS Chapter of the Massachusetts High School Democrats.

Aida Conroy

Teacher and Internal Harkness Mentor

The Noble Academy

Illinois, United States

Ms. Conroy is a teacher, instructional coach, and consultant. She graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2009 and then attended Columbia University where she double majored in American Studies and Sustainable Development. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. After graduating from college she joined Teach for America in Chicago, her hometown. Aida was a national finalist for the 2015 Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. For the last four years she has worked as a founding teacher and “Harkness Mentor” at The Noble Academy, the only public or charter school in the United States to be utilizing the Harkness method across all disciplines. The Noble Academy is a Title 1 school that serves low-income and minority students. For the second year in a row 100% of seniors have been accepted to a 4-year college or university. She believes deeply in the creating excellent educational opportunities for students regardless of their background.

Mohamed Farrag

Mathematics Faculty

African Leadership Academy

Honeydew, South Africa

Mr. Farrag is a 26-year-old Muslim Egyptian. He got his BSc in Physics and Mathematics in 2014 from the American University in Cairo. He studied at the University of Arizona in 2012-2013 as an exchange student. Although he deeply enjoys geeky conversations about Physics and Mathematics, Education is the one field that he is extremely passionate about; he is deeply inspired by Ibn Sina’s (a.k.a Avicenna) and Al Ghazali’s philosophies of education. He believes that it is through holistic education that one finds their true self and their place in a community. He grew up in a very physical environment, training different martial arts since he was nine, and competed for seven years (14-21). Alongside his current job at ALA, he trains and teaches twice a day Capoeira and Jiu-Jitsu. His dream is to create an intentional self-reliant community in Sinai, Egypt, that holistically educates its people.

Karim-Yassin Gössinger

Founder Director

Cairo Institute of

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Cairo, Egypt

As an educator and scholar-activist based between Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, Mr. Gössinger has combined his academic background in philosophy and urbanism with body-based practices, including Qi Gong, serving tea and cooking together, in his teaching. He has used art, social cartography and critical pedagogy interdependently in an effort to denaturalize colonial frames of reference and material architectures that make up the social, in which knowledge is produced within our current system, with the aim of enabling ways of doing, thinking and being that are unimaginable within the modern/colonial imaginary. He’s worked non-textual sources of history, culture, and belief, including film, artefacts, music, architecture and food, into the courses he’s offered and workshops he’s hosted. 

Sandra Greenwald

Service Learning Teacher

The Graded School

São Paulo, Brazil

Ms. Greenwald teaches Service Learning & Leadership at the American School of São Paulo, Brazil. She has two children, both born in Japan, who now live and work in the United States. Her friends would describe her as easy going, a good listener and very proactive. Ms. Greenwald received her BA in English and Portuguese Literature from Mackenzie University in São Paulo, Brazil, which is also where she became a Licensed Teacher.

Dale Howe

History Teacher

The American School in Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Howe has been teaching social studies for over thirty years and began his teaching career in the Denver Public inner-city schools and then went onto teach in a boarding school in Switzerland, private and public schools in Colorado, and international schools in Thailand and Japan. He is currently a history teacher at The American School in Japan located in Western Tokyo, and teaches AP U.S. History and 20th Century U.S. History, a socio-cultural course. He is a very passionate reader and outdoorsman taking advantage of the many activities that are available in Japan.

Kota Ikeshima

Secondary School Educator

Shibuya Junior & Senior High School

Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Ikeshima teaches English as a Second Language to middle and high school students in Japan. He is currently working in a private school located in the center of Tokyo, where he primarily teaches the Grade 7 students. Since most students in Japan begin learning English in school from that grade, it means that his classes are the introduction to the world for many students. He also supports the Grade 12 students who are applying for universities around the globe. His job is to connect students to the world, and more importantly, to help them notice that “the world” is already present in Japan as well. Always think of “cultures” in the plural. That is his motto. 

Nefertiti Makeda

Founding Head of School

Andinet International School

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dr. Makeda is the founding head of school at Andinet International School (AIS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She started AIS with only two kindergarteners 16 years ago and today has more than 1400 students from PreK-12. Nefertiti is committed to global education and teaching intercultural competence. She earned the Global Executive Ed.D. from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California and the M.Ed. in International Education Leadership from Endicott College. Additionally, Nefertiti is an alum of three Harvard professional development institutes: Think Tank on Global Education, The Future of Learning, and Women in Education Leadership. She was also a recipient of the prestigious Klingenstein Fellowship for Heads of School held at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Makeda is a world traveler who has studied schools and their systems in many countries. Moreover, she shares her learning experiences with her faculty through professional development seminars and workshops.

Amanda Naimie

General Science Teacher

Metropolitan Learning Center

Connecticut, United States

Ms. Naimie grew up as 1 of 6 in a large bi-racial family in southern Maine about 2.5 hours from Hartford, CT. She is Jamaican American, and fields a lot of questions about her identity. Ms. Naimie studied Biology at New England College in New Hampshire, played two varsity sports, worked full time and gained undergraduate research experience. After graduating college, she worked as a Research Technician at Dartmouth Medical School where she completed Microbiology experiments and publications for 2 years. Teach for America brought her to the amazing city of Hartford, CT. She was a 2014 TFA Corps Member who taught 7th and 8th grade General Science at AFHAMS in the North End of Hartford. She is now working on staff as the Manager of Corps member and Community Engagement with 57 teachers, 70 alumni, and numerous community members, partners, and leaders! Ms. Naimie has recently joined the Metropolitan Learning Center CREC School team as an 8th Grade General Science Teacher. She has passion for youth development work, science, art, sports and mentoring. She always says that if everything else fails, she will go into standup; she is pretty funny.

Lindsey Rossler-Stolarsky

History Teacher

King School

Connecticut, United States

When Ms. Rossler-Stolarsky graduated from college in 2003, she knew that she would pursue a career in politics. After working two campaign cycles, her career ambitions shifted to education. On the campaign trail, she came across so many citizens who did not know and often times did not care about the issues facing them. She came to believe that if she taught young people social studies and helped them engage with their communities, she could be part of the solution to the apathy and lack of engagement she witnessed. In her career as an educator she continues to believe that teaching, mentoring and inspiring young people to be curious, engaged, empathetic actors in their communities is the best way forward. She is a Mom, a New Yorker, a fitness enthusiast, and an Alabama Football fan.

Nanako Saito


Municipal Sapporo Keihoku Commercial High School

Sapporo, Japan

Before starting a teaching career in 2011, Ms. Saito worked at international and governmental agencies such as UNICEF and JICA in Mexico, East Timor, Malawi, Washington D.C. and Tokyo mainly for education programs. This year, she is in charge of her school’s global education project in cooperation with the Sapporo City Education Board, and she will participate in the English education regional leaders program of Akita International University. She shared her experience as a TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) mentor in the Japanese female fashion magazine called “STORY” in January 2018 and “American View”—the U.S. Embassy official magazine’s website in September 2018. She holds a B.A. in English, M.A. in International Studies, and TESOL. Ms. Saito is thrilled to join the seminar, as her main interests are to empower youth and bring people together.


Thank you for your continued support! #EngageEducateEmpower


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